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that part of a deed that introduces the operative part, usually with the words ‘Now this deed witnesseth.’
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

TESTATUM, practice. The name of a writ which is issued by the court of one county, to the sheriff of another county, in the same state, when the defendant cannot be found in the county where the court is located; for example, after a judgment has been obtained, and a ca. sa. has been issued, which has been returned non est inventus, a testatum ca. sa. may be issued to the sheriff of the county where the defendant is. Vide 20 Vin. Ab. 259; 7 Com. Dig. 424.

TESTATUM, conveyancing. That part of a deed which commences with the words "this indenture witnesseth."

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.