HC Deb 25 June 1861 vol 163 cc1584-6

said, he wished to move for leave to introduce a Bill to amend the Act of the 9th years of King George III., cap 16, for quieting posses- sions against the Crown, and certain Acts relating to suits by the Duke of Cornwall. The object of the Nullum Tempus Act, which was passed a century ago, was to give the subject quiet possession of lands which had once belonged to the Crown, after a possession of sixty years; but there were provisions in the Act which defeated that intention, in cases where the land had been in charge during that time. The receipt of rent also for a manor prevented the limitation applying to all lands within the manor. Lands were held to be in charge when in the rolls delivered to the receivers or auditors of the Crown, rents were charged against them. And although these rents were never received or even demanded of the persons in possession, and although the receivers or auditors should return "nil," this secret proceeding was sufficient to put the lands in charge, and to save the right of the Crown. He proposed to repeal these unjust provisions. With regard to the Duchy of Cornwall, an Act was passed in the last Session which contained a provision that the receipt of rent for a larger territory should not deprive a person of a smaller territory, who had held adverse possession of it for more than sixty years. But, notwithstanding the efforts of the landowners of Cornwall, they could not obtain in that Act a repeal of the provision respecting lands held in charge, the Duchy of Cornwall then objecting to be placed in a different position from the Crown in that respect. The effect of his proposed Bill was to make sixty years' possession by the subject a good title both as against the Crown and the Duchy, which was, in fact, the intention of the Nullum Tempus Act. The hon. and learned Member for Wolverhampton (Sir Richard Bethell), who was a very high authority on the previous day, and who was, he presumed, the highest authority in the law to-day, was, he believed, favourable to the Bill, and last night he intimated that he had no objection to its introduction. He, therefore, moved for leave to bring in a Bill to amend the Act of the 9th George III., cap. 16, for quieting possessions against the Crown, and certain Acts relating to suits by the Duke of Cornwall.


said, he had no objection to the introduction of the Bill, bat he must reserve the right to consider the various clauses of the Bill in Committee.

Leave given.

Bill to amend the Act of the ninth year of King George the Third, chapter sixteen, for quieting possessions and titles against the Crown, and also certain Acts for the like object relating to Suits by the Duke of Cornwall, ordered to be brought in by Mr. MONTAGUR SMITH, Mr. ROLT, and Mr. BOVIL.

Bill presented, and read 1°, to be read 2° on Friday, and to be printed [Bill 103].