1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Prerogative Courts

PREROGATIVE COURTS, the name given to the English provincial courts of Canterbury and York, as far as regarded their jurisdiction over the estates of deceased persons.

They had jurisdiction to grant probate or administration where the diocesan courts could not entertain the case owing to the deceased having died possessed of goods above the value of £5 (bona notabilia) in each of two or more dioceses. The jurisdiction of the prerogative courts was transferred to the Court of Probate in 1857 by the Probate Court Act, and is now vested in the Probate, Divorce and Admiralty Division of the High Court of Justice by the Judicature Act 1875. In the state of New Jersey, United States, the court having jurisdiction over probate matters is called the Prerogative Court.