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WASSAIL (0. Eng. woes hal, " be whole...

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Originally appearing in Volume V28, Page 361 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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WASSAIL (0. Eng. woes hal, " be whole," " be well "), primarily I gr is waste chaln or eat r, and he may use the p profits a alvahrerum lsubstantia (to use the language of Roman law, from which the English law of waste is in great measure derived). For instance, he may cut timber in a husband-like manner and open mines; but he may not commit what is called equitable waste, that is, pull down or deface the mansion or destroy timber planted or left for ornament or shelter (Weld-Blundell v. Wolseley, 1903, 2 Ch. 664). Acts of equitable waste were, before 1875, not cognizable in courts of common law, but by the Judicature Act 1873, S. 25 (3), in the absence of special provisions to that effect an estate for life without impeachment of waste does not confer upon the tenant for life any legal light to commit equitable waste. A copy-holder may not commit waste unless allowed to do so by the custom of the manor. The penalty for waste is forfeiture of the copyhold; Galbraith v. Foynton, 1905, 2 K.B. 258 (see Copy-HOLD). The Agricultural Holdings Acts 1900 and 1906, by reason of their provisions giving compensation for improvement, as regards the holdings to which they apply, override some of the old common law doctrines as to waste. The act of 1900 provides (s. 2 [31) that where a tenant, who claims compensation for improvements, has wrongfully been guilty of waste, either voluntary or permissive, the landlord shall be entitled to set off the sums due to him in respect a bowl which was carried round the streets by young girls of such waste, and to have them assessed by arbitration in manner singing carols at Christmas and the New Year. This ancient provided by the acts of 1900 and 1906. Under the act of 1906 the custom still survives here and there, especially in Yorkshire, tenant is I emitted to disregard the terms of his tenancy as to the where the bowl is known as " the vessel cup," and is made of holly and evergreens, inside which are placed one er two dolls trimmed with ribbons. This cup is borne on a stick by children who go from house to house singing Christmas carols. In Devonshire and elsewhere it was the custom to wassail the orchards on Christmas and New Year's eve. Pitchers of ale or cider were poured over the roots of the trees to the accompaniment of a rhyming toast to their healths.
End of Article: WASSAIL (0. Eng. woes hal, " be whole," " be well ")
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