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WILLIAM STUBBS Seventeen lectures on the study of medieval and modern history and kindred subjects


Sir John Froissart's Chronicles of England, France, Spain and the Ajoining Countries from the latter part of the reign of Edward II to the coronation of Henry IV in 12 volumes 

Chronicles of Enguerrand De Monstrelet (Sir John Froissart's Chronicles continuation) in 13 volumes 

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Seventeen lectures on the study of medieval and modern history and kindred subjects
page 349

XIII.] ANGLO-SAXON COURTS. nuns, sacred places, churches and churchyards, sacred pro perty, lands, books and the furniture of churches, were .under the special protection, and, as protection implied jurisdiction, under the jurisdiction of the bishops, who likewise had authority in matrimonial and like causes. There was a territorial episcopate, and the bishops exercised their judicial powers with the help of archdeacons and deans. But, it would appear, these judicial matters were transacted in the ordinary gemots of the hundred and the shire. Just as the court baron, court leet, and court customary of a manor are held together, so the court spiritual and the hundred or county court were held together; and the proceedings were probably in strict analogy. Just as suretyship was the rule in the hundred court, it was in the bishop's court ; so also compurgation and ordeal, the law of witness, and the claim of the mundborh over the person of the litigant. I am not prepared to say that through intercourse with the French Church some portions of the Roman procedure may not already have crept in, but, so far as I can see, I am inclined to the belief that, whilst there was a customary canonical law and a substantially canonical judicature, the character of the procedure was customary and primitive, and differed in nothing materially from the lay procedure. The bishop declared the ecclesiastical law as the ealdorman did the secular, the assessors determined the point on which evidence or oaths were to be taken, and the suitors were technically the judges. Of course all this is stated subject to correction: but this I suppose to be the case at the Conquest, and more or less the case until the close of the reign of Henry I, for the changes introduced -by the Conqueror were not instantaneous in their effects. And we come now to the consideration of the effects of the Conquest on this branch of our constitutional system.

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