he may be in England'; and the Court of King's Bench always continued to be 'the Court before the King himself' even when the Sovereign had ceased to sit in it, and had permanently delegated his authority there, as in other Courts, to Justices.
In the reign of King John, before his great Charter, this movable and moving Court before the King himself not only heard causes (including common pleas) brought into it directly, but also causes commenced in the Bench but belonging to the county in which the King with his Court might happen to be. If not there concluded, a cause might be remitted back to the Bench, or left to wait the coming of the Justices in Eyre.
There are abundant materials in the Record Office, beginning in the reign of Richard I, for the proof and illustration of all these matters in detail. The records themselves which have fortunately been preserved are of inestimable value for those who know how to use them, teaching us how the Courts of King's Bench and Common Pleas acquired their respective jurisdictions, and the relations which each bore to the other, and the Eyre to both.
The word Assisa had several meanings, only two of which I need at present mention. One was that of a particular kind of action invented in the reign of Henry II, the other that of the sitting or the time of sitting of a Court. The Assise Rolls originally
The Justices of Assise: their jurisdiction distinct from and inferior to that of the Justices in Eyre.The growth of another jurisdiction, often confused with that of the Eyre, is also illustrated by the records. I mean that of the Justices of Assise.
- Any one who wishes to work these matters out in detail must rely upon his own judgement and industry. The lists of the records are deceptive. Some of the Eyre Rolls have been placed under the head of ' Curia Regis Rolls ', and others (the greater part) have been mixed indiscriminately with the rolls of the Justices of Assise. Pleas before the King himself may also be found under the head 'Justices Itinerant and others'. The Principalis Curia Regis is not mentioned.