Hereditaments

Hereditaments, hæreditamenta. All such immoveable things, whether corporeal or incorporeal, which a man may have to him and his heirs by way of inheritance; and which, if they are not otherwise devised, descend to him that is next heir, and fall not the executor as chattels do. ... It is a word of very great extent, comprehending whatever may be inherited or come to the heir; be it real, personal, or mixed, and though it is not holden, or lieth not in tenure. ... And by the grant of hereditaments in conveyances, manors, houses, and lands of all sorts, rent, services, advowsons, &c. pass.

Hereditaments are of two kinds, corporeal and incorporeal. Corporeal consist of such as affect the senses; such as may be seen and handled by the body: Incorporeal are not the object of sensation, can neither be seen nor handled, are creatures of the mind, and exist only in contemplation.

Corporeal Hereditaments consist wholly of substantial and permanent objects, all which may be comprehended under the general denomination of land only. For land, says Coke, comprehendeth in its legal signification any ground, soil, or earth whatsoever, as arable, meadows, pastures, woods, moors, waters, marshes, furzes, and heath. 1 Inst. 4. It legally includes also all castles, houses, and other buildings; for they consist, saith he, of two things; land, which is the foundation, and the structure thereupon: so that if I convey the land or ground, the structure or building passeth therewith. It is observable that water is here mentioned as a species of land, which may seem a kind of solecism; but such is the language of the law; and therefore one cannot bring an action to recover possession of a pool, or other piece of water, by the name of water only; wilier by calculating its capacity, as for so many cubical yards; or by superficial measure, for twenty acres of water, or by general description, as for a pond, a water-course, or a rivulet: but he must bring his action for the land that lies at the bottom, and must call it twenty acres of land covered with water. Brownl. 1-42.

Land hath also in its legal signification, an indefinite extent, upwards as well as downwards. Cujus est solum ejus est usque ad cælum, is the maxim of the law; upwards, therefore, no man may erect any building, or the like to overhang another's land; and downwards, whatever is in a direct line, between the surface of any land and the centre of the earth belongs to the owner of the surface; as is every day's experience in the mining countries. So that the word land includes not only the face of the earth, but every thing under or over it. And therefore if a man grants all his lands, he grants thereby all his mines of metal and other fossils, his woods, his waters, and his houses, as well as his fields and meadows. Not but the particular names of the things are equally sufficient to pass them, except in the instance of water; by a grant of which nothing passes but a right of fishing. Co. Lit. 4. But the capital distinction n this; that by the name of a castle, messuages, toft, croft, or the like, nothing else will pass, except what falls with the utmost propriety under the term made use of; but by the name of land, which is nomen generalissimum, every thing terrestrial will pass. 1 Inst. 4, 5, 6. By the name of a castle, one or more, manors maybe conveyed; and è converso by the name of a manor, a castle may pass. 1 Inst. 5: 2 Inst. 31. See 2 Comm. 17. l9.

An Incorporeal Hereditament is a right issuing out of a thing corporate, (whether real or personal,) or concerning, or annexed to, or exercisable within the same. Co. Lit. 19, 20. It is not the thing corporate itself, hut something collateral thereto; as a rent issuing out of lands, &c. or an office belonging to jewels, &c. Or, according to logicians, Corporeal Hereditaments are the substance which may be always seen, always handled; Incorporeal Hereditaments are but a sort of accidents, which inhere in, and are supported by that substance; and may belong or not belong to it, without any visible alteration therein. Their existence is merely in idea, and abstract contemplation, though their effects and profits, which are totally distinct, may be frequently objects of our bodily senses. 2 Comm. 20. These Incorporeal Hereditaments are stated in the commentaries to be principally of ten sorts; Advowsons, Tithes, Commons, Ways, Offices, Dignities, Franchises, Corodies, or Pensions, Annuities, and Rents. As to all which see those several titles in this Dict.

Source: Tomlins, Thomas Edlyne. The Law-Dictionary: defining and interpreting the Terms or Words of Art, and explaining the Rise, Progress, and Present State, of the English Law, &c. London: C. and R. Baldwin, et al, 1810.

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"The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there."—Lesley Poles Hartley (1895–1972), The Go-Between (1953).

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