Records of the High Sheriff, Assizes
|Title:||Records of the High Sheriff, Assizes|
INTRODUCTION BY DR G. H. FOWLER
Founder Chairman, County Records Office and Bedfordshire Historical Record Society first Archivist
Ignoramus Notes by Mr. G.D. Gilmore bill ignored by the grand jury, and never becomes an indictment and is never before the petty jury. This is not an acquittal, and another bill may be presented.
B.V. Billa vera The bill of indictment has been considered by the grand jury, who present the offence, and the bill thereupon ceases to be a bill (i.e., a draft) and becomes an indictment. The names on the back are witnesses.
Po se Ponit se super patriam: a plea of not guilty
Non cul Non culpabilis: verdict of not guilty
Nec re Nec recessit: (part of the verdict) 'did not fly for it'. This issue was put to the jury after verdict, as to resist arrest by flight would have caused a forfeiture.
Cogn Cognovit indicatmentum: a plea of guilty
Pet. li Petit librum: pleads benefit of clergy
Le Legit: reads the neck-verse
Caut Cauterizetur: to be branded on the thumb, to shew that the prisoner had had benefit of clergy, which barred that plea in another case
Re. pro transport [1678(W) 3. 42] by 31 Chas II c. 2 a felon might pray to be transported, and the court could agree. The statute belongs to 1679, but this roll is identified as W. 1678. Does this mean 1678-9 ? G.D.
The entry in this case properly is po. se quiet' de fr' do: cul pro bo. val vs re pro trasport'
Quiet' east quietus: acquitted
De fr' do: de fraccione domus: of house-breaking
Re (probably) remaneat (in prisona): to remain in prison pending transportation
Ca nul catalla nulla: he has no chattels, so there can be no forfeiture
Sus per coll suspendatur per collum: sentence of death
Quoad (as to) word to separate different findings as to persons jointly charged, and different pleas and verdicts to separate counts in one indictment
Flagel flagelletur: to be whipped
Nul. bo nulla bona: no goods - same as ca. nul.
Fin fecit finem: originally a compromise, whereby the defendant, while not admitting (protestando) that he was guilty, but not wishing to defend, was allowed to make an end of it by a payment to the Crown. Here (apparently) a fine imposed by the Court - quaere by consent
Ad val xd [HSA/1679W(3)[ ad valorem ?lands belong to the convict, worth 10d a year, which will be forfeit. In this roll they never seem to find terr' null' as you wd expect
Terr' null' no lands
Coroner's inquest [HSA/1680W(5)] A coroner's inquest should be a presentment. A finding by a coroner's jury is presented to a petty jury, as a true bill found by a grand jury is.
(8) And in every roll. These "remitted" actions were not commenced in Bedfordshire, removed (by certiorari, etc.) to Westminster, and remitted to Bedfordshire by procedendo. They were pleaded at Westminster to be tried there nisi prius there should be an assize. In practice the parties waited for an assize in order to have a jury of the country. Communis bancus Usually called the Court of Common Pleas (or the Common Place in some Acts and reports, which mistaken spelling retains the former pronunciation of ea. and final s.). The habeas corpora is a second writ to summon a jury. The first (venire facias juratores) was never executed, as it would have been returnable at Westminster. The second writ is chosen to avoid delay
Va. ob. [HSA/1682W(2)n.28] This must mean that the goods stolen are valued at ½d, and presumably this is also the meaning at 27 and ob.cit., since there is never a finding about land.
extr' [HSA/1683W(2)22] & ext' extrahitur: estreated, i.e., recognizance forfeit for non-appearance
[HSA/1683W(2)32] et al. B.V. only, with no plea or verdict. Probably the prosecutor did not appear. These always seem to be last of the indictments, as if they had been put back to the end of the criminal business to give the prosecutor time to appear.
Fiat extraccio : to be estreated, i.e. enforced (of a fine)
Com E.36 [HSA/1684W(3)42] I imagine this should be
Con(tra statutum) E. 36, whatever this was.
felon [HSA/1685S(1)14] felonie This seems to mean he is found guilty of felony (house-breaking), but not guilty of burglary. There should be two counts.
et del [HSA/1687S(1)11] deliberatur (to the hangman, to be branded). This looks more like a record than a sentence, as 'to be delivered' is implied, in cauterizetur, so I suggest -atur, not -etur, but del' may be part of the full form. They are not always consistent.
re & re in gaola [HSA/1688S(1)10] remaneat in gaola: to remain in gaol until his fine is paid
pet.1ar. petty larceny (seems not to be Latinized) The Latin should be parvum latrocinium, but I have seen the form petel.
|Held by:||Bedfordshire Archives & Records Service, not available at The National Archives|
The collection was purchased in the summer of 1934 by instalments, from Robert Rawley, then of Chertsey Road, Ashford Common, Middx., a dealer in old documents. He stated that he had bought them from a "waste paper merchant."
Some are documents made for the Sheriff in preparation for the Assize; some are submitted to the Assize by the Clerk of the Peace or Justices of the Peace. They are therefore, strictly speaking, Public Records. The attention of the Master of the Rolls and of the Deputy Keeper of Public Records was called to the fact that these documents were being sold in open market to various Counties and private purchasers; after careful consideration, the authorities seem to have decided not to insist upon their transference to public custody. The Deputy Keeper was able to trace that they had recently been removed from a house in King's Bench Walk in the Middle Temple.
These documents are therefore to be regarded as 'Unofficial Muniments', having been out of official custody for an unknown period.
These documents have been classed as H.S.A. (High Sheriff, Assizes), because the Sheriff was the County Officer, responsible for bringing together the Justices of the Peace, county and borough officials, prisoners, witnesses, and jurymen, under the writ of Venice facias which was addressed to him by the Royal Justices; and for executing the judgments of the Court after the Assizes.
They are clearly the files of Clerks of Assize on the old 'Norfolk Circuit', which included Beds. Bucks. Cambs. Hunts. Norf. Suff. Such files and other records of Assizes were usually retained by the Clerks of Assize, till 1911, when a mass of them was transferred to the Public Record Office from the different Circuits (see Ginseppe's Guide to P.R.O. i. 240-243).
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