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rejected, for finding, that he is an idiot, generally, is sufficient, and the addition will be surplusage. R. 3 Mod. 43.
If he be found an idiot and that he aliened, without saying, how, or for what estate, it is sufficient to give the custody of him and all his lands to the king. R. Ley. 25.
But before office the king cannot seize the lands of an idiot, or nonsane person. 4 Co. 127. a.
And no office can be found after his death. 4 Co. 127. a. .
So, a man, who takes upon him the care of a lunatick, &c. of his own head, shall be acountable as bailiff to him, his executors, or adminis. trators. 4 Co. 127. b. Vide Accompt, (A 3.)
[The committee of a lumatick cannot make a lease of the lunatick's lands by law. Knipe v. Palmer, T. 33 & 34 Geo. 2. 2 Wils. 130.]
And if he invests the personal estate of the lunatick in the purchase of land, it shall be distributed as personal estate, and not go to the . heir. R. 2 Ver. 192.
But if a man be found an idiot, &c. or non-sane, by inquisition and examination before the escheator, or sheriff, he may in person, or by his friends, come before the chancellor and king's counsel, and pray to be examined there. F. N. B. 283. St. Prær. R. 36. a.
And he may have a writ to bring him before the king's counsel. F. N. B. 233. St. Prær. R. 36. a.
And if he be found no idiot, the first inquisition before the sheriff, &c. though it be returned, shall be void without a traverse. F. N. B. 233. St. Prær. R. 36. a.
[By stat. 17 Geo. 2. c. 5. ss. 20. & 21. two justices may order a kinatick to be confined in any place in the county, if his settlement is in the county, if not, to send him to his settlement; the expences to be raised by warrant of two justices, by sale of his goods, or rents of his lands; and if he has not an estate to pay it, above what is sufficient to maintain his family, then by his parish : but this is not to abridge the king, chancellor, &c. nor the friends or relations.]
[By st. 14 Geo. 3. C. 49. mad-houses are regulated. None may keep more than one lunatick (except committed by chancellor) on pain of 5001. without annual licence from commissioners appointed by college of physicians, for seven miles round London, and by quarter sessions elsewhere.]
[No person to keep two houses; commissioners to visit houses once a year, or when required by chancellor or either chief justice, or when they think fit, and examine persons confined. Commissioner may, on application, inform a person applying of the name of a person confined, and where, and by whom. Keeper receiving a patient without order from physician, surgeon, or apothecary, or not sending notice to the secretary of the commissioners, in three days near London, or fourteen days elsewhere, forfeits 1001. This act gives no new justification, but all must be justified at common law.]
(D) Acts by a non-compos.
(D 1.) What are void.. All acts, which an idiot, or non-compos, can do, concern his life, his lands, or his goods. 4 Co. 124. a.
li [A] 3
By the civil law, all acts of a non-compos are void, without the assent of his tutor. 4 Co. 125. b.
By the common law, every disposition by will by a non-compos is void. Vide Devise, (H 1.)
So, a deed by a non-compos is void. Ca. Parl. 154. (a)
As, if a non-compos by deed surrender his estate for life, it will be void. R. Ca. Parl. 153. R. in B. R. and afterwards affirmed in parliament. 3 Mod. 310. Sal. 427. Comb. 438. 468. Ld. Raym. 813. p. c.
So, a grant of a rent-charge by a non-compos will be void. Ca. Parl. 153.
So, if a non-compos make a feoffment by letter of attorney, it will be void, as to all except himself. 4 Co. 125. a. (6)
Although it be reasonable, and for the benefit of his family. 2 Ver. 414.
[By st. 15 Geo. 2. c. 30. if lunatick under a commission, or whose person and estate by act of parliament is committed to the care of trustees, shall marry before declared of sane mind by the lord chans cellor, &c. or such trustees respectively, such marriage is void to all intents. This act was supposed, at the time, to be made on occasion of Mr. Newport, natural son to the late earl of Bradford, who had left him a very great fortune, with remainder to another person.]
(D 2.) What only voidable. But a feoffinent by a non-compos in person is only voidable. 4 Co. 125. a.
(D 3.) What he may do if he becomes sane. If a lunatick becomes of sane memory, he may afterwards make a feoffment, &c.
But if found a lunatick by commission, the chancery will direct, that in order to make a settlement he shall levy a fine in C. B. and it shall be tried upon issue there, whether he be compos. 1 Ver. 155. Vide Chancery, (3 Q).
(D 4.) How avoided :(c) — By the king upon office. If an idiot make a feoffinent or other conveyance of his lands and tenements, after office found, the king shall avoid them. St. Præ. R. 34. b. 35. b. 4 Co. 127. a.
So, if a lunatick, or other non-compos, make a feoffment, &c. upon office found it shall be avoided. 4 Co. 127. a. i Ca. Ch. 113.
And upon office it shall be avoided, as to the idiot or non-compos himself. Co. L. 247. a.
For after office upon a scire facias against the alien, the land shall be seised into the king's hands. 4 Co. 126. b.
And by such seizure the freehold is revested in the non-compos. 4 Co. 126. b.
(a) Ld. Raym. 513.
(c) A man who has been non-compos, cannot avoid any act done during his insanity, which was only voidable. Ld. Raym. 315, 316.
Or, it may be avoided upon an information by the attorney-general; as well as by scire facias. 1 Ca. Ch. 113. 153.
So, by office, his grant of a copyhold shall be avoided, though it cảnnot be seized by the king. 4 Co. 126. b.
So, after office, all gifts by him of his goods are avoided. 4 Co. 126. b.
And all bonds. 4 Co. 126. b.
And if he be afterwards sued upon such a bond or deed, so long as the office is in force, a supersedeas reciting the office may be sent to the justices. 4 Co. 126. b.
An office found as to an idiot relates to his nativity, and avoids all acts from that time. 4 Co. 126. b.
As to a lunatick, &c. it relates to the time when he is found to be Non-compos. i Ca. Ch. 113.
Yet, where the office has a retrospect, a purchaser shall be allowed to traverse. R. i Ca. Ch. 113.
(D 5.) By the heir. So, if there be an alienation by a non-compos in fee, in tail, for life, or years, his heir may avoid it by entry, if his entry be congeable. F. N. B. 202. F.
Or, if it be not congeable, by a writ of dum non fuit compos mentis. F. N. B. 202. F. Vide Dum fuit infra Ætatem (B).
The process in a dum non fuit compos mentis is the same as in a præcipe quod reddat, viz. summons, grand cape, and petit cape. F. N. B. 203. D.
So, the heir may avoid the alienation of his ancestor being non compos, by plea, as well as by entry, and writ of dum non fuit compos. Co. L. 247. b.
129Though ih hotad boy. Cro. El be aided here by Pew
(Đ 6.) When they shall not be avoided. But an idiot, or person non-sané, cannot himself have à dùm non fuit compos ; for he cannot stultify himself. Cont. F. N. B. 202. C. D. R. acc. 4 Co. 123. b. Semb. cont. Ca. Part. 153.
And therefore, a feoffment, release, or grant, cannot be avoided by a non-compos himself; for he cannot by plea disable himself. R. 4 Co. 123. b. Co. L. 247. a. b.
Though the feoffment was by attorney. 4 Co. 125. a.
So, to a bond by himself, he cannot plead, quod non fuit compos. R. 4 Co. 123. b. R. Cro. El. 398.
So, a non-compos shall not be aided by a court of equity, against an alienation which he himself carinot avoid by law. R. 4 Co. 124. a.
So, a feoffment, &c. by a non-compos shall never be avoided by a privy in estate, or tenure : and therefore, if a non-compos make a feoffment, and die without heir, the lord by escheat shall not avoid it. 4 Co. 124. a.
So, if a donee in tail make a féoffment, and die without issue, it shall not be avoided by him in reversion or remainder. 4 Co. 124. a: So, by the st. 4 Geo. 2. 10. idiot, lunatick, or non-compos, being a li [A] 4
trustee or morgagee, may, or his committee in his name by direction of lord chancellor, &c. on petition may convey lands, &c. as directed.
So, if a non-compos alien by matter of record, it shall never be avoided by him or his heirs : as, if he levy a fine, or suffer a recovery, 4 Co: 124. a. Co. L. 247. a.
So, every act, which he does in a court of record, binds him and all other persons for ever. 4 Co. 124. a. As, a judgment, statute, recognizance, &c. 4 Co. 124. a. 125. a.
(D 7.) What acts he may do. .. So, a non-compos may maintain, or defend an action. Poph. 141.
If an idiot sue, he must appear in person, and any one who prays to be admitted as his friend may sue for him. Semb. 2 Saund. 335.
So, if an action be against an idiot, he must appear in his proper person, and any one who can make a better defence shall be admitted to defend for him. St. Præ. R. 36. 4 Co. 124. b.
But another non-compos must appear by guardian, if he be within age, and by attorney, if he be of full age. 4 Co. 124. b.
And if an action be by the committee of a lunatick and not by himself, it will be bad. R. 1 Brownl. 197. Poph. 141.
So, a non-compos shall not be punished for murder, or felony. 4 Co. 124.
But a non-compos shall be punished for high treason. 4 Co. 124. b.
So, the laches of a non-compos prejudices him as to a title of entry: as, if a non-compos be disseised, and the disseisor die seised, &c. the descent tolls his entry. 4 Co. 125. b.
But laches in a non-compos does not bar him of his right: as, if the disseisor levy a fine, non-claim for a year and a day at the common law does not bar him. 4 Co. 125.
So, the heir shall not be barred of his entry by the laches of a noncompos, though he himself be. 4 Co. 125. b.
[By the st. 4 Geo. 2. c. 20. idiots, lunaticks, &c. or their committees, by direction of the lord chancellor, may assign trusts and mortgages, and be ordered to make such conveyances, in like manner as trustees and mortgagees of sane mind.]
Vide Capacity, (D 5.)— [Chancery, (32.)]
JERSEY, (ISLE OF.)
Vide NAVIGATION, (F 3.)
IMPARLANCE. Vide ABATEMENT, (I 19, 20.) – INFORMATION, (D 5.) — Pleader,
(D 1, &c.)
IMPRESS. [The power of impressing seamen, seafaring men, and persons whose occupations and callings are to work in vessels and boats upon rivers, is founded upon immemorial usage; and there may be a legal exemption upon the same foundation. Cowp. 512.]
[A freeholder is not, as such, privileged from being impressed. 5 East, 477. 2 Smith, 47.]
[The right of impress extends to all sea-faring persons, except a ferryman, unless exempted by statute ; therefore a headborough is not exempt as such. 5 T. R. 276.]
[It seems that the freemen and liverymen of London as such are not privileged from being impressed. 9 Inst. 466.
[The master of a ship employed in the coal trade is not entitled, under st. 6 & 7 W. 3. c. 18. s. 19. to have two of his seamen free from impress, unless they have been previously nominated as required by the statute. 5 T. R. 417.]
[The carpenter of a vessel in the coal and coasting trade is not exempt from impress. 13 East, 549.]
[An apprentice in the Greenland fishery trade is not protected from being impressed beyond three years, though if he be bound for a longer time, the master is bound to keep him in his service, under a penalty of 50l. by 9 Geo. 3. c. 5. s. 5. 2 Smith, 335. East, 238.]
[The exemption from impress in st. 13 Geo. 2. c. 17. s. 2. extends to such only who, when they entered the sea-service, were not liable to be impressed, from their requiring instruction to fit them for the ser