Prerogative court

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PREROGATIVE COURT, eccl. law. The name of a court in England in which all testaments are proved and administrations granted, when the deceased has left bona notabilia in the province in some other diocese than that in which he died. 4 Inst. 335.
     2. The testamentary courts of the two archbishops, in their respective provinces, are styled prerogative courts, from the prerogative of each archbishop to grant probates and administrations, where there are bona, notabilia; but still these are only inferior and subordinate jurisdictions; and the style of these courts has no connexion with the royal prerogative. Derivatively, these courts are the king's ecclesiastical courts; but immediately, they are only the courts of the ecclesiastical ordinary. The ordinary, and not the crown, appoints the judges of these courts; they are subject to the control of the king's courts of chancery and common law, in case they exceed their jurisdiction; and they are subject in some instances to the command of these courts, if they decline to exercise their jurisdiction, when by law they ought to exercise it. Per Sir John Nicholl, In the Goods of George III.; 1 Addams, R. 265; S. C. 2 Eng. Eccl. R. 112.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
Once this was widely understood, the claim of legislative authorization or acquiescence would not save the prerogative courts from eventually being condemned as extralegal instruments of extralegal power.
It was consolidated in the sense that it united all government powers--legislative, executive, and judicial--in the king or in his prerogative courts. Underlying these three central elements was the usual conceptual justification for absolute power: necessity, which, it was said, was not bound by law.
Ample resources of Roman jurisprudence were available in the thriving and influential community of civilian lawyers of "Doctors' Commons" who practiced in the many English prerogative courts. Drawing on the seventeenth-century works of Coke and Hale as well as many recent works in Pocockian 'new' British history, MacMillan makes a credible argument that although the forms and style of common law jurisprudence were often used for reasons of familiarity and convenience, the new American colonies were in fact "part of the composite monarchy, ruled by the King alone through his royal prerogatives" (37).
During that trial, carried out by a rump court assembled by England's House of Commons, King Charles I was accused of seeking "to subvert the ancient and fundamental laws and liberties of this nation and in their place to introduce an arbitrary and tyrannical government." As king, Charles was reminded, he had been "trusted with a limited power to govern by and according to the laws of the land and not otherwise." Among his most serious offenses was his use of "prerogative courts" to try and punish his political enemies.