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The Court of Appeals of Maryland, A History
Volume 368, Page 3   View pdf image (33K)
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at st. mary's 3

methods of government; and although they were
only a few people settled on the edge of a far-
distant continent, and there were not many leaders
to perform the work, governmental institutions of
the same character and names as those elaborated
at home soon appeared among them, and the fa-
miliar departments of the law and the administra-
tion of justice were established, even though this
made just so many parts to be played by the same
judges. In the original charter of the province,
the Lord Proprietor was entrusted by the King
with full power to provide for the administration
of justice, and he, in his turn, committed the func-
tion to the Governor and Council. The early gov-
ernors were, in their commissions, empowered to
act as Chief Justice, Chancellor and Admiral, and
the members of the Council were made associate
justices. Until 1649, the legislative assembly acted
as a law court of the freeman, and tried cases of
various kinds, and in that year, 1649, was divided
into an Upper House of the Governor and Coun-
cil, and a Lower House, or House of Burgesses;
and after the division, the Lower House became
restricted in its judicial activities to minor mat-
ters, while the Governor and Council, as the Up-
per House, developed a jurisdiction on appeal,
and ultimately became the Court of Appeals of
the province.

By the year 1638 the Governor, as chief justice,
and the members of his Council, as associate jus-
tices, had begun to hold at St. Mary's a general
court of the province, called at first the County
Court, but after 1642 termed the Provincial

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The Court of Appeals of Maryland, A History
Volume 368, Page 3   View pdf image (33K)
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