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.
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.
In the state the Tory inherited the ideas of Clarendon, and, without being at all ready to abandon the claims of parliaments, nevertheless somewhat inconsistently spoke of the king as ruling by a divine and indefeasible title, and wielding a power which it was both impious and unconstitutional to resist by force.
And amongst the divinely implanted, original, indefeasible notitiae communes of the human mind, he found as foremost his five articles: - that there is one supreme God, that he is to be worshipped, that worship consists chiefly of virtue and piety, that we must repent of our sins and cease from them, and that there are rewards and punishments here and hereafter.
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).
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.
This broad and indefeasible principle he enunciated and defended in essay after essay, in lecture after lecture, until what at first was rejected as a paradox came in the end to be accepted as a commonplace.