Alien: to transfer property title or ownership; this is a specific use of a word that at the time could mean “to separate,” which is how our modern words alien meaning “extraterrestrial” and alienate are all etymologically related to this older word. 

Annuity: an annual payment or allowance. Henrietta Maria Walker received an annuity from her brother, Lumley Hungerford Keate, while he was alive, as part of their mother’s last wishes. After Keate’s death and the partition of his inheritance between Walker and their sister, Elizabeth Macie, Macie paid a portion of that annuity to Walker. 

Appurtenance: something that belongs or pertains to something else. In the case of lands, this could refer to structures or equipment associated with property. 

Behoof: benefit or advantage.  

Codicil: addition or change to a legal document, especially common with wills. Codicils were attached as separate documents to the original one. 

Conuzee or cognizee: new owner of a piece of property, the recipient of a fine and property conveyance. The person selling the property and initiating the fine is known as the cognizor. The terms cognizor and cognizee, along with the phrase conuzance de droit (“acknowledgment of right”) are all related to our modern word recognize. The fine recognizes the right of the parties to buy and sell the land. 

Convey, conveyance: transfer of property. 

Coverture: originally this referred simply to the marital status of woman (married, unmarried, divorced, or widowed), and developed an additional meaning that described the legal status of women. According to the law, a man and a woman were a single legal entity (the man “covering” or protecting the woman). Once married, everything a woman owned became her husband’s property, and he could do as he pleased with it. 

Demise: conveyance or property transfer by lease; in other words, rented property. “Common demises” refers to standard leases or rental agreements. 

Distrain: to seize someone else’s property in order to enforce an action—such as payment of rent or other money owed, performance of a duty, or taken as amends for injuries done to the person seizing the property; distressdistressed: property that has been distrained. 

Dower: a widow’s right to one-third of her late husband’s property.  

Easements: permissions to use someone else’s land. For example, a property without access to a road or river for transportation might have an easement allowing them to have a driveway on their neighbor’s land. 

Edifices: large or imposing structures specifically, or buildings generally.  

Enure: formal term for handing over a property to its new owner after the necessary legal paperwork and actions. 

Execute: undertake, complete, accomplish. Legal documents are described as being “executed” throughout the text of the Deed. 

Exhibit a bill: file a lawsuit. We still use the word exhibit today to refer to evidence submitted in a legal case. A bill was required in Chancery cases like this one as documentation that the common law could not provide a fair or just outcome for the case in question. 

Expectancy: anticipated future ownership of property—a son might expect to inherit his father’s estate and would be said to be in expectancy of that land. 

Fee simple: the technical phrase used to describe outright ownership of real estate. This terminology is still used today in the United States—if you look at a property listing, a standard purchase will be listed as “Fee Simple.” 

Fine or final concord: required 18th-century legal document for buying and selling property. This included payment of fees and the exchange of money for the transaction to be legally binding. Fines had to be executed in the Court of Common Pleas.  

Franchises: in the 18th century, these are licenses from a civil authority (like the local government) to provide a public service—operating a ferry, hosting a public market, and similar activities. Modern franchises, such as fast food outlets, have a license from the main brand to operate an affiliated restaurant. 

Grant: transfer of non-physical property (rights, easements, and other permissions). 

Hereditament: anything that could be inherited—a piece of land, or a right of access to a location or resource, like hunting privileges.  

Indefeasible: undefeatable; cannot be overturned, cancelled, annulled, or dismissed in any other way. Within the Deed, Chancery Court acknowledged that Walker and Macie had an undefeatable legal right to inherit their brother’s properties, in fee simple.  

Intails: often spelled entails, these were property settlements that required land to descend in a specific way—often from father to son only, and often the eldest son specifically. 

Jointure: estate settled on a wife for the duration of her lifetime, instead of a dower. 

Levy: specific term meaning to execute a fine or final concord. 

Member: part, portion, or piece.  

Messuage: a dwelling place or residence, with any associated structures (in the 18th century, that could include outhouses, summer kitchens, and other separate buildings). 

Moiety: one half of a property or estate. This may refer to a claim on lands or to the ownership of them. In the Deed, the word moiety often appears as part of the phrase “undivided moiety,” when the shares of two co-owners or co-heirs have not been physically divided, as was the case when Lumley Hungerford Keate died without making a will. 

Pro confesso: Latin for “as though confessed,” this means that someone’s actions are taken as a confession—for instance, that a defendant failing to appear is an admission of guilt, and the suit is judged in favor of the plaintiff. In the story of the Deed, Henrietta Maria Walker’s refusal to defend herself in court led Chancery to rule in Elizabeth Macie’s favor, and as a result, to execute the partition. 

Recognizances: a strong form of legal bond, an agreement in which a financial penalty is set if certain conditions aren’t met. 

Remainder: future claim to or potential ownership of a property. These claims usually originated in wills. For example, John Keate, father of Elizabeth Macie, Henrietta Maria Walker, and Lumley Hungerford Keate, received a property called Great Durnford Manor from his uncle, Walter Hungerford. In his will, Walter bestowed Durnford on John, with remainder to Lumley if John died before Walter did. 

Reversion: return of leased property to its owner after the lease ends. 

Rights: privileges associated with property. These could be grazing or hunting permissions, or rights-of-way for access to others’ land. 

Royalties: payments for the use of someone ese’s property (today, we often hear about royalties for intellectual property, like music, books, and movies). Royalties offer the owners of the property a portion of any income earned from its use. 

Saved: as an 18th-century adjective, the word means preserved whole and intact or undamaged, or kept or preserved in a specific state. “Saved Harmless,” used several times in the Hungerford Deed, means free from loss or liability.  

Suffer: allow, permit, or approve. 

Tenement: a property of any kind, but usually one that included a building. This could also refer to a property that was possessed but not owned by the individual in question.