814. Successive interests under early common law.

The early common law regarded personal property, whether chattels real or chattels personal1, as essentially the subject of absolute ownership and incapable of being held for successive interests2. Thus, if a lessee3 or the owner of a chattel4 attempted to assign or bequeath the property to one person for life with remainder to another, the remainder was void, and the first-mentioned person took absolutely.

In the case of leases this common law rule was ultimately relaxed as to gifts by will (although not, it seems, as to assurances inter vivos