Ussher, for example, protested over the renewal of Ryves's patent as Judge of the Prerogative Court
of Ireland in 1625.(7) Despite these differences, Ryves's letters to Ussher, including the one in question here, indicate a literary more than an explicitly political relationship (i.e.
First, since the statute attempted to curb acts "in prejudice and disherison of our lord the King," this could not apply to Chancery, since the king cannot he disinherited of jurisdiction by his own prerogative court. Second, the statute allowed recourse to Chancery for remedy, and "it is opposite in it selfe, that the Chancery should give both the offence and the remedy." Third, the penalties provided were too severe except if they were directed only against recourse to foreign jurisdictions - this, the panel argued, was the object of the statute: to prevent recourse to foreign courts.
Like Chancery, it was a prerogative court separate from the common law.
The monarch pursued his prerogative most systematically in his prerogative courts, notably the Star Chamber and the High Commission, both of which acted at least partly on statutory authority.
Once this was widely understood, the claim of legislative authorization or acquiescence would not save the prerogative courts from eventually being condemned as extralegal instruments of extralegal power.
The final chapter, "Theatre of the Courtroom," is perhaps the books most compelling, surveying the structure of Stuart common law and prerogative courts
and highlighting the shared roots in persuasive oratory of both legal proceedings and the stage.
in the prerogative courts, the Council could "use any procedure it
Stuart dynasty used the prerogative courts to commit such notorious
When kings exercised prerogative power, though, they expected deference from judges, both to their own decrees and to the holdings and interpretations of their extra-legal prerogative courts.
It was consolidated in the sense that it united all government powers--legislative, executive, and judicial--in the king or in his prerogative courts. Underlying these three central elements was the usual conceptual justification for absolute power: necessity, which, it was said, was not bound by law.
Ample resources of Roman jurisprudence were available in the thriving and influential community of civilian lawyers of "Doctors' Commons" who practiced in the many English prerogative courts
. Drawing on the seventeenth-century works of Coke and Hale as well as many recent works in Pocockian 'new' British history, MacMillan makes a credible argument that although the forms and style of common law jurisprudence were often used for reasons of familiarity and convenience, the new American colonies were in fact "part of the composite monarchy, ruled by the King alone through his royal prerogatives" (37).
During that trial, carried out by a rump court assembled by England's House of Commons, King Charles I was accused of seeking "to subvert the ancient and fundamental laws and liberties of this nation and in their place to introduce an arbitrary and tyrannical government." As king, Charles was reminded, he had been "trusted with a limited power to govern by and according to the laws of the land and not otherwise." Among his most serious offenses was his use of "prerogative courts
" to try and punish his political enemies.