Master of Chancery – an assistant of the chancellor having the function of performing judicial or ministerial acts, including inquiring into matters referred by the court, examining cases, taking oaths and affidavits, hearing testimony, and computing damages

    This page is continued from the Legal Precepts adopted into U.S. law (from Europe) through the Constitution >>>> Equity Jurisprudence >>>> Court of Chancery:

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master in chancery:
(17c)

1. An officer appointed by a court of equity to assist the court.

2. English law. (usually capitalized) A senior official or clerk of a court of chancery who assists the Chancellor in various duties such as inquiring into matters referred by the court, examining cases, taking oaths and affidavits, hearing testimony, and computing damages.  *  There were many Masters in Chancery at the same time. The office was abolished in 1897 and was replaced by the office of Master of the Supreme Court. — aka master of the Chancery.

1. An officer of the court.  A referee in a suit in equity.  An assistant of the chancellor having the function of performing acts, either judicial or ministerial in nature, which the chancellor may see fit, in accordance with equity practice, to require of him.  27 Am J1st Ship § 113. [2]

1. In a court of chancery, an officer of the court who assists the judge and performs such judicial duties (EXAMPLE: taking testimony) and ministerial duties (EXAMPLE: administering oaths) as the judge assigns.  Many of the duties of a master in chancery are similar to those of a court commissioner or referee.
     See master’s report.

     Excerpt from Emory Washburn’s Lectures on the Study and Practice of the Law (1874):

     “[l]t seems proper to notice one class of [officers of the courts of equity], as they constitute one of the means by ‘which such courts take testimony and settle facts in questions which come before them; and that is Masters in Chancery.  When such courts feel themselves incompetent to grant relief without some preliminary information, a reference of the matters is made to a master, who has power to procure such information for the purpose of satisfying the conscience of the court. To this end, he is authorized to examine witnesses or the parties themselves; and, after a hearing upon the matters referred to him, he reports the results at which he arrives to the court. [4]

Master of the Supreme Court:
English law.

1. An official of the Queen’s Bench and Chancery divisions of the Supreme Court who fills the several positions of master in the common-law courts, the Queen’s Coroner and Attorney, the Master of the Crown’s Office, record and writ clerks, and associates. [1]

master’s report:

1. A written report that a master or a master in chancery is required to file with the judge upon performing judicial duties. [3]

References:

[1]: Black’s Law Dictionary Deluxe Tenth Edition by Henry Campbell Black & Editor in Chief Bryan A. Garner. ISBN: 978-0-314-62130-6

[2]: Ballantine’s Law Dictionary with Pronunciations
Third Edition
 by James A. Ballantine (James Arthur 1871-1949).  Edited by William S. Anderson.  © 1969 by THE LAWYER’S CO-OPERATIVE PUBLISHING COMPANY.  Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 68-30931

[3]:  Ballantine’s Law Dictionary Legal Assistant Edition
by Jack Ballantine 
(James Arthur 1871-1949).  Doctored by Jack G. Handler, J.D. © 1994 Delmar by Thomson Learning.  ISBN 0-8273-4874-6.

[4]: Emory Washburn, Lectures on the Study and Practice of the Law 272-73 (1874)

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Common Law

Admiralty Law

Legal Precepts Adopted into U.S. Law (from Europe) through the Constitution

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