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ERMIN, in heraldry, is always argent and sable, that is, a white field, or fur, with black spots. These spots are not of any determinate number, but may be more or less, at the pleasure of the painter, as the skins are thought not to be naturally so spotted; but serving for lining the garments of great persons, the furriers were wont, in order to add to their beauty, to sow bits of the black tails of the creatures that produced them, upon the white of their skin, to render them the more conspicuous, which alteration was introduced into armoury.

ERMINE, or cross erminé, is one com-

posed of four ermin spots. It is to be observed, that the colours in these arms are

not to be expressed, because neither this cross nor these arms can be of any other

colour but white and black.

ERNODEA, in botany, a genus of the Tetrandria Monogynia class and order. Essential character: calyx four-parted; corolla one-petalled, salver-shaped; berry two-celled; seeds solitary. There is but one species, viz. E. littoralis, a native of


ERODIUM, in botany, cranes-bill, a genus of the Monadelphia Pentandria class and order. Natural order of Gruinales. Gerania, Jussieu. Calyx five-leaved; corolla five-petalled; nectary five-scales, alternate with the filaments and glands at the base of the stamens; fruit five-grained, with a spiral beak, bearded on the inside. There are twenty-eight species.

ERODIUS, in natural history, a genus of insects of the order Coleoptera. Antennæ moniliform; feelers four, filiform; body roundish, gibbous, immarginate; thorax transverse; shells closely united, longer than the abdomen; jaw horny, bifid; lip horny, emarginate. There are four species. EROTEUM, in botany, a genus of the Polyandria Monogynia class and order. Essential character. calyx five-leaved; corolla five-petalled; style trifid; berry juiceless, three-celled, many-seeded. There are two species, viz. E. thæoides, and E. undulatum, both natives of Jamaica.

ERROR, in law, signifies an error in pleading, or in the process on the judgment; and the writ which is brought for remedy of it is called a writ of error. This is a commission to judges of a superior court, by which they are authorized to examine the record upon which a judgment was given in an inferior court, and on such examination, to affirm or reverse the same according to law. For particulars as to the

practice of writs of error, see Tomlins's "Law Dictionary."

ERUCTATIONS, in medicine, are the effect of flatulent foods, and the crudities thence arising.

ERUDITION, denotes an extensive acquaintance with books, especially such as treat of the belles lettres.


delphia Decandria class and order. NatuERVUM, in botany, a genus of the Diaral order of Papilionacea, or Leguminosa. Essential character: calyx five-parted, the length of the corolla. There are six species; of which E. lens, flat-seeded tare, or least of the pulse kind which is cultivated; common lentil, is an annual plaut, and the it rises with weak stalks a foot and a half high, having pinnate leaves at each joint, composed of several pairs of narrow leaflets, terminated by a tendril, which supports it by fastening about some other plant; the flowers come out on short pethey are small, of a pale purple colour, and duncles from the sides of the branches; three or four together; legumes short and flat, containing two or three flat, round seeds, a little convex in the middle; the flowers appear in May; the seeds ripen in


ERYNGIUM, in botany, English eryngo, a genus of the Pentandria Digynia class and order. Natural order of Umbellatæ. Essential character: flowers in a head; receptacle chaffy. There are eleven species; these bear some resemblance to the thistles; the leaves are frequently spinous, as are also the involucres; the umbellets in some are inclosed in an involucre, which is often irregular and branched; in others they are dispersed.

ERYSIMUM, in botany, hedge-mustard, a genus of the Tetradynamia Siliquosa class and order. Natural order of Siliquosæ. Cruciferæ, Jussieu. Essential character: silique columnar with four equal sides; calyx closed. There are eight species.


ERYTHRINA, in botany, a genus of the Diadelphia Decandria class and order. Natural order of Papilionacea or Leguminosa. Essential character: calyx twolobed; corolla standard very long, lanceolate.

There are seven species; these are small, prickly trees, or shrubs; leaves as in dolichos, ternate, stipulaceons; the petiolules jointed and awned, or glandular, seldom simple; flowers in fascicles from the

axils, or in spikes at the ends of the stem and branches, generally scarlet.

ERYTHRONIUM, in botany, dog-tooth violet, a genus of the Hexandria Monogynia class and order. Natural order of Sarmentaceæ. Lilia, Jussieu. Essential character: corolla six-petalled, bell-shaped; nectary tubercles two, fastened to the base of the alternate petals. There is but one species with several varieties, viz. E. dens canis, dog-tooth violet; the roots of this plant are white, oblong, and fleshy, shaped like a tooth, whence its name.

ERYTHROXYLON, in botany, a genus of the Decandria Trigynia class and order. Natural order of Malpighiæ, Jussieu. Essential character: calyx turbinate; corolla having a small emarginate nectareous scale at the base of the petals; stamina connected at the base; drupe one-celled. There are five species.

ESCALLONIA, in botany, so named in honour of M. Escallon, a genus of the Pentandria Monogynia class and order. Natural order of Calycanthemæ. Onagræ, Jussieu. Essential character: calyx surrounding the fruit; stigma capitate; berry twocelled, containing many seeds. There are two species, viz. E. myrtilloides, and E.


ESCAPE, in law, is where one who is arrested gains his liberty before he is delivered by course of law. Escapes are either in civil or criminal cases; and in both respects may be distinguished into voluntary and negligent; voluntary, where it is with the consent of the keeper; negligent, where it is for want of due care in him. In civil cases, after the prisoner has been suffered voluntarily to escape, the sheriff can never retake him, but must answer for the debt; but the plaintiff may retake him at any time. In the case of a negligent escape, the sheriff, upon fresh pursuit, may retake the prisoner; and the sheriff shall be excused, if he has him again before any action brought against himself for the escape. When a defendant is once in custody in execution, upon a capias ad satisfaciendum, he is to be kept in close and safe custody; and if he be afterwards seen at large, it is an escape, and the plaintiff may have an action for his whole debt against the sheriff; for, though upon arrests, and what is called mesne process, being such as intervenes between the commencement and end of a suit, the sheriff, till the statute 8 and 9 Will. c. 27. might have indulged the defendant as he pleased, so as he produced him

in court to answer the plaintiff at the return of the writ; yet, upon a taking in execu tion, he could never give any indulgence; for in that case, confinement is the whole of the debtor's punishment, and of the satisfaction made to the creditor. A rescue of a prisoner in execution, either in going to gaol, or in gaol, or a breach of prison, will not excuse the sheriff from being guilty of, and answering for the escape; for he ought to have sufficient force to keep him, seeing he may command the power of the county. In criminal cases, an escape of a person arrested, by eluding the vigilance of his keeper before he is put in hold, is an offence against public justice, and the party himself is punishable by fine and imprisonment; but voluntary escapes amount to the same kind of offence, and are punishable in the same degree as the offence of which the prisoner is guilty, and for which he is in custody, whether treason, felony, or trespass, and this whether he was actually committed to gaol, or only under a bare arrest; but the officer cannot be thus punished, till the original delinquent is actually found guilty or convicted by verdict, confession, or outlawry; otherwise it might happen, that the officer should be punished for treason or felony, and the party escaping turn out to be an innocent man. But before the conviction of the principal party, the officer thus neglecting his duty, may be fined and imprisoned for a misdemeanor. 4 Black. 129.

If any person shall convey, or cause to be conveyed into any gaol, any disguise, instrument, or arms, proper to facilitate the escape of prisoners, attainted or convicted of treason or felony, although no escape or attempt to escape be made, such person so offending, and convicted, shall be deemed guilty of felony, and be transported for seven years. 16 Geo. II. c. 31.


ESCHEAT, in our law, denotes an ob struction of the course of descent, and a consequent determination of the tenure, by some unforeseen contingency; in which case, the land naturally results back, by a kind of reversion, to the original grantor or lord of the fee. This happens either for want of heirs of the person last seized, or by his attainder for a crime by him committed; in which latter case, the blood is tainted, stained, or corrupted, and the inheritable quality of it is thereby extinguished.

ESCHEAT, for want of heirs, is where the

tenant dies without any relations on the part of any of his ancestors, or where he dies without any relations of those ancestors, paternal or maternal, from whom his estate descended; or where he dies without any relations of the whole blood. Bastards are also incapable of inheritance; and therefore if there be no other claimant than such illegitimate children, the land shall escheat to the lord; and, as bastards cannot be heirs to themselves, so neither can they have any heirs, but those of their own bodies; and therefore, if a bastard purchase lands, and die seized, without issue and intestate, the land shall escheat to the lord of the fee. Aliens also, that is, persons born out of the King's allegiance, are incapable of taking by descent; and unless naturalized, are also incapable of taking by purchase; and therefore, if there be no natural born subjects to claim, such lands shall in like manner escheat. By attainder for treason or other felony, the blood of the person attainted is corrupted and stained, and the original donation of the feud is thereby determined, it being always granted to the vassal on the implied condition of his well demeaning himself. In consequence of which corruption and extinction of hereditary blood, the land of all felons would im mediately revert in the land, but that the superior law of forfeiture intervenes, and intercepts it in its passage; in case of treason, for ever; in case of other felony, for only a year and a day; after which time it goes to the lord in a regular course of es. cheat. 2 Black. c. 15.

ESCHEATOR was an ancient officer, 80 called because his office was properly to look to escheats, wardships, and other casualties belonging to the crown. This office having its chief dependance on the courts of wards, is now out of date.

ESCUAGE signifies a kind of knights' service, called service of the shield, whereby the tenant is bound to follow his lord into the Scotch or Welsh wars, at his own expence. He who held a whole knights' fee, was bound to serve with horse and arms 40 days at his own charge, and he who held half a knights' fee was to serve 20 days.

· ESCUTCHEON, in heraldry, is derived from the French escussion, and that from the Latin scutum, and signifies the shield whereon coats of arms are represented. Most nations, of the remotest antiquity, were wont to have their shields distinguished by certain marks painted on them; and to have such on their shields was a token of ho

nour, none being permitted to have them till they had performed some honourable action. The escutcheon, as used at present, is square, only rounded off at the bottom. As to the bearings on shields, they might at first be arbitrary, according to the fancy of the bearer; but, in process of time, they came to be the gift of kings and generals, as the reward of honourable actions.

ESCUTCHEON of pretence, that on which a man carries his wife's coat of arms, being an heiress, and having issue by her. It is placed over the coat of the husband, who thereby shews forth his pretensions to her lands.

ESOX, the pilce, in natural history, a genus of fishes of the order Abdominales. Generic character: head flattish above, mouth and throat large; teeth sharp, in the jaws, palate, and tongue; nostrils double, near the eyes; gill-membrane with from seven to twelve rays; body elongated; dorsal fin near the tail. Gmelin enumerates fifteen species, and Shaw twenty-two we shall notice the following, as the most important.

E. lucius or the common pike. In Lapland this fish, we are informed, is found not unfrequently of the length of eight feet. It is to be met with in most lakes and small rivers throughout Europe. Its common colour is a pale olive, but in Holland it has been seen of an orange colour with black spots. When in its perfect state its colours are uniformly found to be most vivid. The largest pike ever caught in Great Britain is supposed to have been one which weighed thirty-five pounds. It is a fish of particu larly rapid growth, and also of great longevity, having been ascertained, according to one of the natural historians of Poland, to live to the age of ninety years. The stomach of the pike is particularly strong, muscular, and extended. Its teeth, without including those nearest the throat, are no fewer than seven hundred, and those which are placed on the jaws are alternately moveable and fixed. It is one of the most voracious of fishes, and is often found to swallow waterrats and young ducks; it has even attacked the swan, and swallowed the head and great part of the neck of that bird; but being unable to separate these from the body, it became, in this instance, the victim of its voracity. It will engage with the otter in the most ferocious and persevering contests for any article of food, and after long abstinence has been known to seize on the lips of a mule, and to be drawn up by the affrighted

quadruped before it could possess time for extrication. It is not unfrequently caught in the latter end of spring in the ditches near the Thames, while asleep, by means of a noosed cord dexterously slipped round it. The appearance of the pike is dreaded by the smaller fishes, as the signal of destruction, and is observed to excite in them all the indications of detestation and terror.

E. stomias, or the piper-mouthed pike, is a native of the Mediterranean sea, about eighteen inches in length, and of a greenish brown colour. Its lower jaw is considerably longer than the upper; it has two fore teeth in the upper, and these with two of the under, project from the mouth when shut; the first ray of the dorsal fin, which is near the head, is very long and setacions, and its body gradually tapers towards the tail, which is somewhat forked. It is a very curious fish, and a specimen of it is to be seen in the British Museum.

ESPALIERS, in gardening, are rows of trees planted about a whole garden or plantation, or in hedges, so as to inciose quarters or separate parts of a garden; and are trained up regularly to a lattice of woodwork in a close hedge, for the defence of tender plants against the injuries of wind and weather. They are of admirable use and beauty in a kitchen-garden, serving not only to shelter the tender plants, but screen them from the sight of persons in the walks. See GARDENing.

ESPLANADE, in fortification, is the sloping of the parapet of the covered way towards the campaign. It is the same with glacis, and is more properly the empty space between the citadel and the houses of a town.

ESQUIRE was anciently the person that attended a knight in the time of war, and carried his shield. This title has not, for a long time, had any relation to the of fice of the person, as to carry arms, &c. Those to whom the title of esquire is now of right due, are all noblemens' younger sons, and the eldest sons of such younger sous; the eldest sons of knights, and their eldest sons; the officers of the King's courts, and of his houshold; counsellors at law, justices of the peace, &c. though those latter are only esquires in reputation: besides, a justice of the peace holds this title no longer than he is in commission, in case he is not otherwise qualified to bear it; but a sheriff of a county, who is a superior officer, retains the title of esquire during life, in consequence of the trust once reposed in him; the heads of some ancient families are said to be esquires by prescription.

ESQUIRE, is a name of dignity, next above the common title of gentleman, and below a knight; heretofore it signified one that was attendant, and had his employment as a servant, waiting on such as had the order of knighthood, bearing their shields, and helping him to horse and the like. All Irish and foreign peers, are only esquires in our law, and must be so named in all legal proceedings. Esquires of the King, are such who have the title by creation; these when they are created, have a collar of SS put about their necks, and a pair of silver spurs is bestowed on them; and they were wont to bear before the prince in war, a shield or lance. There are four esquires of the King's body to attend on his Majesty's person.

ESSAY, in metalurgy. See ASSAYING, ESSENCE, in chemistry, denotes the purest, most subtile, and balsamic part of a body; extracted either by simple expres. sion, or by means of fire, from fruits, flowers, and the like. Of these there are a great variety, used on account of their agreeable smell and taste, by apothecaries, perfumers, and others. Those extracted by means of fire, with more propriety are to be counted among the essential oils.

ESSENCE of bergamot, is a fragrant essence, extracted from a fruit which is produced by ingrafting a branch of lemon-tree, upon the stock of a bergamot-pear. It is imported from Italy and Sicily, particularly from Reggia and Messina. This spirit is extracted, by paring off the rind of the fruit with a broad knife, pressing the peel between wooden pincers against a spunge, and as soon as the spunge is saturated, the volatile liquor is squeezed into a phial.

ESSENCE of orange, and ESSENCE of lemon, are prepared in a similar manner, and come from the same countries.

The essences of lavender, of thyme, of rosemary, of anise, of cloves, of cinnamon, &c. are obtained by means of fire.

ESSENCE, in philosophy, that which constitutes the particular nature of each genus or kind, and distinguishes it from all others; being nothing but that abstract idea to which this name is affixed; so that every thing contained in it, is essential to that particular kind.

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ESSENDI quietum de theolonio, a writ that lies for citizens and burgesses of any city or town, that have a charter on prescription to exempt them from toll through the whole realm, if it happened to be any where exacted of them.


antiquity, one of the three ancient sects among that people, who outdid the Pharisees in their most rigorous observances. They allowed a future state, but denied a resurrection from the dead. Their way of life was very singular; they did not marry, but adopted the children of others, whom they bred up in the institutions of their sect; they despised riches, and had all things in common; and never changed their clothes till they were entirely worn out. When initiated, they were strictly bound not to communicate the mysteries of their sect to others; and if any of their members were found guilty of enormous crimes they were expelled.

inheritance or for life, either in a corporeal or incorporeal hereditament, existing in or arising from real property of free tenure, that is now of all which is not copyhold; but tithes and spiritual dues may be freehold, though they issue out of lands not freehold. Freeholds may be considered either as estates of inheritance, or not of inheritance. The former are of inheritance absolute, called fee-simple; or inheritance limited, one species of which is called fee. tail. Limited fees are such estates of inheritance as are clogged with conditions or qualifications, which may be either, 1st. qualified or base fees; or, 2nd. fees conditional. The former is instanced by a grant to A and his heirs, tenants of the manors of Dale, which may continue for ever if the heirs of A still continue tenants of Dale; but being subjected to a condition which lowers or debases the certainty of the tenure, it is called a base fee. For fee-tail, see FEE tail in this Dictionary, et post. Of

ESSENTIAL, something necessarily belonging to the essence or nature of a thing, from which it cannot be conceived distinct; thus the primary qualities of bodies, as extension, figure, number, &c. are essential or inseparable from them in all their changes and alterations. ESSENTIAL character. See CHARAC- estates of freehold for life only some may


ESSENTIAL oil, that procured from plants by distillation. See OIL.

ESSENTIAL salts, those obtained from vegetable juices by crystallization. See SALT.

ESSOIN, signifies the allegation of an excuse for him that is summoned, or sought for, to appear and answer to an action real, or to perform suit to a court baron, upon just cause of absence. There are various kinds of excuses which were formerly allowed, but the practice of essoins is obsolete.

ESTABLISHMENT of dower, in law, the assurance of dower made to the wife by the husband, or his friends, before or at marriage. Assignment of dower, is the setting it out by the heir afterwards, according to the establishment.

ESTATE, in law, that title or interest which a man hath in lands or tenements, &c. This may be considered in a threefold manner: 1. as to the quantity of interest which the party has; 2. the time when that interest is to be enjoyed; 3. the number and connections of the parties who are to enjoy it. I. The first is measured by its duration or extent, which may be for an uncertain, period, during his own life or the life of another man, to determine at his own de cease, or to remain to his descendants after him; or it is for years, months, or days, or infinite and unlimited, being to a man and his heirs for ever. This occasions the division into estates of freehold, and less than freehold. The former is any estate of


be called conventional, such as are created
by act of the parties, others merely legal or
arising by operation of law. For estates for
life conventional, see LIFE estate.
latter are tenant in tail after possibility of
issue extinct, tenant by the curtesy, and
tenant in dower, which see.

Of estates less than freehold there are three sorts: 1. estates for years; 2. at will. See LEASE. 3. estates by sufferance. Besides there are some estates upon condition as on mortgage estates by statute merchant ; statute staple; elegit; which see.

II. Thus far we consider the quantity of the interest. Secondly, as to the time of their enjoyment, which is present or future, they are divided into estates in possession or expectancy. The latter are divided into estates in remainder and reversion, which lead to very nice and abstruse distinctions. See REMAINDER, REVERSION, EXECUTORY DEVISE, LIMITATION, &c. On this head, as to the certainty and time of enjoyment, estates are, 1st. vested in possession : 2nd. vested in interest, as reversions; vested remainders; such executory devises, future uses, conditional limitations, &c. as are not referred to or made to depend on a period which is uncertain: Sd. estates contingent which are referred to a condition or event, which is uncertain whether it may happen or not. An estate is vested when there is an immediate fixed right of present or future enjoyment. It is vested in possession when there is a right of present enjoyment; vested in interest where a present

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