DEED, conveyancing, contracts. A writing or instrument, under seal, containing some contract or agreement, and which has been delivered by the parties. Co. Litt. 171; 2 Bl. Com. 295; Shep. Touch. 50. This applies to all instruments in writing, under seal, whether they relate to the conveyance of lands, or to any other matter; a bond, a single bill, an agreement in writing, or any other contract whatever, when reduced to writing, which writing is sealed and delivered, is as much a deed as any conveyance of land. 2 Serg. & Rawle, 504; 1 Mood. Cr, Cas. 57; 5 Dana, 365; 1 How. Miss. R. 154; 1 McMullan, 373. Signing is not necessary at common law to make a deed. 2 Ev. Poth. 165; 11 Co. Rep. 278 6 S. & R. 311.
2. Deed, in its more confined sense, signifies a writing, by which lands, tenements, and hereditaments are conveyed, which writing is sealed and delivered by the parties.
3. The formal parts of a deed for the conveyance of land are, 1st. The premises, which contains all that precedes the habendum, namely, the date, the names and descriptions of the parties, the recitals, the consideration, the receipt of the same, the grant, the full description of the thing granted, and the exceptions, if any.
5. - 3d. The tenendum. This was formerly used to express the tenure by which the estate granted was to be held; but now that all freehold tenures have been converted into socage, the tenendum is of no use and it is therefore joined to the habendum, under the formula to have and to hold.
7. - 5th. The conditions upon which the grant is made. Vide Conditions.
8. - 6th. The warranty, is that part by which the grantor warrants the title to the grantee. This is general when the warrant is against all persons, or special, when it is only against the grantor, his heirs, and those claiming under him. See Warranty.
9. - 7th. The covenants, if any; these are inserted to oblige the parties or one of them, to do something beneficial to, or to abstain from something, which, if done, might be prejudicial to the other.
11. The circumstances necessarily attendant upon a valid deed, are the following: 1. It must be written or printed on parchment or paper. Litt. 229, a; 2 Bl. Com. 297. 2. There must be sufficient parties. 3. A proper subject-matter which is the object of the grant. 4. A. sufficient consideration. 5. An agreement properly set forth. 6. It must be read, if desired. 7. It must be signed and sealed. 8. It must be delivered. 9. And attested by witnesses. 10. It should be properly acknowledged before a competent officer.
11. It ought to be recorded.
12. A deed may be avoided, 1. By alterations made in it subsequent to its execution, when made by the party himself, whether they be material or immaterial, and by any material alteration, made even by a stranger. Vide Erasure; Interlineation.
13. According to Sir William Blackstone, 2 Com. 313, deeds may be considered as (1), conveyanees at common law, original and derivative. 1st. The original are, 1. Feoffment. 2. Gift. 3. Grant. 4. Lease. 5. Exchange; and 6. Partition. 2d. Derivative, which are 7. Release. 8. Confirmation. 9. Surrender. 10. Assignment 11. Defeasance. (2). Conveyances which derive their force by virtue of the statute of uses; namely, 12. Covenant to stand seised to uses. 13. Bargain and sale of lands. 14. Lease and release. 15. Deed to lead and declare uses. 16. Deed of revocation of uses.
14. The deed of, bargain and sale, is the most usual in the United States. Vide Bargain and Sale. Chancellor Kent is of opinion that a deed would be perfectly competent in any part of the United States, to convey the fee, if it was to the following effect: "I, A, B, in consideration of one dollar to me paid, by C D, do bargain and sell , (or in some of the states, grant) to C D, and his heirs, (in New York, Virginia, and some other states, the words, and his heirs may be omitted,) the lot of land, (describing it,) witness my hand and seal," &c. 4 Kent, Com. 452. Vide, generally, Bouv. Inst. Index, h. t.; Vin. Abr. Fait; Com. Dig. Fait; Shep. Touch. ch. 4; Dane's Ab. Index, h. t.; 4 Cruise's Dig. passim.
15. Title deeds are considered as part of the inheritance and pass to the heir as real estate. A tenant in tail is, therefore, entitled to them; and chancery will, enable him to get possession of them. 1 Bro. R. 206; 1 Ves. jr. 227;11 Ves. 277; 15 Ves. 173. See Hill. Ab. c. 25; 1 Bibb, R. 333: 3 Mass. 487; 5 Mass. 472.
16. The cancellation, surrender, or destruction of a deed of conveyance, will not divest the estate which has passed by force of it. 1 Johns. Ch. Rep. 417 2 Johns. Rep. 87. As to the effect of a redelivery of a deed, see 2 Bl. Com. 308 2 H. Bl. 263, 264.