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measurement of dower to widows, of the lands of which their deceased husbands were seized in fee at any time during their marriage.” And the commissioners so to be appointed, being first duly sworn fairly and impartially to discharge their duty, shall proceed to execute the said writ, and return the same to the court. And when the said estate cannot, in the opinion of the commissioners, be fairly and equally divided between the parties interested therein, without manifest injury to them, or some or one of them, then they shall make a special return of the whole property, and the value thereof truly appraised, and certify their opinion to the court whether it will be most for the benefit of all parties, to deliver over to one or more of the parties interested therein, the property which cannot be fairly divided, upon the payment of a sum of money, to be assessed by the said commissioners, or to sell the same at public auction, and the court shall proceed to consider and determine the same: And if it shall appear to the court that it will be for the benefit of all parties interested in the said estate, that the same should be vested in one person or more persons entitled to a portion of the same, on the payment of a sum of money, they shall determine accordingly; and the said person or persons, on the payment of the consideration money, shall be vested with the estate so adjudged to them as fully and absolutely as the ancestor was vested. But if it shall appear to the court that it would be more for the interest of the parties that the same should be sold, then they shall direct a sale to be made on such a credit and on such terms as to them shall seem right, and the property so sold, shall stand pledged for the payment of the purchase money.

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And be it further enacted by the authority Judges of aforesaid, that the judges of the respective the recourts shall be, and they are hereby from time to time to make such rules and orders make rules as may be necessary for the purpose of carrying dersom

of marrinc and orthe foregoing clause into effect.

And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That this act shall commence its operation on the first day of May next, but not sooner. In the Senate House, the nineteenth day of

February, in the year of our Lord one thou-
sand seven hundred and ninety-one, and in
the fifteenth year of the Independence of the
United States of America.

President of the Senate.
Speaker of the Ilouse of Representatives.

An ACT to establish a Court of Equity within

this State. W H EREAS by the constitution of this

VV state it is declared, that the judicial power shall be vested in such superior and inferior courts of law and equity as the legislature shall, from time to time, direct and establish: And whereas it is expedient that a court of equity, with adequate powers, be established in this state :

Be it therefore enacted by the honorable the Laws reSenate and House of Representatives, now met specting and sitting in general assembly, and by the autho- of cha rity of the same, That the laws now of force for ry, to conestablishing and regulating the court of chancery to

force. within this state, be and they are hereby declared to be and continue of force in this state, until altered or repealed by the legislature thereof;


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subject, nevertheless, to such alterations, amendments and restrictions as are herein after directed.

And whereas great inconvenicncies have been experienced in the remote parts of the state, on account of the court of chancery having been hitherto held in one part of the state only: in remedy thereof,

Be it enacted, That all future sittings of the Tuture sit- court of equity for the full and solemn hearing tings of the of uses

he of causes, shall be held at the times and places court of equity. herein after directed; that is to say, at Columbia,

for all causes wherein the defendant shall reside in Camden, Orangeburgh or Cheraw districts, on the fifteenth days of May and December; at Cambridge, for all causes wherein the defendant shall reside in the district of Ninety-Six, on the fifth days of May and December; and at Charleston for all causes whcrein the defendant shall reside in cither of the districts of Charleston, Beaufort or Georgetown, on the second Monday in March, the second Monday in June, and the third Monday in September; and the same days in every succeeding year; and that the court shall continue to sit from day to day (Sundays excepted) at Columbia and Cambridge respectively, until all the causes which shall be brought before them shall be heard; provided the time of their sitting shall not exceed six days at each place; and at Charleston till all the business ready for the said court shall be heard.

And whereas it will be conducive to the more perfect investigation of the truth that the testimony of witnesses be taken in open court, in

presence of the parties : Witnesses Be it therefore enacted by the authority aforeto be exa. mined in said, That the examination of all witnesses who open court. may be called upon to give evidence in the said court, shall be taken by word of mouth, and in open court, subject to such regulations and exceptions as the said court may, from time to tiine, order and direct.

And be it further enacted by the authority Master of aforesaid, That the master of the court of equity the court for the district of Charleston, Georgetown and ! Beaufort, shall give good and sufficient securi-curity, &c. ty, to be approved of by the governor or commander in chief for the time being, for the faithful discharge of his duty, in the sum of five thousand pounds sterling; which said bond, and anr other bond, to be given by the commissioners to be appointed by virtue of this act, shall be deposited in the office of the secretary of the state, and be liable to be sued on by any party aggrieved by the misfeasance or default of the said master or any of the said commissioners respectively.

And be it enacted by the authority aforesaid, CommisThat there shall be, in each and every of the dis- sioners, to tricts aforesaid, one commissioner, who shall be ed commissioned and appointed by the governor or circuit discommander in chief for the time being, during 6 good behaviour, and who shall give security, ters and to be approved by the governor, in the sum of things usu

- ally perone thousand pounds, well and faithfully to ad- formed by minister his office; whose business it shall be to the master file and keep all bills, answers and papers what-in chance

or register cver, relating to any cause depending in any of ry before

the operathe said districts respectively; swear and exa- i mine all witnesses, where necessary or ordered act. by the court, upon interrogatories and cross interrogatories, who may be brought before any of them, touching any matter or thing depending, or to be commenced in any of the said several and respective districts; swear defendants to answers; take recognizances and affidavits,



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and to do and perform all other matters and things, which are usually done either by the master or register of said court, previous to the hearing of any cause. Proviled always, That where it may be necessary to examine aged, sick or infirm persons, or witnesses out of the state, then and in every such case it shall and may be lawful for the said court to issue out one or more commission or cominissions to examine the said witnesses upon interrogatories, whose depositions, when taken, shall be read in evidence in any of the districts within this state. .

And be it furiher enacted by the authority aforesaid, That the said commissioners in their said several and respective districts, shall attend at the sitting of every court to be held in and for the said several districts, and shall there take and enter down the decrees, orders and minutes thereof, and make up and report upon all mat. ters and things referred to them in the said court; and shall also make all sales under the decree of said court.

And be it further enacted by the authority Fees to . aforesaid, That the said commissioners respeccommissi." ouers the tively shall be entitleci to receive for their sersame as vices aforesaid, the same fees, perquisites and to master emoluments as are or may be fixed and estab. or register lished by law for the master or register of said

nice- court for similar scrvices.

og And whereas, in cases under the value of one may pro- hundred pounds, and in cases which may not be

by pe- litigated, it may be unnecessary to proceed by tition in certain ca. bill and answer in the said court:

Be it therefore enacted by the authority aforeCopy of said, That in all such cases it shall and may be petition to lawful for the parties complaining to present his be served 30 days be. or their petition to the said court, on oath, setforecourt. ting forth the true nature of the case, or sum re.


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