Catalogue description Chancery: Files, Tower Series, Habeas Corpus Cum Causa

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Details of C 250
Reference: C 250
Title: Chancery: Files, Tower Series, Habeas Corpus Cum Causa

Writs instructing the sheriff or other keeper of a prison to bring prisoners, together with the cause of their imprisonment, before the king in Chancery on a specified day.

Most of these records were formerly included in C 47 and C 202

Date: 1353-1428
Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: Latin
Physical description: 18 file(s)
Administrative / biographical background:

The time allowed to produce prisoners was extremely short; most had to be produced within four days and a significant number on the day of issue. The appearance of the prisoner in court in the hope of immediate release on bail made the habeas corpus cum causa more attractive than the older writ of replevin.

By 1414 its use in all courts had become so popular that it was restricted by statute to persons imprisoned in cases where no judgement had yet been given. Despite this curtailment, however, the numbers returned to Chancery quickly recovered, and soon the purpose of the writ was beginning to be adapted to that substantive remedy against abuse of the royal prerogative which led to the conflicts of the seventeenth century and the Habeas Corpus Act of 1679.

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