Bettison and others v Langton and others: HL 17 May 2001

A right to pasture animals on a common had been levant and couchant, and as such was inalienable as a separate asset from the land where the animals were kept. The right was registered under the Act, and was thereby transformed into a right to graze a certain number of animals on the common. That right was no longer defined by reference to the dominant tenement, and so was a separate right which could be sold and conveyed on to a third party as an asset separated from the land.


Lord Slynn of Hadley Lord Nicholls of Birkenhead Lord Steyn Lord Hutton Lord Scott of Foscote


Times 30-May-2001, Gazette 21-Jun-2001, [2001] UKHL 24, [2001] 3 All ER 417, [2001] 2 WLR 1605


Bailii, House of Lords


Commons Registration Act 1965 15, Law of Property Act 1925 187


Appeal fromBettison and Another v Penton and Another CA 22-Jan-1998
A common right of grazing which was quantified but not related to the ability of the land to sustain it was capable of existing in gross, and was therefore severable entirely from the land to which it related. The severance was no necessary . .
CitedWhite v Taylor (No 2) ChD 1969
The alienation of grazing rights for a fixed number of beasts cannot prejudice the residual interest of the owner of the servient common. Whoever the grazing right belongs to, the number of beasts that can be grazed upon the common pursuant to the . .
CitedDrury v Kent 1603
‘he could not grant it over, for he hath it quasi sub modo viz. for the beasts levant and couchant; . . but common appurtenant for beasts certain may be granted over.’ . .
CitedDaniel v Hanslip 1672
‘if a man hath common appurtenant to a messuage and land for certain number of beasts, he may alien the same; aliter if it be common for all his beasts levant and couchant upon the land, he cannot by his alienation sever that from the land.’ It was . .
CitedRichards v Squibb 1698
A right to depasture a fixed number of beasts differs from a right for beasts levant and couchant. It is not confined to enjoyment by beasts levant and couchant on the dominant land and may be enjoyed by beasts that do not come from the tenement to . .
CitedCarr v Lambert 1866
Levancy and couchancy is a ‘measure of the capacity of the land to keep cattle out of artificial or natural produce grown within its limits’. . .
CitedBaylis v Tyssen-Amhurst 1877
In order to acquire by prescription a right of pasture appurtenant to land, there had to be some relation between the enjoyment of the right and the enjoyment of the land in question. The number of animals for the pasturing of which the right was . .
CitedLord Chesterfield v Harris CA 27-Jun-1908
The court considered the acquisition of a profit a prendre of fishing, by prescription over a stretch of the River Wye.
Held: Lord Chesterfield’a appeal succeeded. To be valid, a profit appurtenant must, as I have said, be limited and that . .
CitedLord Chesterfield v Harris HL 17-Jul-1911
The House considered the nature and ownership of fishing rights on the River Wye. Freeholders in adjoining parishes had been fishing a non-tidal portion of the river for centuries, not by stealth or indulgence, but openly, continuously, as of right . .
CitedPritchard v Briggs CA 1980
A conveyance of part in 1944 gave a right of pre-emption over retained land. The vendor’s successors the let the retained land to the plaintiff with an option to buy the freehold reversion. The retained land was sold to the defendants in purported . .
CitedKirkness v John Hudson and Co Ltd HL 1955
Viscount Simonds said: ‘the beliefs or assumptions of those who frame Acts of Parliament cannot make the law’. While subsequent legislation could resolve ambiguity in earlier legislation, it could only do so where the subject of the subsequent . .

Cited by:

CitedOxfordshire County Council v Oxford City Council, Catherine Mary Robinson ChD 22-Jan-2004
Land had been registered in part as a common. The council appealed.
Held: The rights pre-existing the Act had not been lost. The presumption against retrospectively disapplying vested rights applied, and the application had properly been made. . .
CitedPolo Woods Foundation v Shelton-Agar and Another ChD 17-Jun-2009
The court considered whether the claimant had established a profit a prendre against the defendant neighbour’s land in the form of a right of pasturage, acquired either by lost modern grant or by prescription.
Held: The appeal succeeded, but . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 18 May 2022; Ref: scu.78374