CHANCERY, n. 1. In Great Britain, the highest court of justice, next to the parliament, consisting of two distinct tribunals; one ordinary, being a court of common law; the other extraordinary, or a court of equity. The ordinary legal court holds pleas of recognizance acknowledged in the chancery, writs of scire facias, for repeal of letters patent, writs of partition, and all personal action by or against any officer of the court. But if the parties come to issue, in fact, this court cannot try it by a jury; but the record must be delivered to the kings bench. Rom this court issue all original writs that pass under the great seal, commissions of charitable uses, bankruptcy, idiocy, lunacy, etc. The extraordinary court, or court of equity, proceeds upon rules of equity and conscience, moderates the rigor of the common law, and gives relief in cases where there is no remedy in the common law courts. 2. In the United States, a court of equity.
noun (plural-ceries) Etymology: Middle English chancerie, alteration of chancelerie chancellery, from Anglo-French, from chancelerDate: 14th century 1. a record office for public archives or those of ecclesiastical, legal, or diplomatic proceedings 2.a.capitalized a high court of equity in England and Wales with common-law functions and jurisdiction over causes in equity b. a court of equity in the American judicial system c. the principles and practice of judicial equity 3.a. a chancellor's court or office or the building in which it is located b. the office in which the business of a Roman Catholic diocese is transacted and recorded c. the office of an embassy ;chancellery 3
Court of public record and archive of state documents. The chancery system of the Roman Empire served as the model for the royal chanceries of medieval France and Germany. Medieval royal chanceries were headed by archchancellors and chancellors, who oversaw the work of scribes and notaries and sometimes served as advisers to the monarch.
n. (pl. -ies) 1 Law (Chancery) the Lord Chancellor's court, a division of the High Court of Justice. 2 hist. the records office of an order of knighthood. 3 hist. the court of a bishop's chancellor. 4 an office attached to an embassy or consulate. 5 a public record office. 6 US a court of equity. Phrases and idioms: in chancery sl. (of a boxer or wrestler) with the head held under the opponent's arm and being pummelled. Etymology: ME, contracted f. CHANCELLERY
Chancery Chan"cer*y, n. [F. chancellerie, LL. cancellaria, from L. cancellarius. See Chancellor, and cf. Chancellery.] 1. In England, formerly, the highest court of judicature next to the Parliament, exercising jurisdiction at law, but chiefly in equity; but under the jurisdiction act of 1873 it became the chancery division of the High Court of Justice, and now exercises jurisdiction only in equity. 2. In the Unites States, a court of equity; equity; proceeding in equity. Note: A court of chancery, so far as it is a court of equity, in the English and American sense, may be generally, if not precisely, described as one having jurisdiction in cases of rights, recognized and protected by the municipal jurisprudence, where a plain, adequate, and complete remedy can not be had in the courts of common law. In some of the American States, jurisdiction at law and in equity centers in the same tribunal. The courts of the United States also have jurisdiction both at law and in equity, and in all such cases they exercise their jurisdiction, as courts of law, or as courts of equity, as the subject of adjudication may require. In others of the American States, the courts that administer equity are distinct tribunals, having their appropriate judicial officers, and it is to the latter that the appellation courts of chancery is usually applied; but, in American law, the terms equity and court of equity are more frequently employed than the corresponding terms chancery and court of chancery. --Burrill. Inns of chancery. See under Inn. To get (or to hold) In chancery (Boxing), to get the head of an antagonist under one's arm, so that one can pommel it with the other fist at will; hence, to have wholly in One's power. The allusion is to the condition of a person involved in the chancery court, where he was helpless, while the lawyers lived upon his estate.