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Exchequer

Exchequer

1. One of the superior courts of law; so called from a checkered cloth, which covers, or formerly covered, the table.

The exchequer was a court of law and equity. In the revenue department, it had jurisdiction over the proprietary rights of the crown against subjects; in the common law department, it administered justice in personal actions between subject and subject. A person proceeding against another in the revenue department was said to exchequer him. The judges of this court were one chief and four puisne barons, so styled. The Court of exchequer chamber sat as court of error in which the judgments of each of the superior courts of common law, in England, were subject to revision by the judges of the other two sitting collectively. Causes involving difficult questions of law were sometimes after argument, adjourned into this court from the other courts, for debate before judgment in the court below. Recent legislation in England (1880) has abolished the Court of exchequer and the Court of exchequer chamber, as distinct tribunals, a single board of judiciary, the high Court of justice, being established for the trial of all classes of civil cases.

2. The department of state having charge of the collection and management of the royal revenue. Hence, the treasury; and, colloquially, pecuniary possessions in general; as, the company's exchequer is low. Barons of the exchequer. See baron. Chancellor of the exchequer. See Chancellor.

(Science: engineering) exchequer bills or bonds, bills of money, or promissory bills, issued from the exchequer by authority of Parliament; a species of paper currency emitted under the authority of the government, and bearing interest.

Origin: oe. Escheker, OF. Eichekier, fr. LL. Scaccarium. See Checker, Chess, Check.


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