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must be deemed in law an incumbrance.” Prescott v. Trueman, 4 Mass. 627, 629.
Words sounding in covenant only may operate by way of grant of an easement, wherever it is necessary to give them that effect in order to carry out the manifest intention of the parties. Bro. Ab. Covenant, 2. Holms v. Seller, 3 Lev. 305 ; Rowbotham v. Wilson, 8 H. L. Cas. 348; Greene v. Creighton, 7 R. I. 1; Norfleet v. Cromwell, 64 No. Car. 1.
In order to make a covenant run with the land of the covenantor and Eind his heirs and assigns, the covenantee must, according to all the authorities, have such an interest in that land as to amount to a privity of estate between the parties to the covenant. In this Commonwealth, At least, it is not necessary that their relation should be that of landTord and tenant; but an interest in the nature of an easement in the land which the covenant purports to bind, whether already existing, or created by the very deed which contains the covenant, constitutes a stifficient privity of estate to make the burden of a covenant to do certa i n acts upon that land, for the support and protection of that interest an cl the beneficial use and enjoyment of the land granted, run with the lana d charged. And an obligation, duly expressed, that the structures up on one parcel of land shall forever be of a certain character for the berefit of an adjoining parcel, is equally a charge upon the first parcel, FlL ether the obligation is affirmative or merely restrictive, and whether the affirmative acts necessary to carry the obligation into effect are to be done by the owner of the one or the owner of the other.
In Hurd v. Curtis, 19 Pick. 459, several owners of mills drawing water from the same stream by means of one dam, for themselves, their heirs, administrators and assigns, mutually covenanted with each other, that each of the mills should have wheels of a certain construction and limited power; and a party to the indenture brought an action on this coven ant against a subsequent purchaser of some of the mills who was not laimself a party to the indenture. Mr. Justice Wilde very clearly stated the rule, as follows: “ As there is no privity of contract between the plaintiff and the defendants, it follows that the defendants are not liable in this action, unless there is a privity of estate between them. Where such a privity exists between the covenantor and the covenantee, and the covenantor assigns his estate, the privity thereby created between the assignee and the other contracting parties renders the former liable on all such covenants as regulate the mode of occupying the estate, and the like covenants concerning the same. And so if the covenantee assigns his estate, his assignee will have the benefit of similar covenants. These covenants are annexed to the land and run with it. But if there is no privity of estate between the contracting parties, the assignee will not be bound by, nor have the benefit of, any covenants between the contracting parties, although they may relate to the land he takes by assignment or purchase from one of the parties to the contract. In such a case, the covenants are personal and are collateral to solely because there was no privity of estate between the covenanting parties, but their estates were several, and there was, upon the true construction of the peculiar terms of that indenture, no grant of any interest in the real estate of either party, to which the covenants could be annexed.
-" And it was held that the action could not be maintained,
So in Plymouth v. Carver, 16 Pick. 183, land was conveyed upon condition that the grantees should become bound by sufficient bond to make and maintain a portion of the highway passing by the land ; and the grantees gave bond accordingly, for themselves, their heirs, esecutors, administrators and assigns. This bond was held not to be a covenant running with the land, because the only condition in the deed was, that the grantees should give bond to maintain the highway, and upon their giving such a bond the estate vested in them absolutely, and the grantor had no longer any interest in the land, and no right or estate therein was conveyed by them to him, so that there was no privity of estate between the parties to the covenant, and no land with which the covenant could run; and the bond was but a personal obligation of the obligors, not subjecting the land which had been conveyed to them in any other
any of their estate might be liable to the performance of their personal covenants or obligations.
In Wheelock v. Thuyer, 16 Pick. 68, the action was against the original covenantor, and the question was whether, in a grant of a privilege of drawing water from a pond, a covenant respecting the same would support an action by an assignee of the grantee; and it was held that it would not, for the reason that it was a mere covenant in gross, and not for the benefit of any land of the covenantee, and therefore not assignable.
In Morse v. Aldrich, 19 Pick. 449, and 1 Met. 544, the owner of a tract of land and a mill-pond conveyed a portion of both by metes and bounds, with liberty to enter upon the rest to dig and carry away the whole or any part of the soil. After the grantee had conveyed the same premises to the plaintiff, the original grantor, by indenture with the plaintiff, covenanted to draw off his pond six days in August and September in each year, upon the plaintiff's request, for the purpose of giring the plaintiff an opportunity of digging and carrying out mud from the pond. The covenantor died and his estate descended to his heirs, of whom one conveyed his share to the others. It was held that, this covenant being made for the purpose of securing to the plaintiff the full benefit of the land granted to him, and there being a privity of estate in the rest of the land between the parties to the covenant at the time it was made, it ran with the land ; and that the heirs and assigns of the covenantor, though not named, were liable to an action thereon for neglecting to draw off the pond after being requested so to do.
But perhaps the strongest case in this court in favor of the position that the clause in question in Coffin's deed was strictly a covenant running with the adjoining lands is Savage v. Mason, 3 Cush. 500. In that case, an indenture of partition between the owners in common of
a large tract of land contained mutual covenants, which it was expressly declared should be binding upon and be available to heirs and assignees, and should be deemed perpetual and fundamental, and to run with the land thereby divided. One of these covenants was, that the Centre of party walls of every brick or stone building might be placed apon the lines dividing the lots from contiguous lots, and that the owner of such contiguous lots, whenever he should make use of the -ame in any building, should pay for one half of the wall by him so Ised. A lot set off to one of the parties to the indenture was conveyed of his heirs to persons who afterwards conveyed it to another person, the entered and took possession and built a brick dwelling-house
hereon, and placed the centre of the party wall of one side thereof upon the line dividing this lot from the contiguous lot, and then conleged the lot with the dwelling-house thereon to persons who again con veyed to the plaintiffs. The contiguous lot was set off by the partition to another of the parties to the indenture, and upon his death anci a division of his estate, to the defendant as one of his heirs, and wli i le he owned it and after all the conveyances above mentioned, a brick dwelling-house was erected thereon, in which the party wall built by the owner of the plaintiffs' lot was used ; and the plaintiffs after de
nd sued him upon the covenant for half of the value of the wall. Upc on these facts, it will be observed that by the indenture the entire fee In the defendant's lot had vested in his ancestor, leaving no revergion in the other parties to the indenture, under whom the plaintiffs claimed; that the plaintiffs did not themselves build the party wall in question; that the defendant did not acquire his title until after the walls had been built, and did not use the wall until after the plaintiffs had acquired their title ; that the only privity of estate between the parties consisted in the mutual right and obligation created by the same instrument which contained the covenant sued on, to have the division wall stand half on each lot, and to contribute to the expense thereof; and that the obligation sought to be enforced against the defendan t was an affirmative covenant to pay money. The court gave judgment for the plaintiffs, saying : “ The liability to perform, and the right to take advantage of this covenant, both pass to the heir or assignee of the land to which the covenant is attached. This covenant can by no means be considered as merely personal, collateral and detached from the land. There was a privity of estate between the covenanting parties in the land to which the covenant was annexed. The covenant is in terms between the parties and their respective heirs and assigns ; it has direct and immediate reference to the land; it relates to the mode of occupying and enjoying the land; it is beneficial to the owner as owner, and to no other person ; it is in truth inherent in and attached to the land, and necessarily goes with the land into the hands of the heir or assignee.” The decision was thus put upon the ground of a privity of estate between the owners of the two lots, created by the in
Eself, and sufficient to support the covenant to pay for half of
the wall as strictly a covenant running with the land; and not upon the theory (since applied in Maine v. Cumston, 98 Mass. 317, to the case of a similar agreement not under seal) that the person erecting the wall. and his assigns, had by virtue of the indenture a property in the whole wall until it was used by the owner of the adjoining lot in building thereon, and the right then to recover from him a proportion of the cost of the wall. The covenant to maintain a fence in the case at bar falls within the reason of the decision in Savage v. Mason.
The same doctrine was long ago recognized in Holmes v. Buckley, reported in Pre. Ch. 39, and 1 Eq. Cas. Ab. 27, and cited as undoubted law upon this point by Lord St. Leonards in Sugd. Vend. (14th ed.) 593, in which a covenant, in a grant of a watercourse, to clear it and keep it in repair, was held to be a covenant running with land of the grantor through which the watercourse passed. See also Van Rensselaer v. Read, 26 N. Y. 558, 574–577; Woodruff v. Trenton Water Power Co., 2 Stockt. 489 ; Carr v. Lovry, 27 Penn. State, 257.
In the general definitions of easements in the text-books, it is, indeed, sometimes said that they consist either in suffering something to be done, or in abstaining from doing something, upon the servient tenement. 3 Kent Com. (6th ed.) 419; Washburn on Easements (2d ed.) 4, 5; Gale on Easements (4th ed.) 5. But the obligation to maintain a fence by prescription or agreement is classed by the same writers with easements, though Mr. Gale calls it a “ spurious easement,” and one of his editors a right in the nature of an easement.” 3 Kent Com. 438; Washburn on Easements, 524 ; Gale on Easements, 117, 460, 487, 488, 524 note. See also Hunt on Boundaries and Fences (2d ed.) 49, 51, 99.
In England, it has been well settled from very early times, and never denied, that an obligation of the owner of land to fence against land adjoining may be established by prescription, and if so established is a charge upon his land. Had this not been so, the point, formerly much mooted, whether such a charge was extinguished by unity of possession and title of the two closes, could not have arisen. Fitz. N. B. 128 note ; Anon. Dyer, 295 b; Sury v. Pigot, Pop. 166, 170, 172 ; s. c. Noy, 84; Latch. 153, 154; Polus v. Henstock, 1 Ventr. 97; s. c. 2 Keb. 686, 707; T. Raym. 192; Star v. Rookesby, 1 Salk. 335; Vin. Ab. Fences, pl. 164, 166 ; Boyle v. Tamlyn, 9 D. & R. 430; s. c. 6 B. & C. 329; Barber v. Whiteley, 34 L. J. N. S. Q. B. 212. In Boyle v. Tamlyn, Mr. Justice Bailey said : “ Such a right to have fences repaired by the owner of adjoining lands is in the nature of a grant of a distinct easement, affecting the land of the grantor.” 9 D. & R. 437, and 6 B. & C. 338, 339. And Justices Littledale and Holroyd appear to have concurred in his view. 9 D. & R. 439, 440.
In Massachusetts, the doctrine has always been recognized, that the owner or occupier of land may be bound by prescription to a more er: tensive obligation to keep up and repair the division fences that would be imposed upon him by the common law or by the Statutes of the Com
monwealth. Rust v. Love, 6 Mass. 90, 94, 97; 2 Dane Ab. 659, 660: Vinor v. Deland, 18 Pick. 266, 267; Thayer v. Arnold, 4 Met. 589, 5 90. In Binney v. Hull, 5 Pick. 503, 506, it was adjudged that the owner of one of two adjoining lots of land might be bound by prescription to maintain the fence between them; and Chief Justice Parker s poke of the right to have him do so, as an easement in his land.
In the Court of Appeals of New York, Chief Justice Denio assumed,
settled beyond question, that there might be a valid prescription by which the owner of land might become bound to maintain perpetually
whole of the division fence between his and the adjoining land; and Faid that he did not entertain any doubt “ but that, when such pretription is established, it fastens itself upon the land charged with the burden and in favor of the tenements benefited by it.” Adams v. Van Als tyne, 25 N. Y. 232, 235. And in two cases in inferior courts in that State covenants to erect and keep in repair division fences have been de e med covenants running with the land and binding the assigns of the Covenantor.
Blain v. Taylor, 19 Abbott Pract. 228. Duffy v. New York & Harlem Railroad Co., 2 Hilton, 496.
In Easter v. Little Miami Railroad Co., 14 Ohio State, 48, after a careful review of the leading cases in this Commonwealth and elsewhe ere, a positive opinion was expressed that, in a deed to a railroad
Poration of a right of way over land of the grantor on which its track had been laid out, a covenant that the grantor, his heirs and assigns, would build and forever keep up a fence on each side thereof through the grantor's land, was a covenant running with that land ; and it was held, that an assignee of that land was so far bound thereby that he could derive no advantage from its breach.
The only difference of opinion manifested in the cases cited at the bar, as to the operation of an agreement to build a fence, by way of charging the land with the obligation, has been where it expressed the undertaking of the grantee in a deed poll. If a grantee accepts such a deed, a promise binding himself and his representatives personally is doubtless implied. Minor v. Deland, 18 Pick. 266; Newell v. Hill, 2 Met. 180. But in Parish v. Whitney, 3 Gray, 516, it was held that such a clause, even if purporting to bind the grantee's heirs and assigns, was not a covenant in any sense, and did not create an incumbrance
the land. If that decision can be supported, it must be as falling within the rules that no easement in or right affecting real estate can be created by contract of the party, except by deed, and that an agreement not sealed by the party who is to perform it cannot create a covenant or run with the land.
Dyer v. Sanford, 9 Met. 395; Goddard v. Dakin, 10 Met. 94; Morse v. Copeland, 2 Gray, 302 ; Maine v. Cumston, 98 Mass. 317, 320; Wright v. Wright, 21 Conn. 329, 312 ; Standen v. Chrismas, 10 Q. B. 135; Bickford v. Parson, 5 C. B. 920. On the other hand, it has been held in Vermont and New Hampshire,
a promise by the grantee in a deed poll, for the benefit of the land of the grantor, who retained no other interest in the land
that such adjoining