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difficult of appreciation, and is almost from day to day being defined or explained by judicial decision (a).
In the dissertations and notes to the Precedents, the present Editor has mainly adopted the method of arrangement, and, as far as possible, retained the very words of his predecessors; he has merely endeavoured to omit all such parts of their work as have now become obsolete ; to confirm or modify, so far as necessary by reference to subsequent statutes and decided cases, propositions which they advanced; and to bring up their work to date, and adapt it to the requirements of members of the legal profession, by introducing in their appropriate places explanations of the alterations in, and additions to, the law and practice of Conveyancing as established by statute, or otherwise, in recent times. The practice of the former Editors has been followed of never paraphrasing statutory enactments; where occasion requires anything more than a mere reference to any statute, or, at most, such a reference as is sufficiently given by quoting the marginal note, the section under consideration will generally be found stated verbatim; and it is intended that every section of every statute directly bearing upon material points of Conveyancing practice shall be found in some one or other portion of this Work, at such place as shall seem most appropriate, with references thereto in other parts of the Work as occasion requires. The references to cases decided since 1865
(a) For instance, the proposition maintained at p. 418 of this Edition, with regard to notices by limited owners of settled lands of their intention to sell, has received judicial confirmation by Pearson, J., in the case of Re Ray's Settled Estates (25 Ch. D. 464), who decided “that the notice must be a notice of some particular sale or lease in contemplation at the time when the notice is given." References to this and other recent decisions will be found in the “ Addenda."
are generally made very briefly, it having been assumed that the majority of practitioners into whose hands these volumes may come, have at hand, or have easy access to, copies of the “Law Reports." With regard to earlier cases, the reports of which are not so readily accessible, the principal facts, and the material portions of the judgments, are often stated at some length. It may be added that several long and elaborate notes have been retained, notwithstanding that they treat of points which, in our time, arise comparatively seldom in practice, inasmuch as they contain learned and lucid expositions, affording information, which may even now prove useful on occasion, and which is not readily to be obtained elsewhere.
Some of the Precedents in this volume are taken from MS. copies of drafts settled by the late Mr. John Young Kemp, of Lincoln's Inn, a conveyancer whose deep and accurate knowledge of law, rapid and firm grasp of fact, and neatness and clearness of expression, will not soon be forgotten, and a man whose genial and unaffected kindliness of character made all who knew him to love him. Several volumes of these copies were bequeathed by him to Mr. J. A. Tompson, of the Inner Temple, who has most kindly put them at my disposal. Other Precedents are taken from those to be found in former editions of this Work, with such omissions and alterations as appeared necessary, to adapt them to present requirements; and others, again, are taken from deeds and other documents in actual use, lent to me for the purpose. I now desire to express my grateful acknowledgments of the ready and liberal spirit of helpfulness with which members of both branches of the legal profession have furnished me with the materials necessary to the Work, or rendered me counsel or assistance in arranging those materials, and to tender to them my best thanks. . Particularly I would record my obligations to Mr. Ralph J. Thicknesse, of Lincoln's Inn, not only for his assistance in revising the sheets and compiling the Table of Statutes, but also for many valuable suggestions during the progress of the Work, and for his contribution of the greater part of the Dissertation on Acknowledgments by Married Women.
The present Edition is intended to be issued in a complete form compressed into six volumes, which will appear severally as each is ready. The alphabetical arrangement of subjects originally adopted has been maintained, but several new sets of forms will be introduced under appropriate heads, and the last volume will contain a collection of miscellaneous and additional instruments, being such as cannot conveniently be arranged under any particular head, or such as may appear to be rendered necessary by reason of impending changes in legislation.
In submitting this volume to the Profession, the present Editor begs the indulgence of its members, who can fully appreciate the labour and difficulty of the task he has · undertaken ; and he hopes that, notwithstanding any errors and shortcomings on his part, the Work may prove of service to practitioners of both branches, in advising on the construction of legal documents and matters connected therewith, and in framing and settling drafts, in accordance with modern principles and practice.
L. G. GORDON ROBBINS.
4, STONE BUILDINGS, LINCOLN'S INN,
29th March, 1884.
TO THE ORIGINAL EDITION.
In presenting the following Work to the Profession, it may appear unnecessary to state, that the greater part of the Precedents were drawn by Counsel of the greatest eminence, because the superior excellence of the generality of the Forms must be manifest to any person in the least acquainted with the subject ;the Precedents, the Variations, and the Notes added by myself, will, I hope, be received with candour. It would have given me pleasure to have inserted, in every instance, the name of the gentleman, by whom each instrument was drawn; but, as many of them are still living, it has been omitted altogether.
The great advantage of this Collection must be evident; because, with a very few exceptions of some short general Forms, the Precedents were drafts really drawn and used in the course of practice, and consequently may be regarded as the present method of Conveyancing.
I beg leave most respectfully to return my thanks to those Counsel and Solicitors, who have, with a liberality which peculiarly distinguishes Gentlemen of the Law, kindly and spontaneously lent me their extensive Manuscript Collections of Precedents and Drafts of Deeds.
The whole of this Work was originally intended to be published at once, and several heads of it have been for some time entirely perfected ; but, in consequence of the determination to publish it in Parts, when little preparation had been made for those heads, which, under the present arrangement, make the commencement, the publication has been unavoidably delayed. However, from the forward state of the manuscript, I have the satisfaction to say, that one of the succeeding Parts will appear about every two months, until the whole be completed.
Occasionally, where it was thought that parts of the Precedents might be omitted, without destroying the efficacy of the deed, they are included within crotchets, thus [ ]; but this rarely happens: the parts within parentheses, thus ( ), are adapted to alternative circumstances (a).
On searching for any Form, the Index to the PRECEDENTS should invariably be consulted; because, although the Precedent sought for may not appear in the Table of Contents as a distinct instrument, yet in almost every instance it will be found as a part of some other deed; so that a person of common experience may, from this collection, easily draw any instrument in Conveyancing.
At the end of the Work, it is my intention to supply such information on the Principles and Practice of Conveyancing as may not have been previously included in the Annotations; and to give extracts from all the statutes in force relative to stamps on Deeds, &c., together with the decisions of the Courts of Law and Equity thereon.
From persons whose profession renders them so competent to appreciate the labour of selecting from many hundred Drafts, and voluminous Manuscript Collections of Precedents, and supplying Annotations on such a variety of subjects, I hope for indulgence for any errors I may have committed ; because they will be sensible of the difficulties I have had to encounter.
W. M. BYTHEWOOD.
4, GRAY'S INN SQUARE,
(a) In the present Edition the course has been to inclose within crotchets matter which is either additional, and not necessarily included in the scope of the instrument, or substitutionary.-ED.