HC Deb 27 February 1855 vol 136 cc1973-4

said, he begged to ask the hon. and learned Solicitor General whether it was intended during the present Session to introduce a Bill to abolish Ecclesiastical Courts, or to transfer the testamentary jurisdiction thereof to any other court, and to make one probate of will or grant of administration of sufficient binding authority over the entire property of any deceased person in all parts of the United Kingdom, the Colonies, or elsewhere, within the dominions of the Crown?


said, his attention had been directed to the preparation of a measure relating to the jurisdiction of the Ecclesiastical Courts, but it had been impossible for the Government, by reason of recent occurrences, to consider the subject sufficiently to enable him as yet to lay any measure upon the subject before the House. In a short time, however, he hoped to be able to present to the House a Bill for transferring the testamentary jurisdiction of the Ecclesiastical Courts to a new tribunal. In respect to the latter part of the question put by the hon. Gentleman, he begged to say that he was entirely of opinion that any measure of the kind must be imperfect which did not provide that a probate of a will, or a grant of administration in one part of the kingdom, should be of sufficient binding authority in all other parts of the United Kingdom. But there was at the present time some little difficulty existing in consequence of the testamentary jurisdiction in Scotland being different from what it was in the rest of the kingdom. It was his intention to consult with his right hon. and learned Friend the Lord Advocate on the subject. With respect to the Colonies, the law on the subject was so different from what it was in this country that it was felt to be impossible to make any Bill adapted to the United Kingdom applicable to our possessions abroad.


said, he wished to ask the hon. and learned Solicitor General a question on the same subject—namely, whether in the proposed Bill, or by means of a separate Bill for Scotland, if necessary, care would be taken that confirmation granted in Scotland should have equal validity and authority with one probate or letters of administration over the entire property of a deceased person, in whatever part of Her Majesty's dominions it might be situated.


said, he had already answered that question. It was desired by the framers of the Bill to accomplish the object which the hon. Gentleman had in view—namely, that probate in England should have the same effect as probate in Scotland, and vice versâ.

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