Justice of the King's Bench

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The Justices of the King's Bench at work. This illuminated manuscript from about 1460 is the earliest known depiction of the English court. Court of King's Bench.JPG
The Justices of the King's Bench at work. This illuminated manuscript from about 1460 is the earliest known depiction of the English court.

Justice of the King's Bench, or Justice of the Queen's Bench during the reign of a female monarch, was a puisne judicial position within the Court of King's Bench, under the Chief Justice. The King's Bench was a court of common law which modern academics argue was founded independently in 1234, having previously been part of the curia regis . [2] The court became a key part of the Westminster courts, along with the Exchequer of Pleas (qualified to hear cases involving revenue owed to the King) and the Court of Common Pleas (qualified to hear cases between subject and subject); the latter was deliberately stripped of its jurisdiction by the King's Bench and Exchequer, through the Bill of Middlesex and Writ of Quominus respectively. As a result, the courts jockeyed for power. 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. [3] The outcome was the Supreme Court of Judicature Act 1873, under which all the central courts were made part of a single Supreme Court of Judicature. Eventually the government created a High Court of Justice under Lord Coleridge by an Order in Council of 16 December 1880. At this point, the King's Bench formally ceased to exist. [4]

Contents

The number of Justices at any one time varied; until 1348 it fluctuated between two and four, while between 1349 and 1391 there was only one. The number continued to change, but after 1522 was (in principle) fixed at three. Acts of Parliament in 1830 and 1868 provided funding for a fourth and fifth Justice respectively. [5] Salaries were first established in 1278, with one Justice receiving 50 marks a year and the others 40. From 1307 all received 40, with additional pay increases resulting in each being paid £100 by 1389. Salaries of £1,000 a year were provided from 1645, increasing to £1,500 in 1714, £2,000 in 1759, £3,000 in 1799 and (after variations) the salary settled at £5,000 in 1828. In 1799 pension provisions were first made, starting at £2,000 a year and peaking at £3,500 in 1825. [6]

List of Justices

NameBorn/DiedActive serviceReason for terminationNotes
Richard Staines d. 1277/81272—1274Became a Justice of the Common Pleas [6] [7]
Nicholas Stapleton d. 12901273—1274
1278
1290
[8] [9]
Walter de Helyun 1273—1278Became a Justice of the Common Pleas [8]
William Saham 1278
1288—1290
Became justice of an eyre circuit
Convicted of judicial misconduct
[10]
Walter Hopton 1235—1295/61274—1278Became senior justice of a court in Wales [11]
Walter Wimborne 1276—1289 [8]
Ellis Sutton 1285—1287 [8]
William Saham c. 1225—12921288—1290Convicted of judicial misconduct [12]
Gilbert de Thornton c. 1245—12951290Became Chief Justice of the King's Bench [8] [13]
Roger Brabazon c. 1247—13171290—1295Became Chief Justice of the King's Bench [14]
Robert Malet d.12941290—1294Died [8] [15]
John Lovel 1294—1230 [8]
Gilbert de Rothbury c. 1260—13211296 – 10 March 1316Became a Justice of the Common Pleas [16] [17]
William Ormesby d. 13171296—1303Became an Assize justice [16] [18]
Henry Spigurnel c. 1261—13281301—1323Retired [16] [19]
Lambert de Trickingham 6 August 1316 – 6 August 1320Became a Baron of the Exchequer [16]
Robert de Malberthorp d. 1331/26 August 1320 – 1 May 1329Became Chief Justice of the King's Bench [16] [20]
John Stonor c. 1281 – August 13541323 – 3 May 1324Became a Justice of the Common Pleas [16] [21]
Walter Friskeney 3 May 1324 – 1326
6 March 1327 – 1328
Became a Justice of the Common Pleas
[16]
Robert Baynard d.1329/309 March 1327 – 1329Became an Assize justice [16] [22]
John Shardelow d. 5 March 134411 September 1329 – 29 January 1332Became a Justice of the Common Pleas [16] [23]
Henry Hambury c. 1271 – c. 135030 December 1329 – 1330Became an Assize justice [24] [25]
Richard de Willoughby c. 1290 – 14 March 136222 December 1330 – 28 March 1332Became Chief Justice of the Common Pleas [24] [26]
Thomas Louth 22 December 1330 – 1331Became Chief Justice of the Justiciar's Court in Ireland [24] [27]
Geoffrey Edenham 18 January 1331 – 1333 [24]
Thomas Bacon d. 133628 January 1332 – 1335 [24]
William Denum d. 13501332—1334 [24] [28] [29]
William de Shareshull 1289/90—136920 March 1334 – 14 May 1334
22 October 1344 – 10 November 1345
Became a Justice of the Common Pleas
Became a Justice of the Common Pleas
[24] [30]
Robert de Scardeburgh c. 134824 September 1334 – 1344Became Chief Justice of the Common Pleas in Ireland [24] [31]
William Faunt 1338 [24]
Robert Brundish 1338 [24]
William Scott d. 1352/62 May 1339 – 8 January 1341Became Chief Justice of the Common Pleas [32] [33]
Roger Baukwell d. c. 13508 January 1341 – 1348Became an Assize justice [32] [34]
William Basset d. 1356/728 October 1341 – 1353Retired [32] [35]
Adam Stonegrave 1342 [32]
William Thorpe d. 27 May 13611345 – 16 November 1346Became Chief Justice of the King's Bench [32] [36]
Thomas Seton d. 1359/601354—1355
5 July 1357
Became a Justice of the Common Pleas [32] [37]
William de Notton c. 136512 October 1355 – 10 July 1361Became Chief Justice of the King's Bench for Ireland [32]
Thomas Ingleby 25 June 1361 – 1377 [32]
Robert Tresilian d. 19 February 13886 May 1378 – 22 June 1381 [38]
David Hanmer d. 138726 February 1383 – 1386 [38]
John Lockton 25 October 1387 [38]
John Hill d. 140820 May 1389 – 1407 [38]
Hugh Huls d. 3 July 141520 May 1389
30 May 1394 - 1414

Retired
[38]
Robert Tyrwhitt d. 6 January 14284 May 1408 – 6 January 1428Died [38]
Roger Horton d. 30 April 142316 June 1415 – 1422 [38]
William Cheyne d. 144316 June 1415 – 21 January 1424Became Chief Justice of the King's Bench [38]
John Hals 23 January 1424 - 1434 [39]
William Westbury d. 25 December 14486 February 1426 – 21 February 1445Retired [39]
William Goderede d. 1 January 14553 July 1434 – 1 January 1455Died [39]
William Yelverton d. 27 March 14761 July 1443 – 6 April 1471 [39]
John Markham 6 February 1444 – 13 May 1461Became Chief Justice of the King's Bench [39]
Richard Bingham 22 May 14765 May 1445 – 6 April 1471 [39]
Ralph Pole d. 14603 July 1453 – 18 March 1460 [39]
Thomas Billing d. 5 May 14819 August 1464 – 23 January 1469Became Chief Justice of the King's Bench [39]
William Laken d. 6 October 14754 June 1465 – 6 October 1475Died [39]
Richard Nele 18 April 1469 – 17 June 1471Became a Justice of the Common Pleas [39]
John Needham d. 25 April 148017 June 1471 – 25 April 1480Died [40]
Thomas Yonge d. 3/4 May 147729 April 1475 – 3/4 May 1477Died [40]
Guy Fairfax d. 14958 October 1477 – 1495Died [40]
William Jenney d. 22/23 December 148314 May 1481 – 22/23 December 1483Died [40]
John Sulyard d. 14 March 148822 October 1484 – 14 March 1488Died [40]
Thomas Tremayle d. 10 September 150816 June 1488 – 10 September 1508Died [40]
Robert Rede d. 7/8 January 151924 November 1495 – 26 November 1506Became Chief Justice of the Common Pleas [40]
Robert Brudenell 1461 – 30 January 153128 April 1507 – 23 April 1520Became Chief Justice of the Common Pleas [40]
Humphrey Coningsby d. 2 June 153521 May 1509 – 28 November 1533 [40]
John More d. 5 November 153023 April 1520 – 5 November 1530Died [40]
John FitzJames c. 1470 – 15386 February 1522 – 24 January 1526Became Chief Justice of the King's Bench [40] [41]
John Port d. March 154010 July 1525 – March 1540Died [42]
John Spelman d. 26 January 15463 July 1531 – 26 January 1546Died [42]
Walter Luke d. 21 July 154428 November 1533 – 21 July 1544Died [42]
William Coningsby d. 10 September 15405 July 1540 – 10 September 1540Died [42]
Edmund Mervin d. 155322 November 1540 – 1553Died [42]
Thomas Bromley d. 15 May 15555 November 1544 – 4 October 1553Became Chief Justice of the Queen's Bench [42] [43]
William Portman 1497/8 — 5 February 155714 May 1546 – 11 June 1555Became Chief Justice of the Queen's Bench [42]
John Whiddon d. 27 January 15764 October 1553 – 27 January 1576Died [42]
William Dalison d. 18 January 15592 November 1555 – 18 January 1559Died [42]
Francis Morgan d. 19 August 155823 January 1558 – 19 August 1558Died [42]
James Dyer 1510 – 24 March 158223 April 1558 – 27 April 1558Retired [42] [44]
William Rastell d. 27 August 156527 October 1558 – 10 February 1563 [45]
Reginald Corbet d. 19 November 156616 October 1559 – 19 November 1566Died [45]
John Southcote d. 18 April 158510 February 1563 – 1 June 1584Retired [45]
Thomas Carus d. 5 July 157131 May 1567 – 5 July 1571Died [45]
Christopher Wray 14 May 1572 – 8 November 1574Became Chief Justice of the Queen's Bench [45]
Thomas Gawdy d. 5 November 158816 November 1574 – 5 November 1588Died [45]
John Jeffrey 15 May 1576 – 12 October 1577Became Chief Baron of the Exchequer [45]
William Ayloffe d. 17 November 15843 February 1578 – 17 November 1584Died [45]
John Clench d. 18/19 August 160729 May 1584 – 7 February 1602Retired [45]
Robert Shute d. 15908 February 1585 – 1590Died [45]
Francis Gawdy 25 November 1588 – 26 August 1605Became Chief Justice of the Common Pleas [45]
Edward Fenner d. 23/24 January 161216 May 1590 – 23/24 January 1612Died [46]
Christopher Yelverton d. 1 November 16128 February 1602 – 1 November 1612Died [46]
David Williams d. 22 January 16134 February 1604 – 22 January 1613Died [46]
Lawrence Tanfield 13 January 1606 – 25 June 1607Became Chief Baron of the Exchequer [46]
John Croke d. 23 January 162025 June 1607 – 23 January 1620Died [46]
John Doddridge d. 12 September 162825 November 1612 – 12 September 1628Died [46]
Robert Houghton d. 6 February 162421 April 1613 – 6 February 1624Died [46]
Thomas Chamberlayne 8 October 1620 – 20 October 1624Became a Justice of the Common Pleas [46]
William Jones d. 10 December 164017 October 1624 – 10 December 1640Died [46]
James Whitelocke d. 20 June 163218 October 1624 – 20 June 1632Died [46]
George Croke 9 October 1628 – 25 March 1641 [46]
Robert Berkeley d. 5 August 165611 October 1632 – 12 September 1643Discharged by Parliament [47]
Robert Heath 23 January 1641 – 11 October 1642Became Chief Justice of the King's Bench [47]
Thomas Malet 1 July 1641 – 24 November 1645
31 May 1660 – 13 June 1663
Discharged by Parliament
Discharged
[47]
Francis Bacon d. 22 August 165714 October 1642 – 8 February 1649Declined reappointment [47]
Robert Brerewood 31 January 1644 – June 1646Ceased to act after the fall of Oxford [47]
Henry Rolle 7 October 1645 – 15 November 1648Became Chief Justice of the King's Bench [47]
Samuel Browne 22 November 1648 – 8 February 1649Declined reappointment [47]
Philip Jermyn 22 November 1648 – 18 March 1654Not reappointed [47]
Robert Nicholas 12 June 1649 – 23 January 1654
19 January 1660 – May 1660
Became a Baron of the Exchequer
Not reappointed
[47]
Richard Aske d. 23 June 165612 June 1649 – 23 June 1656Died [47]
Richard Newdigate 30 May 1654 – 1 May 1655
13 June 1657 – 19 January 1660
Not reappointed
Became Chief Justice of the Upper Bench
[48]
Peter Warburton 11 February 1656 – May 1659Not reappointed [48]
Roger Hill 19 January 1660 – May 1660Not reappointed [48]
Thomas Twisden d. 2 January 168327 June 1660 – 2 January 1683Died [48]
Wadham Wyndham 24 November 1660 – 24/5 December 1668Died [48]
John Kelynge 18 June 1663 – 21 November 1665Became Chief Justice of the King's Bench [48]
William Morton d. 23 September 167223 November 1665 – 23 September 1672Died [49]
Richard Raynsford 6 February 1669 – 12 April 1676Became Chief Justice of the King's Bench [49]
William Wilde d. 23 November 167921 January 1673 – 29 April 1679Dismissed [49]
Thomas Jones 13 April 1676 – 29 September 1683Became Chief Justice of the Common Pleas [49]
William Dolben d. 25 January 169423 October 1678 – 18 April 1683
18 March 1689 – 25 January 1694
Dismissed
Died
[49]
Francis Pemberton 1 May 1679 – 16 February 1680Dismissed [49]
Thomas Raymond d. 14 July 168324 April 1680 – 14 July 1683Died [49]
Francis Wythens 25 April 1683 – 21 April 1687Dismissed [49]
Richard Holloway 25 September 1683 – 2 July 1688Dismissed [49]
Thomas Walcot d. 6 September 168522 October 1683 – 6 September 1685Died [49]
Robert Wright 10 October 1685 – 13 April 1687Became Chief Justice of the Common Pleas [49]
John Powell 13 April 1687 – 2 July 1688Dismissed [50]
Richard Allibond d. 22 August 168827 April 1687 – 22 August 1688Died [50]
Thomas Powell 6 July 1688 – 1689Not reappointed after the Glorious Revolution [50]
Robert Baldock 6 July 1688 – 1689Not reappointed after the Glorious Revolution [50]
Thomas Stringer 22 October 1688 – 1689Not reappointed after the Glorious Revolution [50]
William Gregory d. 28 May 16968 May 1689 – 28 May 1696Died [50]
Giles Eyre d. 2 June 16958 May 1689 – 2 June 1695Died [50]
Samuel Eyre d. 12 September 169819 February 1694 – 12 September 1698Died [50]
Thomas Rokeby d. 26 November 169925 October 1695 – 26 November 1699Died [50]
John Turton 27 June 1696 – 8 June 1702Dismissed [50]
Henry Gould d. 26 March 171030 January 1699 – 26 March 1710Died [50]
Littleton Powys 26 January 1701 – 26 October 1726Retired [51]
John Powell 23 June 1702 – 2 June 1713Retired [51]
Robert Eyre 12 May 1710 – 21 November 1723Became Chief Baron of the Exchequer [51]
Thomas Powys 3 June 1713 – 14 October 1714Dismissed [51]
John Pratt 20 November 1714 – 19 May 1718Became Chief Justice of the King's Bench [51]
John Fortescue Aland 19 May 1718 – 27 September 1727Dismissed [51]
Robert Raymond 31 January 1724 – 2 March 1725Became Chief Justice of the King's Bench [51]
James Reynolds 16 March 1725 – 28 April 1730Became Chief Baron of the Exchequer [51]
Edmund Probyn 4 November 1726 – 24 November 1740Became Chief Baron of the Exchequer [51]
Francis Page d. 19 December 174127 September 1727 – 19 December 1741Died [51]
William Lee 13 June 1730 – 8 June 1737Became Chief Justice of the King's Bench [51]
William Chapple d. 15 March 174516 June 1737 – 15 March 1745Died [52]
Martin Wright 24 November 1740 – 6 February 1755Retired [52]
Thomas Denison 11 February 1742 – 14 February 1765Retired [52]
Michael Foster d. 7 November 176322 April 1745 – 7 November 1763Died [52]
John Eardley Wilmot 11 February 1755 – 20 August 1766Became Chief Justice of the Common Pleas [52]
Joseph Yates 23 January 1764 – 16 February 1770Became a Justice of the Common Pleas [52]
Richard Aston d. 1 March 177824 April 1765 – 1 March 1778Died [52]
James Hewitt 5 November 1766 – 24 November 1767Became Lord Chancellor of Ireland [52]
Edward Willes d. 14 January 178729 January 1768 – 14 January 1787Died [52]
William Blackstone 16 February 1770 – 25 June 1770Became a Justice of the Common Pleas [52]
William Henry Ashurst 25 June 1770 – 3 June 1799Retired [52]
Francis Buller 6 May 1778 – 18 June 1794Became a Justice of the Common Pleas [53]
Nash Grose 9 February 1787 – 16 June 1813Retired [53]
Soulden Lawrence 18 June 1794 – 31 March 1808Became a Justice of the Common Pleas [53]
Simon Le Blanc d. 15 April 18165 June 1799 – 15 April 1816Died [53]
John Bayley 7 May 1808 – 11 November 1830Became a Baron of the Exchequer [53]
Henry Dampier d. 3 February 181623 June 1813 – 3 February 1816Died [53]
George Sowley Holroyd 20 February 1816 – 17 November 1828Retired [53]
Charles Abbott 3 May 1816 – 4 November 1818Became Chief Justice of the King's Bench [53]
William Best 28 November 1818 – 15 April 1824Became Chief Justice of the Common Pleas [53]
Joseph Littledale 4 May 1824 – 11 February 1841Retired [53]
James Parke 17 November 1828 – 29 April 1834Became a Baron of the Exchequer [53]
William Elias Taunton d. 11 January 183511 November 1830 – 11 January 1835Died [54]
John Patteson 11 November 1830 – 11 February 1852Retired [54]
John Williams d. 14/15 September 184629 April 1834 – 14/15 September 1846Died [54]
John Taylor Coleridge 26 January 1835 – 14 June 1858Retired [54]
William Wightman d. 10 December 186315 February 1841 – 10 December 1863Died [54]
William Erle 27 October 1846 – 24 June 1859Became Chief Justice of the Common Pleas [54]
Charles John Crompton d. 30 October 186511 February 1852 – 30 October 1865Died [54]
Hugh Hill 14 June 1858 – 3 December 1861Retired [54]
Colin Blackburn 28 June 1859 – 1 November 1875Became a Justice of the High Court of Justice (Queen's Bench Division) [54]
John Mellor 3 December 1861 – 1 November 1875Became a Justice of the High Court of Justice (Queen's Bench Division) [54]
William Shee 19 December 1863 – 19 February 1868Died [54]
Robert Lush 2 November 1865 – 1 November 1875Became a Justice of the High Court of Justice (Queen's Bench Division) [54]
James Hannen 25 February 1868 – 20 November 1872Became a Justice of the High Court of Justice (Probate Division [55]
George Hayes d. 24 November 186925 August 1868 – 24 November 1869Died [55]
John Richard Quain 5 January 1872 – 1 November 1875Became a Justice of the High Court of Justice (Queen's Bench Division) [55]
Thomas Dickson Archibald 20 November 1872 – 6 February 1875Became a Justice of the Common Pleas [55]
William Field 6 February 1875 – 1 November 1875Became a Justice of the High Court of Justice (Queen's Bench Division) [55]

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  22. Summerson, Henry (2004). "Oxford DNB article: Baynard, Robert (subscription needed)". Oxford University Press. Retrieved 18 August 2010.
  23. Sainty (1993) p.63
  24. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Sainty (1993) p.24
  25. Brand, Paul (2004). "Oxford DNB article: Hambury, Sir Henry (subscription needed)". Oxford University Press. Retrieved 18 August 2010.
  26. Payling, S. J. (2004). "Oxford DNB article: Willoughby, Sir Richard (subscription needed)". Oxford University Press. Retrieved 20 August 2010.
  27. Ball (2005) p.72
  28. Edward Foss notes that, given his appointment as a Baron of the Exchequer on 24 September 1332, his entries in the plea rolls as a Justice of the Kings Bench are "nothing more than an order for his salary as a baron, the titles not being always clearly distinguished"
  29. Foss (1870) p.220
  30. Kaeuper, Richard W. (2004). "Oxford DNB article: Shareshull, SIr William (subscription needed)". Oxford University Press. Retrieved 23 August 2010.
  31. Foss (1870) p.589
  32. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Sainty (1993) p.25
  33. Summerson, Henry (2004). "Oxford DNB article: Scott, Sir William (subscription needed)". Oxford University Press. Retrieved 23 August 2010.
  34. Summerson, Henry (2004). "Oxford DNB article: Baukwell, Roger (subscription needed)". Oxford University Press. Retrieved 23 August 2010.
  35. Summerson, Henry (2004). "Oxford DNB article: Basset, Sir William (subscription needed)". Oxford University Press. Retrieved 23 August 2010.
  36. Kaeuper, Richard W. (2004). "Oxford DNB article: Thorp, Sir William (subscription needed)". Oxford University Press. Retrieved 23 August 2010.
  37. Kaeuper, Richard W. (2004). "Oxford DNB article: Seton, Thomas". Oxford University Press. Retrieved 4 November 2010.
  38. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Sainty (1993) p.26
  39. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Sainty (1993) p.27
  40. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Sainty (1993) p.28
  41. Baker, J. H. (2004). "Oxford DNB article: Fitzjames, Sir John (subscription needed)". Oxford University Press. Retrieved 23 December 2010.
  42. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Sainty (1993) p.29
  43. Baker, J. H. (2004). "Oxford DNB article: Portman, Sir William (subscription needed)". Oxford University Press. Retrieved 23 December 2010.
  44. Baker, J.H. (2004). "Oxford DNB article: Dyer, Sir James (subscription needed)". Oxford University Press. Retrieved 23 December 2010.
  45. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Sainty (1993) p.30
  46. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Sainty (1993) p.31
  47. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Sainty (1993) p.32
  48. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Sainty (1993) p.33
  49. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Sainty (1993) p.34
  50. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Sainty (1993) p.35
  51. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Sainty (1993) p.36
  52. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Sainty (1993) p.37
  53. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Sainty (1993) p.38
  54. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Sainty (1993) p.39
  55. 1 2 3 4 5 Sainty (1993) p.40

Bibliography

See also