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County Courts' Extension.

sold; the proceeds were over 700l. Those proceeds were not sufficient to pay the costs of the suit, and a balance against the plaintiffs (my clients) of some 50l. now stands in my office books. You have here five bricks out of my house, I could give you fifty.

"6. D. H. was the holder of an estate (for lives under an ecclesiastical corporation) of small value; all the lives died, and without the knowledge of H. D., the agent who received the rents, renewed the estate in his own name, and thus perpetrated a gross fraud on H. D.; but the amount is small, and the only remedy is a bill in Chancery, which is worse than the disease.


same process which adds the equitable jurisdiction, could take it away; but I believe the experiment would answer.

Whether some of these suits were com

menced, or intended to be commenced, before the recent improvements in the practice of the Court of Chancery, does not appear; but this, we think, is evident-that an inquiry may now be conducted as expeditiously and cheaply before the Chief Clerk of an Equity Judge as before a County Court Judge, if it be intended that all proper parties shall be heard and that the "7. H. D. and J. V. are tenants in common result shall be conclusive and satisfactory. of a copyhold estate, of a very small value; the When speaking of the costs in Chancery "denial of justice," it copy was granted to J. V., who executed a de- as constituting a claration of trust, that as to one moiety he was must not be forgotten, that besides the possessed in trust for H. D. V. is in posses- costs (which are really not small) in the sion; he commits waste, and refuses to account, and D. has no remedy but to file a bill County Courts, we should reckon the loss of time and trouble in procuring the plaint, for a partition and for an account, but the property is too small to justify such a proceeding. attending the trial, proving the claim, and "8. W. R. purchased a small piece of free- then searching for the payment of each hold land in his own name, but with moneys be- small instalment (for all which time and longing to some poor people; he endorsed on trouble the plaintiff receives nothing). These the purchase deed, that such was the fact, and constitute "denials of justice," for innuthat his name was only used as a trustee. On merable small debts are abandoned to avoid the death of W. R., his nephew and heir-at-these evils. In the Superior Courts, where law enters into possession of the land, receives



the rents, and sets up a title, alleging that the the proceedings are conducted by attorneys, money received by his uncle was paid; the the suitor need not attend except once to only remedy is a bill in Equity, the costs of give evidence; and for this professional which would exhaust the estate, and ruin the service, the wrong-doer should pay. There parties." is, indeed, a mighty delusion about the efIt is absurd "There are a variety of other instances: the ficacy of the County Courts. administration of real estate, where the parties to suppose that the unpaid small debts of die without any personalty, mortgages, and deposit of deeds, legacies charged upon real the whole of England amount only to estate without power to sell or mortgage, and 1,579,318., for which plaints were entered all such kind of things, which occur in every according to the last year's Parliamentary direction. I took the trouble, as I before stated, return. If returns were obtained from the to inquire both from lay and professional per- former Small Debt Courts, we believe the sons, and the result was a universal reply, that amount would be equal, if not greater. in equitable matters, where the amount is small, a man who chooses to be a knave, can always be so with perfect impunity. If you admit that there should be an administration of justice in these matters at all, you must admit the necessity that some tribunal other than the existing Courts of Equity should be established. And I think it advisable that such tribunal should be the present County Courts. "It seems to me also, that the very grave "That is a large question. I should suppose question, whether the fusion of Law and Equity that the administration of any kind of justice is practicable, would be most conveniently, by persons wholly uneducated and unprepared safely, and cheaply tried in the County Courts. for it, is a state of things that is peculiar to instance Supposing it is to be tried at all, I cannot con- this country. I do not know that any ceive how it could be done more favourably or of it exists elsewhere. I practised in the Courts at less risk than by giving jurisdiction in equity of Quarter Sessions of three counties, throughto the present County Court Judges. This out a district perhaps the largest in England, would not, like the amalgamation of the Su- except the West Riding, for upwards of twenty perior Courts, be taking a step which might years, and was the leader for the latter portion be difficult to retrace. In no way could the experiment be more easily made. By no means could you more safely or easily ascertain whe- to ther it answered or not. If it did not, the|

We come next to the consideration of Criminal cases which are now disposed of at Quarter Sessions. On this head, Mr. Willmore is asked whether it would be desirable to give jurisdiction to the County Courts in such matters? He says

3 The fees of Court amount, on an average,
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See 48 Leg. Obs. p. 29.

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of that time. I saw a great deal of what oc- tion of the Court of Quarter Sessions to curred there, and if you ask the question, is it the County Courts; the other, placing the desirable to have a professionally educated man County Court Judge on the judgment seat as a chairman, I do not see how there can be in the Quarter Sessions. Mr. Willmore any difference of opinion upon the subject; I think everybody would say, it would be better to have such a man. Some things curiously extravagant have come under my own know ledge at the Sessions. I have had a chairman say to me upon some point occurring,-You know, these are a sort of things that we do not understand anything about." Upon one occasion, when I was prosecuting a man, the counsel for the prisoner raised objections to the indictment, which the Court heard; and then, the chairman in open Court said to me, the counsel on the other side,-'Is there anything in this objection?' These things bring ridicule, and sometimes dissatisfaction, on the administration of justice."

It is then observed by the witness that the question put does not extend to civil matters at Quarter Sessions, but he thinks it very properly might do so :

"That inquiry seems to me quite as important as the other. Questions of considerable intricacy arise, as to the removal of poor, rating for their relief, liability to repair roads, &c. With regard to these subjects, everybody who has practised at Sessions, I should think would be of opinion. that it was quite impossible to ascertain beforehand what would be the decision of the Court. I have argued cases very often as a matter of principle, against my own conviction, and upon one occasion, I remember the clerk of the peace, a man of great intelligence, wrote upon a piece of paper, which he threw across the table to me,-I think you ought not to have fought that case.' The magistrates, after consideration, however, decided in my favour; upon which he wrote me another note, saying,-'I withdraw what I have said.' A gentleman, who preceded me as leader of sessions, once created great scandal, upon hearing a decision against him, in a very plain case, by offering in open Court, the leader on the other side, to toss up for the next case. All these things, though often laughable, produce discredit and scandal in the administration of justice, and therefore,

should be avoided."

"Some of the advantages would be attained by making him chairman of the Quarter Sessions, but there would still be other inconve niences, such as the delay and expense, &c., which would not be removed. I may add, that there is a strong feeling against magistrates deciding in game cases. There is even an impression, that a poacher charged with felony, does not always meet with fair play either in his trial or his sentence. It is a common saying among those people, that they would rather be tried by a Red Judge,' which means that they would rather be tried at the Assizes."

He is then asked,-" Would you propose that there should be a sitting twelve times a year, in the principal towns of the Judge's circuit, for the disposal of criminal matters and those civil matters which are now usually transacted at the Quarter Sessions?" and he says," I think that would be an advantage, and I cannot think that the magistrates themselves, if you may judge from the character of their attendance, would object to it. They are certainly always present upon the days when the county business is to be disposed of; and so they ought to be, and such business of course should never be removed from them. But when the other questions arise, unless magistrates have an object in looking after the conviction of a man in their own particular neighbourhood, they seem not to think themselves bound to attend, and, as I have said, there is often a real difficulty in furnishing the two magistrates requisite to form a Court. The chairman must be there, but to get the second you have often to scour the country. I speak of the experience afforded in my own three counties."

Inquiries are also made of the witness, whether it would be desirable to give ju risdiction in Bankruptcy to the County Courts; and he replies in the affirmative. In short, with the exception of revising the lists of voters, it appears from this examination, as well from the evident bearing of the questions, as the prompt answers of the It is supposed, of course, that the dignity witness-(recollecting always that he is a of a County Court Judge, would repress the County Court Judge)-that there is no irregularities which occasionally prevail before subject, Civil or Criminal, that ought not the "great unpaid" magistrates! The inquiry then diverges into the difficulties of procuring a quorum of justices of the peace on some occasions, the length of time which elapses between one Session and another,- We have thus laid before our readers the and the inequality of sentences pronounced substance of this part of Mr. Willmore's by different Chairmen. It is then observed evidence, in order to prepare them for the by the learned Commissioner in the Chair, further changes which it may be expected that there are two modes of dealing with will soon be agitated in Parliament, if not the question :-one by giving the jurisdic-carried into effect by express enactments.

to be brought within the jurisdiction of the County Courts, though limited as they were expressly on their creation to "small debts and demands."

New Statutes effecting Alterations in the Law.




Institution may make byelaw to be en forced; s. 24.

Members liable to be sued as strangers; s. 25.

Members guilty of offences punishable as

LANDS to be used as sites for institu- strangers; s. 26. tions; s. 1.

Chancellor and Council of the Duchy of Lancaster empowered to grant lands for the site of an institution; s. 2.

Officers of the Duchy of Cornwall empowered, upon sufficient authority, to grant land for the site of an institution; s. 3.

If lands cease to be used for the purposes of the Act they shall revert; s. 4.

Persons not having legal estates em powered to convey lands for the purposes of this Act without the concurrence of their trustees; s. 5.

Corporation, justices, trustees, &c., to convey lands for the purposes of this Act; 5 & 6 Wm. 4, c. 69; s. 6..

How such parties may convey; 7 Geo. 4, c. 18; s. 7.

Where part only of lands subject to a rent under lease is conveyed, the rent and fine upon renewal of lease may be apportioned; s. 8.

Liabilities of tenants, and remedies of landlords as to lands not conveyed; s. 9. Any number of sites may be granted for separate institutions; s. 10.

Grants of site may be made to corpora tions or trustees to be held for the purposes of the institution; s. 11.


Incorporation of 13 & 14 Vict. c. 28; s.

Form of grants, &c.; s. 13.

Death of donor within 12 months not to invalidate grant; s. 14.

Mode of conveying the lord's interest and that of the copyholder in copyhold

land; s. 15.

Application of purchase-money for land sold by any ecclesiastical or corporation sole; s. 16.

Certain clauses of the 8 & 9 Vict. c. 18, rendered applicable to this Act; s. 17. Trustees may sell or exchange lands or buildings; or may let; s. 18.

Trustees to be indemnified from charges; in default thereof empowered to mortgage or sell the premises; s. 19.

Property of institution, how to be vested; S. 20.

How suits by and against institutions to be brought; s. 21.

Suits not to abate or discontinue; s. 22.
How judgment to be enforced against;

s. 23.

Institutions enabled to alter, extend, or abridge their purposes; s. 27.

Power to Board of Trade to suspend such alteration, if applied to by two-fifths dissentients; s. 28.

Provision for the dissolution of institutions and adjustment of their affairs; s. 29. Upon a dissolution, no member to receive profit. Proviso for joint-stock companies; 30.



Who is a member; s. 31.

The governing body defined; s. 32.
To what institutions the Act shall apply';


Parish defined; s. 34.

Short title of the Act; s. 35.

The following are the title and sections of the Act :

An Act to afford greater Facilities for the Es-
tablishment of Institutions for the Promo-
tion of Literature and Science and the Fine
Arts, and to provide for their better Regula-
[11th August, 1854.]

Whereas it is expedient that greater facilities should be afforded for procuring and settling established for the promotion of literature, sites and buildings in trust for institutions science, or the fine arts, or for the diffusion of useful knowledge, and that other provisions should be made for improving the legal condition of such institutions; be it therefore enacted as follows:

1. Any person in England, Wales, or Ire land, being seised in fee simple, fee tail, or for life of and in any manor or lands of freehold, copyhold, or customary tenure, and having the

present beneficial interest therein, may grant,

convey, or enfranchise, by way of gift, sale, or exchange, in fee simple or for a term of years, any quantity not exceeding one acre of such land, whether built upon or not, as a site for any such institution as hereinafter described; provided that no such grant made by any person seised only for life of and in any such manor or lands shall be valid, unless if there mainder, in fee simple or fee tail, and if such be any person next entitled to the same in reperson be legally competent, he shall be a party to and join in such grant; provided also, that where any portion of waste or commonable land shall be gratuitously conveyed by any lord of a manor for any such purpose as afore said, the rights of all commoners and others shall be barred and divested by such conveyhaving interest of a like nature in the said land ance.

2. The Chancellor and Council of her Ma


New Statutes effecting Alterations in the Law.

jesty's Duchy of Lancaster for the time being, by any deed or writing under the hand and seal of the Chancellor of the said duchy for the time being, attested by the clerk of the council of the said duchy for the time being, for and in the name of her Majesty, her heirs and successors, may, if they see fit, grant, convey, or enfranchise, to or in favour of such institution, any land forming part of the possessions of the said duchy, not exceeding in the whole one acre in any one parish, upon such terms and conditions as to the said Chancellor and Council shall seem meet; and where any sum or sums of money shall be paid for the purchase or consideration for such land so to be granted, conveyed, or enfranchised as aforesaid, the same shall be paid into the hands of the receiver-general for the time being of the said duchy, or his deputy and shall be by him paid, applied, and disposed of according to the provisions and regulations contained in an Act of the 48 Geo. 3, c. 73, or any other Act or Acts now in force for that purpose.

therein shall be vested in some trustee or trustees, it shall be sufficient for such person to convey the land proposed to be granted for the purpose of this Act, without the trustee or trustees being party to the conveyance thereof; and where it is deemed expedient to purchase for the purpose aforesaid any land belonging to or vested in any infant or lunatic, such land may be conveyed by the guardian or curator of such infant or the Committee of such lunatic respectively, who may receive the purchasemoney for the same, and give valid and sufficient discharges to the party paying such purchase-money, who shall not be required to see to the application thereof.

6. Any corporation, ecclesiastical or lay, whether sole or aggregate, and justices of the peace, trustees, Commissioners, holding land for public, ecclesiastical, parochial, charitable, or other purposes or objects, may, subject to the provisions hereinafter-mentioned, grant, convey, or enfranchise for the purpose of this Act such quantity of land as aforesaid, in any 3. Any three or more of the principal officers manner vested in such corporation, officers, of the Duchy of Cornwall, under the authority justices, trustees, or Commissioners: provided of a warrant issued for that purpose under the that no ecclesiastical corporation sole, being hands of any three or more of the Special below the dignity of a bishop, shall be authoCommissioners for the time being for manag-rised to make such grant without the consent ing the affairs of the Duchy of Cornwall, or in writing of the bishop of the diocese to whose under the hands of any three or more of the jurisdiction the said ecclesiastical corporation persons who may hereafter for the time being shall be subject; provided also, that no pahave the immediate management of the said duchy, if the said duchy shall be then vested in the Crown, or if the said duchy shall be then vested in a Duke of Cornwall, then under the hands of any three or more of the principal officers of the said duchy, or under the hands of any three or more of the persons for the time being having the immediate management of the said duchy, may, if they think fit, and are so authorised, by deed, grant, convey, or enfranchise to or in favour of any existing or intended institution any land forming part of the possessions of the said Duchy of Cornwall, not exceeding in the whole one acre in any one parish, upon such terms and conditions as to the said special Commissioners or principal officers, or such other person as aforesaid, shall

seeni meet.

4. Provided, that upon any land so granted by way of gift as aforesaid, or any part thereof, ceasing to be used for the purposes of the institution, the same shall thereupon immediately revert to and become again à portion of the estate or manor or possessions of the duchy, as the case may be, to all intents and purposes as fully as if this Act or any such grant as aforesaid had not been passed or made, except that where the institution shall be removed to another site the land not originally part of the possessions of either of the duchies aforesaid may be exchanged or sold for the benefit of the said institution, and the money received for equality of exchange or on the sale may be applied towards the erection or establishment of the institution upon the new site.

5. Where any person shall be equally entitled to any manor or land, but the legal estate

rochial property shall be granted for such purpose without the consent of a majority of the ratepayers and owners of property in the parish to which the same belongs, assembled at a meeting to be convened according to the mode pointed out in the Act passed in the 5 & 6 Wm. 4, c. 69, intituled "An Act to facilitate the Conveyance of Workhouses and other Property of Parishes and of Incorporations or Unions of Parishes in England and Wales," and without the consent of the Poor Law Board, to be testified by their seal being affixed to the deed of conveyance, and of the guardians of the poor of the union within which the said parish may be comprised, or of the guardians of the poor of the said parish where the administration of the relief of the poor therein shall be subject to a board of guardians, testified by the guardians of such union or parish being the parties to convey the same; and that no property held upon trust for charitable purposes shall be granted without the consent of the Charity Commissioners.

7. Where any officers, trustees, or Commissioners, other than parochial trustees, shall make any such grant, it shall be sufficient if a majority or quorum authorised to act of such officers, trustees, or Commissioners, assembled at a meeting duly convened, shall assent to such grant, and shall execute the deed of conveyance, although they shall not constitute a majority of the actual body of such officers, trustees, or Commissioners; and the justices of the peace may give their consent to the making any grant of land or premises belonging to any county, riding, or division by vote at their General Quarter Sessions, and may direct

New Statutes effecting Alterations in the Law.


the same to be made in the manner directed to 11. Where the institution shall not be incorbe pursued on the sale of the sites of gaols by porated, the grant of any land for the purpose an Act passed in the 7 Geo. 4, c. 18, intituled of such institution, whether taking effect under "An Act to authorise the Disposal of Unneces- the authority of this Act or any other authority, sary Prisons in England." may be made to any corporation sole or aggre8. If part only of any land held in fee sub-gate, or to several corporations sole, or to any ject to a perpetual rent, or comprised in a lease trustees whatsoever, to be held by such corpofor a term of years unexpired, shall be convey-ration or corporations or trustees for the pured or agreed to be conveyed for the purpose of pose of such institution. this Act, the rent payable in respect of the lands subject thereto, and any fine certain or fixed sum of money to be paid upon any renewals of the lease, or either of such payments, may be apportioned between the part of the said land so conveyed or agreed to be convey- 13. All grants, conveyances, and assurances ed and the residue thereof, and such appor- of any site for an institution under the protionment may be settled by agreement between visions of this Act may be made according to the parties following; that is to say, the person the form following, or as near thereto as the for the time being entitled to the rent where circumstances of the case will admit; (that is the land is held in fee or the lessor or other to say,)

12. The provisions of the 14 & 15 Vict. c. 28, shall be applicable to the conveyances of lands in England, Wales, and Ireland made or to be made to trustees, not being corporations, for the purposes of such institutions.

the owner subject to such lease of the lands "I, or we, [or the corporate title of a corpora◄ comprised therein, the person entitled to the tion,] under the authority of an Act passed in fee subject to the rent, or the lessee or other the year of the reign of her Majesty party entitled to the land by virtue of such Queen Victoria, intituled do hereby lease or any assignment thereof for the residue freely and voluntarily, and without any valuof the term thereby created, and the party to able consideration [or do in consideration of whom such conveyance as aforesaid for the the sum of to me, or us, or the said purpose of this Act is made or agreed to be paid] grant and convey [add if nemade; and when such apportionment shall so cessary, enfranchise] to all] descripbe made it shall be binding on all under-lessees tion of the premises] and all [my, or our, or and other persons and corporations whatsoever, the right, title, and interest of the whether parties to the said agreement or not. and in the same and every part thereof, to hold unto and to the use of the said corporation and their successors, or of the said and his or their [heirs or executors or administrators or successors], for the purposes of the said Act, and to be applied as a site for


9. In case of any such apportionment as aforesaid, and after the lands so conveyed or agreed to be conveyed as aforesaid shall have been conveyed, the person entitled to the fee or other estate in the lands subject to the rent, the lessee, and ail parties entitled under him to and for no other purpose whatever; such the lands not included in such conveyance, to be under the management and shall, as to all future accruing rent, and all control of [set forth the mode in which and the future fines certain or fixed sums of money to persons by whom the institution is to be managed be paid upon renewals, be liable only to so and directed; in cases where the land is purmuch of the rent or of such fines or sums of chased, exchanged, or demised, usual covenants money as shall be apportioned in respect of or obligations for the title may be added]. In such last-mentioned lands; and the party en- witness whereof the conveying and other titled to the rent charged or reserved shall parties have hereunto set their hands and have all the same rights and remedies for the seals [or seals only, as the case may be], this recovery of such portion of the rent as last day of Signed, sealed, aforesaid as previously to such apportionment and delivered by the said in the he had for the recovery of the whole rent presence of "And no charged or reserved; and all the covenants, bargain and sale or livery of seisin shall be reconditions, and agreements, except as to the quisite in any conveyance intended to take effect amount of rent to be paid, and of the fines or under the provisions of this Act nor more than sums of money to be paid upon renewals, in one witness to the execution by the conveying case of any apportionment of the same respec- party. tively, shall remain in force with regard to that part of the land which shall not be so conveyed as aforesaid, in the same manner as they would have done in case such part only of the land had been subject to the rent or included in the lease.


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14. Any deed executed for the purposes of any institution to which this Act applies, without any valuable consideration, shall continue valid, if otherwise lawful, although the donor or grantor shall die within 12 calendar months from the execution thereof.

10. Any person or corporation may grant 15. Where land of copyhold or customary any number of sites for distinct and separate tenure shall have been or shall be granted for institutions, although the aggregate quantity the purpose of such institution, the conveyance of land thereby granted by such person or corporation shall exceed the extent of one acre, provided the site of each institution do not exceed that extent.

of the same by any deed wherein the copyholder shall grant and convey his interest, and the lord shall also grant and convey his interest, shall be deemed to be valid and sufficient

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