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T R E A T I S E THE STATUTE OF FRAUDS,

AS IT REGARDS

DECLARATIONS IN TRUST, CONTRACTS, SURRENDERS,
CONVEYANCES, AND THE EXECUTION AND
PROOF OF WILLS AND CODICILS.

to WHICH IS PREFIXED A SYSTEMATIC DISSERTATION UPON THE ADMIsSIBILITY OF PAROL AND EXTRINSIC EVIDENCE, TO EXPLAIN AND CONTROUL WRITTEN INSTRUMENTS.

BY WILLIAM ROBERTS,
Of Lincoln's Inn, Author of a Treatise on Fraudulent Conveyances.

PRINTED BY I. RILEY AND CO. AND FOR SALE BV
BRIsBAN AND BRANNAN, CITY-HOTKL.

1807.

368627

i TO THE

HON. SIR ALLAN CHAMBRE, KNIGHT, ONE OF HIS MAJESTY'S JUSTICES

OF THE

COURT OF COMMON PLEAS, Stc.

SIR,

I HAVE ventured to prefix your Name to these sheets, with the hope of attracting your attention to a Work, the fatigue attending the execution whereof will be amply compensated, if it shall be so fortunate as to obtain your approbation. Your permission to do this has not been asked, because I was unwilling to involve the credit of your judgment in the success of my enterprise. But the very nature of my undertaking, naturally reminded me of some professional obligations to you at the commencement of my studies, and I was glad of this opportunity ofgiving you an appropriate, though, perhaps, unworthy testimony of the sentiments which your kind assistance excited in me.

The sort of publication which I have ventured to bring forward, aspires to something above the rank of a mere compilation of cases; and as it is composed with a view to reduce into system and harmony a great variety of interesting topics, at present involved in much apparent contradiction, and inconsistency of doctrine, it is of some importance to the profession, that the credit of such a book should soon be fixed; and who is more able to establish its character, in the opinion of lawyers, than yourself? TfIshall have seemed to you

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to have affected things above my ability, I shall best learn from your authority a lesson ofprudent humility, and my misemployed industry will receive a salutary correction. May I then humbly request you, to take up my volume, with a view to give me the advantage of your opinion of its execution, and thus to anticipate inferior criticism? You will thereby satisfy me as to the degree of my present success, before I engage again in the intended prosecution of my ultimate plan of reviewing the remaining subjects of the Statute of Frauds, and also the provisions of the statute of fraudulent devises, for which my materials are already collected.

Precipitancy is no excuse for error: no apology is meant to be founded upon the necessity which the pressure of other engagements has laid upon me of composing and preparing for the press this entire volume, 'in the course of the summer and autumn of this year. But I may, perhaps, without irreverence, impute to the irresolute urbanity and over-refining temper of our courts, in the application of the provisions of this great Statute, doubting between the danger of departing from, and the rigour of adhering to the letter, much of tfiat difficulty by which I have been overcome. With you, Sir, I know this will plead for me with its just effect, and by this assurance 1 feel myself strengthened for the trial that awaits me at the bar of the public.

With the sincerest respect, I am.
Sir,

Your much obliged

And very humble servant,

WILLIAM ROBERTS.

ADVERTISEMENT.

IT will be perceived in perusing the following pages, that it was the Author's original intention to prosecute the whole Work at once to its completion, in two volumes, making the first to consist of what is now offered to the public in this present Book, and the second, of the remaining subjects of the statute. The writer has, however, strong reasons for changing his plan as to the manner of publishing his Work, and has thought it best to produce the two parts as .separate treatises, the first whereof, which is that now submitted to the Profession, contains the doctrines and decisions respecting those portions of the statute which hold an affinity together, and the second will comprehend the remaining Topics which are more miscellaneous.

Since the work has gone to press, some few cases have been determined in the Courts of Law and Equity, of which it will be proper that the Reader should be reminded, when his attention is drawn to the subjects to which they relate, by the passages connected with them in this Work. In that part of the subject of Parol and Extrinsic Evidence, which is under discussion in pages 27, 28, and 29, the Writer might have referred to the case of Doe on the demise of Leach v. Micklem, 6 East, 486, as an authority for some of his positions, if that case had then been printed. The case of Williams v. Jones, just reported in the 10th volume of Vezey, jun. may be

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