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A title given to the principal clerk of a court.

See: clerk

PROTHONOTARY. The title given to an officer who officiates as principal clerk of some courts. Vin Ab. h.t.
     2. In the ecclesiastical law, the name of prothonotary is given to an officer of the court of Rome, he is so called because he is the first notary; the Greek word prootos signifying primus or first. These notaries have preeminence over the other notaries, and, are put in the rank of prelates. There are twelve of them. Dict. de Jur. h.t.

References in periodicals archive ?
County officers shall consist of sheriffs, coroners, prothonotaries, register of wills, recorder of deeds, commissioners, treasurers, surveyors, auditors or controllers, clerks of the courts, district attorneys and such others as may from time to time be established by law; and no sheriff or treasurer shall be eligible for the term next succeeding the one for which he may be elected.
As familiars, commensales, chamberlains, domestic prelates, majordomi, prothonotaries, squires, and ambassadors of Giovanni de' Medici (either as cardinal or Pope Leo X), (19) these canons enjoyed considerable authority: not only did they have direct access to the man they served, but they were also in a position of power within the hierarchy of the Florentine ecciesia maior.