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Nature of

Rot. Parl.
V. 3. P:


Section 1.
FRANCHISE is defined to be a royal privilege

or branch of the royal prerogative, subsisting in the hands of a subject, by grant from the King. And formerly grants of royal franchises were so common, that in the parliament which was held 21 Edw. 3. there is a petition from the Commons to the King, stating that franchises had been so largely granted in times past, that almost all the land was enfranchised, to the great averisenent and estenysment of the common law, and in great oppression of the people ; and praying the King to restrain such grants for the time to come; to which his Majesiy answered, that the franchises which should be granted in future, should be made by good advisement.

§ 2. Franchises are extremely numerous, and of various kinds; but only fome of those will be here


treated of, which are immediately annexed to, or connected with real property.

S 3. There are a variety of franchises annexed to Franchises

annexed to manors, the principal of which are, the right to hold Manors. a court leet, and to have waifs, wrecks, estrays, trea-, sure-trove, royal fish, forfeitures, and deodands : all which were originally a part of the royal prerogative, , and were granted by the crown to the persons entitled to those manors.

Inft. c. 54.

§ 4. A court leet is a court of record, having the Court Leet.

2 Inft. 71. fame jurisdiétion within some particular precinct,

4 which the Sheriff's torn hath in the county. This court is not necessarily appendant to a manor, like a court baron, but is derived from the Sheriff's torn; being a grant from the King to certain lords, for the ease of their tenants, and refiants within their manors, Colebrook v.

Elliot, that they may administer justice to them in their Burr. R.




S 5. To every court leet is annexed the view of frankpledge; visus frankplegii ; which means the examination or survey of the frankpledges of which every man, not particularly privileged, was anciently obliged to have nine, who were bound that he should always be forthcoming to answer any complaint.

5 6. Waifs are goods, which have been stolen, and Waifs.

, waived, or left by the felon, on his being pursued, for Foxley's Cafe,

5 Rep. 109. fear of being apprehended.

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Thus, if a felon, who is pursued, waives the goods, or, thinking that he is pursued, flies away, and leaves the goods behind him; the king's officer, or the bailiff of the lord of the manor, who hath the franchise of waif, may seise the goods to the king's or lord's use, and keep them ; unless the owner makes a fresh pursuit after the felon, and sues an appeal of robbery, within a year and a day; or gives evidence against him, whereby he is attainted, &c. in which case the owner shall have restitution of his goods, so stolen and waived.

5 Rep. 109 a.

S 7. The reason that waifs are forfeited, and that the perfon, from whom they were stolen, shall lose his property, is, on account of his default in not making fresh suit, to apprehend the felon; for which the law has imposed this penalty on the owner.

3 Hawk.

S 8. Though waif is generally fpoken of goods stolen; yet, if a man be pursued with hue and cry as a felon, and he flies, and leaves his own goods, these will be forfeited as goods stolen. But they are properly fugitive's goods, and not forfeited, till it be found before the coroner, or otherwise of record, that he fled for the felony.

P. C. 450.

S 9. If the thief had not the goods in his possession when he fled, there is no forfeiture; for, if a felon steals goods, and hides them, and afterwards flies, there is no forfeiture. So, where he leaves stolen goods any where, with an intent to fetch them at another time, they are not waived ; and, in these cases, the owner may take his goods where he finds Cro. Eliz.

5 Rep. 109 a.


694. them.

§ 10. Wreck fignifies such goods, as, after a ship Wreck. has been lost, are cast upon the land: for they are not 2 Inft. 167. wrecks as long as they remain at sea, within the jurisdicton of the Admiralty. And where a ship perishes 5 Rep. 106. at sea, and no man escapes alive out of it, or is driven on shore, abandoned by her crew, this is called a wreck.


$ 11. By the common law, all wrecks belong to the 2 Inf. 167. king; and this prerogative is founded on the dominion he has over the seas : for, being sovereign thereof, and protector of ships and mariners, he is entitled to the derelict goods of merchants; which is the more reasonable, as it is a means of preventing the barbarous custom of destroying persons, who in shipwrecks approach the shore, by removing the temptations to inhumanity. And this right may, and often does, belong to lord of manors, having the franchise of wreck.

$ 12. By the statute of Westminster 1. 3 Edw. 1. 2 Inst. 166. C. 4. it is enacted, that, when a man or any living creature escapes alive out of a ship cast away, whereby the owner of the goods may be known, the ship or goods shall not be a wreck.

§ 13. Flotfam is, where a ship is sunk, or otherwise 5 Rep. 106 a. perished, and the goods float on the sea ; jetfam is, when the ship is in danger of being sunk, and, to


lighten the ship, the goods are cast into the sea, and afterwards the ship perishes; lagan or rather ligan, is, when the goods are so cast into the sea, and after. wards the ship perishes, and such goods cast are so heavy that they link to the bottom, and the mariners, to the intent to have them again, tie to them a buoy, or cork, or such other thing that will not sink, so that they may find them again, et dicitur ligan a ligando : and none of these goods, which are called jetsam, flotfam, or ligan, are called wreck, so long as they remain in or upon the sea; but if any of them by the sea be put upon the land, then they shall be deemed wreck. So, Alotsam, jetsam, or ligan, being cast on the land, pass by the grant of wreck : and, where it is provided by the statute of 15 Rich. 2. C. 3. that the Court of Admiralty shall not have cognizance or jurisdiction of wreck of the sea ; yet it shall have conusance and jurisdiction of flotsam, jetsam, and ligan: for wreck of sea is, when goods are by the sea cast on the land, and so infra comitatum, whereof the common law takes conusance; but the other three are all on the sea, and therefore of them the Admiral has jurisdiction.

2 Inft. 167.

§ 14. If a ship is pursued by the enemy, and the mariners come ashore, and leave the ship empty, and she comes to land without any person in her; yet she is not a wreck, but shall be restored to the owners.

6 Mod. R. 149.

15. If a man, either by grant or prescription, has right to a wreck thrown upon another man's land,


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