Statute Merchant And Statute Staple
STATUTE MERCHANT AND STATUTE STAPLE were two old forms of security, long obsolete in practice, though references to them still occur in some modern statutes. They were originally permitted only among traders, for the benefit of commerce, but afterwards extended by 23 Hen. VIII. c. 6 to all subjects, whether traders or not. The creditor under either form of security was allowed to seize the goods and hold the lands of a defaulting debtor until satisfaction of his debt. While he held the lands he was termed tenant by statute merchant or by statute staple. In addition to the loss of his goods and lands the debtor was liable to be imprisoned.