A discussion of surrenders is likely to begin with the oft repeated definition of Lord Coke:" 'SURRENDER' sursum redditio, properly is a yeelding up of an estate for life or yeares to him that hath an immediate estate in reversion or remainder, wherein the estate for life or yeares may drowne by mutuall agreement betweene them."' In the passages which follow Coke classifies surrenders in two different ways: first, into surrenders "in deed, or by express words", and surrenders "in law"; secondly, into surrenders "by deed" and surrenders "without deed". There is an obvious shift in the meaning of the word "deed" as used in these two classifications. In the former, the words "in deed" are equivalent to the words "in fact"; in the latter, the word "deed" signifies a writing under seal.
Merrill I. Schnebly,
Operative Facts in Surrenders - Part 1,
36 Bulletin Law Series.
Available at: http://scholarship.law.missouri.edu/ls/vol36/iss1/3