King's bench

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Related to King's bench: Justice of the King's Bench, Kings Bench Division

KING'S BENCH. The name of the supreme court of law in England. It is so called because formerly the king used to sit there in person, the style of the court being still coram ipso rege, before the king himself. During the reign of a queen, it is called the Queen's Bench, and during the protectorate of Cromwell, it was called the Upper Bench. It consists of a chief justices and three other judges, who are, by their office, the principal coroners and conservators of the peace. 3 Bl. Com. 41.
     2. This court has jurisdiction in criminal matters, in civil causes, and is a supervisory tribunal to keep other jurisdictions within their proper bounds.
     3.-1. Its criminal jurisdiction extends over all offenders, and not only over an capital offences but also over another misdemeanors of a public nature; it being considered the custos morum of the realm. Its jurisdiction is so universal that an act of parliament appointing that all crimes of a certain denomination shall be tried before certain judges, does not exclude the jurisdiction of this court, without negative words. It may also proceed on indictments removed into that court out of the inferior courts by certiorari.
     4.-2. Its civil jurisdiction is against the officers or ministers of the court entitled to its privilege. 2 Inst. 23; 4 Inst. 71; 2 Bulst. 123. And against prisoners for trespasses. In these last cases a declaration may be filed against them in debt, covenant or account: and this is done also upon the notion of a privilege, because the common pleas could not obtain or procure the prisoners of the king's bench to appear in their court.
     5.-3. Its supervisory powers extend, 1. To issuing writs of error to inferior jurisdictions, and affirming or reversing their judgments. 2. To issuing writs of mandamus to compel inferior officers and courts to perform the duties required of them by law. Bac. Ab. Court of King's Bench.

References in classic literature ?
In two hours, six-and-thirty fires were raging--six-and-thirty great conflagrations: among them the Borough Clink in Tooley Street, the King's Bench, the Fleet, and the New Bridewell.
So I took the key of the house to the landlord, who was very glad to get it; and the beds were sent over to the King's Bench, except mine, for which a little room was hired outside the walls in the neighbourhood of that Institution, very much to my satisfaction, since the Micawbers and I had become too used to one another, in our troubles, to part.
Little is actually known about the period he spent in the King's Bench, but it clearly brought on a severe decline in his health.
In 1679, when judges upheld Charles II's dubious actions and refused to protect individual liberties, the House of Commons initiated impeachment proceedings against Chief Justice of the Court of King's Bench, Sir William Scroggs.
Perhaps inspired by the success of these earlier cases, the Society brought a far more serious indictment at the King's Bench, before Lord Chief Justice Holt.
The charity is being helped by human rights barrister Tony Kumar Muman, of the King's Bench Walk Chambers in Birmingham.
67) In a case of abduction from the court of King's Bench in 1366, we hear the story of Joan wife of Philip de Moulsham, who was coerced into marriage with him after she was engaged to John Cook--she later escaped Philip's custody and married John.
His main research on press gangs and how impressment into the navy really worked, took him to the extensive Admiralty records, through ships' logs and through the Public Record Office's huge collection of King's Bench archives for the whole of the 1790s when the press gangs were likely to be at their most active.
In fact, the Right Honorable William, Lord Mansfield, the Lord Chief Justice of the Court of King's Bench, the most powerful judge in England, urged Steuart to free Somerset or to voluntarily dismiss the case, which would foreclose the court's need to decide an issue that might result in freeing the 14,000 to 15,000 slaves in England.
And even though game laws in place in England at the time prevented most people from using guns to hunt game, "in 1752 the Chief Justice of the King's Bench reaffirmed that it was 'not to be imagined' that Parliament in [the Game Act] had intended 'to disarm all the people of England.
have filed suit on behalf of the Butler Area School District, Seneca Valley School District, Franklin Area School District, Karns City School District and Mars Area School District in the High Court asking it to exercise its extraordinary King's Bench powers to delay a one-time decision contained in the recent Home Owner Tax Relief Act.
By the mid-eighteenth century, a deceived husband could take civil action in the courts of King's Bench or Common Pleas against his wife's lover for the "loss of comfort and society" and claim damages.