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giance; at fourteen is at years of discretion, and therefore may consent or disagree to marriage, may choose bis guardian, and, if his discretion be actually proved, may make his testament of his personal estate ; at seventeen may be an executor; and at twenty-one is at his own disposal, and may alien his lands, goods, and chattels.
A female at seven years of age may be betrothed or given in marriage ; at nine is entitled to dower; at twelve is at years of maturity, and therefore may consent or disagree to marriage, and, if proved to have sufficient discretion, may bequeath her personal estate ; at fourteen is at years of legal discretion, and may choose a guardian; at seventeen may be executrix ; and at twenty-one may dispose of herself and her lands. 14. When is full age in male or female completed ?–463.
Full age in male or female is twenty-one years; which ago is completed on the day preceding the anniversary of a person's birth, who till that time is an infant, and so styled in law. Among the ancient Greeks and Romans, women were never of age, but subject to perpetual guardianship, unless when married, “ nisi convenissent in manum viri :" and, when that perpetual tutelage wore away in process of time, we find that, in females as well as males, full age was not till twenty-five years. Thus, by the constitution of different kingdoms, this period, which is merely arbitrary, and juris positivi, is fixed at different times. 15. How only may an infant be sued ?_464.
Under the protection, and joining the name of his guardian; for he is to defend him against all attacks as well by law otherwise. 16. Hou may he sue ?—464.
Either by his guardian, or prochein amy or next friend who is not his guardian. 17. Who may be prochein amy ?-464.
Any person who will undertake the infant's cause. 18. At what age may an infant be capitally punished ?–464.
In criminal cases, an infant of the age of fourteen years, for any capital offense ; but under the age of seven he cannot.
19. What if an infant neglect to demand his right ?-465.
In general, an infant shall lose nothing by non-claim or neg. lect of demanding his right ; nor sball any other laches or negli. gence be imputed to an infant, except in some very particular cases.
20. What legal act is an infant capable of ?-465.
If he has an advowson, he may present to the benefice when it becomes void.
21. Can an infant purchase lands ?-466.
He may purchase lands, but his purchase is incomplete ; for when he comes to age, he may either agree or disagree to it, as he thinks prudent and proper, without alleging any reason.
22. Can an infant make a deed which is not voidable ?–466.
In some cases he may bind himself apprentice by deed in. dented, or indentures, for seven years; and he may by deed or will appoint a guardian for his children, if he has any.
23. May an infant in any case bind himself by contract ?–466.
Yes; he may bind himself to pay for necessaries; and for his good teaching and instruction, whereby he may profit him. self afterward.
1. What are corporations?-467.
Artificial persons who may maintain a perpetual succession, and who enjoy a kind of legal immortality, are called bodies politic, bodies corporate, or corporations.
2. For what purposes are they constituted ?_467.
For the advancement of religion, of learning, and of commerce; in order to preserve entire and for ever those rights and immunities, which, if they were granted only to those individuals of which the body corporate is composed, would upon their death be utterly lost and extinct.
3. What is the primary division of corporations ?–469.
Into aggregate and sole.
4. What are corporations aggregate 2–469.
They consist of many persons united together into one society, and are kept up by a perpetual succession of members, so as to continue for ever ; of which kind are the mayor and commonalty of a city, the head and fellows of a college, &c. 5. What are corporations sole!-469.
They consist of one person only and his successors, in some particular station, who are incorporated by law, in order to give them some legal capacities and advantages, particularly that of perpetuity, which in their natural persons they could not have had. In this sense the king is a sole corporation ; so is a bishop; 80 are some deans and prebendaries, distinct from their several chapters ; and so is every parson and vicar.
6. Horo are incorporations, either sole or aggregate, again di vided-470.
Into ecclesiastical and lay. 7. Of what sorts are lay corporations 1-470.
Civil and eleemosynary.
8. What is absolutely necessary to the erection of any corpora. tion?-472.
The king's consent, either expressly or impliedly given. 9. May Parliament incorporate ? -474.
Yes ; it may perform this, or any other act whatsoever, and actually has performed it. But the king may prevent it when he pleases, as the royal assent is necessary. 10. Is a name essential -475.
Yes ; a name must be given to it, and by that name alone it must sue and be sued, and do all legal acts. Such name is the very being of its constitution.
11. What capacities are necessarily and inseparably incident to every corporation ?--475, 476.
1. To have perpetual succession.
2. To sue or be sued, implead or be impleaded, grant or receive, by its corporate name, and do all other acts as natural persons may.
3. To purchase lands, and hold them, for the benefit of themselves and their successors.
4. To have a common seal. It acts and speaks only by its seal.
5. To make by-laws or private statutes for the better government of the corporation.
12. What privileges and disabilities attend aggregate corporations, and are not applicable to such as are sole?–476, 477.
It must always appear by attorney, for it cannot appear in person, being, as Sir Edward Coke says, invisible, and existing only in intendment and consideration of law.
It can neither maintain, nor be made defendant to an action of battery, or such like personal.injuries ; for a corporation can neither beat, nor be beaten in its body politic.
A corporation cannot commit treason, or felony, or other crime, in its corporate capacity ; though its members may in their distinct individual capacities.
Neither is it capable of suffering a traitor's or felon's punishment ; for it is not liable to corporeal penalties, nor to attainder, forfeiture, or corruption of blood.
It cannot be executor or administrator, or perform any personal duties ; for it cannot take an oath for the due execution of the office.
It cannot be seised of lands to the use of another ; for such kind of confidence is foreign to the end of its institution.
Neither can it be committed to prison ; for, its existence being ideal, no man can apprehend or arrest it. And therefore, also, it cannot be outlawed ; for outlawry always supposes a precedent right of arresting, which has been defeated by the parties absconding, and that also a corporation cannot do : for which reasons, the proceedings to compel a corporation to appear to any suit by attorney, are always by distress on their lands and goods.
Neither can a corporation be excommunicated; for it has no soul, as is observed by Sir Edward Coke ; and therefore it is not liable to be summoned into the ecclesiastical courts, upon any account.
13. May corporations take goods and chattels for the benefit of themselves and their successors ?—477.
An aggregate corporation may, but a corporation sole cannot.
14. What acts can aggregate corporations, that have by their constitution a head, as a dean, warden, master, or the like, do during the "acancy of the headship?–478.
They cannot do any acts during the vacancy of the headship, except only appointing another : neither are they then capable of receiving a grant; for such corporation is incomplete without a head.
15. What are the general duties of all bodies politic ?–480.
Their general duties may be reduced to this single one, that of acting up to the end, or design, whatever it be, for which they were created by their founder.
16. How are irregularities that arise in such corporations corrected ?-480.
By visitations : of spiritual corporations by the ordinary; of lay corporations by the founder, his heirs, or assigns.
17. Who is the founder, in the strictest and original sense, of all corporations ?–480.
The king; for he alone can incorporate a society.
18. What does the law mean by the distinction of fundatio incipiens and fundatio perficiens, in eleemosynary foundations, such as colleges and hospitals ?–481.
By the former is meant, that the king is the incorporator, or general founder ; by the latter the dotation, in which sense the first gift of the revenues is the foundation, and he who gives them is in law the founder.