Restraints on Alienation.-The alienation of real estate may be subject to almost any conditions, provided that such conditions do not contravene the law. As a general rule there can be no restrictions upon the alienation of an estate in fee-simple; the two ideas are incompatible. In the case, however, of a married woman a restraint on anticipation is allowed within certain limits (see RESTRAINT). In another direction the imposition of a course of devolution upon property is forbidden by the law against perpetuities (see PERPETUITY), while the accumulation of income is also forbidden with a few exceptions. Certain persons are by the general policy of the law disabled from exercising full proprietary rights, such as convicts, infants and lunatics.
Procedure.-In some cases rights attaching to real estate are protected by peculiar remedies. At an early period it became more convenient to try the right to the possession of, rather than the right to the property in, real estate. Possessory tended to supersede proprietary remedies, from their great simplicity and elasticity. The general mode of trying the right to both property and possession was from the time of Henry II. the real action, the form called “ writ of right " (after Magna Carta gradually confined to the court of common pleas) being used to determine the property, that called “ assise of novel disseisin " being the general means by which the possession was tried. About the reign of Elizabeth the action of ejectment became the ordinary form of possessor remedy. Real actions existed until the Real Property Limitation Act 1833, by which they were finally abolished, with the exception of writ of right of dower, writ of dower unde nihilhabet, quare impedit and ejectment. Of these quare impedit (q.v.) appears to be the only one now in use. The assise of novel disseisin, the action of ejectment in both its original and its reformed stage, and finally the action for the recovery of land in use since the judicature Acts are all historically connected as gradual developments of the possessor action. There are certain matters affecting real estate over which the court of chancery formerly had exclusive jurisdiction, in most cases because the principles on which the court acted had been the creation of equity. The judicature Act 1873 assigned to the chancery division of the high court of justice all causes and matters for (inter alia) the redemption or foreclosure of mortgages, the raising of portions or other charges on land, the sale and distribution of the proceeds of property subject to any lien or charge, the specific performance of contracts between vendors and purchasers of real estates, including contracts for leases, the partition or sale of real estates, and the wardship of infants and the care of infants' estates. In the case of rent a summary mode of remedy by act of the creditor still exists (see DISTRESS, RENT).
Ireland.-The law of real estate in Ireland is the English law, which finally superseded the native law in James I.'s reign, as modified by subsequent legislation. The main difference is in the law of landlord and tenant, modified by the various land acts (see IRELAND) and the operation of the Irish Land Commission. United States.-The law of real estate in the United States is the law of England modified to suit a different state of circumstances. The main point of difference is that in the United States the occupiers of land are generally wholly or in part owners, not tenants, as in England. This is to a great extent the effect of the homestead laws (see HOMESTEAU AND EXEMPTION LAws). The traces of the feudal origin of the law are, as might be expected, considerably less prominent than in England. Thus estates tail are practically obsolete; in some states they are specially forbidden by the state constitutions. The law of descent is the same in real and personal estate. Manors do not exist, except in the state of New York, where they were created by the crown in colonial days (Bouvier, Law Dict., “ Manor ). Registration of deeds is general. In some states forms of deed are prescribed by statute. Conveyancing is for the most part simpler than in England. The holding of real estate by religious or charitable corporations is generally restricted by the act creating them rather than by anything like the English law of mortmain. Perpetuities are forbidden in most states. The right of eminent domain is at once acknowledged and limited by the Constitution of the United States. By art. 5 of the Amendments private property is not to be taken for public use without just compensation. A similar- provision is found in many of the state constitutions. By an Act of Congress of 9th April 1866, c. 31, all citizens of the United States have the same ri ht in every state and Territory as is enjoyed by white citizens thereof to inherit, purchase, lease, sell, hold and convey real and personal property. In most states aliens may hold land; but in some states they cannot do so without becoming naturalized or at least filing in the specified manner a declaration of intention to become naturalized. International Law.-The law of the place where real estate is situated (lex loci rei sitae) governs its tenure and transfer. The laws of England and of the United States are more strict on this point than the laws of most other countries. They require that the formalities of the locus rei sitae must be observed, even if not necessary to be observed in the place where the contract was made. The lex loci rei sitae determines what is to be considered real estate. A foreign court cannot as a general rule pass title to land situated in another country. The English and United States courts of equity have to a certain extent avoided the inconvenience which this inability to deal with land out of the jurisdiction sometimes causes by the use of the theory that equity acts upon the conscience of the party and not upon the title to the foreign land. Thus in the leading case of Penn. v. .Lord Baltimore in 1750 (1 Vesey, 444) the court of chancery on this ground decreed specific performance of articles for settling the boundaries of the provinces of Pennsylvania and Maryland. The difficulty always arises that, although the court professes to act upon the conscience, it must indirectly act upon the property, and that it cannot carry its decision into execution without the aid of the local tribunals.
REAM (either through Du; riein, or O.Fr. rayme, reyme, mod. fame, Med. Lat. risrna, from Arabic rizmah, bale or bundle), a certain quantity of paper, viz. zo quires containing 24 sheets each or 480 sheets; a “ printer's ream ” contains 2I% quires or 516 sheets. The word owes its introduction into Europe to the Moors, who were the originators of the paper manufactured in Spain. Its original meaning was simply bundle, applied either to paper or clothes.
REAPING (from O.E. ripan, rypan, probably allied to “ ripe, " mature, i.e. “ fit for reaping "; the cognate forms are found in other languages), the action of cutting ripe grain crops. Till the invention of the reaping machine, which came into practical use only about the middle of the rgth century, sickles and scythes were the sole reaping implements. Of the two the sickle is the more ancient, and indeed there is some reason to conclude that its use is coeval with the cultivation of grain crops. Among the remains of the later Stone period in Great Britain and on the European continent curved Hint knives have occasionally been found, the form of which has led to the suggestion that they were used as sickles. Sickles of bronze occur quite commonly among remains of the early inhabitants of Europe. Some of these are deeply curved hooks, flat on the under side, and with a strengthening ridge or back on the upper surface, while others are small curved knives, in form like the ordinary hedge-bill. Among the ancient Egyptians toothed or serrated sickles of both bronze and iron were used. Ancient Roman drawings show that both the scythe and the sickle were known to that people, and Pliny makes the distinction plain? Although both implements have lost much of their importance since the general introduction of mowing and reaping machinery, they are still used very extensively, especially in those countries like France where small agricultural holdings prevail. The principal modern forms are the toothed hook, the scythe book, the Hainault scythe and the common scythe.
The toothed hook, which was in general use till towards the middle of the 19th century, consisted of a narrow-bladed curved hook, having on its cutting edge a series of fine close-set serratures cut like file teeth, with their edges inclined towards the heft or handle. The curve is that known to mathematicians as the “ cissoid, " where tangents at any point form equal angles with lines drawn to the middle of the handle: it has been called the “curve of least exertion" because experience has shown that it tires out the arm of the worker less than any other curve. Sickles were formerly made of iron edged with steel; but in recent times they came to be made of cast steel entirely. Towards the middle of the I9th century the toothed hook was gradually supplanted by the scythe hook or smooth-edged sickle, a somewhat heavier and broader-bladed implement, having an ordinary knife edge. Both these implements were intended for “shearing” handful by handful, the crop being held in the left hand and cut with the tool held in the right. A heavy smooth-edged sickle is used for “ bagging ” or “ clouting, " -an operation in which the hook is struck against the straw, the left hand being used to gather and carry along the cut swath. The Hainault scythe is an implement intermediate between the scythe and the sickle. being worked with one hand, and the motion is entirely a swinging or bagging one. The implement consists of a short scythe blade mounted on a vertical handle, and in using it the reaper collects the grain with a crook, which holds the straw together till it receives the cutting stroke of the instrument. The Hainault scythe was extensively used in Belgium. The common hay scythe consists of a slightly curved broad blade varying in length from 28 to 46 in., mounted on a bent, or sometimes straight. wooden sned or snathe, to which two handles are attached at such distances
1 “ Of the sickle there are two varieties, the Italian, which is the shorter and can be handled among brushwood, and the two-handed Gallic sickle, which makes quicker work of it when employed on their [the Gauls'] extensive domains; for there they cut their grass only in the middle, and pass over the shorter blades. The Italian mowers cutwith the right hand only ” (H. N. xviii. 67).