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Requisitions on title

Requisitions on title are essentially questionnaires relating to the sale of property, drawn up by lawyers. When the solicitor for the purchaser of a particular property received the abstract of title from the solicitor for the seller, he looked through it carefully and drew up a list of queries relating to any questionable points of title. These were the 'requisitions', which were usually written on the left-hand side of a piece of a paper. The requisitions were sent to the vendor's solicitor, who added his 'replies' in the right-hand column. Further requisitions could be sent if the replies were still not satisfactory.

Requisitions on title first began to appear in the 1820s; before that, any queries were dealt with in general correspondence between the lawyers. Particularly difficult legal issues could be passed to barristers for their advice in a 'Case to Counsel'. The barrister would reply with an 'Opinion of Counsel'.

Purpose

Questions and answers to iron out any legal queries relating to a property sale.

Features of requisitions on title

  • 19th century
  • Written on paper, often on blue legal paper
  • Two columns, each written in a different hand

Example

Ne 6 D/2/6/38 - List of requisitions on title relating to the conveyance from Joseph Poynton to Henry Pelham-Clinton, 5th Duke of Newcastle under Lyne of five houses at Basford, Nottinghamshire; 10 Sep. 1862

Deed Ne D 2/6/38

View this deed

Transcription:

Poynton to Duke of Newcastle

Requisitions

Replies

1. The Vendor agrees to sell five dwelling houses, but according to the description in the Conveyance to Poynton of 30th Sept[embe]r 1861 there are only four. This should be explained Since the Vendor purchased he has converted some Out offices into a Dwellinghouse.
2. An extract from the Will of Samuel Chapman and Certificates of the burial of Catherine Bailey and of the Marriage of Ann Morley should be furnished Yes at the Purchasers Expense. [added in another hand:] Messrs Campbell & Co. state that Mrs. Bailey was buried in the burial ground belonging to the Parish of Basford & Ann Morley was married at Basford Church
3. It is assumed that all the deeds will be delivered to the purchaser except the Mortgage deed of 5th October 1861 Yes, all but the deed of 5th Oct. 1861
4. The interests of the several occupiers in the premises should be shewn. All the occupiers are weekly Tenants, beyond which thus have no Interest
5.Are there are Judgments Crown debts, lis pendens or other incumbrances in any manner affecting the premises We have inquired of the Vendor who informs us there are no incumbrances affecting the premises (except Mr Cargill's mortgage)

Farrer Curry & Farrer

66 Lincolns Inn Fields

11th August 1862

Campbell Burton & Browne

10th Sept[embe]r 1862

 

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