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BILLS PAYABLE, COMMERCE. Engagements which a merchant has entered into in writing, and which he is to pay on their becoming due. Pard. n. 85.

BILLS RECEIVABLE, Commerce. Promissory notes, bills of exchange, bonds, and other evidences or securities which a merchant or trader holds, and which are payable to him. Pard. n. 85.

BILLA VERA, practice. When the proceedings of the courts were recorded in Latin, and the grand jury found a bill of indictment to be supported by the evidence, they indorsed on it billa vera; now they indorse in plain English " a true bill."

TO BIND, BINDING, contracts. These words are applied to the contract entered into, between a master and an apprentice the latter is said to be bound.

2. In order to make a good binding, the consent of the apprentice must be had, together with that of his father, next friend, or some one standing in loco parentis. Bac. Ab. Master and Servant, A; 8 John. 328; 2 Pen. 977; 2 Yerg. 546 1 Ashmead, 123; 10 Sergeant & Rawle, 416 1 Massachusetts, 172; 1 Vermont, 69. Whether a father has, by the common law, a right to bind out his child, during his minority without his consent, seems not to be settled. 2 Dall. 199; 7 Mass. 147; 1 Mason, 78; 1 Ashm. 267. Vide Apprentice; Father; Mother; Parent.

3. The words to bind or binding, are also used to signify that a thing is subject to an obligation, engagement or liability; as, the judgment binds such an estate. Vide Lien.

TO BIND, OR TO BIND OVER, crim. law. The act by which a magistrate or a court hold to bail a party, accused of a crime or misdemeanor.

2. A person accused may be bound over to appear at a court having jurisdiction of the offence charged, to answer; or he may be bound over to be of good behaviour, (q. v.) or to keep the peace. See Surety of the Peace.

3. On refusing to enter into the requisite recognizance, the accused may be committed to prison.

BIPARTITE. Of two parts. This term is used in conveyancing as, this indenture bipartite, between A, of the one part, and B, of the other part. But when there are only two parties, it is not necessary to use this word.

BIRRETUM or BIRRETUS. A cap or coif used formerly in England, by judges and sergeants at law. Spelm. h. t.; Cunn. Dict. Vide Coif.

BIRTH. The act of being wholly brought into the world. The whole body must be detached from that of the mother, in order to make the birth complete. 5 C. & P. 329; S. C. 24 E. C. L. R. 344 6 C. & P. 349; S. C. 25 E. C. L. R. 433.

2. But if a child be killed with design and maliciously after it has wholly come forth from the body of the mother, although still connected with her by means of the umbilical cord, it seems that such killing will be murder. 9 C. & P. 25 S . C. 38 E. C. L. R. 21; 7 C. & P. 814. Vide articles Breath; Dead Born; Gestation; Life; and 1 Beck' s Med. Jur. 478, et seq.; 1 Chit. Med. Jur. 438; 7 C. & P. 814; 1 Carr. & Marsh. 650; S. C. 41 E. C. L. R. 352; 9 C. & P. 25.

3. It seems that unless the cbild be born alive, it is not properly a birth, but a carriage. 1 Chit. Pr. 35, note z. But see Russ. & Ry. C. C. 336.

BISAILE, domestic relations. A corruption of the French word besaieul, the father of the grandfather or grandmother. In Latin he is called proavus. Inst. 3, 6, 3 Dig. 38, 10, 1, 5. Vide Aile.

BISHOP. An ecclesiastical officer, who is the chief of the clergy of his diocese, and is the archbishop's assistant. Happily for this country, these officers are not recognized by law. They derive all their authority from the churches over which they preside. Bishop's COURT, Eng. law. An ecclesiastical court held in the cathedral of each diocese, the judge of which is the bishop's chancellor.

BISHOPRICK, eccl. law. The extent of country over which a bishop has jurisdiction a see; a diocese. For their origin, see Francis Duarenus de sacris Eccles. Ministeriis ac beneficiis, lib. 1, cap. 7; Abbe Fleury, 2d Discourse on Ecclesiastical History, v.

BISSEXTILE. The day which is added every fourth year to the month of February, in order to make the year agree with the course of the sun. It is called bissextile, because in the Roman calendar it was fixed on the sixth day before the calends of March, (which answers to the 24th day of February,) and this day was counted twice; the first was called bissextus prior, and the other bissextus posterior, but the latter was properly called bissextile or intersalary day. Although the name bissextile is still retained in its obsolete import, we intercalate the 29th of February every fourth Year, which is called leap year; and for still greater accuracy, make only one leap year out of every four centenary years. The years 1700 and 1800 were not leap years, nor will the .year A. D. 1900 be reckoned as one, but the year A. D. 2000 will be a leap year or bissextile. For a learned account of the Julian and Gregorian calendars, see Histoire du Calendrier Romain, by Mons. Blondel; also, Savigny Dr. Rom. 192; and Brunacci's Tract on Navigation, 275, 6. BLACK ACT, English law. An act of parliament made in the 9 Geo. II., which tears this name, to punish certain marauders who committed great outrages, in disguise, and with black faces. See Charlt. R. 166.

BLACK BOOK OF THE ADMIRALTY. An ancient book compiled in the reign of Edw. III. It has always been deemed of the highest authority in matters concerning the admiralty. It contains the laws of Oleron, At large; a view of the crimes and offences cognizable in the admiralty; ordinances and commentaries on matters of prize and maritime torts, injuries and contracts, 2 Gall. R. 404.

BLACK BOOK OP THE EXCHEQUER. The name of a book kept in the English exchequer, containing a collection of treaties) conventions, charters, &c.

BLACK MAIL. When rents were reserved payable in work, grain, and the like, they were called reditus nigri, or black mail, to distinguish them from white rents or blanch farms, or such as were paid in money. Vide Alba firma.

BLANCH FIRMES. The same as white rent. (q. v.)

BLANK. A space left in writing to be filled, up with one or more words, in order to make sense. 1. In what cases the ambiguity occasioned by blanks not filled before execution of the writing may be explained 2. in what cases it cannot be explained.

2. - 1. When a blank is left in a written agreement which need not -have been reduced to writing, and would have been equally binding whether written or unwritten, it is presumed, in an action for the non-performance of the contract, parol evidence might be admitted to explain the blank. And where a written instrument, which was made professedly to record a fact, is produced as evidence of that fact which it purports to record, and a blank appears in a material part, the omission may be supplied by other proof. 1 Phil. Ev. 475 1 Wils. 215; 7 Verm. R. 522; 6 Verm. R. 411. Hence a blank left in an award for a name, was allowed to be supplied by parol proof. 2 Dall. 180. But where a creditor signs a deed of composition leaving the amount of his debt in blank, he binds himself to all existing debts. 1 B. & A. 101; S. C. 2 Stark. R. 195.

3. - 2. If a blank is left in a policy of insurance for the name of the place of destination of a ship, it will avoid the policy. Molloy, b. 2, c. 7, s. 14; Park, Ins. 22; Wesk. Ins. 42. A paper signed and sealed in blank, with verbal authority to. fill it up, which is afterwards done, is void, unless afterwards delivered or acknowledged and adopted. 1 Yerg. 69, 149; 1 Hill, 267 2 N. & M. 125; 2 Brock. 64; 2 Dev. 379 1 Ham. 368; 6 Gill & John. 250; but see contra, 17 S. & R. 438. Lines ought to be drawn wherever there are blanks, to prevent anything from being inserted afterwards. 2 Valin's Comm. 151.

4. When the filling up blanks after the execution of deeds and other writings will vitiate them or not, see 3 Vin. Abr. 268; Moore, 547; Cro. Eliz. 626; 1 Vent. 185; 2 Lev. 35; 2 Ch. R. 187; 1 Anst. 228; 5 Mass. 538; 4 Binn. 1; 9 Crancb, 28; Yelv. 96; 2 Show. 161; 1 Saund. Pl. & Ev. 77; 4 B. & A. 672; Com. Dig. Fait, F 1; 4 Bing. 123; 2 Hill. Ab. c. 25, 80; n. 33, 54-and 72; 1 Ohio, R. 368; 4 Binn. R. 1; 6 Cowen, 118; Wright, 176.

BLANK BAR, pleading. The same with that called a common bar, whicb, in an action of trespass, is put in to oblige the plaintiff to assign the certain' place where the trespass was committed. Cro. Jac. 594, pl. 16.

BLANK INDORSEMENT, contrad. An indorsement which does not mention the name of the person in whose favor it is made; it is usually made by writing the name of the indorser on the back of the bill. Chit. Bills, 170.

2. When a bill or note has been indorsed in blank, its negotiability cannot afterwards be restrained. 1 Esp. N. P. Cas. 180; 1 Bl. Rep. 295. As many persons as agree may join in suing on a bill when indorsed in blank; for although it was given to one alone, yet by allowing the others to join in the suit, he has 'Made them sharers in his rights. 8 Camp. N. P. Cas. 239. Vide Indorsement; Negotiable paper; Restrictive indorsement.

BLASPHEMY, crim. law. To attribute to God that which is contrary to his nature, and does not belong to him, and to deny what does or it is a false reflection uttered with a malicious, design of reviling God. Elym's Pref. to vol. 8, St. Tr.

2. This offence has been enlarged in Pennsylvania, and perhaps most of the states, by statutory provision. Vide Christianity; 11 Serg. & Rawle, 394. In England all blasphemies against God, the Christian religion, the Holy Scriptures, and malicious revilings of the established church, are punishable by indictment. 1 East, P. C. 3; 1 Russ. on Cr. 217.

3. In France, before the 25th of September, 1791, it was a blasphemy also to speak against the holy virgin and the saints, to deny one's faith, to speak with impiety of holy things, and to swear by things sacred. Merl. Rep. h. t. The law relating to blasphemy in that country was totally repealed by the code of 25th of September, 1791, and its present penal code, art. 262, enacts, that any person who, by words or gestures, shall commit any outrage upon objects of public worship, in the places designed or actually employed for the performance of its rites, or shall assault or insult the ministers of such worship in the exercise of their functions, shall be fined from sixteen to five hundred francs, and be imprisoned for a period not less than fifteen days nor more than six months.

4. The civil law forbad the crime of blasphemy; such, for example, as to swear by the hair or the head of God; and it punished its violation with death. Si enim contra homines factae blasphemiae impunitae non relinquuntur; multo magis qui ipsum Deum Blasphemant, digni sunt supplicia sustinere. Nov. 77, ch. 1, 1.

5. In Spain it is blasphemy not only to speak against God and his government, but to utter injuries against the Virgin Mary and the saints. Senen Villanova Y Manes, Materia Criminal, forense, Observ. 11, cap. 3, n

BLIND. One who is deprived of the faculty of seeing.

2. Persons who are blind may enter into contracts and make wills like others. Carth. 53; Barn. 19, 23; 3 Leigh, R. 32. When an attesting witness becomes blind, his handwriting may be proved as if he were dead. 1 Stark. Ev. 341. But before proving his handwriting the witness must be produced, if within the jurisdiction of the court, and examined. Ld. Raym. 734; 1 M. & Rob. 258; 2 M. & Rob. 262.

BLOCKADE, international law. The actual investment of a port or place by a hostile force fully competent to cut off all communication therewith, so arranged or disposed as to be able to apply its force to every point of practicable access or approach to the port or place so invested.

2. It is proper here to consider, 1. by what authority a blockade can be established; 2. what force is sufficient to constitute a blockade; 3. the consequences of a violation of the blockade.

>3. - 1. Natural sovereignty confers the right of declaring war, ana the right which nations at war have of destroying or capturing each other's citizens, subjects or goods, imposes on neutral nations the obligation not to interfere with the exercise of this right within the rules prescribed by the law of nations. A declaration of a siege or blockade is an act of sovereignty, 1 Rob. Rep. 146; but a direct declaration by the sovereign authority of the besieging belligerent is not always requisite; particularly when the blockade is on a distant station; for its officers may have power, either expressly or by implication, to institute such siege or blockade. 6 Rob. R. 367.

4. - 2. To be sufficient, the blockade must be effective, and made known. By the convention of the Baltic powers of 1780, and again in 1801, and by the ordinance of congress of 1781, it is required there should be a number of vessels stationed near enough to the port to make the entry apparently dangerous. The government of the United States has, uniformly insisted, that the blockade should be effective by the presence of a competent force, stationed and present, at or near the entrance of the port. 1 Kent, Com. 145, and the authorities by him cited; and see 1 Rob. R. 80; 4 Rob. R. 66; 1 Acton's R. 64, 5; and Lord Erskine's speech, 8th March, 1808, on the orders in council, 10 Cobber's Parl. Debates, 949, 950. But "it is not an accidental absence of the blockading force, nor the circumstance of being blown off by wind, (if the suspension and the-reason of the suspension are known,) that will be sufficient in law to remove a blockade." But negligence or remissness on the part of the cruizers stationed to maintain the blockade, may excuse persons, under circumstances, for violating the blockade. 3 Rob. R. 156 .) 1 Acton's R. 59. To involve a neutral in the consequences of violating a blockade, it is indispensable that he should have due notice of it: this information may be communicated to him in two ways; either actually, by a formal notice from the blockading power, or constructively by notice to his government, or by the notoriety of the fact. 6 Rob. R. 367; 2 Rob. R. 110; Id. 111, note; Id. 128; 1 Acton's R. 6 1.

4. - 3. In considering the consequences of the violation of a blockade, it is proper to take a view of what will amount to such a violation, and, then, of its effects. As all criminal acts require an intention to commit them, the party must intend to violate the blockade, or his acts will be perfectly innocent; but this intention will be judged of by the circumstances. This violation may be, either, by going into the place blockaded, or by coming out of it with a cargo laden after the commencement of the blockade. Also placing himself so near a blockaded port as to be in a condition to slip in without observation, is a violation of the blockade, and raises the presumption of a criminal intent. 6 Rob. R. 30, 101, 182; 7 John. R. 47; 1 Edw. R. 202; 4 Cranch, 185. The sailing for a blockaded port, knowing it to be blockaded, is, it seems, such an act as may charge the party with a breach of the blockade. 5 Cranch, 335 9 Cranch, 440, 446; 1 Kent, Com. 150. When the ship has contracted guilt by a breach of the blockade, she may be taken at any time before the end of her voyage, but the penalty travels no further than the end of her return voyage. 2 Rob. R. 128; 3 Rob. R. 147. When taken, the ship is confiscated; and the cargo is always, prima facie, implicated in the guilt of the owner or master of the ship and the burden of rebutting the presumption that the vessel was going in for the benefit of the cargo, and with the direction of the owners, rests with them. 1 Rob. R. 67, 130 3 Rob. R. 173 4 Rob. R. 93; 1 Edw. It 39. Vide, generally, 2 Bro. Civ. & Adm. Law, 314 Chit. Com. Law, Index, h. t.; Chit. Law of Nations, 128 to 147; 1 Kent's Com. 143 to 151; Marsh. Ins. Index, h. t.; Dane's Ab. Index, h. t.; Mann. Com. B. 3, c. 9.

BLOOD, kindred. This word, in the law sense, is used to signify relationship, stock, or family; as, of the blood of the ancestor. 1 Roper on Leg. 103; 1 Supp. to Ves. jr. 365. In a more extended sense, it means kindred generally. Bac. Max. Reg. 18.

2. Brothers and sisters are said to be of the whole blood, (q. v.) if they have the same father and mother of the half blood, (q. v.) if they have only one parent in common. 5 Whart. Rep. 477.

BLOTTER, mer. law. A book among merchants, in which entries of sales, &c.;are first made.

2. This book, containing the original entries, is received in evidence, when supported by the oaths or affirmations of those who keep it. See Original entry.

BOARD. This word is used to designate all the magistrates of a city or borough, or all the managers or directors of any institution; as, the board of aldermen; the board of directors of the Bank of North America. The majority of the board have in general the power to perform the acts of the whole board, but sometimes they are restrained by their charters, and it requires a greater number to perform certain acts.

BOARD OF CIVIL AUTHORITY. A used in Vermont. This board is composed of the selectmen and justices of the peace of their respective towns. They are authorized to abate taxes, and the like.

BOCKLAND, Eng. law. The name of an ancient allodial tenure, which was exempt from feudal services. Bac. Ab. Gavelkind, A Spelman's English Works, vol. 2, 233.

 
 
 
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