is neceffary to compel a legal affignment of dower ". what is more, though dower be forfeited by the treason of the husband, yet lands fettled in jointure remain unimpeached to the widow. Wherefore fir Edward Coke very justly gives it the preference, as being more fure and safe to the widow, than even dower ad oftium ecclefiae, the most eligible fpecies of any (15).

n Co. Litt. 36.

o Ibid. 37.

(15) A jointure is not forfeited by the adultery of the wife, as dower is; and the court of chancery will decree against the hufband a performance of marriage articles, though he alledges and proves that his wife lives feparate from him in adultery. Cox's P. Wms. 277

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Engravd by TTrotter from an Orginal Picture, painted by Cornelius Jansen, in the Hall of the Inner Tems

Dec 10th 1792, Published as the Act directs, by T Cadell, Strand.


[ocr errors]



Feftates that are lefs than freehold, there are three

years: Eilates at will. 3. It


tates by fufferance.

I. AN eftate for years is a contract for the poffeffion of lands or tenements, for fome determinate period; and it takes place where a man letteth them to another for the term of a certain number of years, agreed upon between the leffor and the leffee, and the leffee enters thereon b. If the leafe be but for half a year, or a quarter, or any lefs time, this leffce is refpected as a tenant for years, and is stiled fo in fome legal proceedings; a year being the fhorteft term which the law in this cafe takes notice of. And this may, not improperly, lead us into a fhort digreffion, concerning the divifion and calculation of time by the English law.


We may here remark, once for all, that the terminations of "or" and "ee" obtain, in law, the one an active, the other a paffive fignification; the former ufually denoting the doer of any act, the latter him to whom it is done. The feffor is he that maketh a feoffment; the feoffee is he to whom it



THE space of a year is a determinate and well-known period, confifting commonly of 365 days: for, though in


is made the donor is one that giveth lands in tail; the donee is he who receiveth it: he that granteth a leafe is denominated the leffor; and he to whom it is granted the leffee. (Litt. § 57.) b Ibid. 58.

c Ilid. 67.


biffextile or leap years it confifts properly of 366, yet by the ftatute 21 Hen. III the increafing day in the leap-year, together with the preceding day, fhall be accounted for one day only.. That of a month is more ambiguous: there being, in common use, two ways of calculating months; either as lunar, confifting of twenty-eight days, the supposed revolution of the moon, thirteen of which make a year: or, ascalendar months of unequal lengths, according to the Julian divifion in our common almanacs, commencing at the ca lends of each month, whereof in a year there are only twelve. A month in law is a lunar month, or twenty-eight days, unless otherwife expreffed; not only because it is always one uniform period, but because it falls naturally into á quarterly divifion by weeks. Therefore a lease for " twelve months" is only for forty-eight weeks; but if it be for "a twelvemonth" in the fingular number, it is good for the whole year. For herein the law recedes from it's ufual calculation, because the ambiguity between the two methods of computation ceafes; it being generally understood that by the fpace of time called thus, in the fingular number, a twelvemonth, is meant the whole year, confifting of one folar revolution (1). In the fpace of a day all the twenty-four d 6 Rep. 61.

(1) In bills of exchange and promiffory notes a month is always a calendar month; as if a bill or note is dated on the 10th of January, and made payable one month after date, it is due (the three days of grace being included) on the 13th of February.

The fix months in cafes of lapse and quare impedits, are also calendar months. 6 Co. 61.

It is fomewhat remarkable, that the difference between fix calendar months and half a year does not feem to have been confidered by legal writers. Lord Coke fays, half a year confifts of 182 days. 1 Inft. 135. But fix calendar months will be two or three days lefs or more than half a year, accordingly as February is reckoned, or not, one of the fix. Lord Coke, in his report of Catesby's cafe, clearly confiders the tempus femeftre to be fix calen dar months (6 Co. 61.); yet fir George Croke in his report of that



« ForrigeFortsett »