EMBLEMENTS (from O. Fr. emblavence de bled, i.e. corn sprung up above ground), a term applied in English law to the corn and other crops of the earth which are produced annually, not spontaneously, but by labour and industry. Emblements belong therefore to the class of fructus industriales, or "industrial growing crops" (Sale of Goods Act 1893, § 62). They include not only corn and grain of all kinds, but everything of an artificial and annual profit that is produced by labour and manuring, e.g. hemp, flax, hops, potatoes, artificial grasses like clover, but not fruit growing on trees, which come under the general rule quicquid plantatur solo, solo cedit. Emblements are included within the definition of goods in s. 62 of the Sale of Goods Act 1893. Where an estate of uncertain duration terminates unexpectedly by the death of the tenant, or some other event due to no fault of his own, the law gives to the personal representative the profits of crops of this nature as compensation for the tilling, manuring and sowing of the land. If the estate, although of uncertain duration, is determined by the tenant's own acts, the right to emblements does not arise. The right to emblements has become of no importance in England since 1851, when it was provided by the Landlord and Tenant Act 1851 (s. 1) that any tenant at rack-rent, whose lease was determined by the death or cesser of the estate, of a landlord entitled only for his life, or for any other uncertain interest, shall, instead of emblements, be entitled to hold the lands until the expiration of the current year of his tenancy. The right to emblements still exists, however, in favour of (a) a tenant not within the Landlord and Tenant Act 1851, whose estate determines by an event which could not be foreseen, (b) the executor, as against the heir of the owner in fee of land in his own occupation, (c) an execution creditor under a writ directing seizure of goods and chattels. A person entitled to emblements may enter upon the lands after the determination of the tenancy for the purpose of cutting and carrying away the crops. Emblements are liable to distress by the landlord for arrears of rent, or rent during the period of holding on under the act of 1851 (the Distress for Rent Act 1737; see Bullen on Distress, 4th ed., 1893).
The term "emblements" is unknown in Scots law, but the heir or representative of a life-rent tenant, a liferenter of lands, has an analogous right to reap the crop (on paying a proportion of the rent) and a right to recompense for labour in tilling the ground. The Landlord and Tenant Act 1851 (s. 1) was in force in Ireland till 1860, when it was replaced by the Land Act 1860, which gave to the tenant an almost identical right to emblements (s. 34).
In the United States the English common law of emblements has been generally preserved. In North Carolina there has been legislation on the lines of the English Landlord and Tenant Act 1851. In some states the tenant is entitled to compensation also from the person succeeding to the possession.
Under the French Code Civil, the outgoing tenant is entitled to convenient housing for the consumption of his fodder and for the harvests remaining to be got in (art. 1777). The same rule is in force in Belgium (Code Civil, art. 1777); and in Holland (Civil Code, art. 1635) and Spain (art. 1578). Similar rights are secured to the tenant under the German Civil Code (arts. 592 et seq.). French law is in force in Mauritius. The common law of England and the Landlord and Tenant Act 1851 (14 & 15 Vict., c. 25, s. 1) are in force in many of the British colonies acquired by settlement. In other colonies they have been recognized by statute (e.g. Victoria, Landlord and Tenant Act 1890, No. 1108, ss. 45-48: Tasmania, Landlord and Tenant Act 1874, 38 Vict. No. 12).
AUTHORITIES - English Law: Fawcett on the Law of Landlord and Tenant (3rd ed., London, 1905); Foà, Landlord and Tenant (4th ed., London, 1907). Scots Law: Bell's Principles (10th ed., Edinburgh, 1899). Irish Law: Noland and Kanes, Statutes relating to the Law of Landlord and Tenant in Ireland (10th ed.), by Kelly (Dublin, 1898). American Law: Stimson, American Statute Law (Boston, 1886); Bouvier, Law Dictionary, ed. by Rawle (Boston and London, 1897); Ruling Cases (London and Boston, 1894-1901), tit. "Emblements" (American Notes).
(A. W. R.)
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)