Before proceeding to consider the estates which may be held in corporeal hereditaments or landed property, it is desirable that the legal terms made use of to designate such property should be understood; for the nomenclature of the law differs in some respects from that which is ordinarily employed. Thus a house is by lawyers generally called a messuage; and the term messuage was formerly considered as of more extensive import than the word house (a). But such a distinction is not now to be relied on (b). Both the term messuage and house will comprise adjoining outbuildings, the orchard, and curtilage, or court yard, and, according to the better opinion, these terms will include the garden also (c). The word tenement is often used in law, as in ordinary language, to signify a house: it is indeed the regular synonyme which follows the term messuage; a house being usually described in deeds as " all that messuage or tenement." But the more comprehensive meaning of the word tenement, to which we have before adverted (d), is still attached to it in legal interpretation, whenever the sense requires (e).

Terms of the law.

A messuage.


(a) Thomas v. Lane, 3 Cha. Ca. 26; Keilw. 57.

(b) Doe d. Clements v. Collins, 2 T. Rep. 489, 502; 1 Jarman on Wills, 709, lst ed.; 666, 2nd ed.; 710, 3rd ed.

(c) Shep. Touch. 94; Co. Litt. 5 b, n. (1); Lord Grosveinor y.

Hampstead Junction Railway Company, 1 De Gex & Jones, 446; Cole y. West London and Crystal Palace Railway Company, 27 Beav. 242.

(d) Ante, p. 5.

(e) 2 Black. Com. 16, 17, 59.

Again, the word land comprehends in law any ground, soil, or earth whatsoever (f); but its strict and primary import is arable land (g). It will, however, include castles, houses, and outbuildings of all kinds; for the ownership of land carries with it every thing both above and below the surface, the maxim being cujus est solum, ejus est usque ad caelum. A pond of water is accordingly described as land covered with water (h); and a grant of land includes all mines and minerals under the surface (i). This extensive signification of the word land may, however, be controlled by the context; as where land is spoken of in plain contradistinction to houses, it will not be held to comprise them (k ). So mines lying under a piece of land may be excepted out of a conveyance of such land, and they will then remain the corporeal property of the grantor, with such incidental powers as are necessary to work them (l), and subject to the incidental duty of leaving a sufficient support to the surface to keep it securely at its ancient and natural level (m). In the same manner, chambers may be the subjects of conveyance as corporeal property, independently of the floors above or below them (n). The word premises is frequently used in law in its proper etymological sense of that which has been before mentioned (o). Thus, after a recital of various facts in a deed, it frequently proceeds " in consideration of the premises" meaning in consideration of the facts before mentioned; and property is seldom spoken of as ■premises, unless a description of it is contained in some prior part of the deed. Most of the words used in the description of property have however no special technical meaning, but are construed according to their usual sense (p); and, as to such words as have a technical import more comprehensive than their ordinary meaning, it is very seldom that such extensive import is alone relied on; but the meaning of the parties is generally explained by the additional use of ordinary words.





(f) Co. Litt. 4 a; Shep. Touch. 92; 2 Black.Com. 17; Cooke, dem., 4 Bing. 90.

(g) Shep. Touch. 92.

(h) Co. Litt. 4 b.

(i) 2 Black. Com. 18.

(k) 1 Jarman on Wills, 707, lst ed.; 664,2nd ed.; 738,3rd ed.

(l) Earl of Cardigan v. Armi-tage, 2 Barn. & Cress. 197, 211.

(m) Humphries v. Brogden, 12 Q. B. 739; Smart v. Morton, 5 E.

& B. 30; Rogers v. Taylor, 2 H. & N. 828; Rowbotham v. Wilson, 8 E. & B. 123; Bonomi v. Back-house, E. B. & E. G22; Stroyan v. Knoaeles, 6 H. & N. 454.

(n) Co. Litt. 48 b; Shop. Touch. 206. See 12 Q. B. 757.

(o) Doe (I. Biddiilph v. Meakin, 1 East, 456; 1 Jarman on Wills, 707, 1st ed.; 665, 2nd ed.; 739, 3rd ed.

(p) As farm, meadow, pasture, etc.; Shep. Touch. 93, 94.