The second was called for by the preference which the common law gave to a distant collateral over the brother of the half-blood of the first purchaser; the fourth conferred an indefeasible title on adverse possession for twenty years (a term shortened by Lord Cairns in 1875 to twelve years); the fifth reduced the number of witnesses required by law to attest wills, and removed the vexatious distinction which existed in this respect between freeholds and copyholds; the last freed an innocent debtor from imprisonment only before final judgment (or on what was termed mesne process), but the principle stated by Campbell that only fraudulent debtors should be imprisoned was ultimately given effect to for England and Wales in 1869.1 In one of his most cherished objects, however, that of Land Registration, which formed the theme of his maiden speech in parliament, Campbell was doomed to disappointment.
From this point of view his deserts are undoubtedly great; and for that reason he possesses an indefeasible right to a certain share in the renown of the papacy as a civilizing agent of the highest rank.
The theory of the indefeasible supremacy of the freeholders of England, whose delegates merely, according to this theory, the Commons were, was one of Defoe's favourite political tenets, and he returned to it in a powerfully written tract entitled The Original Power of the Collective Bcdy of the People of England examined and asserted (1701).
For this, the king granted Berford's Hall, formerly Charleston's Inn, which Chicheley's trustees had granted to him so as to obtain a royal grant and indefeasible title.
There would have been trouble in Aquitaine also, if the aged Queen Eleanor had not asserted her own primary and indefeasible right to her ancestral duchy, and then declared that she transferred it to her best loved son John.