Page images
PDF
EPUB

Reason VIII.—In order to avoid the expense and inconvenience resultingfrom all wills being proved in London, the committee of the House of Common* propose that copies of country wills should be deposited at certain stations throughout the kingdom.—(Vi-ie page 7 of their Report.)

Answer.—If copies were so deposited, officers must be paid for preserving and affording facility of reference to those documents; and, in point of expense, there would then be no saving. But the people in the country would never be contented with the inspection of the mere copies; they would still require to &ee the originals. Thus they would he put to the expense of sending the originals to town; of supporting establishments in the country for the custody of the copies, and for supplying the means of rendering them accessible; and also of consulting, whenever they required it, the originals in London. Considering the small classes of property to which the country wills in general appertain, this treble expense would be highly unjust.

Reason IX.—The expense of communicating between a great majority of the country towns and the metropolis, would be less than the expense of communication between such towns and the principal towns of each county.— (Evidence given before the Committee of the House of Commons.)

Answer.—This is by no means the case. Every country solicitor knows that there are many economical modes of sending small parcels from one part of the country to another. But even though it might be granted that the statement on the other side were true, still it would only apply to those persons who cati conveniently pay postage and coach expenses. But it is in evidence, that many poor people who wish to consult an original will,are unable toemploy an agent for that purpose, and that they often walk twenty, thirty, or forty miles, with a view to satisfy themselves on that point, and are not even able to pay the shilling fee for inspection, after they have incurred that charge.

ADDITIONAL OBSERVATIONS.

Reason X.—" All deeds, or rather copies of all deeds," say the Real Property Commissioners, "ought to be registered in London: therefore so should all wills."

Answer ■—The House of Commons have already negatived the first of these propositions, even though it was conceded that the original deeds should remain in the hands of the parties to whom they belonged. Therefore, the consequence does not follow as the premises do not exist. But even if the idea of a general registry of the copies of Deeds had been adopted by the Legislature, the precedent would, at best, be good only for a general registry of the copies of wills; to which there is no objection. Why cannot the copies of wills sent to the legacy office by all the country courts, and for which the public pay, be made available after the abstracts are entered in the books of the office?

Reason XI.—An impression prevails in highly respectable circles, that the applications for searches of wills in the country registries, generally apply to matters of personal estate.

Answer.—So far from this being the fact, it may be safely asserted that three-fourths of these searches are connected with matters of title to real estates, and that by far the majority are for wills lodged more than twenty years since.

Reason XII.—The local courts are too numerous; they sometimes clash with each other as to jurisdiction, and therefore lead to confusion and unnecessary expense.

Answer.—The 380 courts which at present exist in England and Wales, may be easily consolidated, so as to reduce the total number to about 48. If the diocesan courts bo retained at the cathedral establishments, courts of registry can be formed or retained in such counties or districts as may be most convenient to the people. Such an arrangement would be infinitely preferable to a single metropolitan court and registry.

Table of Searches for, and Applications to Inspect Wills ami Administrations, made in ihe larger portion of the Country Courts in t/te Province of Canterbury, on an average ofllie tltrec years 1829, 1830, and 1831.

No.

Personal Searches by parties themselves, or their Agents 5,335

Searches made by the Registrars on behalf of parties resident in the Diocese . 2,423

7,758

Searches made by the Registrars on behalf of persons resident in London .... 2C8 Searches made by the Registrars on behalf of persons not resident in ths Diocese ) ..„ or in London )

Toial . . . 8,470

ORGANO-HISTORICA;
Or the History of Cathedral and Parochial Organs.

NO. XXIV. THE ORGAN AT THE NEW CHURCH, (sT. HIKE,) CHELSEA.

In pursuing our description of the new organs at the London churches, we purpose taking them according to the number of stops they contain. This being our guide, the organ at the new church, Chelsea, comes next under our consideration.

In laying before our readers the history of the above-named instrument, we beg to observe, it was not originally built for the church in which it now stands. It is the workmanship of the late Mr. Nicholls, son-in-law and successor to the late George Pike England, of Stephen-street, Tottenham-court-road, well known as one of the most eminent English organ builders of his time. He died about twenty years ago. His successor lived but a few years after him, and the organ we are about to describe was intended, and built expressly, for a large chapel in the West of England; and as will be seen by the summary of its stops, was most magnificently designed, being the largest organ, as far as relates to duplicate stops, that was ever built.

The instrument contains the following stops:

[table]

The compass of the great and choir organs is from G G to F in alt, 53 notes; that "of the swell, from F in the tenor, to F in alt, 37 notes. The pedal pipes are double open diapasons, to C C C; the four lower notes are unisons; and the last octave of one of the open diapasons, is of wood. The quality of tone in this instrument is good, but there is not so much power in the full organ, as might be expected from the number of stops. The'quality of tone in the choir organ is very pure; the stops mix well together. The swell also is very good; but the compass is too confined. The pedal pipes are not weighty enough in their tone; the upper part of the instrument overpowers them in chorus. There- has lately been added a cremona, in the place of the bassoon. The quality of this stop is very good. It is the workmanship of Mr. Gray, who has the care of the instrument. Since its erection great improvements have taken place in almost every department of organ building. If this instrument were now modernized, it would, we think, rank amongst the best iu London. The compass of the swell should be extended at least an octave lower, if not to C C. Another set of pedal pipes should be added, and supplied by a separate pair of bellows. The swell and choir should couple to the great organ; and the swell and great organ should have composition pedals. With these additions and improvements, it would be inferior to none of the same class. Although this instrument was built by Mr. Nicholls, it was finished by Mr. Gray, who purchased it of the assignees of the builder in an unfinished state. The trustees of Chelsea purchased it of Mr. Gray, for their newly erected church.

COLLECTANEA.

Bishop Ridley.—Very affectionate and truly beautiful is this excellent prelate's apostrophe to his college, Pembroke Hall, Cambridge, just before his martyrdom.

"Farewell, Pembroke Hall, of late my own college, my cure, and my charge.—What case thou art now in, God knoweth I trow not well. Thou wast ever named, since I knew thee, which is not thirty years ago, to be studious, well learned, and a great setter forth of Christ's Gospel, and of God's true word. So I found thee, blessed be God, so I left thee, indeed. Woe is me, for thee my dear college, if thou suffer thyself by any means to be brought from that trade. In thy orchard, (the walls, butts, and trees, if they could speak, would bear me witness) I learned without book, almost all St. Paul's Epistles, yea and ween all the canonical Epistles, save only the Apocalypse: of which study, though in time a great part did depart from me, yet the sweet scent thereof I trust I shall carry to heaven with me,—the profit thereof, I think I have felt in all my life-time ever after,"

LAW REPORT.

No. XXXV.—ON THE RIGHT TO
Gilbert And Oth

This was an action of debt on the statute of 2 & 3 Ed. 6, c. 13, for not setting out tithe of potatoes, and was tried at the last Kingston assizes before Lord Lyndhurst, when a verdict was given for the plaintiffs for 18/., being treble the agreed single value of the tithes.

The plaintiffs were mortgagees in fee, in possession of the rectory of Kingston-upon-Thames: the defendant was an occupier of lands in that division of the parish which is called Norbiton; and in the yep.r 1833 grew about ten acres of potatoes in fields.

He contended that the tithe of potatoes, being a small tithe, was payable to the vicar of Kingston-upon-Thames, and not to the rector.

The evidence adduced by the plaintiffs at the trial was,—

1. Grants under the great seal of the 19th of May, 1609, and 15th of December, 1640, of the rectory of Kingston-upon-Thames, and all manner of tithes and other profits to the rectory belonging; in the first of which grants the rectory was described to have been parcel of the possessions of the late monastery or priory of Merton.

2. The plaintiff's title deeds, the earliest of which was dated the 9th of July, 1737.

The deed of 16th December, 1738, contained the following description of the premises, which was copied in all the subsequent title deeds:—"All and singular the tithes of corn, grain, wheat, rye, barley, beans, peas, potatoes, tares, oats, French wheat, hay, wool, and lamb, and all and all manner of tithes, of what nature or kind soever, to the rectory of Kingston - upon - Thames aforesaid belonging, or in anywise appertaining, coming, growing, renewing, happening, or increasing, and which at any time or times hereafter shall or may be coming, growing, renewing,

THE TITHE OF POTATOES.

Ers v. Towns.*

happening, or increasing, in Norbiton, Surbiton, Comb, Hatche, Ham, Kew, otherwise Knyho, Petersham, Sheen, otherwise Richmond, or elsewhere within the said parish of Kingstonupon-Thames, to the said rectory, belonging, or in anywise appertaining."

3. An extract from the Valor Ecclesiaslicus of 26 Hen.VIif. of so much as related to the vicarage of Kingstonupon-Thames, in the county of Surrey: "It values in tithes of geese, 4s.; pigs, 16s.; doves, 10c/.; eggs, Ss.4tl.; hemp, is. 4d.; fruits, 2*.; gardens, 8s.; woods, 13s. 4d.; tiles, 4s.; personal tithes, otherwise privy tithes, 9/. 5s. 9d.; cows, \l. 6s. 8c/.; calves, 10*.; honey and wax, 2s.; osiers, Is. 4c/.; chickens, i{d.:" the total value amounted to 54/. 13s. 3c/.

4. A copy from the court rolls of the first fruits in the court of exchequer at Westminster, of Michaelmas term, 3 Eliz., which shewed that the vicar, instead of receiving 54/. 13s. 3c/. from his vicarage, received only 25/. 5s. lOJc/., and judgment of diminution was accordingly given.

5. An extract from the records of the First Fruits' Office of the return made by the bishop of Winchester, in pursuance of the act of 5 Ann. for discharging small livings from their first fruits and tenths, and all arrears thereof: from that return, which was dated the 28th of March, 7 Ann. (1707), it appeared that the clear improved yearly value of the vicarage of Kingston amounted to 34/. 7s. and no more.

The plaintiffs then proceeded to prove, by oral testimony, that as far hack as living memory extended, the tithes of potatoes grown in fields had uniformly been paid to the rector, and the tithe of potatoes, and every thing else grown in gardens, to the vicar. The reputation in the parish was, that the rector followed the plough, and the vicar the spade.

* Notwithstanding an endowment of 1374, conferring all small tithes on a vicar, the Court refused to set aside a verdict finding the right to potatoes grown in fields to be in the rector, evidence having been adduced from which it might be presumed that, on good consideration, an alteration had been made in the endowment previously to the restraining s tatute of 13 Elir.

The defendant relied on an endowment of the vicarage of Kingston in 1374, by which the vicar was endowed of all the small tithes, except what were specially reserved to the prior and convent. "Also the said vicars may take the tithes of cows, calves, goats, kids, pigs, rabbits, and other wild animals, of what kind soever; of fowls, doves, swans, peacocks, geese, ducks, and of other fowls, of whatsoever kind; also of cheese, milk, and things made of milk; of bees, honey, wax, and eggs." "Also the said vicars may take the tithe of flax, hemp, and warrens, wheresoever and whatsoever, arising through the whole parish of the church and chapels aforesaid; and of corn in gardens or curtilages of the said parish of the said church and chapels aforesaid, dug, or hereafter to be dug, with the foot; of herbs, also, and of all other things growing in the same, which were not of the manors of the aforesaid prior and convent. And if it shall happen in time to come, that any gardens of the said parish shall be turned up or levelled, and the lands thereof tilled by the plough, then the said prior and convent shall wholly take and have the tithes of corn (bladarum) of such gardens and lands so ploughed up. And if it shall happen hereafter, that any arable lands which are not of the manors of the said prior and convent, shall be reduced to gardens, and dug with the foot, then the aforesaid vicars shall take and have the tithes of corn arising from such gardens for the time in which they shall be dug and tilled with the foot. Also the said vicars may take the tithes of feedings, pastures, and agistments of animals; of pannage, willows, and osiers; and of fallen wood for fire whatsoever, and of vines, and of the fruit of trees of every kind, wheresoever arising within the parish of the church aforesaid, and the chapels aforesaid, except from the manors aforesaid. Also the said vicars may take all tithes whatsoever of lambs, wool, and hides, to the chapels of Dytton, Mulesey,and Shene, arising, except from the animals of the said prior and convent at Mulesey;

and except from the animals of the farmers of the same Religious as aforesaid."—" Also the said vicars may take the small tithes whatsoever of custom or of right due throughout the whole parish of the church of Kingston, and the chapels aforesaid, by any manner arising, and by whatsoever name distinguished, those only excepted which are specially reserved to the said prior aud convent."— "And the religious men, brother Robert of Wyndesore, the now prior, and his successors the priors and convent aforesaid, shall for ever take and have the great tithes of sheaves arising without the said gardens, and of hay, and living mortuaries, and the tithe of wool, and lambs, and hides, of the village of Kingston and Norbilton, Sorbelton,Combe,Hertyngdon,Hatche, Ilainine, Petersham and La Hake and Berewell, and all other tithes and profits, and ecclesiastical emoluments within the said parish arising, or to the said church and chapels belonging, as well those above reserved to the same religious men as whatsoever other things to the aforesaid now vicar, for him and his successors, vicars, and for his vicarage aforesaid, and for their portion in this behalf, are not above assigned, nor by the tenor of these presents are in any manner soever ordained, not containing the same portion or appointment to the now vicar, and his successors, vicars of the aforesaid vicarage as aforesaid assigned or made."

The vicar's collector produced his collecting book, which was put in. The only items contained in that book were fruits, gardens, woods, cows, and osiers, all of which were named in the Valor Ecclcsiasticus.

A verdict having been found for the plaintiff,

Spankie, Serjt. moved to set it aside as contrary to evidence, relying on the unqualified language of the endowment, which gave the vicar all small tithes whatever, and contending that no legal alteration of this endowment could have taken place subsequently to the restraining statute of the 13 Eliz., and that potatoes, which are clearly small tithe, were not introduced in to England till after that period.

« PreviousContinue »