And it is said that a license coupled with an interest is where the party, obtaining a license to do a thing, also acquires a right to do it; in such case the authority conferred is not merely a permission; it amounts to a grant, and it may be assigned to a third person. 2 Bouv. Inst. 568.
It is not indispensable to the condition of such a license that the right or title to the property sought to be removed should have been derived from the licenser. The license to enter on the land and remove the property is a license coupled with an interest, and so assignable and irrevocable, if the licensee's right to the possession of the property is derived from another source, provided the party granting the license has assented to the contract or other condition of things whereby the licensee gains the title or the right to the possession of the property. And such assent may be inferred from the duty of the licenser to recognize the contract or circumstances from which the other party's right is derived. A person cannot justify entering the close of another to take his own property, without showing the circumstances under which it came there, even though he alleges he did not do any unnecessary damage, - Anthony v. Haneys, 8 Bing. 186; 2 Selw. N. P. 1342; - "but," says Baron Parke, "all the old authorities say that where a party places upon his own close the goods of another he gives to the owner of them an implied license to enter for the purpose of recaption." Patrick v. Colerick, 3 M. & W. 483; Mussey v. Scott, 32 Vt. 84.
Here, Gilchrist gained his title to the possession and control of the property from the United States. To that possession, right, and control the plaintiff expressly assented. And so Gilchrist acquired a license coupled with an interest, although the interest and title were not derived from the plaintiff. And as instances of the effect of a license, Vaughan, C. J., in Thomas v. Sorrell, Vaughan Rep. 331, says, - "A dispensation or license properly passeth no interest, nor alters nor transfers property in anything, but only makes an action lawful which, without it, had been unlawful; as a license to go beyond the seas, to hunt in a man's park, to come into his house, are only actions which, without license, had been unlawful. But a license to hunt in a man's park, and carry away deer killed to his own use; to cut down a tree in a man's ground, and carry it away the next day after to his own use, - are licenses as to the acts of hunting and cutting down the tree; but as to the carrying away the deer killed and tree cut down, they are grants. So, to license a man to eat my meat, or to fire the wood in my chimney to warm him by, as to the actions of eating, firing my wood, and warming him, they are licenses; but it is consequent necessarily to those actions that my property may be destroyed in the meat eaten and in the wood burnt. So, as in some cases by consequent, and not directly and as its effect, a dispensation or license may destroy and alter my property."
And Baron Alderson, in Wood v. Leadbitter, 13 M. & W. 843, says, "A mere license is revocable; but that which is called a license is often something more than a license; it often comprises or is connected with a grant, and then the party who has given it cannot, in general, revoke it so as to defeat his grant, to which it was incident."
In Wood v. Manley, 11 Ad. & E. 34, it appeared that goods which were upon the plaintiff's land were sold to the defendant, and that by the conditions of the sale, to which the plaintiff was a party, the buyer was to be allowed to enter and take the goods. It was held that after the sale, the plaintiff could not countermand the license. And the defendant having entered to take and the plaintiff having brought trespass, and the defendant having pleaded leave and license and a peaceable entry to take, to which the plaintiff replied de injuria, - it was held that the defendant was entitled to the verdict, though it appeared that the plaintiff had, between the sale and the entry, locked the gates and forbidden the defendant to enter; and the defendant had broken down the gates, and entered to take the goods, "the plaintiff," as was said by Williams, J., "having assented to the terms of the contract, put himself into a situation from which he could not withdraw."
It is not necessary, as before remarked, that an authority in law to enter into the post-office and take the public property, by an agent of the government duly authorized for that purpose, should be shown, or presumed, from the circumstances of the case, although perhaps such authority and right, and the means of exercising it, would be a fair legal conclusion. The assent, license, and permission to enter and take the goods is express in this case; and if the authority of a purchaser of goods from the vendor, having license to enter and remove them, becomes an authority coupled with an interest irrevocable and assignable, a fortiori, it would seem that a license freely given by the party who never had any property in the goods, and whose right to the possession had been terminated by his removal from office, - a license given to his successor in office, entitled by law to the possession of the property, - could not be regarded as a license of more restricted character. Under the defendant's plea, he may prove a license in law or in fact express or implied. 4 Bouv. Inst. 57.
Moreover, the pleas allege no revocation, in terms nor by implication, of the license to Gilchrist; and we have seen that such license, by necessary consequence, implies a license to employ such agents, servants and assistance as may be requisite to make the license effectual. * * *
Another important consideration is suggested by the pleadings. It is shown that "when the defendant arrived at said post-office building as aforesaid, and during all the time when he was in and about said building and room, as is hereinafter set forth, said Gilchrist was in and about said building and room for the purpose, and was engaged in the work and business of taking away and removing said furniture, articles, and things as aforesaid."