Chirograph Law and Legal Definition

Chirograph signifies a deed or public instrument in writing. In Civil law it refers to a handwritten instrument. It is a written deed that is subscribed and witnessed. The deed is in two parts in a single piece of parchment, where the Latin word "chirographum" (or equivalent) has been written across the middle, and then cut through. This enables both parties to an agreement to possess a copy of its written record, and each copy could be verified as genuine through introduction to, and comparison with, the other.

Chirograph also refers to the last part of a fine of land, commonly called the foot of the fine. It is an instrument of writing beginning with these words: 'This is the final agreement,' etc. It includes the whole matter, reciting the parties, day, year and place, and before whom the fine was acknowledged and levied.

Chirographer is word derived from the Greek, which signifies 'a writing with a man's hand.' A chirographer is an officer of the English court of C. P. who engrosses the fines and delivers the indentures to the parties.