Herbert v. Wren
11 U.S. 370

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U.S. Supreme Court

Herbert v. Wren, 11 U.S. 7 Cranch 370 370 (1813)

Cranch 370

Herbert v. Wren

11 U.S. (7 Cranch) 370


Courts of chancery have concurrent jurisdiction with courts of law, in cases of dower, especially where partition, discovery, or account is prayed and in cases of sale where the parties are willing that a sum in gross should be given in lieu of dower.

If a devise of land in Virginia to the widow appear from circumstances to be intended in lieu of dower, she must make her election, and cannot take both.

If a wife join her husband in a lease for years, she is still entitled to dower in the rent.

A court of chancery cannot allow a part of the purchase money in lieu of dower when the estate is sold unless by consent of all the parties interested.

Error to the Circuit Court for the District of Columbia sitting at Alexandria, in a suit in chancery brought by Richard Wren and Susanna, his wife, who was the widow of Lewis Hipkins, deceased, and John and Westley Adams, her trustees, against W. Herbert, T. Swann, R. B. Lee, and W. B. Page, trustees of Philip R. Fendall, deceased, and E. I. Lee, Jos. Deane, and F. Green.

The case was stated by MR. CHIEF JUSTICE MARSHALL in delivering the opinion of the Court as follows:

This suit was brought by Richard Wren, and Susanna, his wife, formerly the wife of Lewis Hipkins, praying that dower may be assigned her in a tract of land of which her former husband died seized and which has since been sold and conveyed to the defendant Joseph Deane, or that a just equivalent in money may be decree her in lieu thereof.

The material circumstances of the case are these:

Lewis Hipkins, being seized as tenant in common with Philip Richard Fendall of one-third of a tract of land lying in the County of Fairfax, by his deed executed

Page 11 U. S. 371

by himself and wife leased the same to Philip Richard Fendall for the term of thirteen years, to commence on the first of September in the year 1794 at the annual rent of

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