Britannia, by William Camden

Courts or Tribunals

Small T THE Supream Court in Ireland, is the Parliament; which, at the pleasure of the King of England, is called and dissolved by his Deputy; and yet in Edward the second’s time it was enacted,Claus. an. An.12. That Parliaments should be held in Ireland every year. Courts.Here are like-wise four Law-Terms in the year, as in England; and † † Five—the Star-Chamber, C.four Courts of Justice, the Chancery; King’s Bench, Common Pleas, and the Exchequer: ⌈There was also the Court of Star-Chamber, called The Court of Castle-Chamber, because it was usually kept in the Castle of Dublin; but it hath never been held since the Court of Star-Chamber was suppressed in England.⌉ Here are also Justices of Assize, Nisi prius, and Oyer and Terminer, as in England, and Justices of Peace in every County: and the King has his Serjeant at Law, his Attorney, and Solicitor General.

There ¦ ¦ Are, C.were also other Governors to administer justice in the remoter Provinces, (he in Conaught * * Is, C.was stiled chief Commissioner; and he in Munster, President:) who † † Have, C.had certain of the Gentry and Lawyers to assist them, and ¦ ¦ Are, C.were all directed by the Lord Deputy. ⌈But since the Country came to be well-inhabited with English, and far more civilized than heretofore, these Presidencies of Munster and Conaught have been superseded, viz. by King Charles the second, about the year 1671.⌉

Laws. As for their Laws; the Common-law us’d there, is the same with this of our’s in England. For thus it is in the Records of the Kingdom; King Henry the third, in the twelfth year of his reign, sent an order to his Justiciary in Ireland, that he should assemble the Archbishops, Bishops, Barons, and Knights, and make the Charter of King John to be read to them; which he did accordingly, and oblig’d them to take an oath to observe the Laws and Customs of England, and that they would be govern’d by the same. And even the Parliamentary Laws, or Statutes, of England, were in use in Ireland, till King Henry the seventh’s time. For in the tenth year of his reign, they were establish’d and confirm’d by Authority of Parliament in Ireland. But since that time, they have had Parliamentary Statutes of their own making.

Besides the civil Magistrates aforesaid; * * They have, C.they had also one Military Officer, named the Marshal,Marshal of Ireland. who † † Is, C.was very serviceable to the State, not only in restraining the insolence of the soldiers, but also in checking the rebels, who ¦ ¦ Are, C.were apt to be troublesom now and then. ⌈But there being now no War in the Kingdom, neither is there any Marshal.⌉ This office in old time belong’d hereditarily to the Lords Morley of England, as appears by the publick Records. 9 of King John. For King John gave it to be held in fee, in these very words: We have given and granted to John Marshal, for his homage and service, our Marshalship of Ireland, with all appurtenances. We have given him likewise, for his homage and service, the Cantred wherein stands the town of Kilbunny, to have and to hold to him and his heirs, of us and our heirs. From him it descended, in a right line, to the Barons of Morley. This Marshal * * Has, C.had under him one † Submare­scallum.Provost-Marshal, and sometimes more, according to the difficulties and exigencies of affairs; who exercised their authority by Commission and Instructions under the Great Seal of Ireland. But these and other matters of this nature, I leave to the diligence of others. Concerning the methods of Justice and Government among the Wild Irish, I shall insert somewhat in a more proper place, when I come to treat of their Manners and Customs.

Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:52