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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.


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)



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.

References in periodicals archive ?
Indeed, it would be hard to imagine any differences in economic policymaking a Mr Balls chancellorship would involve.
James Callaghan was being groomed for the Chancellorship by the Labour Party.
For the young, whose timeframemay only reach from the Chancellorship of Nigel Lawson to Gordon Brown,an inflation rate of 2.5pc, the official government's target,may seem normal.
Still, it amounts to one more reminder of how hard it has become for anybody with less than average earnings to accumulate a money purchase pension that gives them fair value allowing for the credits they stand to lose - supposing always that Gordon's means test survives his Chancellorship.
Writer Bill Bryson marked the start of his chancellorship at Durham University yesterday by handing out honorary degrees to three of his own heroes.
Repeatedly, he stopped his car to show off projects, initiated and financed under his Chancellorship, which are creating jobs.
Council Tax - This has been one of Mr Brown's 'stealth taxes' with receipts having increased by an unprecedented 99% over his chancellorship.
STILL the letters come in about Father Tony McCaffrey, who resigned last week as parish priest at St Andrew's Church, Hunts Cross, Liverpool, and Chancellorship of Liverpool Archdiocese, following conviction in a court case.
Will Alan Greenspan curb Gordon Brown's "irrational exuberance" as he approaches the trickiest Budget of his Chancellorship? Don't bank on it.
The ceremony saw Lord Sawyer, dressed in his ceremonial academic gown, take over the Chancellorship from Lord Brittan, who was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree for his 12 years service to the university.
Under the Chancellorship of Gordon Brown, the railways are finally getting the investment they need.
Tory peers' leader Lord Strathclyde attacked the proposed changes and warned his party would not cooperate unless the Government gave more details of other changes to the Lord Chancellorship.