CHARTER. A grant made by the sovereign either to the whole people or to a portion of them, securing to them the enjoyment of certain rights. Of the former kind is the late charter of France, which extended to the whole country; the charters which were granted to the different American colonies by the British government were charters of the latter species. 1 Story, Const. L. 161; 1 Bl. Com. 108 Encycl. Amer. Charte Constitutionelle.
3. This term is susceptible of another signification. During the middle ages almost every document was called carta, charta, or chartula. In this sense the term is nearly synonymous with deed. Co. Litt. 6; 1 Co. 1; Moor. Cas. 687.
CHARTER, mar. contr. An agreement by which a vessel is hired by the owner to another; as A B chartered the ship Benjamin Franklin to C D.