From The (London, U.K.) Times of Oct. 29, 2005:
Brothers stand to make millions from 1841 ruling on Church land
By Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent
THE Church of England is facing a bill which could run into millions of pounds after it lost a legal battle over selling redundant church schools and keeping the proceeds.
The historic judgment in the House of Lords came after two brothers who specialise in genealogical research challenged the Canterbury Diocese over its sale of a primary school near Maidstone. Simon and Nathan Fraser acted on a legal technicality dating from an obscure 19th-century law.
Under the 1841 School Sites Act, landowners were encouraged to grant land to the Church for education, with the proviso that, if the usage changed, possession would revert to their descendants.
The Fraser brothers tracked down the 18 living descendants and bought up the interests in the case from a number of them.
Now their investment has been rewarded, as the diocese has been told it acted illegally and must recover and redistribute the cash to the descendants of Jane Mercer and Lewis Wigan.
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