John v Anon

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John v. Anon [c. 1290] BL. Add. 31826, fol. 169 is a very early common law case and shows the very early development of trust law, although the decision itself is not precedent setting. The significance of the case is rather that it records a detailed view of the proceedings when one went into chancery to purchase a writ.[1]

The facts of the case[edit]

A particular tenement was granted to two men and to "the heirs engendered of their two bodies".[2] The issue was that both men survived their children and grand children, so that their great grandchildren sought an estate. The Kings Council found for the defendant in this case.


  1. ^ Like most proceedings of the day this case was recorded in Year Books, which as training manuals for lawyers was more concerned with presenting the arguments of the lawyers than the outcome of the case. This also explains why we don't know the name of the respondent
  2. ^ This was a common wording for inheritable fee of the time, problems with which gave rise to early trusts