Court of King's Bench: Plea Side: Ballia Communia Rolls
Docket rolls recording the issue of common bails to defendants sued in the Court of King's Bench by bill.
Bail required no pledges and during the period covered by the rolls was allowed in cases where the sums involved in the case did not exceed £20. Each entry gives the name of the county, the name of the person committed to bail (with the space for their place of residence left blank), the name of the plaintiff at whose suit they had been arrested, and the name of the attorney. The entries in the rolls are listed in precise orders of dates, which enables the exact working days of the court in term to be known. Such calculations can also be made from the files where they survive, but they are far more easily made from the rolls, and in any case the files from 1593 were not covered and so have suffered great damage and loss.
From Michaelmas 1600 onwards the rolls are 'signed' 'Coldham', perhaps the name of a clerk of the bails appointed at about that date, although the office is not specifically mentioned in descriptions of the court made during Elizabeth's reign. A Lawrence Coldham appears as an attorney in the court at about the same time, and may be the same man.
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