New York Court of Chancery, 1683-1846

The 1777 Constitution continued in existence the Provincial Court of Chancery and Robert R. Livingston was appointed New York’s first Chancellor. During the early decades of the State, the Court of Chancery was one of the pre-eminent courts in the United States. In May, 1788, the Council of Appointment was authorized to appoint masters and examiners in Chancery. In 1814, the office of vice-chancellor for New York City was authorized and a court reporter was appointed . The Constitution of 1821 authorized the Governor, with the consent of the Senate, to appoint the Chancellor who retained office during good behavior until the age limit of sixty years. Appeals from the Chancellor's decision were to be heard by to the Court for the Correction of Errors at which the Chancellor was to be given an opportunity to justify his decision although he would have a vote in the final judgment. In 1823, an act was passed conferring the powers and jurisdiction of the Chancellor in equity cases upon the eight Circuit Judges, subject to an appeal to the Chancellor and on March 27th, 1839, the Legislature created an assistant vice-chancellor for the first circuit, an office made permanent in 1840. The Constitution of 1846 abolished the Court of Chancery and vested equity jurisdiction in the New York Supreme Court.