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In the British courts of admiralty, when a party appeals from a decision made against him, he prays apostles from the judge, which are brief letters of dismission, stating the case, and declaring that the record will be transmitted.

This term was used in the civil law. It is derived from apostolos, a Greek word, which signifies one sent, because the judge from whose sentence an appeal was made, sent to the superior judge these letters of dismission, or apostles.