During a recent weed of the Regina collection, we came across this gem from 1882, Hallilay’s Digest of Questions, 12th Edition*. The long title is A Digest of the Questions Asked At The Final Examination of Articled Clerks In The Common Law, Conveyancing, and Equity Divisions. From The Commencement of the Examination In 1836 To The Present Time, With A Time Table In An Action; And The Mode Of Proceeding, And Directions To Be Attended To At The Examination, With The Rules Of The Honour Examination. As the long title explains, the book contains nearly 600 pages of questions asked of articling students on subjects such as the law of torts or private wrongs, evidence and rights of a married woman. Here are a few sample questions and answers. Any still hold true today?
Q. – State some of the nuisances affecting dwelling-houses and lands, for which an action will lie.
A. – If a man sets up an offensive trade, as a tallow-chandler’s, or maintains an offensive thing upon the premises, as a dung-heap, the stench from which renders the air unwholesome, and the enjoyment of property uncomfortable, these are nuisances for which an action will lie. Various other instances may be mentioned, as obstructing lights, or diverting watercourses.
Q. – Suppose a witness whom you wished to call as a witness in a cause was about to sail on a distant voyage, should you think it advisable to detain him here till the trial, or is there any other way of obtaining his testimony?
A. – Yes; application may be made to the court, or at chambers, for a rule or order for the examination of the witness on oath before a master of the court, or other person named in such order. The application should be supported by affidavit, stating the name of the witness, and that he is material, and the grounds upon which you apply to have him examined.
Q. – Distinguish between the positions of a married and a single woman in respect of property to which each is entitled under the same will for her separate use, with a restraint upon anticipation.
A. – The married woman would be restrained from alienating or disposing of it in any way (except upon application to the court after 31st December, 1881), as the clause against anticipation would prevent her doing so; but the single woman could of course dispose of it as she thinks proper, the separate use clause and the restraint upon anticipation having no effect in her case.
* Richard Hallilay, A Digest of the Questions Asked At The Final Examination of Articled Clerks In The Common Law, Conveyancing, and Equity Divisions (London: Horace Cox, 1882).