Court of King's Bench: Plea Side: Brevia Files

KB 136
Court of King's Bench: Plea Side: Brevia Files

Brevia files, including original and judicial writs, panels, inquisitions, etc. relating to cases heard by the Plea Side of the court, particularly on a variety of trespass writs. The files were at first kept by return day, but from Michaelmas 43 Edward III two or more return days are combined in a single file, and soon even the longer terms were covered by only two files, and from Hilary 4 James I they became simply parts 1 and 2 for each term. From Easter 18 Charles I there is only one file per term. Until the 15th century at least the writs were filed in a regular county order, but unlike the Common Pleas Brevia files (CP 52), these files do not include warrants of attorney. Writ business in the court declined as most suits began to be brought by bill, from the 15th century onwards, but the series continues until 1760. The first file includes many writs issued by Geoffrey fitz Peter as justiciar of King John in 1199-1200 when the king was in Normandy, and a few individual writs from the reign of Richard I. The second file is a collection of miscellaneous writs returned in the Bench, the King's Bench and eyres during the reign of Henry III. These formed the original basis of the series, which now predominantly consists of a regular series of King's Bench files, only a few of which survive from before 1306.

Held by:
The National Archives, Kew
Legal status:
Public Record
English and Latin
Physical description:
2104 file(s)
Access conditions:
Publication note:
There are some details about some of the contents of this series, as it was arranged following work in the 1930s, in J Conway Davies, 'Common Law Writs and Returns, Richard I to Richard II', I Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research, XXVI, pp 125-56. KB 136/1/1 is printed in Selden Society volume LXVII, with additions in volume LXXXIII; the PRO copy of the latter includes manuscript additions concerning other writs identified subsequently..

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