Pictures of English deeds/Beispiele englischer Urkunden

Here’s a bird’s-eye view of an 1880 conveyance (click to enlarge):

and here’s the backing sheet:

and here a small extract:

I put a pencil at the top right to show the size.

The parchment was pre-printed with the word ‘Indenture’. The rest was written in hand by a clerk. You can see how important the large words are to orient the reader. You can tell that ‘Whereas’ always refers to preliminary information, whereas ‘Now this Indenture witnesseth’ is the beginning of the operative part, and ‘All that’ precedes the definition of the land being sold (‘All that piece or parcel of land situate in the parish of ..’).

Only the really traditional connecting words are written in a different, italic script, but other words are written larger and darker (Two hundred and fifty ounds, Revoke). ‘Deed’ is capitalized but does not stand out – this is reminiscent of the current capitalization of Claimant, Plaintiff and so on. The red lines on the margin should be completely filled out, to prevent additions. You can see the stamps on the left showing that fees have been paid, and the witnessed signatures below, with a standard red seal on green ribbon.

There are photocopy shops near the Law Courts in London where you can photocopy this size of document, but it isn’t easy to read.

Here’s part of a 1913 document on the same land, now on foolscap paper:

and here a 1921 one, on which you can see the typical sewing of documents with green cord (notice the little squiggles filling up the ends of lines on the right):

and finally, a close-up of some of the signatures on the last one:

7 thoughts on “Pictures of English deeds/Beispiele englischer Urkunden

  1. There has been some delay to a possible successor publication, but if one does appear, it *will* have an index!

    I know what you mean about waiting and waiting and waiting for new editions. The 2nd edition of the magnificent “German Tax Guide” (Ammann et al) is now scheduled to appear in June this year, some ten years after the first edition.

  2. It would be good to have a key-term DE/EN/DE glossary as well, instead of having to scan large swathes of text on spec. or relying on fellow-translators who have already pinned down the relevant term/ beauty in the book: (‘kapitalmarktorientierte Unternehmen translates as publicly traded companies’). Such a glossary would certainly beat most others of a similar ilk.

    • But not only here – there are quite a few good books on German law in English which could do with a German keyword index. One doesn’t read such a book from cover to cover anyway. But note Robin mentioned the word ‘index’ in a promising way!

    • The “glossary” you mention will form part of the comprehensive accounting dictionary (De-En, En-De) that will appear one day. Probably when I’m semi-retired, so not in the immediate future.

      And, if all goes to plan, there will be both a German and an English index in the new book, which should allow quick cross-referencing.

    • FYI: kapitalmarktorientiertes Unternehmen = publicly traded company (German law); publicly traded entity (IFRS); publicly traded enterprise (EU legal English)

      And not “capital market-oriented” (or worse “capital-market orientated”), despite the many efforts of the “we can English” crowd to persuade us otherwise.

  3. Is there any more information available on the “new synoptic work coming out covering German GAAP, the Bilanzrechtsmodernisierungsgesetz and IFRSs”?

    I am trying to find some recent books on the new BilMOG for our library as the IDW-Verlag publication is no longer available. Thank you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.