13 AUGUST 1887, Page 2

The House of Lords, as the final Court, on Monday

last decided that lands purchased under an order of the Court of Chancery directing that they shall retain the character of personalty, are liable to pay Probate-duty. This decision reverses the judgment of the Court of Appeal, and affirms that of the Queen's Bench Division. The circumstances of the ease were somewhat curious. The surplus personal estate of Sir Henry Mena, a lunatic, amounting to over a million sterling, was thus invested in land by order of the Court. On his death, his executors refused to Pay Probate-duty, on the ground that it could not be claimed on real estate. Hence the appeal. The Lord Chancellor, though not dissenting from the other Law Lords, expressed his opinion that though the weight of authority was too great to be disturbed, the decision, on grounds of abstract principle, should have been the other way.