This action, which was in form one for the administration, simpliciter, of the trusts of a marriage settlement, executed on the 19th of August, 1856, became, from the circumstances of the case and the shape in which it was presented to the Court, a very singular one. The only facts which need be stated by way of introduction to the judgment are briefly these:—By the settlement of the 19th of August, 1856, made on the marriage of a Miss Moses with a Mr. Davis, two funds called respectively the “father's fund” and the “husband's fund,” were settled, as to the first to pay the income to Mrs. Davis for her life for her sole and separate use; and as to the second, if she survived her husband, for her absolutely. There was one child of that marriage—viz., the plaintiff—who was still an infant, and who on his mother's death would become entitled to these settlement funds, and other considerable property, amounting altogether to about £90,000. Mr. Davis died in September, 1857. On the 12th of April, 1862, Mrs. Davis married Monsieur Mégret, a sculptor, and a domiciled French subject. By the settlement, made on the previous day—viz., the 11th of April, 1862—in the English form, and in England, a sum of £8,000, the property of Madame Mégret, was settled “in trust for her absolutely for her sole and separate use.” That settlement contained a covenant to the effect that, “If Madame Mégret, or Monsieur Mégret in her right, should at any time during the coverture become entitled to any personal property of the value of £200 or upwards” (except jewels, &c.), then Monsieur Mégret should “cause the same to be vested in the trustees of that settlement, to be held by them upon the same trusts as were therein declared of the £8,000, and upon further trusts to pay and apply or otherwise dispose of any annuity, or other life interest which Madame Mégret or Monsieur Mégret should become so entitled to, as aforesaid, for the life of Madame Mégret only,” in accordance with the trusts of the £8,000. There were several children of that marriage. In the course of the action, two questions were raised—one as to the sanity of Madame Mégret in and subsequent to the year 1870; the other as to the domicile of Monsieur Mégret in 1856. Monsieur Mégret was now living in France, apart from his wife. He contended that, as a domiciled Frenchman when he married her, he was entitled by French law to the whole of the income of “the husband's fund,” and to two-thirds of the income of “the father's fund.” He also claimed the whole of the income of “the husband's fund,” jure mariti, as not comprised within the covenant to settle after acquired property on the settlement made on his marriage. With regard to the sanity of Madame Mégret, Dr. Tuke and Dr. Bucknill were examined vivâ voce in open Court, who pronounced unhesitatingly that she was of sound mind. She herself was also called and examined; and showed no symptoms whatever of “amiud diseased.” Witnesses were also examined to prove that Monsieur Mégret's domicile was English. The further details of the case, and the effect of the evidence, and the argument in it, will sufficiently appear from the judgment, infra.
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