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English law. The English department of revenue. An ancient court of record set up by William the Conqueror. It is called exchequer from the checkered cloth, resembling a chessboard, which covers the table there. It consists of two divisions; the receipt of the exchequer, which manages the royal revenue; and the court, or judicial part of it, which is again divided into a court of equity, and a court of common law. In this court all personal actions may be brought, and suits in equity commenced, the plaintiff in both (fictitiously for the most part) alleging himself to be the king's debtor, in order to give the court jurisdiction of the cause.


 - n. One of the superior courts of law; - so called from a checkered cloth, which covers, or formerly covered, the table. The exchequer was a court of law and equity. In the revenue department, it had jurisdiction over the proprietary rights of the crown against subjects; in the common law department, it administered justice in personal actions between subject and subject. A person proceeding against another in the revenue department was said to exchequer him. The judges of this court were one ...

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