Imatges de pÓgina
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solution of the monasteries and other religious houses, the poor, who had derived a very considerable part of their subsistence from them (x), became a burthen to the public, and the Legislature found it necessary to encourage such as should be charitably disposed to appropriate part of their wealth to charitable purposes; and by statute 35 Elizabeth, c. 7, s. 27, (reviving a former statute, 22 Henry VIII. c. 22,) it was enacted, that it should be lawful for every person, during the space of 20 years then next ensuing, to make feoffments, grants, or any other assurances, or by last will, in writing, to give and bequeath in fee simple, as well to the use of the poor, as for provisions, sustentation, or maintenance of any house of correction or abiding houses, or of any stocks or stores, all or any part of such of his lands, tenements, and hereditaments, and in such manner and form as he might have done by the statute 22 Henry VIII. c. 12.

But the charges of incorporation and of the license of mortmain, which was necessary to carry into effect the purposes of this act, having become so great as to discourage many from undertaking these pious and charitable works (y), it was thought necessary, by an act of Parliament, to dispense, in certain cases, with the license of incorporation and mortmain, and to enable the founder to do the whole by his own act, without the immediate assent of the king to every parti

(3) Though the suppression of son whose office it was to instruct religious houses, even considered youth ; and the historians of this in a political light only, was a na- country are chiefly indebted to the tional benefit, it must be owned, monks, for the knowledge they that at the time they flourished, have of former national events. In they were far from useless. Abbeys these houses, also, the arts of paintor monasteries were then the repo- ing, architecture, and printing, were sitories, as well as the seminaries of cultivated. They were hospitals for learning; many valuable books and the sick and poor, and afforded ennational records, as well as private tertainment to travellers at a time history, having been preserved in when there were no inns. They their libraries—the only places in were likewise an asylum for aged which they could have been safely and indigent persons of good falodged in those turbulent times. mily. Ency. Britt. tit. Abbey. Every abbey had at least one per- (y) 2 Inst. 722.

cular foundation; it was, therefore, by the statute 39 Elizabeth, c. 5, s. 1, enacted, "that all and every person or persons seised of an estate in fee simple, their heirs, executors, and assigns, at his or their will and pleasure, should have full power and authority, at any time during the space of 20 years then next ensuing, by deed inrolled in Chancery, to erect, found, and establish one or more hospitals, maisons de Dieu, abiding places, or houses of correction, at his or their will and pleasure, as well for the finding sustentation and relief of the maimed, poor, needy, or impotent people, as to set the poor to work, to have continuance for ever, and from time to time to place therein such head and members, and such number of poor, as to him, his heirs and assigns, should seem convenient; and that the same hospitals or houses so founded should be incorporated, and have perpetual succession for ever, in fact, deed and name; and of such head, members, and numbers of poor, needy, maimed, or impotent people, as should be appointed, assigned, limited, or named by the founder or founders, his or their heirs, executors, or assigns, by any such deed inrolled; and that such hospital, &c., and the persons therein placed, should be incorporated, named, and called by such name as the founder, &c., should so limit, &c.; and that the same hospital, &c., so incorporated and named, should be a body corporate and politic, and should, by that name of incorporation, have full power, authority, and lawful capacity and ability to purchase, take, hold, receive, enjoy, and have, to them and their successors, as well goods and chattels as manors, lands, tenements, and hereditaments, being freehold, of any person or persons whatsoever, so that the same should not exceed the yearly value of 2001., above all charges and reprizes, to any one such hospital, without license, or writ ad quod damnumthe statute of mortmain, or any other statute or law to the contrary notwithstanding; and that the same hospital, &c., and the persons so incorporated, should have full power, by its true name of incorporation, to sue and be sued in all courts of the realm, as well spiritual as temporal, in all manner of suits whatever ; and that the same hospital, &c., should have and enjoy for ever such a common seal or seals, as by the said founder, &c., should be, in writing under his or their hand and seal, assigned, &c., whereby the same corporation should or might seal any instrument touching the same incorporation, and the lands, tenements, hereditaments, goods, or other things thereto belonging, or in any wise touching or concerning the same. It was also provided (y), that no person within age or of nonsane memory, or women covert without their husbands, should have power to make or endow any such corporation; and that no such hospital should be erected unless, on the foundation thereof, the same were endowed for ever with lands or hereditaments of the clear yearly value of 101.” The last-mentioned act was made perpetual by statute 21 James I. c. 1(z).

The words “all and every person and persons,” extend to every body politic or corporate who have power to alien, as mayor and commonalty, bailiff and burgesses, and the like, and all other persons who are not restrained by any act of Parliament to alien. The manors, lands and hereditaments whereof the endowment is made, must be freehold of an estate in fee simple absolute, conditional or qualified, of not less than the yearly value of 101., nor exceeding the yearly value of 2001. But if the first endowment be of the yearly value of 101., it may be increased by purchase or gift to the yearly value of 2001. without any license in mortmain ; and if the lands at the time of the endowment do not exceed the value of 2001., and afterwards they become of greater value, the hospital shall have the benefit of the increase, for the yearly value mentioned in the statute means at the time of the endowment; an hospital cannot be erected under this act by any other conveyance than by deed inrolled in Chancery. Although at the common law, the incorporation may be of certain persons to be governors of the hospital, which at the time of the incorporation may be only in contemplation, and not of the persons placed therein, yet the safest way, observes Lord Coke (a), under this statute is, for the founder first to prepare the hospital and to place the poor therein, and to incorporate the persons therein placed; after the incorporation, the next thing to be done is, to convey the lands, tenements and hereditaments to the corporation, which may be done by bargain and sale inrolled between the founder or founders, of the one part, and the master and brethren, of the other part, in consideration of 5s. in hand paid by the master of the hospital for himself and his brethren, and of other 5s. by the master and brethren, which bargain and sale should be made a short time after the incorporation (6).

(y) 39 Elizabeth, c. 5, ss. 3, 4. (a) 2 Inst. 724; 1 Kyd on Corp. (z) 2 Inst. 722.

57-60.

It is conceived that hospitals may in the present day be founded and endowed under this statute, provided the further requisites of the statute 9 Geo. II. c. 36, be complied

with (c).

Greenwich Hospital, which stands upon the site of a royal palace, was incorporated by William III.(d), and an annual sum granted for its benefit out of the Treasury. The king was empowered to grant part of his manor at Greenwich for its use; the rents of the Derwentwater estates, forfeited for high treason, were applied to it, and the governors were empowered to purchase lands for completing the hospital (e).

By an act to provide for the better management of the affairs of Greenwich Hospital, 10 Geo. IV. c. 25, s. 37, it is enacted, “that it shall be lawful for any person or persons whomsoever, having power so to do, to give, devise, or bequeath any messuages, lands, tenements or hereditaments, goods, monies, chattels and effects, to or for the use or benefit of Greenwich Hospital; and that the commissioners of that Hospital and

(6) 2 Inst. 725. Lord Coke has (e) See 7 & 8 Will. III. c. 21; 8 inserted a precedent of a deed of & 9 Will. III. c. 23; 12 & 13 Will. incorporation in 2 Inst. 723, 724, III. c. 13; 4 Anne, c. 12, s. 14; 6 and refers to the case of Sutton's Anne, c. 13; 10 Anne, c. 17; 8 Geo. Hospital, 10 Rep. 17—34, for the II. c. 29; 11 Geo. II. c. 30 ; 22 Geo. form of the bargain and sale. II. c. 52; 25 Geo. II. c. 42; 4 & 5

(c) See post. chap. iii. s. 1. The Will. IV. c. 34 ; See Tyrw. & Tynstat. 13 Geo. III. c. 82, contains dale's Dig. of Statutes, tit. Greendirections for the better regulation wich Hospital, for other statutes of lying-in hospitals.

relating to it. (d) 10 Sept. 1695.

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their successors shall be able and capable in law, without license in mortmain, to take, hold, receive, possess and enjoy to them and their successors, for the purposes of the said hospital, or the persons supported therein or therefrom, any manors, messuages, lands, rents, tenements, annuities and hereditaments, of what nature or kind soever, or any estate or interest arising or derived out of any manors, messuages, lands, tenements or hereditaments, to them and their successors in fee and perpetuity, or for life or lives, or term of years or otherwise; and to let, sell, alien, exchange, assign or dispose of the said manors, messuages, lands, tenements or hereditaments, at their will and pleasure, as shall be most beneficial for the said institution."

By statute 13 Geo. II. c. 29, the governors of the Foundling Hospital, who had been incorporated by charter, were enabled to hold lands to the value of 4000l. a-year.

By statute 51 Geo. III. c. 105, it is enacted, that it shall be lawful for any person or persons to give, devise or bequeath, any messuages, lands, tenements or hereditaments, to and for the use and benefit of the Royal Naval Asylum ; and that the commissioners (for the government thereof) and their successors, shall be able and capable in law, without license in mortmain, to take, hold, receive, possess and enjoy, to them and their successors, for the purposes of the said asylum, any manors, lands, messuages, rents, tenements, annuities and hereditaments, of what nature or kind soever, or any estate or interest out of the same, to them and their successors in fee and perpetuity, or for life or lives, or terms of years; and to let, sell, alien, assign and dispose of the same manors, &c., at their will and pleasure, and in such manner as shall be most beneficial for the said institution.

By 3 & 4 Will. IV. c. 9, s. 1, the members of a society called the Seaman's Hospital Society, are incorporated by that name, and enabled, notwithstanding the statutes of mortmain, to purchase and hold lands not exceeding the yearly value of 12,0001. for better carrying on that charity; and to sell, grant, demise, exchange and dispose of the same lands. The second section enables any persons or bodies

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