Court of King's Bench: Plea Side: Ballia per Recognicionem Rolls
Docket rolls recording the issue of special bails to defendants sued in the Court of King's Bench.
Each entry gives the name of the county or borough; the name of the person bailed and their place of residence (in London their parish); the writ under which they had been arrested (usually habeas corpus returned cepi corpus but occasionally another, such as capias ad computandum); the name of the person at whose suit he had been arrested; the names and places of residence of usually two, but occasionally more, pledges; and the name of the attorney. The entries are not dated.
Special bail was granted to defendants in cases where the amount of the cause of the action exceeded a certain fixed sum, which in the Elizabethan period was apparently fixed at £20, although later it was reduced by statute. At least two real pledges for appearance had to be given, who made recognisances to that effect; the short title of the rolls, sometimes marked on the roll cover but never as the main heading, was thus simply Recogniciones.
From Michaelmas term 1600 the rolls are signed Coldham, perhaps the name of a clerk of the bails appointed at about that time, although the office is not specifically mentioned in descriptions of the court made during the reign of Elizabeth. 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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