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in the purchase of other lands, to be settled to the
16. Where a tenant for life has no power of making leases, and it would be advantageous to the estate if it could be let for a long term of years, a private act may be obtained for enabling the tenant for life to make long leases, under such reservations and restrictions, as are necessary to render such leases beneficial to the estate, and to the persons in remainder and reversion.
17. Where a tenant for life has expended his own money in making improvements beneficial to the inheritance, or is desirous of making such improvements; a private act may be obtained, enabling him to charge the estate with the money so laid out, or to be laid out on such improvements.
18. Where an estate is vested in several persons as coparceners or tenants in common, some of whom are infants, lunatics, or tenants for life ; and a fair and just partition is made thereof: a private act may be obtained for confirming such partition, by which the infants, lunatics, or remainder-men will be bound; and each person to whom a share is allotted in severalty, will acquire the legal estate therein.
19. Where a male infant is desirous of marrying, with the approbation of his parents or guardians, a private act may be obtained enabling him to make a proper settlement on such marriage; to be as valid
as if he was of age. And there is an act in 14 Edw.IV. 16. p. 128. by which it was ordained that Henry Duke of Buck
ingham should be taken, reputed, and adjudged as a person of full age, and that all things by him or against him to be done, should be of such force and effect, as if they were done at his full age.
20. Where something has been omitted in a deed, which is absolutely necessary to carry it into execution; or where there has been a palpable and evident mistake; a private act may be obtained to supply such omission, or to rectify such mistake.
21. Where a private act originates in the House of Mode of Peers, the mode of proceeding is thus,-a petition is
vate Acts. presented to the House signed by all the parties interested in the act, stating the facts, and that the petitioners can only be relieved, or obtain what they require, by the power and authority of the legislature; and praying leave to bring in a bill for the purposes therein mentioned. This must be presented by a peer, and an order of the House is made, referring the petition to two of the Judges, who are authorized and directed to summon all persons concerned in the bill before them, and after hearing them, and perusing the bill, to report to the House the state of the case, and their opinions thereon, under their hands, and to sign the bill.
22. The petition is then carried to the two Judges whom it has been referred, together with a draft of the bill ; all the recitals of which are proved before them, in the same manner, and by the same evidence, as in a trial in ejectment. The Judges make their report; and if they approve of the bill, they sign it, and certify that it is proper for effectuating the pur
23. The bill is then brought into the House, read twice, and committed. The same proofs must be submitted to the committee of Lords, which were produced before the Judges; and the chairman reports it to the House. It is then read a third time, and sent to the House of Commons, where it goes through
the same forms, and is sent back to the House of Lords to receive the royal assent, which is given by the words, soit fait come il est desiré.
24. Where a private act of parliament originates in the House of Commons, a petition is presented signed by the parties who are suitors for such act, stating the facts, and praying leave to bring in a bill; which petition is presented to the House by a member. A motion is then made that it be referred to a committee, to examine the allegations in the petition. The evidence must be produced before this committee, and when concluded, the chairman makes his report, and moves for leave to bring in a bill, pursuant to the petition. The bill is then brought in, read twice, and committed ; all the evidence is again produced before the new committee, which the chairman reports to the House, and moves that the bill be engrossed. It is then read a third time, and sent to the House of Peers. There it is twice read, and then committed. The evidence is again produced before the committee of the House of Peers; the Lord in the chair reports the bill to the House, it is read a third time, and then receives the royal assent.
25. The consent of all parties in being, and capable of consenting, who have the remotest interest in
the property affected by a private act, is expressly 2 Comm.345. required. Unless, says Sir W. Blackstone, such con
sent appears to be perversely, and without any reason, withheld.
26. Where infants, or other persons incapable of acting for themselves, are to be bound by a private act of parliament, a full equivalent must be settled on them, in lieu of what is taken by the act; and in general the legislature will not suffer the property of
infants, or other persons incapable of acting for themselves, to be altered by a private act; unless it clearly appear that they will be benefited by such alteration.
27. A general saving is now always added at the close of
every private act, of the rights and interests of all persons whomsover; except those whose consent is given or purchased, and all persons claiming under them, and who are therein particularly named.
28. By a number of standing orders made at different times by the Houses of Lords and Commons, every sort of precaution appears to have been adopted by the legislature, to prevent the possibility of surprise or fraud in obtaining private acts, and particularly as to estate bills, which must be referred to two Judges to report on the facts, and the propriety of the bill; but still there have been some cases in which great imposition has been practised on parliament by 34 Geo. III. false evidence. 29. With respect to the operation of a private act, Operation
of a Private it is as powerful and effective, if duly and properly Act. obtained, as a public one, in transferring the legal estate in lands from one person to another, and in binding all those who are intended to be bound by it, and whose rights are not saved. But it has always been held that a private act does not bind strangers, even before the general practice of inserting a saving clause in every private act was adopted.
30. Thus in 21 Hen. VII. it was adjudged, in the 8 Rep. 138 a. case of the prior of Castleacre and the dean of St. Stephen’s, that the act 1 Hen.V.c.7., which gave the lands of priors aliens to the King, did not extinguish an annuity of the prior of Castleacre, which he had out of a rectory, parcel of a priory alien ; though there was not any saving in the act.
Barrington's 31. So in a case in 8 Jac., where the question was; Case,
whether the act 22 Edw.IV. c.7., which under certain 8 Rep. 136. Godb. 167. circumstances authorizes the proprietors of grounds in
forests, after a felling, to inclose them, without the King's licence, for seven years, to preserve the springing wood, should be construed so as to exclude
persons having right of common.
Upon this point Lord Coke reports, that the Judges of the Court of Common Pleas were of opinion the commoners were not bound by the statute, for the following reasons :-" It appears by the preamble between what persons, and for and against what persons this act was made; and the parties to this great contract by act of parliament, are the subjects having woods, &c. within forests, chaces, and purlieus of the one part; and the King, and the other owners of the forests, chaces, and purlieus, of the other part. So that the commoners are not any of the parties between whom this act was made." And cited the case of the
prior of Castleacre. Lucy v. Livingston,
32. In a subsequent case Lord Hale said, “Every 1 Vent. 176. man is so far party to a private act of parliament, as
not to gainsay it; but not so as to give up his interest. 'Tis the great question in Barrington's case, 8 Co. The matter of the act there directs it to be between the foresters and the proprietors of the soil ; and therefore it shall not extend to the commoners, to take away their common. Suppose an act says, whereas there is a controversy concerning land between A. and B,, 'tis enacted that A. shall enjoy it: this does not bind others, though there be no saving; because it was only
intended to end the difference between them two." Bars an
33. It was formerly the usual practice, where a. and all Re- tenant in tail applied for a private act of parliament. mainders