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The numerous Charities existing in this country-the inquiries already completed and in progress respecting them -the number of decisions already made and likely hereafter to arise in courts of equity upon difficult and intricate questions concerning Charities—and the want of a modern and more systematic arrangement of the law upon that subject than has hitherto appeared, are sufficient reasons for offering to the Profession and the Public a new work
it. The author, at the expense of much labour, has endeavoured, by a careful perusal of the reported cases, and in many instances by the examination of other authentic documents, to collect all the material points upon the law of Mortmain and Charities, and to arrange them in such order as to afford facility of reference and elucidation of principles. In traversing so wide a field, under circumstances neither encouraging nor favourable to the performance of a task not free from difficulties, it is rather to be desired than expected that
every point worthy of notice should have received its appropriate consideration.
The abstract principles relating to Charities might be brought within a small compass compared with the extent
of this work. In answer to an objection which may be made to its length, it may be observed, that the statement of facts has in many instances been deemed necessary for rendering the subject intelligible and the work practically useful. It would be difficult to refer many of the decisions respecting Charities to any well-defined principle, and the distinctions between others depend frequently on such minute variations of circumstances as to induce the alternative of either omitting the case, or of stating the leading facts at some length.
A more enlarged experience, and a more continuous and uninterrupted attention, may no doubt correct some faults and supply some deficiencies in this work; amplify some parts of it, and curtail others; but some hope is entertained that the book, in its present state, will supply those who are imperfectly acquainted with this branch of law, with facilities for acquiring a knowledge of it, and tend materially to shorten their labours in the future pursuit of it. In apology for
defects in the performance of his design, the author has to state, that it has been his anxious wish and aim to render the work as useful and complete as the opportunities afforded him and his other engagements would admit.
3, Brick Court, TEMPLE,
Easter Term, 1836.
1. General observations on the term charity
2. Gifts to the poor
6. Gifts of real and personal estates in Scotland ib.
in Ireland , 262
in the West Indies 263