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The Prothonotary has been the record keeper since the establishment of the Provincial Court.  In the early days of the Court, the Prothonotary's salary was the Court fees levied on litigants, making it more lucrative than being a judge whose salary was a meager monthly stipend.

Many Justices have also served as the Prothonotary.


Joseph Smith, Prothonotary 1837-1839

Chief Justice Edward Shippen IV served as the Prothonotary from 1765 to the revolution. Shippen was neutral during the revolution, however his daughter, Peggy, was the highest-paid British spy of the war and was married to Benedict Arnold.


Shippen began service on the Supreme Court when he was appointed Justice in 1791 and later becoming Chief Justice in 1799.

James Ross Snowden, Prothonotary 1861 to 1873

After serving on the court, Chief Justice James T. Mitchell, went on to serve as the Prothonotary of both the Supreme and Superior Court.

Benjamin Evans Fletcher served as the Prothonotary after James Ross Snowden in 1873, serving until 1880.

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