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Courts of Requests

Of these there are several in different parts of the metropolis for the speedy and summary adjudication of small debts;—for the settlement of debts under 40s. but extending to 5l. in the city of London. In the ninth year of Henry VIII. a court of conscience, or court of requests, was erected, and has been confirmed and amended by various succeeding statutes. The practice is by summons. If the party do not appear, the commissioners proceed summarily, examining the witnesses of both parties on oath, and according to their own judgment, pronounce a verdict. These courts are extremely useful, though there is something arbitrary in their constitution. If the party summoned do not appear, the commissioners have power to apprehend and commit. The time and expense of obtaining summary redress in this court are very inconsiderable, which renders it of great service to trade.—The lord mayor and court of aldermen appoint monthly such aldermen and commoners to sit as commissioners in this court as they think fit: and these, or any three of them, compose a court, kept in Guildhall every Wednesday and Saturday, from eleven till two o'clock, to hear and determine such causes as are brought before them. Besides the Court of Requests, held at Guildhall, for the city, there is one in Vine street, Piccadilly; one in Fulwood's Rents, High Holborn; another in St. Margaret's Hill, Southwark; one in Whitechapel; and One in Castle Street, Leicester Square. The latter courts are generally managed by tradesmen of respectability.

Related pages:


Lord Chancellor's Court

Vice-Chancellor's Court



King's Bench

Common Pleas

Exchequer Chamber

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