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deeds. If the difficulty be in the words "as fully and effectually as she could do if she were a feme sole," and that a feme sole cannot convey a fee simple in possession by a mere release, it may be said, she is enabled to convey " by deed," that is, a deed or any deed, and that these words " as fully," &e. not very precise or definite, have no restrictive force, and can only mean, that though covert she may make a deed. But suppose the words referred to were held to constitute a married woman a feme sole as to the land intended to be conveyed, they could not annihilate the estate of the husband, and, therefore, the estate or interest to be conveyed by the wife would be in remainder or expectancy, and would pass by a simple grant. But this question could only arise where the estate vested in the wife, or in her and her husband in her right, was in possession. Now it is clear that a lease by a husband of land vested in him and his wife in her right for one year, if they both shall so long live, is valid, and, consequently, after such a lease the estate which remains to be operated upon under the clause just cited is an estate in remainder, and is properly disposed of by a deed of release or grant, and therefore the language of the clause is correct. It could not be seriously contended, that because a lease and release are deemed one assurance, therefore the lease could not be ascribed to the husband alone; just as wisely might it be said that connected links cannot be relied upon as a binding chain unless all are made by the same hand. But as the acknowledgment of both lease and release has been generally required ex abundanti cautela, it is admitted it is prudent to adopt the practice, especially as only one fee is payable.1
To the clause, that no arrears of rent or of interest in respect of any sum of money charged upon or payable out of any land or rent, or in respect of any legacy, shall be recovered but within six years next after the same respectively shall have become due, Sir Edward appends the note," this clause should be modified without loss of time, or the grossest injustice will be committed upon the just rights of legatees and others, particularly infant legatees."2
It has been asked, whether in proving a title to tithes in I See Regula! Generales of C. P. Tiin. T. 1834; post. 3 Vol. i. 411.
lay hands it is still necessary to produce the grant of the rectory from the crown; and we think it is; for the Limitation of Actions Act does not affect tithes belonging to a spiritual corporation sole, therefore the grant is necessary as prima facie evidence that the tithes in question do not belong to the rector. A title to lay tithes is not affected by 2 & 3 Will. 4. c. 100. which act only applies to moduses and exemptions from tithes.
The following case is given by Sir Edward from a MS. note,1 and is so important that we are anxious to make it as generally known as may be.
u In Johnson v. Kennett, the estate was devised to the son in fee, subject to the debts, an annuity to the widow, and legacies to the daughters. The son also was entitled to the personal estate. Two or three years after the testator's death, the son and his wife levied a fine, and conveyed the estate, without reference to the debts and legacies, to uses to bar dower. The son then sold the estate in lots to several purchasers. The conveyances recited the will, the conveyance and fine, the contract to sell, and an agreement to give to the purchaser a bond of indemnity against the legacies. The deeds did not recite that the debts were paid. In some of the deeds the widow joined and released her annuity pro tanto. Each purchaser had a bond of indemnity against the legacies, in which no notice was taken of the debts. The daughters filed a bill against the purchasers and the assignee of the son. The bill stated that the son had paid the debts, and that the legacies were unpaid. The answers did not deny that the debts had been paid, and stated the belief of the purchasers that the legacies were unpaid. It was held that the estates were still charged with the legacies in the hands of the purchasers, for they dealt with the son, not as a trustee for the widow and daughters, but as the owner of the estate, and they were aware that the legacies were unpaid, and did not represent that they were told or supposed that the debts were unpaid."
The conduct of the purchasers in this case was certainly most injudicious; but the case suggests the caution that under similar circumstances the purchaser should inquire whether all the debts are paid, and if the answer be in the affirmative, and even perhaps if it be in the negative, but the
! Vol. ii. 39.
circumstances render the accuracy of the statement doubtful or suspicious, he, the purchaser, should require the estate to be discharged of the legacies.
We confess we do not exactly comprehend the force of the objection that the purchasers " dealt with the son, not as the trustee of the widow and daughters, but as the owner of the estate;" for the son with regard to purchasers was owner, if debts were unpaid, though personally liable in equity to the claims of the creditors and daughters. But if the purchaser knew or might have known that all the debts were paid, then the son could not alone make a good title without showing that the legacies were also paid. In fact, the only substantial objection to the title of the purchasers was, that they knew the debts were paid. As to the widow the son could not be deemed a trustee, and of course the estate could not be sold discharged from her annuity without her concurrence, whether the debts were paid or not, unless a purchaser could have shown that his purchase-money was specifically applied in payment of debts.1
Under the title of " a few cursory observations," Sir Edward gives his reasons at considerable length for opposing the bill lately introduced into Parliament for establishing a general registry of deeds; but as the bill has been since thrown out, there is no immediate necessity for recurring to them.
ART.VIL—THE POOR LAW AMENDMENT BILL.
The Poor Law Amendment Bill has escaped the House of Commons less impaired perhaps, on the whole, in its efficiency, than was to be expected; though many alterations of more than doubtful expediency have been introduced. On one point even a salutary change, so far as it goes, appears to have been effected.
We have always differed from the view which the Commissioners, in their Report, appear to have taken of the Set
VOL. XII. H
tlement Law. In proposing to reduce all the heads of settlement to one, they seem to have thought the mischievous operation of the law ascribable in some measure to the number and variety of the modes in which a settlement may be acquired; in other words, to the degree of facility with which a person may be enabled to change his place of settlement. In doing so they appear to us to have acted on a principle directly opposite to the true one; if accumulations of redundant labour in particular spots, and the consequent inequality of parochial burthens be, as the Commissioners themselves admit, the principal evils entailed upon the country by the law of parochial settlement. To provide for the gradual dispersion of such accumulations would appear to be the leading object of any change in the law; whereas, if the most obvious probabilities be not the most fallacious, nothing will so surely arise from abolishing the acquisitive settlements, as the perpetuation or increase of those inequalities of parochial population, which are already too monstrous to be borne. Notwithstanding the state of pauperism prevailing in the south of England, there is no one entire county of which it can be proclaimed that the whole population contained in it is redundant; and yet multitudes of parishes are to be found, in which more than half the labouring population are unemployed during certain seasons of the year and supported in idleness on the rates. No doubt a large number of parishes are at present deriving great benefit from the existence of these inequalities, by which they obtain a ready supply of labour at the periods when they want it, without the burthen of providing for the labourers when employment is slack. This advantage the small and lightly burthened parishes have been enabled to secure to themselves, at the expense of the overburthened, by the law of settlement in its present state; by any simplification of the law of settlement, it appears to us, they will be enabled to perpetuate and increase these inequalities still further to their own advantage; such advantage, nevertheless, can only last until the parishes sacrificed are ruined utterly by so unfair a distribution of the burthen; their more prosperous neighbours will then suffer in their turn, like the parishes which are now paying rates in aid of the parish of Cholesbury in Buckinghamshire. ., ., ,., •
That these morbid congestions of redundant labour are in fact owing in great measure to the law of parochial settlement, there can be small doubt. Little more than thirty years after the law of settlement and removal established by the 13 & 14 Car. II., we find the 8 & 9 Will. III., c. 30, commencing with these words: .
"Forasmuch as many poor persons chargeable to the parish, township, or place where they live, merely for want of work, would in any other place where sufficient employment is to be had, maintain themselves and families, without being burthensome to any parish, township, or place, but not being, able to give such security as will or may be expected and required upon their coming to settle themselves in any other place, they are, for the most part, confined to live in their own parishes, townships, or places, and not permitted to inhabit elsewhere, though their labour is wanted in many other places where the increase of manufactures icould employ more hands."
We contend, then, that the Commissioners have taken a wrong view of this part of the subject, and have acted on principles directly opposed to the right ones in recommending a change to a stricter law of settlement, instead of relaxing that which is already so strict as to give certain parishes the advantages over others which have been mentioned above. In the same proportion we give credit to the House of Commons for departing from the recommendation of the Commissioners, and restoring all the old heads of settlement with the exception of two. Thus little can be said to have been done relative to the law of settlement; whereas, surely some substantial good might have been effected, either by erecting larger districts for parochial purposes, or by relaxing the law of settlement, so as to make it easier to acquire a new settlement than it is now under the strict caution and vigilance exercised by the rate-payers of the respective parishes.
We find the following observations on this subject in the Report of one of the assistant Commissioners:
"The expense occasioned by the Settlement Law is certainly the least part of its mischief; for more substantial objections we need only look to the impediments caused by it to the free circulation of labour, the parochial jealousies and frauds which it occasions and the power put into the hands of the pauper, of selecting the victims