Shelley's Case, * This case, reported in 1 Rep. 93, contains a rule usually known as the rule in Shelley's case, which has caused more commentaries perhaps than any other case. It has been expressed with great precision, though not with much elegance, to be "in any instrument, if a freehold be limited to the ancestor for life, and the inheritance to his heirs, either mediately or immediately, the first taker takes the whole estate; if it be limited to the heirs of his body, he takes a fee tail; if to his heirs a fee simple." Co. Litt. 376, b and Mr. Butler's note, 1; 3 Binn. R. 139 1 Day, Rep. 299; 1 Prest. on Estates, ch. 3; 4 Kent, Com. 206; Cruise, Dig. tit. 32, c. 22; 2 Yeates, R. 410; 1 Hargr. Law Tracts, article "Observations concerning the rule in Shelley's case, chiefly with a view to the application of that rule in Last Wills;" 5 Ohio R. 465.

* From Bouvier's Law Dictionary, 1856 Edition. Please see Bouvier's Legal Abbreviations & Abbreviated References for help with obscure nomenclature & references.

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