Court of King's Bench: Crown Side: Rule Books

KB 21
Court of King's Bench: Crown Side: Rule Books

Books which record rules (i.e. orders) made by the Court of King's Bench either to regulate its practice, or in particular cases upon a motion by counsel for the parties.

They are chronological, so providing a day to day record of the court's business and, incidentally, a list of the days on which it sat. The books contain, in addition to memoranda, various categories of rules. The staple entries are of rules granted to enable a case to proceed to the next step, but rules for the issue of writs of certiorari to bring in cases from inferior courts, rules to the marshal of King's Bench to produce or detain prisoners, and rules granting licences to imparl also occur quite frequently.

The series is almost complete from 1589 to 1875, the only major gap being between 1652 and 1660.

The last three volumes are collections of important general rules compiled retrospectively for reference, and are not part of the main series.

Related Material:
Later rule books of the King's Bench division which continue this series are in J 74
Draft books, which contain some material not copied into the Rule Books, are in KB 36
Held by:
The National Archives, Kew
Legal status:
Public Record
English and Latin
Physical description:
125 volume(s)
Access conditions:
Administrative / biographical background:

By the early eighteenth century at least the rule books were kept by an officer called the clerk of the rules in the Crown Office of King's Bench, who received a fee in respect of each entry he made.

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