Passages and Quotes Relating to Justices of the Peace in 16th and 17th Century England

Source: The Country Justice, by Michael Dalton, from a facsimile of the 1655 edition, as produced in 1996 by The Legal Classics Library, Special Edition Copyright, Division of Gryphon Editions, New York.

Do not shy away if you have no interest in justices of the peace. The following passages contain many valuables!


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Advice to Judges from King James I


Alehouses and Drunkenness


Arrest of Barons and Peers of the Realm?


Breach of the Peace


No Carrier Travel on Sunday

Church Attendance



Drunkenness is Not a Mitigation

Examination of the Suspected Offender

False Imprisonment a Prerogative of the King?

False Latin - Words of Art

False Testimony Taints Entire Testimony


Forcible Detainer

Forcible Entry

Forcible Entry, Duties of Justice of Peace

Games and Sports

Gleaning the Harvest

Carrying of Guns and other Weapons

Gypsies (1)

Gypsies (2)

Hoghenhine - Stranger

Human Failings

Huy and Cry (1)

Huy and Cry (2)

Better to Imprison Wrongfully than to Let the Felon Go


The First Ordaining of Justices of Peace


Limits of Discretion

Magna Carta - Declaration of the Common Law

Justice Available to All - Magna Carta

The Comparison of Corn, Beer, and Ale Measures: Yes, a half gallon is a pottle!

The Mirror - Who Is It?



Oath of Allegiance - Queen Elizabeth

Oath of Supremacy - King James I

Compelling the Oath of Allegiance

Keeping the Peace

The Plague

The Poor

Benefit of Laws for Relief of the Poor

Punishment for those Attainted of Felony

Self Defense

The High Sheriff - Responsibility and Reward

Surety for Peace and Surety for Good Behavior

A Sheathed Sword with No Use or Profit

Testimony of Children Against Parent

Testimony of Wife Against Husband

High Treason

Troy Weight and Averdepois Weight

Admonishment to Tell the Truth - Torture of a Troubled Conscience


Unlawful Assemlies, Riots, Routs

Vagabonds and Rogues

Command to Arrest Must be a Warrant in Writing



Number of Witnesses to Convict


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