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Helmholz, R., Zimmermann, R. (Eds.) (1998). Itinera Fiduciae. Trust and Treuhand in Historical Perspective. Duncker & Humblot.
Helmholz, Richard and Zimmermann, Reinhard. Itinera Fiduciae: Trust and Treuhand in Historical Perspective. Duncker & Humblot, 1998. Book.
Helmholz, R, Zimmermann, R (eds.) (1998): Itinera Fiduciae: Trust and Treuhand in Historical Perspective, Duncker & Humblot, [online]


Itinera Fiduciae

Trust and Treuhand in Historical Perspective

Editors: Helmholz, Richard | Zimmermann, Reinhard

Comparative Studies in Continental and Anglo-American Legal History, Vol. 19


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About The Author

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Reinhard Zimmermann, geb. 1952 in Hamburg, Jurastudium in Hamburg. Fachliche Interessen: Römisches Recht, Rechtsgeschichte, Rechtsvergleichung, Privatrecht. Lehrstühle an den Universitäten Kapstadt, Regensburg, Cambridge; Gastprofessuren in Edinburgh, Auckland, Chicago, Berkeley, Yale, Oxford u.a.; heute Direktor am Max-Planck-Institut für ausländisches und internationales Privatrecht und Professor an der Bucerius Law School. Leibniz-Preisträger (1996); Mitglied mehrerer Akademien der Wissenschaften im In- und Ausland; Präsident der Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes; Vorsitzender der Zivilrechtslehrervereinigung.


A person may hold property for a variety of purposes. The most common situation is that he wants to use and enjoy it for his own benefit. But he may also have agreed to administer the property either for the benefit of someone else or to further some particular purpose. Thus, in a broad and untechnical sense of the word, he may hold it "in trust". This kind of arrangement has been resorted to for many different reasons, both legitimate and illegitimate. From very early on, European legal systems have been faced with the need to establish rules and, eventually, institutions to deal with the resulting legal problems. $aFiducia, fideicommissum, Treuhand,$z foundation, executorship and, of course, the trust: they all provided, at some time or other and in some place or other, the legal framework that was required.

The present volume attempts to present a comparative historical analysis of these devices. It seeks to trace the paths of the idea of "holding for others" or of holding property in a fiduciary capacity: $aitinera fiduciae.$z And it comes to the conclusion that historical connections can be drawn between the English trust and the Continental legal tradition. The common features and the common sources evident on both sides of the Channel mean that no wall of incomprehension separated the English trust from analogous institutions on the Continent. On this account, Otto von Gierke's often quoted remark to F. W. Maitland ("I do not understand your law of trusts") gives a misleading impression. If, as seems to be happening today, modern European law incorporates the trust, there is much to suggest that it will be building upon historical foundations.

Table of Contents

Section Title Page Action Price
Table of Contents 9
Richard Helmholz and Reinhard Zimmermann: Views of Trust and Treuhand: An Introduction 27
I. Adoption of the Trust in Civil Law Countries 27
II. The Inquiry 30
III. Prior Scholarship 31
1. England 31
2. Germany 34
3. The Contemporary Situation 36
IV. The Problem of Definition 37
V. The Contributions 39
1. The Slow Emergence of the Concept of the Trust 40
2. Mining the Civilian Tradition 41
3. Circumventing Legal Restrictions 42
4. Trust Purposes 43
VI. A Final Word 44
David Johnston: Trusts and Trust-like Devices in Roman Law 45
I. Introduction 45
II. Trust-like Devices 45
1. Fideicommissum 45
(a) Structure 47
(b) Content 47
(c) Duration 48
(d) Remedies and Third Parties 50
2. Fiducia 52
3. Usufruct and usus 53
III. Trustees 53
1. Executors and the familiae emptor 54
2. Tutor 54
IV. Conclusions 55
Harald Siems: Von den piae causae zu den Xenodochien 57
I. Einleitung 57
II. Das Nachwirken römischer Rechtstexte im Frühmittelalter 60
III. Die Briefe Gregors des Großen 70
IV. Merowingische Formulare und Testamente 73
V. Merowingische Konzilien, Leges und Kapitularien 78
VI. Zusammenfassung 82
Shael Herman: The Canonical Conception of the Trust 85
I. Prelude: The Medieval Church’s Dilemma 85
1. The Trust: A Solution to the Church’s Dilemma 86
2. The Pope as Trustee; the Church as Primary Beneficiary of the Papal Trust 86
II. Possible Objections to the Proposed Canonical Trust Conception 87
III. Clerical Efforts to Legitimate Church Wealth 88
1. Apostolic collegium 89
2. The Metaphoric Hostelry: Use the World, But Do Not Use it Up 90
3. Clerical Innkeeper as usuarius 90
IV. Clerical usus, Feoffments ad usus, and the Franciscan Friars 92
1. Clerical usus and the Franciscan Friars 92
2. The Feoffment to Uses: A "Completely English Institution" 95
V. Influence of Roman Law upon the Concept of Trust 96
VI. Forms of Trusteeship in the Early Christian Church 98
1. Christian Custodians 98
2. Cemetery Custodian 98
3. Custodian of Holy Places 99
4. Corpus Christianorum 101
5. Bishops as Earthly Dwellers and Spiritual Guides to Life Everlasting 102
VII. Church Doctrines and Practices Assist Consolidation of Church Patrimony 102
1. Wills 102
2. Chantry Foundations 104
3. Monastic Finances and Feoffments to Uses 104
4. Feoffments to Uses Applied to Specific Spiritual Needs 106
VIII. Conclusion 109
Joseph Βiancalana: Medieval Uses 111
I. The Invention of Uses 113
1. Precursors 113
2. Origins 117
II. The Increased Employment of Uses 123
1. The Debtor Feoffor 124
(a) Pursuing the Heir 125
(b) Pursuing the Feoffees 126
2. Daughters 129
III. Uses and Wardship 131
1. Establishing a Baseline 132
2. Social Practice 133
3. The Cases: Seignorial Opportunism 137
IV. Uses and Chancery 141
1. In Search of a Forum 142
2. Uses at Common Law 145
3. Uses in Chancery 149
Richard Helmholz: Trusts in the English Ecclesiastical Courts 1300 - 1640 153
I. Introduction 153
II. The Jurisdictional Setting 154
III. Uses and Land 155
1. The Rise of the Feoffment to Uses in England 155
2. The Ecclesiastical Courts and Enforcement 157
IV. Uses and Chattels 160
1. The Subject Matter 161
2. The Trustees 162
3. Objects of the Trusts 163
4. Remedies and Basis for Liability 165
V. Was the Trust Transplanted? 166
1. The Negative Side 167
2. The Positive Side 169
VI. Conclusion 171
Neil Jones: Trusts in England after the Statute of Uses: A View from the 16th Century 173
I. Introduction 173
II. The Difficulty of Definition 174
III. Trust Property 177
1. The Operation of the Statute of Uses 178
2. Chattels Personal 179
3. Copyhold Land 180
4. Leases 180
5. Freehold Land 181
IV. The Purposes of Trusts 181
1. Evasion of the Royal Feudal Revenue 181
2. Charitable Trusts 183
3. Private Trusts for the Vulnerable 184
4. Trusts and Persecution 185
5. Trusts for Married Women 186
6. The Attendancy of Satisfied Terms 189
V. The Interest of the Beneficiar 190
1. The "Engrafting Principle" 190
2. Trust and Promise 192
3. Privity and the Doctrine of Notice 196
VI. Trusts in Context 199
1. Trusts and Conditions 199
2. Trusts and Bailment 202
VII. Conclusion 203
Michael Macnair: The Conceptual Basis of Trusts in the Later 17th and Early 18th Centuries 207
I. Introductory 207
II. Explaining Equity, Explaining Trusts 208
1. Background 208
2. Fideicommissum 213
3. Usufruct 215
4. Depositum 216
II. Analytic Organisation of the Material 218
1. Nottingham 218
2. Gilbert 219
3. Ballow 220
4. Equity Cases Abridged 221
III. Trust as Property or Contract? Some Details 221
1. The Beneficiary’s Rights 221
2. The Liabilities of Trustees 224
IV. The Importance of Trusts 229
1. Express Trusts are more Important in Concept than in Practice 229
2. Implied Trusts are Pervasive: Common Law Trusts 232
V. Conclusions 234
Karl Otto Scherner: Formen der Treuhand im alten deutschen Recht 237
I. Definitionsfragen, Forschungsschwerpunkte, Strategie 237
II. Die einzelnen Fallgruppen 239
1. Lehnrecht 239
(a) Die Veräußerung von Lehngut unter Umgehung der Heerschildordnung 241
(aa) Behalten zu treuer Hand 241
(bb) Treuleihe 241
(b) Umgehung der Lehnsunfähigkeit 242
(aa) Frauen 243
(bb) Minderjährige 245
(cc) Geistliche, Klöster, Ritterorden und Spitäler 245
(dd) Städte, Gemeinden und Stiftungen 247
(ee) Juden, Bürger und Bauern 247
(c) Überwindung der Unteilbarkeit des Lehens 248
(d) Erwerbssicherung 249
2. Früh- und hochmittelalterliches Stadt- und Landrecht 249
(a) Letztwillenstreuhand 250
(b) Einschaltung eines Treuhänders zur Überwindung der Erwerbsunfähigkeit im mittelalterlichen Stadtrecht 251
(aa) Geistliche, Klöster und Kirchen 252
(bb) Spitäler 252
(cc) Auswärtige 253
(dd) Juristische Personen 253
(ee) Eingesessene Nichtbürger 253
(ff) Juden 253
(gg) Frauen und Minderjährige 254
(c) Treuhänder im bäuerlichen Recht 254
(d) Einschaltung eines Mittelsmanns zur Erwerbssicherung 255
III. Auswertung 257
1. Die verschiedenen Funktionen der Treuhand 257
(a) Die Umgehungsfälle 257
(b) Die Erwerbssicherung 258
(c) Das zeitliche Auftreten der Gruppen 259
2. Definitionsfragen 259
3. Die Vorstellungen der Beteiligten: Treuhand als Institut des mittelalterlichen Rechts 260
IV. Ergebnis 262
V. Trust und Treuhand 262
1. Vergleich der Fallgruppen 262
(a) Übertragung eines Lehnsgutes durch den Lehnsmann 263
(b) Einsatz eines Treuhänders bei „unmöglichen" Geschäften 263
(c) Letztwillenstreuhand 263
(d) Grunderwerb durch Kleriker 264
(e) Grunderwerb durch „Juristische Personen" 264
(f) Lehnsvormundschaft 265
2. Unmittelbare Beeinflussung und die gemeinsame mittelalterliche Welt 265
3. Vestigia fiduciae? 266
Reinhard Zimmermann: Heres fiduciarius? Rise and Fall of the Testamentary Executor 267
I. Introduction 267
II. Roman Law 268
1. Early and Classical Roman Law 268
2. Developments in Legal Practice and Surrogate Devices 271
3. Greek and Byzantine Law 273
III. Medieval Law 275
1. The "Nature" of Medieval Germanic Law 275
2. Succession in the Germanic Laws 277
3. The Influence of the Church 278
(a) Dispositions ad pias causas 278
(b) Executor ultimae voluntatis 280
4. The executor in the Learned Literature 282
IV. Usus Modernus in Germany and in the Netherlands 286
V. Austrian Law 289
VI. French Law 291
1. Medieval Customary Law 291
2. Dumoulin, Pothier and the code civil 294
VII. Developments in 19th Century German Law 296
1. Bringing Clarity into an Obscure Institution? 296
2. The Long-term Administrator/ Executor 299
VIII. English Common Law 301
Robert Feenstra: Foundations in Continental Law since the 12th Century: The Legal Person Concept and Trust-like Devices 305
I. Different Foundation Concepts 306
II. Some Remarks on Developments before the 12th Century 307
III. Medieval Romanists and Canonists 310
IV. Customary Law in the Middle Ages and Early Modern Times 318
V. Special Developments in the Dutch Provinces 319
VI. Foundations in the 18th and 19th Centuries 322
VII. Epilogue 325
Michele Graziadei: The Development of Fiducia in Italian and French Law from the 14th Century to the End of the Ancien Régime 327
I. Introduction 327
II. Scope of Enquiry 328
III. The Place of the Roman Law of fiducia in the Age of the ius commune 331
IV. The Birth of the Doctrine of Testamentary fiducia 333
V. Bartolus, Baldus and the consiliatores on Testamentary fiducia 335
1. The Protection Granted to the Beneficiary of the Secret Testamentary Disposition According to Bartolus 335
2. Of Form and Substance: Baldus’ Approach to Testamentary fiducia 338
3. Bartolus’ and Baldus’ Legacy to the consiliatores 341
VI. Humanistic Scholarship and the Rediscovery of fiducia in the Ante-Justinianic Sources 343
VII. A Canon Law Detour: fiducia and the Canonical Prohibition of confidentia beneficialis 346
VIII. The 17th Century Elaboration of the Doctrine of Testamentary fiducia 350
IX. Testamentary fiducia in the Pays de droit écrit of Southern France 353
X. Towards the Civil Codes 355
XI. Conclusions 356
Klaus Luig: Philipp Knipschildt und das Familienfideikommiß im Zeitalter des Usus modernus 361
I. Grundsätze 361
1. Begriff und Funktion des Familienfideikommisses 361
2. Parallelen zum englischen Recht 362
3. Der Sonderfall Deutschland 365
4. Die anderen europäischen Länder 368
II. Philipp Knipschildt und die wissenschaftliche Grundlegung des Familienfideikommisses in Deutschland 369
III. Analyse von Knipschildts Traktat 370
1. Ursprung, Bezeichnung und Definition des Familienfideikommisses 370
2. Einteilung und Arten 371
3. Causa efficiens: Mögliche Begründer und Stifter 371
4. Mögliche Begünstigte 372
5. Einem Familienfideikommiß zugängliche Güter 373
6. Art und Weise nebst Form der Errichtung 373
7. Zweck 375
8. Wirkung der Familienfideikommisse, und zwar erstens in bezug auf die zur Nachfolge berechtigten Personen 376
9. Methode und Form der Nachfolge (als Fortsetzung der ersten Wirkung) 377
10. Zweite Wirkung: Rechte des jeweiligen Inhabers 378
11. Dritte Wirkung: Beschränkungen des jeweiligen Inhabers, insbesondere das Veräußerungsverbot 379
12. Vierte Wirkung: Auf dem Familienfideikommiß ruhende Lasten 382
13. Rechte und Klagen des Anwärters 382
14. Beweis des Familienfideikommisses 384
15. Verwandte Erscheinungen (Primogenitur und Majorat) 384
16. Auflösung 385
IV. Schluß 387
Sibylle Hofer: Treuhandtheorien in der deutschen Rechtswissenschaft des 19. Jahrhunderts - Zur Verwendung von historischen Rechtsinstituten in der Zivilrechtsdogmatik 389
I. Die romanistische Seite 390
1. Regelsbergers Theoriebildung 390
(a) „Fiduziarische Geschäfte" 391
(b) Regelsbergers Vorbilder 394
(aa) ROHG 1872 395
(bb) J. Kohler 396
(cc) Jhering 398
2. Rechtsgeschichte und Dogmatik 399
(a) Scheurl, Huschke 400
(b) Dernburg 401
(c) Regelsberger 403
II. Die germanistische Seite 406
1. Rechtsgeschichte und Dogmatik 406
(a) Schultze 406
(b) Beseler 408
2. Schultzes Theoriebildung 410
(a) Der Gegensatz zwischen fiducia und Treuhand 411
(b) Die Verbindung zwischen fiducia und Treuhand 412
III. Ergebnisse 413
Joachim Rückert: Kontinuität und Diskontinuität in der Treuhandforschung 417
I. Die Problemzugriffe der deutschen Treuhandforschung 417
II. Das Beispiel Alfred Schultze (1901 und 1895): Begriffsbetonung im Dienst des Gegenwartsrechts 418
III. Das Beispiel Franz Beyerle (1932): ewige Grundformen als bleibende Substanz, aktuelle Lehre und Fingerzeig für die Zukunft 421
IV. Das Beispiel Otto Stobbe (1868): Fälle und Funktionen gestern und heute 422
V. Bilanz: Kontinuitätsfeststellung, Gleichheitsbehauptung und ceteris paribus. Die Methode vergleichender Funktionsanalyse in Rechtsvergleichung (Hein Kötz 1963) und Rechtsgeschichte 423
Andreas Richter: German and American Law of Charity in the Early 19th Century 427
I. Introduction 427
II. Common European Roots of the Law of Charity 428
III. The German Development 429
1. The Medieval and Early Modern Period 429
2. The Städel Case 430
3. The Role of Friedrich Carl von Savigny 431
4. Savigny’s Theory of Legal Personality 433
(a) Natural Persons (natürliche Personen) 434
(b) Legal Persons (juristische Personen) 434
5. The Foundation as a Legal Person 435
(a) Advantages of a Foundation with Legal Personality 435
(b) A Comparison with Mühlenbruch 436
(c) The Foundation as a Legal Institution (Rechtsinstitut) 438
6. The Memberless Foundation and the Corporation 439
(a) The Foundation - An Invisible Legal Person 439
(b) The Impact of the German Anstaltsstaat 440
(c) Savigny’s Treatment of the Sources 442
7. Private Associations, the Stock Corporation and the Private Foundation 443
(a) Savigny’s Rejection of Freedom of Association 443
(b) "Privileges" of Private Foundations and the Business Corporation 444
IV. English Law of Charity 445
1. The Reformation 446
2. The Elizabethan Statute of Charitable Uses 1601 447
V. The American Development 448
1. The "Checkered Career" of the Charitable Trust 448
2. The Advantages of Incorporation 451
3. The Charitable Corporation as an Incorporated Trust 452
(a) Corporate Charters 452
(b) Membership and Trusteeship 454
(c) Trust Investment 455
4. The Law of Charity as a Branch of Private Law 456
(a) The Transformation of the Visitorial System 457
(b) The Distinction between Public and Private Corporations 459
(c) A Declaration of Philanthropic Independence 459
5. Constitutional Protection of Charities 460
VI. Conclusion 463
Stefan Grundmann: The Evolution of Trust and Treuhand in the 20th Century 469
I. The Third Party Relationship as Starting Point 470
1. Characterization and Key Problems 470
2. Effects of the Anglo-American Trust against Third Parties 471
3. Lesser Effects of the Treuhand against Third Parties 471
(a) The Victory in Theory of a Purely Contractual Concept 471
(b) Some Traces of a Property Right Concept 473
4. Differences in Concept 477
II. The Fiduciary Relationship 478
1. The Crucial Importance of the Fiduciary Relationship and Key Problem Areas 478
2. The Distribution-of-Assets Question 481
3. The Decision-Making-Process Question 487
III. Trust, Corporation and the so-called Quasitreuhand 488
1. Trust v. Personality or Flexibility v. Registration? 489
2. Unity or Pluralism of Interests on the Side of the Settlor and Beneficiary 490
IV. Trust and Treuhand Irreconcilable? 492
Maurizio Lupoi: Trusts and Civilian Categories (Problems Spurred by Italian Domestic Trusts) 495
I. "Domestic" Trusts 495
II. The Comparative Law Issue 497
III. Trust Instrument and Transfer of Assets to Trustees 498
1. From Agreement to Unilateral Disposition 498
2. The Unilaterality of the Conveyance 500
3. Trusts of Personality 501
4. The Creation of a Trust, from a Civilian Perspective 502
IV. Contracts, Gifts and Trusts 504
George Gretton: Scotland: The Evolution of the Trust in a Semi-Civilian System 507
I. Introduction 507
1. Defining the Trust 507
2. The Influence of English Law 511
II. Origins 512
1. 19th and 20th Century Ideas as to Origins 512
2. The 17th Century and Before 513
3. Pre-17th Century Private Arrangements 513
4. Fideicommissum and Roman Law 517
5. The 17th Century 518
6. Proof of Trust 522
III. History since the 17th Century 522
1. Some Uses of the Trust 522
2. Proof of Trust 524
3. Immunity to Creditors 525
4. Powers 527
5. English Influence after 1700 528
6. Doing the Watson Wobble 533
7. Mortification, Charities, Public Trusts and Foundations 533
8. Constructive Trusts 537
9. Frog’s Creditors v. His Children 538
10. Resulting Trusts and the Doctrine of the Radical Right 538
11. Executry 539
IV. Current Law 541
List of Contributors 543