The History and Antiquities of London, Westminster, Southwark, and Parts Adjacent, vol. 2Allen, Thomas
The Court of Orphans.
This court was formerly held by the lord mayor and aldermen, who were guardians to children that were under the age of years, at the decease of their fathers; and who took upon them not only the care and management of their goods and chattels, but likewise that of their persons, by committing them to careful and faithful tutors, to prevent disposing of themselves during their minority, without their approbation.
The common serjeant was authorized by the said court to take exact accounts and inventories of all deceased freemen's estates; and the youngest attorney of the mayor's court, being clerk to that of the orphans, was appointed to take securities for their several portions, in the name of the chamberlain of London, who is a sole corporation of himself, for the service of the said orphans; and to whom a recognizance or bond, made upon the account of an orphan, shall, by the custom of London, descend to his successor; which is hardly known elsewhere.
When a freeman of London dies, and leaves children in their minority, the clerks of the several parishes were to give in their names to the common crier, who was thereupon immediately to
|summon the widow, or executor, to appear before the court of lord mayor and aldermen, to bring in an inventory of, and give security for the testator's estate; for which, months time was commonly allowed; and in case of non-appearance, or refusal of security, the lord mayor might commit the contumacious executor to Newgate.|
 This court has become obsolete.