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Definition of COURT OF EXCHEQUER
In English law. A very ancient court of record, set up by william the Conqueror as a part of the aula regis, aud afterwards oue of the four superior courts at westmiuster. It was, however, inferior in rank to both the king’s bench and the commoli pleas. It was pre-sided over by a chief baron aud four puisne hurons. It wus origiuuily the kiug’s treas-ury, and was charged with keeping the king’s accounts and collecting the royal revenues. But pleas between subject and subject were anciently heard there, untii this was for-bidden by the Artivula super Cliartas, (1290,) after which its jurisdiction as a court oniy extended to revenue cases arising out of the non-payment or withholding of debts to the crown. But the privilege of suing and beiug sued in this court was extended to the king’s accountants, and later, by the use of a convenient fiction to the effect that the plain-tiff was the king’s debtor or accountant, the court was thrown open to all suitors in per-sonal actions. The exchequer had formerly both an equity side and a common-law side, • but its equity jurisdiction was taken away by the statute 5 Vict. c. 5, (1842,) and trans-ferred to the court of chancery. The judlca-ture act (1873) transferred the business and jurisdiction of this court to the “Exchequer Division” of the “High Court of Justice