estate by statute staple – an estate held under a bond as security for a commercial debt, giving the lender a possessory right in the land of a debtor who failed to repay a loan

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estate by statute staple:

1. An estate in a defendant’s land held by a creditor under the statute staple until the debt was paid. [1]

1. The interest or estate of the creditor in land conveyed to him under the statute 27 Edward III. c. 9, before the mayor of the staple, that is the grant mart for the principal commodities or manufactures of the kingdom in certain trading towns, and therefore called a statute staple.  This conveyance was by way of security to be held by the creditor as “tenant by statute staple” until the income and profits from the land thus held by him should discharge the debt which was an ascertained and definite sum.  See 2 Bl Comm 16. [2]

statute staple:

1. Hist. A 1353 statute establishing procedures for settling disputes among merchants who traded in staple towns.  *  The statute helped merchants receive swift judgments for debt.  Cf. STATUTE MERCHANT.

2. A bond for commercial debt.  *  A statute staple gave the lender a possessory right in the land of a debtor who failed to repay a loan.  See STAPLE.

     Excerpt from J.H. Bakers’ An Introduction to English Legal History 354 (3d ed. 1990):

     “A popular form of security after 1285… was the… ‘statute staple’ — whereby the borrower could by means of a registered contract charge his land and goods without giving up possession; if he failed to pay the lender became a tenant of the land until satisfied…. The borrower under a statute or recognizance remained in possession of his land, and it later became a common practice under the common-law forms of mortgage likewise to allow the mortgagor to remain in possession as a tenant at will or at sufferance of the mortgagee.


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[1]: Black’s Law Dictionary Deluxe Tenth Edition by Henry Campbell Black, Editor in Chief Bryan A. Garner. ISBN: 978-0-314-61300-4

[2]: Ballantine’s Law Dictionary with Pronunciations Third Edition by James A. Ballantine (James Arthur 1871-1949).  Edited by William S. Anderson.  © 1969 by THE LAWYER’S CO-OPERATIVE PUBLISHING COMPANY.  Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 68-30931

[3]:  Ballantine’s Law Dictionary Legal Assistant Edition
by Jack Ballantine 
(James Arthur 1871-1949).  Doctored by Jack G. Handler, J.D. © 1994 Delmar by Thomson Learning.  ISBN 0-8273-4874-6.


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