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of the week, such a Saint's day or eve, to-day, distinction of name and addition, but the notes to-morrow; these are names of times.
fall out to be of equal dignity all of name or But the day that I was born, the day that I was addition. married; these are but circumstances and addition As prata mea juxta communem fossam in D. of times.
whereof the one is true, the other false ; or teneAnd therefore if I bind myself to do soine per- mentum meum in tenura Guilielmi quod perquisivi sonal attendance upon you upon Innocents' day, de R. C. in prædict' indent specificat', whereof being the day of your birth, and you were not one is true, and two are false; or two are true, born that day, yet shall I attend.
and one false.
As, my box of ivory lying in my study sealed signorum, &c. holdeth not; neither is the placing
place only where there is a direct contrariety or
there these are references, and no words of falsity Secondly, of such things as do admit the or error, but of limitation and restraint.
USE OF THE LAW,
PRESERVATION OF OUR PERSONS, GOODS, AND GOOD NAMES,
The use of the
Action of the
The use of the law consisteth prin- If any man beat, wound, or maim la princesha i cipally in these three things :
another, or give false scandalous words case, for slan 1. To secure men's persons from that may touch his credit, the law death and violence.
giveth thereupon an action of the case, for the 11. To dispose the property of their goods and slander of his good name; and an action of batlands.
tery, or an appeal of maim, by which recompense III. For preservation of their good names from shall be recovered, to the value of the hurt, shame and infamy.
damage, or danger.
videth that any man standing in fear the law giveth an appeal to the wife he or to the
and to lose all his lands and goods. But if the
Sarety to keep
Appeal of mur
and when not.
Felon. de se.
Felony by mis. pliance
wife or heir will not sue or be compounded withal, | Chancery, from whence process should be awardyet the king is to punish the offence by indict. ed to levy the debt, if the peace were broken. ment or presentment of a lawful inquest and trial But the constable could not arrest any, nor of the offenders before competent judges; where- make any put in bond upon complaint of threatupon being found guilty, he is to suffer death, ening only, except they had seen them breaking and to lose his lands and goods.
the peace, or had come freshly after the peace If one kill another upon a sudden was broken. Also, these constables should keep dute quarrel, this is manslaughter, for which watch about the town for the apprehension of
the offender must die, except he can rogues and vagabonds, and night-walkers, and read; and if he can read, yet must he lose his eves-droppers, scouts, and such like, and such as goods, but no lands.
go armed. And they ought likewise to raise hoe And if a man kill another in his own defence, and cry against murderers, manslayers, thieves, he shall not lose his life, nor his lands, but he and rogues. must lose his goods, except the party slain did Of this office of constable there were first assault him, to kill, rob, or trouble him by high constables, two of every hundred; the highway side, or in his own house, and then petty constables, one in every village; balitektstor he shall lose nothing.
they were, in ancient time, all apAnd if a man kill himself, all his pointed by the sheriff of the shire yearly, in his
goods and chattels are forfeited, but court called the Sheriff's Tourn, and there they no lands.
received their oath. But at this day they are apIf a man kill another by misfortune, pointed either in the law-day of that precinct
as shooting an arrow at a butt or mark, wherein they serve, or else by the high constable or casting a stone over a house, or the like, this in the sessions of the peace. is loss of his goods and chattels, but not of his The sheriff's Tourn is a court very Tix SSS lands, nor life.
ancient, incident to his office. At the ages If a horse, or cart, or a beast, or any first, it was erected by the conqueror, hing' o
other thing do kill a man, the horse, and called the King's Bench, appointe licenc beast, or other thing, is forfeited to the crown, and ing men studied in the knowledge of is called a deodand, and usually granted and the laws to execute justice, as substitutes to him allowed ny the king to the Bishop Almner, as in his name, which men are to be named, Justicia goods are of those that kill themselves.
ariï ad placila coram Rege assignati. One of The cutting out of a man's tongue, them being Capitalis Justiciarius called to his fel.
or putting out his eyes maliciously, is lows; the rest in number as pleaseth the king, of ermado fe felony; for which the offender is to late but three Justiciarii, holden by patent. In
suffer death, and lose his lands and this court every man above twelve years of age goods.
was to take his oath of allegiance to the king, if
he were bound, then his lord to answer for him. But for that all punishment is for example's sake ; In this court the constables were appointed and
it is good to see the means whereby offenders are sworn; breakers of the peace punished by fine drawn to their punishment ; and first for the mat- and imprisonment, the parties beaten or hurt ter of the peace.
recompensed upon complaints of damages; all The ancient laws of England planted here by appeals of murder, maim, robbery, decided; conthe conqueror were, that there should be officers tempts against the crown, public andoyances of two sorts in all the parts of this realm to pre- other matters of wrong, betwixt party and party,
against the people, treasons and felonies, and all serve the peace :
for lands and goods. 1. Constabularii
But the king seeing the realm grow Cart of Niro 2. Conservatores
daily more and more populous, and more
that this one court could not dispatch The office of the constable was, to all, did first ordain that his marshal Huma
arrest the parties that he had seen should keep a court for controversies breaking the peace, or in fury ready to break the arising within the virge; which is 1 uurpa peace, or was truly informed by others, or by their within twelve miles of the chiefest tunnel of the own confession, that they had freshly broken the court, which did but ease the king's Beoch in peace; which persons he might imprison in the matters only concerning debts, covenants, and stocks, or in his own house, as his or their quality such like, of those of the king's household only, required, until they had become bounden with never dealing in breaches of the peace, or consureties to keep the peace; which obligation from cerning the crown by any other persons, or ang thenceforth was to be sealed and delivered to the pleas of lands. Insomuch as the king, for further constable to the use of me king. And that the ease, having divided this kingdom into counties, constable was to send to the king's Exchequer or and committing the charge of every county to a
Cutting out of Inbgties, and putting ut of
The office of the constable
Lord of the
lord or earl, did direct thåt those earls, I and all writs of execution of the law, according within their limits, should look to the to judgments of superior court, for taking of men's
matter of the peace, and take charge goods, lands, or bodies, as the cause requireth. * of the constables, and reform public The hundred courts were most of
annoyances, and swear the people to them granted to religious men, noble- to the eastern the crown, and take pledges of the men, and others of great place. And granted. freemen for their allegiance, for which also many men of good quality have attained by
purpose the county did once every year charter, and some by usage, within manors of their ker? a court, called the Sheriff's Tourn; at own liberty, of keeping law days, and to use which all the county (except women, clergy, there justice appertaining to a law day. childrpa under twelve, and not aged above sixty) Whosoever is lord of the hundred did appear to give or renew their pledges of alle- court is to appoint two high constables pour direct content gance. And the court was called Curia Franci of the hundred, and also is to appoint coratables. Picgii, a view of the Pledges of Freemen; or, in every village a petty constable, with a tithing Tierius Comitatus.
man to attend in his absence, and to be at his At which meeting or court there fell, commandment when he is present in all services hy orcasion of great assemblies, much of his office for his assistance.
bloodshed, scarcity of victuals, muti There have been by use and statute law (benies, and the like mischiefs which are incident to sides surveying of the pledges of freemen, and the angrerations of people, by which the king giving the oath of allegiance, and making constawas moed to allow a subdivision of every county bles) many additions of powers and authority into hundreds, and every hundred to have a court, given to the stewards of leets and law-days to be wherennid the people of every hundred should be put in ure in their courts; as for example, they assembled twice a year for survey of pledges, and may punish innkeepers, victuallers, bakers, butuse of that justice which was formerly executed chers, poulterers, fishmongers, and tradesmen of in that grand court for the county; and the count all sorts selling with under weights or measures, or eari appointed a bailiff under him to keep the or at excessive prices, or things unwholesome, or hundred court. But in the end, the kings of this ill made in deceit of the people. They may purealm found it necessary to have all execution of nish those that do stop, straiten, or annoy the justice immediately from themselves, by such as highways, or do not, according to the provision me theme of were inore bound than earls to that ser- enacted, repair or amend them, or divert water
vier, and readily subject to correction courses, or destroy fry of fish, or use of what matfor their negligence or abuse; and engines or nets to take deer, conies, terreno therefore took to themselves the ap- pheasants, or partridges, or build pigeon and law days,
pointing of a sheriff yearly in every houses, except he be lord of the manor, or parson conny, calling them vicecomites, and to them di- of the church. They may also take presentment reeted such writs and precepts for executing jus- upon oath of the twelve sworn jury before them tee in the county as fell out needful to have been of all felonies; but they cannot try the malefacdrspatrhed, com'nitting to the sheriff custodium tors, only they must by indenture deliver over couteius: by which the earls were spared of those presentments of felony to the judges, when their coils and labours, and that was laid upon the they come their circuits into that county. All
sheritis. So as now the sheriff doth those courts before mentioned are in use, and all the king's business in the county, exercised as law at this day, concerning the sheand that is now called the Sheriff's riffs' law days and leets, and the offices of high
Tourn; that is to say, he is judge of constables, petty constables and tithing men; this grand court for the county, and also of all howbeit, with some further additions by statute hundred courts not given away from the crown. laws, laying charge upon them for taxation for
He hath another court, called the poor, for soldiers, and the like, and dealing with. County Court, belonging to his office, out corruption, and the like.
wherein men may sue monthly for any Conservators of the peace were in deb: or damages under forty pounds, and may ancient times certain, which were as- the peace called have writs for to replevy their cattle distrained signed by the king to see the peace write for ferm and impounded by others, and there try the cause maintained, and they were called to ar at the king's of their distress; and by a writ called Justicies, the office by the king's writ, to cona man may sue for any sum; and in this court the tinue for term of their lives, or at the king's sherii, by a writ called an exigent, doth proclaim pleasure. moen eurd in courts above to render their bodies, For this service, choice was made of concernion of or else they be outlawed.
the best men of calling in the country, what their This sheritf doth serve the king's and but few in the shire. They might fice was
writs of process, be they summons, at- i bind any man to keep the peace, and to good tachments to compel men to answer to the law, behaviour, by recognisance to the king, witb
quire of in leets
Conservators of the peace by virtue of their office.
of placing and
the king to the chancellor
ureties; and they might by warrant send for the man will beat him, or kill him, or burn party, directing their warrant to the sheriff or con- his house, are to send for the party by mana stable, as they please, to arrest the party, and warrant of attachment, directed to the anat ar bring him before them. This they used to do sheriff or constable, and then to bind when complaint was made by any that he stood the party with sureties by recognisance to the in fear of another, and so took his oath ; or else, king to keep the peace, and also to appear at the where the conservator himself did, without oath next sessions of the peace; at whichi next ses. or complaint, see the disposition of any man in- sions, when every justice of peace hath therein clined to quarrel and breach of the peace, or to delivered all their recognisances so misbehave himself in some outrageous manner of taken, then the parties are called, and liter procede force or fraud, there, by his own discretion, he the cause of binding to the peace ex. urian might send for such a fellow, and make him find amined, and both parties being heard, sureties of the peace, or of his good behaviour, as the whole bench is to determine as they see cause, he should see cause; or else commit him to the either to continue the party so bound, or else to gaol if he refused.
discharge him. The judges of either bench in West The justices of peace in their ses. minster, barons of the Exchequer, sions are attended by the constables bonne
master of the rolls, and justices in eyre and bailiffs of all hundreds and liberties peuve and assizes in their circuits, were all, without within the county, and by the sheriff or his dewrit, conservators of the peace in all shires of puty, to be employed as occasion shall serve England, and continue to this day.
in executing the precepts and directions of the But now at this day conservators of court. They proceed in this sort: the sheriff per le or conged the peace are out of use, and in lieu of doth summon twenty-four freeholders, discreet poracion de them there are ordained justices of men of the said county, whereof some sixteen are of peace sy suste peace, assigned by the king's commis- selected and sworn, and have their charge to delegated iron sions in every county, which are move serve as the grand jury, the party indicted is to
able at the king's pleasure; but the traverse the indictment, or else to confess it, and power of placing and displacing justices of the so submit himself to be fined as the court shall peace is by use delegated from the king to the think meet, (regard had to the offence,) except the chancellor.
punishment be certainly appointed, as often it is, That there should be justices of the peace by by special statutes. commissions, it was first enacted by a statute The justices of peace are many in every county, made 1 Edward III. and their authority augment- and to them are brought all trailors, felons, and ed by many statutes made since in every king's other malefactors of any sort upon their first reign.
apprehension, and that justice to whom they are They are appointed to keep four ses brought examineth them, and heareth their accusions every year; that is every quarter sations, but judgeth not upon it; only if he find
These sessions are a sitting of the suspicion but light, then he taketh bond, with the justices to despatch the affairs of sureties of the accused, to appear either at the
their commissions. They have power next assizes, if it be matter of treason or felony, 1. 2. cap. 10$ to hear and determine in their sessions or else at the quarter sessions, if it be concerning is ount poiar all felonies, breaches of the peace, con- riot or misbehaviour, or some other small offence.
tempts, and trespasses, so far as to fine And he also then bindeth to appear those that give
the offender to the crown, but not to testimony and prosecute the accusation, all the award recompense to the party grieved. accusers and witnesses, and so setteth the party as
They are to suppress riots and tu- large. And at the assizes or sessions the justices of mults, to restore possessions forcibly (as the case falleth out) he certifieth whom run all taken away, to examine all felons ap- the recognisances taken of the ac- ikka rices unto the prehended and brought before them; cused, accusers, and witnesses, who being there
to see impotent poor people, or maimed are called, and appearing, the cause of the accused soldiers provided for according to the laws, and is debated according to law for his cleaning or rogues, vagabonds, and beggars punished. They condemning. are both to license and suppress alehouses, bad But if the party accused seem upon pregnant gers of corn and victuals, and to punish fore- matter in the accusation, and to the justice to be stallers, regrators, and engrossers.
guilty, and the offence heinous, or the orlenler Through these in effect run all the county ser- taken with the manner, then the justice is to comvices to the crown, as taxations of subsidies, mus- mit the party by his warrant called a mittimtos to tering men, arming them, and levying forces, that the gaoler of the common gaol of the county. is done by a special commission or precept from there to remain until the assizes. And then the the king. Any of these justices, by oath taken justice is to certify his accusation, examinanon. by a man that he standeth in fear that another and recognisance taken for the appearaaces and
The power of
d'inquier de murder car. ce felon.
Julges of size
The justices of
of R. 2
which they sit.
1. Over & term
Over and Ter.
prosecution of the witnesses, so as the judges of lands and recoveries, which were wont to be may, when they come, readily proceed with him either in the King's Bench, or else before the as the law requireth.
justices in eyre. But the statute of May. Char. The judges of the assizes, as they be cap. 11. 5. is negative against it, viz. Communia et ma pole now become into the place of the an- placita non sequantur curiam nostram, en hemen cient justices in eyre, called justiciarii sed teneantur in aliquo loco Certo; asias late at
itinerantes, which, in the prime kings which locus Certus must be the Com- commissions by
The king, not able to despatch business in his others of the best account, in their take assizes.
, dained counties and the sheriff's tourns, This commission giveth them power
'The course now in use of execution of this comThey were to stay three or four days in every mission of gaol delivery is this. There is no pricounty, and in that time all the causes of that soner but is committed by some justice of peace, county were brought before them by the parties who, before he committed him, took his examigrieved, and all the prisoners of the said gaol in nation, and bound his accusers and witnesses to every shite, and whatsoever controversies arising appear and prosecute at the gaol delivery. This concerning life, lands, or goods.
justice doth certify these examinations and bonds, The authority of these judges in and thereupon the accuser is called solemnly into en related by eyre is in part translated by act of par- the court, and when he appeareth he is willed to en od liament to justices of assize, which be prepare a bill of indictment against the prisoner,
now the judges of circuits, and they do and go with it to the grand jury, and give eviuse the same course that justices in eyre did, to dence upon their oaths, he and the witnesses, proclaim their coming every half year, and the which he doth ; and then the grand jury write place of their sitting
thereupon either billa vera, and then the prisoner The business of the justices in eyre, standeth indicted, or else ignoramus, and then he Som meget om and of the justices of assize at this day is not touched. The grand jury deliver bere is much lessened, for that, in Henry these bills to the judges in their court, the proceedings erected in l. the Third's time, there was erected the and so many as they find endorsed or circuits ince
Court of Common Pleas at Westmin- billa vera, they send for those prisoners, ster, in which court have been ever since, and yet then is every man's indictment put and read to are begun and handled the great suits of lands, him, and they ask him whether he be guilty or debts, benefices, and contracts, fines for assurance not. If he saith guilty, his confession
is recorded ; if he say not guilty, then jo use with the * 1. King's Bench. 2. Marshal's Court. 3. County Court. he is asked how he will be tried; he execution of the 4. Sherif's Tourne. 5. Hundred Leets and Law-days. All which dealt only in crown matters; but the Justice in eyre answereth, by the country. Then the gaol delivery. dealt in private titles of lands or goods, and in all treasons sheriff is commanded to return the names of and felonies, of whom there were twelve in number, the twelve freeholders to the court, which freeholders whole realm being divided into six circuts. England divided into six circuits, and two learned men in the laws, assigned be sworn to make true delivery between the king by the king's commission to ride twice a year through those and the prisoner, and then the indictment is again lands and grada, and all treasons and felonies, which the read, and the witnesses sworn to speak their county courts meddle not in.
I knowledge concerning the fact, and the prisoner
The manner of
The course now