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ON THE

PRESENT LAWS OF ENGLAND

BY

THOMAS BRETT,

OF THE MIDDLE TEMPLE, BARRISTER-AT-LAW;

LL.B. LONDON UNIVERSITY ;
B.A., LATE SCHOLAR AND STUDENT OF TRINITY COLLEGE, DUBLIN; EXHIBITIONER IN
REAL PROPERTY AND EQUITY; HOLDER OF THE FIRST CERTIFICATE OF

HONOUR, MICHAELMAS, 1869 :
JOINT AUTHOR OF CLERKE AND BRETT'S CONVEYANCING ACTS; AUTHOR OF

BRETT'S BANKRUPTCY ACT, 1883,
AND OF LEADING CASES IN MODERN EQUITY; AND LATE LECTURER IN EQUITY TO

THE INCORPORATED LAW SOCIETY,

Second Edition.

IN TWO VOLUMES.-VOL. I.

LONDON:

WILLIAM CLOWES AND SONS, LIMITED,

27, FLEET STREET, E.C.

1891.

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TO

THE RIGHT HONOURABLE

LORD HERSCHELL.

This work

IS

(BY HIS LORDSHIP'S KIND PERMISSION)

MOST RESPECTFULLY DEDICATED

BY

THE AUTHOR.

PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION.

A SECOND edition of this work having been called for, no pains have been spared in endeavouring not only to correct and supply the errors and deficiencies of the first, but also to make such alterations and additions as have been rendered necessary by the progress of legislation and the decisions of the Courts in the interval.

I have endeavoured to profit by the many reviews and notices which appeared of the first edition of my book. One of the greatest writers has told us that it is good“ to have a vigilant eye how books demean themselves as well as men,” and I have certainly no reason to complain in the great majority of cases of any undue acerbity of criticism. On the contrary, I have to return my sincere thanks to very many of my critics for the friendly reception which was given to the result of my labours. While making due allowance for the difficulty of the task, they shewed me many points where errors and deficiencies had escaped my notice, and I can only say that I have done my best to make the present edition as complete and as accurate as possible.

The general plan of this book, and the order in which the various subjects discussed are treated, are stated in the Introductory Chapter, to which the reader is referred. A few words may, however, here be said as to the chief points in which the present edition differs from its predecessor.

The changes which have been made in the statute law during the period of somewhat less than twelve months which have elapsed since the appearance of the first edition, have been very considerable, and have been carefully noticed in the appropriate parts of the work. Thus the

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