The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Charte \Charte\, n. [F. See Chart.]
The constitution, or fundamental law, of the French monarchy,
as established on the restoration of Louis XVIII., in 1814.
Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856):
CHARTER. A grant made by the sovereign either to the whole people or to a
portion of them, securing to them the enjoyment of certain rights. Of the
former kind is the late charter of France, which extended to the whole
country; the charters which were granted to the different American colonies
by the British government were charters of the latter species. 1 Story,
Const. L. Sec. 161; 1 Bl. Com. 108 Encycl. Amer. Charte Constitutionelle.
2. A charter differs from a CONSTITUTION in this, that the former is
granted by the sovereign, while the latter is established by the people
themselves : both are the fundamental law of the land.
3. This term is susceptible of another signification. During the middle
ages almost every document was called carta, charta, or chartula. In this
sense the term is nearly synonymous with deed. Co. Litt. 6; 1 Co. 1; Moor.
4. The act of the legislature creating a corporation, is called its
charter. Vide 3 Bro. Civ. and Adm. Law, 188; Dane's Ab. h.t.