Charles II, 1664 & 1665: An Act for the returning of able and sufficient Jurors.

Pages 553-554

Statutes of the Realm: Volume 5, 1628-80. Originally published by Great Britain Record Commission, s.l, 1819.

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In this section

Reasons for passing this Act.

Jurors returned on Trials of Issues to be worth in Freehold Lands, &c. £20 per Annum. (Exception.); Jurors in Wales £8 per Annum.; Challenge.; Issues of Juryman making Default how saved.; The Form of the Venire facias.; Sheriff returning Jurors of less Value; Penalty £5.

For the returning of more able and sufficient Jurors for Trialls hereafter to be had betweene party and [partyes (fn. 1) ] and for reformation of abuses in Sheriffes and other Ministers, who for reward doe oftentimes spare the ablest and sufficientest, and returne the poorer and simpler Freeholders lesse able to desceme the Causes in question, and to beare the charges of appearance and attendance thereon, Bee it enacted by the Kings most Excellent Majestie by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spirituall and Temporall and Commons in this present Parliament assembled and by the Authority of the same That all Jurors (other then Strangers upon Tryalls per medietatem lingue) who are to be returned for the Tryalls of Issues joyned in any of [his (fn. 2) ] Majestyes Courts of Kings Bench, Common Pleas or the Exchequer or before Justices of Assize or Nisi Prius Oyer and Terminer Goale Delivery or Generall or Quarter Sessions of the Peace from and after the Twentyeth day of Aprill which shall be in the yeare of our Lord One thousand six hundred sixty five in any County of this Realme of England shall every of them then have in their owne name or in trust for them within the same County Twenty pounds by the yeare at least above reprizes in their owne or their wives right of Freehold Lands or of auntient Demeasne, or of Rents in Fee, Fee taile, or for Life, And that in every County within the Dominion of Wales, every such Juror shall then have within the same eight pounds by the yeare at the least above reprizes in manner aforesaid, All which persons haveing such Estate as aforesaid are hereby enabled and ( (fn. 3) ) made lyeable to be returned and to serve as Jurors for the Tryall of Issues before the Justices aforesaid, Any Law or Statute to the contrary in any wise notwithstanding, And if any of a lesse Estate and value shall be respectively returned upon any such Jury or Tales in defaulte of such Jurors it shall be a good cause of Challenge, and the party returned shall be discharged upon the said Challenge, or his owne Allegation and Oath thereof. And that noe Jury mans Issues makeing Defaulte shall be saved but by speciall Order of the Judge or Judges before whom the Issue is to be tryed for some just and reasonable Cause proved upon Oath before the same Judge or Judges And all such Issues shall be duely estreated and levyed, And that the Writt of Venire facias which from and after the aforesaid time, shall be Jawarded and directed for the impannelling of Juryes in Cases aforesaid within any County of England shall be in this Forme Rex &c. pp[re]cipimus &c quod venire fa? cor? &c duodecim liberos et legales homithes de vicineto de A Quorum quilibet habeat viginti libras terre tenementorū vel reddi? per annū ad minus per quos &c et qui nee, &c, And the residue of the said Writt shall be after the auntient manner, And that those Writts which shall be awarded and directed for returning of Juryes within the Dominion of Wales shall be made in the same manner altering onely the word Viginti into Octo, and that upon every such Writt and Writts of Venire facias the Sheriffe Coroner or other Ministers of each respective County in England and Wales unto whom the makeing of the Pannell shall appertaine shall not returne in any such Pannell any person unlesse he shall then have Twenty Pounds or Eight pounds respectively by the yeare at least as aforesaid in the same County where the Issue is to be tryed upon paine to forfeite for every person being returned in any such Pannell that shall not then have Twenty pounds or Eight pounds respectively as is aforesaid the summe of Five pounds to His Majestie His Heires and Successors,

II. Sheriffs to give to the Sessions Names of Persons liable to be returned as Jurors.

Sessions may add Names omitted.; No greater Number returnable than Sessions may think fit.

And for the better enableing the Sheriffe of every County to know the value of the Estates of such persons as are by the true intent and meaning of this Act to be returned for Jury men, Bee it further enacted That every Sheriffe shall on the First day of every Generall Quarter Sessions yearely held next after the Feast of Easter deliver or cause to be delivered unto the Justices of Peace sitting at the same Sessions the Names of all persons of such Estates as are by the true meaning of this Act to be returned for Jury men, to the end the Estates of such persons may be enquired after, and such persons approved of by the said Justices of Peace or the greater number of them then present to be persons of such Estates to be returneable for Jury men for the yeare then next ensueing, And the said Justices shall have power to add such persons haveing Estates of the respective values before mentioned as they shall finde to be ommitted by the Sheriffe among the Names by him delivered, and such competent number and noe more of such persons as aforesaid shall be returnable to serve of Juryes for the yeare next ensueing as the said Justices or the greater number of them as aforesaid shall thinke fitt, And that noe Sheriffe shall incurr the penaltie aforesaid for returning any of the persons soe approved or added by the Justices in case, his Estate fall out to be of lesse value then aforesaid.

III. Jurors to be summoned six Days before they are to appear; and to have left with them in Writing the Names of Parties.

Sheriff, &c. taking money, &c. to excuse Appearance; Penalty £10.; Proviso for ancient Usages.

And it is further enacted That noe Sheriffe or Bayliffe of any Liberty or Franchise or any of their or either of their Ministers shall returne any such person or persons as aforesaid to have beene, summoned by them or any of them unlesse such person or persons shall have beene duely summoned by the space of six dayes at the least before the day on which they ought to make their appearance, And have left with or for such persons in writeing the Names of all the Partyes in those Causes wherein they are to serve as Junros, nor shall directly or indirectly take any money or other reward to excuse the appearance of any Juror by them or any of them to be summoned or returned upon paine to forfeite for every such Offence the summe of Ten pounds, saveing to all Cittyes and Townes Corporate their auntient Usage of returning Jurors of such Estate and in such manner as heretofore hath beene used or accustomed

IV. Upon certain Writs of Venire facias in C. P. of Lancaster, Habeas Corpora or Distringas to be sued out.

Issues to be estreated.

And bee it further enacted by the Authoritie aforesaid That from henceforth upon Writts of Venire facias issued out and returned within the County Pallatine of Lancaster as of the same Assizes wherein the Issues are said to be joyned Writts of Habeas Corpora or Distringas shall be sued out like as is used in all other Countyes within this Kingdome returnable at the then next Assizes, And the Sheriffe thereupon to returne such Issues, as is or ought to be done by the said Sheriffes of the said other Countyes and those Issues to be duely estreated as above is provided,

V. Jurymen how compelled to appear in the County Palatine of Lancaster.

Default in Juror; Penalty £10.

And the better to cause and bring Jurors to appeare upon Tryalls at Assizes within the said County Pallatine of Lancaster Bee it further enacted by the Authoritie aforesaid That the Sheriffe of the same County Pallatine of Lancaster for the time being shall from henceforth cause twelve good and lawfull men soe qualifyed as before in this Act is appointed out of every of the six Hundreds within the said County Palatine to be duely summoned or warned ten dayes at the least before the begining of every Assizes to be and appeare the first day° of the then next Assizes and there to attend dureing the same Assizes to performe their duty and service' to the Court as Jurors or Jury-men in such Causes betweene Party and Party wherein they shall be respectively returned and impannelled upon paine that every of them that shall make defaulte to appeare and attend at and dureing the said Assizes to forfeite Ten pounds to the use and behoofe of the Poore of the Towne where such person or persons soe makeing defaulte doth inhabit and live, the same to be levyed recovered and had in such manner and wayes as other Issues of Jurors use to be levyed,

VI. Continuance of Act.

Provided That this Act shall continue and stand in force for the space of Three yeares and from thence to the end of the next Session of Parlyament and noe longer.


  • 1. Party O.
  • 2. the Kings O.
  • 3. and O.