TAILZIE, in the law of Scotland, is the technical term corresponding with the English word Entail, which now generally supersedes it in colloquial use, even in Scotland. The early history of Entail law in Scotland in some respects resembles that of England but in later times they diverged from each other. In Scotland there was no early effort, such as the statute of Westminster the Second (13 Edw. I.) favouring deeds appointing a fixed series of heirs, nor does there appear to have been on the part of the judges that inclination to permit perpetuities to be defeated by fictions which was shown in England. Devices, however, of a very similar character to those of the English statute were adopted to defeat attempts by holders under en tail to use their lands as if they were absolute proprietors. The first and sim plest restriction laid on the destined heirs of an entail was in the form of a mere prohibition, against contracting debt which might occasion the attach ment of the estate by creditors, sell ing the property, altering the order of succession, and the like. A provision of this character, called the "Prohibitive clause," was, however, quite insufficient to accomplish the end; because if a credi tor had really attached the estate for debt, or a person had boil fide purchased it, it was no ground for wresting the title out of his hands, that the proprietor was under a prohibition against permitting such occurrences. A second provision was added, called an Irritant clause, by which any right acquired contrary to the provisions of the entail was declared to be null. Still this did not effectually intimidate the holder under the entail from making efforts to break it, and did not give the next in succession a sufficient title to interfere. A third provision was added called the "Resolutive clause," by which the right of the person who contra venes the prohibition " resolves" or be comes forfeited. It was provided by sta tute (1685, c. 22) that all entails should be effective which contain Irritant and Resolutive clauses, are duly recorded by warrant of the court of session in Registers of Entails, and are followed by recorded saisins containing the Prohibitory, Irri tant, and Resolutive clauses. No attempts
were made to counteract the Entail sys tem by fictions of law, which are not in accordance with the genius of the law of Scotland, and it became a permanent feature in the institutions of the country. A sort of judicial war has, however, been carried on against Entails individually, which has been productive of a vast amount of litigation and strife, has occu pied much judicial time, and has tended to place the titles of property in a pre carious and doubtful position. An Entail is excluded from the favourable interpre tation of the law. The interpretation of its clauses is to be what is termed strictis Bind juris. The intention of the framer is never to be contemplated : every blunder is to be given effect to, and nothing is to be explained by reference to the context, if its own meaning as a sentence is doubtful. Thus, in a late case, those who held under an Entail were prohibited among other things from contracting debt to the effect of the estate being attached. The Irritant clause pro ceeded to say "if the heirs shall contra vene the premises, by breaking the Tail zie, contracting of debts," &c. (enumerat ing other contraventions), it was provided that "then and in any of these cases, the said venditions, alienations, dispositions, infeftments, alterations, infringements, bonds, tacks, obligements, made to the contrair " should be null. It was found that proceedings by creditors to attach the estate for debt were good. because they were not by name enumerated among the things that should be null, though they were prohibited, and mentioned among the things which, if coming to pass should cause a nullity. (Duffus's Trustees v. Dunbar, 28th January, 1842, 4 D. B. M 523.) Some statutory en largements have been made on the powers of persons holding under entail to provide for widows and younger children : but the system is still productive of great do mestic inequality, and it is to be hoped that in no long time it will be swept away as an impediment to the improve ment of the country, and an injustice to the mercantile classes.