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GIFT MAY 29 40

Virginiana

K

V82
333804
v.45
1851-52

Copy 2

Entered according to the Act of Congress, this twenty-second day of December, one thousand eight hundred and fifty-two, for the Commonwealth of Virginia, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the Eastern District of Virginia.

PRE FACE.

With this volume the report of the decisions of the Court of appeals under the constitution of 1829, and of the General court, are completed. The first court is succeeded by the Supreme court of appeals under the constitution of 1851. In this court is vested the criminal as well as the civil appellate jurisdiction ; and the General court has been abolished. The General court was one of the earliest courts established in the province of Virginia, and was then held by the Governor and Council. It received its name of Gen eral court in 1661-2, and then had general jurisdiction of all causes, civil and criminal. After the revolution and the establishment of the Supreme court of appeals, the jurisdiction of the General court was confined to the appellate criminal jurisdiction, cases connected with the revenue, and to the taking probat of wills and granting administration upon intestates' estates, in which its jurisdiction was concurrent with the District and afterwards the Circuit, County and Corporation courts throughout the State. After an existence of one hundred and ninety years under the same name, it has at length been abolished ; leaving to us only the memory of its faithful and pure administration of justice.

Until the constitution of 1851 went into operation, the judges of the Supreme court of appeals and of the General court held their offices for life ; and the advocates of an independent judiciary looked forward with some apprehen

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