EXTRACTS FROM CALLIS ON SEWERS (1824) 4TH ED.
But now I am arrived at the continent and the first ground I set my foot on is the shore, which in Latin is called littus maris . . . . Littus maris est quousque maximus hibernicus et jus fluctus eluderet, et quousque fluctus maris in estate longius exestuat . . . .
The coasts of the sea come next in order to be treated of Costera maris be words well known, but their confined definition is hard to be found out ; yet certainly they contain the shore and banks, for by the statute of 27 Eliz. chap. 24 an act was made for the mending of the banks and sea works on the sea coasts ; but in the 7th chap. of Maccabees coasts have a larger extent ; for there Demetrius son of Seleucus departed from Rome and came to a city of the sea-coasts. Here a whole city is set on the sea-coasts ; and in Justine treating of Alexander the Great, it is reported of him, that he entered into Lycia and Pamphylia, and won and conquered all the sea-coasts this could be taken for no less than whole countries ; for Alexander's great mind and huge army could not march on a mole-hill, or small tract of ground. In St. Mark chap. VII it is thus written, "That Jesus, departing from the coasts of Tyre and Sidon, came to Galilee" ; so that it may thereby be gathered, that these coasts were near the sea, for our Saviour was no sooner out of the coasts but he was on the sea which shews that sea and coasts be contigue jacentia, yet no certain definition can I find of the words "coasts of the sea," but by these and suchlike descriptions ; yet this I gather and collect thereby, that in respect of the whole world, a whole kingdom lying next may be said to be a sea-coast and a whole country in respect of a kingdom ; and in my opinion the next town and territories thereof lying next to the seas, be in our law taken to be the sea-coasts and no other ; and therefore some do much err which take coast to be the edge of land next the water, and shore to be the brinks of the water next the land quasi duo opposita.
Creek of the sea is an inlet of sea cornered into the mainland, shooting with a narrow passage into some angle of the land, and therein stretching itself more than ordinary into the land, and so holdeth not even quarter with
the levant sea ; and such creeks or inlets we commonly term in the law to be arms of the sea ; for like as the arm of a man shooteth out from the body, so by a metaphor the inlet or corner of the sea let into the land is called an arm of the sea ; and although it go far into the land yet the points of land on both sides may well be discovered. And this appears in that eat arm of the sea on Humber, where it runs betwixt Lincolnshire and Yorkshire.
The points of either county may be seen at once and seem to stand even over the one to the other.
ARM OF THE SEA
And an arm of the sea is said to extend into the land so far as the flow and reflow goeth. In the patent of the Admiral of England I find this word creek used ; for there the King granteth to him omnia bona mercimonia et catalla in vel super mare littora crecas et costeras maris ; but it differs much both from the shore and coast ; for a shore is sometimes dry land, and sometimes water. A coast is always dry land : but the creek is always sea and new land. In the statute 28 H. 8 chap. 15 Rastal's Piracy, A, it is that all felonies etc. done upon the sea, haven or creek, where the Admiral hath jurisdiction, shall be tried in such county which the King shall appoint. By the statute it is manifest that the creek is not all one with the sea, nor the same that a haven is, by the statute made in the 4 H. 4. cap 20 Rastal Merchants 5 appoints that all merchandizes entering in or going out of the realm of England should be charged and discharged in great ports and not in creeks or small arrivals ; by which statute it is apparent that a creek is not all one that a port is. But yet here it seems to be an inlet of the sea where ships may have their arrivals, as, at Fosdyke, Stow, Wainflet and such like ; and I take it that a bay and a creek be all one, and that a mere and a fleet be also of that nature, and that all these rather vary in words than in matter (a)
(a) Though the King is the owner of this great waste and as a consequent of his propriety hath the primary right of fishing in the sea and the creeks and arms thereof ; yet the common people of England have regularly a liberty of fishing in the sea or creeks or arms thereof as a public common of piscary ; and may not without injury to their right be restrained of it, unless in such places, creeks or navigable rivers, where either the King or some particular subject hath gained a propriety exclusive of that common liberty. Hale de Jure Maris c. 4 s. 1.