Home >> Cyclopedia Of Knowledge >> Abattoir to And Marriage Registration Of >> Accountant General

Accountant-General

court, suitors, chancery, act and bank

ACCOUNTANT-GENERAL, an offi cer of the Court of Chancery, first ap pointed under an act (12 Geo. I. c. 32) "for securing the moneys and effects of the suitors." The act recites that ill consequence and great prejudice already had and might again ensue to the suitors by having their moneys left in the sole power of the Masters of the Court. The bonds, tallies, orders and effects of suitors were, it appears, until the passing of this act, locked up in several chests in the Bank of England, under the direc tion of the Masters and two of the Six Clerks. The act confirms a previous order of the Court of Chancery for adopt ing a different system ; and § 3 enacts that "to the end the account between the suitors of the High Court of Chancery and the Bank of England may be the more regularly and plainly kept, and the state of such account may be at all times seen and known," there shall be "one person appointed by the High Court of Chancery to act, perform and do all such matters and things relating to the de livering of the suitors' money and effects into the Bank, and taking them out of the Bank, &c., which was formerly done by the Masters and Usher of the Court." The Accountant-General is "not to med dle with the suitors' money, but only to keep an account with the Bank." No one has yet been appointed to the office without first becoming a Master in Chan cery. The present Accountant-General, who was appointed in April, 1839, is the thirteenth who has filled the situation since the first appointment in 1726. The salary is 9001. a year, and 600/. a year as Master's salary, with some other emoluments.

The total sum standing in the name of the Accountant-General on the 30th of April, 1841, was of which above 39,000,000/. was invested in stock, and 1,759,6291. was in cash. (App. to Re port on Courts V Law and Equity, No. 476, Sess. 1842.) The act 5 Vict. c. 5, § 63, directs the Accountant-General to cause to be laid before Parliament every year an account showing the state of the Suitors' Fund and the Suitors' Fee Fund, which stand in his name. The Suitors' Fund consists of money and stock un claimed, but which are open to claim at any time. On the 1st of October, 1842, this fund amounted to 26,2991. cash, and 2,869,2131. stock. The Fee Fund ac crues from fees formerly payable to the different officers of the court for their own advantage. These fees amounted to 62,808/. in the year ending Nov. 1842. The salaries of the lord chancellor, the vice-chancellors, and other officers of the Court of Chancery are paid out of these two funds.

Before the passing of the act 5 Vict. c. 5, for suppressing the equity jurisdic tion of the Court of Exchequer, there was an Accountant-General of that court ; and in April, 1841, a sum of 2,730,862/. was standing in his name in the Bank of England. The account is now trans ferred to the Accountant-General of the Court of Chancery. The duties of the Accountant-General and Masters of the Exchequer are now performed by the Queen's Remembrancer.

There is an Accountant-General of the Irish Court of Chancery.