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This, we observe, is a slight increase upon the amount originally estimated by Mr. Torrens in his returns, in which the expenses were set down at £4060. The annual income, when the entire business in land of the colony comes to be conducted under the act, the Registrar-general estimates at £7000, thus leaving a very handsome surplus. These estimates are made on the supposition that the number of transactions will amount to 8000, or 10,000 annually, but the Registrar-general believes that the business might be increased tenfold without more than doubling the expenditure.
Mr. Torrens dwells upon the beneficial results which have already been attained by means of the act. Of these we will mention two which are of considerable importance, and which would be of value to many a landowner in England if a similar system were here introduced. The first of these results is, that "a considerable proportion of the land brought under the act, and in respect of which certificates of title indefeasible have been issued, was previously held under titles against which objections had been raised on account of imperfections in evidence, or on technical points, in consequence of which the market value of the land was seriously depreciated.” Such objections are usually obviated in England by means of special conditions of sale which, those who have taken the trouble to wade through the evidence given
1 As soon as the bulk of the lands of the colony have been brought under the act, the Registrar-general thinks one solicitor will be sufficient.
Returns, p. 2.
before the Registration Commissioners of 1857 are aware, do not, in the opinion of competent judges, materially affect the market value of property in this country. The case may be different in Australia ; and indeed there can be no doubt that, in England, careful trustees seldom lay out their trust moneys in the purchase of land sold under stringent conditions, though probably the number of such careful trustees is not sufficiently great to affect the market value of land.
The other beneficial result referred to is, that in the five months during which the act was in operation, sixteen cases had occurred in which persons who had lost the whole of their deeds by fire, had, upon the production of secondary evidence, obtained fresh and indefeasible titles to their lands at a cost averaging three pounds in each case. We fear, however, that such a result will never be attainable, in any case, in the mother country, at a like reasonable cost.
Such then is the system, and such the result of the system, introduced into the province of South Australia. The English Registration Commissioners of 1857, stated the object of their inquiry to be, “By what means, consistently with the preservation of existing rights, can we now obtain such a system of registration as will enable owners to deal with land in as simple and easy a manner, as far as title is concerned, and the difference in the nature of the subject matter may allow, as they can now deal with moveable chattels or stock?” Mr. Torrens declares that “this is no longer a problem for solution ; it is a realized fact. The South Australian legislature has provided means of escape from the grievous yoke of the English property law, and the colonists are rapidly availing themselves of those means."
Now, it is difficult to conceive why similar means should not be suitable for the exigencies of England. There are, we are aware, some who contend that the dealings with land are more complicated here than in the colony; and, therefore, that a measure which may work easily and successfully there, would not meet with the same success in the mother country. To these per
Pamphlet, No. 3, p. 44.
sons, our reply is, that, except as regards entails, we question the truth of the assertion, and further, that Mr. Torrens thinks, and we see no reason for doubting, that “it is quite feasible to provide for the creation of entails, under the system of registration of titles, without complication or difficulty. For this purpose, nothing more is needed than to provide that the tenant for life shall receive certificate of title, as such, upon which the memoranda of his dealings with his limited estate, as also dealings of reversioners with their interest, may be recorded in the same manner as is prescribed for the case of dealing with the fee-simple. Every devolution of the property would be authenticated to the Registrar, and a fresh certificate of title issued to the new tenant for life, as prescribed in the case of transmission of the fee by will or intestacy." Mr. Torrens does not think that this proceeding would confuse the register, and he states that he has worked out a number of the most complicated cases, to test the soundness of his views in this respect; but that he abstained from pressing these views on his fellow-colonists, on account of the disfavour with which any measure, tending to encourage the practice of entailing property, is regarded in the colony.
Those to whom the preparation of a measure for the reform of our own conveyancing system may be entrusted, would, we believe, derive much benefit from the careful study of the South Australian Real Property Act. In many respects, indeed, it might be usefully followed ; for, though defective in a few minor points, and occasionally obscure in its language, it is, taken as a whole, far more accurate and complete than any measure of a similar kind hitherto proposed by the lawyers of England.
· Pamphlet, No. 3, p. 40.
ART. XV.-THE LATE WILLIAM JOHN BRODERIP.
THE "HE name of Broderip is equally familiar to the general
public, the naturalist, and the lawyer. The reports of the court of Common Pleas, which Mr. Broderip, in conjunction with Mr. Bingham, edited from 1820 to 1822, attest the fact that he prosecuted his legal pursuits in earnest. In truth, though he was diverted from seeking the higher honours of his profession, by accepting early in his career the responsible office of a magistrate in the metropolis, there is no reason for supposing that, had he preferred to hold on his course at the bar, he would not have achieved the distinction which some of his immediate contemporaries and friends obtained. He preferred, however, such an occupation as would more readily allow of his employing considerable leisure in scientific investigations and literary enjoyments, and who shall say he erred in so making his choice? His pleasure as a lad, and his chosen studies from his youth upwards, consisted in natural history and the cultivation of science; and he was to our mind not only a fortunate man to have the opportunity of squaring his life with his predilections, but a wise man in not allowing ambition to attract him to follow the phantoms of professional or political fame, while the instincts of his nature and early education inclined him to other paths.
Mr. Broderip was born in 1789. His father, who practised medicine at Bristol, had formed a collection of shells and corals, in which his son took a lively interest, who thus was early initiated in zoological studies. He matriculated at Oriel college, Oxford, and it is interesting to find the following mention of him in a letter written in 1809, by Dr. Buckland, who was then fellow and tutor of Corpus Christi College. “In my earlier years of residence at Oxford, I took my first lesson on field geology in a walk to Shotover Hill with Mr. William John
1 We are indebted to a notice in the proceedings of the Linnæan Society for this extract, as well as for other points which we have thought would prove interesting to our readers.
Broderip, of Oriel, whose early knowledge of conchology enabled him to speak scientifically on the fossil shells in the Oxford oolite formation, and of the fossils, shells, and sponges
green sand of the vale of Pusey near Devizes, as to which he had been instructed by the rector of Pusey, Mr. Townsend, the friend and fellow-labourer of Mr. Wm. Smith, the father of English geology. The fruits of my first walk with Broderip formed the nucleus of my collection for my own cabinet.” From this first lesson, which Dr. Buckland then received at young Broderip's hands, may date the commencement of those studies, which eventually led the late professor of geology in the University of Oxford to prosecute those pursuits which not only have established his own fame, but also have enlarged the knowledge of this science, by his profound investigations, and his skill in elevating its position in the University, and popularizing its general study.
In after years, "Mr. Broderip was associated with Dr. Buckland on the closest terms of family friendship and intimacy; and rendered him the greatest assistance in his scientific labours, more especially in the revisal of the earlier editions of his Bridgewater treatise."
Whilst at college, Mr. Broderip found time to attend the anatomical lectures of Sir Christopher Pegge, and the chemical and mineralogical lectures of Dr. Kidd. After completing his university studies, he entered at the Inner Temple, and commenced studying for the bar in the chambers of the well-known Godfrey Sykes, where he had as contemporaries Messrs. Patteson and Coleridge. He was called to the bar in 1817, and joined the western circuit; and shortly afterwards began, as we have mentioned, reporting in the Common Pleas. In 1822, however, a bare five years after he had begun practice, he was offered by Lord Sidmouth the appointment of magistrate to the Thames Police Office, which he accepted. Henceforward, the public were wont continually to meet his name associated with the functions of magistrate. That he performed these ably, zealously, and conscientiously, is well-known to those who had opportunities of
i Vide Dr. Buckland's Life.