In English practice. A writ directed to the sheriff of the county inwhich a defendant resides, or has any goods or chattels, commanding him to distrainupon the goods and chattels of the defendant for forty shillings, in order to compel hisappearance. 3 Steph. Comm. 567. This writ issues in cases where it is found impracticableto get at the defendant personally, so as to serve a summons upon him. Id.A distringas is also used in equity, as the first process to compel the appearance of acorporation aggregate. St. 11 Geo. IV. ar.d 1 Wm. IV. c. 36.A form of execution in the actions of detinue and assise of nuisance. Brooke, Abr. pi.26; Barnet v. Ihrie, 1 Rawle (Pa.) 44.