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390 The Lord Chancellor's Bill.-Mr. R. M. Hume's Plan of Chancery Reform. his separate Court, as circumstances shall re- 40. Office of master of reports and entries quire, and as the Lord Chancellor shall order 41. Duties of registrars and clerks. and direct.
42. Accountant General empowered to ap24. Vice Chancellor to hold office duriug point additional clerks, 55 G. 3, c. Ixiv. his good behaviour, but may be removed upon 43. Masters, Registrars, and clerks to regisaddress, &c.
trars, to hold their offices during good behavi25. Oath.
our; and, with other officers, to be subject to 26. That from and after the appointment of prohibitions, &c. the Vice Chancellors under this act it shall be 44. Repeal of certain powers of 3 & 4 W.4, lawful for the Lord Chancellor, with the ad. c. 94. vice or concurrence of the Master of the Rolls 45. Salaries to registrars, and clerks, and and Vice Chancellors for the time being, or masters and clerks, paid out of Suitors' Fee any two of them, and he is hereby authorized Fund. and empowered to do all such acts, and to 46. Compensation to Master of Exchequer make and issue all such rules and orders, as and other officers of Court of Exchequer, to be by any act or acts of parliament now in force paid out of Suitors’ Fund in Chancery. Acthe Lord Chancellor, with the advice or con- count of compensation to be laid before Par. currence of the Master of the Rolls and the liament. Vice Chancellor for the time being, or one of 47. Interpretation clause. them, is empowered to do, make, or issue. 48. Act inay be altered, &c.
27. That it shall be lawful for the Lord The Schedule referred to by the foregoing Chancellor and the Master of the Rolls from
act. time to time to direct that any causes or mat
Salary ters, which shall be at any time or times de. The First Registrar- £2,000 per ann. pending for hearing or determination before The Second, Third, and the Master of the Rolls for the time being,
Fourth Registrars shall be heard and determined by the Lord The Fifth, Sixth, Se.
1,800 per ann. each. Chancellor or by one of the Vice Chancellors
venth, and Eighth Refor the time being ; but all decrees and orders
gistrars to be made by any Vice Chancellor in pursuance The Ninth and Tenth
1,500 per ann. each. of such direction shall be subject to be re
1,250 per ann. each. versed, discharged, or altered by the Lord The First and Second Chancellor.
Clerks to the Regis28. Appointment of Richard Richards, Esq.
trars to be a Master in Chancery. References de- The Third, Fourth, Fiftb,
800 per ann. each. pending before the Masters on Equity Side of
and Sixth Clerks to Exchequer transferred to him, and such other
the Registrars references as the Lord Chancellor shall direct. The Seventh, Eighth,
600 per ann. each. 29. Her Majesty empowered by letters pa
Ninth, and Tenth, tent to appoint successors to Mr. Richards.
Clerks to the Regis30. Appointment of Buckland, the
400 per ann. each. present clerk to the Masters in Exchequer, to The Eleventh & Twelfth be chief clerk to Master in Chancery, &c. Clerks to the Regis31. Salaries to Vice Chancellor and his offi.
300 per ann. each. cers, and to Master, to be paid out of interest The Chief Clerk to the and dividends arising from Suitors' Fund. Master in Ordinary in 32. Her Majesty empowered to grant an
Chancery appointed nuity to Vice Chancellor on his resignation. under this act
1,000 per ann. Such annuity may be limited as herein men- The Junior Clerk of tioned. Period of service.
150 per ann. 33. So much of 53 Geo. 3, as directs pay. ment to Vice Chancellor of the salary of 50001. repealed.
34. Regulating future salaries of Vice Chan. PLAN FOR REMEDYING THE DELAY cellor appointed under 53 Geo. 3, c. 24.
OF THE COURT OF CHANCERY. 35. 3 & 4 W. 4, c. 94. Number of registrars increased to ten.
Provisions for filling Mr. Robert Montagu Hume, a solicitor of up vacancies.
36. Registrars to attend each judge of the the Court of Chancery, has just published a Court as Lord Chancellor, &c., shall direct. short statement, from which we make the fol. In case of illness they inay appoint a deputy.
37. Clerks to the registrars increased to lowing extracts. twelve. Vacancies to be filled up by seniority. The average periods of the progress of an Lord Chancellor empowered to.fill up vacan- ordinary suit, embracing references and incies in office of twelfth clerk to the registrars. quiries before the Master, may be thus calcu
38. Preserving rights to the present regis- laled :trars and clerks.
Two years in bringing the suit to issue. 39. Proviso as to succession of sworn clerks, Two years, when set down for hearing, beSec.
fore it can be heard.
Mr. R. M. Hume's Plan of Chancery Refarni,
Two years to six years in the Master's office is not a satisfactory mode, as it is merely the
“Two years before the further directions can separate decision of two single judges, howbe obtained.
ever valuable either opinion may be: " It was formerly the policy to throw the “That the appeal to the House of Lords is blame on the Sulicitors, and every possible attended with delay and great expence, and vituperation was heaped on their undefended that this right of appeal, in minor cases, freheads, while the true cause of the delay was quently amounts to a denial of justice : most sedulously concealed.
“ That the political changes in this country “The true cause of the delay is that the have created a number of unemployed eminent Court of Chancery has become the foruin for judges, whose services are now partially obadministering justice in almost every case tained for the benefit of the country, while an where property is concerned. That our com- expence by their retirement has been imposed mercial relations—our improvements--and in on the country. crease of population, bave increased the busi- Propositions. That the Courts of the Lord ness of the Court at least ten-fuld in a period Chancellor, the Master of the Rolls, and the of fifty years, and that the lipited number of Vice Chancellor, and of any additional judges, the Judges and Masters is not at all adequate be perfectly independent of each other: to this increase.
* That each Court possess the jurisdiction in "One subject has been frequently referred bankruptcy, as formerly possessed by the Lord to as an evil equal to that of delay-namely, Chancellor and Vice Chancellor, but indepenthe expence of proceedings in Equity. This dently of each other : has been a favourite topic for reform, and the “That the present Court of Review be disattention has been more applied to this than continued : to the real grievance—the delay. This has “That a register of causes be nominated, to been a fatal falacy, because the attention to have the regulation of setting down causes economy has diverted the reformation from the and all matters for hearing, in order that each prominent and inore important evil.
court may have its proper proportion of busi“It is a fact known to alınost every solicitor, ness, as near as possible : that the suitor frequently declares that the That the right of appeal to the House of delay, aud not the expence, is what he so Lords, or from the Rolls, or the Vice Chanjustly complains of, and that the expences cellor be discontinued : however great, would be readily borne, if the “That a Court of Appeal be created, to be delay could be removed, and a speedy termi- called The High Court of Appeal of Great nation of his suit could be obtained by a refor- Britain and Ireland,' to consist of four judges, mation of the Court.
of which the Lord High Chancellor be the “I maintain, and am able to prove, that the chief, and that three of them form the Court: delay arises only from the increased and enor. “That the judges of the High Court of mous business of the Court, and that no blame Appeal be appointed from the retired judges, for that delay is or can be imputed to the and such other eininent persons from time to Judges—the_Masters-the Officers--or the time as may be necessary : Solicitors. The blame, if any, attaches to “ That the High Court of Appeal possess those who are aware of the cause of the delay, the same jurisdiction and power as the House and possessing the power to remove it, do not of Lords, with regard to appeals from the by strenuous exertions effect a complete and English, Irish, and Scottish Courts of Equity substantial reform.
and Law :
“That a second Court of Appeal be esta
blished, to be called “The Court of Appeal in Facts.—That the cause of the delay is the Equity and Bankruptcy,' consisting of three overwhelming business of the Court of Chan- Judges : cery.
***That this Court of Appeal have jurisdic“ That the three Judges, notwithstanding tion of appeal over all matters of an interlotheir constant and unremitting attention to cutory nature, and in all inatters in bankthe progress of the hearing of causes before ruptvy. them, cannot promptly perform the vast
THE MASTERS' OFFICES. variety of the business :
“ That the suitor has a positive right, by the “ Facts. That the delay in the Masters' justice of every civilized country, to have his offices arises principally froin the number of case heard as soon as it is ripe for hearing. references, the labour of proceeding upon thein,
“That the present number of the judges is and the want of a sufficient number of Masters : wholly inadequate to meet the extent of the “ That the inode of perforining the business business.
in the Masters's offices is equally an occasion “That the best interests of the country will of delay. be consulted by the appointment of such an Propositions. That an additional number additional and sufficient number of judges as of Masters are requisite to assist in the reinoval shall fully meet the exigency of the extended of the delay in the Masters' offices : business of the Court :
“ That the present systein of warrants be “That the right of appeal from the decision wholly done away with, and that the Masters of a single judge be secured the public : and their clerks proceed on each inatter of
“ That the appeal from one judge to another business continuously and uninterruptedly, in
392 Mr. R. M. Hume's Plan of Chancery Reform. – Lord Redesdale’s Copyhold Bill. the same mode as business is heard and dis- same, so much so that, unless read with posed of before the Court. *
attention, they might appear to be the “With respect to the increase in the number
same; and obviously the endeavour has of the Judges and Masters, and the formation of the Courts of Appeal, very litile additional been to alter as little as possible, there expence will be incurred, and although further being not more than half-a-dozen new appointinents will be requisite, the pensions clauses added. There are, however, two already enjoyed by some of the Judges will be considerable changes : the first one is, that come usefully employed. But whatever may instead of enabling two-thirds in value and be the expence, the country demands the iin- a majority in number of the tenants, with provement.
the concurrence of the lord, to effect an “ As the High Court of Appeal will become a court of the greatest importance, a liberal enfranchisement of the lands, i. e. to conand proper allowance to the Judges should be vert the copyholds into freehold, a comfixed consistent with the dignity of such a mutation of the rents, fines and heriots, court. The present pensions of the retired and the lord's rights in timber only, is to be Judges, eligible for that high office, should be made, and the tenure is to remain unaltered. deemed part of the allowance to those Judges The other great alteration is, that the conas presiding in that court.
"As regards the additional masters, the fee sideration for the commutation is not to be fund of the Court, or the dead fund of the a gross sum of money, but a payment of an Court, possess ample resources.
annual sum by way of rent-charge, and a small fixed fine upon death or alienation, not to exceed the sum of 5s. It is to be
observed, however, that the present Bill LORD REDESDALE'S COPYHOLD
leaves untouched all those clauses in Mr. BILL.
Stewart's Bill which provided for partial or general enfranchisements under the direc
tion of the Tithe Commission, on the apLord Redesdale has introduced into the plication of the parties, and which we House of Lords a Bill for the Commutation of certain Manorial Rights in respect that gentleman's measure. To all this
always considered a most valuable part of of Lands of Copyhold and Customary Te. portion of the Bill we conceive there will nure, and of other Lands subject to such be no objection by any one; but how far Rights; and for facilitating the Enfran- the alterations in the Bill will be approved chisement of such Lands." His Lordship of by the profession and the public remains is a member of the Select Committee to to be shewn. One main object of the prowhich Lord Brougham's Bill for the En. moters of all recent measures for enfranchisefranchisement of Copy holds was referred in the present Session (see ante, p. 257), and to decrease, the tenure of copyholds, and es
ment has been to abolish, or, at any rate, we presume that the present Bill has the tablish a uniformity in this respect throughsanction of some of the other members of that Committee; and we conceive that, if
out the country.
“ We consider it a matLord Brougham had been in this country, Property Commissioners in their Fourth
ter of great importance,” say the Real it is not improbable it would have been brought into the House of Lords as the Bill by free and common socage."..
Report, " that all lay fees should be held
Still we amended by that Committee. The framer of the present measure has taken for its all fines into fines certain, and commuting
are quite willing to admit that the reducing ground-work Mr. Stewart's Bill, as it passed heriots and other burdensome rights of the the House of Commons in the last Session, lord, would be attended with much adand was discussed in the House of Lords.a At the close of that discussion Lord Lynd
vantage. This would doubtless remedy hurst said that he only disagreed with some
some of the evils attending the present of its details, and would be willing to assist is all that the legislature is disposed
system of copyhold tenure, and if this in framing and passing a similar measure in principle next Session; and we now pro of the ineasure should not accept it, introdu
to grant, we are not sure that the friends pose to shew in what the present Bill ced as it is, and with almost the certainty differs from Mr. Stewart's, as last amended of being able to carry it, in the present by him. The machinery by which the measure is to be worked - the Tithe Com. mission is the same in both Bills, and the very desirable that copyholds should be abo
b 2 Monthly Record, p. 303. “I think it general wording of the clauses is also the lished, and that all lay fees should be held by
one or similar tenures." Mr. Tyrrell's Suga See the c!cbate, ante p. 85.
gestion, p. x.
ANALYSIS OF THE BILL
Lord Redesdale's Copy hold Bill.
393 session, especially as by s. 39, if valuers bel 13. Power to appoins uttorney.-An attorney not appointed within six months after the may be appointed, and at the first ineeting the confirmation of any agreement for commu- power, or a copy, shall be delivered to the tation, the commissioners may appoint
14. Power to call a meeting, $c.--Any one valuers.
or inore of the lords or tenants, whose interest We now therefore submit an analysis of shall not be less than one fourth of annual the new Bill to the consideration of our value of manor or lands, may call a ineeting readers. It is at any rate a great advance of the lords and tenants (hy notice to be affixed on the Bills introduced by the Attorney twenty-one days before the meeting on princiGeneral for several sessions, and may be pal or outer door of church of parish within considered as a concession of the lords of the limits of which the manor or greater part
in value extends, or on door or conspicuous manors, to meet the general feeling in part of some house or building where Courts favour of enfranchisement, and, as such, is usually held, and twice advertised in some entitled to great attention.
newspaper, or once in each of two newspapers generally circulated in the county), for the purpose of making an agreement for the gene.
ral commutation of the rents, fines, and heriots For the Commutation of certain Manorial holden of such manor, and of the lord's rights
thereafter to become due in respect of lands Rights in respect of Lands of Copyhold and in timber; and every lord or tenant present at Customary Tenure, and of other Lands sub- such meeting shall bear his own expence of ject to such Rights; and for facilitating the attendance; and the lords and tenants present Enfranchisement of such Lands.
at such mecting, the latter of whom being not 1. Preamble, and appointment of commission- less than a majority of the tenants in number, ers.--After reciting that it is expedient to and the lord's and tenant's interest in the manor provide the means for an adequate compensa- and lands not being less than tivo thirds of the tion for the rents, fines, and heriots payable annual value thereof, may proceed to make in respect of lands of copyhold and customary and execute an agreement for commutation of tenure, and of other lands subject to such pay the rents, fines, and heriots thereafter to bements, or any of them, and for facilitating the coine due in respect of the lands holden of the voluntary enfranchisement of such lands, it is manor, and of the lord's rights in timber; and enacted, that “the Tithe Commissioners for if so expressly agreed between such lords and England and Wales” for the time being shall tenants, the cominutation may be made to ex. be the commissioners for carrying the act into tend to rights in mines and minerals, but execution, and that should the act not be car- otherwise shall not extend to affect such rights. ried into execution before the tithe cominis. 15. Terms on which agreement may be made. sioners cease to act, other commissioners may-Such agreement inay be entered into for be appointed, &c., with power to supply vacan- commutation of the lord's rights on payment cies.
to hiin of an annual sum by way of rent-charge, 1. Style of commissioners, seal, 80.-Enacts and of a small fixeil fine upon death or alienathat the commissioners shall be styled “The tion, in no case exceeding five shillings: the Copyhold Commissioners," and shall have rent charge 10 commence (except where their office and seal, and that instruments sealed otherwise directed by the commissioners) froin are to be received in evidence, &c.
the same date, and to be valued and variable 3. Report to Secretary of State, 8c.-Com-|(when exceeding twenty shillings) according missioners to report to Secretary of State, to the price of corn, in the same manner as and annual report to be laid before Parlia- the title commutation rent-charge ; and the ment.
annount of the rent-charge may be fixed by 4. Assistant commissioners, 8c.-Power to the agreement, or separate rent-charges may appoint and remove assistant commissioners, be agreed upon between lord and tenant, or secretary, &c.
the rent-charge may be subject to diminution 5. No commissioners or assistant commission or increase to such an amount per centum as ers to sit in House of Commons.
sball be agreed on: and the agreement may 6. Operation of act limited to ten years. determine the apportionment for each tenant,
7. Siluries und allowances of commissioners, or the rent charge and apportionment may be assistant commissioners, secretary, fc. left to be fixed by valuers, subject to the ap
2. To be puid out of Consolidated Fund. probation of the commissioners.
9. Declaration.-Commissioners and assist- 16. A provisional agreement may be made. ant commissioners to inake declaration before 17. Proportional interest how to be comacting.
puted. 10. Commissioners may delegate porrers.
18. Porer 10 adjourn meetings, but notice Jl. Manors and lands vested in Crown.- of adjournment to be once advertised. Provision is made for cases in wbich manors 19. Agreement to bear date the day on er lands are vested in the Crowu generally or which the first signature shall be attached to in right of Duchjes of Lancaster or Cornwall. same, or minutes thereof, and to be in such
1:2. Disabilities of lords or tenants provided form as the coinmissioners shall from time to for.
20. Commissioners to frame and circulate In what parish situated : forins.
To what amount assessed, or assumed pro21. Commissioners or assistant commissioners portion if rated, with other lands (as in may allend meetings, and advise terms of previous schedule) : agreement.
Amount of quit or free rents : 22. Suits and differences may be referred to Whether held at fines arbritrary on death arbitration.
and alienation; at fines certain, or how 23. Cominissioners to require consents of otherwise : ecclesiustical corporations, or other bodies Whether subject to heriots, and how : whose interests appear to be affected, to be Amount received for each of three last heriannexed to the agreement.
ots for each tenement: 24. Agreements to be confirmed by commis. Whether subject to rights in tiiber, and sioners.
what; a number to each tenement : 25. Appointment of vuluers.-At meeting, The number of changes of tenants on each or adjourned meeting, valuers to be appointed tenement, subject to fines payable on to make valuations, apportionments, and sehe- death or alienation, during the last sevendules, as follow; (i. 2.) if the commutation is ty, or such other number of years (as fixed in consideration of a rent-charge payable to on]: the lord and fixed by the agreeinent, the The number of changes of tenants during tenants to appoint; and if majority in num- the like period, on each tenement, subber and value do not agree, then two or other ject to fines on death only: even number to be appointed, half by puinber And add such other information as commisand half by value ; and when the commutation missioners may direct. is not in consideration of a fixed reni-charge, Power to make inquiries by post as to ages half the valuers to be appointed by the lord of tenants, and enactment that tenant refusing and half by the tenants.
to give information shall not afterwards be al26. Valuers to apply to the commissioners for lowed to object to age stated, and penalty on instructions, and are then to proceed to ascer giving untrue statement. tuin value of lands, and make out and send to Steward to give from time to time such office of commissioners such valuation, with other information to commissioners as they power to appoint umpires.
may require, with penalty on default. 27. Power to enter lunds, &c.-Valuers and 29. Valuers lo luke particular circumstances uinpires to make declaratian before acting. of each case into consideration.
28. Steward to furnish information, for the 30. Schedules of valuation to be deposited for purpose of enabling valuers to make valuation, inspection, and meeting to determine objections. and otherwise to facilitate commutations under Copies of schedules by valuers to be lodged the act; the steward shall, on request hy va. with steward, for inspection by all interested luers or chairman of meeting, inake a correct parties, without charge, and notice to be given statement in writing of~
as commissioners may direct, with penalty on The tenants of the manor :
refusal to disallow inspection. Description of their lands :
Notice to fix time for hearing objections, The amount of assessment to poor rate : and at such meetings objections to be heard Amount received for heriots in respect of and determined by assistant commissioner,
each tenant, for three times previous: with power to adjourn when requisite, and diAnd any other information which the com- rect any further valuation. &c., to be made. missioners shall direct:
No lord of a manor to be allowed to object Shall produce same for inspection at the meet- without giving ten days, and no tenant without ings, and allow extracts to be taken, and, upon giving five days, previous notice of the intention request by valuers, deliver to them a copy of to object; such notice from a tenant to be such schedule, or the parts which they may left with the steward, and inspected by other require for such statements and extracts; the parties with schedules; forms of notices to be steward to receive such sum as shall be agreed supplied to steward, and by him delivered to on, and four-pence for seventy-two words, for party applying. copies or extracts.
After hearing and determining objections, The steward shall also within three calendar assistant commissioner to amend schedules, months, or such time as the cominissioners shall and power him or cominissioners to amend fix, inake out and send to thein a schedule of such valuations or schedule as to alterations by The names of the several tenants of the ma- deaths, change in ages, &c., on satisfactory
proof, by affidavit or otherwise, that such al. To which class belonging :
terations are requisite. Their residences :
31. Expenses of proceedings for effecting Their descriptions:
any commutation under the act (except where Their ages, as nearly as he can ascertain the from special circumstances the cominissioners
shall direct otherwise) shall be payable as folWhen more than one tenant, whether admit- lows: where the valuers shall be appointed by
ted as joint-tenants, or how otherwise : the tenants, the costs of valuation and scheThe description of the lands :
dules shall be paid by the tenants rateably acWhether copyhold, customaryhold, subject cording to their interest; but where the valuto fines, or customary freehold :
ers shall be appointed by the lord and tenants.