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Chattels

property, law, personal, word and land

CHATTELS (in Law Latin, Catalla). This term comprehends all moveable pro perty, and also all estates in land which are limited to a certain number of years or other determinate time. All moveable goods, as horses, plate, money, and the like, are called Chattels Personal. Es tates or interests in land, which are com prehended in the term chattels, are called Chattels Real. "Goods and Chattels" is a common phrase to express all that a man has, except such estates in land as are freehold estates ; but the word chattels alone expresses the same thing as " goods and chattels." The word goods is merely a translation of the Latin word Bona, which was used by the Romans to express all property, and generally all that a man was in any way entitled to. (Diy. 50, tit. 16, a. 49.) The nature of personal property in England is further considered under PROPERTY. Chattels of each de scription pass to the personal representa tives of the deceased proprietor, and are comprehended under the general term "Personal Property." The law as to chattels is now, owing to the' great in crease of wealth, and.particularly of move ables, of equal importance with the law relating to land; but under the strict feudal system, and the laws to which it more immediately gave rise, chattels (in cluding even terms for years) were con sidered of small importance in a legal point of view, and, indeed, prior to the reign of Henry VI., were rarely men tioned in the law treatises and reports of the day. (Reeve, Hist. Eng. Law, 369.) Many articles which are properly chattels, owing to their intimate connexion with other property of a freehold nature, and being necessary to its enjoyment, descend therewith to the heir, and are not treated as chattels. Thus, for instance, the mu

niments of title to an estate of inheritance, growing trees and grass, deer in a park, and such fixtures as cannot be removed from the freehold without injury to it, are not chattels, because they pass to the heir. In the hands of a person however who has a limited interest in such things they become his chattels, and pass to his executor. Chattels, except so far as they may be heir-looms, cannot be entailed, though they may be limited so as to vest within twenty-one years after the death of a person or persons in being. They are not within the Statute of Uses, inas much as the proprietor of a chattel is said to be possessed of it, not seised, which is the word used in that statute. The same forms were not required in passing a chattel by devise, as in the case of real property, and a will of chattels might also be made at an earlier age than one which disposed of real estate ; at fourteen years of age by a male, and twelve by a female. But this is now altered by 1 Viet. c. 26, and no person under twenty one years of age can now dispose of any thing by will. Chattels do not go in suc cession to a corporation sole, except only in the cases of the king and the chamber lain of the city of London. (Co. Litt.; Blackstone, Comm.)