Though terms for years probably existed as early as the Norman Conquest, it came about, owing to decisions that the writ of novel disseisin, for the recovery of "free tenements," did not apply to such terms, that they were not regarded as estates in land, but the owner of such an estate was con sidered as merely having a right of action against the lessor in case of wrongful ejection by the latter, while, as against persons other than the lessor who ejected him, he had no remedy whatever. In other words, his rights were strictly in personam, and not in rem.9

Early in the thirteenth century, however, by the introduction of the writ of quare ejecit infra ierminum, the lessee was given the right to recover the land as against a grantee of the lessor, and later he was given the right of recovery, when ejected, as against all the world, by the writ of ejectione firmae, this latter writ being that on which the later action of ejectment was based.10 It was thus that the interest of a grantee for years came gradually to be regarded, not as a mere right of action resting on a covenant by the lessor, but as a right of property enforceable against any wrongdoer by a remedy analogous to that to which the owner of a freehold is entitled. The interest of the lessee was, however, always regarded as a quasi chattel, and was accordingly susceptible' of being disposed of by will even before freehold interests could be so disposed of, and it became settled law that such an interest would not pass to the heir or devisee as real estate, but would always

Mabie, 13 N. Y. 151; Huff v. Mc Cauley, 53 Pa. St. 206, 91 Am. Dec. 203.

9. 2 Pollock & Maitland, Hist. Eng. Law, 106 et seq.; Digby, Hist. Real Prop. (4th Ed.) 175.

The writers first cited considered that the reason of the distinction thus made between leases for years and what are called freehold estates arose from the application by the judges of false analogies from the Roman law, and not from any idea that the holding of such a lease was unworthy of the dignity of a free man, or for any other reasons connected with the feudal relation, as has been usually said.

10. Adams, Ejectment, 2; Dig-by, Hist. Real Prop. (4th Ed.) 175.

Real Property.

[ Sec. 39 pass to the personal representative, to be administered with other chattels by the ecclesiastical tribunals.11 Consequently such interests have almost invariably been classed as personal, and not real, property, even though the estate be limited to endure for a thousand years, and have, together with other similar estates of less duration, borne the generic name of "chattels real."12