The bill of lading should contain the name of the shipper or consignor; the name of the consignee; the name of the vessel and her master; the places of shipment and destination; the price of the freight, and in the margin, the marks and numbers of the things shipped. It is usually made in three or more original parts, one of which is sent to the consignee with the goods, one or more others are sent to him by different conveyances, one is retained by the merchant or shipper and one should be I retained by the master. It is assignable by dorsement, and the assignee is entitled to the goods, subject to the shipper's right of stop page in transitu in some cases, and to various liens. It is considered to partake of the char acter of a written contract, and also that of a receipt. In so far as it admits the character, quality or condition of the goods at the time they were received by the carrier, it is a mere receipt, and the carrier may explain or contra dict it by parol; but as respeots the contract to carry and deliver, it is a contract, and must be construed according to its terms. 3 N. Y. 322; 6 Mass. 422. Under the Admiralty Law of the United States, contracts of affreightment en tered into with the master in good faith and within the apparent scope of his authority as master bind the vessel to the merchandise for the performance of such contracts in respect to the property shipped on board, irrespective of the ownership of the vessel, and whether the master be the agent of the general or special owner; but bills of lading for property not shipped, and designed to be instruments of fraud, create no lien on the interest of the gen eral owner, although the special owner was the perpetrator of the fraud. Under a bill of lad ing in the ordinary form, having no stipulation that the goods shipped are to be carried on deck, there is a contract implied that the goods shall be carried under the deck, and parol evidence to the contrary will not be received. 14 Wend. 26. But evidence of a well-known and long established usage is admissible, and will justify the carriage of goods in that manner.
Bill of Rights.—A bill which gave legal validity to the claim of rights, that is, the declaration presented by the Lords and Com mons to the Prince and Princess of Orange on 13 Fcb. 1688, and afterward enacted in Parlia
ment when they became king and queen. It de clared it illegal, without the sanction of Parlia ment, to suspend or dispense with laws, to erect commission courts, to levy money for the use of the Crown on pretense of prerogative, and to raise and maintain a standing army in the time of peace. It also declared that subjects have a right to petition the king, anal, if Protestants, to carry arms for defense; also that members of Parliament ought to be freely elected and that their proceedings ought not to be impeached or questioned in any place out of Parliament. It further enacted that excessive bail ought not to be required, or excessive fines imposed, or unusual punishment inflicted; that juries should be chosen without partiality; that all grants and promises of fines or forfeitures before conviction are illegal; and, that, for redress of grievances and preserving of the laws, Parliament ought to be held frequently. Finally it provided for the settlement of the Crown. In the United States, a bill of rights, or, as it is more commonly termed in this coun try, a declaration of rights, is prefixed to the Constitutions of most of the States. See UNITED STATES -- STATE CONSTITUTIONS OF THE.
Bill of Sale.—A deed of writing, under seal, designed to furnish evidence of the sale of per sonal property. It is necessary to have such an instrument when the sale of property is not to be immediately followed by its transference to the purchaser. It is used in the transfer of property in ships, in that of stock in trade, or the goodwill of a business. It is employed also in the sale of furniture, the removal of which from the house would call attention to the em barrassed circumstances of its owner; hence the statistics of the Bills of Sale Act as an index to measure the amount of secret distress existing in times of commercial depression. In not a few cases bills of sale are used to defeat just claims against the nominal or real vendor of the goods transferred.
Bill of Sight.—A form of entry at the cus tom-house by which one can land for inspec tion, in presence of the officers, such goods as he has not had the opportunity of previously examining, and which, consequently, he cannot accurately describe.