STERLING. Current money of Great Britain, but anciently a small coin,
worth about one penny; and so called, as some suppose, because it was stamped
with the figure of a small star, or, as others suppose, because it was first
stamped in England in the reign of King John, by merchants from Germany called
Esterlings. Pounds sterling, originally signified so many pounds in weight of
these coins. Thus we find in Matthew Paris, A.D. 1242, the expression "Accepit a
rege pro stipendio tredecim libras esterlingorum." The secondary or derived
sense is a certain value in current money, whether in coins or other currency.
Lowndes, 14. Watts' Gloss. Ad verbum.
STET PROCESSUS, practice. An order made, upon proper cause shown, that
the process remain stationary. As where a defendant having become insolvent
would, by moving judgment in the case of nonsuit, compel a plaintiff to proceed,
the court will, on an affidavit, of the fact of insolvency, award a stet
proces-sus. See 7 Taunt. Rep. 180, 1 Chit. Rep. 738; 10 Wentw. Pl. 43.
STEVEDORE. A person employed in loading and unloading vessels. Dunl.
Adm. Pr. 98. Vide Arrameurs; Sac
STEWARD OF ALL ENGLAND. Seneschallus totius Angliae. An officer among
the English who was invested with various powers, and, among others, it was his
duty to preside on the trial of peers.
STEWS, Eng. law., Places formerly permitted in England to women of
professed lewdness, and who, for hire, would prostitute their bodies to all
2. These places were so called because the dissolute persons who visited them
prepared themselves by bathing; the word stews being derived from the old French
estuves, stove, or hot bath. 3 Inst. 205.
STILLICIDIUM, civ. law. The rain water that falls from the roof or
eaves of a house by scattered drops. When it is gathered into a spout it is
2. Without the constitution of one or other of these servitudes, no
proprietor can build so as to throw the rain that falls from his house directly
on his neighbor's grounds; for it is a restriction upon all property, nemo
pro-test immitere in alienum; and he who in building breaks through that
res-traint, truly builds on another man's property; because to whomsoever the
area belong's, to him also belongs whatever is above it: cujus est solum, ejas
est usque ad caelum. 3 Burge on the Conf. of Laws, 405. Vide Servitus
Stillicidii. Inst. 3, 2, 1; Dig. 8, 2, 2.
STINT, Eng. law. The proportionable part of a man's cattle, which he
may keep upon the common.
2. To use a thing without stint, is to use it without limit.
STIPULATED DAMAGES, contracts. The sum agreed by the parties to be
paid, on a breach of a contract, by the party violating his engagement to the
2. It is difficult to distinguish, in some cases, between stipulated damages
and a penalty; (q. v.) 3 Chitty's Commer. Law, 627; 2 Bos. & Pull. 346. The
effect of inserting stipulated damages, either at law or equity, a pears to be,
that both parties must abide by the stipulation, and the prescribed sum must be
given. Holt, C. N. P. 46 Newl. Contr. 313; see 5 Taunt. Rep. 247. Vide Damages,
STIPULATION, contracts. In the Roman law, the contract of stipulation
was made in the following manner, namely; the person to whom the promise was to
be made, proposed a question to him from whom it was to proceed, fully
expressing tho nature and extent of the engagement and, the question so proposed
being answered in the affirmative, the obligation was complete.
2. It was essentially necessary that both parties should speak, (so that a
dumb man could not enter into a stipulation) that the person making the promise
should answer conformably to the specific question, proposed, without any
material interval of time, and with the intention of contracting an obligation.
3. From the general use of this mode of contracting, the term stipulation has
been introduced into common parlance, and, in modern language, frequently
refer's to any thing which forms a material article of an agreement; though it
is applied more correctly and more conformably to its original meaning to denote
the insisting upon and requiring any particular engagement. 2 Evans' Poth. on
4. In this contract the Roman law dispensed with an actual consideration.
See, generally, Pothier, Oblig. P. 1, c. 1, s. 1, art. 5.
5. In the admiralty courts, the first process is freq uently to arrest the
defendant, and then they take the recognizances or stipulation of certain fide
jussors in the nature of bail. 3 Bl. Comm. 108; vide Dunlap's Adm. Practice,
Index, h. t.
6. These stipulations are of three sorts, namely: l. Judicatum solvi, by
which the party is absolutely bound to pay such sum as may be adjudged by the
court. 2 De judico sisti, by which he is bound to appear from time to time,
during the pendency of the suit, and to abide the sentence. 3. De ratio, or De
rato, by which he engages to ratify the acts of his proctor: this stipulation is
not usual in the admiralty courts of the United States.
7. The securities are taken in the following manner, namely: 1. Cautio fide
jussoria, by sureties. 2. Pignoratitia; by deposit. 3. Juratoria, by oath: this
security is given when the party is too poor to find sureties, at the discretion
of the court. 4. Aude promissoria, by bare promise: this security is unknown in
the admiralty courts of the United States. Hall's Adm. Pr. 12; Dunl. Adm. Pr.
150, 151. See 17 Am. Jur. 51.
STIRPES, descents. The root, stem, or stock of a tree. Figuratively,
it signifies, in law, that person from whom a family is descended, and also the
kindred or family.
2. It is chiefly used in estimating the several interests of the different
kindred, in the distribution of an intestate's estate. 2 Bl. Com. 517 and vide
STOCK, mer. law. The capital of a merchant tradesman, or other person
including his merchandise, money and credits. In a narrower sense it signifies
only the goods and wares he has for sale and traffic. The capital of
corporations is also called stock; this is usually divided into shares of a
definite value, as one hundred dollars, fifty dollars per share.
2. The stock held by individuals in corporations is generally considered as
personal property. 4 Dane's Ab. 670; Sull. on Land. Titl. 71; Walk. Introd. 211;
1 Hill, Ab. 1 8.
STOCK, descents. This is a metaphorical expression which designates,
in the genealogy of a family, the person from whom others are descended: those
persons who have so descended are called branches. Vide 1 Roper on Leg. 103; 2
Suppl. to Ves. 307 and Branch; Descent Line; Stirpes.
STOCKS, crim. law. A machine commonly made of wood, with boles in it,
in which to confine persons accused of or guilty of a crime.
2. It was used either to confine unruly offenders by way of security, or
convicted criminals for punishment.
3. This barbarous punishment has been generally abandoned in the United
STOPPAGE IN TRANSITU, contracts. This is the name of that act of a
vendor of goods, upon a credit, who, on learning that the buyer has failed,
resumes the possession of the goods, while they are in the hands of a carrier or
middle-man, in their transit to the buyer, and before they get, into his actual
2. The subject will be considered with reference to, 1. The person who has a
right to stop goods in transitu. 2. The property whicli may be stopped. 3. The
time when to be stopped. 4. The, manner of stopping. 5. The failure of the
buyer. 6. The effect of stopping.
3. - 1. The right of stopping property in transitu is confined to cases in
which the consignor is substantially the seller; and does not extend to a mere
surety for the price, nor to any person who does not rest his claim on a
proprietor's right. 6 East, R. 371; 4 Burr. 2047; 3 T. R. 119, 783; 1 Bell's
4. - 2. The property stopped must be personal property actually sold or
bartered, on a credit. 2 Dall. 180; 1 Yeates, 177.
5. - 3. It must be stopped during the transit, and while something remains to
be done to complete the delivery; for the actual or symbolical, delivery of the
goods to the buyer puts an end to the right of the seller to stop the goods in
transitu; 3 T. R. 464; 8 T. R. 199; but it has been decided that if, before
delivery, the seller annex a condition that security, shall be given before
taking possession; or that the price shall be paid in ready money; or that a
bill shall be delivered; the property will not pass by the mere act of the
buyer's attaining the possession. 3 Esp. Rep. 58., When the seller has given the
buyer documents sufficient to transfer the property, and the buyer, upon the
strength of such documents, has sold the goods to a bona fide purchaser without
notice, the seller is divested of his rights 2 W. C. C. R. 283; but a resale by
the buyer does not, of itself, and without other circumstances, destroy the
vendor's right of stoppage in transitu. 6 Taunt. R. 433 Vide Delivery; and 1
Rawle's R. 9; 1 Ashm. R. 103; Harr. Dig. Sale, III. 4; 7 Taunt. R. 59; 2 Marsh.
R. 366; Holt's R. 248; 1 Moore's R. 526; 3 B. & P. 320; Id. 119; 5 East, R.
6. - 4 The manner of stopping the goods is usually by taking corporal
possession of them; but this is not the only way it may be done; the seller may
put in his claim or demand of his right to the goods either verbally or in
writing. 2 B. & P. 257, 462; 2 Esp. R. 613; Co. Bankr. Law, 494; Holt's
Cases, N. B. 338. Vide Corporal Touch.
7. - 5. The buyer must have actually failed, or be in actual and immediate
danger of insolvency.
8. - 6. The stopping of goods in transitu does not of itself rescind the
contract. 1 Atk. 245; Co. B. L. 394; 6 East, R. 27, n. The seller may,
therefore, upon offering to deliver them, recover the price. 1 Campb. 109; 6
Taunt. 162. But inasmuch as the seller is permitted in equity to annul the
transfer he has made, by stopping the goods on their transit, and by that means
to deprive the general creditors of the buyer of property, which, in strict law,
has passed to their debtor, it has been considered as equitable, on the other
hand, that this act should be accompanied by a rescinding of the whole contract,
and a renunciation of any further claim; since it would be a great bardship to
give a preference to the seller over, the other creditors; and subject the
divisible funds, which have derived no benefit from the contract, to a further
claim of indemnification. 1 Bell's Com. B. 2, pt. 3, c. 2, s. 2, §5.
Vide, generally, 2 Kent, Com. 427; Bac. Abr. Merchant, L; Ross on Vend.,
Index, h. t. Selw. N. P. 1206; Whitaker on Stoppage in Transitu; Abbott on Ship.
351; 3 Chit. Com. Law, 340; Chit. on Contr. 124-126; 2 Com. Dig. 268; 8 Com.
Dig. 952; 2 Supp. to Ves. jr. 231, 481; 2 Leigh's N. P. 1472; 1 Bouv. Inst. n.
STORES. the victuals and provisions collected together for the
subsistence of a ship's company, of a camp, and the like.
STOUTHRIEFF, Scotch law. Formerly this word included in its
signification every species of theft, accompanied with violence to the person;
but of late years it has become the vox signata for forcible and masterful
depredation within or near the dwelling house; while robbery has been more
particularly applied to violent depredation on the highway, or accompanied by
house-breaking. Alison, Princ. Cr. Law of Scot]. 227.
STOWAGE, mar. law. The proper arrangement in a ship, of the different
articles of which a cargo consists, so that they may not injure each other by
friction, or be damaged by the leakage of the ship.
2. The master of the ship is bound to attend to the stowage, unless, by
custom or agreement, this business is to be performed by persons employed by the
mercbant. Abbott on Shipp. 228; Pardes. Dr. Com. n. 721.
STRANDING, maritime law. The running of a ship or other vessel on
shore; it is either accidental or voluntary.
2. It is accidental where the ship is driven on, shore by the winds and
waves; it is voluntary where she is run on shore, either to preserve her from a
worse fate, or for some fraudulent purpose. Marsh. Ins. B. 1, c. 12, s. 1.
3. It is of great consequence to define accurately what shall be deemed a
stranding, but this is no easy matter. In one case a ship having run on some
wooden piles, four feet under water, erected in Wisheach river, about nine yards
from shore, which were placed there to keep up the banks of the river, and
having remained on these piles until they were cut away, was considered by Lord
Kenyon to have been stranded. Marsh. Ins. B. 7, s. 3 . In another case, a ship
arrived in the river Thames, and, upon coming up to the Pool, which was full of
vessels, one brig ran foul of her bow, and another of her stern, in consequence
of which she was driven aground, and continued in that situation an hour, during
which period several other vessels ran foul of her; this, Lord Kenyon told the
jury, that unskilled as he was in nautical affairs, he thought he could safely
pronounce to be no stranding. lb.; 1 Camp. 131; 3 Camp. 431; 4 M. & S. 503;
7 B. & C. 224; 5 B. & A. 225; 4 B. & C. 736. See Perils of the Sea.
STRANGER, persons, contracts. This word has several significations. 1.
A person born out of the United States; but in this sense the term alien is more
properly applied, until he becomes naturalized. 2. A person who is not privy to
an act or contract; example, he who is a stranger to the issue, shall not take
advantage of the verdict. Bro. Ab. Record, pl. 3; Vin. Ab. h. t. pl. 1 and vide
Com. Dig. Abatement, H 54.
2. When a man undertakes to do a thing, and a stranger interrupts him, this
is no excuse. Com. Dig. Condition, L 14. When a party undertakes that a stranger
shall do a certain thing, he becomes liable as soon as the stranger refuses to
perform it. Bac. Ab. Conditions, Q 4.
STRATAGEM. A deception either by words or actions, in times of war, in
order to obtain an advantage over an enenly.
2. Such stratagems, though contrary to morality, have been justified, unless
they have been accompanied by perfidy, injurious to the rights of humanity, as
in the example given by Vattel of an English frigate, which during a war between
France and England, appeared off Calais and made signals of distress in order to
allure some vessel to come to its relief, and seized a shallop and its crew, who
had generously gone out to render it assistance. Vattel, Droit des Gens, liv. 3,
c. 9, §178.
3. Sometimes stratagems are employed in making, contracts, this is unlawful
and fraudulent, and avoids the contract. See Fraud.
STRATOCRACY. A military government; government by military chiefs of
STREAM. A current of water. The right to a water course is not a right
in the fluid itself so much as a right in the current of the stream. 2 Bouv.
Inst. n. 1612. See River; Water Course.
STREET. A road in a village or city. In common parlance the word
street is equivalent to highway. 4 Serg. & Rawle, 108.
2. A permission to the public for the space of eight, or even of six years,
to use a street without bar or impediment, is evidence from which a dedication
to the public maybe inferred. 11 East, R. 376; See 2 N. Hamp. 513; 4 B. & A.
447; 3 East, R. 294; 1 Law lntell. 134; 2 Smith's Lead. Cas. 94, n.; 2 Pick. R.
162; 2 Verm. R. 480; 5 Taunt. R. 125; S. C. 1 E. C. L. R. 34; 4 Camp. R. 169; 1
Camp. R. 260: 7 B. & C. 257; S. C. 14 E. C. L. R. 39; 5 B & Ald. 454; S.
C. 7 E. C. L. R. 159; 1 Blackf. 44; 2 Wend. 472; 8 Wend. 85; 11 Wend. 486; 6
Pet. 431; 1 Paige, 510; and the article Dedication.
STRICT SETTLEMENT. When lands are settled to the parent for life, and
after his death to his first and other sons in tail, and trustees are interposed
to preserve the contingent remainders, this is called a strict settlement.
STRICTISSIMI JURIS. The most strict right or law. In general, when a
person receives an advantage, as the grant of a license, he is bound to conform
strictly to the exercise of the rights given him by it, and in case of a
dispute, it will be strictly construed. See 3 Story, Rep. 159.
STRICTUM JUS. This phrase is used to denote mere law, in
contradistinction to equity.
STRUCK, pleadings. In an indictment for murder, when the death arises
from any woundng, beating or bruising, it is said, that the word "struck" is
essential. 1 Bulstr. 184; 5 Co. 122; 3 Mod. 202; Cro. Jac. 655; Palm. 282; 2
Hale, 184, 6, 7: Hawk. B. 2, c. 23, s. 82; 1 Chit. Cr. Law, *243 6 Binn. R. 179.
STRUCK JURY. A special jury selected by striking from the pannel of
jurors, a certain number by each party, so as to leave a number required by law
to try the cause. In general, a list of forty-eight jurors is made out for each
case; the plaintiff strikes off twelve, aud the defendant the same number from
those who remain twelve are to be selected to try the cause, unless they are
challenged for cause. See Challenge.
STRUCK OFF. A case is said to be struck off, where the court has no
jurisdiction, aud can give no judgment, and order that the case be taken off the
record, which is done by an entry to that effect.
STRUMPET. A harlot, or courtezan: this word was formerly used as an
addition. Jacob's Law Dict. h. t.
TO STULTIFY. To make or declare insane. It is a general rule in the
English law, that a man shall not be permitted to stultify himself; that is, he
shall not be allowed to plead his insanity to avoid a contract. 2 Bl. Com. 291;
Fonbl. Eq. b. 1, c. 2, 1; Pow. on Contr. 19.
2. In the United States, this rule seems to have been exploded, and the party
may himself avoid his acts except those of record, and contracts for necessaries
and services rendered, by allegation and proof of insanity. 5 Whart. R. 371,
379; 2 Kent, Com. 451; 3 Day, R. 90; 3 Conn. R. 203: 5 Pick. R. 431; 5 John R.
503.; 1 Bland. R. 376. Vide Fonbl. Eq b. 1, c. 2, §1, note 1; 2 Str. R. 1104; 3
Camp. R. 125; 7 Dowl. & Ryl. 614; 3 C. & P. 30; 1 Hagg. C. R. 414.
STUPIDITY, med. jur. That state of the mind which cannot perceive and
embrace the data presented to it by the senses; and therefore the stupid person
can, in general, form no correct judgment. It is a want of the perceptive
powers. Ray, Med. Jur. c. 3, §40. Vide Imbecility.
STUPRUM, civ. law. The criminal sexual intercourse which took place
between a man and a single woman, maid or widow, who before lived honestly.
Inst. 4, 18, 4; Dig. 48, 5, 6; Id. 50, 16, 101; 1 Bouv. Inst. Theolo. ps. 3,
quaest. 2, art. 2, p. 252.
SUB-AGENT. A person appointed by an agent to perform some duty, or the
whole of the business relating to his agency.
2. Sub-agents may be considered in two points of view. 1. With regard to
their rights and duties or obligations, towards their immediate employers. 2. As
to their rights and obligations towards their superior or real principals.
3. - 1. A sub-agent is generally invested with the same rights, and incurs
the same liabilities in regard to his immediate employers, as if he were the
sole and real principal. To this general rule there are some exceptions for
example, where by the general usage of trade or the agreement of the parties,
sub-agents are ordinarily or necessarily employed, to accomplish the ends of the
agency, there, if the agency is avowed, and the credit is exelusively given to
the principal, the intermediate agent may be entirely exempted from all
liability to the sub-agent. The agent, however, will be liable to the sub-agent,
unless such exclusive credit has been given, although the real principal or
superior may also be liable. Story on Ag. §386; Paley on Ag. by Lloyd, 49. When
the agent employs a sub-agent to do the whole, or any part of the business of
the agency, without the knowledge or consent of his principal, either express or
implied, the latter will only be entitled to recover from his immediate
employer, and his sole responsibility is also to him. In this case the superior
or real principal is not responsible to the sub-agent, because there is no
privity between them. Story on Ag. §13, 14, 15, 217, 387.
4. - 2. Where by an express or implied agreement of the parties, or by the
usages of trade, a sub-agent is to be employed, a privity exists between the
principal and the sub-agent, and the latter may justly maintain his claim for
compensation, both against the principal and his immediate employer, unless
exclusive credit is given to one of them; and, in that case, his remedy is
limited to that party. 1 Liv. on Ag. 64; 6 Taunt. R. 147.
SUBALTERN. A kind of officer who exercises his authority under the
superintendence and control of a superior.
TO SUBDIVIDE. To divide a part of a thing which has already been
divided. For example, when a person dies leaving children, and grandchildren,
the children of one of his own who is dead, his property is divided into as many
shares as he had children, including the deceased, and the share of the deceased
is subdivided into as many shares as he had children.
SUBINFEUDATION, estates, English law. The act of an inferior lord by
which he carved out a part of an estate which he held of a superior, and granted
it to an inferior tenant to be held of himself.
2. It was an indirect mode of transferring the fief, and resorted to as an
artifice to elude the feudal restraint upon alienation: this was forbidden by
the statute of Quia Emptores, 18 Ed. I; 2 Bl. Com. 91; 3 Kent, Com. 406.
SUBJECT, contracts. The thing which is the object of an agreement.
This term is used in the laws of Scotland.
SUBJECT, persons, government. An individual member of a nation, who is
subject to the laws; this term is used in contradistiction to citizen, which is
applied to the same individual when considering his political rights.
2. In monarchical governments, by subject is meant one who owes permanent
allegiance to the monarch. Vide Body politic; Greenl. Ev. §286; Phil. & Am.
on Ev. 732, n. 1.
SUBJECT-MATTER. The cause, the object, the thing in dispute.
2. It is a fatal objection to the jurisdiction of the court when it has not
cognizance of the subject-matter of the action; as, if a cause exclusively of
admiralty jurisdiction were brought in a court of common law, or a criminal
proceeding in a court having jurisdiction of civil cases only. 10 Co. 68, 76 1
Ventr. 133; 8 Mass. 87; 12 Mass. 367. In such case, neither a plea to the
jurisdiction, nor any other plea would be required to oust the court of
jurisdiction. The cause might be dismissed upon motion, by the court, ex
SUBJECTION. The obligation of one or more persons to act at the
discretion, or according to the judgment and will of others.
2. Subjection is either private or public. By the former is meant the
subjection to the authority of private persons; as, of children to their
parents, of apprentices to their masters, and the like. By the latter is
understood the subjection to the authority of public persons. Rutherf. Inst. B.
2, c. 8.