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No estate XIV. And be it further enactel, by the authority atail shall be
foresaid, That it shall not be lawful for any person or defeasible, except only persons whatsoever, at any time to levy any fine, or to by act of As- suffer any recovery to be had, whereby to cut off or embly.
defeat any estate in fee tail, general or special, of or in any lands, tenements, or hereditaments, within this colony, neither shall any such estate tail be cut off, or defeated, by any ways or means whatsoever, except only by act of the General Assembly of this dominioll, for the time being, in such particular case respectively to be had and made: And all and every fine and fines, recovery and recoveries, and every other act and acts, thing and things, whatsoever, which shal! be levied, made, suffered, done, performed, or executed, for and towards the cutting off, or defeating any estate tail whatsoever, except such as shall be found under the value herein after limited, otherwise than by act of Assembly as aforesaid, shall be adjudged. deemed, and taken, and are hereby declared to be null and void, to all intents and purposes.
XV. But forasmuch as many pour people are seised in fee-tail of small and inconsiderable parcels of land, often ignorantly or undesignedly by their ancestors devised in tail, and the docking such intails by easier methods will be a great relief to such persons, and their families, who otherwise must be confined to labour upon such small parcels of lands, when by selling them they might be enabled to purchase slaves, and other lands more improveable;
XVI. Be it therefore further enacted, by the authori. But where
ty aforesaid, That it shall and may be lawful to and such estate shall not ex. for any person or persons, seised in fee-tail general or ceed the va- special, of or in any lands, tenements, or hereditalue of 2001, ments, within this colony and dominion, not exceeding sterling, ten the value of two hundred pounds sterling, and not be ant in tail may have a ing parcel of, or contiguous to other intailed lands of writ of ad
the same party, to sue out from the secretary's office a quod dam- writ in the nature of an ad quod damnum, to the sheriff num.
of the county where such intailed lands lie, commanding him to enquire, by the oath of good and lawful men of his county, of the value of such lands, and whether they be parcel of or contiguous to other intailed lands, as aforesaid; and the better to enable the jury to judge of the value of such lands, the surveyor of the county shall, in their presence, survey the bounds and givo the jury an account of the naniber of acres con- Method of tained in the said survey, and where the tenant in pos- executing R
returningthe session shall not, at the time of the survey, have issue writ. capable of inheriting the said lands, and there be a re- Heir in remainder limited over, the person next in remainder, if mainder mag
attend thc of age, shall have notice of such survey, and if under
survey. age, the guardian, or next friend, that he may attend and see that the valuation is fairly made: And such sheriff shall return bis inquisition to the said office: And if the said lands shall be found not to exceed the
And then value aforesaid, and to be a separate parcel, as afore- such estate said, then a deed of bargain and sale, reciting the ti. may be sold tle, and such inquisition, wherein a valuable conside-to any pur.
chaser in fee ration shall be expressed, and bona fide paid, acknow- simple. ledged, or proved by three witnesses, before the General Court, within eight months after the date thereof, and recorded, shall be sufficient in law to pass the fee simple estate of such lands to the purchaser or purchasers thereof; and the issue in tail of the vendor, and all other persons in remainder, or reversion, shall Heir in rev
ersion or re be barred, in the same manner as the same estate mainder barmight be barred, by fine and recovery, according to red. the laws of England.
XVII. And that where any such dceds have been confirmation heretofore made and acknowledged, or proved in the of deeds for General Court, according to the direction, true intent heretofore and meaning of the laws then in force, the same made. shall be sufficient in law to pass the fee simple estate of the lands thereby conveyed to the purchaser or purchasers, and to barr the intail thereof, in the same manner as if such laws had not been repealed or altered; and where such deeds have been acknowledged, or proved in the county court, and afterwards recordcd in the General Court, the same shall be as good and available in law to pass the fee simple estate of the But all sucha lands therein mentioned, as if the acknowledgment or deeds here.
after must be proof had been made in the General Court: But no
acknowledgsuch deed of bargain and sale, hereafter to be made ed, or prov. or executed, shall be admitted to record, unless the ed, and resame be acknowledged or proved before the General corded in
the general Court, in the manner and within the time by this act
court. required. And for the better avoiding of suits,
XVIII. Be it further enacted, by the authority afore. Limitation şaid, That all writs of formedon in descender, remain- of actions der, or reverter, of any lands, tenements, or heredi, real,
'ments whatsoever, hereafter to be brought upon any title or cause heretofore accrued, or which may hereafter fall or accrue, shall be sued out within twenty years next after such title or cause of action accrued, and not afterwards; and that no person or persons who now hath, or have, or hereafter may have, any right or title of entry into any lands, tenements, or hereditaments, shall make any entry but within twenty years next after such right or title accrued, and such per.
son shall be barred from any entry afterwards. Exception.
XIX. Provided nevertheless, That if any person or persons intituled to such writ or writs, or to such right or title of entry as aforesaid, shall be or were under the age of one and twenty years, feme-covert, non compos mentis, imprisoned, or not within this colony, at the time of such right or title accrued, or coming to them, every such person and his or her beirs shall and may, notwithstanding the said twenty years are or shall be expired, bring and maintain his action, or make his entry, within ten years next after such disabilities removed, or the death of the person so disabled, and not afterwards.
XX. And be it further enacted, by the authority aRules in writs of
foresaiil, That in all writs of right, and other actions right.
possessory, any person may maintain a writ of right upon the possession or seisin of his ancestor, or predecessor, within fifty years, or any other possessory action
upon the possession or seisin of his or her ancestor, or predecessor, within forty years, next before the teste of the writ: But no person shall maintain a real action upon his own possession or seisin but within
thirty years next before the teste of the writ. And process
XXI. And that the process in all real actions shall in real ac. be the same as is used, and have the same effect as in tions.
England, except that the returns shall be according to the laws of this colony, but that all essoins, views, and vouchers be, and are hereby taken away; and after one imparlance, unless the tenant shall plead nonenurr, joint-tenancy, or several tenancy, in abatoment, and then after such plea shall be overruled, he shall put himself upon the grand assize, and the mise shall be joined upon the mere right, and be tried at the next court by sixteen jurors, to be summoned tried and sworn as in all other actions; and to remove all delays and groundless pretences, in saving the do
fault of the tenant, no excuse shall be admitted but non summons, and such excuse being allowed, he may imparle, and at the next court shall either plead in abatement, or put himself upon the grand assize, as aforesaid.
XXII. And forasmuch as the rights and titles to lands within this colony originally depended upon, or are derived from patents granted for the same, to prevent all controversies concerning the validity of such patents, as have been formerly issued, but are not found among the records in the secretary's office, or not recorded, or for which no rights have been obtained in the manner prescribed by law.
XXIII. Be it further enacted, by the authority afore- Confirmation sid,, That all patents for any lands within this colony, of patents granted before the first day of June, in the year of our granted be. lord one thousand seven hundred and ten, by the
fore June 1, go
1710, vernor or commander in chief of this dominion, for the time being, shall be held, deemed and taken, and are hereby declared to be, to all intents constructions and purposes, as firm valid and available in law, to convey and assure the lands therein granted to such person and persons respectively, as the same shall have been granted unto, and to their heirs and assigns forever, as if such patents had been duly recorded, and as if the rights had been paid for the same.
XXIV. And that when any patent for land shall be Patents to be passed, the secretary of this dominion, for the time recorded. being, shall cause the same to be recorded in his office.
XXV. And whereas by a proviso in every patent for land the patentee is obliged, within three years next after the date of his patent, to seat plant and cultivate the lands so to him granted: For the better explanation thereof,
XXVI. Be it further enacted, by the authority a- Surplus land foresaid, That it upon any new survey of lands before shall be gran
granted to any person, a greater quantity of land shall ted to the be found within the bounds expressed in the patent, his assigns.
patentee, or than therein is mentioned and set down, it shall be lawful for the proprietor and possessor of such land, for the time being, to sue forth a new patent for the same lands, wherein the just quantity of land shall be more exactly expressed, yet nevertheless such per
E 3-Vol. 5.
But no new son shall not be obliged to any new seating, planting, seating re
or cultivation, notwithstanding such proviso in his new quired.
patent. Double pa
XXVII. And that where any person hath beretotents corfir- fore taken up any tract or parcel of land, adjoining to med without other lands, in his or her possession, and shall have bew seating
obtained a patent for the same, commonly called a double patent, wherein both tracts are joined, in such case all such patents shall be and are hereby declared to be good and available in law, to confirm the same to such patentee, and those claiming under him or her, being in possession thereof, and to his and her heirs for ever, without any new seating or planting, notwith
standing the proviso aforesaid. Improve. XXVIII. And that if any person who now is or ments on any hereafter shall be possessed of any tract of land which extend tothe ought to be seated, planted, cultivated, and improved, whole. according to the directions of this act, shall be desi
rous to take up one or more tracts of land, adjoining, and shall include all the said tracts in one patent, such lands shall be accounted as one entire tract, and any improvements which shall thereafter be made, according to the directions of this act, on any part of the said tracts, shall be held, deemed, and taken, to extend towards saving of the whole, in proportion to such im
provements made thereon. Patenteefail- XXIX. And that where any person heretofore hath, ing to pay, or hereafter shall obtain a patent, for any lands within &c, or topay this colony, and shall fail to seat and plant, or cultivate as by this act and improve the same, or to pay the quit-rents thererequired, lo- of, according to the proviso and condition of his pases his land, tent, and the particular directions of this act, every and rights such patentee shall not only lose the land so to him or also.
her granted, but shal) also lose all benefit of the rights
upon which he or she obtained such patent. Lands shall XXX. And be it further enacted, by the authority not be lapsed aforesaid, That no patent shall be granted to any after thedate person or persons for any tract or parcel of land, as
jost and forfeited for want of seating and planting, or of the patent or 'till 3years for non payment of the quit rents, until three years quit-rents shall be expired, from and after the date of the patent are arrear.
grantrei for the same, or unless there shall be three Nor without judgment of years quit-rents in arrear, neither shall any patent be the General granted by reason of such forfeiture, until judgment Court and certificate thereof obtained from the General