SURROGATE (from Lat. surrogare, to substitute for), a deputy of a bishop or an ecclesiastical judge, acting in the absence of his principal and strictly bound by the authority of the latter. Canon 128 of the canons of 1603 lays down the qualifications necessary for the office of surrogate and canon 1 23 the regulations for the appointment to the office. At present the chief duty of a surrogate in England is the granting of marriage licences, but judgments of the arches court of Canterbury have been delivered by a surrogate in the absence of the official principal. The office is unknown in Scotland, but is of some importance in the United States as denoting the judge to whom the jurisdiction of the probate of wills, the grant of administration and of guardianship is confided. In some states he is termed surrogate, in others judge of probate, register, judge of the orphans' court, etc. His jurisdiction is local, being limited to his county.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)