Contracts. A right given by some competent authority to do an act, which without such authority would be illegal. The instrument or writing which secures this right, is also called a license. Vide Ayl. Parerg, 353; 15 Vin. Ab. 92; Ang. Wat. Co. 61, 85.
2. A license is express or implied. An express license is one which in direct terms authorizes the performance of a certain act; as a license to keep a tavern
given by public authority.
3. An implied license
is one which though not expressly given, may be presumed from the acts of the party having a right to give it. The following are examples of such licenses: 1. When a man knocks at another's door
, and it is opened, the act of opening the door licenses the former to enter the house for any lawful purpose. See Hob. 62. A servant is, in consequence of his employment, licensed to admit
to the house, those who come on his master's business, but only such persons. Selw. N. P. 999; Cro
. Eliz. 246. It may, however, be inferred from circumstances that the servant has authority to invite whom he pleases to the house, for lawful purposes. See 2 Greenl. Ev. §427; Entry.
4. A Iicense is either a bare authority, without interest, or it is coupled with an interest. 1. A bare license must be executed by the party to whom it is given in person
, and cannot be made over or assigned by him to another; and, being without consideration, may be revoked at pleasure, as long as it remains executory
; 39 Hen. VI. M. 12, page 7; but when carried into effect, either partially or altogether, it can only be rescinded, if in its nature it will admit of revocation
, by placing the other side in the same situation in which he stood before he entered on its execution. 8 East, R. 308; Palm. 71; S. C. Poph. 151; S. C. 2 Roll
. Rep. 143, 152.
5. - 2. When the license is coupled with an interest the authority conferred is not properly a mere permission, but amounts to a grant, which cannot be revoked, and it may then be assigned to a third person
. 5 Hen. V., M. 1, page 1; 2 Mod. 317; 7 Bing. 693; 8 East, 309; 5 B. & C. 221; 7 D. & R. 783; Crabb on R. P. §521 to 525; 14 S. & R 267; 4 S. & R. 241; 2 Eq. Cas. Ab. 522. When the license is coupled with an interest, the formalities essential to confer such interest should be observed. Say. R. 3; 6 East, R. 602; 8 East, R. 310, note. See 14 S. & R. 267; 4 S. & R. 241; 2 Eq. Cas. Ab. 522; 11 Ad. & El. 34, 39; S. C. 39 Eng, C. L. R. 19.