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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
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Memorial from Charles Berry concerning the power of appointing clerks of the courts
Berry, Charles, d. 1765
March 16, 1763
Volume 06, Pages 1000-1001

[B. P. R. O. North Carolina. B. T. Vol. 14. E. 57.]

The Memorial of Charles Berry Esqre Chief Justice of His Majesty's Province of North Carolina to the Board of Trade

Your Memorialist humbly Sheweth, That in the year of our Lord

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1759, he was by His late Majesty appointed Chief Justice of the Province of North Carolina, and since his Demise has been Continued in the said Office by His present Majesty, and that by the Tenour of his Commission your Memorialist was to hold execute and enjoy his Office, with all & singular the Rights, Profits, Priviledges, and Emoluments thereto belonging in as full and ample manner as any Chief Justice had held or enjoyed or of Right ought to have held & enjoyed the same. In Consequence of which appointment your Memorialist hath hitherto enjoyed the said office with its Emoluments, among which not the most inconsiderable was the power of appointing Clerks of the Courts wherein he presides. This Priviledge founded on the Principles of the Common Law by which Judges had the Appointment of their own Clerks had been enjoyed by your Memorialist's Predecessors in Office in the said Province. And as the Reputation and Interest of the Chief Justice greatly depends on the Fidelity and ability of the Clerks, whose duty requires them to record his Judgment and collect his Fees, it is humbly apprehended that the power of such appointment cannot be exercised by any other person without manifest injury to his office. Notwithstanding which your Memorialist has been given to understand that Benjamin Heron Esqre under a Commission lately obtained from the Governor of the aforesaid Province appointing him Clerk of the Pleas within the same, claims a right to the appointment of Clerks as well of the Superior as Inferior Courts of Pleas in derogation of the authority Your Memorialist has to appoint such Clerks, and in great Prejudice of his Office. He therefore humbly prays the premise being considered, that the said Benjamin Heron may be restricted from attempting the exercise of his Office in such manner as may interfere with his your Memorialist's power of appointing the several Clerks in the respective Courts in which he presides.


Reced March 16th 1763.