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from him who did not give valuable consideration, or who took with notice of the trust. The right then ceased to be mere jus in lfiersonam and became jus in rem; it ceased to be a mere obligation and became a right of ownership. This stage in the history of the Equitable ownership or Use seems to have been reached in or soon after the reign of Edward IV., and at the time of the passing of the Statute of Uses, the Use was a right enforceable, not only against the person to whom the land was originally conveyed upon trust, but also against persons claiming through or under him (persons in in the per), either without giving value, or with notice of the trust. In much more modern times it appears to have been established that the right created by the trust or confidence prevails against persons who acquired the Legal ownership, not through or under the trustee, but by title paramount to him (persons in in the post) ; but it does not prevail against a person who has acquired the Legal ownership for valuable consideration and without notice of the trust.
The history of the Equitable ownership or Use may be briefly summarised thus : it is a movement from mos to jus, and from jus z'n1>ersonam to jars in rem.
The practice of conveying lands to one person to the use of another (or, as it was technically termed, of putting lands into Use) prevailed so extensively that in the fifteenth century the greater part of the land in the kingdom was held in Use. This practice was extremely prejudicial to the king and the great feudal lords, whom it deprived of the profits of their feudal seigniories, for the Use, as has been already mentioned, was not the subject of tenure, and, by vesting the Legal ownership in a number of persons, the happening of any feudal incidents to the lord was, to a great extent, prevented. The extensive severance of the
beneficial interest from the Legal ownership was, moreover,
attended with some serious practical inconveniences. The
Use was not extendible, and, therefore, the creditors of the real owner of the land could not make it available for payment of their debts. Purchasers of lands from the Equitable owners were defrauded by latent legal estates produced by feoffees to Uses. Persons claiming the land knew not against whom to bring their real action for the recovery thereof. Treasons were encouraged, for the Use was not liable to forfeiture.
To correct these and other inconveniences, many Statutes were passed relating to Uses before that of the twentyseventh year of Henry VIII. Thus, by the 21 Rich. II., c. 3, and other Statutes, Uses were made forfeitable for treason. By the I Rich. III., c. I, the conveyances of the Equitable owner (called the cestui que Use) were made valid as against persons claiming any legal estate in the land to the use of the conveying party. By the I Henry VII., c. 4, it was enacted that real actions might be brought against the pernor of the profits of the lands demanded whereof any person was seised to his Use. By the 4 Henry VII., c. 17, the lord of the fee was entitled to wardship of the heir of the cestui que Use, if such heir was under age; or to a relief, if the heir was of full age; _in the same manner as if the cestui que Use had had the Legal ownership. And by the 19 Henry VII., c. 15, the judgment creditors of cestui que Use were enabled to obtain execution of their judgments against lands in which their debtor liad only the Use.
These Statutes, however, failed to accomplish their object, as appears by the preamble of the Statute which we shall presently state; and in the year 1535, the twenty-seventh year of Henry VIII., an Act was passed, the 27 Henry VIII., c. 10, concerning Uses and Wills, the design of which appears to have been to extirpate Uses, and prevent the existence of the Equitable or beneficial ownership apart from the Legal ownership, by always annexing the Legal ownership to the beneficial ownership. The enactments of this celebrated Statute, so far as they are important for our present purpose, may be briefly stated as follows :—
“ That when any person or persons shall be seised of any lands, tenements, or hereditaments to the Use, confidence, or trust of any other person or persons, or of any body politick, the person or persons or body politick that have such Use, confidence, or trust, shall be deemed to be seised and possessed of such lands, tenements, and hereditaments, to all intents and purposes, of and in the like estates as they had in Use, trust, or confidence, of or in the same. And that the estate, title, right, and possession that was in the person or persons seised of such lands, tenements, or hereditaments, to the Use, confidence, or trust of any other person or persons, or any body politick, shall be deemed and adjudged to be in him or them that have such Use, confidence, or trust, after such quality, manner, form, and condition as they had before in or to the Use, confidence, or trust that was in them.”
The design of this Statute, as has been already stated, was to prevent the existence of the Equitable or beneficial ownership separate and apart from the Legal ownership, by always uniting the Legal to the beneficial ownership. This design, however, has not been effectuated; for at the present moment, as we all know, the Equitable or beneficial ownership may, notwithstanding the Statute, be severed from the Legal ownership, and exist as a distinct and separate right.
This circumstance was chiefly, if not entirely, due to the construction which the common lawyers, upon whom the duty of construing the Statute devolved, put upon the Statute. Thus, it was held that the Statute does not annex the Legal estate to the Equitable estate where the severance of the latter from the former takes place by virtue of some Equitable doctrine which has been established sincethe passing of the Statute; for the common lawyers took the doctrines of Equity as to the creation of Uses as they existed at the time of the passing of the Statute, and (so to speak) crystallised them. In this manner the cases to which the Statute applied were fixed, and its application has not since been extended so as to include cases which have arisen subsequently. If, therefore, at the present day an owner of land without any consideration of money or money’s worth, or of natural love and affection, or marriage, executes a simple declaration of trust in favour of another absolutely, the Legal ownership remains in the person declaring the trust, although the Equitable ownership passes to the person in whose favour the trust was declared, and the two rights remain separate and distinct, the Statute of Uses not operating in such a case; for at the time of the passing of the Statute of Uses, the Equitable doctrine was that an Use could not be raised without transmutation of the possession, except upon the consideration of money or money’s worth, or that of natural love and affection, or marriage; and this Equitable doctrine was, after the passing ofthe Statute, transplanted to the Courts of Law; but when, in more modern times, it was established that a declaration of trust was valid, although purely voluntary, the legal doctrine was not modified in like manner, nor was the Statute held to transfer the Legal ownership to him who, in this manner, had acquired the Equitable ownership. In such a case, therefore, and in all other cases of the same class, the Equitable ownership exists separately and distinctly from the Legal ownership, contrary to the design of the Statute.
Again, since the Statute speaks only of the case of one person being seised to the Use of another, it was held that it did not apply where one person held a mere term, or an estate in lands of copyhold tenure, in trust for another; for in such a case the person is not said to be seiscd. In such cases, also, the Equitable ownership exists separately and distinctly from the Legal ownership, contrary to the design of the Statute.
But the decision which had the most important and extensive results in defeating the design of the Statute was that known as the decision in Tyrrell’s Case (Dyer, 155a), which was, that where one Use is declared upon another Use, the second Use so declared is repugnant and void ; for Equity, regarding the intention of the parties, held that the Equitable or beneficial ownership vested in the person in whose favour the last Use was declared, although this Use was at law held to be void. In every case, therefore, where an Use is declared upon an Use the Equitable ownership exists distinctly and separately from the Legal ownership, contrary to the design of the Statute.
The result of this decision is, that in the only case to which the Statute applies at all, namely, where one person becomes seised of land to the Use of another, its application may be prevented by the simple expedient of interposing a merely formal limitation of an Use; and this is, in practice, the method resorted to whenever it is desired to prevent the operation of the Statute in those cases to which it applies.
Another result of this decision is, that the meaning of the term Use has been materially altered. Prior to the Statute the term Use was synonymous with the Equitable estate or
beneficial interest in the land; but after the Statute, by
virtue of the decision in Tyrrell’s Case, it was a mere formal term or expression used for the purpose of denoting in whom the Legal estate was intended to reside, whether the beneficial interest was intended to be in that person or not.
_Although the design of the Statute of Uses was thus defeated, the Statute itself had the most important effects in enlarging the power of disposition which the owner of land possessed over the Legal estate therein. For the