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The Court of Appeals of Maryland, A History
Volume 368, Page 1   View pdf image (33K)
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Chapter I

Before 1694 at St. Mary's

To a question of the exact age of the Court of
Appeals of Maryland the answer would not
be easy. Except for an interruption of a
few years during the Revolutionary War, there
has been a tribunal of last resort in Maryland
known as the Court of Appeals since the seven-
teenth century; but what was the beginning point
in that century, and how far there has been a con-
tinuation of one and the same court through
changes in the subsequent centuries—those are de-
batable questions. The court originated in the
province of Maryland, as did courts of last resort
in others of the English colonies, in a reproduction
in an upper house of assembly of the jurisdiction
of Parliament in error, long established in Eng-
land, and surviving there in the appellate jurisdic-
tion of the House of Lords. It had therefore a
beginning, and it also had a long career, in a
combination of legislative and judicial functions
which is strange to the notions of modern Ameri-
can lawyers, and has tended to cause among them
some misconception of the early court. The sepa-
ration in modern minds of the governmental func-
tions, executive, legislative and judicial, makes it
seem now rather against nature that there should
have been a real court held by a legislative body;
but it did not by any means seem so in the early
seventeenth century when the English began set-
tling along the North American coast. Parlia-

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The Court of Appeals of Maryland, A History
Volume 368, Page 1   View pdf image (33K)
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