An Essay on the History and Effects of the Laws of Mortmain, and the Laxs Against Testamentory Dispositions for Pious Purposes

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General Books LLC, 2009 - 232 pages
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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated.1853 Excerpt: ... COMMITTEE OF 1844. DIGEST OF THE EVIDENCE. Sir F. Palgrave.--The term mortmain, in the way in which it is used in common discourse and generally employed, is inaccurate. Mortmain, in a legal sense, means, simply the acquisition of real property by corporate bodies having perpetual succession; but, in common language, it is applied to the restrictions imposed by the 9th George II, which prevent the giving of landed property (in a testamentary way) to charitable purposes. Sir W. Grant, in a case arising upon the 9th George II Attorney-General v. Stuart, 2 Merivale, 261), says, " I conceive the object of the statute of mortmain is wholly political." It is not mortmain: it is a statute for preventing the alienation of land (in a testamentary way) to charitable uses; preventing, of course, real property being so given, not only to corporate bodies but to persons unincorporate, in trust, for charities. The old law of mortmain applied only to corporations. The modern law has no peculiar reference to corporations having perpetual succession. It does not prevent bequeathing land for purposes not being charitable; for instance, to the City of London, or to any non-charitable institution or society, empowered to take land. The statutes of mortmain apply equally to all corporations having perpetual succession. There is a considerable difference between the two laws. The old law had but one simple object; it is not a general restriction upon granting land to corporations prohibitive of grants for religious purposes; it merely seeks to prevent certain lands being held in a manner, whereby certain incidents of tenure were lost to the lord of the land and to the state or community. This appears in part, at least, from the statute De viris religiosis, 7th Edward I, which re...

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