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place, shall be competent to take the acknowledgment of any married woman wheresoever she may reside, and wheresoever the lands or money in respect of which the acknowledgment is to be taken may be.”
Sect. 83. “ And be it further enacted, that in those cases where, by reason of residence beyond seas, or ill health, or any other sufficient cause, any married woman shall be prevented from making the acknowledgment required by this act before a judge, or a master in chancery, or any of the perpetual commissioners to be appointed as aforesaid, it shall be lawful for the Court of Common Pleas at Westminster, or any judge of that court, to issue a commission specially appointing any persons therein named to be commissioners to take the acknowledgment by any married woman to be therein named of any such deed as aforesaid: Provided always, that every such commission shall be made returnable within such time, to be therein expressed, as the said court or judge shall think fit."
Sect. 84. “And be it further enacted, that when a married woman shall acknowledge any such deed as aforesaid, the judge, master in chancery, or commissioners taking such acknowledgment, shall sign a memorandum, to be indorsed on or written at the foot or in the margin of such deed, which memorandum, subject to any alteration which may from time to time be directed by the Court of Common Pleas, shall be to the following effect, videlicet,
• This deed marked [here add some letter or other mark, for the purpose of identification,] was this day produced before me (or us), and acknowledged by — therein named to be her act and deed; previous to which acknowledgment the said -- was examined by me (or us] separately and apart from her husband, touching her knowledge of the contents of the said deed and her consent thereto, and declared the same to be freely and voluntarily executed by her.'
And the same judge, master in chancery, or commissioners, shall also sign a certificate of the taking of such acknowledgment, to be written or engrossed on a separate piece of parchment; which certificate, subject to any alteration which may from time to time be directed by the Court of Common Pleas, shall be to the following effect, videlicet, • These are to certify, that on the
in the year one thousand eight hundred and before me the undersigned Sir Nicholas Conyngham Tindal, lord chief justice of the Court of Common Pleas at Westminster, (or before me Sir James Parke, knight, one of the justices of the Court of King's Bench at Westminster, or before me the undersigned James William Farrer, one of the masters in ordinary of the Court of Chancery, or before us A. B. and C. D. two of the perpetual commissioners appointed for the for taking the acknowledgments of deeds by married women, pursuant to an act passed in the year of the reign of his majesty King William the Fourth, intituled An Act [insert the title of this act), or before us the undersigned A. B. and C. D. two of the commissioners specially appointed pursuant to an act passed in the — year of the reign of his majesty King William the Fourth, intituled An act [insert the title of this act,] for taking the acknowledgment of any deed
by — the wife of -] appeared personally — the wife of --, and produced a certain indenture, marked [here add the mark], bearing date the day of
and made between [insert the names of the parties], and acknowledged the same to be her act and deed: And I (or we) do hereby certify that the said — was, at the time of her acknowledging the said deed, of full age and competent understanding, and that she was examined by me (or us) apart from her husband, touching her knowledge of the contents of the said deed, and that she freely and voluntarily consented to the same.'
Sect. 85. “And be it further enacted, that every such certificate as aforesaid of the taking of an acknowledgment by a married woman of any such deed as aforesaid, together with an affidavit by some person verifying the same, and the signature thereof by the party by whom the same shall purport to be signed, shall be lodged with some officer of the Court of Common Pleas at Westminster to be appointed as hereinafter mentioned; and such officer shall examine the certificate, and see that it is duly signed, either by some judge or master in chancery, or by two commissioners appointed pursuant to this act, and duly verified by affidavit as aforesaid, and shall also see that it contains such statement of particulars as to the consent of the married woman as shall from time to time be required in that behalf; and if all the requisites in this act in regard to the certificate shall have been complied with, then such officer shall cause the said certificate and the affidavit to be filed of record in the said Court of Common Pleas."
Sect. 86. “ And be it further enacted, that when the certificate of the acknowledgment of a deed by a married woman shall be so filed of record as aforesaid, the deed so acknowledged shall, so far as regards the disposition, release, surrender or extinguishment thereby made by any married woman whose acknowledgment shall be so certified concerning any lands or money comprised in such deed, take effect from the time of its being acknowledged, and the subsequent filing of such certificate as aforesaid shall have relation to such acknowledgment.”
Sect. 87. “ And be it further enacted, that the officer of the Court of Common Pleas with whom such certificates as aforesaid shall be lodged, shall make and keep an index of the same, and such index shall contain the names of the married women and their husbands alphabetically arranged, and the dates of such certificates and of the deeds to which the same shall respectively relate, and such other particulars as shall be found convenient; and every such certificate shall be entered in the index as soon as may be after such certificate shall have been filed.”
Sect. 88. “And be it further enacted, that after the filing of any such certificate as aforesaid, the officer with whom the certificate shall be lodged shall at any time deliver a copy, signed by him, of any such certificate, , to any person applying for such copy; and every such copy shall be received as evidence of the acknowledgment of the deed to which such certificate shall refer."
Sect. 89. “And be it further enacted, that the lord chief justice of the Court of Common Pleas at Westminster shall from time to time appoint the person who shall be the officer with whom such certificates as aforesaid shall for the time being be lodged, and may remove him at pleasure; and the Court of Common Pleas at Westminster shall also from time to time make such orders and regulations as the court shall think fit touching the mode of examination to be pursued by the commissioners to be appointed under this act, and touching the particular matters to be mentioned in such memorandums and certificates as aforesaid, and the affidavits verifying the certificates, and the time within which any of the aforesaid proceedings shall take place, and touching the amount of the fees or charges to be paid for the copies to be delivered by the clerks of the peace or their deputies, or by the officer of the said court, as herein-before directed, and also of the fees or charges to be paid for taking acknowledg. ments of deeds and for examining married women, and for the proceedings, matters, and things required by this act to be had, done, and executed for completing and giving effect to such acknowledgments and examinations."
Sect. 90. “ And be it further enacted, that in every case in which a husband and wife shall, either in or out of court, surrender into the hands of the lord of a manor any lands held by copy of court roll, parcel of the manor, and in which she alone, or she and her husband in her right, may have an equitable estate, the wife shall, upon such surrender being made, be separately examined by the person taking the surrender in the same manner as she would have been if the estate to which she alone, or she and her husband in her right, may be entitled in such lands, were an estate at law instead of a mere estate in equity ; and every such surrender, when such examination shall be taken, shall be binding on the married woman, and all persons claiming under her; and all surrenders heretofore made of lands similarly circumstanced, where the wife shall have been separately examined by the person taking the surrender, are hereby declared to be good and valid.”
Sect. 91. “ Provided always and be it further enacted, that if a husband shall, in consequence of being a lunatic, idiot, or of unsound mind, and whether he shall have been found such by inquisition or not, or shall from any other cause be incapable of executing a deed, or of making a surrender of lands held by copy of court roll, or if his residence shall not be known, or he shall be in prison, or shall be living apart from his wife, either by mutual consent or by sentence of divorce, or in consequence of his being transported beyond the seas, or from any other cause whatsoever (u), it shall be lawful for the Court of Common Pleas at Westminster, by an order to be made in a summary way upon the application of the wife, and upon such evidence as to the said court shall seem meet, to dispense with the concurrence of the husband in any case in which his concurrence is required by this act or otherwise; and all acts, deeds, or surrenders to be done, executed, or made by the wife in pursuance of such order, in regard to lands of any tenure, or in regard to money subject to be invested in the purchase of lands, shall be done, executed, or made by her in the same manner as if
(u) See Ex parte Ann Shirley, 5 Bing. 226; 7 Dowl. P. C. 258; Re Bruce, 3
Scott, N. C. 592; ante, pt. 1, p. 133, n. (g).
she were a feme sole, and when done, executed, or made by her shall (but without prejudice to the rights of the husband as then existing independently of this act) be as good and valid as they would have been if the husband had concurred: provided always, that this clause shall not extend to the case of a married woman where under this act the lord high chancellor, lord keeper, or lords commissioners for the custody of the great seal, or other the person or persons intrusted with the care and commitment of the custody of the persons and estates of persons found lunatic, idiot, and of unsound mind, or his majesty's High Court of Chancery, shall be the protector of a settlement in lieu of her husband.”
Sect. 92." And be it further enacted, that this act shall not extend to Ireland, except where the same is expressly mentioned.”
Sect. 93. “And be it further enacted, that this act or any part thereof, may be altered, varied, or repealed by any act or acts to be passed in the present session of parliament.”
3 & 4 WILL. IV. c. 104. “ An act to render freehold and copyhold estates assets for the payment of
simple and contract debts.” “ Whereas it is expedient that the payment of the debts of all persons should be secured more effectually than is done by the laws now in force;" “ be it therefore enacted by,” &c. “ that from and after the passing of this act, when any person shall die seized of or entitled to any estate or interest in lands, tenements, or hereditaments, corporeal or incorporeal, or other real estate whether freehold, customaryhold, or copyhold, which he shall not by his last will have charged with or devised subject to the payment of his debts, the same shall be assets to be administered in courts of equity for the payment of the just debts of such persons, as well debts due on simple contract as on specialty; and that the heir or heirs at law, customary heir or heirs, devisee or devisees of such debtor, shall be liable to all the same suits in equity at the suit of any of the creditors of such debtor, whether creditors by simple contract or by specialty, as the heir or heirs at law, devisee or devisees of any person or persons who died seized of freehold estates, was or were before the passing of this act liable to in respect of such freehold estates at the suit of creditors by specialty in which the heirs were bound : provided always, that in the administration of assets by courts of equity under and by virtue of this act, all creditors by specialty in which the heirs are bound, shall be paid the full amount the debts due to them before any of the creditors by simple contract, or by specialty in which the heirs are not bound, shall be paid any part of their demands (2).”
(x) The effect of this act, (and of 47 Geo. 3, c. 74, ante, pt. 1, pp. 89, 90), was to make the heir or devisee personally liable to the amount of the assets devised or descended, and not to charge the real estate;
Spackman v. Timbrell, 8 Sim. 253. Vide also 1 Keen, 577, in Shaw v. Borrer; 4 Myl. & Cr. 268, in Ball v. Harris ; Evans v. Brown, 5 Beav. 114.
3 & 4 WILL. IV. c. 106. “ An act for the amendment of the law of inheritance." “Be it enacted by," &c. “ that the words and expressions hereinafter mentioned, which in their ordinary signification have a more confined or a different meaning, shall in this act, except where the nature of the provision or the context of the act shall exclude such construction, be interpreted as follows, (that is to say,) the word ' land’ shall extend to manors, advowsons, messuages, and all other hereditaments, whether corporeal or incorporeal, and whether freehold or copyhold, or of any other tenure, and whether descendible according to the common law, or according to the custom of gavelkind or borough-english, or any other custom, and to money to be laid out in the purchase of land, and to chattels and other personal property transmissible to heirs, and also to any share of the same hereditaments and properties or any of them, and to any estate of inheritance, or estate for any life or lives, or other estate transmissible to heirs, and to any possibility, right, or title of entry or action, and any other interest capable of being inherited, and whether the same estates, possibilities, rights, titles and interests, or any of them, shall be in possession, reversion, remainder, or contingency; and the words the purchaser' shall mean the person who last acquired the land otherwise than by descent, or than by any escheat, partition, or inclosure, by the effect of which the land shall have become part of or descendible in the same manner as other land acquired by descent; and the word “descent' shall mean the title to inherit land by reason of consanguinity, as well where the heir shall be an ancestor or collateral relation, as where he shall be a child or other issue; and the expression • descendants' of any ancestors shall extend to all persons who must trace their descent through such ancestor; and the expression 'the person last entitled to land’ shall extend to the last person who had a right thereto, whether he did or did not obtain the possession or the receipt of the rents and profits thereof; and the word ' assurance' shall mean any deed or instrument (other than a will) by which any land shall be conveyed or transferred at law or in equity; and every word importing the singular number only shall extend and be applied to several persons or things as well as one person or thing; and every word importing the masculine gender only shall extend and be applied to a female as well as a male.”
Sect. 2. “And be it further enacted, that in every case descent shall be traced from the purchaser; and to the intent that the pedigree may never be carried further back than the circumstances of the case and the nature of the title shall require, the person last entitled to the land shall, for the purposes of this act, be considered to have been the purchaser thereof, unless it shall be proved that he inherited the same, in which case the person
from whom he inherited the same shall be considered to have been the purchaser, unless it shall be proved that he inherited the same; and in like manner the last
from whom the land shall be proved to have been inherited, shall in every case be considered to have been the purchaser, unless it shall be proved that he inherited the same.”