The orphans court may be held either by the judge of the court of common pleas or by a justice of the supreme court; and it has jurisdiction over controversies respecting the existence of wills, the fairness of inventories, the right of administration and guardianship, the allowance of accounts to executors, administrators, guardians or trustees, and over suits for the recovery of legacies and distributive shares, but it may refer any matter coming before it to a master in chancery.
He used all his influence to hamper the president and to advance the political interests of Alexander Hamilton, until he was dismissed, after refusing to resign, in May 1800, Returning to Massachusetts, he served as chief justice of the court of common pleas of Essex county in 1802-1803.
He was a judge of the New Hampshire Court of Common Pleas in 17761 777, a member (and speaker) of the New Hampshire House of Representatives from 1776 until 1782, a member of the state Constitutional Convention of 1778 and of the state Senate in 1784-1785, and in1783-1784was again a member of Congress.
At the close of the colonial era there were a court of chancery, a supreme court, circuit courts and courts of oyer and terminer which were held in the several counties by the justices of the supreme court, a court of common pleas and a court of sessions in each county, and courts held by justices of the peace in the several towns.
Encouraged by these and other conventions in order to obstruct the collection of debts and taxes, a mob prevented a session of the Court of Common Pleas and General Sessions of the Peace at Northampton on the 29th of August, and in September other mobs prevented the same court from sitting in Worcester, Middlesex and Berkshire counties.
In 1785 he became a commission merchant in Philadelphia; but in October 1786, soon after the legislature of Pennsylvania had passed a bill for erecting Wyoming district into the county of Luzerne, he was appointed prothonotary and a judge of the court of common pleas and clerk of the court of sessions and orphans, court for the new county, and was commissioned to organize the county.
Thus the court of king's bench (curia regis de banco) was founded, and the foundation of the court of common pleas was provided for in one of the articles of Magna Carta.
He was a member of Rogers' Rangers in the Seven Years' War, served in the War of Independence, was for several years a member of the New Hampshire legislature, was a delegate to the New Hampshire convention which ratified the Federal constitution, and was a justice of the court of common pleas for his county.