Extracts from Latin legal translations supplied to previous customers


From a Charter by the Duke of Argyll, 1734. The translation of this lengthy document enabled a landowner to assert his historical rights in a Crown Court case, defeating proposals for the siting of a fish farm on an unspoilt Scottish island in 2006.

'Know that we have Given, Granted and Disponed, and Confirmed by this our present Charter,...to our beloved kinsmen, J., 2nd Earl of B., in liferent for the duration of all the days of his life, and to J., Lord G., his son, in fee,...All and Whole four merklands of A. with all and sundry parts, pendicles, annexes, connexes, grazings, sheilings, moors, turbaries, meadows, woods, fishings and pertinents of the same lands whatever...'

'...they shall also be bound and obliged to show and deliver to us and to our heirs aforesaid the foresaid Contracts of Mortgage containing the said Reversions, Charters and Infeftments following thereon, and the right at law in the same which was made over to the said late Lord N.,...together with all other papers and writings...touching the foresaid lands.'

'...they shall receive at the same time and once for all, valid Right and Infeftment in the said lands...and likewise in the lands and others underwritten, namely...the lands of K. with all and sundry houses, buildings, yards,...mills both built and to be built on the said lands and isles, and multures, sequels and knaveship of the same, salmon-fishings and other fishings whatsoever belonging thereto, both in salt and in fresh waters...'

'...In Witness Whereof our own Seal is appended to the presents...duly impressed according to Act of Parliament...and signed by our hand at London on the twenty-ninth day of March...'

Extracts from 4-page glossary written to accompany the above document:

annexes and connexes - appurtenances, items of property connected to others
dispone - to make over, convey, make a disposition of (land)
infeftment - document investing a new owner with legal possession of land or heritable property
liferent - the right to receive till death the revenue of a property, without the right to dispose of the capital
reversion - the redeeming of mortgaged lands
turbary - a place where peat is dug; the right to cut turves from a landed estate


In 2004, translations of Royal Charters of William the Lion, King of Scots, concerning 12th-century public rights of access, helped a political campaigner to make a case for abolishing the heavy toll imposed on bridge traffic crossing between a large Hebridean island and the UK mainland. The toll was lifted later that year, setting a precedent for the abolition of all Scottish bridge tolls by 2008.



From a Copy Charter of King Charles I under the Great Seal at Newmarket, 1634. This translation assisted a prominent firm of Edinburgh solicitors in dealing with the conveyance of a landed estate, an example typical of many required by solicitors.

'The King, with general agreement etc, has granted and bestowed anew upon W., Earl of L., Lord K. of N., the dwelling-house and manor of N., with the homesteads, mills and other buildings within the estate of the same,...and the lands of E. and W. with their coalmines (the lands being exempted from a yearly revenue of 1,000 merks by generous gift of the King's privy council...)'

'...which warranty had already been purchased by the late G. Lord R. on 23rd December 1628 from Mistresses J. and A.K., daughters and heiresses of the late R. Earl of L. etc, the inheritance of which W. Earl of D. had made over in trust to the said W. Earl of L.; With the Retention of sufficient revenue for the living of the said Earl of A.; Moreover the King ratified a charter...drawn up for the said R. Earl of L. ...and in addition he incorporated all the aforementioned into the free earldom of L. and the demesne and barony of N., with all honours attaching...additionally granting that there should be in the village of E. a market-day held weekly on Saturdays and a fair held yearly on the 25th of October, the said fair to continue for a period of two days, with the customary payments...'

'...And there are to be rendered feu-duties on behalf of the barony of N. as set out in the original charters...namely, for E. and W. 100 pounds, with 6 dozen and 9 poultry fowls (or 6 pennies in place of each as desired), for N. and the aforesaid wood 20 merks, for the said coalmines 10 merks, for the corn mills 42 merks, and for the fuller's mill 11 merks; for the dwelling-house of N. and A. 10 merks, for the warranties of N. and C. 20 pounds of feu-duty; and doubling of feu-duties on the accession of heirs and trustees; and 3 households to pay 3 agreed sums at the said manor: for L. one penny...of quit-rent; for W. with attached subsidiary lands 27 merks of feu-duty; and the legally bonded corn-duties which habitually pertain to the mill of A.; with the freedom to profit from the production of peat in the marshes of W. and from the production of movable fittings and attachments to ploughs, in the copses only of the wood of W., just so far as is necessary, when such implements may be required...'