This section is from the book "Real Property, An Introductory Explanation Of The Law Relating To Land", by Alfred F Topham. Also available from Amazon: The New Law Of Property.
The same rules apply as in the case of freeholds, except that contingent remainders of copyhold were never liable to be defeated by merger, surrender or forfeiture of the life tenant's estate: for the freehold was in the lord of the manor, and therefore the destruction of the particular estate did not create a gap in the seisin.
Hence the provision of the Act of 1845 as to contingent remainders did not apply to copyholds.
Pickersgill v. Grey (1861), 30 Beav. 352.
Freehold and copyhold lands were settled by will on T for life with remainder in trust for the sons of M with remainder to the heirs of the testator. T became the testator's heir and claimed that the contingent remainders to the sons of M had
(l) 11 Geo. IV. and 1 Will. IV., c. 65, s. 9.
failed by the merger of his life estate in the fee simple before the sons of M had been ascertained.
Held, the contingent remainders in the freeholds had failed, but not the contingent remainders in the copyholds.
But if the remainder is not ready to vest when the particular estate determines by the death of the tenant for life (m), the contingent remainder will fail unless it is saved by the Act of 1877 (see p. 158). Executory interests in copyholds are governed by the same rules as in freeholds.
Mortgages of copyholds will be dealt with on pp. 244, 245.
(m) Habergham v. Vincent (1793), 2 Ves. Jun., p. 214.