mortmain


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Mortmain

[French, Dead hand.] A term to denote the conveyance of ownership of land or tenements to any corporation, religious or secular.

Traditionally, such transfers were made to religious corporations. Like any corporation, the religious society had unlimited, perpetual duration under the law. It could, therefore, hold land permanently unlike a natural person, whose property is redistributed upon his or her death. The holdings of religious corporations grew as contributions were received from their members. Because such holdings were immune from responsibilities for taxes and payment of feudal dues, greater burdens were placed on noncorporate secular property. Therefore, land in mort-main was said to be held in perpetuity in one dead hand, that of the corporation.

mortmain

the state or condition of lands or buildings, held inalienably, as by an ecclesiastical or other corporation.

MORTMAIN. An unlawful alienation of lands, or tenements to any corporation, sole or aggregate, ecclesiastical or temporal. These purchases having been chiefly made by religious houses, in consequence of which lands became perpetually inherent in one dead hand, this has occasioned the general appellation of mortmain to be applied to such alienations. 2 Bl. Com. 268; Co. Litt. 2 b; Ersk. Inst. B. 2, t. 4, s. 10; Barr. on the Stat. 27, 97.
     2. Mortmain is also employed to designate all prohibitory laws, which limit, restrain, or annul gifts, grants, or devises of lands and other corporeal hereditaments to charitable uses. 2 Story, Eq. Jur. Sec. 1137, note 1. See Shelf. on Mortm. 2, 3.

References in periodicals archive ?
Life alters drastically when American brothers Simon and Neil Cotton (Thomas and Blucas) inherit the crumbling estate on which the Mortmains live.
Life alters drastically when American brothers Simon and Neil Cotton (Henry Thomas, Marc Blucas) inherit the crumbling estate on which the Mortmains live and both fall under the spell of Rose.
Life alters drastically when American brothers Simon (Marc Blucas) and Neil Cotton (Henry Thomas) inherit the estate on which the Mortmains live.
Life alters drastically when American brothers Simon and Neil Cotton inherit the crumbling estate on which the Mortmains live.
Life alters drastically when American brothers Simon and Neil Cotton (Thomas, Blucas) inherit the crumbling estate on which the Mortmains live.
Seventeen-year-oldCassandra Mortmain lives with her dysfunctional family,including self-obsessed older sister Rose (RoseByrne).
Seventeen-year-old Cassandra (Romola Garai from TV's Daniel Deronda) narrates the story of her rather eccentric family, led by impoverished author James Mortmain (Bill Nighy), living in an increasingly decrepit country castle because poor dad's suffering from writer's block.
Seventeen-year-old Cassandra Mortmain (Garai) lives in a crumbling English castle with her dysfunctional family, including her novelist father James (Nighy) who has been struck down with writer's block, her nudist step-mother Topaz (FitzGerald) and self-obsessed older sister Rose (Byrne).
Far from your average coming-of-age drama, I Capture The Castle is narrated by the selfless and wise-beyond-her years Cassandra Mortmain (Romola Garai) who lives with her dysfunctional family in practical squalor in a tumble down English castle (actually a relic that can be found in Pembrokeshire
It therefore has no owners, certainly not the Government, and is a mortmain organisation.