(A) A grant made by the sovereign either to the whole people or to a portion of them, securing to them the enjoyment of certain rights. Of the former kind is the late charter of France, which extended to the whole country; the charters which were granted to the different American colonies by the British government were charters of the latter species. 1 Story, Const. L. 161; 1 Bl. Com. 108 Encycl. Amer. Charte Constitutionelle. 2. A charter differs from a CONSTITUTION in this, that the former is granted by the sovereign, while the latter is established by the people themselves: both are the fundamental law of the land. 3. This term is susceptible of another signification. During the middle ages almost every document was called carta, charta, or chartula. In this sense the term is nearly synonymous with deed. 4. The act of the legislature creating a corporation, is called its charter. Vide 3 Bro. Civ. and Adm. Law, 188; Dane’s Ab. h. t. (B) mar. contr. An agreement by which a vessel is hired by the owner to another; as A B chartered the ship Benjamin Franklin to C D.
Law Dictionary – Alternative Legal Definition
(verb) – In mercantile law. To hire or lease a vessel for a voyage. A “chartered” is distinguished from a “seeking” ship.
(noun) – An instrument emanating from the sovereign power, in the nature of a grant, either to the whole nation, or to a class or portion of the people, or to a colony or dependency, and assuring to them certain rights, liberties, or powers. Such was the “Great Charter” or “Magna Charta,” and such also were the charters granted to certain of the English colonies in America. An act of the legislative department of government creating a corporation, is called the “charter” of the corporation. In old English law. The term denoted a deed or other written instrument under seal; a conveyance, covenant, or contract. In old Scotch law. A disposition made by a superior to his vassal, for something to he performed or paid by him. 1 Forb. Inst pt 2, b. 2, c. 1, tit 1. A writing which contains the grant or transmission of the feudal right to the vassal. Ersk. Inst 2, 3, 19. Charter of pardon. In English law. An instrument under the great seal, by which a pardon is granted to a man for a felony or other offense. Charter of the forest. See CHARTA DE FOREST A. Charter rolls. Ancient English records of royal charters, granted between the years 1199 and 1516.