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How did court work in the Elizabethan times

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Sharon Ho

on 7 March 2012

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Transcript of How did court work in the Elizabethan times

The Monarch Chamber
Privy Council The Court Mayors Council of Alderman Lords Lieutenant Sherriffs Under-Sherriffs Coroners Regional Councils Justices of the Peace High Constables Parish Constables Parliament Judges Central Law Courts The Exchequer Vice-Admirals The Military The Privy Council constituted the governing executive and chief advisors of the monarch; Privy Councillors were all chosen personally by the Queen (or King), to whom they swore an oath of personal loyalty. Under Elizabeth there were about 18 members*, drawn from the nobility and gentry, but most business was handled by a minority of leading officials. A growing bureaucracy
In a classic demonstration of Parkinson's Law, this number was increased to 25 and 30 under James and Charles I. The most important and active members of the Council were usually the Lord Treasurer, Lord Chancellor, Lord Privy Seal and, most influential of all, the Secretary. Twelve judges of the London law courts at Westminster conducted tours of the counties in mid-February and June, carrying administrative instructions to the local level, checking that laws were enforced, and holding judicial assizes to supplement quarter sessions held by Justices of the Peace. There were two Regional Councils: one of the North and one of the Marches (the border country) of Wales, each governed by a Crown- appointed regional assembly headed by a Lord President. They held wide powers that were more parallel to the Privy Council than subservient to it. Justices of the Peace were the most active representatives of government at the local level. From 20-80 J.P.s were appointed by the Lord Chancellor for each county, acting as the chief law enforcement officers and as dispensers of justice at quarter sessions. They were responsible for social legislation such as fixing of wages, regulation of trade, and relief of the poor. The quarter sessions consisted of a quorum of county J.P.s who presided over a jury and passed sentence concerning both civil and criminal justice. Parish law enforcement officers were elected annually from among local labourers or artisans; they were responsible for organizing harvests, road maintenance, and for reporting law-breakers or suspicious strangers. They were assisted by numerous petty officials, including beadles, sidesmen and sextons of the Church.

Constables The Mayor and his Council of Aldermen were officials of cities and boroughs with duties like Justices of the Peace in the counties; they presided over borough councils of leading citizens, who organized such needs as water supply and sanitation. England under Queen Elizabeth It’s reign, the Elizabethan Era, was ruled by the very structured and complicated Elizabethan government. It was divided into the national bodies (the monarch, Privy Council, and Parliament), the regional bodies (the Council of the North and Council of the Marches), the county and community bodies, and the court system Parliament : Elizabeth's Parliament was summoned when she needed to give popular legitimacy to controversial policies (the Acts of Supremacy and Uniformity, for example), to change or create law, or to raise additional direct taxes. Most governing was done without Parliament; even when it was in session the monarch controlled issues under debate, vetoed any undesirable bills, and dissolved Parliament at will. Occasional challenges to royal prerogative were dealt with smoothly by Elizabeth by temporary imprisonment, reproving speeches, and minor concessions; but the Commons managed nonetheless to secure for itself certain privileges, the most important of which was freedom of speech (though the Queen still decided what matters could be freely discussed).
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