Crown Estate Commissioners v Roberts and Another: ChD 13 Jun 2008

The defendant claimed ownership as Lord Marcher of St Davids of historical rights in foreshores in Pembrokeshire. The claimants sought removal of his cautions against first registration.
Held: Lewison J explored the history of manorial holdings and how the Welsh land holding systems had been incorporated under English law. The claimant had established a right of wreck but not otherwise over either the foreshore or the seabed.


Lewison J


[2008] EWHC 1302 (Ch), [2008] 24 EG 141, [2008] 4 All ER 828, [2008] 2 P and CR 15




Statute of Quia Emptores 1290, Lords of Marches of Wales Act 1354, The Act of Union 1535, Treasure Act 1996, Game Act 1831


England and Wales


CitedCorpus Christi College Oxford v Gloucestershire County Council CA 1983
The court considered the result where the freehold of what had formerly been waste of the manor became severed from the lordship.
Held: It ceased to be part of the manor. Lord Denning MR described the historical basis of the ownership of land . .
CitedRoberts v Swangrove Estates Ltd and Another ChD 14-Mar-2007
The court heard preliminary applications in a case asserting acquisition of land by adverse possession, the land being parts of the foreshore of the Severn Estuary.
Held: A person may acquire title to part of the bed of a tidal river by . .
CitedAttorney General of Hong Kong v Fairfax Limited PC 17-Dec-1996
(Hong Kong) A lease had been granted containing a covenant that the tenant would build villa residences only on the land. In breach of that covenant many high rise properties had been erected over many years. The applicant, now respondents, had . .
CitedSpook Erection Ltd v Secretary of State for the Environment CA 1989
Nourse LJ explained the nature of a franchise in land: ‘The right which was granted to one Anthony Bourchier by the letters patent of 29 June 1637 was a franchise; an incorporeal hereditament which has been authoritatively defined as a royal . .
CitedThe Case of the Royal Fishery of the Banne 1610
A royal fishery did not pass by a general grant of all fisheries, because general words in a grant did not pass ‘special royalty which belongeth to the Crown by prerogative’. . .
CitedThe Rebeckah 26-Feb-1799
Lord Stowell discussed the rationale behind the inversion in cases involving the Crown of the principle that a clause is to be construed against the proposer saying that: ‘the prerogatives and rights and emoluments of the Crown being conferred upon . .
CitedHIH Casualty and General Insurance Limited v New Hampshire Insurance Company Independent Insurance Company Limited Axa Reinsurance S A CA 21-May-2001
A claim was made under a re-insurance policy which supported film finances. The re-insurers resisted the claim on the grounds of misrepresentation. Rix LJ: ‘In principle it would seem to me that it is always admissible to look at prior contracts as . .
CitedViscountess Rhondda’s Claim HL 1922
(Committee of Privileges of the House of Lords) Viscountess Rhondda asserted a right to sit in the House of Lords as a member, relying on the 1919 Act.
Held: It is incorrect for a court to draw conclusions from such elements of the . .
CitedAttorney-General v Trustees of the British Museum 1903
A right to treasure trove did not pass by general words in a Crown charter, but had to be expressly granted. . .
CitedThe Attorney-General v Parmeter And Others In Re Portsmouth Harbour CEC 1811
The defendants claimed rights under a charter granted by Charles I in 1628 granting lands and marshes subject to the overflowing of the sea. The charter declared that it had been granted in consideration and as compensation for the future expense of . .
CitedGreat Eastern Railway v Goldsmid 1884
The City of London Corporation had implicitly given up a franchise consisting of an exclusive right to markets within London that had apparently been conferred on it by an Act or charter of Edward III in circumstances in which it had acquiesced for . .
CitedAnon 1704
If a man has a right of any wreck thrown upon another’s land he has a right of way over the same land to take it: ‘Originally all wrecks were in the Crown and the King has a right of way over any man’s ground for his wreck; and the same privilege . .
CitedDickens v Shaw 1822
A right to ‘wreck’ will not of itself confer a title by presumption of law to the ownershipof the soil above the shore as against the Crown.
Holroyd J discussed whether a grant of a right of wreck include also any right in the land: ‘I think . .
CitedDuke of Somerset v Fogwell 1826
Where a subject is owner of a several fishery in a navigable river, where the tide flows and reflows, granted to him (as must be presumed) before Magna Charta, by the description of ‘separalem piscariam,’ that is an incorporeal and not a territorial . .
CitedBerkeley Peerage case 1858
Lord St Leonards explained section 1 of the 1660 Act which removed all the ‘fruits and consequents’ of tenure in capite of the Crown: ‘Not only were all tenures in capite . . taken away, but the lands were for ever turned into free and common . .
CitedIn Re Jolly CA 1900
Mrs Jolly let a farm to her son who paid rent until 1881, but not thereafter, and her title to the farm was extinguished in 1893. She died in 1898. The question which arose was whether at her death any rent arrears remained due.
Held: The . .
CitedMount Carmel Investments Limited v Peter Thurlow Limited CA 1988
The court considered a defence to an assertion of adverse possession, that the plaintiff had given notice of his intention to recover the land: ‘no one, either lawyer or non-lawyer, would think that a householder ceases to be in possession of his . .
CitedFeather v The Queen 1865
Mr Feather had invented way of protecting ships against shot and obtained an exclusive patent. The Crown then had a ship constructed in a way that infringed the patent. As patentee Mr Feather asked for recompense; by petition of right he asked for . .
CitedNeill v Duke of Devonshire HL 1882
The House considered the right to a several fishery in the river Blackwater. There were letters patent granted by James I and Charles I. Held; Lord Selborne LC said: ‘These written titles (if the possession and enjoyment has been consistent with . .

Cited by:

CitedWalker and Another v Burton and Another CA 14-Oct-2013
The Burtons had purchased the former Hall of the village of Ireby, and been registered as proprietors of the Lordhsip of the Manor. The villagers had successfully challenged the registration. The Court now considered the circumstances in which the . .
CitedLynn Shellfish Ltd and Others v Loose and Another SC 13-Apr-2016
The court was asked as to the extent of an exclusive prescriptive right (ie an exclusive right obtained through a long period of use) to take cockles and mussels from a stretch of the foreshore on the east side of the Wash, on the west coast of . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Land, Registered Land

Updated: 17 July 2022; Ref: scu.269728