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Proceedings of the Court of Chancery, 1669-1679
Volume 51, Preface 57   View pdf image (33K)
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     The First Century of the Court of Chancery.     lvii

     to “appoint Edward Lloyd, Esq. the second person named of our Councill,
     Keeper of the Great Seale * * * with all the Emoluments thereunto belonging
     *    * * and in the Case of his death, absence or refusal the third person of our
     Councill” was to be Chancellor (Arch. Md., xxv, 353, 356, 358). Lloyd
     died shortly before Hart left and Col. William Holland became Chancellor. His
     commission as “Chancellor or Judge of our High Court of Chancery * * *
     and Keeper of our Great Seale” was dated February 7, 1719/20 (Chanc. Proc.
     P. L., 488). Holland had been an associate justice of the Court of Chancery
     more or less constantly since 1705. With Holland's appointment a new chapter
     in the history of the Maryland Court of Chancery begins. Down to this time
     it had been a court of a presiding justice or Chief Judge in Equity, who had
     been variously the Governor, the Chancellor, or both offices combined in the
     same person, with a varying number of associate justices. It now became a
     one-man court. As has already been shown, for the first twenty-seven years
     (1634-1661) after the settlement, the Governor, who was also the Chancellor,
     presided. When these two offices were separated for twenty-two years (1661-
     1682), and Philip Calvert became Chancellor, the Governor, at first in the
     person of Charles, the third Lord Proprietary, and later Gov. Thomas Notley,
     presided as “Chief Judge in Equity “, the Chancellor ranking second, and only
     presiding in the absence of the Governor. After Philip Calvert's death in 1682,
     down to the Protestant Revolution of 1689, various individuals, and occasionally
     two persons at the same time, held the office of Chancellor, with the Governor
     usually continuing to preside as Chief Judge in Equity. During the time that
     Maryland was a Royal Province, from 1690 to 1714, we have seen that the
     office of Chancellor, while generally combined with that of Governor, was often
     held by some other member of the Council, designated by the Governor or
     Proprietary to be Keeper of the Great Seal. During this period the Chancellor,
     whether or not he was identical with the Governor, presided in the Court of
     Chancery y with a varying number of the members of the Council sitting with
     him as “associate” or “assistant” justices, although in Copley's and Nichol-
     son's regimes some of these associates were not members of the Council.
      It seems probable, however, that the change from a plural to a one-man
     equity court was not in reality as abrupt as the record would indicate on its
     face. It will be recalled that with the opening of the century the terms assistant
     justices, and later assistants to the Chancellor, began to replace the designa-
     tion associate justices, and that at the meeting, July 13, 1715, the Council
     discussed the fees to be paid to councillors who assisted the Keeper of the Great
     Seal in holding the Chancery, as well as the proper allowance to these assistants
     or masters for their reports on questions referred to them by the Chancellor.
     Since the opening of the century it would appear that the chancellors, who
     were usually also the governors, and until 1715 Royal governors, with the
     English Court of Chancery as a model to be followed, had more and more
     centralized the equity judicial authority of the court in themselves. When it
     is recalled that few, if any, of the early eighteenth century governors are known
     to have been trained in the law, and even had they been would not have had
     the time, unassisted, to do all the work of the Chancery, it was but natural that

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Proceedings of the Court of Chancery, 1669-1679
Volume 51, Preface 57   View pdf image (33K)
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