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P R E F A C E.

Aving perused several Books written H on the Subject of Court-Keeping, and

finding them defective in many Particulars, and confused in the whole, not any one hngly, nor all of them together, containing fully the Modern Methods of Court-Keeping, and little or no Notice taken of any other Part of the Buhness of Land-Stewardship, which is not inconßderable ; I bave adventured to publish the following Sheets, to endeavour to make up the Deficiencies of the others on this Subject.

And as it may be expected from me to give fome particular Account of the following Work, to set forth bow far it contains more necessary Coke's ComInformations than any other, or even all the plete Copy: Books now extant on this Head; I shall only chin of Courts; take Notice, That the other Books now in Scroggs of Being of this Nature do not comprehend a Courts Leet; Complete Method of Court-Keeping, there be- ria; Greening no such Thing in any of them as a Charge wood of in the Court Leet and Court Baron so proper and extenhve, (although it be in more Words

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Courts,

in Greenwood) as is contained in this, nor any Precedents of Copies of Court-Roll for Lives, which are most commonly used at this Day, (although there are Copies of Inheritance in Scroggs) nor any Account of a Court of Survey, and

very

little Notice taken of Pro cess in the Practice of the Court Baron relating to A&tions, Leases for Life or Years, Affignments, Mortgages of such Leafes, Surveys of Manors, Stewards Accounts, with leveral other Things of less Consequence ; and what they do contain, is not so regularly digested as to render them a perfe&t Directory to a Steward without Experience : All which Defects I have endeavoured to supply by Amendments, and by the Addition of Colleća tions, which I have taken in above ten Years Experience. So that, altogether, I hope it will appear complete, according to the present Practice.

In this Sixth Edition is added a great Variety of New Precedents, (particulariy for the Infranchisement of Copybolds) drawn by some of the most Eminent Conveyancers, and many adjudged Cases relating to Copyholds, published by the best of the modern Reporters, as Lord Raymond, Comyns, Sir John Strange, &c. to the present Time.

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The Nature of Courts Leet and Courts Baron,

with a General Introduction to every Thing
incident to them, according to Law and
Custom.

EET, Letá, otherwise called a Law-day, A Court Leet
seems to be derived from the Saxon Word what. Its Ori.
Læo, as it appears by the Laws of King Ed-ginal and Aug
ward, set out by Lambert. It was a Court thority,

of Jurisdiction above the Wapentake or Hundred. Many Lords, together with their Courts Baron, have likewise Leets adjoined, and thereby do inquire of such Transgressions, as are subject to the Inquiry and Correction of this Court. But in whore Manor soever it be kept, 'tis accounted the King's Court, because the Authority thereof originally belonged to the Crown. Kitch. Fol. 6. Dyer, Fol. 64. faith, 'That this Leet was first derived from the Sheriff's Court: And it inquireth of all Offences under High Treason, committed against the Crown and Dignity of the King, tho it cannot punish many, but must certify them to the Justices of Aslize, by the Stat. 1 Ed. 3. c. ult. And it is called the View of Frankpledge, for Court Leet, for B

that what ordained.

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that the King there may be certified by the View of the Steward, how many People are within every Leet, and also have an Account of their good Manners and Government; and every Person of the Age of 52 Years, which had remained there by a Year and a Day, to be sworn to be faithful to the King, and also to keep the People in Peace and Obedience.

This Court is to be kept twice in every Year; one Time within a Month after Easter, and the other Time within a Month after Michaelmas, at a certain Place within the Precinct ; and of this Court the Lord or his

Steward is Judge. A Court Baron A Court Baron is incident to and infeparable from what, and for a Manor. Thefe Courts were ordained to determine what ordain. Injuries, Trespasses, Debts, and other Actions that are ed.

under 40s. The Homage ought to inquire in this Court, that their Lords fhall not lose their Services, Customs, or Duties, but make their Suits in this Court as Obedience to their Lords, and present all common and private Nusances, which may prejudice their Lord's Manor, In this Court the Freeholders or Freefuitors are Judges.

This Court cannot fubfift without two Freesuitors or customary Copyholders, as the Court Leet may ; but it may confift of lefs than 12 Jurymen, which the

Court Leet cannot. A Manor, of A Manor confits of Demesnes and Services, and a what it con. Court Baron as incident, and this must be Time out filts. of Memory; for a Manor cannot begin at this Day,

because a Court Baron cannot now be made. The Court Baron is the chief Prop and Pillar of a Manor; for that no fooner faileth, but the Manor falleth to the

Ground: Orig'nal of For the Original of Manors, we find in our Books, Manors. that the ancient Kings of this Realm, who had all the

Lands of England in Demesne, (that is, in their own Hands) did grant a certain Compass or Circuit of Ground 'unto some great Personage, with Liberty to parcel the Land out to other inferior Tenants, reserving such Duties and Services as they thought convenient';

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with Power to keep Courts; where they might redress
Misdemeanors within such their Precincts, punish Of-
fences committed by their Tenants, and debate and
decide Controversies within their Jurisdiction; These
Lords and Noblemen performing such Services, and
paying such Rents, as the faid Kings by their Grants
teserved. Thefe Grantees were called Barons, and
were such as came to Parliament, and from thence it
tetains the Name of Court Baron to this Day; tho' in
Process of Time, by the Grants of such Barons, these
Lands and Manors came into the Hands of mean Men,
by Purchase, &c. as it is at this Time. Courts Baron,
by the Law, may be kept once every three weeks, at
any Place within the Manor.

For the Etymology of the Word Manor, some fancy Word Manot:
it to derive from Manurium, a Manuring the Ground; from whence
but others think (with more Probability) that it comes derived.
from the French Word Mesner, to govern or guide,
because the Lord hath the Government of the Te
bants within his Jurisdi&tion.

Upon the Creation of Manors, the Lords took as much as was necessary for their own Use into their Demesnes : They distributed as much as was convenient amongst their Tenants; and what was left was called the Lord's Waste, because it was neglected by the Lord.

Courts Baron differ from Coutes Leet in divers Respects, inter alia, as follow.

1. A Court Baron may be kept once in every threc Weeks, and as some think) oftener ; but a Court Leet by the Statute of Magna Chartd is to be kept but twice every Year; one time within a Month after EaJer, and another Time within a Month after Michaelmas,

2. A Court Baron may be kept at any place within the Manor ; but a Court Leet, by the Statute of Magná Charta, must be kept in loco certo ac determinato within the Precinct.

3. Originally Courts Baron belonged to inferior Lords of Manors; but Courts Leet originally belonged to the King

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