Research

Scope and Content Note

This series consists of copies of decrees and special orders (orders made on special application to the court) issued by the Chancellor.

The decrees in this series include those appointing court officers, establishing court rules, and providing relief to petitioners and complainants. Court rules required that all of the Chancellor's decrees be entered in separate books maintained by the Register. After 1840 decrees involving mortgage foreclosures that previously had been entered in this series were recorded in Register's Minutes of Foreclosure Decrees. The headings of the decrees and special orders contain the names of the complainant or petitioner or applicant and the defendant as well as the date the decree was issued. The main body of a decree generally contains the following information: what counties the parties resided in; the names of their solicitors; the name and findings of the Master handling the case; the particulars of the case, (i.e., amount of money involved, date and nature of actions taken in the case, description of property involved, and whether and from where a case was appealed; and the Chancellor's disposition of the case. The information in a special order generally includes the name of the party requesting the order; the reason for issuing the order; the substance of the order; and occasionally the particulars of the case.