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King's Bench

IN the King's Bench, which is the supreme court of common law, are determined pleas between the crown and the subject; those of treasons, felonies, &c., which properly belong to the king. Here likewise are tried breaches of the peace, oppression, and mis-government; and this court corrects the errors of all the judges, and justices of England, not only in pleas of the crown but in all pleas real, personal, and mixed; except only pleas in the exchequer. The court is general, and extends to all England, and wherever it is held the law supposes the king to be present. Edward IV. sate three days in this court in the second year of his reign, wholly to see (as he was young) the form of administering justice, King James the First also sate there for a similar reason. It cannot be, from the nature and constitution of it, fixed to any certain place, but may follow the king's person wherever be goes: for which reason, all process issuing out of this court, in the king's name, is returnable wheresoever he shall then be in England. It has, for some centuries past, usually sate at Westminster, being an ancient palace of the crown; but might remove with the king to York, or Exeter, if he thought proper to command it: and we find, that after Edward I. had conquered Scotland, it actually sate at Roxburgh.

The sittings of this court for the city of London, are held in its Guildhall.

Related pages:


Lord Chancellor's Court

Vice-Chancellor's Court



Common Pleas

Exchequer Chamber

Courts of Requests

Court of Admiralty

Doctors' Common

Insolvent Debtors' Court

Law Proceedings

Mode of making a Judge

Old Bailey Sessions

Inns of Court

The Temple, Inner, Middle

Lincoln's Inn

Gray's Inn

The Inns of Chancery

Source: Leigh's New Picture of London. Printed for Samuel Leigh, 18, Strand;
by W. Clowes, Northumberland Court. 1819