Author Topic: Ward in Chancery  (Read 340 times)

Offline estiman

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Ward in Chancery
« on: Friday 16 October 20 12:37 BST (UK) »
In 1861 what did Ward in Chancery mean for a 62 year old woman? Did it mean 'incapacitated'? Would she have a guardian appointed? Can records be viewed?
Thanks

Online Viktoria

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Re: Ward in Chancery
« Reply #1 on: Friday 16 October 20 12:52 BST (UK) »
Chancery is very complicated, often regarding money due such as inheritance
etc.
People waited years for their cases to be heard ,Dickens wrote I think Nicholas Nicholby,to illustrate the great scandal .
Google it , people attended court day in day out so as not to miss their case,I think lawyers were on to a good thing
Hope you get some info that helps.
Viktoria,

Offline stanmapstone

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Re: Ward in Chancery
« Reply #2 on: Friday 16 October 20 13:42 BST (UK) »
Infants and lunatics placed under the protection of the court were referred to as ‘wards of court’.

The Court of Chancery was an equity court, presided over by the Lord Chancellor and his deputies, as opposed to a common law court. The court was used by all walks of life, from labourers and bricklayers to peers of the realm. People turned to the court because it promised a merciful justice not bound by the strict rules of the common law courts (which included, for example, the Court of King’s Bench) and were therefore able to hear more complicated problems.
https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/help-with-your-research/research-guides/chancery-equity-suits-after-1558/#2-what-was-the-court-of-chancery

Stan
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Offline estiman

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Re: Ward in Chancery
« Reply #3 on: Friday 16 October 20 13:43 BST (UK) »
Yes, I associated it with financial issues (central to Bleak House). However, when I googled this the modern references speak of children or an incapacitated adult. I was hoping some-one in the RootsChat community could give me a simple answer.

Offline stanmapstone

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Re: Ward in Chancery
« Reply #4 on: Friday 16 October 20 13:55 BST (UK) »
Infants and lunatics placed under the protection of the court were referred to as ‘wards of court’.

Stan

Just to say that in common law an "infant" was one who has not completed his or her twenty-first year.  In text books and statutes the words “infant” and “minor” are interchangeable and are used to describe a person who has not come of age i.e. 21.

Stan
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Offline estiman

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Re: Ward in Chancery
« Reply #5 on: Friday 16 October 20 13:57 BST (UK) »
Thanks, Stan. I've found a reference at the National Archives. It seems that the plaintiffs were "infants by .(name)... spinster their next friend." My person of interest was a defendant with 2 others. Unfortunately the records are not digitised so have to be viewed on site.
I'm curious what "their next friend" meant as it seems to refer to the mother.

Offline estiman

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Re: Ward in Chancery
« Reply #6 on: Friday 16 October 20 13:59 BST (UK) »
I'm assuming this was something financial?
Btw thanks for the clarification on 'infant'

Offline horselydown86

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Re: Ward in Chancery
« Reply #7 on: Friday 16 October 20 14:16 BST (UK) »
I'm curious what "their next friend" meant as it seems to refer to the mother.

It's a legal term:    https://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/next+friend

Read all the definitions on the page.

If the plaintiffs were infants (as defined by Stan), they required a next friend to act in the suit on their behalf.

Offline estiman

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Re: Ward in Chancery
« Reply #8 on: Friday 16 October 20 14:20 BST (UK) »
Thanks for the clarification. Next stop Kew....