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familiar acquaintance. And therefore I shall close this branch of our inquiries with the words of fir Edward Coke Y: “ al“ beit the student shall not at any one day, do what he can, “ reach to the full meaning of all that is here laid down, yet « let him no way discourage himself but proceed; for on some “ other day, in some other place,” (or perhaps upon a second perusal of the fame) “his doubts will be probably removed."
y Procme to i Ins.
Engraved by P.Audine from an Original Picture in the Profefsion of the t'art opittardwork
Published as the de direits Feb.! 10.1793, by T.(adell Stranul.
1. CHAPTER THE TWENTY-FOURTH.
OF THINGS PERSONA L.
TINDER the name of things personal are included all
forts of things moveuble, which may attend a man's person wherever he goes; and therefore, being only the objects of the law while they remain within the limits of it's jurisdiction, and being also of a perishable quality, are not esteemed of so high a nature, not paid so much regard to by the law, as things that are in their nature more permanent and immoveable, as lands, and houses, and the profits issuing thereout. These being constantly within the reach, and under the protection of the law, were the principal favourites of our first legiflators : who took all imaginable care in ascere taining the rights, and directing the disposition, of such property as they imagined to be lafting, and which would answer to posterity thetrouble and pains that their ancestors employed about them : but at the same time entertained a very low and contemptuous opinion of all personal estate, which they regarded as only a transient commodity. The amount of it indeed was comparatively very trifling, during the scarcity of money and the ignorance of luxurious refinements, which prevailed in the feodal ages. Hence it was, that a tax of the fifteenth, tenth, or sometimes a much l'arger proportion, of all the moveables of the subject, was frequently laid without scruple, and is mentioned with much unconcern by our antient historians, though now it would justly alarm our opus lent merchants and stockholders. And hence likewise may be derived the frequent forfeitures inflicted by the common
law, of all a man's goods and chattels, for misbehaviours and inadvertencies that at present hardly seem to deserve so severe a punishment. Our antient law-books, which are founded upon the feodal provisions, do not therefore often condescend to regulate this species of property. There is not a chapter in Britton or the mirroir, that can fairly be referred to this head; and the little that is to be found in Glanvil, Bracton, and Fleta, seems principally borrowed from the civilians. But of later years, fince the introductiort and extension of trade and commerce, which are entirely occupied in this species of property, and have greatly augmented it's quantity and of course it's value, we have learned to conceive different ideas of it. Our courts now regard a man's personalty in a light nearly, if not quite, equal to his realty: and have adopted a more enlarged and less technical mode of considering the one than the other; frequently drawn from the rules which they found already established by the Roman law, wherever those rules appeared to be well-grounded and apposite to the ease in question, but principally from reason and convenience,adapted to the circumstances of the times; preserving withal a due regard to antient ufages, and a certain feodal tincture, which is still to be found in some branches of personal property.
But things personal, by our law, do not only include things moveable, but also something more: the whole of which is comprehended under the general name of chattels, which, fir Edward Coke says “, is a French word signifying goods. The appellation is in truth derived from the technical Latin word, catalla ; which primarily signified only beasts of husbandry, or (as we still call them) cattle, but in it's secondary sense was applied to all moveables in general. In the grand coiffumier of Normandyo a chattel is described as a mere moveable, but at the same time it is set in opposition to a fief or feud: so that not only goods, but whatever was not a feud, were accounted chattels. And it is in this latter, more extended, negative sense, that our law adopts it; the idea of