Archives of Maryland
Historical List
Baltimore City Court Clerks, 1817-1982

The Baltimore City Court was first created in 1817 to hear criminal cases from Baltimore City, at that time still part of Baltimore County. It was eliminated under the Constitution of 1851, which replaced it with the Criminal Court of Baltimore [Constitution of 1851, Article IV, Section 13].

In 1867, Baltimore's courts were were reorganized as the Supreme Bench of Baltimore City. The City Court was reestablished as one of the three courts with jurisdiction over civil cases, sharing these duties with the Superior Court and the Court of Common Pleas.  [Constitution of 1867, Part IV]. The City Court also heard habeas corpus cases and appeals from city administrative boards, such as the Appeal Tax Court, Zoning Board, and Workers' Compensation Commission.

A constitutional amendment passed in 1980 consolidated Baltimore's courts. It took effect in on January 1, 1983, and Baltimore's six courts became the Baltimore City Circuit Court, functioning as any other county circuit court, with one court clerk.

1817-1827 Thomas Harwood
1827-1845 William M. Metcalfe
1845-1851 William H. Gatchell
1867-1873 Andrew J. George
1873-1880 Nathaniel C. Robertson
1880-1887 William F. McKewen
1887-1905 Henry A. Shultz
1905-1934 George Carey Lindsay
1934-1938 James B. Blake
1938-1978 John O. Rutherford
1978-1982 Elmer O. Harris

Maryland Manual
BALTIMORE CITY COURT (Expense Accounts) 1819-1839 {MSA C187]
BALTIMORE CITY COURT (Minutes) 1867-1945 [MSA T531]
SECRETARY OF STATE (Commission Record) 1851-1967 [MSA S1081]
Byrnes, John Carroll. "Evolution of the Circuit Court of Baltimore City, 1632-1997." In Histories of the Bench & Bar of Baltimore City. Baltimore: Baltimore Courthouse and Law Museum Foundation, 1997, 1-62.
"The Baltimore City Court." The Barrister, 1982.
The Sun (Baltimore)

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