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Legal papers relating to King James II and the Anglican Church

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0096 MS 52
Held at: Senate House Library, University of London
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Full title: Legal papers relating to King James II and the Anglican Church
Date(s): 1686
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 1 volume containing 100 leaves
Name of creator(s): Unknown
Detailed catalogue: Click here to view repository detailed catalogue


Administrative/Biographical history:

The Court of King's Bench was formerly one of the superior courts of common law in England. King's, or Queen's, Bench was so called because it descended from the English court held coram rege ("before the monarch") and thus traveled wherever the king went. King's Bench heard cases that concerned the sovereign or cases affecting great persons privileged to be tried only before him. It could also correct the errors and defaults of all other courts, and, after the close of the civil wars of Henry III's reign (1216-72), it mainly tried criminal or quasi-criminal cases. In 1268 it obtained its own chief justice, but only very gradually did it lose its close connections with the king and become a separate court of common law. The Court of King's Bench exercised a supreme and general jurisdiction over criminal and civil cases as well as special jurisdiction over the other superior common-law courts until 1830.


Scope and content/abstract:

Manuscript volume containing transcripts of legal papers, 1686, mainly relating to the attempts of King James II to increase his powers as the Supreme Head of the Anglican Church, including papers appointing the Lords Commissioners for Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction, 17 Jul 1686, and their proceedings against Henry Compton, Bishop of London, 9 Aug-6 Sep 1686; proceedings in the Court of King's Bench against Sir Edward Hales, Baronet, 1686, (where the judges found in favour of the king's power to excuse individuals from the Test Oath); observations on the case of customs cited in the Reports of Sir Edward Coke...of divers resolutions and judgments (W Lee, London, 1658), 1686; and notes on proceedings in the Court of King's Bench against Samuel Johnson, [1686].

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Single item.

Conditions governing access:

Access to this collection is unrestricted for the purpose of private study and personal research within the supervised environment and restrictions of the Library's Palaeography Room. Uncatalogued material may not be seen. Please contact the University Archivist for details.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copies may be made, subject to the condition of the original. Copying must be undertaken by the Palaeography Room staff, who will need a minimum of 24 hours to process requests.

Finding aids:

Collection level description.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Part of the Goldsmith's Library of Economic Literature, initially collected by Herbert Somerton Foxwell and presented by the Goldsmith's Company to the University of London in 1903.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

All of the above proceedings, with the exception of the commentary on the work of Sir Edward Coke, have been printed in volume XI of A Complete Collection of State Trials (Longmans and Co, London, 1809-1828), compiled by T B Howell.

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Compiled by Sarah Smith as part of the RSLP AIM25 Project.

Rules or conventions:
ISAD(G) 2nd edition, and NCA rules for the construction of personal, place and corporate names (1997).

Date(s) of descriptions:
Jul 2000

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