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Received on the day and year first above written of the above named purchaser's name) the sum of

being the consideration-money above mentioned. I say received.

Witness.

L.

OBSERVATIONS ON THE OFFICE, FUNCTIONS, AND

PRACTICE OF A NOTARY-PUBLIC.

A notary-public is a public officer of the civil and canon law, sworn, admitted, and enrolled in the Court of Faculties; and all instruments made by and before him notarially, and passed under his official seal, are called public or notarial instruments. His appointment to his office is by Faculty, granted by the Archbishop of Canterbury, who decrees, in such Faculty, “ that full faith ought to be given, as well in judgment as thereout, to the instruments to be made by the notary so appointed, the oaths thereunder written having been first required of such notary, and by hiin taken." Notaries-public are, in several instances, necessarily created such for a restricted object only ; such as to be enabled to practise as a “proctor in any ecclesiastical court, or as a secretary to a bishop, or for the purpose of holding or exercising any office or appointment, or occasionally performing any public duty or service under Government,” in which instances their notarial functions are of a limited nature ; but when they are admitted or created as general practitioners, and duly enrolled and certificated, they are qualified by their office to prepare conveyances of, or deeds relating to, real or personal estates; and the act 44th Geo. III., cap.98, sec. 14, which imposes a penalty of L.50 for each offence, upon any unqualified person drawing or preparing conveyances or deeds, contains an exception in favour of sergeants-at-law, barristers, solicitors, attorneys, notaries, &c., who may have obtained regular certificates. A considerable portion of the

business of those notaries-public who practise in sea-
port and trading towns, and who thence become
possessed of much information as to the custom and
usage of merchants in general, or as it is termed the
law-merchant, consists in preparing instruments and
documents relating to commercial transactions, and
the like, such as charter-parties, bills of sale of ships,
bottomry, respondentia, and other bonds, ‘ship and
other protests, powers of attorney, certificates, affi-
davits, solemn declarations, &c., &c. Notaries-pub-
lic are also frequently called upon to draw wills,
codicils, leases, agreements, contracts, &c.; and to
execute commissions or requisitions issuing out of
foreign courts, &c.: They are exclusively authorized
to note and protest bills; and to “make, do, act,
exercise, execute, and perform,” many other “acts,
matters, and things :" They are extensively employed
in certifying or attesting deeds, instruments, writ-
ings, facts, and circumstances, and in legalizing sig-
natures, and hands-writing, in order to render the
same authentic, both here and in foreign kingdoms;
as well as in granting notarial acts—a class of docu-
ments of unbounded extent: And by the 6th Will.
IV., cap. 62, they are empowered to administer or
receive solemn declarations substituted in lieu of
oaths, affidavits, and affirmations.

The admission of persons on the Roll of Faculties 41st Geo. III. is principally regulated by the 41st Geo. III., cap. 78, which prohibits persons not duly admitted, ac cording to its provisions, from acting as public notaries in England. By the second section of that act, it is enacted, that after the 1st August 1801, no person shall be admitted as a notary, unless he shall have served as a clerk for seven years to a public notary or a scrivener, (according to the custom of London, such person being also a notary-public,) and unless within three months after the date of his indenture of clerkship, an affidavit of the execution thereof by himself and his master be made by one of

the subscribing witnesses, and filed according to the directions of the act.

The act subjects any person acting as a notary (except proctors, secretaries to bishops, and persons necessarily created a notary for the purpose of holding or exercising some office or service under Government, and not as general practitioners) to a penalty of L.50, unless qualified according to the provisions of the act, or in practice before its passing. And it also subjects any notary acting or permitting his name to be used, " for or on account, or for the profit or benefit” of any person not a notary, to the penalty of being struck off the roll, except as to any allowance or sums agreed to be paid to the widow or children of any deceased notary by a sur

viving partner. The act of 4th The provisions of the above act being found in. Will. IV., cap. convenient in places distant from London, an act 70, enabling

hd was passed in the fourth year of the reign of his late attorneys and proctors to be Majesty Will. IV., cap. 70, for admitting attorneys, admitted no- solicitors, and proctors, beyond the limits of ten miles taries.

from London, entitled, “ An act to alter and amendan act of the 41st year of his Majesty King George the Third, for the better regulation of public notaries in

England ;" whereby, after reciting the act of the Recital of the 41st George the Third, it was enacted, “That so niuch act of 41st of that act as required that persons to be admitted Geo. III., cap.

notaries-public shall have served a clerkship or ap. Recited act prenticeship for seven years, should, so far as the limited to

same affected persons being attorneys, solicitors, or London, and ten miles

proctors, admitted as thereinafter mentioned, be lithereof. mited and confined to the city of London and li

berties of Westminster, the borough of Southwark, and the circuit of ten miles from the Royal Exchange

in the said city of London.” Attorneys And it is further enacted by section 2, “ That from may be ad- and after the passing of this act, it shall and may be mitted as notaries out of lawful for the master of the Court of Faculties of his those limits. Grace the Lord Archbishop of Canterbury in Lon.

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don, from time to time, upon being satisfied as well of the fitness of the person as of the expediency of the appointment, to appoint, admit, and cause to be sworn and enrolled in the said Court of Faculties any person or persons residing at any place distant more than ten miles from the Royal Exchange, in the said city of London, who shall have been previously admitted, sworn, and enrolled an attorney or solicitor in any of the courts at Westminster, or who shall be a proctor practising in any ecclesiastical court, to be a notary-public or notaries-public, to practise within any district in which it shall have been made to appear to the said master of the Court of Faculties that there is not (or shall not hereafter be) a sufficient number of such notaries-public admitted, or to be admitted, under the provisions of the said recited act, for the due convenience and accommodation of such district, as the said master of the Court of Faculties shall think fit, and not elsewhere; any law or usage to the contrary notwithstanding."

And it is provided and further enacted by section Not to 3, “ That nothing herein contained shall extend to authorize no

taries ap- . authorize any notary who shall be admitted by virtue pointed of this act to practise as a notary, or to perform or thereby to act certify any notarial act whatsoever, within the said in London,

or within city of London, the liberties of Westminster, the ten miles borough of Southwark, or within the circuit of ten thereof. miles from the Royal Exchange in the said city of London.”

And it is provided and further enacted by section Notary ad4, " That if any notary, admitted by virtue of this mitted under

if this act, pracact, shall practise as a notary, or perform or certify tis

tising out of any notarial act whatsoever, out of the district spe- his district, cified and limited in and by the Faculty to be granted to be struck

off the roll of to him by virtue of this act, or within the city of Faculties. London, the liberties of Westminster, the borough of Southwark, or the circuit of ten miles from the Royal Exchange in London aforesaid, then and in every such case it shall be lawful for the said Court

of Faculties, on complaint made in a summary way, and duly verified on oath, to cause every such notary so offending to be struck off the Roll of Faculties; and every person so struck off shall thenceforth for ever after be wholly disabled from practising as a notary, or performing or certifying any notarial act whatsoever."

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