DELEGATES, COURT OF, was the great court of appeal in ecclesiastical causes, and from the decisions of the Ad miralty Court. It was so called because the judges were delegated or appointed by the king's commission under the great seal ; they usually consisted of judges of the courts at Westminster and doctors of the civil law, but lords spiritual and tem poral might be joined. This court was established by the statute 25 Henry VIII. c. 19, which was passed in consequence of the practice of appealing to the pope at Rome from the decisions of the Eng lish courts in the above-mentioned mat ters.
Appeals lay to the court of delegates in three cases—1, where sentence was given in any ecclesiastical cause by the arch bishop or his official ; 2, where any sen tence was given in an ecclesiastical cause in place exempt ; 3, where sentence was given in the admiralty, in suits civil and marine, according to the course of the civil law. After sentence by the dele
gates, the king might grant a commission of review ; but the power was rarely ex ercised, except upon the ground of error in fact or in law, and it was usual to re fer the memorial praying for a commis sion of review to the chancellor, before whom the expediency of granting the prayer was argued.
By statute 2 & 3 William IV. c. 92, the Court of Delegates was abolished, and its powers and functions were transferred to the king in council, and by the same statute it is enacted that the decision of the king in council shall be final, and that no commission of review shall in future be granted. (Cowell's Intreptcter Blackstone, Corn.) [ADMIRALTY COURTS; ARCHES COURT or; PRIVY COUNCIL.]