Definition for ARCH'ES-COURT


in England, so called from the church of St. Mary le bow (de arcubus), whose top is raised of stone pillars built archwise, where it was anciently held, is a court of appeal, in the ecclesiastical polity, the judge of which is called the dean of the arches. This court had jurisdiction over thirteen peculiar parishes in London, belonging to the archbishop of Canterbury; but the office of dean of the arches being united with that of the archbishop's principal office, the dean now receives and determines appeals from the sentence of all inferior courts within the province; and from him lies an appeal to the king in chancery. This and all the principal spiritual courts are now held at Doctors' Commons. – Blackstone.

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