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THE COURT OF JUSTICE HALL, is held by the king's com. mission of oyer and terminer, at Justice Hall, in the Old Bailey, eight times a year, for trying of criminals for crimes committed within the city of London and county of Middlesex.
THE COURTS OF CORONER and ESCHEATOR, are held before the lord mayor or his deputy.
THE COURT OF CONSERVACY. The nature of these courts is explained under the head of LORD MAYOR.
The court OF REQUESTS, OR court of CONSCIENCE, de. termines all disputes between citizens where the debt is under five pounds. It is of great use to persons who have small debts owing them, which they could not otherwise recover without entering into expensive proceedings; and it is also of great benefit to such persons as are not able to pay their debts at once, as the court determines the payment to be made in such portions as are suitable to the debtor's circumstances. The lord mayor and court of aldermen appoint monthly such aldermen and commoners to sit as commissioners in this court as they think fit; any three of whom compose a court, kept in Guildhall, to hear and determine such cases as are brought before them. If the defendant does not appear the first court day after the summons, an attachment may be awarded against him ; on neglect or refusal then to appear, he will be committed to prison.
THE COURT OF WARDMOTE is denominated from the words ward and mote ; that is, the Ward Court: for in this city, parishes are as towns, and wards as hundreds; wherefore this court resembles that of the leet in the county; for, as the latter derives its authority from the county court, so does the former from that of the lord mayor; as is manifest by the annual precept issued by the lord mayor to the several aldermen, for holding their respective leets for the election of proper officers in each ward ; the tenor whereof is as follows:
" To the Alderman of the Ward of “We charge and command you, that, upon St. Thomas's Day, the apostle, next coming, you do hold your wardmote;
and that you have afore us, at our general court of aldermen, to be holden the Monday next after the feast of the Epiphany next coming, all the defaults that shall be presented afore you by inquest in the said wardmote; and the said inquest shall have power and authority, by one whole year, to inquire into and present all such defaults as shall be found within your said ward, as oftentimes as shall be thought to you expedient and needful; which we will shall be once every month at least.
2. “ And, if it happen any of your said inquest do die, or depart out of your said ward, within the said year, that then, in place of him or them so dying, or departing out of your said ward, you cause to be chosen one able person in his stead, to inquire and present with the other, in manner and form abovesaid.
3. “ And that, at the said general court you give afore us the names and surnames of all of them of
said ward that come not to your said wardmote, if they be duly warned; so that due redress and punishment of them may be had, as the case shall require, according to the law.
4. “ And that you provide, that, at all times convenient, a sufficient watch be kept; and that lanterns, with light by nightertail, in old manner accustomed, be hanged forth; and that no man go by nightertail without light, nor with vizard, on the peril that belongeth thereto.
5. “ And also, that you do cause to be chosen men, of the most sufficient, honest, and discreet men, of your said ward, to be, for your said ward, of the common council of this city for the year ensuing, according to the custom in that behalf yearly used. And also, that you do cause the said men, so to be chosen to be of the common council, to be sworn before you, and in your presence, according to the oath by them used and of old time accustomed.
6. “And that also, in the said wardmote, you cause to be chosen certain other honest persons, to be constables and scavengers, and a common-beadle, and a raker, to make clean the streets and lanes of all your said ward, according to the custom yearly used in that behalf; which constables have, and shall have, full power and authority to distrain for the salary and quarterage of the said bcadle and raker, as oftentimes as it shall be behind or unpaid.
7. “ Also, that you keep a roll of the names, sur-names, dwelling-places, professions, and trades, of all persons dwelling within your ward, and within what constable's precinct they dwell; wherein the place is to be specially noted by street, lane, alley, or sign.
8. “ Also that you cause every constable, from time to time, to certify unto you the name, surname, dwellingplace, profession and trade, of every person who shall newly come to dwell within his precinct, whereby you may, make and keep your roll perfect; and that you cause every constable for his precinct, to that purpose, to make and keep a perfect roll in like manner.
9. “ Also, that you give special charge to every innholder, and other persons within your ward, who shall receive any person to sojourn in his house above two days, shall, before the third day after his coming thither, give knowledge to the constable of the precinct where he shall be so received, of the name, surname, dwelling-place, profes. sion and trade of life, or place of service, of such person, and for what cause he shall come to reside there; and that the said constable give present notice thereof to you ; and that the said inn-holder lodge no suspected person, or men, or women, of evil name.
10.“ Also, that you cause every constable within his precinct, once every month at the farthest, and oftener, if need require, to make diligent search and inquiry what persons be newly come into his precinct to dwell, sojourn or lodge; and that you give special charge, that no inn-holder or person shall resist, or deny any constable in making such search or inquiry; but shall do his best endeavour to aid and assist hini therein.
11. “ And for that, of late, there is more resort to the city of persons evil-affected in religion and otherwise, than in former times hath been ; you shall diligently inquire if any man be received to dwell or abide within your ward, that is not put under frank-pledge, as he ought to be by the custom of the city; and whether any person bath continued in the said ward by space of one year, being above the age of twelve years, and not sworn to be faithful and loyal to the king's majesty, in such sort as by the law and custom of this city ought to be.
12.“ To all these purposes, the beadle of every ward shall employ his diligence and give his best furtherance.
13. “ Also you are to take order, that there be provided and set up a pair of stocks, and a whipping-post, in some convenient place in every parish within your ward, for the punishment of vagrants and other offenders.
14. “ Also, that you have special regard that, from time to time, there be convenient provision for hooks, ladders, buckets, spouts, and engines, in meet places, within the se. veral parishes of your ward, for avoiding the peril of fire.
15.“ Also, that the streets and lanes of this city be, from time to time, kept clean before every church, house, shop, warehouse, door, dead wall, and in all other common passages
and streets of the said ward. 16. “And whereas, by divers acts of common council, aforetime made and established for the common weal of this city, among other things, it is ordained and, enacted, as hereafter ensueth:
• Also it is ordained and enacted, as hereafter ensueth; that, from henceforth, no huckster of ale or beer be within any
ward of the city of London, but honest persons of good name and fame, and so taken and adınitted by the alderman of the ward for the time being; and that the same hucksters do find sufficient surety afore the mayor and aldermen for the time being, to be of good guiding and rule; and that the same bucksters shall keep no bawdry, nor suffer no letchery, dice playing, carding, or any other unlawful games, to be done, exercised, or used within their houses ; and to shut in their doors at nine of the clock in the night, from Michaelmas to Easter, and from Easter to Michaelmas, at ten clock in the night; and, after that hour, sell no ale or beer. And if any huckster of beer or ale, after this act is published
and proclaimed, sell any ale or beer, within any ward of the city of London, and be not admitted by the alderman of the same ward so to do, or find not sufficient surety, as it is above rehearsed, the same huckster to have imprisonment, and make fine and ransom for his contempt, after the discretion of the lord mayor and aldermen. And also that the said hucksters suffer no manner of common eating or drinking within their cellars or vaults, contrary to the ordinance thereof ordained and provided, as in the said act more plainly appeareth at large. “We charge you that you put the same in due execution accordingly."
17. “ And also, that you see all tipplers, and other sellers of ale or beer, as well privy osteries as brewers and inn-holders within your ward, not selling by lawful measures sealed and marked with the city arms, or dagger, be presented, and their names in your said indentures be expressed, with their defaults ; so that the chamberlain may be lawfully answered of their amerciaments. 18. “ And also, that you suffer no alien, or son of
any born an alien, to be of the common council; nor to exercise or use any other office within this city; nor receive or accept any person your watch, privy or open, but Englishmen born, and if a stranger born out of this realm, made denizen by letters patents, or any other, after his course and lot, be appointed to any watch, that then ye command and compel him, or them, to find in his stead and place an EngTishman to supply the same.
19. “ And also, that you cause an abstract of the assise, appointed by act of parliament, for billets and other firewood, to be fair written in parchment, and to be fixed or banged up in a table, in some fit and convenient place in the parish within your ward, where the common people may best see the same.
20. “ And furthermore we charge and command you, that you cause such provision to be had in your said ward, that all the streets and lanes within the said ward be, from time to time, cleansed, and clearly voided of ordure, dung, mire, rubbish, and other filthy things, whatsoever be to the annoyance of the king's majesty's subjects. 2
21. " And