Page:William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England (3rd ed, 1768, vol II).djvu/297

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Ch. 18.
of Things.

V. The next kind of forfeitures are thoſe by breach or non-performance of a condition annexed to the eſtate, either expreſſly by deed at it's original creation, or impliedly by law from a principle of natural reaſon. Both which we conſidered at large in a former chapter[1].

VI. I therefore now proceed to another ſpecies of forfeiture, viz. by waſte. Waſte, vaſtum, is a ſpoil or deſtruction in houſes, gardens, trees, or other corporeal hereditaments, to the diſheriſon of him that hath the remainder or reverſion in fee-fimple or fee-tail[2].

Waste is either voluntary, which is a crime of commiſſion, as by pulling down a houſe; or it is permiſſive, which is a matter of omiſſion only, as by ſuffering it to fall for want of neceſſary reparations. Whatever does a laſting damage to the freehold or inheritance is waſte[3]. Therefore removing wainſcot, floors, or other things once fixed to the freehold of a houſe, is waſte[4]. If a houſe be deſtroyed by tempeſt, lightening, or the like, which is the act of providence, it is no waſte: but otherwiſe, if the houſe be burnt by the careleſſneſs or negligence of the leſſee; though now by the ſtatute 6 Ann. c. 31. no action will lie againſt a tenant for an accident of this kind. Waſte may alſo be committed in ponds, dove-houſes, warrens, and the like; by ſo reducing the number of the creatures therein, that there will not be ſufficient for the reverſioner when he comes to the inheritance[5]. Timber alſo is part of the inheritance[6]. Such are oak, aſh, and elm in all places: and in ſome particular countries, by local cuſtom, where other trees are generally uſed for building, they are thereupon conſidered as timber; and to cut down ſuch trees, or top them, or do any other adl whereby the timber may decay, is waſte[7]. But underwood the tenant may cut down at
  1. See chap. 10. pag. 152.
  2. Co. Litt. 53.
  3. Hetl. 35.
  4. 4 Rep. 64.
  5. Co. Litt. 53.
  6. 4 Rep. 62.
  7. Co. Litt. 53.
Vol. II.
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