PREROGATIVE COURT, eccl. law. The name of a court in England in which all
testaments are proved and administrations granted, when the deceased has
left bona notabilia in the province in some other diocese than that in which
he died. 4 Inst. 335.
2. The testamentary courts of the two archbishops, in their respective provinces, are styled prerogative courts, from the prerogative of each archbishop to grant probates and administrations, where there are bona, notabilia; but still these are only inferior and subordinate jurisdictions; and the style of these courts has no connexion with the royal prerogative. Derivatively, these courts are the king's ecclesiastical courts; but immediately, they are only the courts of the ecclesiastical ordinary. The ordinary, and not the crown, appoints the judges of these courts; they are subject to the control of the king's courts of chancery and common law, in case they exceed their jurisdiction; and they are subject in some instances to the command of these courts, if they decline to exercise their jurisdiction, when by law they ought to exercise it. Per Sir John Nicholl, In the Goods of George III.; 1 Addams, R. 265; S. C. 2 Eng. Eccl. R. 112.