206 Whyte v. Mayor, etc., of Nashville, 2 Swan (Tenn.) 364.

207 Summers v. Babb, 13 111. 483. Cf. Matlock v. Lee, 9 Ind. 298; Stockwell v. Sargent, 37 Vt. 16.

208 See Talbot v. Hill, 68 III. 106. Any doubt as to this was removed by the statute of Merton (20 Hen. III c. 2), which has been generally recognized or re-enacted in this country. 2 Scrib. Dower (2d Ed.) 779; 1 Stim. Am, St. Law, § 3233.

209 Ralston v. Ralston, 3 G. Greene (Iowa) 533. Cf. Kain v. Fisher, 6 N. T. 597; Street v. Saunders, 27 Ark. 554; Budd v. Hiler, 27 N. J. Law, 43,

210 Parker v. Parker, 17 Pick. (Mass.) 236. 211 White v. Cutler, 17 Pick. (Mass.) 248.

212 Childs v. Smith, 1 Md. Ch. 483. But cf. Cook v. Cook, 11 Gray (Mass.) 123; Noyes v. Stone (Mass.) 40 N. E. 856.

213 l Stim. Am. St. Law, § 3232; Beers v. Strong, Kirb. (Conn.) 19,

214 See post, p. 111.

Ces,215 and pay the taxes.216 There can be no claim for improvements made by the widow or her assignee.217 If she has leased the premises, her personal representative is entitled to the rent due at her death.218

The reversion or remainder in fee simple after the life estate of the dowress descends to the husband's heirs, or goes to his devisees, the case may be. If the land was aliened by the husband by a conveyance not good against the wife, the grantee's estate is by the assignment of dower defeated during the life of the dowress. On her death, the reversioner, remainder-man, or grantee is at once entitled to possession of the land, subject to any right to emblements that may exist.219

Same - how Defeated

60. The right to dower may be defeated by: (a; Alienage of husband or wife, in some states (p. 103).

(b) Elopement and living in adultery by the wife, in most states (p. 103).

(c) Annulment of marriage (p. 104).

(d) Divorce, in many states (p. 104).

(e) Loss of husband's seisin (p. 104).

(f) Conveyance by husband:

(1) Before marriage (p. 105).

(2) After marriage, in some states (p. 105).

(g) Release by wife (p. 106). (h) Jointure, which is either:

(1) Legal, or

(2) Equitable (p. 107).

215 2 Scrib. Dower (2d Ed.) 783.

216 Graham v. Dunigan, 2 Bosw. (N. T.) 516; Bidwell v. Greenshleld, 2 Abb. N. C. (N. Y.) 427; Durkee v. Felton, 44 Wis. 4G7; Linden v. Graham, 34 Barb. (N. Y.) 316. So of assessments for street improvements. Whyte v. Mayor, etc., of Nashville, 2 Swan (Tenn.) 364.

217 Maddocks v. Jellison, 11 Me. 482; Bent v. Weeks, 44 Me. 45; Cannon v. Hare, 1 Tenn. Ch. 22.

218 2 Scrib. Dower (2d Ed.) 781.

219 2 Scrib. Dower (2d Ed.) 785.

(i) Widow's election to take a testamentary or statutory-provision in lieu of dower (p. 109).

(j) Estoppel (p. 110).

(k) Statute of limitations, in many states (p. 111).

(1) Laches in equity (p. 111).

(m) Waste after assignment which causes a forfeiture in several states (p. 111).


At common law there was no dower when either husband or wife was an alien.220 The statutes of many states have changed the rule,221 but their effect is not retroactive, so as to give dower in lands sold before the enactment.222

Elopement and Adultery.

By the statute of Westminster II.,223 which has been re-enacted 224 or recognized in most states, a wife forfeits her dower if she elope and live in adultery,225 unless there be a subsequent

220 2 Bl. Comm. 131; Co. Litt. 31b; Calvin's Case, 7 Coke, 25a; Wight-man v. Laborde, Speer (S. C.) 525.

221 1 Stim. Am. St.. Law, §§ 102, 6013; 1 Scrib. Dower (2d Ed.) 156; 1 Washb. Real Prop. (5th Ed.) 80, note; 1 Shars. & B. Lead. Cas. Real Prop. 303, 515. In Michigan and Wisconsin, by statute, lands conveyed by a nonresident owner are not subject to dower. Ligare v. Semple, 32 Mich. 438. Cf. Bear v. Stahl 61 Mich. 203, 28 N. W. 60; Bennett v. Harms, 51 Wis. 251, 8 N. W. 222.

222 Priest v. Cuinmings, 20 Wend. (N. Y.) 338. Cf. White v. White, 2 Metc (Ky.) 185. '

223 13 Edw. I. c 34.

224 1 Stim. Am. St Law, § 3246 A (1 ); 2 Scrib. Dower (2d Ed.) 535; 1 Shars. & B. Lead. Cas. Real Prop. 384.

225 Adultery without elopement does not bar. Cogswell v. Tibbetts, 3 N. H. 41; Reel v. Elder, 62 Pa. St 308; Ondis v. Bates, 7 Kulp (Pa.) 309. If there has been a separation for any cause whatever, a subsequent adultery will be a bar. Woodward v. Dowse, 10 C. B. (N. S.) 722; Hethrington v. Graham, 6 Bing. 135. Cf. Goss v. Froman, 89 Ky. 318, 12 S. W. 387; Watters v. Jordan, 13 Ired. (N. C.) 361. But if the husband drives the wife away, or deserts her, dower is not lost by adultery committed afterwards. Heslop v. Heslop, 82 Pa. St 537; Rawlins v. Buttel, 1 Houst (Del) 224. And see Reynolds v. Reynolds, 24 Wend. (N. Y.) 193.

Reconciliation.226 And in a few states an abandonment of the husband will cause a forfeiture of dower.227

Annulment of Marriage and Divorce.

When a marriage is terminated by a decree of nullity, dower is barred,228 and an absolute divorce has the same effect in many tes,229 while in others divorce is no bar.230 of Husband's Estate, When the husband loses his estate by the enforcement of a paramount title or incumbrance, the wife has no dower.231 Debts which had become charges on the land before marriage defeat dower when enforced.232 So dower is barred if the husband's land is taken under the right of eminent domain.233

226 See 2 Scrib. Dower (2d Ed.) 539. 227 l Stim. Am. St Law, § 3246 B.

228 2 Scrib. Dower (2d Ed.) 541.

229 1 Stim. Am. St Law, §§ 3246 C, 6251 (1); 1 Shars. & B. Lead. Cas. Real Prop. 3S6. And see Pullen v. Pullen, 52 N. J. Eq. 9, 28 Atl. 719; Thorns v. King, 95 Tenn. Go, 31 S. W. 083. As to the effect of limited divorce, see 1 Stim. Am. St. Law, § G306. And see Van Cleaf v. Burns, 133 N. Y. 540, 30 N. E. 661; Chapman v. Chapman, 4S Kan. 636, 29 Pac. 1071

230 1 Stim. Am. St Law, §§ 3246 C, 6251.