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for his property, it often happens that, such as it is, it is in a form which makes it liable either to depredation or waste.

It may consist of commercial securities, which exact early realization, or it may be cash and personal effects, which lie at the mercy of a dishonest landlord.

Under such circumstances as these the following consequences will constantly occur : the estate is lost, wasted, or stolen, and the British creditor and foreign heir are alike defrauded. But these consequences are as contrary to that comity which a nation should show nations, its friends, as they are opposed to that care of its own subjects which is the aim of all political government.

We have intimated that our system of law has not provided a remedy for this state of evil ; and it is so, though at the same time it is true that occasionally and spasmodically something has been done or attempted in practice to arrest these mischiefs.

The case of Gudolle, deceased, decided long since by Sir John Nicholl, and reported in Mr. Coote’s Common Form Practice of the Court of Probate, will give us the best idea of what the old Prerogative Court thought itself able to do in these cases.

There a foreigner had died in this country, away from his relatives, possessed of certain bills of exchange upon English merchants. Sir John Nicholl, under the pressure of the circumstances, granted administration to an English friend or acquaintance of the deceased, who had procured the bills to be accepted, and had paid certain necessary expenses of the deceased, “ limited to the sums due and to become due upon the bills of exchange, and after the administrator should have reimbursed himself the money which he had expended on behalf of the deceased, and also the expenses of the application to the Court, to invest the balance in his own name in Government securities, and to keep it invested until a general representation should be effected to the deceased."

There are great and obvious defects in such a grant of administration as this. In the first place, there is the primary

defect of granting administration to a mere private person, without choice or discrimination, because he has the earliest information, and is the first to apply for it. In the second place, the mistake is committed of giving to the applicant's debt or claim, whatever it be, a preference that the law does not necessarily accord to it.

It is impossible for the Court, under such circumstances, to know whether it grants to an honest man or a trickster. It takes the applicant at his own word, and upon his own showing, and it has no alternative between acquiescence and refusal. If it comply with his prayer, it may make the very serious

, mistake of sacrificing the interests of foreign heirs beyond all hope of remedy. If it withhold its consent, and refuse to grant administration, it may totally sacrifice the interests of both the heir and the honest creditor, by exposing bona peritura to certain loss.

This is the dilemma which the judicial mind of the present Judge of the Probate Court has lately noted; and for this double and inevitable evil he has proposed a remedy as easy as it is sufficient. The suggestion was made by him in the course of last Michaelmas term, in the case of one Wyckoff, deceased.

In this case an American belonging to one of the Confederate States had died on board an English vessel, during his passage to this country. He had in his possession certain bills of exchange, payable to his order here. He had no relatives in this couutry, and all communication between his fami and England was stopped by Mr. Lincoln's blockade.

In hearing an application from a person whose interest was much the same as that of the grantee in Gudolle's case, Sir Cresswell Cresswell had, on the first occasion, thrown out a suggestion that the Queen's proctor should take administration to this foreigner. This offer had been declined, though it does not appear why, and Sir Cresswell Cresswell afterwards, in giving judgment, expressed his embarrassment at the refusal, and observed, by way of comment upon it, “ In all cases of this sort it is better that there should be some public officer. We might have a scramble between different individuals ; some might get one part of the property and others another part of it, and they might all say, - Make me the administrator,' whereas here is the Queen's proctor a responsible party.”

This, like other suggestions of Sir Cresswell Cresswell, displays the acumen and judgment which are the characteristics of that eminent judge, and we regret that the coyness of the Crown officer should have thrown impediments in the way of establishing a new and legitimate practice; but we trust that when another case of the like nature shall occur, the modesty of the Crown officer will have disappeared, and that he will yield to the recommendation of the judge, and consent to do a public service, even though it be accompanied by private emolument.

In regard to the suggested practice, there is, as we have intimated, very much to be said à priori in its favour, but this mode of demonstration is wholly unnecessary, for it has already had, during a long flux of time, the confirmatory support of experience upon a large scale in another part of the British dominions. In the Presidencies of India a similar practice has been established for the period of a century. In each Presidency there is found an Administrator-General, whose duties are to collect and secure the hæreditates jacentes of Englishmen and others who die in India.

The old law upon this subject underwent a revision a years ago, and the existing regulations are to be found in the Act No. 8, of 1855. As this statute is little known in this country, we will extract such of its provisions as are generally applicable to the matters we have been discussing.

By the first section of this Act, an Administrator-General is appointed to each of the three Presidencies.

By the seventh section, every such Administrator is required to give security for the due execution of his office in the amount of two lakhs of Rupees.

By the eighth section, he is released from having to enter into administration bonds.

The ninth section enacts, that any letters of administration or letters ad colligenda bona, which shall be granted by the Supreme Court of Judicature at any of the Presidencies, shall be granted to the Administrator-General, unless they shall be granted to the next of kin of the deceased, and declares that the Administrator-General of the Presidencies shall be deemed to have a right to letters of administration in preference to that of any person merely on the ground of his being a creditor or friend of the deceased.

The eleventh section provides, that if any person, not being a Mahomedan or Hindoo, shall have died, and shall, if a British subject, have left assets exceeding the value of five hundred Rupees within any of the Presidencies, or any of the provinces or places subject thereto, or shall, if not a British subject, have left personal assets exceeding five hundred Rupees within the local limits of the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court

of the Presidencies, and no person shall, within a month after his death, have applied for probate of a will, or for any letters of administration of his estate, the AdministratorGeneral of the Presidency is required to take administration of the effects of such person.

The twelfth and fourteenth sections empower the Supreme Court to grant administration to the Administrator-General in all cases where the deceased's assets are in danger of misappropriation or waste.

These regulations form a jus et norma for ourselves also, if the necessity for the introduction of such a practice be equally demonstrable. This necessity, however, is just as cogent where the like circumstances exist, whether they occur occasionally only, as in this country, or constantly, as in India. In the interest of society, here equally as in India, care should be taken to preserve the helpless estate of a deceased, whenever circumstances tend to its jeopardy or destruction, and the propriety and justice of an early discharge of pressing claims

at any


upon it, is in the same interest equally undeniable, while as regards the property of foreigners, the feeling of the comitas gentium should impel our Courts to adopt some such system for its protection as exists in most other countries of Europe.


IT is time that some special notice should be taken of one

whose name is so widely known, and whose influence even in this country is so important, but as to whose character and history nothing has yet been laid before the English public. We propose, without attempting at present a full examination or criticism of his works, to give such an account of Savigny and of his opinions as our materials will permit.

Friedrich Carl von Savigny was descended from a family which took its name from the Castle of Savigny, near Charmes, in the valley of the Moselle. The Sieurs de Savigny are often named in the ancient records of Lorraine, and even in the Chronicles of the Crusaders, Andrew de Savigny (wrongly written Chavegni; Chavigny, &c.) having fought by the side of Richard of England against Saladin. When the Duchy of Lorraine began to break up, at the time of the Thirty Years' War, the family of Savigny adhered to Germany along with the reigning house, and thus escaped the annexation to France, which the gradual decomposition of the State slowly but surely brought about. In 1630, Paul von Savigny became attached to the princely house of Leiningen-Westerburg, served in the armies of France and Sweden, then the defenders of German Protestantism, acquired property at Calestadt, on German soil, and was buried in 1685 at Kirchheim, in Alt-Leiningen. In France the family was now regarded as extinct. Savigny's great-grandfather, the son of this Paul,

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