Definitions from Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition and Ballentine's Law Dictionary as are available for each term in each dictionary.
  • Ballentine's Law Dictionary

    An instrument or authority from a sovereign power bestowing rights or privileges. See 16 Wall. (U. S.) 244, 21 L. Ed. 326.

  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    n. 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. See Story, Const. § 161. An act of the legislative department of government, creating a corporation, is called the "charter" of the corporation. Merrick v. Van Santvoord, 34 N. Y. 2il4; Bent v. Underdown, 156 Ind. 516, 60 N. E. 307; Morris & E. R. Co. v. Com'rs, 37 N. J. Law, 237. 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 be 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 Foi:esta.
    —Charter rolls. Ancient English records of royal charters, granted between the years 1199 and 1516.

  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    v. In mercantile law. To hire or lease a vessel for a voyage. A "chartered" is distinguished from a "seeking" ship. 7 East, 24.