A surrender of copyholds may be made by a man to the use of his wife, for such a surrender is not a direct conveyance, but operates only through the instrumentality of the lord (t). And a valid surrender may at any time be made of the lands of a married woman, by her husband and herself: she being on such surrender separately examined, as to her free consent, by the steward or his deputy (u).

Presentment, now unnecessary.

Nature of surrenderee's right until admittance.

Surrender to the use of a wife.

(o) 1 Watk. Cop. 79; 1 Scriv. Cop. 277.

(p) Stat. 4 & 5 Vict. c. 35, s. 89.

(q) Doe d. Tofield v. Tofield, 11 Bast, 246; Rex v. Dame Jane St. John Mildmay, 5 B. & Ad. 254; Doe d. Winder v. Lawes, 7 Ad. & E. L96.

(r) 7 Will. IV. & 1 Vict. c. 2G, s. 3.

(s) Kite and Queinton's case, 4 Rep. 25 a; Co. Litt. CO a.

When the surrender has been made, the surrenderee has, at any time, a right to procure admittance to the lands surrendered to his use; and, on such admittance, he becomes at once tenant to the lord, and is bound to pay him the customary fine. This admittance is usually taken immediately (v); but, if obtained at any future time, it will relate back to the surrender; so that, if the surrenderor should, subsequently to the surrender, have surrendered to any other person, the admittance of the former surrenderee, even though it should be subsequent to the admittance of the latter, will completely displace his estate (w). Formerly a steward was unable to admit tenants out of a manor (x); but, by the act for the improvement of copyhold tenure, the lord, his steward, or deputy, may admit at any time, and at any place, either within or out of the manor, and without holding a Court; and the admission is rendered valid without any presentment of the surrender, in pursuance of which admission may have been granted (y).

The alienation of copyholds by will was formerly effected in a similar manner to alienation inter vivos. It was necessary that the tenant who wished to devise his estate should first make a surrender of it to the use of his will. His will then formed part of the surrender, and no particular form of execution or attestation was necessary. The devisee, on the decease of his testator, was, until admittance, in the same position as a surrenderee (z). By a statute of Geo. III. (a), a devise of copyholds, without any surrender to the use of the will, was rendered as valid as if a surrender had been made (b). The act for the amendment of the laws with respect to wills requires that wills of copyhold lands should be executed and attested in the same manner as wills of freeholds (c). But a surrender to the use of the will is still unnecessary; and a surrenderee, or devisee, who has not been admitted, is now empowered to devise his interest (d). Formerly, the devisee under a will was accustomed, at the next Customary Court held after the decease of his testator, to bring the will into Court; and a presentment was then made of the decease of the testator, and of so much of his will as related to the devise. After this presentment the devisee was admitted, according to the tenor of the will. But under the act for the improvement of copyhold tenure, the mere delivery to the lord, or his steward, or deputy steward, of a copy of the will is sufficient to authorize its entry on the court rolls, without the necessity of any presentment; and the lord, or his steward, or deputy steward, may admit the devisee at once, without holding any Court for the purpose (e).

Surrender of lands of the wife.


Admittance may now be had out of the manor.

Alienation by will.

(t) Co. Cop. s. 35; Tracts, p. 79.

(u) 1 Watk. Cop. 63.

(v) See Appendix (G).

(w) 1 Watk. Cop. 103.

(x) Doed.Leach v. Whittaker, 5 B. & Ad. 409, 435; Doe d. Gutteridge v. Sowerby, 7 C. B., N. S. 599.

(y) Stat. 4 & 5 Vict. c. 35, ss. 88, 90.

Sometimes, on the decease of a tenant, no person came in to be admitted as his heir or devisee. In this case the lord, after making due proclamation at three consecutive Courts of the manor for any person having right to the premises to claim the same and be admitted thereto, is entitled to seize the lands into his own hands quousque as it is called, that is, until some person claims admittance (f); and by the special custom of some manors, he is entitled to seize the lands absolutely. But as this right of the lord might be very prejudicial to infants, married women, and lunatics or idiots entitled to admittance to any copyhold lands, in consequence of their inability to appear, special provision has been made by act of parliament in their behalf (g). Such persons are accordingly authorized to appear, either in person or by their guardian, attorney or committee, as the case may be (h); and in default of such appearance, the lord or his steward is empowered to appoint any fit person to be attorney for that purpose only, and by such attorney to admit every such infant, married woman, lunatic or idiot and to impose the proper fine(i). If the fine be not paid, the lord may enter and receive the rents till it be satisfied out of them (k); and if the guardian of any infant, the husband of any married woman, or the committee of any lunatic or idiot, should pay the fine, he will be entitled to a like privilege (l). But no absolute forfeiture of the lands is to be incurred by the neglect or refusal of any infant, married woman, lunatic or idiot to come in and be admitted, or for their omission, denial or refusal to pay the fine imposed on their admittance {m).

Presentment of will now unnecessary.

If no person claim admittance, the lord may seize quousque.

(z) Wainewright v. Elwell, 1 Mad. 627; Phillips v.Phillips ,l My. & K. 649, 664.

(a) 55 Geo. III. c. 192, 12th July, 1815.

(b) Doe d. Nethercote v. Bartle, 5 B. & Ald. 492.

(c) Stat. 7 Will. IV. & 1 Vict. c. 26, ss. 2, 3, 4, 5, 9; see ante, p. 196.