Literally, to be remembered. It is an informal instrument recording some fact or agreement, so called from its beginning, when it was made in Latin. It is sometimes commenced with this word, though written in English; as "Memorandum, that it is agreed," or it is headed with the words, "Be it remembered that," etc. The term memorandum is also applied to the clause of an instrument.
Insurance. A clause in a policy limiting the liability of the insurer. Its usual form is as follows, namely, "N. B. Corn, fish, salt, fruit, flour and seed, are warranted free from average, unless general, or the ship be stranded: sugar, tobacco, hemp, flax, hides and skins, are warranted free from average, under five percent; and all other goods, also the ship and freight, are warranted free from average, under three percent unless general, or the ship be stranded."
MEMORANDUM OR NOTE - These words are use in the 4th section of the statute 29 Charles II., commonly called the statute of frauds and perjuries, which enact, that "no action shall be brought whereby to charge any person upon any agreement made upon consideration of marriage, or upon any contract or sale of lands, tenements, or hereditaments, or any interest in or concerning them, unless the agreement upon which such action shall he brought, or some memorandum or note thereof, Shall be in writing," etc.
Many cases have arisen out of the words of this part of the statute; the general rule seems to be that the contract must be stated with reasonable certainty in the memorandum or note so that it can be understood from the writing itself, without having recourse to parol proof.
This entry contains material from Bouvier's Legal Dictionary, a work published in the 1850's.
Courtesy of the 'Lectric Law Library