King's bench


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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.
And yet Nicholas was in the Rules of the King's Bench Prison
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.
Erskine sought to clarify the law beginning in late summer 1792 when he brought to King's Bench the younger Colman's suit against George Wathen (Dibdin 147).
Appeals could be taken there, but the Commons also heard cases and the Crown appointed the judges to the common law courts of Common Pleas and King's Bench.
Micawber is modelled on Dickens' father John, who was overwhelmed by debt and consigned to the King's Bench Prison in Southwark, London.
He surveyed the King's Bench records of habeas corpus by examining every recorded case for every fourth year between 1500 and 1800, producing a survey sample of 2,757 cases.
There are 16 different sets of reports of cases from the Court of the King's Bench for the first two years in the reign of Charles I.
i] 11 King's Bench Walk in London is at the forefront of emerging areas of civil practice.
He was the author of a number of Reports for the Court of King's Bench during the reign of Charles I.
The first chapter of the "Law" section, by Douglas Hay, establishes the collection's methodology in its study of the relationship between lay magistrates and the King's Bench.