Friday, 9 April 2010

chattels and muniments

MUNIMENT, a word chiefly used in the plural, as a collective term for the documents, charters, title-deeds, &c. relating to the property, rights and privileges of a corporation, such as a college, a family or private person, and kept as "evidences" for defending the same. Hence the medieval usage of the word munimentum, in classical Latin, a defence, fortification, from munire, to defend.

Muniments of title do more than merely "affect" title; they must carry title and be a vital link in the chain of title.

CHATTERTON,the child found there his favorite haunt. The knights, ecclesiastics and civic dignitaries, recumbent on its altar tombs, became his familiar associates; and when he was able to spell his way through the inscriptions graven on their monuments, he found a fresh interest in certain quaint oaken chests in the muniment room over the porch on the north side of the nave, where parchment deeds, old as the Wars of the Roses, long lay unheeded and forgotten.

In an old chest left to moulder in a room over the north porch of this church Chatterton professed to find the Rowley manuscripts. In this room, "here, in the full but fragile enjoyment of his brief and illusory existence, he stored the treasure-house of his memory with the thoughts that, teeming over his pages, have enrolled his name among the great in the land of poetry and song. Happy here, ere his first joyous aspirations were repressed—ere the warm and genial emotions of his heart were checked—before time had dissipated his idle dreams, and neglect, contempt and distress had fastened on his mind, and hurried him onward to his untoward destiny.

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