conveyancing. An instrument of writing containing a
conveyance or contract between two or more persons, usually
indented or cut unevenly, or in and out, on the top or, side.
2. Formerly it was common to make two instruments exactly alike,
and it was then usual to write both on the same parchment, with
some words or letters written between them, through which the
parchment was cut, either in a straight or indented line, in such
a manner as to leave one-half of the word on one part, and half on
the other. The instrument usually commences with these words, "This
indenture," which were not formerly sufficient, unless the
parchment or paper was actually indented to make an indenture 5 Co.
20; but now, if the form of indenting the parchment be wanting, it
may be supplied by being done in court, this being mere form.
Besides, it would be exceedingly difficult with even the most
perfect instruments, to out parchment or paper without indenting
it. Vide Bac. Ab. Leases, &c. E 2; Com. Dig. Fait, C, and note d;
Litt. sec. 370; Co. Litt. 143 b, 229 a; Cruise, Dig t. 32, c. 1, s.
24; 2 Bl. Com. 294; 1 Sess. Cas. 222.
Source: Bouviers Law Dictionary 1856 Edition
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