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tion, except that of leasing. In the exercise of this
power, they are placed under considerable restrictions
by the legislature, of which an account will be given Ch. 5.
hereafter. Incumbents of livings are however per-
mitted and enabled, by the statute, 17 Geo. III. c. 53.
and 21 Geo. III. c. 66. to raise money by mortgage for
repairing or building houses.

11. By the statute 55 Geo. III. c. 147, every parson, vicar, or otherincumbent of any ecclesiastical benefice, is enabled to exchange parsonage houses and glebe lands, with the consent of the patron and bishop, for other houses and lands; and also to purchase lands to be annexed to such benefices as glebe land thereof; and by mortgage of their tithes, rents, and other profits, to raise money for such purchases.

12. All agreements and deeds made by infants, from Infants. which no apparent benefit can arise to them, are either absolutely void or voidable ; that is, the law allows the infant, when he comes of age, either to ratify and confirm, or else to avoid them. And where it is held that the deeds of infants are not void, but voidable, the meaning is, that non est factum cannot be pleaded ; because they have the form, though not the opera

3 Mod. 310. tion of deeds: they are not therefore void on that account, without showing some special matter to render them so.

13. Whatever an infant is bound and compellable to do at law, the same shall bind him although he does it without suit: Therefore where an infant reconveyed lands, which had been mortgaged to his father, the mortgage money having been paid off, the conveyance was held good.

14. A person conveyed the lands in question to Zouch v. W. Cooke and his heirs, by way of mortgage : Cooke Parsons,

3 Burr, 1794. afterwards died, leaving J. L. Cooke, an infant, his Vol. IV.



heir : the mortgage money was paid off, and the infant joined with his father's executor in conveying the mortgaged premises to a new mortgagee. It was resolved by the Court of King's Bench, that the infant was bound by this conveyance, because it could never operate to his prejudice, and he was compellable to convey.

15. By the statute 17 Geo. III. c. 26. it is enacted, that all contracts for the purchase of any annuity, with an infant, shall be utterly void ; any attempt to confirm the same, after such person shall

have attained the age of 21 years, notwithstanding. Marriage 16. Contracts entered into by female infants, in Contracts by consideration of marriage, are more favoured than Infants. others. A female being capable of contracting mar

riage long before the age of twenty-one, she ought to be permitted to bind herself by the other parts of the contract; for as soon as the marriage is had, the principal contract is executed, and cannot be set aside; the estate and capacities of the parties are altered ; the children born of the marriage become interested. It has therefore been truly observed, that marriage contracts ought not to be hastily rescinded, because

the interests of third persons would be affected. Cannell v. 17. Lord Macclesfield has said, that if a female Buckle, 2 P.

infant, on a marriage, with the consent of her guar. dians, should covenant, in consideration of a settlement, to convey an inheritance to her husband ; if this were done in consideration of a competent settlement, equity would execute the agreement, although no action would lie at law to recover

damages. Harvey v. Lord Hardwicke, after citing this passage, says Ashley, 3 Atk. 615. -" This is going a great way, as it related to the

inheritance of the wife ; but yet there are cases where

Wms. 243.

the Court will do it: as if the lands of the wife were no more than an adequate consideration for the settlement that the husband makes ; and after the marriage the wife should die and leave issue, who would be entitled to portions, provided for them by the settlement; it would in that case be very reasonable to affirm that settlement." 18. In a case where a bill was filed for a specific Purnford v.

Lane, 1 Bro, execution of articles, entered into by a female infant, R. 106. respecting her real estate, previous to and in consideration of marriage, Lord Thurlow is reported to have said " To decree a specific performance of the articles, the Court must carry the principle to this length, that a wife making a wise settlement in her infancy, on the marriage, without any estate settled on the other side, is bound by the agreement; and that even if the husband had died, she must have been bound. I cannot think an infant, only covenanting as to her estate, can be bound. If she is so at all, it must be by reference to her marriage. Nobody has yet said that merely by its being upon marriage, she is bound; but it is said that upon a competent settlement, she would be bound. I think the Court should not go into the competence of the settlement. I must lay down, that every settlement shall be considered as good, till shown to be fraudulent. The cases have not gone so far, nor does my opinion. If she had a settlement from her husband, and after his death, she had taken possession of it, I think she would be bound by the equity arising from her own act. I say this in deference to Cannel v. Buckle, and Harvey v. Ashley. I think she ante, ø 17. is not bound, unless she has availed herself of the settlement of the husband. In this opinion, I cannot

say the whole property is bound, or decree the articles to be specifically performed.”

19. Lord Thurlow adhered to this opinion in the

following case. Clough v. A bill was brought on behalf of the infant children Clough, 3 Woodison,

of the marriage, after the husband's death, against 453.

his widow; praying that marriage articles might be 4 Bro. R. 510.

established and specifically performed, entered into before marriage by Patty Clough the widow, while an infant, and her guardian, for settling her estate, and lands of her husband, as therein mentioned. She, by her answer, insisted that she had done nothing after her full age to affirm the articles, therefore that her estates were not thereby bound; waiving any right under the same in the lands of her late husband. The decree declared that her estate was not bound by the marriage articles; and the bill was dismissed

without costs. May v. Hook, 20. It follows that a deed executed by a female Tit. 18. c. 2. $18.

infant, though in consideration of marriage, does not bind her, unless she assents to it after the death of her husband. The acceptance of a jointure may at

first sight appear to form an exception to this rule. Tit. 7. c. 1. But it has been shown that a woman is not barred

of dower by a jointure in consequence of any agree

ment of her’s; but by force of the statute. 3 Atk. 613. 21. Lord Hardwicke has said that a female infant

may enter into an agreement before marriage re

specting her personal estate, which will bind her : Vide 1 Bro. for such agreement must be in some way beneficial R. 111.

to her, as otherwise her husband would be entitled

to it. By Male 22. Though a male infant cannot in general affect lafants.

his estate by any deed executed by him in conside

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ration of marriage * ; yet where a male infant married an adult female, who covenanted that her estate should be limited to certain uses, he was held to be bound by such covenant,

23. A male infant married an adult female, who Slocomb v. covenanted that her estate should be settled to certain 2 Bro.'rt

Glubb, uses. Upon a bill filed by the trustees of the settle- 545. ment, to have it carried into execution by the husband and wife, the husband insisted that, being an infant when he executed the settlement, he was not bound by it. Lord Thurlow said, if a woman before marriage conveys her property, and agrees to settle her general expectations, when they shall fall in, and this be done without any fraud upon the intended husband, such an agreement must be executed; and the husband, when of age, must answer for her contract. It was not therefore necessary to discuss the other question, how far the infant husband could be bound by his own contract; for he went upon the covenant of the wife, who was adult. The husband's covenant operated no more than to show his concurrence, and to take away every imputation of fraud from the transaction.

24. By the statute 7 Ann. c. 19. it is enacted, that Infant Trusall infant trustees and mortgagees shall be compel- tees may

convey. lable to make such conveyances and assurances as the Court of Chancery or Exchequer shall direct; which shall be as good and effectual in law, as if the said infants were of full age. But in such cases the 10 Ves. 554. necessary costs of the infant will be allowed by the Court.

* Vide Hollingshead v. Hollingshead, cited 2 P, Wms. 229. , Where a covenant by a male infant, to execute a power of appointing a jointure, was held good.

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