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    Default English words - 1840's

    I have a legal family document with two words which I am unable to find in a dictionary. They are contained in the same sentence and in the same context many times in the document.
    "Whereas no sale hath yet been made by the three sons of the said testator of any part of his messuages lands tenements and accreditaments either freehold or leasehold...".
    If someone could help with a definition I would be grateful.Thank you.
    Tony Bernard

  2. #2
    abaka is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: English words - 1840's

    Quote Originally Posted by calligent View Post
    I have a legal family document with two words which I am unable to find in a dictionary. They are contained in the same sentence and in the same context many times in the document.
    "Whereas no sale hath yet been made by the three sons of the said testator of any part of his messuages lands tenements and accreditaments either freehold or leasehold...".
    If someone could help with a definition I would be grateful.Thank you.
    Tony Bernard
    Messuage, in law, a term equivalent to a dwelling-house, and including outbuildings, orchard, curtilage or court-yard and garden. At one time "messuage" is supposed to have had a more extensive meaning than that comprised in the term "house", but such distinction, if it ever existed, no longer survives. -- Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11 ed., 1910-11.
    I have not been able to find a definition for accreditament. If I may be allowed a wild guess: "In a commercial sense credit is the promise to pay at a future time for valuable consideration in the present" --Enc. Brit. 3 ed. Perhaps, therefore, accreditaments denotes all the rents flowing to the title holder. I imagine an encyclopedia of law will describe "accreditament", but I haven't got one. It it helps in your further research, the transfer of property, and the modification of interests in relation to property, is in English law called "conveyancing".

    Good luck.

    PS. In modern deeds, the phrase "and all the appurtenances thereof" is sometimes appended to the list of items transferred. This American title deed from 1873, contains the following phrase:
    Together with all and singular the ways, waters, water-courses, rights, liberties, privileges here accreditaments and appurtenances whatsoever thereunto belonging or in any use appertaining and the reversions and remainders, rents, issues and profits thereof and all the Estate...
    If the American legal vocabulary in 1873 was still close to the English/Canadian one of the 1840's, and if the usual legal habit of redundancy ("to have and to hold", etc.) is what's happening here, then accreditaments are not rents, but appurtenances, that is, according to the Enc. Brit. 11 ed.:
    appurtenances, a legal term for what belongs to and goes with something else, the accessories or things usually conjoined with the substantive matter in question.
    Again, good luck to you.

    Alex
    Last edited by abaka; 21-Jan-2009 at 06:51.

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    Default Re: English words - 1840's

    Thank you Alex.
    Appurtenances is used in the document as well, but not with accreditaments.
    How about an approximation of 'accretion' or 'accession' used in the context of property in a legacy?
    Tony

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    abaka is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: English words - 1840's

    Ah, say thank you to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11 edition!

    accretion, an addition to that which already exists; increase in any substance by the addition of particles from the outside. In law, the term is used for the increase of property caused by gradual natural additions, as on a river bank or sea shore.

    accession, in law, a method of acquiring property adopted from Roman law, by which, in things that have a close connexion with or dependence on one another, the property of the principal draws after it the property of the accessory, according to the principle, accesio cadet principali [that the accession fall to the principal]. .... The various methods may be classified as (1) land to land by accretion or alluvion; (2) moveables to land (see fixtures); (3) moveables to moveables; (4) moveables added to by art or industry of man... .... .... "Accession" sometimes likewise signifies consent or acquiescence. Thus, in the bankrupcy law of Scotland, where there is a settlement by trust-deed, it is accepted on the part of each creditor by a "deed of accession".

    fixtures, in law, chattels which have become so fixed or attached to land (as it is expressed in English law, "so annexed to the freehold"), as to become, in contemplation of law, a part of it....

    Alex
    Last edited by abaka; 30-Jan-2009 at 03:01. Reason: wording of the latin translation

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