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Proceedings of the Court of Chancery, 1669-1679
Volume 51, Preface 32   View pdf image (33K)
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                           OF MARYLAND.
                            THE EDITOR.

         The right to administer justice and to establish such courts as he deemed
        necessary for its administration, was conferred upon the Lord Proprietary of
        Maryland by the Charter given him in 1632 by Charles I. This authority was
        conferred not only by the clauses which specifically gave him power to appoint
        judges and to administer justice within his Province, but also under the still
        broader authority in the same instrument conferring upon him all the rights
        and powers enjoyed by the Bishop of Durham in his Palatinate of Durham. The
        section conferring this authority reads as follows: “all and singular such and
        as ample rights, jurisdictions, privileges, prerogatives, royalties, liberties, and
        royal rights and temporal franchises whatsoever, as well by seas as by land
        *    * * to be had, exercised, used, and enjoyed, as any Bishop of Durham,
        within the Bishoprick or county of Durham, * * * ever heretofore hath had,
        held, used, or enjoyed, or, of right, could or ought to have, hold, use, or enjoy “.
        More specifically the Proprietary and his heirs were granted the right to “make
        laws and to constitute and ordain judges, justices, magistrates and officers of
        what kind, for what cause, and with what power soever, within that land and
        the sea of those parts, and in such form as to the said now Baron of Baltimore
        or his heirs shall seem most fitting, and also to remit, reprieve, pardon, and
        abolish all crimes and offences whatsoever against such laws * * * and, by
        judges by them delegated, to award process, hold pleas, and determine in those
        courts, praetorian judicatories, and tribunals, in all actions, suits, causes, and
        matters whatsoever, as well as criminal as personal, real and mixed praetorian “.
         The editor has elsewhere traced in some detail the original development of
        the Provincial Court as the general law court of the Province, and made brief
        reference there to the Court of Chancery (Arch. Md., xlix; pp. iii-xvi). Both of
        these courts were in their earlier development identical in personnel with the
        Governor and Council, and for the first sixty years after the settlement in 1634,
        the Governor ordinarily presided in each court, and the associate justices of both
        courts were the members of the Council.
         The Chancellor in Maryland until nearly a century after the settlement, did
        not possess the broad judicial” one-man” powers of the Chancellor of England.
        During this time the office of Chancellor was usually combined with that of
        Governor, but the offices were several times separated, as when Philip Calvert
        was Chancellor, but not Governor, from 166i to 1682, and again on several
        other occasions prior to 1725. Until the last decade of the seventeenth century
        the Chancellor, unless he were Governor, did not even preside in his own court,
        the Governor doing so under the title of “Chief Judge in Equity.” Although
        during this period the judicial powers of the Chancellor were overshadowed by

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Proceedings of the Court of Chancery, 1669-1679
Volume 51, Preface 32   View pdf image (33K)
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