Court of King's Bench and Other Courts: Various Writs and Returns
A miscellaneous collection mostly of stray writs and returns from files of the courts of King's Bench and Common Pleas and justices of assize.
Most are returns which illustrate the exercise of the supervisory power of superior courts over inferior ones, many evidently being from broken recorda files (otherwise in KB 145) of one of those courts, those of King's Bench predominating. Some other items were probably returned into Chancery or the Exchequer.
There are some important individual items of interest, including a roll of charter transcripts made in the Yorkshire eyre of 1293-94; a roll of proceedings before commissioners of sewers in Holderness (1368); records of proceedings in the courts of the Black Prince and of Roger Mortimer, earl of March; various records of commissions of oyer and terminer, including complaints against a bailiff of Queen Eleanor of Castile, Adam de Stratton, Hugh Despenser the younger (1322) and the justice Ralph de Hengham; and a petition by the commons in parliament (1410).
Mainly a compilation of miscellaneous items from series of King's Bench files, and also from the files of other courts, especially those of the Court of Common Pleas (Common Bench) and justices of assize, which were listed and made available during the late nineteenth century or early twentieth century, between 1890 and 1923, with other items presumed to be of a similar character. Some had already been available earlier in different series. It was thought that the material all related to that court, but a significant proportion of it does not. The main common denominator between the disparate elements the series contains is that they were considered to fall into the category known as 'writs and returns', but that does not cover all the documents. The items formerly on files are most easily identified by their filing holes, which are usually clearly visible.
KB 138/1-109 are arranged in alphabetical order of county, and in a rough chronological order within counties; KB 138/110-123 consists of items relating to a number of counties, in no particular order, while KB 138/124-127 were added subsequently. Many items were formerly part (in the period between the 1830s and about 1890) of a series known as Assize and Quo Warranto Rolls. Many were briefly, about 1891, before the creation of KB 138, placed in the series of Assize Rolls, etc (now JUST 1) under references which have more recently been reallocated to new additions to that series. It is not thought that those references were ever included in any list which was made publicly available; they can be ascertained from cancelled labels on the documents themselves. There are also returns into King's Bench of extents on recognisances for debt which were included among the inquisitions post mortem under their earlier arrangement before they were rearranged preparatory to the publication of the Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem, beginning in 1904.
Court of Kings Bench, 1200-1875
Justices of Assize, Gaol Delivery, Oyer and Terminer and Nisi Prius, 1541-1971
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