2 court of appeals of maryland
ment was in their view, and was in fact, the his-
torically correct and normal court of last resort
on writs of error, and was not merely legislative in
character. The conception that all government,
judicial as well as executive and legislative, de-
rived from the King was still strong in men's
theories; it was the King's Council that held the
Court of Star Chamber until 1641, and, until mod-
ern times, entertained appeals from the foreign
dominions;1 and since the thirteenth century Par-
liament, which was in original theory the King in
his Council in Parliament, had constituted the
court of last resort on error as stated.2 "Parlia-
ment," said Lord Coke in 1628,3 "is the highest
the most honorable and absolute court of justice in
England, consisting of the King, the Lords of Par-
liament, and the Commons." And the Lords, or
the upper house, had long been the exclusive re-
pository of this final jurisdiction, and as has
been said, the jurisdiction has been continued in
that body ever since.4 And so in 1676, the Mary-
land Proprietary, in answering an inquiry of the
Privy Council as to the courts of judicature exist-
ing in the province, said that next to the Assembly
the Provincial Court was the highest.5
The settlers of the province, all Englishmen,
naturally continued their own English forms and
1. Holdsworth, History of English Law, I, 479, 520. J. F. Baldwin,
The King's Council in England during the Middle Ages, 335.
2. Holdsworth, I, 370.
3. Coke upon Littleton, 109 b. 4.
4. Carter, History of English Legal Institutions, 4 ed. 102. Holds-
worth, I, 370, L. O. Pike, Constitutional History of the House of
Lords, 287, 295.
5. Archives of Maryland, Proceedings of the Council, 1667 to 1687-8,
12S and 264.