Catalogue description Chancery: Subpoena Office and Predecessors: Sub Pena Writ Files

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Details of C 253
Reference: C 253
Title: Chancery: Subpoena Office and Predecessors: Sub Pena Writ Files

Summonses issued to defendants on the equity side of Chancery, which give no details of the suit against them, under threat of specified penalties for failure to comply.

Sporadically at first, and then consistently, the name of the plaintiff was endorsed upon the writ, so that the defendant might know to whom he had to answer. After 1492 the series is very imperfect.

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

Date: 1353-1677
Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: Latin
Physical description: 57 file(s)
Administrative / biographical background:

The formule of the earlier summonses are extremely varied both in the reasons given for their issue and in the court in which the defendant was to appear. In this they reflect the gradual separation of the chancellor's position as a member and servant of the council dealing equitably with petitions from that of being head of the Chancery court of equity.

Early sub pena writs were issued either upon a petition to the king or a petition addressed to the chancellor personally, the latter becoming the standard form for all bills in later times.

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