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The Oxford History of the Laws of England: Volume XI1820–1914 English Legal System$
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William Cornish, J Stuart Anderson, Ray Cocks, Michael Lobban, Patrick Polden, and Keith Smith

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199258819

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199258819.001.0001

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Local Courts

Local Courts

Chapter:
(p.848) XI Local Courts
Source:
The Oxford History of the Laws of England: Volume XI
Author(s):

Patrick Polden

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199258819.003.0026

There was no shortage of courts which were, in theory at least, open to the person wishing to collect a debt or seek damages for loss or injury. There was in fact ‘a curious array of Courts above Courts, and jurisdictions within jurisdictions’. Alongside the historic units of county and hundred (or wapentake), manor and borough, stood assorted franchises, liberties, and so forth, and even attorneys claimed familiarity with only a few of those in their own county. No one knew how many courts there were and little is known of how they dealt with such business as came before them. This chapter discusses Old English local courts, courts of requests, the movement of reform, and local courts after 1846.

Keywords:   English law, legal history, local courts, courts of requests

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