74. A Bill against Conveying or Taking Pretensed Titles
Be it enacted by the General Assembly, that no person shall convey or take, or bargain to convey or take, any pretensed title to any lands or tenements, unless the person conveying or bargaining to convey, or those under whom he claims shall have been in possession of the same, or of the reversion or remainder thereof one whole year next before. And he who offendeth herein knowingly shall forfeit the whole value of the lands or tenements; the one moiety to the commonwealth, and the other to him who will sue as well for himself as for the commonwealth.
But any person lawfully possessed of lands or tenements or of the reversion or remainder thereof, may nevertheless take or bargain to take the pretensed title of any other person, so far and so far only as it may confirm his former estate.
Report description begins Report of the Committee of Revisors Appointed by the General Assembly of Virginia in MDCCLXXVI, Richmond, 1784 description ends , p. 51. Text of Act as adopted is in Hening, description begins William W. Hening, The Statutes at Large; Being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia description ends xii, 335.
Bill was presented by Madison on 31 Oct. 1785 and on 14 Dec. was postponed to the next session (JHD description begins Journal of the House of Delegates of the Commonwealth of Virginia (cited by session and date of publication) description ends , Oct. 1785, 1828 edn., p. 12–15, 92). It was brought up again at the Oct. 1786 session, was passed by the House on 18 Nov., and on 6 Dec. was approved by the Senate (same, Oct. 1786, p. 16–17, 44, 46, 48, 88, 127). Text of the Act as adopted is identical with Bill as proposed; Act was suspended until 1 July 1787 (Hening, description begins William W. Hening, The Statutes at Large; Being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia description ends xii, 410–11).