The tenant in fee simple has so far been considered as being a man, over 21 and in possession of his senses. But the rights and powers of a tenant in fee simple may be restricted or modified by reason of some peculiarity in his status, as follows: -

I. Artificial persons, or corporations, can usually convey lands which they hold, but lands cannot be conveyed to them, with certain exceptions, as we have seen (p. 23).

II. Charities, whether they are corporations, or merely a collection of individuals, can convey lands, but lands cannot be conveyed to them except subject to the restrictions imposed by the Mortmain and Charitable Uses Acts (see p. 24).

III. Lunatics. - Contracts and conveyances by a lunatic are not void (i.e. bad from the beginning) but are voidable, i.e. the lunatic (or his committee) can set aside the contract or conveyance, provided the other party to the contract or conveyance knew of the mental condition of the lunatic.

A lunatic may be certified or "found" to be a lunatic by the Court "by inquisition." If so, a person is appointed to be "committee" of the lunatic.

The committee of a lunatic can convey the lands of the lunatic with the approval of the Lord Chancellor or a judge in lunacy. If a lunatic is not "so found by inquisition," bis lands cannot be conveyed except during a lucid interval.

IV. Drunken persons. - Contracts and conveyances by a drunken person are also voidable, if he can prove that the other party knew that he was so affected by drink as not to know what he was doing.

V. Convicts. - Their estates vest in an administrator, who can deal with the land, but cannot bar an entail (a).

VI. Infants. - Land can be conveyed to infants, but infants cannot convey lands.

Exceptions (a) Gavelkind lands may be conveyed by an infant tenant provided he is over 15, and conveys them by feoffment.

(b) Marriage settlements.

By the Infant Settlements Act, 1856 (b), an infant male if over 20, and an infant female if over 17, may make a binding marriage settlement by leave of the Court.

Note that the consent of the Court is necessary, so that this does not make vailid every settlement made by infants over 20 or 17 respectively.

The guardian of an infant cannot convey his lands for him.

Except in the case of a compulsory purchase of the land by a railway or other public company under the Lands Clauses Acts.

The lands of an infant may be conveyed by trustees under the Settled Land Acts.

When land is held by an infant, it is deemed to be "settled land," and the trustees of the

(a) Be Gaskell and Walters Contract, [1906] l Ch. 440, [1906.] 2 Ch. 1. (b) 18 & 19 Vict. c. 43.

settlement may exercise, on behalf of the infant, all the powers of selling, leasing, etc., which are given to a tenant for life by the Acts (c) (see p. 41). If there are no trustees, the Court may appoint them.

VII. Married Women. - At common law a married woman could not deal with her lands except with the concurrence of her husband. This disability is closely mixed up with the right of a husband over the property of his wife, and vice versa, and is dealt with in the next chapter.

(c) Settled Land Act, 1882, 45 & 46 Vict.c. 38, ss. 59 and 60.