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[001] proof of its validity. But what if when the witnesses appear they say that they know
[002] nothing of the charter, or answer doubtfully with respect thereto, and he who produces
[003] the charter is suspected of having acquired it by fraud, because he was the
[004] donor's chamberlain, or by the fraud of [the donor's] wife, or [if] there is some other
[005] strong presumption against him? Neither the charter nor the gift will be valid, because
[006] of the presumption, especially since it proves nothing.

A charter may be proved otherwise than by witnesses.

[008] A charter may also be proved otherwise than by witnesses and the country, by a comparison
[009] of seals, as where, when a charter1 is disputed, other seals, which have once
[010] been produced in court and approved and acknowledged by the donor, are compared;
[011] if they agree completely and in all respects, so that no difference is discernible in
[012] them, this alone suffices as proof of the charter and everything contained in it will be
[013] held valid, unless something is found in the charter which arouses manifest suspicion,
[014] as where an erasure has been made in a suspicious place, that is, in the statement of
[015] fact, it is otherwise if in the statement of law.2 Rights may be written anywhere since
[016] they are not varied or changed by erasure.3 [A charter ought to appear in its original
[017] form, without any flaw, erasure or cancellation,4 because it is not proper that a disputed
[018] document have authority in court.]5 In writings some matters raise a slight
[019] presumption, which may be overcome by the true proof of witnesses to the contrary
[020] and by the country, as where a difference of pen is found, [that is], a difference in
[021] writing and different hands, for one person writes in one way and another in another,
[022] a young man in one and an old man in another, or6 of ink and pigment, as where in
[023] one part it is written in black ink and in another in red.

A seal may be proved by comparison.

[025] When a seal ought to be proved by comparison and several sealed instruments made
[026] in his name are put forward [by him] who has the onus of proof, reliance must not be
[027] placed upon them, since they may all be forged, unless one of them was earlier produced
[028] in court and acknowledged by the donor or proved genuine by the person
[029] producing it,7 as where one first grants land to another for a term and at farm and an
[030] instrument is made thereon


1. ‘cartu’

2. Supra iii, 78, infra 286

3. Ibid.; cf. Drogheda, 131

4. C. 6.33.3: ‘. . . non cancellatum, non abolitum, neque ex quacunque suae formae parte vitiatum, sed quod prima figura sine omni vituperatione appareat’; infra 286; Drogheda, 130

5. D. 22.4.2: ‘calumniosam scripturam vim in iudicio optinere non convenit’; Guterbock, 157; ‘vim,’ as D

6. ‘vel’

7. B.N.B., no. 237 (margin)

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