“(1827) A common-law writ commanding the person against whom it is issued either to do a specific thing or to show cause why the court should not order
it to be done.”
“(18c) At common law, an original writ issued when the plaintiff seeks specific damages, such as payment of a liquidated debt. The writ commands the
defendant either to do a specified thing or to show why the thing has not been done.”
Also see Writ of Mandamus
: All definitions from: Black’s Law Dictionary Deluxe Tenth Edition by Henry Campbell Black & Editor in Chief Bryan A. Garner. ISBN: 978-0-314-62130-6
: James L. High, A Treatise on Extraordinary Legal Remedies § 2, at 5-6 (1884).