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legal_language:accessoriiim_non_ducit_sed_sequitur_suum_principale

Accessorium non ducit, sed sequitur suum principale

(Co.Litt. 152.) The accessory does not lead, but follows its principal.

THIS maxim may be also translated, “The incident shall pass by the grant of the principal, but not the principal by the grant of the incident ; ” and may be illustrated, in both negative and affirmative, by the following examples : —Rent is. incident to the reversion, and by a grant of the reversion the rent will pass, though by a grant of the rent the reversion will not pass. So, with a manor, the court baron will pass ; with a mansion house, all those things appurtenant, necessary for its enjoyment as such, will pass. But those things which are only appendant by continual enjoyment with others, as warrens, leets, waifs,estrays, and the like, will not so pass, without express words,or general words showing an intention ; as “ cum pertinentiis.',' And so it is in similar cases ; as, covenants running with the land ; the obligations resulting from contracts ; the consequences resulting from causes allowed by law, and which are all refer- able to this maxim. A familiar instance of the application of the maxim is, where A. requires a chattel to be repaired, or made from material to be provided by himself, and employs B. to do the work ; in this case the labor used in the repair or in the manufacture of the chattel is merged into it, and thus forms part of it, and belongs to A., and B. has only a claim for the labor bestowed upon it. It has also been held that where there is a sale of realty and personalty in one indivisible contract, as of a house and furniture, the property in the furniture will not pass until a conveyance of the house has been executed.

The principal object or thing is called res princi/palis, the accessory, res accessoria, and these terms apply equally to things corporeal as to things incorporeal, to rights incident to property as to property itself ; each principal having its incident, and each incident its principal. It follows also of course that where the principal ceases, or is destroyed, the accessory also ceases, or is destroyed: as where a less estate being created out of a greater and the greater is destroyed or determined, the destruction or determination of the greater estate draws with it the destruction or determination of the less. So in the case of a lessee or other person having a limited determinable estate, and granting an interest out of it, the determination of such his limited or determinable estate, whether by effluxion of time, breach of condition, or otherwise, will draw with it, so as to determine, the interest so granted out of it. All rights and privileges carry with them corresponding obligations, and the right or privilege ceasing the obligation ceases also, as the accessory on the destruction of the principal. There is, however, no obligation without a right, as there is no accessory without a principal. The law confers many privileges upon corporate bodies and individuals, in their public and private relation to society, but to all such privileges there are corresponding conditions annexed, which conditions follow the privileges as the accessory follows the principal.

An exception to this rule exists is the case of a surrender of a lease for the purpose of taking a renewal, in which case, the reversion of an under-lease, if there be one, being gone, the under-lease does not thereby become extinguished, but the lessee has all the same remedies against the under-lessee for rents, covenants, and duties, as if the original lease had been still kept on foot ; and the rights of the original lessor are also preserved so far as the rents and covenants in the new lease exceed not those of the old.


Co. Litt. 133; Shepp. Touch. 89 ; Harding v. Pollock, 6 Bing. 63; Chancell d. Robotham, Yelv. 68; Wood v. Bell, 6 Ell. & Bl. 361 ; Goode o. Burton, 1 Exch. 189 ; Hollis v. Palmer, 2 Bing. ZST. C. 713; Florence v. Drayson, 1 C. B. N. S. 584 ; Florence- r. Jennings, 3 lb. 454 ; 4 Geo. 3, c. 38, s. 6 ; Lanyon v. Toogood, 13 M. & W. 39 ; Clarke v. Spence, 4 Ad. & Bl. 470 ; Carruthers v. Payne, 3 M. & P. 441.


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