The Modern Law of Charities as Derived from the Statute of Charitable Uses

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Page 201 - A charity, in the legal sense, may be more fully defined as a gift, to be applied consistently with existing laws, for the benefit of an indefinite number of persons, either by bringing their minds or hearts under the influence of education or religion, by relieving their bodies from disease, suffering, or constraint, by assisting them to establish themselves in life, or by erecting or maintaining public buildings or works, or otherwise lessening the burdens of government...
Page 206 - They establish, in the most satisfactory and conclusive manner, that cases of charities where there were trustees appointed for general and indefinite charities, as well as for specific charities, were familiarly known to, and acted upon, and enforced in, the court of chancery. In some of these cases the charities were not only of an uncertain and indefinite nature, but, as far as we can gather from the imperfect statement in the printed records, they were also cases where there were either no trustees...
Page 202 - Case, 41 defined a charitable or pious gift to be 'whatever is given for the love of God, or for the love of your neighbor, in the catholic and universal sense, given from these motives and to these ends, free from the stain or taint of every consideration that is personal, private, or selfish.
Page 206 - Sugden, in a very masterly judgment, upon a full survey of all the authorities, and where the point was directly before him, held the same doctrine as Lord Redesdale, and expressly decided that there is an inherent jurisdiction in equity in cases of charity, and that charity is one of those objects for which a court of equity has at all times interfered to make good that, which at law was an illegal or informal gift ; and that cases of charity in courts of equity in England were valid independently...
Page 208 - Do purposes of liberality and benevolence mean the same as objects of charity? That word in its widest sense denotes all the good affections men ought to bear towards each other ; in its most restricted and common sense, relief of the poor. In neither of these senses is it employed in this court. Here its signification is derived chiefly from the Statute of Elizabeth [St. 43 Eliz. c. 4]. Those purposes are considered charitable, which that Statute enumerates, or which by analogies are deemed within...
Page 206 - But very strong additional light has been thrown upon this subject by the recent publications of the commissioners on the public records in England, which contain a very curious and interesting collection of the chancery records in the reign of Queen Elizabeth and in the earlier reigns. Among these are found many cases in which the court of chancery entertained jurisdiction over charities long before the statute of 43 Elizabeth ; and some fifty of these cases, extracted from the printed calendars,...
Page 205 - We are referred to the statute of Elizabeth with respect to charitable uses, as creating a new law upon the subject of charitable uses. That statute only created a new jurisdiction ; it created no new law.
Page 206 - ... but the proceedings of that commission were made subject to appeal to the lord chancellor, and he might reverse or affirm what they had done, or make such order as he might think fit for reserving the controlling jurisdiction of the court of chancery as it existed before the passing of that statute; and there can be no doubt that by information by the attorney-general the same thing might be done.
Page 209 - The foundation upon which the doctrine of charitable uses rests in this state is firmly settled. While the statute of 43 Elizabeth is not in force, the principles which the English chancery has adopted on the subject obtain here, not by virtue of the statute, but as part of our common law. The fact is that those principles were recognized and applied in England before the statute, whioh only introduced a new remedy.
Page 210 - No one can read this sentence without perceiving its aim to have been to show by familiar examples what classes or kinds of uses were considered charitable or so beneficial to the public as to be entitled to the same protection as strictly charitable uses, rather than to enumerate or specify all the purposes which would fall within the scope and intent of the statute, much less every possible mode of carrying them out.

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