Feoffments, though little used in modern times, were at common law, in early times, almost the only form of conveyance used for
37 2 Bl. Comm. 310, 324.
The transfer of estates in possession. Feoffment signifies the granting of a feud, and the word "feoffment" was used at common law as meaning the conveyance of a fee simple. Feoffment as a conveyance consists of a symbolical delivery of the land by the grantor or feoffor, as he was called, to the grantee or feoffee. This was done by the persons going upon the land, and the feoffor giving to the feoffee a twig or turf taken from the land, at the same time using words which showed that he intended to transfer the land to him. This ceremony was called livery of seisin.38 There was a distinction made between seisin in deed and seisin in law. The former was when the livery of seisin took place on the land itself; the latter when the parties were not actually on the land,-as when the transfer was made in sight of the premises, but without an actual entry on them.39 In later times livery of seisin was usually accompanied by a written deed, especially when the limitations of the estate granted were numerous. But this deed was only evidence of title, and not a conveyance itself.40 As has already been said, a feoffment might have a tortious operation, as when a person attempted to convey by feoffment a greater estate than he uimself possessed. The effect of such a feoffment was to destroy the estate which the feoffor did possess, and entitle the remainder-man to enter at once. The tortious operation of these conveyances is now abolished in the United States.41