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publication of these works. In this way I have, for example, been able to indicate concisely the radical changes introduced by the Married Women's Property Act of 1881, and the other prior Acts dealing with the property of married women-changes which render it now extremely difficult, without a great deal of study, to master their full effect on the law as laid down by the institutional writers. It is to be hoped that this part of the work, which also shows the gradual progress of the law from early times, will be found useful, as exhibiting at once the former law and the changes introduced by time and Statute.

A new feature has been introduced in the present work which is somewhat of a novelty in Scottish law books. The intimate business relationships which now subsist between England and Scotland have suggested the idea of including in the table showing the legal distribution in personal estate, parallel columns to exhibit the English as well as the Scottish law. By this means the differences between the two laws, in all the cases and circumstances which most frequently arise in practice, can be seen at a glance. And with a view to greater utility, I have added brief outlines of the present rules in relation to legal succession in both real and personal es' e in England. The proof-sheets of this part of the work were kindly revised by Archibald Brown, Esq., of the Middle Temple, London, Barrister-at-Law, Editor of “Scriven on the Law of Copyholds and Manors," and of some other standard works on English law, and joint Editor of the last (or Ninth) Edition of “Stephen's Commentaries on the Law of England.”

To the present Edition I have also added an epitome of the rules affecting the imposition, collection, and settlement of legacy and succession duties, together with the principal forms required in practice. This part of the work will, it is hoped, meet a want at present much felt. The existing law as to legacy and succession duties is contained in lengthy Statutes, parts of which are repealed and parts amended in a way calculated to bewilder the student, and to render the mastery of the subject very difficult without a considerable expenditure of time and patience. I have endeavoured

to meet this difficulty by bringing within a narrow compass the information necessary to enable any one, save under exceptional circumstances, to settle these duties in compliance with the requirements of the Commissioners of Inland Revenue, with comparatively little trouble.

All the Statutes bearing on the context have been inserted in the end of the work, with footnotes illustrating the operation of particular passages, and showing the parts amended and repealed.

I have gratefully to acknowledge the kind services of George Watt, Esq., Advocate, and of James Caldwell, Esq., Campsie, in revising the sheets as they passed through the press. The Index has been prepared with great care by Mr. Norman Macleod.


December, 1883.


THE object of the following pages is to present, in a popular and

inexpensive form, a brief summary of the Law of Intestate Succession in Scotland.

Although by no means designed as an exhaustive epitome of the law, I entertain a hope that this summary may be of some assistance to the legal practitioner as a convenient handbook on those questions which most frequently arise, and afford facility of reference to books treating of the law in detail.

To persons outside the legal profession, who have not easy access to the books treating of this great social and important subject, I venture to hope this summary of the law will be found useful. It will show them the leading features of the law arranged under distinctive heads, while by means of the tables the operation of the law in the absence of a will or settlement may be easily ascertained.

The Statutes and Forms in the Appendix are intended to illustrate the body of the work, and make it more practical for those who consult it.

I did not originally intend this summary for publication, having written it for my own use in the shape of memoranda, collected in the course of my reading, and now arranged in its present form. I must, therefore, crave indulgence for any want of completeness it may present.

P. H. C.


April, 1870.


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