Page:Chronicle of the law officers of Ireland.djvu/16

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vii
PREFACE.

behaviour, and notwithstanding the demise of the crown. Mr. Lodge only notices those appointments of which some roll or record existed; hence it was impossible to form a perfect series, from the destruction of many records; for instance, in the time of Cantoc, chancellor, all the records of Chancery down to the reign of Edward I., were destroyed by fire.

Numerous chasms and omissions will be observed in the succession of appointments; as far as the twenty-sixth year of Henry the Eighth, the series is frequently interrupted and broken; from that date the lists are carried down with tolerable regularity to the year 1644, from that to 1655 there is a chasm very obviously to be accounted for. Cromwell's rolls commence in 1655, from which time or from the Restoration the lists will be found regular.

Many of the patents are continuations, renewals, or amendments of former grants. The number of Judges in each Court was very uncertain. Edward II. being informed that there were more justices appointed than there ought to be in the King's Bench in Ireland, issued writs to discharge and remove all but three of the most sufficient of them, yet until the reign of Elizabeth two would appear to have been the usual number in the King's Bench and Exchequer.

The separation of the Common Pleas and Exchequer would appear not to have taken place at so early a period in Ireland as in England. In