This series contains consular court files from the British consulate in Smyrna, Ottoman Empire. Comprises judicial files with numerical and alphabetical indexes, and a collection of deposited documents (with descriptive list) which include several wills, some as yet with unbroken seals.
Persons claiming to be 'interested parties' were sometimes, with the approval of the Foreign Office, given access to documents while they were still closed to public access. Deposited documents required for probate purposes would, on authorisation of the Foreign Office and by direction of the Lord Chancellor, be handed over to the appropriate court.
Administrative / biographical background:
The Smyrna Consular Court was presided over by the Consul assisted by a Law Clerk. The Court tried both civil and criminal actions and functioned as a Naval Court of Enquiry (investigating mercantile marine mishaps) and a Probate Registry, granting Letters of Administration; it also dealt with proceedings in Bankruptcy. Unsuccessful litigants were sometimes granted the right of Appeal to the Supreme Consular Court at Constantinople.
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