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A title given to the principal clerk of a court.

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

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.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
He was in later years promoted to the title of Protonotary, in which capacity Cardinal Aldobrandini took him along on a delicate peace mission to visit King Sigismondo III of Poland.
The change in family fortunes was propelled by Monsignor Francesco Barberini (1528-1600), Maffeo's uncle and apostolic protonotary, who had moved from Florence to Rome, where he obtained lucrative offices at the papal court, amassed a fortune, and purchased a small palace in the center of the old city.
Beadle is a marvelous word with infinitely more cachet than "protonotary apostolics," a term describing the highest-ranking monsignor.
His rival is the Protonotary, who holds a venal office in the courts.
(34) A cleric of the archdiocese of Lyons, he was also a papal notary, then apostolic protonotary (protonotarius apostolicus), protodatary (protodatarius), and papal assistant, and was finally raised to the cardinalate in the mass promotion of 1 July 1517, succeeding Giulio as cardinal priest of San Clemente five days later.
The work in fact addresses a negative critic of this kind of performance, the Apostolic Protonotary Corradolo Stanga (xiv; 8-9).
He was a Count Palatine and Apostolic Protonotary. From Archpriest of Barberano in the Dioscese of Viterbo, where he stayed for seven years, he passed to the dignity of Provost of Fossombrone.
(22) Apostolic Protonotary Teodoro da Montefeltro describes the event in some detail for the benefit of Barbara of Brandenburg, Marchioness of Mantua.
Giovanni Borgia, an Apostolic Protonotary, also appears as a witness in the documents.
Although the council members did not expressly rebuke the conspirators, they decided to hand the city over to the papal governor and protonotary of Cesena, Monsignor Giovanni Battista Savelli.
The use of luxurious Turkish carpets as table coverings is documented in contemporary paintings such as Lorenzo Lotto's Family Group and The Protonotary Apostolic Giovanni Giulino, both in the National Gallery in London, and his Portrait of a Married Couple in The State Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg.
Goritz had arrived in Rome from his native Luxembourg sometime during the reign of Alexander VI and soon became well established in the Curia, first as a registrar of supplications and later as a papal protonotary. Each year he celebrated the feast of Saint Anne (July 26) at the altar he had commissioned in her honor in the church of S.