Monday, 13 July 2015

Oyer and Terminer



The following publications have to do with Assizes, Curia Regis (King's court) and
Oyer and Terminer. These are names for court proceedings, civil and criminal cases, including treason and felonies. Other names are Courts Leet and Courts Baron.


Throughout you will see, for example, vjs viijd.  These are fines in roman numerals that were used at the time. In this case it stands for 6s 8d, or 6 shillings 8 pence (1/3 pound).

My ancestor John Singleton was occupying a house in Preston, Lancashire and the branches of a neighbours tree were hanging over his house.  The neighbour was to cut the branches but he didn't, and in the follow-up was being fined 6s 8d for every month they were not cut.  This is the entry from the Courts Leet of Preston 1653:


We find and present Evan Rogerson hath not performed the 5th presentment of the last Leet in cutting his wood which hanges over Henry Wilson's house in the ffryergate (Friargate), in the possession of John Singleton, and he therefore according to the presentment aforesaid forfeited his fine of 6s 8d, and we do amerce him in every month the same continues undone in 6s 8d.

John was mentioned in the court books again in 1669 because his unmuzzled dog bit the butcher's wife and daughter, for which he was fined 13s 4d. Every week thereafter that the dog was unmuzzled he was to pay an additional 6s 8d.

In the Court Leet record of October 1732, George Singleton, along with 12 other neighbours, were charged with selling ale and beer from their homes without a proper license. They were fined 20 shillings each.

I also have Syngleton (Singleton) ancestors mentioned in the Lancashire Assize Rolls for the year 1269.


Check back of the publications for a nominal index.


Relevant Links:

Preston (Lancashire) Court Leet records 1653+, Pub. 1905

A Calendar of the Lancashire & Cheshire Assize Rolls 

Three early assize rolls for the county of Nortymberland, sæc XIII (Latin)

Three Yorkshire assize rolls for the reigns of King John and King Henry III

Autumn assizes, 1876: the courts of Oyer and Terminer and general gaol delivery of ssize and Nisi Pruis - Schedule for the Province of Ontario

The Expenses of the Judges of Assize Riding the Western and Oxford Circuits

Staffordshire Assize Roll : 56 Henry III

Northumberland pleas from the Curia Regis and assize rolls, 1198-1272

Curia Domini Regis - Cumberland, Derb', Devon, Dorset (Latin) Vol 1

Curia Domini Regis - Cumberland, Derb', Devon, Dorset (Latin) Vol 2

Courts Baron and Courts Leet of Manchester, K

Records of the Baron Court of Stitchill (Scotland) 1655-1807

Rolls of the assizes held in the Channel Islands in the second year of the reign of King Edward II, AD 1309 (Pubished 1903)

Cases decided in the Court of Oyer and Terminer, Deleware 1800's

Cases of High Treason at a Court of Oyer & Terminer, Dublin 1803, Vol 1.

Cases of High Treason at a Court of Oyer & Terminer, Dublin 1803, Vol 2

Trials for High Treason in Scotland: held at Stirling, Glasgow, Dumbarton, Paisley and Ayr, in the year 1820

Report and testimony from Grand Jury, Oyer and Terminer, Nov-Dec 1868, concerning election irregularities - New York




Related post: Do the Crime, Do the Time


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