"the statutes of mortmain"
by cm

The Statutes of Mortmain were enacted by Edward I in 1279 and 1290 to prevent land being donated to the Church with consequent losses of tax revenue for the state.  Under the Statutes, no estate could be granted to a corporation (such as the Church) without royal assent.

Mortmain literally means "dead hand", so this seems to be a pun rather than a serious opinion on the legal status of ship and cargo.