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· million has of late years issued: but insurance causes are now
usually determined by the verdict of a jury of merchants, and the opinion of the judges in case of any legal doubts; whereby the decision is more speedy, satisfactory and final : though it is to be wilhed, that some of the parliamentary powers in. vested in these commissioners, especially for the examination of witnesses, either beyond the seas or speedily going out of the kingdom", could at present be adopted by the courts of Westminster-hall, without requiring the consent of parties.
IV. The court of the marshalsen, and the palace court at Westminster, though two diftinct courts, are frequently confounded together. The former was originally holden before the steward and narshal of the king's house, and was instituted to administer justice between the king's domestic servants, that they might not be drawn into other courts, and thereby the king lose their service. It was formerly held in, though not a part of, the aula regis; and, when that was fubdivided, remained a distinct jurisdiction : holding plea of all trespasses committed within the verge of the court, where only one of the parties is in the king's domesic, service, (in which case the inquest shall be taken by a jury of the country) and of all debts, contracts and covenants, where both of the contracting parties belong to the royal houshold;
and then the inquest shall be composed of men of the hour5 76 ] hold onlyd. By the statute of 13 Ric. II. st. 1. c. 3. (in af.
firmance of the common law") the verge of the court in this respect extends for twelve miles round the king's place of refidence f. And, as this tribunal was never subject to the jurisdiction of the chief justiciary, no writ of error lay from it
** Stat. 13 & 14 Car. II. c. 22. $ 3.
bg Bulitr. 215.
6. last. 543.
the pax regia, 'or privilege of the king's palace, extended from his palace gate to the distance of three miles, three fur. longs, three acres, nine feet, nine palms, and nine barley coras; as appears from a fragment of the texius R ffenfis cited in Dr. Hicke's difer!a!. epiftol. 114.
(though a court of record) to the king's bench, but only to parliament, till the statutes of 5 Edw. III. c. 2. and 10 Edw. III. st. 2. c. 3. which allowed such writ of error before the king in his place. But this court being ambulatory, and obliged to follow the king in all his progreffes, so that by the removal of the houshold, actions were frequently disconti. nued, and doubts having arisen as to the extent of it's juris. dictioni, king Charles I. in the fixth year of his reign by his letters patent erected a new court of record, called the curia palatii or palace court, to be held before the steward of the houfhold and knight marshal, and the steward of the court, or his deputy; with jurisdiction to hold plea of all manner of personal actions whatsoever, which shall arise between any parties within twelve miles of his majesty's palace at Whitehall k. "The court is now held once a week, togecher with the antient court of marshalsea, in the borough of Southwark: and a writ of error lies from thence to the court of king's bench. But if the cause is of any considerable consequence, it is usually removed on it's first commencement, together with the custody of the defendant, either into the king's bench or common pleas, by a writ of habeas corpus cum caufa : and the inferior business of the court hath of late years been much reduced, by the new courts of conscience erected in the environs of London ; in confideration of which the four counsel belonging to these courts had salaries granted them for their lives by the statute 23 Geo. II. c. 27.
V. A FIFTH species of private courts of a limited, though
"В" extensive, jurisdiction are those of the principality of Wales ; which upon its thorough reduction, and the settling of it's polity in the reign of Henry the eighth', were erected all over the country; principally by the statute 34 & 35 Hen. VIII, c. 26. though much had before been done, and the way prepared by the statute of Wales, 12 Edw. I. and other statutes. By the statute of Henry the eighth before-mentioned, courts& 1 Bulstr. 215. 10 Rep. 79. *, Sid. 180. Saik. 439. F. N. B. 241. 2 Int. 548.
1 See rol. I. introd. $ 4. 1 Bulftr, 208. G3
baron, hundred, and county courts are there established as in England. A session is also to be held twice in every year in each county, by judges m appointed by the king, to be called the great feflions of the several counties in Wales: in which all pleas of real and personal actions shall be held, with the same form of process and in as ample a manner as in the court of common pleas at Weitminster": and writs of error shall lie from judgments therein (it being a court of record) to the court of king's bench at Westminster. But the ordinary original writs of process of the king's courts at Westminster do not run into the principality of Waleso: though process of execution doesP; as do also prerogative writs, as writs of certiorari, quo minus, mandamus, and the like 9. And even in causes between subject and subject, to prevent injustice through family factions or prejudices, it is held lawful (in causes of freehold at least, and it is usual in all others) to bring an action in the English courts, and try the fame in the next English county adjoining to that part of Wales where the cause arises', and wherein the venue is laid. But, on the other hand, to prevent triiling and frivolous suits it is enacted by statute 13 Geo. III. c. 51. that in personal actions, tried in any English county, where the cause of action arose, and the defendant resides in Wales, if the plaintif ihall not recover a verdict for ten pounds, he shall be nonsuited and pay the defendant's costs, unless it be certified by the judge that the freehold or title
came principally in question, or that the cause was proper to [ 78 ] be tried in such English county. And if any transitory action,
the cause whereof arose and the defendant is resident in Wales, shall be brought in any English county, and the plain. tiff shall not recover a verdict for ten pounds, the plaintiff shall be nonfuited, and shall pay the defendant's costs, deq ducting thercout the fum recovered by the verdict.
VI. The court of the duchy chamber of Lancaster is another special jurisdiction, held before the chancellor of the duchy or his deputy concerning all matter of equity relating to lands holden of the king in right of the duchy of Lancasters: which is a thing very distinct from the county palatine, (which hath also it's separate chancery, for sealing of writs, and the like“) and comprizes much territory which lies at a vast distance from it; as particularly a very large district sur. rounded by the city of Westminster. The proceedings in this court are the same as on the equity side in the courts of exchequer and chancery'; so that it seems not to be a court of record : and indeed it has been holden that those courts have a concurrent jurisdiction with the duchy court, and may. take cognizance of the same causes '.
VII. ANOTHER species of private courts, which are of a. limited local jurisdiction, and have at the same time an exo clusive cognizance of pleas, in matters both of law and equityy, are those which appertain to the counties palatine, of Chester, Lancaster, and Durham, and the royal franchise of Ely". In all these, as in the principality of Wales, the king's ordinary writs, issuing under the great seal out of chancery, do not run; that is, they are of no force. For, as originally all jura regalia were granted to the lords of these counties palatine, they had of course the sole administration of justice, by their own judges appointed by themselves and not by the crown. It would therefore be incongruous for the king to send his writ to direct the judge of another's court in what manner to administer justice between the suitors. But when the privileges of these counties palatine and franchises were abridged by statute 27 Hen. VIII. c. 24. it was also enacted, that all writs and process should be made in the king's name, but should be teste'd or witnessed in the name of the owner of the franchise. Wherefore all writs, whereon actions
( Hob. 77. ? Lev. 24.
Hard. 17). $Ventr. 257.
v 4 Inft. 213. 218. Finch. R.452, 14 Inft. 206.
w See vol. I. introd. $ 4. i Chan. Rep. 55. Toth. 145.
are founded, and which have current authority here, must be under the seal of the respective franchises; the two former of which are now united to the crown, and the two latter under the government of their several bishops. And the judges of affife, who fit therein, sit by virtue of a special commission from the owners of the several franchises, and ander the feal thereof; and not by the usual commission under the great Leal of England. Hither alfo may be referred the courts of the crique ports, or five most important harens, as they formerly were esteemed, in the kingdom; v.z. Dover, Sandwich, Romney, Hastings, and Hythe; to which Winchelsey and Rye have been since added: which have also similar franchises in many respects* with the counties palatine, and particularly an ex. clusive jurisdiction, (before the mayor and jurats of the ports) in which exclusive jurisdiction the king's ordinary writ does not run. A writ of error lies from the mayor and jurats of each port to the lord warden of the cinque ports, in his court of Shepway; and from the court of Shepway to the king's benchy. So likewise a writ of error lies from all the other jurisdictions to the fame supreme court of judicature ?, as an enlign of superiority reserved to the crown at the original creation of the franchises. And all prerogative writs (as those of habeas corpus, prohibition, certiorari, and mandamus ) may issue for the same reason to all these exempt jurisdictions ; because the privilege, that the king's writ runs not, must be intended between party and party, for there can be no such privilege against the king 6.
VIII. The stannary courts in Devonshire and Cornwall, for the administration of justice among the tinners therein, are also courts of record, but of the same private and exclu. five nature. They are held before the lord warden and his
substitutes, in virtue of a privilege granted to the workers in ( 89 ) the tinmines there, to sue and be sued only in their own
* 1 Sid. 166.
Jenk. 71. Dyversyre des courtso te bank, le rey. Şid. 356.
• Bro. Abr. . errır. 74. 101. Davis.
62. 4. Inst. 38. 214. 218.
aj Sid. 92.