« AnteriorContinuar »
LAW OF REAL PROPERTY.
A First Book
THE USE OF STUDENTS IN CONVEYANCING.
JOSHUA WILLIAMS, ESQ.,
OF LINCOLN'S INN, ONE OF HER MAJESTY'S COUNSEL
The Sixth American Edition, with Notes and References
HON. JAMES T. MITCHELL,
ADDITIONAL NOTES AND REFERENCES
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1885, by
T. & J. W. JOHNSON & CO.,
In the Ofice of the Librarian of Congress at Washington, D. C.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1879, by
T. & J. W. JOHNSON & CO.,
In the Omce of the Librarian of Congress at Washington, D.O.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1872, by
T. & J. W. JOHNSON & Co.,
In the Office of the Librarian of Congress at Washington, D.O.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1866, by
T. & J. W. JOHNSON & CO.,
In the Clerk's Omce of the District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
BY THE AMERICAN EDITOR.
WHEN the first edition of Mr. Williams's book appeared in 1844, it was at once recognized by the profession as being of real value to the student of the Law of Real Property. It was exactly what Mr. Williams claimed it to be—“A First Book for the use of Students in Conveyancing," and, as such, it grew rapidly in favor both in England and America, as new editions were called for from time to time. The early American editions were enriched by the notes of Mr. Wm. Henry Rawle, to which much of the success of the work in the United States was due. Later, the notes of Judge Mitchell added practical value to the book and kept it abreast with the general current of American legislation and decision at the time.
But, during the forty years which have elapsed since the first English edition was given to the public, Parliament has been busy passing statutes concerning the Law of Real Property. Very many of these are mere codifications of those portions of the law relating to particular branches of the subject, and introduce few substantial alterations in the law as it stood at the time they were passed; while others are altogether new, being the results of the advanced views with regard to the rights and duties of owners and tenants of land, which have been so earnestly discussed in England during the last fifteen or twenty years. All these statutes have been from time to time incorporated by Mr. Williams and his son, Mr. T. Cyprian Williams, who succeeded him, in the text of the successive editions; and they have rendered his treatise in its more recent form, to a considerable extent, a reflec‘ion of parliamentary legislation on the subject of real property, rather than—as it was meant to be-a treatise containing elementary principles only. A glance at the title “Statutes cited” in
the index of any of the later editions preceding this one, will show what a large number of British Acts of Parliament have been, more or less, summarized in the text of the English work.
The existence of this element in his text-book must necessarily prove embarrassing to the American student of conveyancing. He knows that these Acts of Parliament are not of force in this country, and he is incapable of deciding (as sometimes his elders might be) how far they are simply declaratory of the law as it was, and how far they introduce new provisions on the various subjects treated of. Consequently, just in proportion that the relative quantity of modern British statute law contained in the book increased, so its value as a text-book for law students in the United States diminished.
The present edition is the result of an effort to remedy this difficulty, and to furnish to the American student a book more şuited to his wants, than would have been afforded by a reprint of the last English edition (the fifteenth) with American notes. The text adopted is that of the first edition of Mr. Williams, with such additions as he made in his subsequent editions, of matters not depending upon recent Acts of Parliament. Some of the provisions of the statutes passed since the first edition, have been generally adopted in this country. These have been mentioned in the notes.
Those portions of the original work relating exclusively to Advowsops, Tithes, and Copyholds, have been altogether omitted, as such subjects of property never existed in America. Being useful here only as matters of illustration or analogy, their study can be postponed until a later period.
By the kind permission of the previous editors the American notes have been revised and consolidated. Many new ones have been added, and the whole brought up to include the latest statutes and authorities, so far as is consistent with the elementary character of the work.
The Editor gratefully acknowledges the valuable aid in the preparation of this edition received from Mr. Ellis Ames Ballard, of the Philadelphia Bar.
E. C. M. PHILADELPHIA, January, 1886.
The Author had rather that the following pages should speak for themselves, than that he should speak for them. They are intended to supply, what he has long felt to be a desideratum, a First Book for the use of students in conveyancing, as easy and readable as the nature of the subject will allow. In attempting this object he has not always followed the old beaten track, but has pursued the more difficult, yet more interesting, course of orignal investigation. He has endeavored to lead the student rather to work out his knowledge for himself, than to be content to gather fragments at the hand of authority. If the student wishes to become an adept in the practice of conveyancing, he must first be a master of the science; and if he would master the science, he should first trace out to their sources those great and leading principles, which, when well known, give easy access to innumerable minute details. The object of the present work is not, therefore, to cram the student with learning, but rather to quicken his appetite for a kind of knowledge which seldom appears very palatable at first. It does not profess to present him with so ample and varied an entertainment as is afforded by Blackstone in his “Commentaries;” neither, on the other hand, is it as sparing and frugal as the “Principles” of Mr. Watkins; nor, it is hoped, so indigestible as the well-packed “Compendium” of Mr. Burton. This work was commenced many years ago; and it may be right to state that the substance of the introductory chapter has already appeared before the public in the