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Eccles. Law. A letter from the pope of Rome, written on parchment to which is attached a leaden seal, impressed with the images of Saint Peter and Saint Paul.
There are three kinds of apostolical rescripts; the brief, the signature, and the bull, which last is most commonly used in legal matters. Bulls may be compared to the edicts and letters-patent of secular princes: when the bull grants a favor, the seal is attached by means of silken strings; and when to direct execution to be performed, with flax cords. Bulls are written in Latin, in a round and Gothic hand.