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DECISIONS OF THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS
ON REGISTRATION APPEALS.
I. ON THE QUALIFICATIONS OF COUNTY ELECTORS.
Reference to Reports of Cases:-
Revising Barristers, by ARTHUR BARROW, of the Inner Temple,
Esq., and THOMAS JAMES ARNOLD, of Lincoln's Inn, Esq.
Common Pleas, on Appeal from the decisions of Revising Bar-
Temple, Barrister-at-Law. Vols. I and II.
Reports, by D. D. KEANE and JAMES GRANT, Esqrs., Barristers
at-Law. Vol. I. H. & P.—Registration Cases continued by C. H. Hopwood and
F. A. PHILBRICK, Esq. Vol. I.
I. ON THE QUALIFICATION OF COUNTY ELECTORS.
Partnership Shures in Freehold. Several persons joined in a partnership, to carry on trade in a fulling mill. Money was subscribed by all the partners, with part of which freehold land was bought, which was conveyed to trustees; with the other part, a mill was built on this land, and machinery for the mill was purchased. By u partnership deed, executed by the trustees and all the partners, the trusts of the land, mill, &c. were declared to be (among others), that the trustees should stand seised and possessed of all the estates, property, goods, &c. upon trust, for the benefit of themselves and their partners, as part of their partnership joint stock in trade. There was a provision in the deed, that the trustees might borrow money, upon mortgage of the stock, property, estate, &c. belonging to the copartuership; and it was declared that the land, mill, &c. should be deemed and considered as, or in the uature of, personal estate, and not real estate, and be held in trust for the partners, as part of their partnership stock in trade. The trustees had, under the power of the deed, borrowed money, for the purposes of the partnership, for which they had given bonds and notes, in their own names, not having mortgaged any part of the partnership property. Held, That each partner had an interest in realty, and having an amount of shares sufficient for the purpose, was entitled to vote for the county. Held also, That the money, borrowed by the trustees, had not the effect of mortgages on the shares of the part
Baxter, Appellant, Newman, Respondent; B. & A. p. 493. -LUT. Vol. I. p. 287.
Shareholders in Incorporated Joint Stock Companies. Shareholders in Joint Stock Companies incorporated under the Joint Stock Companies Acts, have no freehold estate, legal or equitable, in any lands held by the Corporation to entitle them to vote in counties. Bulmer and Norris. K. & G. p. 321.
Individual Corporators. So also individual corporators of a Corporation at common law which is seised in fee simple of freehold lands, are not entitled to be registered in respect of their interests or shares in the profits of the Company. Acland and Lewis. K. & G. p. 334.
Unincorporated Joint Stock Companies. Whether shareholders in an Unincorporated Company, possessing and using land as an instrument of profit, have such an interest therein as to entitle them to be registered, depends upon the form of their deed. If under the deed they take only an interest in the joint stock and net profits, the land being held by trustees and managed by a committee, they have not such an estate at law or in equity as to entitle them to vote. Bennett and Blain. H. & P. vol. I. p. 35.
Multiplication of Voices— The Splitting Act. 7th and 8th William III., cap. 25. “ All conveyances of any messuages, lands, tenements, or hereditaments, in any county, city, borough, &c in order to multiply voices, or to split and divide the interest in any houses or lands among several persons, to enable them to vote at elections of Members to serve in Parliament, are hereby declared to be void and of none effect; and that no more than one single voice shall be admitted for one and the same house or tenement."
To render a conveyance void under the above statute, the seller must be party or privy 10 the illegal object intended by the conveyance. Marshall and Bown. Lut. J. p. 278. B. & A. p. 445.
A bona fide purchase of land, for a valuable consideration, is not void, though the object of the vendees is to multiply voices, and that is known to the agent of the vendor, but not to the vendor himself. Hoyland and Bremner. Lur. 1. p. 381. B. & A. p. 611.
A conveyance, made in completion of a bona fide contract of sale, where the money is paid and possession given, there being no secret reservation or trust for the benefit of the vendor, is not within the statute, though the object of both vendor and vendees was the multiplication of voices. Alexander and Newman. Lot. I. p. 404. B. & A. p. 657.
Nor a bona fide conveyance, from father to son, made “in consideration of natural love and affection.” Neuton and Hargreaves. Lut. I. p. 424. B. & A. p. 690.
Whether there has been fraud in fact in making a conveyance, in order to multiply voices, is a question for the determination of the Revising Barrister. Newton and Overseers of Mobberly. Lut. I. p. 427. B. & A.
Freehold Benefices. The perpetual curate of St. Andrew's, Bethnal Green, claimed to vote in respect of his freehold benefice. The Ecclesiastical Commissioners paid £.150 a year, and the governors of Queen Anne's Bounty also paid £.50 a year out of £.475 charged on the tithes of St. Andrew, Undershaft, in the City. Fees were received in respect of marriages, &c. performed in his church, and the income from this source was more than 40s. a year. He also received more than 40s. a year from burials in Bow Cenietery, of persons dying within his district; a title to the latter fees was not produced. Nor was he in receipt of any income from the letting of pews. Held, That the appellant was not entitled to vote in right of his office of perpetual curate, irrespective of the source from which the income of his office was derived; and further, that he was not by virtue of his office entitled at law or in equity to a freehold estate in lands or tenements, in the same parish as that for which he claimed to be registered, of the clear yearly value of 40s. Kirton and Dear, November 28, 1869.
Freehold presumed from Possession. Tenements, held by burgage tenure, in the ancient borough of Kendal, it not being shewn that the freehold is in another, entitle the holder in possession to vote for the county. Busher and Thomas. Lut. I. p. 551.
Freeholds for Life,-Charities. The bedesmen of Lord Burghley's Hospital, Stamford Baron, Northampton, are entitled to be registered, as having equitable estates of freehold in their respective rooms. Simpson and Wilkinson. Lut. I. p. 168. B. & A. p. 308.
The inmates of Jesus Hospital, Rothwell, Northampton, are not entitled to vote for the county, as their respective estates or interests are held during the pleasure of the governors, according to the by-laws, made under the powers of letters patent, dated 38th Elizabeth. Davis and Waddington. Lut. I. p. 159. B. & A. p. 299.
The inmates of Shrewsbury Hospital, Sheffield, are not entitled to be registered for the county of Nottingham, not having equitable estates of sufficient value therein to confer the franchise ; and held, by Erle, J., that they have no equitable estate in land, but only an interest in money. Ashmore and Lees. Lut. I. p. 337. B. & A. p. 554.
The “ Beadsmen of Daventry” have equitable estates in land, but not to the value of 101. per annum each, and are not entitled to be registered as holding any “ benefice or office,” within the meaning of the 18 s. of 2nd William IV., cap. 45. K. & G. p. 132.
The fellows of Lincoln College, Oxford, are not entitled to be regis. tered for the county of Durham, inasmuch as the annual value of their equitable estates in land, within that county, is not 101. and they do not come within the exception of the 18 s. of the Reform Act, as coming to an estate by devise, or holding a benefice or office. West and Robson, K. & G. p. 141.
The members of the Hospital of Gilbert, Earl of Shrewsbury, at Sheffield, have neither a legal nor an equitable freehold interest in the rooms occupied by them, and are not entitled to vote for the county. Freeman and Gainsford. K. & G. p. 448.
The preachers and lay clerks and bell ringer of Canterbury Cathedral have not an interest in land to entitle them to vote for the county in respect of their stipend paid out of the Cathedral fund, derived wholly or in!part from land. Hall and Lewis. K. & G. p. 499.
Copyhold. Case of “ Customary tenure qualification, described in List as “ Copyhold." Garbutt and Trevor. H. & P. vol. I. p. 69.
Equitable Estate, Cestui que Trust. A. purchased certain plots of freehold land, of sufficient value to confer the franchise, for which he paid the whole of the purchase money, but the conveyance to him, at his own request, had not been made. The land was unlet, and he had not in any way taken possession, or exercised the rights of ownership npon it. Held, That he was not entitled to be registered, as the cestui que trust "in actual possession, or in receipt of the rents and profits.” Anelay and Lewis. K. & G. p. 47.
Dissenting Minister. The minister of a dissenting congregation occupied a house and garden, the legal estate in fee being vested by deed in trustees, in trust,“ to permit the minister, for the time being, to reside in the premises for the time being.” The evidence of the minister's appointment was his own statement, that it was general, and for life. Held, Tbat as the Barrister had admitted that evidence, the appointment must be taken to have been made for life, and that the minister had an equitable estate of freehold. Burton and Brooks. Lot. II. p. 197.
In the case of a dissenting minister in the parish of Downton, Wilts, the revising barrister did not infer from similar facts presented, that the appointment was for life, and the Court confirmed his decision, as the facts did not lead necessarily to the inference that the appointment was for life. Collier and King. K. & G. p. 385.
Parish Clerk. W. M. B. was appointed parish clerk to be held for life, part of the emolument of which office was part of an ancient due ripon the opening of every grave in the churchyard of the parish. Heid, not to have an interest in the freehold, and that the fee for assisting at funerals is not analogous to those profits that are issuing from the land. Bushell and Eastes. K. & G. p. 484.
Freehold Land Societies,—Mortgagor in Possession.
Value above all Rents and Charges. Two plots of land were conveyed in fee to W. A. for a consideration of 1501. The plots were eligible for building purposes. and would, if let, produce 15l. per annum, but for other purposes would not yield 40s. per
No building had been erected thereon, and the land had remained in the claimant's possession wholly unproductive. therefore objected that the claimant had not “free land, to the value of 40s. by the year,” to expend, within the statute 8th Henri VI. cap. 7. Held, That the annual value of the estate was 40s., either by the fact of its purchaseable value being 1501. or that it would, if let for its most fitting purpose, yield a rent of 15). Astbury and Henderson. K. & G. p. 6.
Monthly payments to a building society, including principal and interest, secured by mortgage upon the estate, are in the nature of a charge thereon to their full extent, and if they diminish the value to the owner below 40s. per annum he is not entitled :0 be registered. Cope. land and Bartlett. LUT. 2, p. 102.
Land of the annual value of , £.3 was mortgaged to a building society for £.73 to secure monthly payments amounting to £.4 annually; by the 31st of January £71 had been paid off, leaving only £.2 to pay. Court confirmed decision of the Revising Barrister that the claimant had an interest in the land that amounted in value to 40s. per annum. Robinson and Dunkley. H. & P. vol. 1. p. 1.
Land was mortgaged to secure the repayment of a principal sum within a time which had expired at the holding of the revision, but the land was not charged with payment of interest on the loan, though the claimant was personally liable for it. Held, That the claimant did not derive 40s. by the year to expend above all charges, and that whether the interest be charged by deed or not, it is a charge upon the estate within the letter and spirit of the 8 Hen. VI. and 28 Geo. III. c. 36. Lee and Hutchin
Lut. 2, p. 150. All payments to a building society secured upon an estate, whether they be in respect of principal and interest, or for incidental expenses, are in the nature of charges thereon, and thereby reduce the value to the owner; and although the inortgagor may be in actual possession, and in the receipt of the rents and profits of the estate, he is not entitled to be registered if he do not derive 40s. per annum over and above such pay
Beamish and Overseers of Stoke. Lut. 2, p. 189. Land worth £.5 per annum was mortgaged with other land belonging to the claimant, to secure the repayment of a sum of £.300 and 5 per cent. interest, being £.15 per annum. Held, That the mortgage interest was apportionable, and that the claimant, having an interest above 40s. per annum in the land worth £.5, was entitled to vote. Moore and Carsbrooke. Lut. 2, p. 233.
Part of a plot of land subject to a chief rent of £.14 ls. 7d. was conveyed in fee to ten persons as tenants in common, subject to the payment of £.4 5s. as their portion of the chief rent, the grantors covenanting to pay the remainder. Held, That the rent could be apportioned, and that “ it is not what charges the land is legally liable to in the first instance, but what, in the result, the claimant to a vote in respect of it would be able to expend." Barrow and Buckmaster. LUT. 2, p. 235.
Where the owner of the freehold pays all the rates and taxes, the gross rent is not the criterion of value to the owner; but the annual amount of such rates and taxes must be deducted, and if it reduces the value to the owner below 40s. he is not entitled to be registered. Moorhouse and Gilbertson. Lut. 2, p. 260.
Where also it was necessary to expend an annual sum in repairs to maintain the gross rent received, Held, That the value was reduced by such annual payment. Hamilton and Bass. Lut. 2, p. 213.
So, also, where it was found that an annual expenuiture as commission for collecting the rents was necessary, it was held to be a charge reducing the value of the estate to the owners. Sherlock and Steward. K. & G. p. 297.
Freehold land in a Borough occupied by Owner. Where the owner and occupier of freehold land within a borough also occupies as tenant” a house therein, he is not disqualified from being registered in respect of the land for the county, though the house be of less than £.]0 value. Capell and Overseers of Aston, and Burton and Overseers of Aston. Lot. 2, p. 143.