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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 mirror, 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, since the introduction 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 wellgrounded and apposite to the case in question, but principally from reason and convenience, adapted to the circumstances of the times; preserving withal a due regard to antient usages, 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 movable, but also something more: the whole of which is comprehended under the general name of chattels,8† which, sir Edward Coke says a 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

a 1 Inst. 118.

8 Prior editions have here, "catalla."

*-* Quoted, 19 Pa. St. 255. Cited, Hayw. (N. C.) 227.

t-t Quoted, 19 Conn. 246; 5 Marsh. J. J. 480; 22 Am. Dec. 60; 14 Ill 258. Cited, 14 Ill.

2 BLACKST.-50.

sense was applied to all movables in general.b* In the grand coustumier of Normandy a chattel is described as a mere movable, 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 tit is in this latter, more 8 [386] extended, negative sense, that our law adopts it; the idea of goods, or movables only, being not sufficiently comprehensive to take in everything that the law considers as a chattel interest.† For since, as the commentator on the coustumiera observes, there are two requisites to make a fief or heritage, duration as to time, and immobility with regard to place; whatever wants either of these qualities is not, according to the Normans, an heritage or fief; or, according to us, is not a real estate: the consequence of which in both laws is, that it must be a personal estate, or chattel.?

Chattels therefore are distributed by law into two kinds; chattels real, and chattels personal.e

1. Chattels real, saith sir Edward Coke,' are such as concern, or savour of, the realty; as terms for years of land, wardships in chivalry (while the military tenures subsisted) the next presentation to a church, b Dufresne. II. 409.

C c. 87.

d Il conviendroit quil sust non mouuable, et de duree a tousiours. fol. 107. a.

e So too, in the Norman law, Cateux sont meubles et immeubles: sicomme vrais meubles sont qui transporter se peuvent, et ensuivir le corps, immeubles sont choses qui ne peuvent ensuivir le corps, niestre transportees, et tout ce qui n'est point en heritage. LL. Will. Nothi, c. 4. apud. Dufresne. II. 409.

f 1 Inst. 118.

8 Previously, "And this is true, if understood of the Norman dialect; for in the grand coustumier, we find the word chattels used and."

8 Previously, "I apprehend, in the same large,"

-* Quoted, 19 Ill. 584.

t-t Quoted, 19 Conn. 246. Cited, 2 Watts, 64; 42 N. H. 451; 40 N. H.

?-? Quoted, 14 Ill. 258; 95 U. S. 251.

estates by statute-merchant, statute-staple, elegit, or the like; of all which we have already spoken. And *these are called real chattels, as being interests issuing out of, or annexed to real estates: of which they have one quality, viz. immobility, which denominates them real; but want the other, viz. a sufficient, legal, indeterminate duration: and this want it is, that constitutes them chattels.* The utmost period for which they can last is fixed and determinate, either for such a space of time certain, or till such a particular sum of money be raised out of such a particular income; so that they are not equal in the eye of the law to the lowest estate of freehold, a lease for another's life: their tenants were considered upon feodal principles, as merely bailiffs or fariners; and the tenant of the freehold might at any time have destroyed their interest, till the reign of Henry VIII. A freehold, which alone is a real estate, and seems (as has been said) to answer to the fief in Normandy, is conveyed by corporal investiture and [387] livery of seisin;† which gives the tenant so strong a hold of the land, that it never after can be wrested from him during his life, but by his own act, of voluntary transfer or of forfeiture; or else by the happening of some future contingency, as in estates pur auter vie, and the determinable freeholds mentioned in a former chapter. And even these, being of an uncertain duration, may by possibility last for the owner's life; for the law will not presuppose the contingency to happen before it actually does, and till then the estate is to all intents and purposes a life estate, and therefore a freehold, interest. On the other hand, a chattel interest in lands, which the Normans put in opposition to fief, and we to freehold, is con

g See pag. 141, 142.

**Quoted, 17 Wend. 676. 159; 2 Conn. 574; 47 Md. 300. ment land, 4 Ark. 292, 293.

t-t Quoted, 17 Wend. 676.

h pag. 121.

Cited, 95 U. S. 251; 20 Wend. 420; 13 N. Y.
See as to improvements upon govern-


veyed by no seisin or corporal investiture, but the possession is gained by the mere entry of the tenant himself; and it will certainly expire at a time prefixed and determined, if not sooner. Thus a lease for years must necessarily fail at the end and completion of the term; the next presentation to a church is satisfied and gone the instant it comes into possession, that is, by the first avoidance and presentation to the living; the conditional estates by statutes and elegit are determined as soon as the debt is paid; and so guardianships in chivalry expired of course the moment that the heir came of age. And if there be any other chattel real, it will be found to correspond with the rest in this essential quality, that it's duration is limited to a time certain, beyond which it cannot subsist.


2. Chattels personal are, properly and strictly speaking, things movable; which may be annexed to or attendant on the person of the owner, and carried about with him from one part of the world to another.† Such are animals, household-stuff, money, jewels, corn, garments, and everything else that can properly be put in motion, and transferred from place to place.‡ And of this kind of chattels it is, that we are principally to speak in the remainder of this book; having been unavoidably led to consider the nature of chattels real, and their incidents, in the former chapters which were [388] employed upon real estates: that kind of property being of a mongrel amphibious nature, originally endowed with one only of the characteristics of each species of things; the immobility of things real, and the precarious duration of things personal. 8 Previously, "is sure to."

8 Previously, "were sure to expire."

+ Quoted, 2 Conn. 574. Cited, 5 Marsh. J. J. 480; 22 Am. Dec. 60; 5 Mason, 362.

+- Quoted, 19 Ill. 585; 55 Me. 211. Cited as to judgment, 19 Conn.

Chattel interests being thus distinguished and distributed, it will be proper to consider, first, the nature of that property, or dominion, to which they are liable; which must be principally, nay solely, referred to personal chattels : and, secondly, the title to that property, or how it may be lost and acquired. Of each of these in it's order.


(75) Under the name of things personal are included all sorts of things movable which may attend a man's person wherever he goes, page 384; compare 3 Com. 144.

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Blackstone's account of things personal has been criticised without any reference to his own limitation of the term "things" to the objects of the right of property, and to such as are "unconnected with the person (2 Com. 1); and therefore he has been accused of an error in not making his definitions large enough to include damages for purely personal wrongs (see note 76 to p. *397), which are not things in his estimation. On the other hand, he has been judged by a definition which limited "things" to "permanent objects, sensible or perceptible through the senses" (Austin, Lect. xiii.), and therefore accused of overlooking things incorporeal altogether. (Williams on Personal Property, p. 4.) A recent writer has even succeeded in combining the two objections in one. (Schouler on Personal Property, 11.) Again he has been criticised for choosing mobility as the distinctive mark of things personal, when Lord Coke had given him the choice between that and "for that they are to be recovered in personal actions" (Co. Litt. 118 b; Williams on Personal Property, 2), and per contra has been criticised for not confining personal property more carefully to movables. (Amos, Systematic Jurisprudence, pp. 134, 135.) Mr. Rawle, the American editor of Williams, has defended Blackstone's position on this last question, without go

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