Exchequer of Pleas

Last updated

The Exchequer of Pleas at work Exchequer of Pleas, c. 1460 (21329960204).jpg
The Exchequer of Pleas at work

The Exchequer of Pleas, or Court of Exchequer, was a court that dealt with matters of equity, a set of legal principles based on natural law and common law in England and Wales. Originally part of the curia regis , or King's Council, the Exchequer of Pleas split from the curia in the 1190s to sit as an independent central court. The Court of Chancery's reputation for tardiness and expense resulted in much of its business transferring to the Exchequer. The Exchequer and Chancery, with similar jurisdictions, drew closer together over the years until an argument was made during the 19th century that having two seemingly identical courts was unnecessary. As a result, the Exchequer lost its equity jurisdiction. With the Judicature Acts, the Exchequer was formally dissolved as a judicial body by an Order in Council on 16 December 1880.


The Exchequer's jurisdiction at various times was common law, equity or both. Initially a court of both common law and equity, it lost much of its common law jurisdiction after the formation of the Court of Common Pleas. From then on, it concerned itself with equitable matters and those common law matters that it had discretion to try, such as actions brought against Exchequer officials and actions brought by the monarch against non-paying debtors.

With the writ of quominus, which allowed the Exchequer to look at "common" cases between subject and subject, this discretionary area was significantly expanded, and it soon regained its standing in common law matters. Cases were formally taken by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, but in practice were heard by the Barons of the Exchequer, judicial officials led by the Chief Baron. Other court officials included the King's Remembrancer, who appointed all other officials and kept the Exchequer's records, and the sworn and side clerks, who acted as attorneys to parties to a case.



It was originally claimed that the Exchequer was based on a similar Norman court. While there are many records of the Exchequer's work in England, there is no evidence of a similar body in pre-conquest Normandy. The first reliable records come from the time of Henry I, when the sole surviving Pipe roll from his reign shows the Exchequer working out of the king's palace as part of the curia regis . [1] The curia regis followed the king as he travelled, rather than sitting at any one fixed location, and was held in York, London and Northampton at various times. [2]

By the late 12th century it had taken to sitting in a fixed location, the one body of government in England to do so. [3] By the 1170s it was possible to distinguish the Exchequer's work from that of the other parts of the curia regis, [4] although the king of the time considered the Exchequer to simply be an element of the curia. [5] It was referred to as the Curia Regis ad Scaccarium, or King's Court at Exchequer. The word "Exchequer" derives from the chequered cloth laid on a table for the purposes of counting money. [6]

In the 1190s the Exchequer began separating from the curia regis, a process which continued until the beginning of the 13th century. Academics have suggested that this was due to an increasing demand on the revenue side of the court, which led to part of the common law element being split off to form the Court of Common Pleas. [7] Although the Exchequer of Pleas was the first common law court, it was the last to separate from the curia regis. [8]

Increasing work and transformation

William Paulet, who as Lord High Treasurer significantly increased the power and influence of the Exchequer Sir William Paulet, 1st Marquess of Winchester by Circle of Hans Eworth.jpg
William Paulet, who as Lord High Treasurer significantly increased the power and influence of the Exchequer

There are few records known to date from before 1580, as bills were not dated before then. [9] Until the 16th century, the Exchequer carried out its duties with little variation in its function or practice. A small court, the Exchequer handled around 250 cases a year, compared to 2,500 in the Court of King's Bench and 10,000 in the Court of Common Pleas. [10] Under the Tudors, the Exchequer's political, judicial and fiscal importance all increased. This was partially thanks to the Lord High Treasurer. Although the Lord Chancellor was more traditionally important, the Lord High Treasurers from 1547 to 1612 were politically influential figures, including Robert Cecil, Thomas Sackville and William Paulet. Since the Lord High Treasurer was head of the Exchequer, with the Treasurer's increased influence came increased importance for the Exchequer. [11]

The appointment of the second and third Dukes of Norfolk as Lord High Treasurers from 1501 to 1546 led to a gradual reduction in the Exchequer's power. The Dukes were seen by the government as too independent to be trusted with any real power, but too useful to be removed. As a result, to indirectly reduce their power, the Exchequer was deliberately weakened. When William Paulet was appointed Treasurer in 1546 the Exchequer again increased in power, absorbing the Court of Augmentations and Court of First Fruits and Tenths by 1554. [12] The Exchequer was assisted in this period by Thomas Fanshawe, the Queen's Remembrancer. A capable man, Fanshawe was often consulted by the Barons of the Exchequer as to the best way to administer the court, and helped standardise pleadings, allowing the Exchequer to cope during a period of increased business. Fanshawe's administrative reforms were considered excellent, and his work continued to be used as the standard until the 1830s. [13]

Exchequer business increased under James and Charles I, before the English Civil War disrupted the courts. With the increasing use of the Writ of Quominus, which allowed royal debtors to bring a case against a third party who owed them money if it was that lack of money which prevented them paying the king and the new regime, the Exchequer actively transformed from a "tax court" dealing with civil cases to a dedicated court of equity and common law. [14]

The Civil War caused four equitable courts to be dissolved. The Court of Star Chamber was formally dissolved in 1641, the Council of the North and Council of Wales and the Marches had their equity jurisdiction stripped by the same Act of Parliament, and the Court of Requests became invalid after the Privy Seal was invalidated by the outcome of the English Civil War, as it was dependent on the Seal for its authority. [15] After the War ended there were only two equity courts remaining, the Exchequer and Court of Chancery. The Court of Chancery was publicly reviled for its slow pace and because it was led by the Lord Chancellor John Finch, a political figure who had been intimately involved in the conflict. [16] As a result, the Exchequer increased in importance as a court, although it is not known whether its active transformation was a judicial or political decision. [17]

Loss of equity jurisdiction and dissolution

English common law courts before the Judicature Acts English common law courts before judicature acts (exchequer highlighted).png
English common law courts before the Judicature Acts

By the beginning of the 18th century, the equity jurisdiction of the Exchequer of Pleas was firmly cemented, and it was considered a viable alternative to the Court of Chancery. As a result, each court cited the other's cases as precedent, and drew closely together. In addition, 18th-century Acts of Parliament treated them in the same way, merely referring to "courts of equity" rather than mentioning them individually. At the same time, the Treasury became more and more important, leading to a reduction in the inferior Exchequer's influence. Despite these warning signs, the Exchequer continued to flourish, maintaining a large amount of business, and by 1810 was almost entirely an equity court, having little common law work. [18]

The court's equity side became deeply unpopular during the 1830s because many cases were heard by a single judge with no real prospect of appeal; while cases could be taken to the House of Lords, it was highly expensive and time-consuming to do so. [19] The Court of Chancery, however, had long had an established method of appealing to the Lords, [20] and later introduced an intermediary appellate court – the Court of Appeal in Chancery. [21]

At the same time, many elements of the Exchequer's equity business had dried up, with the Tithe Commutation Act 1836 ending their tithe cases and the Insolvent Debtors Act 1820 establishing the Court of Bankruptcy, removing cases of insolvency from the Exchequer. The Exchequer's fees were also higher than those of the Court of Chancery, and with both courts now using almost identical precedent it was seen as unnecessary to maintain two equitable courts. [22] As a result, the Administration of Justice Act 1841 formally dissolved the equitable jurisdiction of the court. [23]

With the loss of its equitable jurisdiction, the Exchequer became a dedicated common law court, and thus fell prey to the same fate as the other two common law courts (the Court of Queen's Bench and the Court of Common Pleas) during the late 19th century. There had long been calls for the merger of the courts, and in 1828 Henry Brougham, a Member of Parliament, complained in Parliament that as long as there were three courts unevenness was inevitable, saying that "It is not in the power of the courts, even if all were monopolies and other restrictions done away, to distribute business equally, as long as suitors are left free to choose their own tribunal", and that there would always be a favourite court, which would therefore attract the best lawyers and judges and entrench its position. [24]

In 1867 a commission was created to look into issues with the central courts, and the outcome were the Judicature Acts, under which all the central courts were made part of a single Supreme Court of Judicature, with the three central common law courts becoming three of the five divisions of the Supreme Court; this was not designed to be permanent, but rather to avoid having to retire or demote two of the three Chief Justices to allow a single head of the Supreme Court, as this would have violated the constitutional principle that senior justices were irremovable. By sheer chance Fitzroy Kelly and Alexander Cockburn, Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer and Lord Chief Justice of England, respectively, both died in 1880, allowing the merger of the common law divisions of the Supreme Court into a single division, the Queen's Bench Division, under John Coleridge, who had been Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas and became Lord Chief Justice of England, by an Order in Council of 16 December 1880. At this point, the Exchequer of Pleas formally ceased to exist. [25]

Jurisdiction and relationship with other courts

The Court of Chancery, England's only other dedicated court of equity after the English Civil War The Court of Chancery during the reign of George I by Benjamin Ferrers.jpg
The Court of Chancery, England's only other dedicated court of equity after the English Civil War

The Exchequer's position as a court originally came from an informal process of argument between the king and his debtors as to how much money was owed; by the 13th century, this had evolved into formal court proceedings. Therefore, its initial jurisdiction, as defined by the Statute of Rhuddlan, was as a court where only the king could bring cases. [26] The Exchequer became the first "tax court", where the king was the plaintiff and the debtor the defendant. The king was represented by the Attorney General, allowing him to avoid much of the legal costs associated with a court case. [27]

The "next logical step" was to allow debtors to collect on their own debts in the Exchequer, so that they could better pay the king; this was done through the Writ of Quominus. The Exchequer also had sole jurisdiction to try cases against their own officials and other figures engaged in collecting the royal revenue. [28] The court was also used to prosecute clerics who, while innocent, had come close to committing an infraction; as the plaintiff was represented by the Attorney General, the costs were reduced, and as the Attorney General had no incentive to compromise it was more threatening to the cleric. [29] In 1649 the Exchequer formally extended its common law and equity jurisdiction, becoming a fully fledged court of law able to hear any civil case. [30]

The main focus of the Exchequer was the collection of royal revenue as part of the greater Exchequer, which was officially undertaken by the Lord High Treasurer. [31] The Exchequer was unique in having jurisdiction in matters of both equity and the common law, the latter initially curtailed after the Magna Carta and reserved for the Court of King's Bench and Court of Common Pleas, although it later grew back. This process of common law and equity was reversed; during the 16th century the Exchequer was solely a common law body, with the equity jurisdiction only again becoming relevant near the end of the Tudor period. [32] W. H. Bryson argues that this happened during the reign of Edward I. [33] By 1590 the Exchequer's jurisdiction over equity cases was confirmed, and it was handling a significant number a year, including disputes over trusts, mortgages, tithes and copyholds; since taxation was ever-present, it was not difficult to show that the dispute prevented the payment of a debt to the monarch, allowing the Writ of Quominus. [34]

The Exchequer stood on an equal footing with the other Westminster courts (the Court of Common Pleas, Court of King's Bench and Court of Chancery), with cases transferred easily from one to another, although there were problems in the case of the Court of King's Bench. The traditional method for moving a case was the writ of supersedeas , but the King's Bench represented the monarch, who could not have writs placed against him. Instead, a clerk would bring the Red Book of the Exchequer to the King's Bench and assert that the case's claimant was an officer of the Exchequer, necessitating his trial there rather than in the King's Bench. [35]

The Exchequer maintained a clear rule with the other equity court, the Court of Chancery; a case heard in one could not be re-heard in the other. Apart from that, cases of equity could be heard by either court. [36] The Exchequer had superior status over inferior courts of equity, able to take cases from them and countermand their decisions. The jurisdiction of ecclesiastical courts also overlapped with that of the Exchequer, particularly in relation to the collection of tithes, and there are many records of disputes between the two. [37]

As well as appeals to the Exchequer Chamber, the court also allowed appeals to the House of Lords, which was first used in 1660 for the case of Fanshawe v Impey and confirmed in 1677. [38]



The formal head of the Exchequer for much of its existence was the Lord High Treasurer, who was tasked with collecting royal revenues. [39] Originally a clerk, [40] he was supervised by the Chief Justiciar, and only became head of the court after this position was abolished during the reign of Henry III. [41] During the reign of Elizabeth I the Treasurer's other duties began to increase, and he played less of a role in the Exchequer's affairs. [42] By the 17th century, the Lord High Treasurer had been replaced by a dedicated Treasurer of the Exchequer (although earlier writs show that the Lord High Treasurer had been independently given this title), who was ceremoniously presented with a white staff by the monarch. [43] The Treasurer, while active in the revenue side of the Exchequer, played little or no active role in the Exchequer of Pleas. [44]


The Chancellor of the Exchequer, independently head of the Court of Chancery, was also involved in the Exchequer of Pleas as a check on the Lord High Treasurer. [45] He evolved out of the Lord Chancellor's clerk, or clericus cancellari, who sat in the Exchequer and was responsible for correcting and sealing writs of summons, also holding the Exchequer's copy of the Great Seal. [46] The earliest appearances of such a clerk in the records come from 1220, when a document was signed by Robert de Neville, cancellarius. [47] The Lord Chancellors of the time were clergymen with little interest in judicial or fiscal matters; as a result, the clerk became more independent from the Chancellor and, by the 1230s, became a royal appointment holding the seal independently of the Lord Chancellor, known as the Chancellor of the Exchequer. [46]

After 1567 the Chancellor was additionally confirmed as the Under-Treasurer of the Exchequer, allowing him to carry out the Treasurer's duties when he was unavailable. [48] The Chancellor was appointed by letters patent, and until 1672 it was a life appointment, then changed to an office "to hold only during the pleasures of the crown". [49] Until the English Civil War the Chancellor of the Exchequer was a judicial office with little political standing; after the War, however, it became seen as a "stepping stone" to higher political appointments. After 1672 it again became an administrative and judicial office, until 1714, when the Chancellor's position as head of the Treasury made it an important appointment again. [50]


The main judicial officers were the Barons of the Exchequer, or barones scaccari, who were originally the same judges as those of the Court of King's Bench, only becoming independent positions after the Exchequer's separation from the curia regis . [51] In the early years of the Exchequer's existence, the Barons were the chief auditors of the accounts of England, a role passed to dedicated auditors during the reign of Edward II. [52] With the Exchequer's expansion during the Tudor era, the Barons became more important; where previously only the Chief Baron had been appointed from the Serjeants-at-Law, with the other Barons mere barristers, it became practice for all Barons of the Exchequer to be Serjeants. This further increased the Exchequer's standing, since for the first time it put the Exchequer at the same level as the Court of Common Pleas and Court of King's Bench, where all judges were already required to be Serjeants. [53]

Sir Fitzroy Kelly, the last Chief Baron of the Exchequer SirFitzroyKelly.jpg
Sir Fitzroy Kelly, the last Chief Baron of the Exchequer

At least one Baron sat to hear a case, with convention insisting on a maximum of four Barons after the rule of Edward IV; as a mere convention, it was occasionally broken. When one Baron was ill or otherwise unable to sit it was felt appropriate to appoint a fifth, as in 1604 when Baron Sotherton was ill, and in 1708, when Baron Smith was called to Edinburgh to be a temporary Chief Baron of the Scottish Exchequer. In 1830 a fifth Baron was permanently added to relieve court congestion; at the same time, a fifth judge was added to the Court of Common Pleas and King's Bench. [54]

The First Baron was the Chief Baron of the Exchequer; if the Chancellor and Treasurer were unavailable, he was the head of the court. When he was also absent the Second Baron took charge, and so on; in one case in 1659, the Fourth Baron was the only judge available. The Second, Third and Fourth Barons were known as puisne Barons; initially treated as individual offices, after the time of James I the order was determined by the judges' seniority. Unlike in the Court of King's Bench, the different positions did not equate to different degrees of power; each Baron had an equal vote in decisions. [55]

Barons were appointed by letters patent and sworn in by the Lord Chancellor, head of the judiciary. During the 16th century they held their offices quamdiu se bene gesserint, or "during good behaviour". [56] A Baron could leave the Exchequer in one of three situations; resignation, death, or appointment to another court, which automatically made their office void. [57] The letters patent expired after the death of each monarch; when the new one was crowned, a Baron would have to receive a new patent or leave his office. This was mostly a routine event; from 1550 to 1714 all but nine continued in office after the crowning of a new monarch. [57]


The King's Remembrancer was the chief clerk of the Exchequer, handling all bills of equity. He was the equivalent of the Court of Chancery's Master of the Rolls, in that he headed up the clerical side of the court. As well as his duties to the judicial body, the King's Remembrancer also handled the revenue side of the Exchequer, a jurisdiction established in the 14th century. [58] He was originally able to appoint all the sworn clerks, but by the 16th century this jurisdiction had been limited to appointing one of the 24 side clerks, with the sworn clerks appointing the rest. In a similar way, while he was originally in charge of the court's records and the enrolment of writs, [59] by the 17th century he no longer possessed the keys to the record office, and the sworn clerks had the exclusive right to search the records. His main job was instead quasi-judicial, examining certain witnesses, taking minutes in court and settling disputes over "scandal and impertinence". [60]

The Remembrancer was appointed for life, and qualified to appoint a deputy, the first of whom, John West, was appointed by Sir Christopher Hatton in 1616. From 1565 until 1716, the office was kept in the Fanshawe family, starting with Henry Fanshawe and ending with Simon Fanshawe. [61] After 1820, the Remembrancer's broad duties were split up by the Court of Exchequer (England) etc. Act 1820. To replace him, two masters were appointed, one of whom was to be the accountant general. These officials were to be appointed by the Chief Baron of the Exchequer from barristers of five years standing, holding offices during good behaviour and unable to appoint a deputy. The masters handled the taking of minutes previously undertaken by the Remembrancer, with the accountant general overseeing all money paid into the court, which was deposited in the Bank of England; previously the Remembrancer had held complete discretion as to what to do with the money. [62]

Other offices

Other offices included the sworn clerks, the examiners, the clerk to the barons, and the clerk to the King's Remembrancer. There were eight sworn clerks, so called because they were sworn officers of the court, who held their offices for life and worked under the Remembrancer. [63] Each clerk acted as an attorney for the parties in court, and every party was required to employ one. The first clerk was known as the First Secondary, and administered oaths out of the Red Book of the Exchequer. The sworn clerks were assisted by 24 side clerks, of whom each sworn clerk appointed three. Each side clerk studied under a sworn clerk for five years before practising himself, although under the sworn clerk's name. A side clerk had the chance of being promoted to sworn clerk, first by the Remembrancer and then by the sworn clerks themselves. [64] The examiners were tasked with supervising depositions of witnesses, bringing the witness to a Baron, administering the oath and keeping the files of the depositions. [65]

In 1624 it was decided these examiners should be sworn officers of the court, and from then on each Baron had an examiner, who acted in the Baron's name. The office of examiner was dissolved in 1841, when the equity jurisdiction of the Exchequer came to an end. [66] In addition to an examiner, each Baron had at least one clerk, who acted as their private secretary; although not paid, they were authorised to take fees for their work. The Chief Baron had two clerks, while the puisne Barons had one each. [58] The King's Remembrancer also employed a clerk, who was also a secretary. He received no salary and was not a sworn officer of the court, meaning the Remembrancer could have him replaced at any time. [67]

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Equity (law)</span> Set of legal principles supplementing but distinct from the Common Law

In the field of jurisprudence, equity is the particular body of law, developed in the English Court of Chancery, with the general purpose of providing legal remedies for cases wherein the common law is inflexible and cannot fairly resolve the disputed legal matter. Conceptually, equity was part of the historical origins of the system of common law of England, yet is a field of law separate from common law, because equity has its own unique rules and principles, and was administered by courts of equity.

A writ of prohibition is a writ directing a subordinate to stop doing something the law prohibits. This writ is often issued by a superior court to the lower court directing it not to proceed with a case which does not fall under its jurisdiction.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Court of Chancery</span> Court of equity in England and Wales (c. 1350–1875)

The Court of Chancery was a court of equity in England and Wales that followed a set of loose rules to avoid a slow pace of change and possible harshness of the common law. The Chancery had jurisdiction over all matters of equity, including trusts, land law, the estates of lunatics and the guardianship of infants.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Exchequer</span> The accounting process of central government

In the civil service of the United Kingdom, His Majesty's Exchequer, or just the Exchequer, is the accounting process of central government and the government's current account in the Consolidated Fund. It can be found used in various financial documents including the latest departmental and agency annual accounts.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Judicature Acts</span> UK laws restructuring the English-Welsh court system (1873–1899)

In the history of the courts of England and Wales, the Judicature Acts were a series of Acts of Parliament, beginning in the 1870s, which aimed to fuse the hitherto split system of courts of England and Wales. The first two Acts were the Supreme Court of Judicature Act 1873 and the Supreme Court of Judicature Act 1875, with a further series of amending acts.

The forms of action were the different procedures by which a legal claim could be made during much of the history of the English common law. Depending on the court, a plaintiff would purchase a writ in Chancery which would set in motion a series of events eventually leading to a trial in one of the medieval common law courts. Each writ entailed a different set of procedures and remedies which together amounted to the "form of action".

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Court of equity</span> Court authorized to apply principles of equity to cases

A court of equity, also known as an equity court or chancery court, is a court authorized to apply principles of equity rather than principles of law to cases brought before it. These courts originated from petitions to the Lord Chancellor of England and primarily heard claims for relief other than damages, such as specific performance and extraordinary writs. Over time, most equity courts merged with courts of law, and the adoption of various Acts granted courts combined jurisdiction to administer common law and equity concurrently. Courts of equity are now recognized for complementing the common law by addressing its shortcomings and promoting justice.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Chief Justice of the Common Pleas</span>

The Chief Justice of the Common Pleas was the head of the Court of Common Pleas, also known as the Common Bench or Common Place, which was the second-highest common law court in the English legal system until 1875, when it, along with the other two common law courts and the equity and probate courts, became part of the High Court of Justice. As such, the chief justice of the Common Pleas was one of the highest judicial officials in England, behind only the Lord High Chancellor and the Lord Chief Justice of England, who headed the King's Bench.

The Chief Baron of the Exchequer was the first "baron" of the English Exchequer of Pleas. "In the absence of both the Treasurer of the Exchequer or First Lord of the Treasury, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, it was he who presided in the equity court and answered the bar i.e. spoke for the court." Practically speaking, he held the most important office of the Exchequer of Pleas.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Court of Common Pleas (England)</span> English court for disputes between commoners (c. 1200 – 1880)

The Court of Common Pleas, or Common Bench, was a common law court in the English legal system that covered "common pleas"; actions between subject and subject, which did not concern the king. Created in the late 12th to early 13th century after splitting from the Exchequer of Pleas, the Common Pleas served as one of the central English courts for around 600 years. Authorised by Magna Carta to sit in a fixed location, the Common Pleas sat in Westminster Hall for its entire existence, joined by the Exchequer of Pleas and Court of King's Bench.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bill of Middlesex</span> English legal fiction used by the Court of Kings Bench until 1832

The Bill of Middlesex was a legal fiction used by the Court of King's Bench to gain jurisdiction over cases traditionally in the remit of the Court of Common Pleas. Hinging on the King's Bench's remaining criminal jurisdiction over the county of Middlesex, the Bill allowed it to take cases traditionally in the remit of other common law courts by claiming that the defendant had committed trespass in Middlesex. Once the defendant was in custody, the trespass complaint would be quietly dropped and other complaints would be substituted.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Court of King's Bench (England)</span> English common law court (c. 1200–1873)

The Court of King's Bench, formally known as The Court of the King Before the King Himself, was a court of common law in the English legal system. Created in the late 12th to early 13th century from the curia regis, the King's Bench initially followed the monarch on his travels. The King's Bench finally joined the Court of Common Pleas and Exchequer of Pleas in Westminster Hall in 1318, making its last travels in 1421. The King's Bench was merged into the High Court of Justice by the Supreme Court of Judicature Act 1873, after which point the King's Bench was a division within the High Court. The King's Bench was staffed by one Chief Justice and usually three Puisne Justices.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Exchequer of Ireland</span>

The Exchequer of Ireland was a body in the Kingdom of Ireland tasked with collecting royal revenue. Modelled on the English Exchequer, it was created in 1210 after King John of England applied English law and legal structure to his Lordship of Ireland. The Exchequer was divided into two parts; the Superior Exchequer, which acted as a court of equity and revenue in a way similar to the English Exchequer of Pleas, and the Inferior Exchequer, which directly collected revenue from those who owed The Crown money, principally rents for Crown lands. The Exchequer primarily worked in a way similar to the English legal system, holding a similar jurisdiction. Following the Act of Union 1800, which incorporated Ireland into the United Kingdom, the Exchequer was merged with the English Exchequer in 1817 and ceased to function as an independent body, although the Irish Court of Exchequer, like other Irish courts, remained separate from the English equivalent.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">High Court of Justice</span> One of the Senior Courts of England and Wales

The High Court of Justice in London, known properly as His Majesty's High Court of Justice in England, together with the Court of Appeal and the Crown Court, are the Senior Courts of England and Wales. Its name is abbreviated as EWHC for legal citation purposes.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Court of Exchequer (Ireland)</span> Senior court of common law in Ireland

The Court of Exchequer (Ireland), or the Irish Exchequer of Pleas, was one of the senior courts of common law in Ireland. It was the mirror image of the equivalent court in England. The Court of Exchequer was one of the four royal courts of justice which gave their name to the building in Dublin in which they were located, which is still called the Four Courts, and is in use as a courthouse.

The High Court of Justice in Ireland was the court created by the Supreme Court of Judicature Act (Ireland) 1877 to replace the existing court structure in Ireland. Its creation mirrored the reform of the courts of England and Wales five years earlier under the Judicature Acts. The Act created a Supreme Court of Judicature, consisting of a High Court of Justice and a Court of Appeal.

Robert Sutton was an Irish judge and Crown official. During a career which lasted almost 60 years he served the English Crown in a variety of offices, notably as Deputy to the Lord Chancellor of Ireland, Chief Baron of the Irish Exchequer, Master of the Rolls in Ireland, and Deputy Treasurer of Ireland. A warrant dated 1423 praised him for his "long and laudable" service to the Crown.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">History of equity and trusts</span> Historical development of Chancery jurisdiction and trusts

The history of equity and trusts concerns the origin of the body of rules known as Equity, Uses, English trust law and their development into the modern body of trust law that spread with the Common law to the Commonwealth and the United States.

Certain former courts of England and Wales have been abolished or merged into or with other courts, and certain other courts of England and Wales have fallen into disuse.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Government in medieval England</span>

The government of the Kingdom of England in the Middle Ages was a monarchy based on the principles of feudalism. The king possessed ultimate executive, legislative, and judicial power. However, some limits to the king's authority had been imposed by the 13th century. Magna Carta established the principle that taxes could not be levied without common consent, and Parliament was able to assert its power over taxation throughout this period.


  1. Thomas (1848) p.1
  2. Thomas (1848) p.2
  3. Kemp (1973) p.561
  4. Kemp (1973) p.565
  5. Kemp (1973) p.568
  6. The Green Bag (1899) p.341
  7. Kemp (1973) p.572
  8. Baker (2002) p.47
  9. Bryson (2008) p.2
  10. Guth (2008) p.149
  11. Guth (2008) p.150
  12. Guth (2008) p.152
  13. Bryson (2008) p.22
  14. Bryson (2008) p.25
  15. Bryson (2008) p.25
  16. Bryson (2008) p.26
  17. Bryson (2008) p.27
  18. Bryson (2008) p.160
  19. Bryson (2008) p.161
  20. Kerly (1890) p.168
  21. Lobban (Spring 2004) p.390
  22. Bryson (2008) p.163
  23. Bryson (2008) p.162
  24. Brougham (1828) p.10
  25. Mackay (2002) p.603
  26. Gross (1909) p.138
  27. Palmer (2002) p.178
  28. Guth (2008) p.153
  29. Palmer (2002) p.179
  30. Guth (2008) p.158
  31. Thomas (1848) p.4
  32. Guth (2008) p.157
  33. Bryson (2008) p.15
  34. Bryson (2008) p.11
  35. Bryson (2008) p.29
  36. Bryson (2008) p.30
  37. Bryson (2008) p.31
  38. Bryson (2008) p.32
  39. Thomas (1848) p.6
  40. Fritze & Robinson (2002) p.199
  41. Thomas (1848) p.7
  42. Thomas (1848) p.18
  43. Bryson (2008) p.35
  44. Bryson (2008) p.39
  45. Thomas (1848) p.5
  46. 1 2 Vincent (1993) p.105
  47. Vincent (1993) p.107
  48. Bryson (2008) p.41
  49. Bryson (2008) p.42
  50. Bryson (2008) p.44
  51. Thomas (1848) p.3
  52. Thomas (1848) p.9
  53. Guth (2008) p.151
  54. Bryson (2008) p.46
  55. Bryson (2008) p.47
  56. Bryson (2008) p.54
  57. 1 2 Bryson (2008) p.58
  58. 1 2 Bryson (2008) p.65
  59. Lodge (1935) p.227
  60. Bryson (2008) p.66
  61. Bryson (2008) p.67
  62. Bryson (2008) p.74
  63. Bryson (2008) p.75
  64. Bryson (2008) p.76
  65. Bryson (2008) p.63
  66. Bryson (2008) p.64
  67. Bryson (2008) p.77