With all replevin writs, if the sheriff was able to execute the writ, no return of this fact into Chancery was required. In the initial stage no return had to be made even if the sheriff was not able to execute the writ. The presence of such writs on Chancery files therefore requires explanation.
It is possible that some are unidentified strays from the files of the court of Common Pleas or of justices itinerant, which have been separated from the writ pone which removed the case out of the county court into their jurisdiction. Others seem to have been returned to Chancery with the reasons for failure to execute, to serve as warrant for further process. Yet others seem to have been returned together with the sicut alias writs to which, in some cases, they are still sewn.
The bulk of replevin writs surviving in Chancery are of sicut alias, issued when the sheriff failed to execute the first mandate. These were returnable into Chancery. The role of Chancery ended either with a successful replevying or with a persistently disobedient sheriff answering for his actions in the court of King's Bench.
Writs of replevin disappeared largely because they were superseded by the writ habeas corpus cum causa and by replevin by plaint.
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