Deed, an instrument written on paper or parchment, which relates principally to the conveyance; or transferring of property, and the validity of which consists in the followiug essential particulars: 1. Proper parties to contract with one another, and a proper subject matter to be contracted for; 2. A good and sufficient consideration ; 3. Writing on parchment, or paper, duly stamped ; 4. Sufficient and legal words, properly disposed ; 5. Reading (if it be desired) before execution ; 6. By stat. 29 Car. II. c. 3, in many cases signing also ; and, lastly, delivery which must be done either by the party himself, or by his attorney, lawfully authorised, and expressed in the attestation. If any of these requisites be wanting, the deed is absolutely void, from the beginning.
The preservation of deeds is an object that has ever engaged the attention of the lawyer and the antiquary : it is of still greater importance to those who hold estates or other tenements, in order to enable them to peruse, such papers as have been kept for a series of years, and which from moisture, or other causes, are almost illegible. To facilitate this desirable object, we select the following, as being the most simple of the many recipes which have been recommended : Immerse the parchment obliterated by time, into a vessel of cold water, fresh drawn from well: in the space of a minute, it should be taken out, and pressed-between two blotting papers, to prevent it from shrivelling, while it is drying. As soon as it is moderately dry (if the characters be
' not legible), the operation should be repeated two or three times.