Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Compensation. 1. In general Physics, a term employed to denote the elimination of certain ill-desired effects by the introduction of opposite ones. Thus, the pendulum of a clock is required to remain of constant length; but in warm weather heat expands the pendulum, and the clock is on this account made slower. But the pendulum may be compensated by being made to support at its lower end a cylinder of mercury instead of the ordinary solid pendulum-bob. When heated in warm weather the mercury expands upwards, and so, if properly adjusted, it neutralises the downward expansion of the pendulum-rod, and renders the swing isochronous in all weathers.

2. In English law compensation denotes (1) the pecuniary sum awarded under railway and other statutes, in payment and compensation of and for lands and buildings taken compulsorily or by agreement for public purposes. The chief statute upon the matter is the "Lands Clauses Consolidation Act, 1845" (8 and 9 Victoria, c. 18), and the "Agricultural Holdings Act, 1875," provides for the payment of compensation to agricultural tenants for improvements executed by them. (2) In agreements between vendors and purchasers of real estate it is usual to stipulate that errors, misdescriptions, and omissions in description of the property shall not avoid the sale, but be the subject of compensation. But such a stipulation will not protect the vendor in case of misdescription arising from fraud or gross negligence, or of such a nature that in the absence of it the purchaser would presumably not have entered into the contract at all.