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Chattels

real, estate, personal, chattel, property and word

CHATTELS is a term the significance of which must be understood by every one who would wish to intelligently appreciate almost any legal refer ence. The word is for ever in use, and generally conjointly with the word " goods "—goods and chattels ; the latter word being the modern repre sentative of the word " cattle." Speaking generally, chattels are the personal. estate of a man, as distinguished from his real estate. To define rettl estate is 'comparatively easy, and since a man's whole estate can only be divided into real and personal, chattels may be taken as all his property other than his realty. The latter, or real estate, comprises, according to the Wills Act : manors, advowsons, messuages, lands, tithes, rents, and hereditaments, whether freehold, customary freehold, tenant-right, customary or copyhold, or of any other tenure, and whether corporeal, incorporeal, or personal, and any undi vided share thereof, and any estate, right, or interest (other than a chattel interest) therein. The phrase " other than a chattel interest" is taken by lawyers to refer to property held on lease for years. Bearing in mind the fact that a leasehold property is not real estate, we may take it that all property other than that just enumerated is personal or chattel property. Except leasehold property, it may be said that all personal estate is movable ; and the words immovable and movable are used in many systems of law, other than the English, to connote as nearly as pos sible what we call real and personal respectively. The word chattel is said to come from a French word signifying goods. This derivation is probably incorrect; but it is as useful in its way as the true one, as its etymological history through the French language affords the best oppor tunity to grasp its real meaning. In the law 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. Thus is explained the apparent inconsistency of a leasehold term of 999 years being a mere chattel, whilst a tenure for a single life is real estate. Leases were originally of rare occurrence, and accordingly

the feudal system, upon which our land holding and laws are based, took no regard thereof. # The law distributes chattels into two kinds : chattels real and chattels personal. A leasehold interest is an instance of the former ; a piano of the latter. A chattel real can be alienated, e.g. by purchase or mortgage, only by deed ; a chattel personal merely by delivery of possession, except in certain exceptional cases, as for example where a bill of sale is required. Real estate, upon the death of its owner intestate, devolves upon his heir ; chattels, both real and personal, are divided among his next-of-kin. Again, the rule of succession in such a case may differ ; for example, if a Frenchman domiciled in France die leaving land and chattels in this country, the succes sion to the land will be regulated according to the law of the country in which the land is situate—England, whilst the succession to the chattels will be regulated according to the law of the country of his domicile—France. See CHOSE IN ACTION.

CHEAP railway company is bound to afford a proportion ate amount of accommodation for passengers who pay fares not exceeding the rate of one penny a mile ; and also to provide sufficient workmen's trains, at reasonable fares, at times between 6 P.M. and 8 A.M. for workmen going to and returning from their work. The Board of Trade is invested by the Cheap Trains Act, 1883, with supervisory powers in this matter, and if the Board should certify that a railway company is not providing the proper accommodation, the company will thereafter lose a certain remission of passenger duty, the benefit of which it would otherwise enjoy. The matter may be leought before the Railway Commission, which has power,.where it deems such an order proper, to reauire the railway company to provide additional trains.