Our attention has hitherto been directed to real property of a corporeal kind. We have considered the usual estates which may be held in such property, - the mode of descent of such estates as are inheritable, - the tenure by which estates in fee simple are holden, - and the usual method of the alienation of such estates, whether in the lifetime of the owner or by his will. We have also noticed the modification in the right and manner of alienation produced by the relation of husband and wife. Besides corporeal property, we have seen (a) that there exists also another kind of property, which, not being of a visible and tangible nature, is denominated incorporeal. This kind of property, though it may accompany that which is corporeal, yet does not in itself admit of actual delivery. When, therefore, it was required to be transferred as a separate subject of property, it was always conveyed, in ancient times, by writing, that is, by deed; for we have seen (b), that formerly all legal writings were in fact deeds. Property of an incorporeal kind was, therefore, said to lie in grant, whilst corporeal property was said to lie in livery (c). For the word grant, though it comprehends all kinds of conveyances, yet more strictly and properly taken, is a conveyance by deed only (d). And livery, as we have seen (e), is the technical name for that delivery which was made of the seisin, or feudal possession, on every feoffment of lands and houses, or corporeal hereditaments. In this difference in the ancient mode of transfer accordingly lay the chief distinction between these two classes of property. But, as we have seen (f), the act to amend the law of real property now provides that all corporeal tenements and hereditaments shall, as regards the conveyance of the immediate freehold thereof, be deemed to lie in grant as well as in livery (g). There is, accordingly, now no practical difference in this respect between the two classes; and the lease for a year stamp, to which a grant of corporeal hereditaments had been previously subject, was abolished by the Stamp Act of 1850 (A).
Lay in grant.
(a) Ante, p. 10.
(b) Ante, p. 143.
(c) Co. Litt. 9 a.
(d) Shep. Touch. 228. (e) Ante, p. 138.
(f) Ante, p. 173.
(g) Stat. 8 & 9 Vict. c. 106, s.2.
(h) Stat. 13 & 14 Vict. c. 97.