[Courts.] The TEMPORAL GOVERNMENT. [Orphans Court.]371

[Courts.] The TEMPORAL GOVERNMENT. [Orphans Court.]

The Juries for the trying Causes in this Court and the Sheriffs, are returned by the several Wards, at their Wardmote Inquests. Which they do by an Indenture under their Hands and Seals. In which Indenture they return also the Names of the Common Council Men, Constables and Scavengers. The particular Wards appointed to serve as Jurymen for every Month, are divided as followeth:

The Juries.

J. S.

The Wards of
{ Aldgate,
{ Portsoken,
{ Cornhil,

} serve for the Month of January.

The Ward of Cheap, serves for the Month of February.

The Wards of
{ Bassishaw,
{ Cripplegate within,
{ Cripplegate without,

} for March.

The Wards of{ Vintry,
{ Breadstreet,
} for April.

The Ward of{ Tower,
{ Billinsgate,
} for May.

The Ward of Farringdon without, for June.

The Ward of Bridge, for July.

The Wards of
{ Aldersgate,
{ Colemanstreet,
{ Broadstreet,

} for August.

The Wards of{ Faringdon within,
{ Castle Bainard,
} for September.

The Wards of
{ Queenhith,
{ Dowgate,
{ Walbrook,

} for October.

The Wards of{ Langborn,
{ Limestreet,
} for November.

The Wards of
{ Candlewick,
{ Cordweyner,
{ Bishopsgate,

} for December.

A Copy of the Names of the Jurymen returned by the several Wards, is given by the Town-Clerk to the Officers of this Court, and to the Officers of the Sheriffs Court. And none other Persons must serve as Jurymen in these Courts; unless in some special Cases: as sometimes there is a Jury of Merchants.

This Court was instituted, and still continueth for the redressing and correcting the Errors and Defaults, with other Affairs, which happen in the Government of the City.

To this Court of the Maior, there belong four Attorneys, and no more: Who upon their Admission by the Court of Aldermen, take an Oath.

Attorneys of this Court.

The manner of entring Actions in this Court is different from that in the Sheriffs Court. For you cannot enter an Action in this Court at either of the Compters, but must go to the public Office belonging to that Court upon the Royal Exchange, and enter your Action with one of the four Attorneys there: Whether the Action be of the Case, of Trespass, for Accounts, for Covenants broken, for Debt at the Chamberlain's Suit, or for Debt upon a penal Statute.

The manner of entring Actions here.

This Maior's Court, is also a Court of Equity, or Chancery, for all Matters within London and the Liberties; but not a Court of Equity only, as many Citizens suppose. The Recorder usually sits as Chancellor or Judge to determine such Matters. And Causes are managed here much after the manner as in the High Court of Chancery.

A Court of Equity.

The Recorder Judge.

There are six Serjeants belonging to this Court, and do not belong to either of the Sheriffs. Most of them attend daily at the Attorneys public Office; and one of them is constantly attending at the Lord Maior's House. If you give any of them a Note of your Action, he will arrest the Defendant. And in case he cannot find Bail, the Officer will carry him to one of the Compters, that being the Prison as well for this Court, as the Sheriffs Court.

Six Serjeants.

An Action entred in this Court will remain in Force for ever, altho' no Proceedings be had thereupon. Whereas an Action entred at either of he Compters dies, and may be crossed after sixteen Weeks. The Charge of entring an Action in this Court is but Four Pence, besides the King's Duty.


An Action commenced in this Court may be brought to Trial for thirty Shillings Charge, and in fourteen Days time. Whereas in the Sheriffs Court they require more Time, and much more Money.

Attachments, grounded upon Actions of Debt, are tried in this Court, or in the Sheriffs Court. When either Money or Goods of the Defendants are attached, either in the Plaintiff's own Hands, or in the Custody of a third Person. But Attachments made in this Court of the Maior, have advantages over those made in the Sheriffs Courts, both in respect of the Charges, and quickness of Dispatch. Concerning the Laws and Customs and Pleadings of Attachments, consult the Law-Books of London.


The Day for Trials in this Court is every Tuesday: But every Day is a Court for entring Proceedings, as Appearances, Rules, Pleas and Judgments, except Holidays, the Week before Easter, the first three Weeks in August, and from the 16th of December till the Monday after Twelfth-Day.

Day for Trial.

The ORPHANS Court.


THIS Court is held before the Lord Maior and Aldermen of the City: Who are Guardians to the Children of all Freemen, that are or shall be under the Age of One and twenty Years at the Decease of their Fathers: and have the Ordering and Management of all the Goods and Chattels of such Orphans. And the Chamberlain is a sole Corporation, to him and his Successors, for the Orphans: and a Recognizance taken to him and his Successors, relating to Orphans, shall by the Custom of London, go to his Successor.

Who are to take Care of City Orphans.

The Maior and Aldermen may by the Custom imprison such as presume to convey away their Orphans.

Upon a Writ of Habeas Corpus 14 H. IV. directed to the Maior and Sheriffs of London, to have the Body of John Hartwel, Citizen of London, in Chancery, together with the Cause of the taking and detaining of the said John; William Waldron, Maior, William Sevenoke, and Rafe Lovanhurn, Sheriffs, return, Quod a toto tempore cujus contrarium memoriæ non existit, &c. "That from all Time, the contrary to which there is no Memory of, the Custody of all Orphans, together with all Lands, Tenements, Goods and Chattels demised to them, or by hereditary Right belonging to them, and being within the Liberty of the City, belonged, and ought to belong to the Maior and Aldermen of the said City, for the time being, to keep for the Use and Profit of the same Orphans; until they should come to their mature Age, to be approved by the Discretion of the Maior and Aldermen for the time being, or be married by them, according to the Custom of the City beforesaid, hitherto obtained and used. And for that John Hartwel had confessed before them, that he had"

The City insist upon their Right of Orphanage in a Cause 14 H. 4. Lib. 1. b. fo. 120.