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If several deeds of sale of the same lands should be made, some for a full value, some fraudulent, and the just deeds brought to the registers, the same day, before the fraudulent deeds, the re. gister clerk is bribed, and the fraudulent deeds are first recorded in the register-offices, the fraudulent' purchasers will have the lands.

If the clerk registers (who being ordered to register deeds in time, as they come to them) will not be bribed to do otherwise ; yet fraudulent sellers may have fraudulent deeds, and such deeds ready to execute so soon before or after the just deeds, as, if the fraudulent buyers cannot otherwise be before the just purchasers at the register-offices with their deeds, horses will be laid for them, whereby to outride the others; so fraudulent deeds would be first recorded in those registers, and the purchasers for full values would be defrauded of the lands and of their monies.

Con:iderate men cannot believe, but that such persons, contrive and act frauds, will commit more frauds when they shall have more means to do so, or that clerk registers will not take bribes for false entries of deeds into the registers, when they shall have, besides other tricks, such ready excuses for their mis-entries when found out: That it was but their mistake in such a croud of business; their bribes taken are not easily proved, but such mis. entry, if but a mistake, would be fatal-to the honest purchasers.

Forged deeds are now vacated by the Courts of Judicature, but deeds forged, if registered in those registers made records, could not be vacated by any Court of Judicature.

I have heard some men say, that forgeries and other frauds would be prevented by making such offences in clerk registers, if contrivers or accessary thereunto, to be felony without benefit of clergy. This may deceive sudden apprehensions, but considerate men will foresee such birds of prey would soon know, that those scarecrows would not kill them.

Clerk rugisters, by their offices, would have such means to keep their frauds in darkness, and to tamper with jurors, as juries would not find that they had full evidence to take away their lives ; and such forgeries would probably be concealed, till after the forgers deaths, who seldom leave estates sufficient to answer damages to the parties wronged by them. Bribe-takers will be bribegivers; most commonly great chcaters are notorious livers, and die beggars.

Men will enjoy their monies, and other goods, in their houses much safer, by keeping their doors well locked and barred, than they would do if they should be compelled to leave their doors open, although the most severe penalties of sufferings and death should be imposed on those who should steal any of their goods out of their houses. We do not suffer prejudices for want of offi

. cers toward the law, but our grievances are very great by over many officers, and their clerks, attornies, and sollicitors. Officers will raise profits to themselves, whoever lose by it; the more officers, the more will be the frauds and oppressions ; more than two

thousand clerks and sollicitors, concerning those registers, would be employed in these register-offices.

It cannot be rationally thought that all these officers, when first made, will be able and honest. It is not to be supposed that those in succession will be so. There will be unworthy hirelings to dis. cover to insatiable covetors of the estates of others, and to riotous wasters of their own estates, the flaws in deeds; and to discover flaws in deeds to such men would be as to publish to thieves, what jewels, monies, plate, and other goods, persons have in their houses, and in what places; or, when they are to traiel, what monies or other goods they will take with them, to what place they go, which way, and with what company.

l'hese registers would, in many fundamental things, sūbvert our common law, which is a sufficient reason to fear great evils from them.

11 H. 7. cap. 3. An act of parliament was made to put penal laws in execution by information, although without presentments or indictments by juries. It had as fair and tlattering a preamble as any act for registers can have, to be for avoiding many mischiefs, which were to the high dishonour of God, to the great let of the common law, and to the great lot of the wealth of the land; but it proved to be to the high dishunour of God, to the great let of the common law, and wealth of the land, and, on grievous complaints against it, was repealed, 1 H. 8. cap. 6. and hath been detested ever since,

If a council of law be examined as a witness upon oath, in a Court of Judicature, of the secrets of his client's estate, he is not bound to make any discovery of them. If he revealeth any thing in his client's deeds to his client's damage, our common law punisbeth such a lawyer. By the common law, no purchaser for a valuable consideration is to be compelled to shew his deeds of purchase.

These registers would compall persons to discover what was in their deeds; would give copies of all deeds to every person's adversary, to every attorney, sollicitor, and rapinous person, whereby to make preys of the estates of honest and quiet persons.

One in a room perusing his deeds, another comes thither to him. The owner of the deeds, upon sudden occasion, goeth out, and layeth the written side downwards. if, on his return, he finds the other person to have laid the written side upwards, Englishmen esteem this a great incivility ; but, if he finds the other person taking copies of his deeds, it is insutlerable.

Many men, who, not long since, declared their opinions for all deeds to be registered, both for the time past, and time to come, do now speak against the registering of deeds for the time past; some, I believe, from candour and ingenuity, being convinced of the mischiefs and inconveniences thereof; but such men are seriously to consider, that, if they grant, that all persons should be compelled to register their deeds for the time to come, they would , thereby be so far engaged, as hereafter not to resist to have all

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deeds registered for the time past. It will be pressed, that here in time past, and time to come, are links of the same chaio, as, for one to be without the other, the chain would be broken and less. It will be pressed to try retrospect deeds for some few years past, and after for more years, and never rest until all be yielded ; many will be persuaded to yield to further follies, to maintain the errors they have committed, rather than, by contracting, to shew their former weakness. Besides, on the same reasons for registering deeds of inheritance, to prevent frauds against pur. chasers and creditors, other deeds also must be registered, all leases for lives or years, the charges whereof would be insupportable by tenants; for, if registering deeds of lands would prerent such frauds, the registering of leases would prevent frauds from Jeases; and, in justice, it ought to be done, if the allegations for registering of deeds of lands of inheritance were true, else it would be permitted, that purchasers of leases, and creditors, on securi. ties by leases, might be defrauded for any estates they should have by leases for lives or years.

We have yet no law which compels any person to record his deeds of purchase, covenants, or trusts. The statute 27 H. 8. cap. 16. for inrollment of deeds of bargain and sale, inviteth some,

but forceth none; not one deed of an hundred is inrolled on that sta. tute wherein covenants or trusts are expressed.

No human wisdom can foresee to make laws to prevent all future frauds. When new frauds are invented and acted, new laws are to be made to suppress them. We have some good laws to avoid fraudulent conveyances, yet those laws are defective; registers cannot supply those defects. If registers should prevent one small fraud, they would raise twenty worse frauds.

It is worthy the wisdom of parliament, by some new laws, to provide further for avoiding fraudulent conveyances, but without taking from us, by registers, the good laws we already have.

It is worthy of most serious consideration, that, if these registers were settled by a law, that vast and wealthy body of register-oficers would soon be able to raise and maintain great stocks of monies, whereby to gain more authority, and thereby more profit to themselves, by new laws concerning registers, and obstruct the passing of laws to take from them any powers or profits, although those powers and profits were common grievances to others; their wealth would enable them to gratify such as would be of their party, and to oppress others that were against them. It is probable that every principal register, and many of their clerks, would be members of the House of Commons.

If the inconveniences, from register-offices, being in every coun. ty, should settle them in fewer places, as if into seven of the most convenient places for the subjects to resort unto from their respective habitations, then this kingdom would soon be under seven jurisdictions; every several register-office will necessitate, that a Court of Judicature be with it for superintendency on the manager ment thercof, to determine questions as they should arise (which

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would be very many and daily) concerning mistakes, misunderstandings, and mis-entries of clerk registers.

Several judicatures would introduce several rules and courses of proceeding. Men would seldom buy or sell on credit, out of their own judicatures, when they did not know by what rules or courses of proceedings those transactions should be judged. They would be fearful of the influences which the inhabitants of the several jurisdictions would have on the judges and jurors in their several judicatures; which would break the commerce and trade which the sereral parts of this kingdom now have each with the other.

The union of our law, which is the unity for our common benefits, would be lost in our causes concerning our lands or goods, although the tryals of matters of fact by juries are twice yearly in the several counties, to the great ease and benefit of the subjects; yet the judgments in points of law, on those tryals, are, in the Courts of the King's-Bench, Common-Pleas, and Exchequer, before the judges of those courts, learned in our laws. This keeps the law intire, and to be the same throughout the whole king. dom.

It cannot be foreseen how far those new judicatures would intrench on the intireness and interest of the monarchy of this kingdom. Seven several judicatures, in seven several jurisdictions, might endanger endeavours for another heptarchy. The persons in the se. veral jurisdictions would be so involved by their interests in the judgments given in their several judicatures, as to leave no means unattempted to maintain those judgments, and to be unquiet when proceedings should be against their persons or estates, elsewhere than in their own judicatures.

A LETTER TO MR. SERJANT,

A ROMISH PRIEST,

Concerning the Impossibility of the Publick Establishment of

Popery here in England.

May 19, 1672. Sir, SINCE I was last with you I have thought of what you said,

• That 'ere long all our parish churches would be in your possession. This hath occasioned me to write (I will not say my advice) but my opinion: That you and your clergy should not attempt that which I perceive you have already in your speculations. They who know the history of your services in the last wars, and since, must acknowledge that you have deserved well of your prince, in

that not only you asserted his cause in the field with the loss of a limb, but, which is more, you discovered to one of his great mi. nisters of state the design of the Roman Catholicks, managed by Sir Kenhelm Digby, and father Holden, an English sorbonist, to put their part of this nation under the subjection and patronage of Oliver. It is in respect to you, and so many as are of your loyalty as well as religion, that I wish in the game they now play, by venturing high, they may not lose all. You are much mistaken, if from a toleration you conclude an assurance of publick establishment. It is one thing to gain a favourable look, another, that one should so fall in love, as to espouse your cause. Consider the difficulties, if not impossibilities, which in great number oppose your hopes. The chiefest, as you ought to apprehend, is the firm resolution of the king, to defend the Church of England, as it yet stands; a resolution in him so unmoveable, that neither an interest in mighty princes, obtainable by such an exchange, could invite, nor the arguments of military men could persuade him to renounce that church, from which he then * received no advantage, but the satisfaction of her communion, and suffering in her defence. You cannot but know withal, titi, to believe him inclinable to you, is to commit treason in your hearts, since that, to say so, is declared treason by an act of parliament. But, if you should prore so sanguine and full of fancies, as to believe what was formerly ineffectual, might now prevail; I cannot commend your judgment, except you shew, that either your religion is better, or else that interest doth more strongly draw the king towards you now than heretofore. For the former part, religion, you say it ought not in the least to be altered; and we acknowledge, if it were reformed, it will be less worth to the clergy. For the other, concern. ing interest of state, if it dissuade under those circumstances, much more will it at this day. In those times he might, by this course, have been restored to three kingdoms. Now he would hereby give up half his jurisdiction, to wit, supremacy; and, after a while, a good part of his revenue, the appendant posses. sions of his supremacy. But this is not the worst; for, besides this, by setting up Popery, he sets up the Pope as his collegue and fellow sovereign in all his majesty's dominions. lle gives him, at once, all the clergy, and implicitely as many as they frighten with purgatory and hell. -To obey God's vicar rather than

This hath been done, not in the case of the church alone, but in temporal quarrels betwixt him and other princes. But, if you still hold the conclusion against unanswerable objections, what means, pray, can you propose, whereby this may be accomplished? Exercise all your imaginative power, fancy any thing, though never so unlikely, to be granted or practised, so it be but in the 11 tmost degree of possibility. There are but two ways to do it, either by parliament, and you cannot expect that this parliament, which appeared so earnest against your toleration, should set you

man.

In the time of his banishment and the grand rebellion.

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