Issue the Thirtieth of Matters concerning His Lawful assembly (From The Christian Jural Society News)
We have often pointed out that true title to land only comes by descent, i.e., inheritance, and not by purchase, regardless of whether or not the land was purchased by fiat currency such as Federal Reserve Notes, or whether purchased by dollars in silver.
This has been true of land titles since at least the 15th century as we see in the very important work often cited as "Coke on Littleton," the full title of which is found in The First Part of the Institutes of the Laws of England or, a Commentary Upon Littleton, by Sir Edward Coke, Volume One.
Sir Edward Coke (1552-1634) is seen as one of the three or four greatest legal minds in the last thousand years of the history of law and is equally famous for having stopped martial law in England by his Petition of Right in 1628, published against King Charles I. This fact we have also mentioned in The News on previous occasions. We have cited Coke's Petition in Non-Statutory Abatements almost from the beginning. Thus, even though Coke lived and died more than three hundred and fifty years ago, his work influences us today, and in his Institutes we find extended commentary on the works of Littleton, another English jurist that predates Coke by nearly two hundred years.
Sir Thomas de Littleton (1407-1481) wrote a massive work on English common law as it regards lands, houses, tenements, and hereditaments in a work called "Treatise on Tenures" that systematized English law as it concerns land, its acquisition, and use. This work has been called the very first textbook on the law of property which was mainly concerned with rights over land. Land law in England and America is still based, to a great extent, upon the collation of English law compiled by Littleton and explained by Coke.
Thus, the law upon which we base our research on ways to recover true title to land is at least six hundred years old, with roots that likely go even further back into the ancient customs and usages of Christian England. It is for this reason that the history of law is important, because the further we go back in time, the more likely we are to find the root and origin of law and the reasons for its existence in the first place, and the more likely it is that we will find the connection between the law of land and Scripture.
Scripture tells us what the Law is in order that we can avoid sin through the keeping of God's Law. But, Scripture does not always tell us why God does things in one way and not another. In these cases, He has left us the task of figuring out why His Law is written the way it is, and He has left the implementation of His Law to the Christian. It is this implementation of God's Law in which man works out his salvation "in fear and trembling," and it is the implementation which, over time, becomes Our custom and usage, which is also known as the lex non scripta, the unwritten or common law of all Good and Lawful Christians throughout the world.
Coke, of course, does not deal in this work in Volume I of the Institutes with fiat currency. It is assumed that all money used in the purchase of land is based on English coinage, usually pounds sterling, i.e., silver.
In the Institutes, Coke treats Littleton's previous work very systematically and logically and, in Part One, he sets forth a series of charts that illustrate the connections between the various parts of land law and how one part or action follows upon another.
"Littleton's treatise was written in that peculiar dialect compounded of Norman-French and English phrases called law French. Although it had been provided by a statute of 36 Edward III, that viva voce proceedings in court should not longer be conducted in the French tongue, 'which was much unknown in the realm,' the practice of reporting proceedings in that language, and of using it in legal treatises, lingered till a much later period, and was at length prohibited by a statute passed in the time of the Commonwealth in 1650." The Encyclopedia Brittanica: a Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, Literature, and General Information, Published by Encyclopedia Britannica, New York, 342 Madison Avenue. Eleventh Edition, 1911.
Littleton's original work borrows nothing from the sources of Roman civil law or the commentators. He dealt exclusively with English law as it was in his day. Coke translated a good deal of Littleton's work into English to assist readers and often presents, in very few words, an entire overview of land law.
Thus, in summarizing the whole of land law in England in Littleton's time, Coke says:
"...every man that hath a fee simple, hath it either by right or by wrong. If by right, then he hath it either by purchase or descent. If by wrong, then either by disseisin, intrusion, abatement, usurpation,& c. L.1 C.1 Sect. 1. 2.a."
Coke then proceeded to explain the various ways and means of acquiring land by all the above methods and also explains which is the strongest title to land and gives the reasons why.
Clearly, in the above cite, Coke asserts that the only right ways to own land are by purchase or descent, i.e., inheritance. All other ways, which including acts that range from actions in a court to outright usurpation or seizure by conquest, are wrong ways to hold land. Indeed, Coke clearly states just prior to the above cite that:
"For a disseisor, abator, intruder, usurper, &c, [*may] have a fee simple, but it is not a lawfull fee. L1. C.1. Sect. 1. 2a." [*Insertion added].
This helps to explain why, if the I.R.S. or Sheriff seizes land, houses, tenements, and hereditaments, they will not guarantee true title to the new land "owner" after the land is re-sold.
Just as clearly, the right ways to hold land are fully consistent with the Law of God and all other ways are contrary to the Law of God.
Coke then proceeds to tell us who can purchase lands, houses, tenements, or hereditaments:
"Persons capable of purchase are of two sorts, persons natural created of God,... and persons incorporate or politique created by the policy of man (and therefore called bodies politique); and those be of two sorts, viz. Either sole, or aggregate of many: again, aggregate of many, either of all persons capable, or of one person capable, and the rest incapable or dead in law ... Some men have capacitie to purchase, but not abilitie to hold: some, capacity to purchase, and ability to hold or not to hold, at the election of them or others: some, capacitie to take and to hold: some, neither capacitie to take nor to hold: and some, especially disabled to take some particular thing." L.1. C.1. Sect.1. 2a.
The corporation sole was usually either the King, a bishop, or member of royalty who formed a corporation of just one person. Today, this type of corporation no longer exists in America and the nearest equivalent to it would be the formation of a Limited Corporation which may be owned by one man but governed by a Board of Directors of at least three persons.
Note also that a body politic is created by the "policy of men" and that such a corporation is grouped as an "aggregate" corporation along with all other corporations that have many owners or stock-holders. In America, the body politic is owned by the people within the jurisdiction of the body politic--at least in theory.
The only alternative to a government created by the policy of men, is a government created under and controlled by, the Law of God, the possibility of which neither Coke nor Littleton considers in their works. The reason why is, both Coke and Littleton were dealing with the law of England as it actually was and not theoretically, as it should be. Thus, in Coke's commentary on Littleton there is virtually no discussion of God's Law as it applied to the law of England, and yet, it is clear that the law of the land was based, at least in the common law, on Scripture to a great extent.
Apparently, by the time Littleton wrote his Treatise on Tenures and Coke wrote his commentary on Littleton, the law was already considered something separate from the authority of Scripture and the Law of God.
In other words, less than three hundred years had elapsed since the commentaries of Bracton and Phillip of Salisbury with their heavy reliance on the Canon law of Christianity, and already the root and ground of law had been lost. But, this should not surprise us, since in America, it took somewhat less time for the Americans to lose their Biblical roots of law.
At any rate, Coke then follows his listing of those who may purchase with examples of why they cannot hold:
"If an alien Christian or infidel purchase houses, lands, tenements, or hereditaments to him and his heires, albeit he can have no heires, yet he is of capacitie to take a fee simple but not to hold." Ibid.
Thus, if an alien Christian or infidel purchases houses, lands, tenements, or hereditaments for himself and his heirs - but if neither has a Lawful heir - they cannot hold their purchase. The land then reverts to the king upon the king's service of an office found in the case of an alien Christian. If the infidel dies without heir, the land automatically reverts to the king and no action on an office found is necessary. In some cases, however, the land will revert to the original owner and not the king, whether an office found is made or not, especially in the case of an infidel.
A corporation sole can take land, houses, tenements, and hereditaments as we mentioned above, by purchase, but unless some special provision is made in the purchase or in the articles of incorporation, the corporation sole cannot hold. And it makes no difference if the corporation sole is ecclesiastical or temporal, the law treats all in the same manner.
If the land or house, and/or its habitation is leased for commercial purposes by an infidel, the king shall have it for the term of the lease and no longer. In sum, an alien infidel has few rights in land, houses, tenements or hereditaments, and though he may take by purchase, he will, in many cases, have a difficult time holding it.
Coke also discusses attaintment of blood and which, in American law, has no relevance. As to:
"An infant or minor (whom we call any that is under the age of 21 yeares) hath, without consent of any other, capacity to purchase, for it is intended for his benefit, and at his full age he may either agree thereunto, and perfect it, or without any cause to be alleged, waive or disagree to the purchase; and so may his heirs after him, if he agreed not thereunto after his full age." Ibid.
Coke then discusses briefly, the rights of those of unsound mind, those physically deformed, a wife (excluding the Queen), parishioners, church-wardens, a bastard, and others on their rights to purchase or not to purchase land and their various abilities to hold or not to hold. He states that lands purchased at rates of interest amounting to usury are void and contracts for the same cannot be enforced.
Of course, the laws on usury cannot be enforced against anything but Lawful money, such as dollars in silver. Thus, one advantage for the lenders in lending fictitious money, whether in Federal Reserve Notes or merely in debit entries, is that they avoid actions based upon violations of the laws of usury.
It is clear from Coke's discussion that all those who purchase land, as opposed to those who inherit it, purchase only a limited title for a limited period of time, usually the life of the purchaser, or for a specific term, and then the land either passes to the heirs, or reverts to the king or original land-owner under certain conditions.
Thus, Our original premise, that true title to land only passes by inheritance is still valid and even the great Coke and Littleton confirm it by all they say. Coke then passes to a discussion of the land itself and what will pass with the land and how the land contract should be written if the land is acquired by purchase.
In the general sense, then:
"Land, Terra in the legal signification, comprehendeth any ground, soile, or earth whatsoever; as meadows, pastures, woods, moores, waters, marishes, furses, and heath.... It legally includeth also castles, houses, and other buildings: for castles, houses, &c. consist upon two things, viz. Land or ground, as the foundation or structure thereupon; so as passing the land or ground, the structure or building thereupon passeth therewith." Ibid.
But, from the discussion that follows on the next few pages in this section, we learn that the more detailed a description of the rights conveyed in a land purchase, the more likely it is that all or part of the land can be attacked, by a subsequent action or claim in court, from the original land purchase contract even years after the sale of the land is made. This is true even down to specifying the types of trees that may exist on the land at the time of purchase.
Thus, it is best that in any purchase agreement for land, the contract must be structured in as broad and general a manner as possible. The wording should therefore state that all land lying within the defined boundaries of the close, and all houses and appurtenances thereto with all plants of every kind and description along with all land that lies beneath any rivers, streams, lakes, etc., that cross or enter into the land, and all minerals or metals found beneath the surface of the land is included in the purchase agreement. If one begins to get specific by using words such as except, excluding, etc., one gets specific and opens the door to later attacks on one's title to whatever lies within the boundaries of the close.
Remember, a close is any area of land defined by law, not by survey, plat map, official government map such as a U.S.G.S. topographic map, or fences of any kind. The close is located, usually, by reference to some natural, physical feature of land such as a mountain top, a large rock promontory, the junction of known streams, and so on. In other words, keep it simple and all inclusive. Though not a hard and fast rule, keep the purchase agreement to about two or three pages. Any more and you may be tempted to get into details that will later hang you out to dry.
Throughout Coke's work the Scriptures are freely used as law and cited as part of God's Law and Christianity. But, even though there is often a verse cite in the margin of the work, there are no quote marks at the beginning and end of where the words of the Bible are used and no other marks to indicate where the verse begins and ends, and where Coke's commentary takes up. Coke uses and integrates the words, verses, and phrases of the Scripture as if they were his own. All one can do is look up the cite that is sometimes paraphrased and not cited explicitly.
He also uses freely, Christian concepts and ideas or doctrines of Christianity without, again, marking or indicating them as such. They are simply part of Coke's normal language as a commentator on Littleton.
Coke spends many pages on defining single words used in the English common law and in these definitions one can almost see the Biblical verses that lay behind his definitions.