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plars. At the suppression of that order, it was purchased by the profes sors of the common law, and converted into Inns. They are called the Inner and Middle Temple, in relation to Essex house, which also belonged to the Templars, and is called the Outer Temple, because situated without Temple Bar. The king's treasure was kept in the Middle Temple, during the time of the Templars. The master of the Temple was the chief officer, and was summoned to parliament in the 47, Henry III., and from him the chief master of the Temple church is called "the Master of the Temple."
THE INNER TEMPLE is situated in the east of Middle Temple-gate, and has a cloister, a large garden, and spacious walks. The society consists of benchers, barristers, and students; the former of whom, as governors at commons, have their table at the upper end of the hall, and the barristers and students in the middle.
THE MIDDLE TEMPLE is joined to the Inner Temple on the west, and is thus denominated in consequence of its having been the middle or central part of the ancient Temple or priory of Knights Templars.
LINCOLN'S INN is situated on the west side of Chancery Lane, where the houses of the bishop of Chester and the Black Friars formerly stood; the latter was erected about the year 1222, and the former about 1226; but both of them falling into the possession of Henry Lacey, earl of Lincoln, he built in their place a stately mansion for his city residence. It afterwards reverted to the bishopric of Chichester, and was demised by Robert Sherbourn, bishop of that see, to Mr William Selliard, a student, for a term of years; after the expiration of which, Dr Richard Sampson, his successor, in the year 1536, passed the inheritance thereof to the said Selliard and Eustace his brother; and the latter, in 1579, conveyed the house and gardens in feu to Richard Kingsmill and the rest of the benchers.
GRAY'S INN lies on the north side of Holborn, near the bars, and is so called in consequence of having been formerly the residence of the ancient and noble family of Gray of Wilton, who demised it in the reign of Edward III. to several students of the law. It is, like the other inns of court, inhabited by barristers and students of the law, and also by many gentlemen of independent fortune, who may choose it as an agreeable retirement, or for the pleasure of the walks. The chief ornament of this inn is its spacious garden, which is open to the well-dressed part of the public every day.
Besides these principal inns of court, there are two SERJEANTS' Inns, the one in Fleet Street, and the other in Chancery Lane.
THE INNS OF CHANCERY were probably so called because they were anciently inhabited by such clerks as chiefly studied the forming of writs, which regularly belonged to the Cursitors, who are officers of chancery. The first of these is Thavie's Inn, begun in the reign of Edward III.,
and since purchased by the society of Lincoln's Inn; Clement's Inn; Clifford's Inn, formerly the dwelling-house of lord Clifford; Staple Inn, belonging to the merchants of the staple; Lion's Inn, anciently a common inn with the sign of the lion; Furnival's Inn, now handsomely rebuilt, and Barnard's Inn. These were considered as only preparatory schools for younger students; and many were entered here before they were admitted into the inns of court. They are now chiefly occupied by attorneys and solicitors. They belong, however, to some of the inns of court, who formerly sent barristers annually to read to them.*
PROCEEDINGS IN COURTS OF LAW.
HAVING before given a brief sketch of the different Courts of Law in England, it will be proper to take a succinct view of the method of proceeding therein, both in civil actions and criminal cases. The following observations will be restricted to the forms observed in the courts of general jurisdiction; for if there be any peculiarities in conducting the business in the inferior courts, they being of a local nature, are consequently of little interest or importance to the public. But in general trials are conducted much the same in the lower courts as before the superior tribunals. And we shall here give some observations on,
I. Trials in Civil Actions.-II. Courts of Equity.-III. Punishments. -IV. Homicide.-V. Courts of Criminal Jurisdiction.-VI. Proceedings in Criminal cases.
I. TRIALS IN CIVIL ACTIONS.-The commencement of a civil suit is the original writ. When a person has received an injury, and is determined on seeking the remedy provided by law, he sues out from the court of chancery an original, or the writ, which is applicable to his particular case. This is directed to the sheriff, requiring him to command the offender to do justice to the party complaining, or to appear in court to answer the accusation against him. The sheriff is bound to make a return of the writ, and this should be done on the following term: but as the law allows the defendant three days' grace for his appearance, the court does not usually sit for despatch of business till the fourth or appearance day. The means of compelling the defendant to appear in court is called the process, of which the primary step is by giving the party notice, by summons to obey the original writ. If the defendant disobey this warning, a pone is issued out, or writ of attachment,.so called from the words of the
* Blackstone, Custance, Leigh's Picture of London.
writ, pone per vadium et salvos plegios' put by gage and safe pledges, A. B., the defendant, &c."—If he neglect to appear after attachment, he is farther compelled by writ of distringas, commanding the sheriff to distrain the defendant of his goods if he do not appear. And if he have no goods, then a writ of capias is issued, empowering the sheriff to take the defendant's body and bring him into court, on the day of the return to answer the plaintiff's plea. If after repeated writs of capias and proclamation made, the defendant do not appear and cannot be found, an outlawry takes place. Such outlawry is putting the man out of the protection of the law, and is attended by a forfeiture of all his goods and chattels to the king. But the common practice is to issue the writ of capias in the first instance; and the sheriff can only serve the defendant with a copy of the writ, and a written notice to appear by his attorney in court to defend the action. But if the plaintiff make affidavit, that the cause of action amounts to £10 and upwards, then he may arrest the defendant. An arrest must be by corporeal seizing or touching the defendant's body; but the bailiff cannot enter his house by violence, but must watch his opportunity to take him. When the defendant is regularly arrested, he must either go to prison or safe custody, or put in special bail to the sheriff as security for his appearance. This appearance is effected by putting in bail to the action. These bails, who must be at least two in number, must enter into a recognizance in a sum equal, or sometimes double, to that to which the plaintiff has sworn: whereby they undertake, that if the defendant be condemned in the action, he shall pay the costs and condemnation or render himself a prisoner, or that they will pay it for him. Such then is the process or mode which the law appoints for bringing the defendant into court, to try the suit and abide the issue.
After the process follows the pleadings; that is, the plaintiff states a declaration of his case, to which the defendant must in a reasonable time make his defence or put in a plea, otherwise the plaintiff will at once recover judgment by default, unless he and the plaintiff can agree to make up the matter.
Pleas are of two sorts; dilatory pleas, and pleas to the action.
The fourth stage of the action is the issue, which is the end of all the proceedings; and is either on a matter of law or matter of fact. The former is called a demurrer; which confesses the facts to be true, but denies that any injury is thereby done to the plaintiff. The latter, or an issue of fact, is when the fact only is disputed. When he who denies the fact has tendered the issue, both parties are said to join issue, having agreed to rest the fate of the cause upon the decision of a jury of the country; and this brings us to the trial in open court.
A trial, then, or probation, is the mode which the law of the land has settled for a criterion of truth and falsehood.
In civil cases the law acknowledges seven special trials; viz. 1 by record; 2. by inspection; 3. by certificate; 4. by witnesses; 5. by wager of battel; 6. by wager of law; and 7. by jury.
1. A trial by record, is when a matter of record is pleaded in any action; and the defendant pleads that there is no such record existing. Upon this, issue is joined, and the plaintiff is allowed time to produce the said record, and on his failure the defendant shall have judgment to recover. The cases usually tried by record are titles of nobility. Thus, whether such a one be earl or no earl, whether baron or no baron, shall be tried by the king's patent only, which is matter of record.
2. Trial by inspection, is when the point or issue is the object of sense; so that the judges upon the testimony of their own senses may decide the question; as in cases of nonage, idiotism, and the like. So also the issue respecting any circumstance relative to a particular day past, may be tried by inspection of the almanac by the court. Thus, an appeal upon a writ of error was once made from an inferior court, at Lynn Regis, assigning the error to be, that the judgment was given on a Sunday: it appearing to have been the 26th February, in the 26th year of the reign of queen Elizabeth. Upon inspecting the almanacs of that year the fact was found to be so; and the judgment was reversed accordingly.
3. The trial by certificate is allowed in such cases when the evidence of the person certifying is the only proper criterion of the point in dispute. As if A. B. asserts that he was at Jamaica at such a time, the court may determine the fact upon a certificate under the hand and seal of the governor of that island.
4. The trial by witnesses, without the intervention of a jury, is the only method of trial known to the civil law, in which the judge is left to form his sentence in his own breast upon the credit of the witnesses examined. But it is very rarely used in the law of England, which prefers the trial by jury before it in all cases.
5, 6. The trial by wager of battel, and by wager of law, are both now quite out of use, and therefore need only be mentioned.
7. Trial by jury having been already detailed, page 51, need not be here repeated, but merely to supply what was then omitted. The evidence having been gone through on both sides, the judge proceeds to sum up the whole to the jury, in presence of the parties, their counsel, and all others, in open court. In doing which his lordship observes wherein the main question or principal issue lies; states what evidence has been adduced in it, and gives his opinion to the jury, in matters of law, arising upon that evidence. If the case be not very clear, the jury then retire from the bar to consider of their verdict. They must be kept entirely by themselves, and not suffered to speak to either of the parties, or
their agents; nor to receive any fresh evidence in private, nor cast lots for whom they shall decide; as any of these circumstances would invalidate their verdict. And to avoid intemperance, or unnecessary delay, they are to be kept without meat, drink, fire, or candle, unless by permission of the judge, till they are all unanimously agreed. If they should not be agreed before the judges are about to leave the town, they are to be threatened or imprisoned; yet the judges are not bound to wait for their decision, but may take them from town to town, through the circuit, in a cart, until they can make up their minds.
When the jury are agreed, they return back to the bar; and before the verdict is delivered, the plaintiff is bound to appear in court by himself, or his attorney, or counsel, in order to answer the amercement to which he is liable if he fail in his suit. If the plaintiff do not appear, he is said to be non-suit, and no verdict can be given; and therefore it is usual for him, when he or his counsel perceive that he has not sufficient evidence to maintain his issue, to be voluntarily non-suited. Whereupon the action is ended, and the defendant shall recover his costs. The reason of this practice is, because after a non-suit, the plaintiff may commence an action again ; but after a verdict and judgment against him, he cannot attack the defendant again upon the same grounds.
A verdict means to speak truly, by which the jury openly declare to have found for the plaintiff or defendant. A special verdict is when the jury simply state the naked facts as they find them to be proved, and pray the advice of the court thereon, concluding conditionally, that if upon the whole of the matter, the court shall be of opinion that they find for him; if otherwise, then they find for the defendant. A special case is another species of verdict, when the jury find generally for the plaintiff, subject to the opinion of the judge or court above, on a special case, stated by the counsel on both sides, with regard to a matter of law;—when the verdict is given and recorded in court, the trial is finished, and the jury is to be discharged.
The judgment of the court follows the verdict of the jury, but it may be suspended and finally arrested, for it cannot be entered till the next term after trial had, and that upon notice to the other party; so that if any defect of justice happened at the trial through surprise, inadvertency, or misconduct, the party may have sufficient relief in the court above, by obtaining a new trial; which is always granted, when the reasons for applying for one are sufficiently weighty.
Arrests of judgment arise from intrinsic causes appearing on the face of the record. Of this kind are, first, when the declaration varies totally from the original writ; secondly, when the verdict differs materially from the pleadings or issue thereon; or, thirdly, if the case laid in the declaration, be not sufficient in point of law on which to found an action.