Notary Services Queensland
Notary Services Queensland
Notary Services Queensland

NOTARIES PUBLIC – THEIR HISTORY

A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE OFFICE OF NOTARY PUBLIC

The position of Notary Public dates back to Roman times.  The word “notarius” referred to a writer of a new form of shorthand created  in the last century of the Roman Republic.  Later the title “notarius” was applied to registrars attached to high government officials.

A Notary Public holds a high position of trust as the notarial acts performed by Notaries are relied upon as being authentic around the world.

The more recent English history commenced when the Pope authorized the Archbishop of Canterbury to appoint Notaries in 1279.  Most notaries were clergy.  In 1533 the power of the Pope to appoint notaries was terminated and the King was invested with that power.  That power was devolved to the Archibishop of Canterbuy and in turn the power to appoint was devolved to the Master of the Faculties.  A Court of Faculties was created under the Archbishop of Canterbury by the British government.

It still remains the position in Queensland that Notaries are appointed by the Archbishop of Canterbury through the Court of Faculties.  There is no legislation in Queensland regarding Notary Public appointment or exercise of powers and the position continues to be governed by the common law.  Notaries are appointed by statute in all other Australian States.

A Notary Public (sometimes referred to as a Notary) is a public officer, usually a senior practising solicitor, in Queensland appointed by Commission by the Archbishop of Canterbury England to witness documents, administer oaths, or perform other administrative functions of an international nature.  The appointment is a life appointment.

Notaries affix their impressed (usually red) seal on documents witnessed by them.  Notaries charge a fee for those services and in Queensland there is no common fee schedule.

Want to know about the history of Notaries – go to Wikipedia