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History Of Notaries Public | What is a Notary Public Brisbane?

History Of Notaries Public | What is a Notary Public Brisbane?

History Of Notaries Public | What is a Notary Public Brisbane?


The origin of the Notary can be traced back to the ancient Roman Empire.  The Roman Notary was a highly educated person in a time when very few people could read and write.  He was a Public Official and trusted with a duty of providing legal assistance, drafting and authenticating documents and keeping the official archive.

The Notary eventually adopted the use of an official seal for attesting documents.  Notaries today all have their own special seal.

What is a Notary Public Brisbane?

Notaries predated lawyers by many centuries.  The Roman Notaries had more prestige than the Judges and were amongst the highest paid government officials.  Notaries were used in the drafting of various formal government documents and they also served as legal advisers to officials who held high government offices.  Many Notaries served the Emperor in Roman times as personal secretaries.  They were respected for their knowledge and skill and they were trusted because of the high standards of their office.

The Church in Italy also developed its own laws, courts and administrative practices, all of which were modelled after the Roman system.  The Church and State formed a close relationship for many centuries.  The Church for its administration also relied upon documentation and record keeping.  The drafting of these documents required the service of Notaries.  Many Clergy found it convenient to become Notaries.

With the downfall of the Roman Empire, the Church continued to develop.  During the Middle Ages the Notary, whether secular or clergy, was always appointed by the Vatican.  The Vatican continues to make Notarial appointments.

In 1534 in the reign of Henry VIII the Church in England broke away from the Vatican.  Henry VIII made any application to the Vatican for a Notarial appointment a criminal offence.

In 1279 the Archbishop of Canterbury in England was first authorized by the Pope to appoint Notaries.  After the Church broke away from the Catholic Church in England in the reign of Henry VIII the Archbishop of Canterbury was retained to appoint Notaries in England.  The appointments in England and in some states of Australia are still made by the Archbishop of Canterbury.  My appointment in Australia was an appointment by the Archbishop of Canterbury.  A Court of Faculties was appointed and attached to the Archbishop of Canterbury.  The Court of Faculties appoints Notaries in England and in certain States in Australia which includes Queensland and this still remains.

Notarial activity became increasingly involved in preparing and authenticating instruments connected with international commerce, for example insurance policies, charter parties and bills of lading.

The definition of the Notaries role in the English legal system is difficult to strictly define.  Generally speaking a Notary Public in England and therefore Australia may be described as an Office of the Law appointed by the Court of Faculties whose public office and duty is to draw, attest or certify under the Notaries official seal for the use anywhere in the world, deeds and other instruments, including Wills or other testamentary documents, conveyance of real and personal property and Powers of Attorney.  A Notary’s duty is to authenticate such documents under the seal of the Notary Public Brisbane in such a manner as to render the document acceptable as proof of the matters attested by the Notary in the judicial or other public authorities in the country where such documents are to be used.

Notaries have the heritage of a very old profession and are held in high esteem in many countries throughout the world.  They carry a great deal of care and responsibility in the work that they carry out.

Ian Field [Acc. Spec. (Fam)] was appointed as a Notary by the Archbishop of Canterbury to become a Notary Public Brisbane in 1991.

He is a long standing member of the Society of Notaries Queensland and he held the position as President in this Society.

If you require further information on our Notary Puclic service, please let us know on 1800 217 217 or noble@jamesnoblefamilylaw.com.au

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