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Forasmuch as it is often put in ure, to the defrauding of creditors, that such persons as are to have the administration of the goods of others dying intestate committed unto them, if they require it, will not accept the same, but suffer or procure the administration to be granted to some stranger of mean estate, and not of kin to the intestate, from whom themselves or others by their means do take deeds of gifts and authorities by letter of attorney, whereby they obtain the state of the intestate into their hands, and yet stand not subject to pay any debts owing by the same intestate, and so the creditors for lack of knowledge of the place of habitation of the administrator, cannot arrest him nor sue him; and if they fortune to find him out, yet for lack of ability in him to satisfy of his own goods, the value that he hath conveyed away of the intestates goods, or released of his debts by way of wasting, the creditors cannot have or recover their just and due debts:
II. Be it enacted by the authority of this present parliament, That every person and persons that hereafter shall obtain, receive and have any goods or debts of any person dying intestate, or a release or other discharge of any debt or duty that belonged to the intestate, upon any fraud, as is aforesaid, or without such valuable consideration as shall amount to the value of the same goods or debts, or near thereabouts, (except it be in or towards satisfaction of some just and principal debt of the value of the same goods or debts to him owing by the intestate at the time of his decease) shall be charged and chargeable as executor of his own wrong; (2) and so far only as all such goods and debts coming to his hands, or whereof he is released or discharged by such administrator, will satisfy, deducting nevertheless to and for himself allowance of all just, due and principal debts upon good consideration, without fraud, owing to him by the intestate at the time of his decease, and of all other payments made by him, which lawful executors or administrators may and ought to have and pay by the laws and statutes of this realm.
21 JAC. I. CAP. 16. [A.D. 1623.]
An act for limitation of actions, and for avoiding of suits in law.
For quieting of mens estates, and avoiding of suits, be it enacted by the King's most excellent majesty, the lords spiritual and temporal, and commons, in this present parliament assembled, That all writs of
formedon in descender, formedon in remainder, and formedon in reverter, at any time hereafter to be sued or bought, of or for any manors, lands, tenements or hereditaments, whereunto any person or persons now hath or have any title, or cause to have or pursue any such writ, shall be sued and taken within twenty years next after the end of this present session of parliament: and after the said twenty years expired, no such person or persons, or any of their heirs, shall have or maintain any such writ, of or for any of the said manors, lands, tenements or hereditaments; (2) and that all writs of formedon in descender, formedon in remainder, and formedon in reverter, of any manors, lands, tenements, or other hereditaments whatsoever, at any time hereafter to be sued or brought by occasion or means of any title or cause hereafter happening, shall be sued and taken within twenty years next after the title and cause of action first descended or fallen, and at no time after the said twenty years; (3) and that no person or persons that now hath any right or title of entry into any manors, lands, tenements or hereditaments now held from him or them, shall thereinto enter, but within twenty years next after the end of this present session of parliament, or within twenty years next after any other title of entry accrued; (4) and that no person or persons shall at any time hereafter make any entry into any lands, tenements or hereditaments, but within twenty years next after his or their right or title which shall hereafter first descend or accrue to the same; and in default thereof, such persons so not entring, and their heirs, shall be utterly excluded and disabled from such entry after to be made; any former law or statute to the contrary notwithstanding.
II. Provided nevertheless, That if any person or persons, that is or shall be entitled to such writ or writs, or that hath or shall have such right or title of entry, be or shall be at the time of the said right or title first descended, accrued, come or fallen, within the age of one and twenty years, feme covert, non compos mentis, imprisoned or beyond the seas, that then such person or persons, and his and their heir and heirs, shall or may, notwithstanding the said twenty years be expired, bring his action, or make his entry, as he might have done before this act; (2) so as such person and persons, or his or their heir and heirs, shall within ten years next after his and their full age, discoverture, coming of sound mind, enlargement out of prison, or coming into this realm, or death, take benefit of and sue forth the same, and at no time after the said ten years.
III. And be it further enacted, That all actions of trespass quare
clausum fregit, all actions of trespass, detinue, action sur trover, and replevin for taking away of goods and cattle, all actions of account, and upon the case, other than such accounts as concern the trade of merchandize between merchant and merchant, their factors or servants, all actions of debt grounded upon any lending or contract without specialty; all actions of debt for arrearages of rent, and all actions of assault, menace, battery, wounding and imprisonment, or any of them which shall be sued or brought at any time after the end of this present session of parliament, shall be commenced and sued within the time and limitation hereafter expressed, and not after (that is to say) (2) the said actions upon the case (other than for slander) and the said actions for account, and the said actions for trespass, debt, detinue and replevin for goods or cattle, and the said action of trespass quare clausum fregit, within three years next after the end of this present session of parliament, or within six years next after the cause of such actions or suit, and not after; (3) and the said actions of trespass, of assault, battery, wounding, imprisonment or any of them, within one year next after the end of this present session of parliament, or within four years next after the cause of such actions or suit, and not after; (4) and the said actions upon the case for words, within one year after the end of this present session of parliament, or within two years next after the words spoken, and not after.
IV. And nevertheless be it enacted, That if in any the said actions or suits, judgment be given for the plaintiff, and the same be reversed by error, or a verdict pass for the plaintiff, and upon matter alledged in arrest of judgment, the judgment be given against the plaintiff, that he take nothing by his plaint, writ or bill; or if any the said actions shall be brought by original, and the defendant therein be outlawed, and shall after reverse the outlawry; that in all such cases the party plaintiff, his heirs, executors or administrators, as the case shall require, may commence a new action or suit, from time to time, within a year after such judgment reversed, or such judgment given against the plaintiff, or outlawry reversed, and not after.
V. And be it further enacted, That in all actions of trespass quare clausum fregit, hereafter to be brought, wherein the defendant or defendants shall disclaim in his or their plea, to make any title or claim to the land in which the trespass is by the declaration supposed to be done, and the trespass be by negligence or involuntary, the defendant or defendants shall be admitted to plead a disclaimer, and that the trespass was by negligence or involuntary, and a tender or offer of suf
ficient amends for such trespass before the action brought, whereupon or upon some of them, the plaintiff or plaintiffs shall be enforced to join issue; (2) and if the said issue be found for the defendant or defendants, or the plaintiff or plaintiffs shall be nonsuited, the plaintiff or plaintiffs shall be clearly barred from the said action or actions, and all other suit concerning the same.
VI. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That in all actions upon the case for slanderous words, to be sued or prosecuted by any person or persons in any the courts of record at Westminster, or in any courts whatsoever that hath power to hold plea of the same, after the end of this present session of parliament, if the jury upon the trial of the issue in such action, or the jury that shall enquire of the damages, do find or assess the damages under 40s., then the plaintiff or plaintiffs in such action shall have and recover only so much costs as the damages so given or assessed amount unto, without any further increase of the same; any law, statute, custom or usage to the contrary in any wise notwithstanding.
VII. Provided nevertheless, and be it further enacted, That if any person or persons that is or shall be entituled to any such action of trespass, detinue, action sur trover, replevin, actions of accounts, actions of debts, actions of trespass for assault, menace, battery, wounding or imprisonment, actions upon the case for words, be or shall be at the time of any such cause of action given or accrued, fallen or come, within the age of twenty-one years, feme covert, non compos mentis, imprisoned or beyond the seas; that then such person or persons shall be at liberty to bring the same actions, so as they take the same within such times as are before limited, after their coming to or being of full age, discovert, of sane memory, at large, and returned from beyond the seas, as other persons having no such impediment should have done.*
12 CAR. II. CAP. 24. [A.D. 1660.]
An act for taking away the court of wards and liveries, and tenures in capite, and by knights-service, and purveyance, and for settling a revenue upon his Majesty in lieu thereof.
Whereas it has been found by former experience, That the courts of wards and liveries, and tenures by knights-service, either of the
20 H. III. c. 8; 3 Ed. I. c. 39; 32 H. VIII. c. 2; 1 Ma. I. Sess. 2, c. 5.
King or others, or by knights-service in capite, or socage in capite of the King, and the consequents upon the same, have been much more burdensome, grievous and prejudicial to the kingdom, than they have been beneficial to the King: (2) And whereas since the intermission of the said court, which hath been from the four and twentieth day of February which was in the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred forty and five, many persons have by will and otherwise made disposal of their lands held by knights-service, whereupon divers questions might possibly arise, unless some seasonable remedy be taken to prevent the same; (3) be it therefore enacted by the King our sovereign lord, with the assent of the lords and commons in parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, and it is hereby enacted, That the court of wards and liveries, and all wardships, liveries, primerseisins, and ousterlemains, values and forfeitures of marriages, by reason of any tenure of the King's Majesty, or of any other by knightsservice, and all mean rates, and all other gifts, grants, charges incident or arising, for or by reason of wardships, liveries, primer-seisins, or ousterlemains be taken away and discharged, and are hereby enacted to be taken away and discharged, from the said twenty-fourth day of February one thousand six hundred forty-five; any law, statute, custom or usage to the contrary hereof in any wise notwithstanding: (4) And that all fines for alienations, seizures and pardons for alienations, tenure by homage, and all charges incident or arising, for or by reason of wardship, livery, primer-seisin, or ousterlemain, or tenure by knights-service, escuage, and also, aid pur file marrier, and pur fair fitz chivalier, all other charges incident thereunto, be likewise taken away and discharged, from the said twenty-fourth day of February one thousand six hundred forty and five; any law, statute, custom or usage to the contrary hereof in any wise notwithstanding: (5) And that all tenures by knights-service of the King, or of any other person, and by knights-service in capite, and by socage in capite of the King, and the fruits and consequents thereof, happened or which shall or may hereafter happen or arise thereupon or thereby, be taken away and discharged, any law, statute, custom or usage to the contrary hereof in anywise notwithstanding; (6) and all tenures of any honours, manors, lands, tenements or hereditaments, or any estate of any inheritance at the common law, held either of the King, or of any other person or persons, bodies politick or corporate are hereby enacted to be turned into free and common socage, to all intents and purposes, from the said twenty-fourth day of February one thousand