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make first an oath in certain points, according as to them shall be enjoined by our council in our chancery, before that any commission be to them delivered,

20 Ed. 3, c. 6.

Item, We will and have ordained, that the justices assigned to take assizes shall have commissions sufficient to inquire in their sessions of sheriffs, escheators, bailiffs of franchises, and their under ministers, and also of maintainers, common embraceors, and jurors in the country, and of the gifts, rewards, and other profits which the said ministers do take of the people to execute their office, and that which pertaineth to their office, and for making the array of pannels, putting in the same suspect jurors, and of evil fame, and of that maintainors, embraceors, and jurors do take gifts and rewards of the parties, whereby losses and damages do very grievously come daily to the people, in subversion of the law, and disturbance of common right.

6 Ric. 2, st. 1, c. 5.

Item, It is ordained and accorded, that the justices assigned and to be assigned to take assizes and deliver the gaols, shall from henceforth hold their sessions in the principal and chief towns of every of the counties, where the shire courts of the same counties be holden, and hereafter shall be holden.

8 Ric. 2, c. 2.

Item, It is ordained and assented.


the chief justice of the common bench be assigned amongst other to take such assizes and deliver goods.

11 Ric. 2, c. 11.

Item, Whereas late in a statute made at Westminster, in the sixth year of the king's reign that now is, amongst other things it was ordained and accorded, that the justices assigned and to be assigned to take assizes and deliver gaols, should hold their sessions in the chief and principal towns of every county, that is to say, where the shire courts of the same counties be or hereafter shall be holden; our lord the king, considering how the said statute is in part prejudicial and grievous to the people of divers counties of England, will and grant of the assent aforesaid, at the request of the said Commons, that the Chancellor of England for the time being shall have power thereof to make and provide remedy, by advice of the justices from time to time, when need shall be, notwithstanding the said statute.

No person shall make justices but the king.

17 Ric. 2, c. 10.

Item, Forasmuch as thieves notoriously defamed, and others taken with the maner, by their long abiding in prison, after that they be arrested, be delivered by charters, and favourable inquests procured, to the great hindrance of the people, it is accorded and assented, that in every commission of the peace through the realm, where need shall be, two men of law of the same county where such commission shall be made, shall be assigned to go and proceed to the deliverance of such thieves and felons, as often as they shall think it expedient.

20 Ric. 2, c. 3.

Item, The king doth will and forbid, that no lord, nor other of the country, little nor great, shall sit upon the bench with the justices to take assizes, in their sessions in the counties of England, upon great forfeiture to the king, and hath charged his said justices that they shall not suffer the contrary to be done.

14 Hen. 6, c. 1.

1. Our lord the king hath ordained, by the authority of the said Parliament, that the justices before whom inquisitions, inquests, and juries, from henceforth shall be taken by the king's writ called nisi prius, according to the form of the statute thereof made, shall have power of all the cases of felony and of treason, to give their judgments, as well where a man is acquit of felony or of treason, as where he is thereof attainted, at the day and place where the said inquisitions, inquests, and juries, he so taken, and then from thenceforth to award execution to be made by force of the same judgments. (See the note, ante, p. 266.)

27 Hen. 8, c. 24.

II. Be it also enacted, &c. that no person or persons, of what estate, degree, or condition soever they be, from the said first day of July, shall have any power or authority to make any justices of eyre, justices of assize, justices of peace, or justices of gaol delivery; but that all such officers and ministers shall be made by letters patent under the king's great seal, in the names and by authority of the king's highness and his heirs, kings of this realm, in all shires, counties, counties palatine, and other places of this realm, Wales, and the marches of the same, or in any other his dominions, at their pleasure and wills, in such manner and form as justices of eyre, justices of assize, justices of peace, and justices of gaol delivery, be commonly made in

every shire of this realm; any grants, usages, prescriptions, allowances, act or acts of parliament, or any other thing or things to the contrary thereof notwithstanding.

V. Provided always, that justices of assize, justices of Justices asgaol delivery, and justices of peace, to be made and assign- in the counsigned withed by the king's highness within the county palatine of ty palatine Lancaster, shall be made and ordained by commission un- of Lancasder the king's usual seal of Lancaster, in manner and form ter. as hath been accustomed, any thing in this act to the contrary thereof notwithstanding.

VI. Provided, also, that all cities, boroughs, and towns Towns corcorporate within this realm, which have liberty, power, porate and authority to have justices of peace, or justices of gaol which have justices. delivery, shall still have and enjoy their liberties and authorities in that behalf, after such like manner as they have been accustomed, without any alteration by occasion of this act; any thing in this act, or in any article therein contained, to the contrary thereof notwithstanding.

XVI. And it is enacted by authority aforesaid, that all such justices to be made as is afore rehearsed in this act, shall have authority and power to keep and hold their sessions of peace, and to deliver the same gaols from time to time only within the same liberties and franchises, and in such places, and in none other places, by reason and authority of that commission, and to do and execute all other things within the same, in as ample and large manner as any other justices of peace and gaol delivery in any shire within this realm may do, and have authority to do; any act, grant, use, custom, and allowance heretofore had, made, or used, or any article in this present act made to the contrary notwithstanding.

shall sit


XVII. Provided always, that all and singular justices of The new the peace, gaol delivery, and assize, hereafter to be made, justices named, and appointed by the king's highness, his heirs and where coinsuccessors, within any liberty where any such justice of monly such peace, gaol delivery, or assize, or any of them, have been have been made by any person or persons by virtue or authority of used to be any letters patents of the gift or grant of our sovereign lord the king, or his most noble progenitors, kings of this realm, or otherwise, shall sit and keep their sessions, gaol delivery, and assizes, only in such place and places as the justices of the said liberties lately have commonly used within the said liberties. And that no person or persons within the said liberties, or any of them, shall be hereafter in any wise compelled by authority of this act to appear out of the said liberties before any other justices of assize, gaol delivery, or of the peace, than before such justices as shall be named and assigned to sit and be by the king's highness, his heirs and successors, within the said liberties in form abovesaid. And that this act shall not extend, or be ex

New justices may

give judg

ment of a prisoner

and repriev


pounded or taken to any other liberty, privilege, or franchise, granted, used, or had to any person or persons, other than before in this present act is expressed, and plainly declared and rehearsed; any thing in this act to the contrary notwithstanding, and as if this act had never been made.

XIX. [Cities and towns corporate shall have such liberties, &c. as they had before.]

XXI. [The Bishop of Durham and his chancellor shall be justices of peace within the county palatine of Durham.]

XXII. [The Bishop of York and his temporal chancellor shall be justices of peace within the shire and liberty of Hextoldsham.]

1 Ed. 6, c. 7.

V. And be it ordained and enacted by the authority aforesaid, that in all cases where any person or persons heretofore have been or hereafter shall be found guilty of any manner of treason, murder, manslaughter, rape, or found guilty other felony whatsoever, for the which judgment of death of felony should or may ensue, and shall be reprieved to prison without judgment at this time given against him, her, or them, so found guilty, that those persons that at any time hereafter shall by the king's letters patents be assigned justices to deliver the gaol where any such person or persons found guilty shall remain, shall have full power and authority to give judgment of death against such person so found guilty and reprieved, as the same justices (before whom such person or persons was or were found guilty) might have done, if their commission of gaol delivery had remained and continued in full force and strength.

No suit be

VI. And over that, that no manner of process or suit fore justices made, sued, or had before any justices of assize, gaol delishall be dis- very, oyer and terminer, justices of peace, or other of the continued king's commissioners, shall ne in any wise be discontinued by by a new commission, the making and publishing of any new commission or asso

Preamble, reciting the

ciation, or by altering of the names of the justices of assize, gaol delivery, oyer and terminer, justices of peace, or other the king's commissioners, but that the new justices of assize, gaol delivery, and of the peace, and other commissioners, may proceed in every behalf, as if the old commissions and justices and commissioners had still remained and continued not altered.

12 Geo. 2, c. 27.

Whereas by an act made in the eighth year of the reign of King Richard the Second, intituled, "No Man of Law acts 8Ric. 2, shall be Justice of Assize or Gaol Delivery in his own 32 Hen. 8. Country," it is enacted, that no man of law shall from thenceforth be justice of assize, or of the common deliver

c.2. and

c. 24.

ance of gaols, in his own country: and whereas by an act made in the thirty-third year of King Henry the Eighth, intituled, “An Act that none shall be Justice of Assize in his own Country, &c.," it is amongst other things enacted, that no justice nor other man learned in the law of this realm shall use or exercise the office of justice of assize within any county where the said justice was born or doth inhabit, upon pain to forfeit for every offence done contrary to the said act, one hundred pounds; and whereas such acts have been construed to extend not only to justices of assize and justices of gaol delivery, but also to justices of nisi prius and justices of oyer and terminer, which construction hath been attended with very great inconveniences: for remedy thereof be it enacted, &c. that it shall and Judges emmay be lawful from time to time, and at all times hereaf- powered to ter, to and for the chief justice and justices of either bench, of gaol deact as judges and to and for the chief baron and other barons of the livery, &c. Court of Exchequer, and to and for any other person or perin their own sons learned in the law, who shall be appointed justice or justices of oyer and terminer or gaol delivery in any county or counties within that part of Great Britain called England, to use and exercise the office or offices of justice or justices of oyer and terminer or gaol delivery in any such county or counties, notwithstanding they or any of them shall have been born or do inhabit within any such county or counties, and that they shall not be liable for so doing to the said penalty or forfeiture of one hundred pounds, or to any other forfeiture or penalty whatsoever; any thing in the said recited acts, or either of them, or any other law, custom, or usage to the contrary in any wise notwithstanding.



and herein,

1. Of their Appointment, Jurisdiction in indictable Offences, Powers of Commitment, &c.

2. The Times of holding Quarter Sessions, &c.

1 Ed. 3, st. 2. c. 16.

Item, for the better keeping and maintenance of the Justices of peace, the king will, "that in every county good men and the peace. lawful, which be no maintainers of evil, or barretors in the county, shall be assigned to keep the peace."

18 Ed. 3, s. 2, c. 2.

Item, that two or three of the best of reputation in the counties shall be assigned keepers of the peace by the king's commission; and at what time need shall be, the same, with other wise and learned in the law, shall be

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