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A secretary, secretary of state, or minister of a king or other high nobleman.

The king's chancellor in England during the Middle Ages was given a variety of duties, including drawing up writs that permitted the initiation of a lawsuit in one of the common-law courts and deciding disputes in a way that gave birth to the system of law called Equity. His governmental department was called the Chancery.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer in England is like the secretary of the U.S. treasury, but in former times he also presided over a court called the Court of Exchequer, which at first heard disputes over money owed to the king but eventually heard a wide variety of cases involving money. This jurisdiction was founded on the theory that a creditor who could not collect a debt would later be less able to pay whatever he owed to the king.

Chancellor has also been used as the title for a judge who sits in a court of equity, for the president of a university, or for the public official in charge of higher education in some states.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


n. from the old English legal system, a chancellor is a judge who sits in what is called a chancery (equity) court with the power to order something be done (as distinguished from just paying damages.) Almost all states now combine chancery (equity) functions and law in the same courts. (See: equity)

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.


Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

CHANCELLOR. An officer appointed to preside over a court of chancery, invested with various powers in the several states.
     2. The office of chancellor is of Roman origin. He appears, at first, to have been a chief scribe or secretary, but he was afterwards invested with judicial power, and had superintendence over the other officers of the empire. From the Romans, the title and office passed to the church, and therefore every bishop of the catholic church has, to this day, his chancellor, the principal judge of his consistory. When the modern kingdoms of Europe were established upon the ruins of the empire, almost every state preserved its chancellor, with different jurisdictions and dignities, according to their different constitutions. In all he seems to have had a supervision of all charters, letters, and such other public instruments of the crown, as were authenticated in the most solemn manner; and when seals came into use, he had the custody of the public seal.
     3. An officer bearing this title is to be found in most countries of Europe, and is generally invested with extensive authority. The title and office of chancellor came to us from England. Many of our state constitutions provide for the appointment of this officer, who is by them, and by the law of the several states, invested with power as they provide. Vide Encyclopedie, b. t.; Encycl.. Amer. h.t.; Dict. de Jur. h.t.; Merl. Rep. h.t.; 4 Vin. Ab. 374; Blake's Ch. Index, h.t.; Woodes. Lect. 95.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
As Chancellor of the Exchequer, he introduced corporation and capital gains taxes.
Even though the Chancellor of the Exchequer will not reveal the contents of his big red box until March, the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber is hoping to get its comments in early to shape November's pre-Budget speech about the economy.
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THE price of gold is at an all-time high and yet here we have a Prime Minister who as Chancellor of the Exchequer sold some of the nation's gold reserves.
Strange then, that the former Labour Chancellor of the Exchequer, Denis Healey, enthused in 1997, ``Never has an incoming administration inherited such a golden legacy,'' before Alistair Campbell could grab him by the throat to shut him up.
I DO not know how many of your readers will be aware that today (April 18, 2002) marks the 46th anniversary of the introduction of Premium Bonds by Harold Macmillan, then Chancellor of the Exchequer, in his Budget.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown has signalled his endorsement of a new social regeneration scheme which could see pounds 1 billion of private money going into Britain's poorest communities.
He has written to Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown to consider extending the free licence to all senior citizens.
GEORGE Osborne is a busted flush as Chancellor of the Exchequer - the public voting in droves against his recession economics.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown and his wife Sarah.

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