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into the king's treasury; for religion being variable, according to the pleasure of succeeding princes, that which at one time is held for orthodox, may at another be accounted superstitious; and such lands are confiscated by the statute 1 Edward VỊ. c. 14, S. 11 (o).
A bequest for the distribution of books for the increase and improvement of Christian knowledge (p), and for the advancement of the Christian religion among infidels (9), are charitable gifts. Money given to maintain a preaching minister (r), and devises for the benefit of the ministers of Protestant Dissenters and Quakers (s), are charitable uses. · A pension settled for the benefit of a perpetual curate is a charitable use, in respect of which an information may be maintained in the name of the Attorney General (t).
Augmentations made by ecclesiastical persons to small vicarages and curacies, under the statute 29 Charles II. c. 8, are charitable uses; the seventh section of that act providing, that if any question should thereafter arise concerning the validity of such grants, or any other matter or thing in that act contained, such favourable constructions and such further remedies, if need be, should be had and made, for benefit of the vicars and curates, as theretofore had been had and made, or might be had for other charitable uses, upon the statutes for charitable uses. An augmentation, made by a sinecure rector in 1674, of 301. per annum, to be divided between the vicar and curate as the bishop should think fit, who decreed 101. to the vicar for ever, and 201. to the curate for ever, was held a charity, so as to enable the curate to proceed by information in the Attorney General's name (u).
Pious uses are a branch of charity, and as such have
(0) Duke, 131, 132, (125).
(8) Attorney General v. Cock, 2 (p) Attorney General v. Stepney, Ves. sen. 275. 10 Ves. 22.
(t) Attorney General v. Parker, 1 (9) Attorney General v. City of Ves. sen. 43; See 14 Ves. 7. London, 1 Ves. jun. 243.
(u) Attorney General v. Brereton, (r) Pember v. Inhabitants of Knigh- 2 Ves. sen. 426. ton, Toth. 34, Duke, 82, 109, (381).
been recognized and carried into effect by the Court of Chancery (v). A bequest of the residue, to be laid out by executors for charitable and other pious and good uses, at their discretion, recommending that the greater part should be employed for the advancement of the Christian religion among the infidels, was held a charitable bequest (x). So also was a gift to be applied to charitable and pious uses generally (y). A bequest to God is a charitable gift, to be paid to the parish church where the testator resided at the date of his will (2). A bequest to trustees to lay out at their discretion 20001. per annum, till the testator's son came of age, “ in the service of my Lord and Master, and I trust Redeemer;" was held to be a good charitable gift, to be applied at the discretion of the trustees, under the control of the court (a). A provision for preachers of a chapel is a charitable use; although mixed with personal bounty and favour to particular legatees, if the benefit is bestowed on them only in respect of their conduct in the charitable institution. (b).
Trusts for the support of religious establishments which come within the Toleration Act, are considered charitable (c). Thus a bequest of money for the benefit of the preacher or preachers for the time being, who should officiate in a chapel which the testatrix had established in her lifetime, was held to be a charitable use within the mortmain act (d). So a trust for a society or congregation of Protestants, assembling under the patronage of the late Countess of Huntingdon's College, is a charitable use (e); if not a superstitious use within the 23rd Henry VIII. c. 10 ($); a gift to support that college is also a charitable use (g). So is a gift to the trustees of a chapel, used for the purpose of public worship by a society of Protestant Dissenters, which was duly licensed under the Toleration Act (h). And a conveyance of land to trustees and their heirs, so long as a meeting-house and burial-ground should be used by the society of quakers, as and for their meetinghouse and burial-ground (i). A lease purchased by individuals, and assigned to trustees for the purposes of a dissenting chapel, or bequeathed for like purposes, is a charitable use, which the court is bound to execute (k).
(v) Clifford v. Francis, 1 Freem. Molloy, 616. 330; Anon. 2 Id. 40.
(6) Grieves v. Case, 2 Cox, 301, (x) Attorney General v. City of 311; S. C. 1 Ves. jun. 548. London, 1 Ves. jun. 243; S. C. 3 Br. (c) See post. sect. in. 3. C. C. 171.
(d) Grieves v. Case, 4 Br. C. C. (y) Attorney General v. Herrick, 67 ; S. C. 1 Ves. jun. 548; 2 Cox, Ambl. 712.
301. (2) Godolp. Orp. Leg. 273. See (e) Doe d. Wellard v. Hawthorn, 2 Domat, 168–170.
2 Barn. & Ald. 97. (a) Powerscourt v. Powerscourt, 1 (f) Id. 103. See ante, p. 19.
Trusts for supporting places of worship for Roman Catholics were, until recently, against the policy of the law, and superstitious; but by the statute 2 & 3 Will. IV. c. 115, they are placed in that respect upon the same footing with Protestant Dissenters (l).
6. Gifts for general and public purposes.] Many gifts of a general nature for the advantage of the public have been decided to be charitable, although they benefit the rich as well as the poor. Thus for the improvement of the city of Bath (m); “ for the repair of the highways of a parish” (n); " for bringing spring water from St. Arvans or elsewhere, to Chepstow, for the use of the inhabitants for ever" (0); to build a sessions-house for a county or city (p); or a house of correction (q); and a duty imposed by acts of Parliament on coal imported into the city or river of London (among other purposes), for re-building St. Paul's Cathedral after the fire of London (r), were held to be charitable uses. A direction to apply rents of an estate to such purposes as the testator's executors should think most conducing to the good of the county of Westmoreland, and especially of the parish of Lowther, was held to create a charitable use(s). A bequest of a residue for the benefit of such public and private charities as the testator's executors might think fit, and amongst others to establish a life-boat at Brighthelmstone, was held good (t). A devise of a botanical garden near Chelsea, to be kept up for ever, was held a charitable use, because the testator had said in his will that he thought it would be a public benefit (u).
(g) Shanley v. Baker, 4 Ves. 732. (n) Eltham Parish v. Warreyn,
(h) Corbyn v. French, 4 Ves. 418; Duke, 67, (641); Collison's case, Attorney General v. Cock, 2 Ves. Hob. 136. sen. 273.
(0) Jones v. Williams, Ambl. 651. () Doe d. Thompson v. Pitcher, (p) Duke, 109. 6 Taunt. 359.
(q) Duke, 136, (130). (k) Attorney General v. Fowler, (r) See 19 Charles II. c. 3; 22 15 Ves. 85.
Charles II. c. 11; 1 James II. c. 15; See post. sect. iii. 3, 6.
8 Will. III. c. 14; 1 Anne, st. 2, (m) House v. Chapman, 4 Ves. c. 12; 9 Anne, c. 22. 1 Swanst. 542.
Sir J. Leach said, “ that funds supplied from the gift of the crown, or from the gift of the Legislature, or from private gift, for any legal public or general purpose, are charitable funds to be administered by courts of equity. It is not material that the particular public or general purpose is not expressed in the statute of Elizabeth ; all other legal public or general purposes being within the equity of that statute. It is the source from whence the funds are derived, and not the mere purpose to which they are dedicated, which constitutes the use charitable; and funds derived from the gift of the crown, or the gift of the Legislature, or from private gift, for paving, lighting, cleansing and improving a town, are within the equity of the statute of Elizabeth, charitable funds to be administered by the Court of Chancery. But where an act of Parliament passes for paving, lighting, cleansing and improving a town, to be paid for wholly by rates or assessments to be levied upon the inhabitants of that town, the funds so raised being in no sense derived from bounty or charity in the most extensive sense of that word, are not charitable funds to be administered by the Court of Chancery.” Therefore, where a common was inclosed under an act of Parliament, passed with the consent of the lord of the manor and the proprietors of lands who had rights of common on the waste in question, and was vested in commission
(s) Attorney General v. Earl of 457. Lonsdale, 1 Sim. 105.
(u) Townley v. Bedwell, 6 Ves. (t) Johnston v. Swann, 3 Madd. 194.
ers, upon trust to apply the rents for the improvement of a town, with power for them to levy a rate on the inhabitants in case the rents proved deficient; an information and bill being filed by some of the inhabitants, on behalf of themselves and the others against the commissioners, for an account of the rents, alleging misapplication, and that a rate levied was unnecessary, it was held, on a general demurrerfirst, that the funds constituted a charity; and second, that the object of the suit being to avoid the rate, the plaintiffs had a right to sue on behalf of themselves and the other inhabitants. It was construed, in effect, as a gift of the lands by the lords and persons having rights of common, for the public purpose of improving the town, and that the funds given were therefore charitable funds, to be administered by the Court of Chancery (v).
Lord Chancellor Hart is reported to have expressed a doubt, in a case where the crown had granted to a corporation certain tolls, to be expended on the murage and pavage of a town, whether the Court of Chancery had ever construed as a charitable use, a gift from the crown for a particular purpose, even where such a gift from an individual would have been certainly so construed ; particularly if the grant from the crown related to the defence of the realm, as for finding watch and ward of a castle; and that although a fund flowing from a private hand to repair walls, might by possibility have been held a charitable purpose, he thought the fact of the gift being from the crown would divest the charitable character. He also said, any man may out of his own property create a fund for charity ; but it is a question whether the crown has the power to raise a fund for charity out of the pockets of the subject. The crown might grant its own lands with all its incidents; and in the case of the Corporation of Limerick (x) having granted lands, it had a right to impose a toll for passing through them; but if it had a right to originate a distinct unattached grant of tolls for charitable purposes, it might be hard to say what burthens
(v) Attorney General v. Heelis, 2 (x) See post. p. 78. Sim. & Stu. 67, 76, 77.