The Office of Justice of the Peace in England in Its Origin and Development: In Its Origin and Development

The Office of Justice of the Peace in England in Its Origin and Development: In Its Origin and Development

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The Office of Justice of the Peace in England in Its Origin and Development: In Its Origin and Development

The Office of Justice of the Peace in England in Its Origin and Development: In Its Origin and Development

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Excerpt

The following pages constitute the partial result of a study which I began under the direction of Professor F. York Powell at Oxford University in 1898. My original purpose was to make a somewhat detailed research into English local government during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and I devoted some time to an investigation of the county histories and records.

As the work progressed, I became conscious of the need of a better historical foundation, and turned my attention to a study of the justice of the peace. The undertaking was shortly afterward laid aside for three years until, as Fellow of Columbia University, I was able to continue my study, although without the aid of many sources which are available only in England. However, the limitation of the subject to the period ending with the accession of James I. has enabled me to make the work in a measure complete; for the county records now in existence, so far as I have been able to discover by personal research and correspondence, do not extend beyond the reign of Elizabeth, and the documents of that time are few and fragmentary. The chief sources like the Statutes of the Realm, Calendars of the Rolls, and Rotuli Parliamentorum have been at my disposal and I have endeavored to make use of all the important material they contain.

The method of treatment is to be explained by the fact that I have sought to trace the historical evolution of the office as well as to describe its constitution and competency.

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