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AN

INQUIRY

INTO

THE EFFECT OF LIMITATIONS

TO

Heirs of the body

IN

DEVISES:

WITH REMARKS ON THE DOCTRINE OF EQUITY CON-
CERNING DOUBTFUL TITLES, AND TITLES ACQUIRED
BY THE DESTRUCTION OF CONTINGENT

REMAINDERS.

BY WILLIAM HAYES,
OF THE MIDDLE TEMPLE, ESQ. BARRISTER AT LAW.

Dignitas in tam tenui scientia quæ potest esse? Res enim sunt parve, propo in

singulis literis, atque interpunctionibus verborum occupatæ. Cic. pro Mur.

LONDON:
PRINTED FOR JOSEPH BUTTERWORTH AND SON,

LAW-BOOKSELLERS, 43, FLEET-STREET ;
AND J. COOKE, ORMOND QUAY, DUBLIN.

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J. AND T. CLARKE, PRINTERS, ST. JOHN-SQUARE, LONDON. TO

THE RIGHT HONOURABLE

ROBERT, LORD GIFFORD,

BARON GIFFORD,

MASTER OF THE ROLLS,

&c. &c. &c.

MY LORD,

However weak the pretensions of the following sheets to fulfil the expectation which your Lordship was pleased to express, that the Inquiry which I proposed to institute would prove useful to the Profession; the design at least of a work which aims to restore the authority of ancient legal principles, shaken by modern adjudications, may hope to find favour with your Lordship, who cannot but take a more than common interest in the permanence of those laws which as a citizen you enjoy, as a Judge you dispense, and as a man of talent

you

illustrate. iv

In departing, for the sake of change, from the wisdom of ages, we tear down the trophies from the monuments of our ancestors, we violate the sanctity of their fame, and we resign every title to the respect and gratitude of our posterity. To attack and overthrow the solemn resolutions of the fathers and sages of the law, what is it but to establish a precedent which must shorten the date of all juridical fame, and to bespeak for our own labours, and our own opinions, an early oblivion?

0. The integrity of their fame, and with it the security of some of our most cherished and most valuable rights; is now committed to your Lordship, whose kindred studies, and congenial talents, afford us the best assurance that you will ever regard its conservation as a sacred and delightful charge.

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There is no object, perhaps, to which those qualities that have advanced your Lordship to so eminent a station can be directed with more honour to yourself, or advantage to the public, than that of upholding the Law of Real Property, which cannot be rendered precarious without shaking, one of the pillars of our national prosperity,

without destroying one of the strongest incentives to honest industry, the hope of acquiring a permanent interest in some por-, tion of our native soil.

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If

my humble labours should have the good fortune to awaken attention to the state of the law upon the points of which they treat, they will owe it chiefly to the condescension which has permitted them to appear under the auspices of a Judge, from whom the Profession anticipates with confidence a series of decisions calculated to afford another proof that the greatest talents may be fully developed in expounding and applying the learning treasured up in the books of our law; and that even a veneras tion for precedent may not only consist with the exercise of a sound judicial discretion. but add weight and dignity to the administration of Equity

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I have the honour to be,

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My Lord, -t. Your Lordship’s most obedient servant,

WILLIAM HAYES. MIDDLE T

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EMPLE,

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