Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.

Forest Law

Forest Law. The right of keeping animals in a wild state for mere diversion, though forbidden to the subject, has been at all times admitted as a matter of prerogative to the Sovereign. A forest, though a Royal possession, is capable of being vested in a subject, for if the Sovereign grants a forest to a private person, with words expressly authorising the administration of forest law there, the grantee will have the franchise of a forest to its full extent, with all the appropriate courts and officers; and a forest is a right which the owner thereof (whether Sovereign or subject) may have either in his own lands or in the lands of another, and in this respect it differs from a right of common, which issues out of the soil and cannot exist in the same man who is owner of the soil itself (the latter superseding all inferior claims of this kind); but a forest, and indeed all franchises in general, are inheritances collateral to the proprietorship of the land, and may be claimed by a man either in proprio solo, or in alieno solo. The owner of a forest is also considered (notwithstanding the general rule, that title cannot be made to things ferae-naturae) as having a qualified property in the wild animals of chase and venery there found, so long as they continue there; and no other person can lawfully take them within those precincts, or chase them from thence and take them in other ground. But if a wild animal strays from the forest, it seems to be the property of the owner of the franchise, and will belong to the first taker. [Common.]