Legal Definition and Related Resources of Chirograph

Meaning of Chirograph

A deed or other conveyance attested by witnesses. In the olden times in England, an instrument containing mutual covenants was made in counterparts that were written head to head, and in the middle were the words CHIROGRAPHUM and the two parts were then separated in an indented manner through the middle of the instrument. This was done in order to avoid fraud so that when the authenticity of the instrument was questioned the two parts may be matched by the parties , each of whom had custody of one part.

Chirograph Alternative Definition

In Old Conveyancing. A deed or public instrument in writing. Chirographs were anciently attested by the subscription and crosses of witnesses. Afterwards, to prevent frauds and concealments, deeds of mutual covenant were made in a script and rescript, or in a part and counterpart, and in the middle, between the two copies, they drew the capital letters of the alphabet, and then tallied, or cut asunder in an indented manner, the sheet or skin of parchment, one of which parts, being delivered to each of the parties, were proved authentic by matching with the answering to one another. Deeds thus made were denominated “syngrapha” by the canonists, because that word, instead of the letters of the alphabet or the word “chirographum,” was used. 2 Bl. Comm. 296. The last part of a fine of land. It is called, more commonly, the foot of the fine. It is an instrument of writing, beginning with these words: “This is the final agreement,” etc. It concludes the whole matter, reciting the parties, day, year, and place, and before whom the fine was acknowledged and levied. Cruise, Dig. tit. 35, c. 2, § 52. In Civil and Canon Law. An Instrument written out and subscribed by the hands of the king or prince. An instrument written out by the parties, and signed by them. Du Cange; Cowell. In Scotch Law. A written voucher for a debt. Bell, Diet. The possession of this instrument by the debtor raises a presumption of payment by him. Bell, Diet.; Ersk. Inst. lib. 2, tit. 4, § 5.

Related Entries of Chirograph in the Encyclopedia of Law Project

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Chirograph in Historical Law

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Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms

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This definition of Chirograph is based on the The Cyclopedic Law Dictionary . This entry needs to be proofread.

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