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List of English Courts in United Kingdom

Table of Contents

List of English Courts in the early XX Century and Before

Superior Common-law Courts

The superior common-law courts were anciently as follows:

Witenagemote

This court or assembly existed in Anglo-Saxon times, and was an “assembly of the wise men” of the nation, who met to make laws for the nation at large and to provide for the general welfare and protection. Incidentally, they adjudged upon disputes of the King’s thegns (people ranking between an earl and an ordinary freeman), great men, cleric and lay. Its functions were legislative and judicial, chiefly the former. It was succeeded in the Anglo-Norman period by a similar body called
both the King’s Court and the Great Council.

King’s Court

The King’s Court must not be confounded with the King’s Court proper, and was the original of Parliament.

Great Council

See the Great Council.

Thenning-mannagemot

The Thenning-mannagemot, or Thegnmen’s Court, in Saxon times was an aristocratic court of
original jurisdiction, open only to the King’s thegns (people ranking between an earl and an ordinary freeman) or tenants in capite; and under Edward the Confessor was called the Aula Regis (English court, so called because it was held in the great hall of the king’s palace), “Curia regis”, or “Regia”, delegates from which constituted the Court of Itinerant Justices.

King’s Court

The King’s Court and the Exchequer were the two royal courts of the Norman period. The King’s Court consisted of a body of great men attendant on the King, and was, in a sense, the successor of the Aula Regis (English court, so called because it was held in the great hall of the king’s palace), but with much wider jurisdiction. By the use of writs it usurped the jurisdiction of the popular courts; and, differing in this respect also from the Aula Regis (the English court referred above, so called because it was held in the great hall of the king’s palace), had appellate jurisdiction from them. In the twelfth century, a smaller King’s Court was created, five persons being appointed to hear complaints; and in 1179, its justiciars were appointed to act both on circuit and in
the presence of the King as the Bench.

The earlier and larger King’s Court, later called the King’s Council, followed the King’s
person and had appellate jurisdiction over the smaller King’s Court.
The former was the origin of the Privy Council; the latter, of the King’s Bench.

Exchequer

In the Early XX Century, up to the passing of the Judicature Act, q. v., the three Superior courts of common law, which, with the Court of Chancery, formed the four Superior courts of the kingdom, were the King’s Bench; the Common Pleas; and the Exchequer.

King’s Bench or Queen’s Bench

The King’s Bench or Queen’s Bench, I. Bancus regis, in theory followed the King’s person (coram ipso rege), but in fact sat at Westminster. It was the highest court of common law in England; had four justices and a chief justice, who was the Chief Justice of England; took cognizance of criminal cases on the crown side or crown office, and of civil cases on the plea side.

Formerly, its civil jurisdiction was confined to trespasses vi et armis, on the theory that they were offences against the King’s peace; but by the fictions of the Bill of Middlesex, it usurped jurisdiction over all personal actions.

Practice or Bail Court

The Practice or Bail Court was a court auxiliary to the King’s Bench, presided over by each judge in rotation.

Common Pleas or Common Bench

The Common Pleas or Common Bench, I. Communis Bancus, Communia Placita, was also derived from the old Eling’s Court, by a clause in Magna Charta fixing the hearing of common pleas (civil cases, pleas between subject and subject) at Westminster. It had the exclusive jurisdiction
of real actions, and universal jurisdiction, for a long time also exclusive, of personal actions between subject and subject.

There were four justices and a chief justice. Appeals were anciently taken to the K. B.; but in the present century only to the judges of the K. B. and the barons of the Exchequer in the Exchequer Chamber, and hence to the House of Lords.

Exchequer

The Exchequer was originally the royal treasury; and its functions were to keep the royal accounts, to collect the royal revenues and debts. Common pleas were anciently held there as matter of favor, the court affording peculiar advantages by its records, which include the Domesday book, and its permanent location at Westminster.

The holding of common pleas was, however, forbidden by the Articula super Chartas in 1290; and the Exchequer became a purely fiscal court, until it regained its jurisdiction by use of the fiction that the plaintiff was a debtor to the King. In the early XIX Century, there were two divisions of this court:

  • the receipt, which managed the revenue and such matters, and
  • the court or plea side, which had jurisdiction of all personal actions between subject and subject.

The court had both an equity and a common-law side until 1842, when the equity jurisdiction was transferred to Chancery. The Exchequer was the lowest of the three superior courts, and had four barons and one chief baron.

Exchequer Chamber

The Exchequer Chamber was an intermediate court of appeal between the three superior courts of common law and the House of Lords. When sitting on an appeal from any one court, it was composed of the judges of the other two courts.

This court was originally two different Courts, one of which heard appeals from the Court of Exchequer, and the other heard appeals from the Court of King’s Bench. These two Courts were amalgamated in 1830 (see Holdworth’s History of Law. vol. I, 1079).

House of Lords

The House of Lords was the supreme court of judicature in England, having appellate jurisdiction over the common-law courts, and probably also over the Court of Chancery and it had in the early XX Century appellate jurisdiction over the Court of Appeal.

Its original jurisdiction was in the early XX Century obsolete, except as a court of impeachment. It was (in 1880) presided over by the Lord High Chancellor, and only such peers as had performed judicial junctions take part.

Judicial Committee of the Privy

The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council had jurisdiction in certain colonial causes and appellate jurisdiction from the courts of admiralty and the commissioners in lunacy.

Superior Courts of Equity

The Superior Courts of Equity were as follows:

Court of Chancery

The Court of Chancery, (in Iatin “Cancellaria”) was the court of the Lord High Chancellor, who in theory exercises such judicial powers as reside in the Crown. Originally, such powers were invoked as a favor of the King, but were long since crystallized into the system of Equity.

The Court of Chancery was the highest court of equity, and reckoned one of the four superior courts in existence in the Early XX Century. Its ordinary jurisdiction, long since practically obsolete, consisted chiefly in the issuing of royal writs, writs under the great seal, original; which were all framed in Chancery as the (“officina justitiae”) mint of justice.

The extraordinary jurisdiction was later known as Equity. Besides this, the Court of Chancery and the Chancellor had certain statutory powers.
In the early XX century there were six superior courts of equity, over which the Court of Chancery proper, just mentioned, had appellate jurisdiction, and which are the following in this list.

Court of the Master of the Rolls

See Court of the Master of the Rolls

Vice-Chancellor’s Courts

There were three Vice-Chancellor’s Courts, each presided over by a Vice-Chancellor.

Court of the Lords Justices of Appeal

It was established the Court of the Lords Justices of Appeal, of whom there were two; and
who, with the Lord Chancellor, formed the Court of Appeal in Chancery.

Court of Appeal in Chancery

See Court of Appeal in Chancery

Supreme Court of Judicature

By the Judicature Act, it was established one Supreme Court of Judicature. Into this the High Court of Chancery, the King’s Bench, Common Pleas and Exchequer, the High Court of Admiralty, the Court of Probate, and the Divorce Court, were united and consolidated.

The London Court of Bankruptcy remained an independent court, though the office of
chief judge in bankruptcy was filled by a judge of the High Court of Justice, and the decisions of the court were subject to review by the High Court of Appeal. This Supreme Court of Judicature consisted of two divisions:

  • one to be called Her Majesty’s High Court of Justice, and
  • the other Her Majesty’s Court of Appeal (see the High Court of Appeal).

Her Majesty’s High Court of Justice

The jurisdiction of this Court was chiefly original; and included in general that previously exercised by the

  • Courts of Chancery,
  • King’s Bench,
  • Common Pleas,
  • Exchequer,
  • Admiralty,
  • Probate, Divorce,
  • Common Pleas at Lancaster,
  • Pleas at Durham, and by the
  • Assize courts.

Except, however:

  • the appellate jurisdiction of the Court of Appeal in Chancery, or of the same court sitting as a court of appeal in bankruptcy;
  • the jurisdiction of the Court of Appeal in Chancery of the County Palatine of Lancaster;
  • the jurisdiction, whether of the Lord Chancellor or Lords Justices, over idiots, lunatics, and persons of unsound mind; the jurisdiction of the Lord Chancellor in the matters of letters patent and commissions under the great seal, or over colleges and charities;
  • the jurisdiction of the Master of the Rolls over records in England.

The members of the High Court of Justice were:

  • the Chief Justice of England,
  • the Master of the Rolls,
  • the Chief Justice of the Common Pleas,
  • the Chief Baron of the Exchequer,
  • the Vice-Chancellors of the High Court of Chancery,
  • the Judge of the Court of Probate,
  • the Judge of the Court for Divorce and Matrimonial Causes,
  • the judges of the King’s Bench and Common Pleas,
  • the junior barons of the Exchequer, and
  • the Judge of the High Court of Admiralty.

The Lord Chief Justice of England was President of the Court, which was divided into five divisions:

  • the Chancery Division;
  • the King’s [Queen’s] Bench Division;
  • the Common Pleas Division;
  • the Exchequer Division;
  • the Probate, Divorce, and
  • Admiralty Division.

To each of these, as a general rule, were assigned the judges of the corresponding old court, similarly named, with substantially the same jurisdiction.

By an Order of December 16, 1880, of the Judicature Act of 1873, there was a fusion of the Common Pleas and Exchequer Divisions in the Queen’s Bench Division, and the offices of Chief Baron of the Exchequer and Chief Justice of the Common Pleas were abolished.

High Court of Appeal

The High Court of Appeal had a jurisdiction chiefly appellate. It included:

  • the appellate jurisdiction of the Lord Chancellor, and of the Court of Appeal in Chancery, and of the same court when sitting as a court of appeal in bankruptcy;
  • the jurisdiction of the Court of Appeal in Chancery of the County Palatine of Lancaster, and of the Chancellor of the Duchy and County Palatine of Lancaster when sitting alone or apart from the Lords Justices of Appeal in Chancery, as a judge of rehearing or appeal from decrees or orders of the Lancaster chancery courts;
  • the jurisdiction of the Lord Warden of the Stannaries and his assessors, of the Exchequer Chamber, of the King or Queen in council, and the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in admiralty and lunacy; and general appellate jurisdiction from the High Court of Justice.

Appeals lie from this ourt to the House of Lords. The judges of the Court of Appeal were:

  • the Lord Chancellor,
  • the Chief Justice of England,
  • the Master of the Rolls,
  • the Chief Justice of the Common Pleas,
  • the Chief Baron of the Exchequer (who were styled the ex. officio judges of the court);
  • the Lords Justices of Appeal in Chancery, and
  • an additional judge appointed.

These latter were the ordinary judges of the court, and were styled Justices of Appeal. The Lord Chancellor was President of the Court.

Inferior English common law Courts

The inferior English common law courts which existed generally throughout the kingdom, and were not of a local or special nature, were as follows:

Courts of Assize and Nisi Prius, or Gaol Delivery, Oyer and Terminer

The courts of Assize and Nisi Prius, or Gaol Delivery, Oyer and Terminer, succeeded the ancient courts of the justices in Eyre. These Assizes were the ordinary courts for the trial of jury cases by a jury of the county; and were held twice a year, formerly in the vacations after Trinity and Hilary terms, in every county except Middlesex; two judges of the Superior Court being appointed for each circuit, under four, formerly five, commissions (see Assize), and all England being divided into six circuits, and Wales into two.

The court for London and Middlesex was within no circuit, and was termed the London and Westminster sittings.

London and Westminster sittings

These courts were in the early XX Century part of the High Court of Justice.

Coimty courts

The Coimty courts were held by the sheriff once a month or oftener to try small cases, not exceeding 40s. in amount (though larger cases and real actions roight be brought under a justices), and for certain other purposes.

The freeholders of the county were the judges and members of the court; and being a popular court, not of record, it early lost its jurisdiction, causes being removable into the Superior
Courts by writs of recordari facias loquelam, false judgment, and pone. (See the County Courts).

Hundred courts

The Hundred courts were similar and inferior to the County Courts held by the steward, with the freeholders of the hundred as judges. It was not to be confounded with the Hundred gemote of Saxon times.

Hundred gemote

From the Saxon times. This court had larger civil and criminal jurisdiction than the Hundred courts. See Hundred gemote

Courtleet

The Courtleet or View of frankpledge was a court of record in a particular lordship, hundred, or manor, held once a year before the steward of the leet. It existed by royal charter or franchise; and was a court of small criminal jurisdiction, long since superseded by the Quarter Sessions. They also took view of frankpledge and made presentment by jury of crimes.

Sheriff’s Tourn

The Sheriff’s Tourn was a court similar to that Courtleet, held by the sheriff twice a year in various parts of the county, being the great courtleet of the county.

Court Baron

The Court Baron (manorial courts) was a court, not of record, incident to eviry manor. In one sense, it was a customary court, having jurisdiction over copyhold lands, surrenders, and admittances; in another, it was a common law court, similar in jurisdiction and nature to the hundred courts, sometimes independent both of them and of the county courts.

Buighmotes, borough courts, or Hustings

The Buighmotes, borough courts, or Hustings existed by special franchise, and resembled the county courts in nature and jurisdiction.

Courts of Piepoudre

The courts of Piepoudre (in french “Pedis Pulverizati” and in Latin “Pipowders”) were courts of record held by the steward, or him that had the toll, of every fair or market.

They had cognizance of all cases of contract and minor offences arising during that particular fair or market; and were courts of speedy and summary process, so called from the dusty feet of the suitors, or from the French words pied puldreaux, a pedlar (see Select Essays in Anglo-American Legal History, Vol. III. 9).

Court of the Clerk of the Market

The court of the Clerk of the Market had authority to punish misdemeanors and try weights and measures; they existed in every fair or market throughout the kingdom.

Coroner’s Courts

The Coroner’s and Sheriff’s courts (see below) were of record, and were more properly termed inquests, being inquisitions into the property of treasure-trove, on violent deaths, boundaries of lands, damages, and other matters.

Sheriff’s Courts

See Sheriff’s Courts

Quarter Sessions, or County Sessions

The Quarter Sessions, or County Sessions: a minor criminal court, or general sessions of the peace, held in each county four times a year before two justices of the peace, one of whom must be of the quorum, or the recorder in boroughs.

County courts

The new County courts were established by the 9 & 10 Vict. c. 95; they were over five hundred in number, and had in the Early XX Century a common-law jurisdiction up to £50; also of all consent actions, ejectments, attachments, interrogatories; and an equity jurisdiction up to £500; as well as some jurisdiction in probate, admiralty, and bankruptcy.

Appeals lie from them to the divisions of the High Court of Justice.

Courts of special or local nature or jurisdiction

The more important English courts of special or local nature or jurisdiction were as follows:

Courts of Ancient Demesne

The courts of Ancient Demesne were anciently held by a bailiff appointed by the King; in them alone the tenants of the King’s demesne could be impleaded; see Ancient Demesne.

Court of Augmentations

The Court of Augmentations was established by the 27 Hen. VIII. c. 27, for protecting the King’s interests as to suppressed monasteries, and dissolved in the reign of Mary.

Star Chamber

The Star Chamber (“Camera Stellata” in latin) was an ancient court, remodeled under Henry VII. and Henry VIII. It consisted of several lords spiritual and temporal, being privy councilors, together with two judges of the courts of common law; and tried, without the intervention of a jury, matters of riots, perjury, misbehavior of sheriffs, and other high misdemeanors.

By usurpation of jurisdiction it became also a court of civil matters and revenue; and, owing to great abuses, was abolished under Charles I.

Court of Wards and Liveries

The Court of Wards and Liveries was founded under Henry VIII., to inquire into matters arising from
tenures in chivalry, as concerning the wardship, marriage, and lands of the King’s tenants in capiie; and abolished by the 12 Car. II. c. 24.

Court of the Lord High Steward

The Court of the Lord High Steward was a court of peers, instituted during the recess of Parliament for the trial of a peer for treason or felony or misprision of either.

Central Criminal Court

The Central Criminal Court was established by the 4 & 5 Will. IV. c. 36, for the trial of offences committed in London, Middlesex, or Surrey; and succeeded the Old Bailey.

Old Bailey

See Old Bailey

Court of Criminal Appeal

The Court of Criminal Appeal, or Court for the Consideration of Crown Cases reserved, was established by the 11 & 12 Vict. c. 78.

This court was composed of the judges of the superior courts, or such as could attend, for deciding any question of law reserved by any judge or magistrate of any court of oyer and terminer, gaol delivery, or quarter sessions, before which a prisoner had been found guilty by verdict. Its judgment was final; and its jurisdiction was in the Early XX Century transferred to any five judges of the High Court of Justice.

Courts of Bankruptcy

There have been courts of bankruptcy in different districts from which an appeal usually lay to the London Court of Bankruptcy, established by the 1 & 2 Will. IV. c. 56. The county courts had in the early XX Century a bankruptcy jurisdiction.

Probate Court

The 20 & 21 Vict. c. 77 established a Probate Court, to be held in London, which court exercised the testamentary jurisdiction previously belonging to the ecclesiastical courts. It was in the Early XX Century consolidated into the Probate, Divorce, and Admiralty divisions of the High Court of Justice. Into the same division was also consolidated the Court for Divorce and Matrimonial Causes.

Court for Divorce and Matrimonial Causes

This court, by the 20 & 21 Vict. c. 85, exercised the matrimonial jurisdiction of the ecclesiastical courts, decided on the validity of marriages, and granted divorces a vinculo.

Inferior Courts of a Local nature or Special Jurisdiction

The inferior English courts of a local nature or special jurisdiction were as follows:

Court of Lord Steward of the King’s Household

The Court of Lord Steward of the King’s Household, established by the 33 Henry VIII. c. 12, and long obsolete, had jurisdiction of treason, blows, and homicides within the limits (two hundred feet from the gate) of any palace or house where the King might reside.

Court of the Lord Steward, Treasurer or Comptroller of the King’s Household

There was a Court of the Lord Steward, Treasurer or Comptroller of the King’s Household established by 3 Henry VII. c. 14, to inquire of felony by a servant of the household. It was, like the Court of Lord Steward of the King’s Household, obsolete.

Court of Marshalsea

The Court of Marshalsea held plea of trespasses or debts where a servant within the King’s household was concerned. Its jurisdiction extended to the verge, twelve miles around the royal
residence. It was derived from the old Aula regis, and a writ of error lay to Parliament only. It being ambulatory, Charles I. created the “Curia Palatii”, Iatin of Palace Court, to succeed it.

Palace Court

This court had jurisdiction of all personal actions whatever arising within twelve miles of the royal palace at Whitehall, not including the city of London, and was abolished in 1849.

Borough Courts

There were many Borough Courts, and  Courts of Hustings in the old English cities; and particularly, in London, the Sheriffs’ Courts, holder before then: steward or judge, from which a writ of error lay to the Court of Hustings, before the mayor, recorder, and sheriffs; and hence to justices appointed by the King’s commission, who sat in the church of St. Martins-le-Grand; hence to the House of Lords. This was later called Court for the City of London.

Courts of Hustings

See Courts of Hustings

Sheriffs’ Courts

See Sheriffs’ Courts

Court of Hustings

See Court of Hustings

Court for the City of London

It was in the Early XX Century the county court for London.

Lord Mayor’s Court

The Lord Mayor’s Court in London had both equity and common-law jurisdiction; and was presided over by the Recorder, or, in his absence, the Common Sergeant.

Courts of Conscience or Requests

The Courts of Conscience or Requests were tribunals, not of record, established in London and other towns, for the recovery of small debts; they were succeeded by the coimty courts, and mostly abolished.

Court of Policies of Assurance

The Court of Policies of Assurance was established under Elizabeth, for determining summarily all
cases concerning policies of insurance on merchandise in London. Abolished in 1863, although long before obsolete.

Courts of the Counties Palatine

The courts of the Counties Palatine, that of Chester, was a court of mixed jurisdiction, which was abolished before the early XX Century.

Court of Common Pleas at Lancaster

The Court of Common Pleas at Lancaster and of Pleas at Durham lost their jurisdiction
under the Judicature Act of 1873; but the Chancery courts of these counties were retained.

Court of Pleas at Durham

Courts of the Principality of Wales

The Courts of the Principality of Wales were private courts of extensive jurisdiction, abolished by the 11 Geo. IV. and 1 Will. IV., when Wales was divided into two circuits for the judges of assize.

Stannary Courts

The Stannary Courts administered justice among the tin-miners of Devonshire and Cornwall. They were presided over by the Vice-Warden, with appeal to the Lord Warden, of the Stannaries. This appellate jurisdiction was later transferred to the High Court of Appeal; and the plaintiff might, in the first instance, sue in the county court.

Barmote or Berghmote Courts

In similar manner to Stannary Courts, there were two Barmote or Berghmote Courts in Derbyshire, called respectively the Great
and Small, which administered justice among the miners of the Peak.

Forest Courts

74. The Forest Courts existed for the government of the King’s
forests, to punish injuries to the vert, venison, or covert. They com-
prised the courts of Attachments, Wood-mote, or Forty-days
Court, held by the verderors of the forest, to inquire into offences
against the vert and venison, the Court of Regard and the Court of Swanimote.

Court of Swanimote

It was court which met in the Early XX Century three times
a year to consider agistment, pannage, and fawning. This court
has been confused with Sweinmote. The Sweinmote was an inquisition, held by the sweins
or freeholders in the forest, to inquire into grievances committed by
the officers of the forest, and to
try presentments certified from the Court of Attachments; and of
(78.) Justice-seat, held before the Chief Justice in Eire to held
all trespasses, claims of franchise, and other causes. All these courts
were obsolete before the English Restoration.

Courts of Attachments, Wood-mote, or Forty-days Court

Court of Regard

A court for the lawing of dogs.

English Courts in relation to Universities

They were formerly (before early XX Century) governed by the rules of the civil law; but later their jurisdiction, particularly in Cambridge, was in great part obsolete.

Universities Courts

The Universities Courts were established in Oxford and Cambridge.

Chancellor’s Court

The Chancellor’s Court had jurisdiction of personal actions and minor
offences of members of the University.

Court of the Lord High Steward

The Court of the Lord
High Steward had jurisdiction of treasons, felonies, and mayhems
committed by members of the University.

Ecclesiastical Courts

Ecclesiastical Courts or Courts Christian

The Ecclesiastical Courts or Courts Christian. In Norman times, these courts consisted of councils, or synods, composed entirely or partly of the clergy, and had jurisdiction of crimes or delicts, and even of causes concerning land. These councils were national, provincial, or diocesan; the first resembled the lay Witenagemote; the last was the origin of the ecclesiastical court of modem times.

This last had jurisdiction of matters:

  • ecclesiastical or pecuniary (withholding of tithes, etc.),
  • matrimonial (affecting the relations of the sexes, legitimacy, divorce, etc.), and
  • testamentary (the probate of wills, legacies, etc.).

The last two kinds of jurisdiction were transferred to the Court of Probate and the Court for
Divorce and Matrimonial Causes, and were later vested in the Supreme Court of Judicature. The law of ecclesiastical courts was founded in the civil and canon law; and they were not
courts of record.They were in the Early XX Century seven in number:

  • the Archdeacon’s Courts,
  • the Consistory Courts,
  • the Court of Arches,
  • the Court of Peculiars,
  • the Prerogative Courts of the two archbishops,
  • the Court of Faculties,
  • and, on appeal, the Privy Council, formerly the Court of Final Appeal, or Court of Delegates.

There was also the Convocation, and the Court of High Commission.

Consistory or Diocesan Court

The Consistory or Diocesan Court was held by each bishop, or his chancellor, in his diocese, with
appeal to the archbishop.

Archdeacon’s Court

The Archdeacon’s Court was a minor court of concurrent or delegated jurisdiction in some part of the diocese, with appeal to the bishop. Both these were termed “Ordinary’s Courts”.

Court of Arches

The Court of Arches, so called because it was held in the church of St. Mary-le-Bow (“Sancta Maria de Arcubus” in latin), by the Dean of the Arches, later held in Doctors’ Commons, and lately in
Westminster Hall, was the principal consistory court of the Archbishop of Canterbury, with appeal from all other ecclesiastical courts in his province, and extensive original jurisdiction by means of letters of request.

The Audience Court was similar, but of inferior jurisdiction. An appeal formerly lay to the Pope; afterwards to the Court of Delegates, later to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.

Court of Peculiars

The Court of Peculiars was a branch of the Court of Arches, and had jurisdiction over all those parishes of the province of Canterbury which were exempt from the ordinary’s jurisdiction and subject to the metropolitan only. An appeal did lie to the Court of Arches.

Prerogative Courts

The Prerogative Courts were courts held in the provinces of York and Canterbury before a judge appointed by the Archbishop, which had jurisdiction over testamentary matters where the decedent left bona notadbilia, goods to the value of £5 in two distinct parishes. This jurisdiction was later transferred (see Ecclesiastical Courts).

Court of Faculties

The Court of Faculties, a tribunal which were part of the Archbishop, granted various
licenses, created rights to pews, monuments, burial, etc.

Court of Delegates

The Court of Delegates was created under Henry VIII., and was the great Court of Final Appeal in ecclesiastical and admiralty causes; succeeded by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. The decree of the Court of Delegates was sometimes revised by Commissioners of Review.

Commissioners of Review

See Commissioners of Review

Judicial Committee of the Privy Council

The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council practically ceased to be a court of appeal in the early XX Century, even in ecclesiastical matters; such jurisdiction was transferred to the High Court of
Appeal.

Courts of Admiralty

High Court of Admiralty

See the High Court of Admiralty. In theory the court of the Lord High Admiralty presided over by his deputy, the Judge of Admiralty, and held in Doctors’ Commons. It was a court not of record, having civil and criminal jurisdiction over maritime affairs.

The criminal jurisdiction was conferred upon the Central Criminal Court, upon its establishment. The civil jurisdiction was twofold; and there were two courts, the  Instance Court and the Prize Court (see below). The Court of Admiralty later formed part of one division of the High Court of Justice. The county courts had also some admiralty jurisdiction.

Instance Court

A court for ordinary marine contracts. The Instance Court had jurisdiction of assaults, batteries, collisions, restitution of ships, piratical or illegal takings, at sea; and of contracts between part owners of ships, seamen’s wages, pilotage, bottomry bonds, salvage, tonnage, ship provisions, and mortgages.

Prize Court

Military Courts

Courts-martial

The earliest was the Court of Chivalry, an ancient court not of record, held before the Lord High
Constable or Earl Marshal of England, touching contracts or deeds of war and arms, both without and within the realm, coats of arms, precedency, etc.; its jurisdiction was criminal as well as civil, but
of vague and indefinite content. It became obsolete in the eighteenth century.

The XIX century Courts-martial date from the Revolution. They were naval or military, and from their judgment there was no appeal. They had jurisdiction of offences against the mutiny act and the articles of war.

Courts In General

See Royal Courts
See Popular Courts
See Court of RecordR

(Text based on A concise law dictionary of words, phrases and maxims.)

For a detailed description of historical courts, see Holdsworth’s “History of English Law” vol. I.

Other Lists of Courts

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(2013, 12). List of English Courts lawi.org.uk Retrieved 01, 2021, from https://lawi.org.uk/list-of-english-courts/

12 2013. 01 2021 <https://lawi.org.uk/list-of-english-courts/>

"List of English Courts" lawi.org.uk. lawi.org.uk, 12 2013. Web. 01 2021. <https://lawi.org.uk/list-of-english-courts/>

"List of English Courts" lawi.org.uk. 12, 2013. Accesed 01 2021. https://lawi.org.uk/list-of-english-courts/

International, 'List of English Courts' (lawi.org.uk 2013) <https://lawi.org.uk/list-of-english-courts/> accesed 2021 January 25

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  • Article Name: List of English Courts
  • Author: International
  • Description: List of English Courts in the early XX Century and Before Superior Common-law Courts The superior common-law courts were [...]

This entry was last updated: December 25, 2013


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