Use, as a term in real property law of common law countries, amounts to a recognition of the duty of a person, to whom property has been conveyed for certain purposes, to carry out those purposes. Uses were equitable or beneficial interests in land. In early law a man could not dispose of his estate by will nor could religious houses acquire it. As a method of evading the common law, the practice arose of making feoffments to the use of, or upon trust for, persons other than those to whom the seisin or legal possession was delivered, to which the equitable jurisdiction of the chancellor gave effect. To remedy the abuses which it was said were occasioned by this evasion of the law the Statute of Uses of 1536 was passed. However it failed to accomplish its purpose. Out of this failure of the Statute of Uses arose the modern law of trusts (see that article for further details).

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