|n.||1.||A chief notary or clerk.|
|2.||Formerly, a chief clerk in the Court of King's Bench and in the Court of Common Pleas, now superseded by the master.|
|3.||A register or chief clerk of a court in certain States of the United States.|
|4.||(R. C. Ch.) Formerly, one who had the charge of writing the acts of the martyrs, and the circumstances of their death; now, one of twelve persons, constituting a college in the Roman Curia, whose office is to register pontifical acts and to make and preserve the official record of beatifications.|
|5.||(Gr. Ch.) The chief secretary of the patriarch of Constantinople.|
PROTHONOTARY. The title given to an officer who officiates as principal
clerk of some courts. Vin Ab. h.t.
2. In the ecclesiastical law, the name of prothonotary is given to an officer of the court of Rome, he is so called because he is the first notary; the Greek word prootos signifying primus or first. These notaries have preeminence over the other notaries, and, are put in the rank of prelates. There are twelve of them. Dict. de Jur. h.t.