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-800 millions of National Debt, 300 millions invested in railways, 600 millions employed in commerce, and 300 millions in bills of exchange and promissory notes— together, 2 billions, besides the value of land, houses, &c. In 1842, for the purpose of the income tax, the annual value of real property, houses, mines, tithes, canals, railways, &c., in Great Britain, was upwards of 95 millions. Mr. M.Culloch, in 1849, estimated the annual value of our manufactures at upwards of 120 millions.
CASH.-Ready money, in metallic currency, as distinguished
from notes, bills, cheques, drafts, &c. Bank of England notes, however, are generally received as cash.
CHARTERPARTY (Chartre parti, Fr. i. e., a deed or
writing divided.) À contract entered into between the person who hires a ship and the owner, setting forth the terms, &c. A ship is said to be chartered when hired for a voyage.
CHEQUES, OR DRAFTS.-A cheque or draft is a written
order addressed to the bankers of the drawer, for payment of a sum of money to a person therein named, or bearer. Bankers on whom a cheque is drawn, having sufficient funds of the drawer in their hands, are bound to honour it, else they will be liable to an action of damages. Cheques should be presented for payment on the day after they are received : (Rickford v. Ridge, 2 Camp. 540 ; Laws v. Rand, 30 Law J. 286.) If dishonoured, notice should be given, as with reference to a bill of exchange. Cheques are not negotiable beyond fifteen miles from the bankers on whom they are drawn, unless stamped with a penny stamp, under 17 & 18 Vict. c. 83. By that act, the act of 17 Geo. 3, c. 30, so far as relates to cheques drawn for sums under a limited amount, is repealed. A cheque crossed with the words “and company," or, " and Co.," must be paid through a banker. The banker's name may, however, be altered. The holder of a cheque does not lose his remedy against the drawer by reason of non-presentment within a reasonable time (which has been held to be any time within six years), unless there is a loss to the drawer, by the insolvency of the party on whom it is drawn, in the meantime : (Alexander v. Burchfield, 1 M. & G. 1067 ; Robinson v. Hawksford, 9 Q. B. 52; 15 Law J. 377, Q. B.)
CIRCULATING MEDIUM.—The money, metallic or
paper, used in carrying on the trade and commerce of the
country: (see CURRENCY AND MONEY.) CLEARING HOUSE.- The place where the representa
tives of the different bankers in London meet to exchange the cheques drawn upon each bank, and to pay and settle the differences, which are now generally arranged by cheques drawn on the Bank of England, where each banking house has an account. Nearly as much as 1000 millions sterling pass through the clearing house
in a year. COIN [Koinos, Gr.; pecunia, Lat. ; cuneus, Lat. ; and
cuneo, Ital. (a wedge) also pecus, Lat. (sheep or cattle), cuña, Span.; coin, Fr.]—The first kind of money used appears to have been in bars, ingots, or wedges, weighed; afterwards stamped with certain characters, indicating weight or value. Herodotus speaks of the Lydians as the first people who coined gold and silver. Other authorities ascribe the invention to the inhabitants of Ægina, 895 years before the Christian era, and give to the Lydians the second rank. Then came the coins of the Persian kings, beginning with Darius the First, about five centuries before Christ. The Grecians are said to have learned the art of coining from the Lydians, and the Romans from the Greeks. Nothing is said in Homer to indicate the existence of coined money. By the early Greeks and Romans articles were valued with reference to a certain number of oxen or sheep. There is no reason to suppose that the most ancient money referred to in the Old Testament were coins. In those times gold and silver were evidently weighed. Thus, in Gen.ch. 23, ver. 13-16, Abraham is said to have weighed to Ephron 400 shekels of silver, “current money with the merchant." Yet long after money ceases to circulate by weight, the name of the weight will be retained, and the divisions of the weight will become the ordinary instruments of exchange. Thus in England the pound weight of sterling silver, which is the base and integer of our accountancy from the Anglo-Saxon times, was divided into 240 pennies, the coin then in general use. Shillings were first coined by Henry 7, in 1503; crowns by Henry 8 ; halfcrowns, sixpences, and three-penny pieces by Edward 6. The series of gold coinage commences properly from Edward 3. Sovereigns and half-sovereigns, of the present value, were coined by Henry 8 in 1546. It is stated that there are at present about 80 millions sterling of coined money in circulation in Great Britain
and Ireland : (see Money.) COMMERCE (Commercium.)—It has been well said,
that “the history of commerce would be the history of mankind.” It extends almost to everything in life, and has had a constantly progressive course, and an increasingly extended range. At the period of the commencement of our manufacturing career, 1767, the population of Great Britain was between eight and nine millions : it is now twenty-one millions. Commerce, properly, relates to our mercantile dealings with foreign nations and our colonies abroad ; trade relates to our mutual traffic and dealings among ourselves. A maxim connected with commerce is that credit is its soul, and money its life-blood.” It is stated that the commerce and trade of this country would now require 9000 millions sterling ; but that there are only about 5000 millions in existence of fixed property, including the national debt, 800 millions. The value of articles sold in London in a day amounts to several millions,—said to be, on an average,
five millions. COMMISSION.-An allowance or remuneration given by
principals, or employers, to their brokers, factors, or agents, which allowance is generally regulated by the usage of different trades or businesses. Where the agent, on the sale of his employer's goods, guarantees the responsibility of the purchaser, the agent is entitled to a higher rate, settled by usage of trade, called del credere. Where there is no custom and no agreement, the amount of remuneration is a question for the con
sideration of a jury. COMPOSITION.-Compositions between debtor and
creditor, are agreements or contracts for an equal distribution of a debtor's estate amongst his creditors, who, in consequence, release him from his debts. Agreements for this purpose should be under seal. An engagement to that effect entered into by some of the creditors would not bind the others. By the Bankrupt Act, 1849, it is provided that any deed of arrangement between a trader and his creditors, signed by or on behalf of six-sevenths in number and value of those creditors whose debts amount to 101. or upwards, shall be binding on the creditors who have not signed, after the lapse of three months from the time at which they had notice of the trader's suspension of payment, and of
such deed. CONSIGNEE.—A factor, agent, or other person to whom
goods are consigned. CONSIGNMENT.—The sending, or consigning goods to
the care of a factor, agent, &c. CONTRABAND TRADE.-That which is prohibited by
law. CONVOY.-Ships of war sailing with other vessels in order
to protect them. CO-PARTNERSHIP: (see PARTNERSHIP.) * CREDIT (Trust.)--The credit (or creditor) side of an
account is the right-hand side. “ Credit is the soul of
commerce.” CURRENCY.-The money, either metallic or conventional,
used in common circulation in trade and commerce: (see
also Agio, Coin, EXCHANGE, Money.) CUSTOM.—A tax paid for goods exported or imported. DAYS OF GRACE.-A certain number of days allowed
for the payment of a bill, beyond the written term therein expressed. In England the number is three; in America, three; at Amsterdam, six ; Hamburgh, twelve ; Madrid, fourteen, &c. In other countries, besides Great Britain and America, days of grace are seldom taken unless in cases of failure or distress; but legal proceedings cannot be taken until the days of grace are
expired. Bills at sight must be paid when presented. DEBIT (Debt.)--The debit (or debtor) side of an account
is the left-hand side. DEL CREDERE.- An Italian mercantile phrase, of the
same signification as the English term guarantee or warranty, or the Scotch term warrandice. Under a commission of del credere, a factor, or agent, when he sells goods on credit, on behalf of his principal, becomes bound to warrant the solvency of the purchasers, and renders himself liable, in all events, for the payment of the price of the goods sold. The agent, however, is not primarily liable, but is considered as a surety, and is only to be had recourse to on failure of payment by the purchaser. The agent, in this case, is entitled to charge a higher commission : (see AGENTS, FACTORS.)
DEMURRAGE.-An allowance made to the master of a
ship for being detained in port longer than the time agreed upon.
DEPOSIT.-A sum advanced in part payment, on the
occasion of a purchase. Also, a delivery of documents or articles of value, as a security for the payment of a sum of money, or for the performance of some stipulated
act. DISCOUNT.-An allowance made for prompt payment.
Also, a sum deducted from the amount of a bill of exchange, or promissory note, on procuring payment before it is due. The discount is equal to the interest for the time.
DRAFT.-A bill or cheque by which one person draws on
another for a sum of money. When a draft is drawn at a distance of more than fifteen miles from the person on whom it is drawn, it is liable to a stamp duty of one penny. A person receiving a draft within the fifteen miles may negotiate it beyond that distance on affixing (and cancelling) a stamp: (see CHEQUE.)
DRAWBACK.-An allowance made at the custom-house
for the exportation of goods that have paid inward
duties. EARNEST.-Money advanced to bind a verbal agreement.
By the Statute of Frauds (29 Car. 2, c. 3), it is enacted that no contract for the sale of goods for the price of 101. sterling, or upwards, shall be good, unless the buyer shall accept part of the goods, and actually receive the same, or shall give something in earnest to bind the bargain, or in part payment, or unless some memorandum or note in writing, of the same bargain be made and signed by the parties to be charged with such contract, or their agents thereunto lawfully authorized,