Court of King's Bench: Plea Side: Plea (Judgment) Rolls
A series of rolls which continues from Easter term 1702 the record of civil pleas in the Court of King's Bench, formerly recorded in the civil pleas section of the Coram Rege rolls, and also continues the enrolment of deeds previously also included in the latter.
They become progressively less useful as a record of business as attorneys increasingly tended, especially after about 1760, not to file the enrolments of cases with which they were concerned. The rolls contain some enclosure awards.
During the reign of Queen Anne the rolls for Hilary and Trinity terms are in two parts and those for Michaelmas and Easter only one, continuing the pattern followed by the Coram Rege rolls from the late sixteenth century; presumably the explanation continues to be the practice, by plaintiffs resident outside London and Middlesex, of filing large numbers of bills on the Plea Side of the court so that they would be heard at nisi prius in the following Lent and Summer assizes respectively.
Between 1714 and 1739 there is normally only a single part for each term, but from then until 1773 the pattern of two parts for each Hilary and Trinity term resumes.
Thereafter until 1780 there are normally three parts for those terms, by which time the other two terms are in two parts.
Subsequently the rolls for Hilary and Trinity come to be divided into as many as six parts, with Michaelmas and Easter in as many as four each, before the number of parts declines again under William IV; in 1839 the main terms are down once again to two parts and the smaller to one, and after 1846 all terms had only one roll each, a pattern which continues until the series ends. The decline is at least partly attributable to the increasing tendency of attorneys not to hand in for filing the enrolments of cases with which they were concerned.
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