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NOTES OF A READER
Abridged from Powell’s Advice to Executors, (just published.)
Queen Consort.—An ancient perquisite belonging to the Queen Consort was, that on the taking of a whale on the coasts, it should be divided between the King and Queen; the head only becoming the King’s property, and the tail the Queen’s. The reason of this whimsical distinction, as assigned by our ancient records, was to furnish the Queen’s wardrobe with whalebone.
A civil Death is where a husband has undergone transportation for life. In such case, his wife is legally entitled to make a will, and act in every other matter, as if she was unmarried, or as though her husband were dead.—Roper’s Husband and Wife.
Pin Money.—It has been judicially determined, that a married woman having any pin-money, (by which is understood an annual income settled by the husband, before marriage, on his intended wife, or allowed by him to her after marriage, gratuitously, for her personal and private expenditure during the existence of the marriage,) or any separate maintenance, may, by will, bequeath her savings out of such allowance, without the license or consent of her husband.—Clamey’s Equitable Rights of Married Women.
Compulsory Will.—So cautious is the Ecclesiastical Court in guarding against restraint of any kind, that in a case in which it was proved that a man, in his last sickness, was compelled to make his will to procure quiet from the extreme importunity of his wife, it was held to have been made under restraint, and was declared void.
Wills of Criminals.—The lands and tenements of traitors, from the commission of the offence, and their goods and chattels, from the time of their conviction, are forfeited to the king. They have therefore no property in either; and are not merely deprived of the privilege of making any kind of will after the period of their conviction, but any will previously made is rendered void by such conviction, both as respects real and personal estate. The law respecting felons is the same, unless it be worth recording that a remarkable exception exists in favour of Gavelkind lands, which, even though the ancestor be hanged, are not forfeited for felony.