This Act makes provision with respect to the procedure of escheat of property, i.e. the appropriation of any casual revenues arising within the Colonies or Foreign Possessions of the Crown (other than Droits of the Crown and Droits of the Admiralty) for or towards any public purposes within the Colonies or Possessions in which the same respectively may have arisen, including the revenue to arise from the estates and effects of persons who have died intestate and without heirs or next of kin. The Governor in Council may from time to time, after such appropriation, order the payment of any claim in respect of such casual revenues. If a claim is not accepted, the claimant may present the petition to the Supreme Court. No land shall be escheated to the Crown which has been in the undisturbed possession of any person or of such person and his predecessors for the term of twenty years immediately preceding the filing of any claim by the Attorney General. The Registrar General may refuse to register any deed or instrument relating to any of the lands declared to be vested in the Crown unless and until a grant from the Crown of such lands, subsequent to such escheat, shall have been produced and registered.
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The British set up a trading post near present-day Freetown in the 17th century. Originally the trade involved timber and ivory, but later it expanded into slaves. Following the American Revolution, a colony was established in 1787 and Sierra Leone became a destination for resettling black loyalists who had originally been resettled in Nova Scotia. After the abolition of the slave trade in 1807, British crews delivered thousands of Africans liberated from illegal slave ships to Sierra Leone, particularly Freetown.