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is bound ex officio to pursue and take traitors, murderers, felons and other misdoers, and commit them to jail. He is to defend his county against the enemies of the king, and may command the entire power of the county to attend him, which is called the posse comitatus, or power of the county, and this summons all over fifteen years old, except peers. They are bound to attend upon warning, under pain of fine and imprisonment. Though the sheriff be the principal conservator of the peace in his county, yet by the express directions of the great charter, he is forbidden to hold any pleas of the crown, or in other words, to try any criminal offence. For it would be unbecoming, that the executioner of justice should be also the judge, should impose as well as levy fines and amercements, should one day condemn a man, and execute him the next. Neither can he act while sheriff, as an ordinary justice of the peace.

His Ministerial Capacity. The sheriff is bound to execute all process issuing from the king's courts of justice. He serves the original writ in a civil cause, arrests and takes bail. Later he summons and returns the jury for the trial. When judgment is finally given, he must see it carried into execution.

In Criminal Matters. In criminal matters, he also arrests and imprisons, he returns the jury, he has the custody of the delinquents, and he executes the sentence of the court, though it extend to death itself.

As King's Bailiff. In this capacity, the sheriff must preserve the rights of the king within his bailiwick, for so his county is frequently called in the writs. The word bailiwick was introduced by the Norman princes in imitation of the French, whose territory was divided into bailiwicks as that of England into counties. He must seize to the king's use all lands devolved to the crown by attainder or escheat; must levy all fines and forfeitures ; must seize and keep all waifs, wrecks and estrays, unless they be granted to some subject, and must also collect the king's rents within the bailiwick, if commanded by process from the exchequer.

His Deputies. To execute these various offices, the sheriff has under him many inferior officers, as under-sheriffs, bailiffs and jailers, who must neither buy, sell nor farm their offices.

Under-Sheriff. This officer usually performs all the duties of the sheriff in his absence. He holds office but oue

year, and is not allowed to practice as an attorney during his - continuation in office. This latter prohibition is often evaded.

Bailiffs. These sheriff's officers are either bailiffs of hundreds or special bailiffs. The former collect fines in their hundreds, summon juries, attend the judges and justices at the assizes and quarter sessions, and execute writs and other processes in their hundreds. As these are generally unlettered men, though skilful in serving writs, and making arrests and executions, it is now usual to join special bailiffs with them, who are shrewd persons, employed by the sheriffs for their derterity. The sheriff, being responsible for their acts, usually exacts an obligation from them, with securities for the due execution of their office, and hence they are called bound bailiffs.

Jailers. These are servants of the sheriff, who himself is responsible for their conduct. Their business is to keep safely all such persons, as are committed to them by lawful warrants. If they suffer any to escape, the sheriff shall answer it to the king, if it be a criminal matter, or in a civil case, to the party injured. To this end, the sheriff must have lauds in the county to answer the king and his people. The abuses of jailers to prisoners are restrained by special statute. II. CORONER.

Origin. This was a very ancient office at the common law. The officer is called coroner, coronator, because he has principally to do with pleas of the crown, or such wherein the king is more immediately concerned. The lord chief justice of the king's bench is the principal coroner in the kingdom, and may, if he pleases, exercise the jurisdiction of a coroner in any part of the realm. But there are particular coroners for every county in England.

Qualifications. The coroner is chosen by all the freeholders in the county court. He must have lands enough to be made a knight, whether he be really knighted or not, for he should possess an estate sufficient to maintain the dignity of his office. Through the neglect of gentlemen of property, the office has fallen into disrepute and into hands of unworthy men, who seek the office solely for its perquisites, where formerly no reward was allowed,

Duration of Office. He may be chosen for life, but may be removed, either by being made sheriff or verderor, a keeper

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of forests, which are offices incompatible with the other; or by the king's writ for cause, as that he is engaged in other business, incapacitated by years or sickness, has not a sufficient estate in the county, or lives in an inconvenient part of it. And by the statute of George II, extortion, neglect or misbehavior are causes of removal.

His Duties. The office and power of a coroner are also like those of the sheriff, either judicial or ministerial, but principally judicial. He must inquire when any person is slain, or dies suddenly or in prison, concerning the manner of his death. And this must be in sight of the body, super visum corporis, for if the body be not found, the coroner cannot sit. He also must sit at the very place, where the death happened. The inquiry is made by a jury, over whom he presides. If the jury find at their inquest any one guilty of homicide, the coroner is to commit him to prison for further trial, and is also to inquire concerning his lands and goods, which are forfeited thereby. He must also inquire, whether any deodand has accrued to the king or the lord by the death, and must certify the entire inquisition, together with the evidence therein, to the court of king's bench, or the next assize. He is to also inquire concerning shipwrecks, and certify whether it be a wreck or not, and who is in possession of the goods. He is to inquire, who is the finder of treasure-trove, and where it is located, and also whether any one is suspected of finding a treasure. In a ministerial office, he is merely the sheriff's substitute, when that official is interested in the suit or of kin to either party.



Conservators of the Peace. The king is the principal conservator of the peace, and may give authority to any other to punish such as break it. The lord chancellor, the lord treasurer, the lord high steward of England, the lord marshal, the lord high constable, and all the justices of the king's bench, also the master of the rolls, are general conservators of the peace throughout the kingdom, and may commit all breakers of it, or bind them in recognizance to keep it, while the other judges are only so in their own courts. The coroner and sheriff are conservators of the peace in their own counties, and both may take a recognizance or security for the peace. Constables, tithing men and the like, are also such conservators in their own jurisdictions, and may

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apprehend all breakers of the peace, and commit them in default of security

Claim to the Title of Conservators. Those who were without any office, and merely conservators of the peace,

, either claimed that power by prescription, or were bound to exercise it by the tenure of their lands, or were chosen by the freeholders in full county court, before the sheriff. In the reign of Edward III, the election of the conservators of the peace was taken from the people, and given to the king, who granted them the power of trying felonies, and the more honorable appellation of justices.

Their Appointment. They are appointed by the king's special commission, under the great seal, the powers oî which were settled by the judges in 1590. This empowers them to keep the peace, and any two of them to inquire of felonies and other misdemeanors; hence the term, justices of the peace.

Qualifications. They should be men of property, and of the best reputation, and among the most worthy men in the county.

Duration of Their Offices. As the office of a justice is conferred by the king, it subsists only during his pleasure. It is determinable: (1) By the demise of the crown, or rather in six months thereafter. If the same justice is placed in commission by the king's successor, he shall not be obliged to sue out a new dedimus potestatem from the clerk in chancery, empowering persons therein named to administer to him the oath, or swear to his qualifications afresh. (2) By express writ, under the great seal, discharging a justice. (3) By superseding the commission by writ of supersedeas, which suspends, but does not destroy the power of all the justices, as it may be revived by procedendo. (4) By a new

) commission, which virtually discharges all the former justices that are not included therein, for two commissions cannot exist at once.

(5) By accession to the office of sheriff or coroner. Powers and Duties. These depend on the commission of a justice, and on the statutes, which have created objects of his jurisdiction. His commission empowers him singly to conserve the peace in suppressing riots and affrays, in taking securities for the peace, and in apprehending and committing felons and infer

, ior criminals. Two or more justices may hear and determine all felonies and other offenses.

Privileges and Liabilities. If any well-meaning justice makes

any undesigned slip in practice, great lenity is shown him in courts of law, and he is protected in the upright discharge of his office. He may not be sued for any oversights, without previous notice, and all suits begun against him must be stopped on tender of sufficient amends. On the other hand, any malicious or tyrannical abuse of his office, is usually severely punished, and all persons who recover a verdict against a justice, for any wilful or malicious injury, are entitled to double costs. IV. CONSTABLES.

Origin. The word constable is of Saxon origin, and signifies the support of the king. Others derive it through the French from the Latin comes stabuli, an officer well known in the empire, so called, like the great constable of France, as well as the lord high constable of England, because he was to regulate all matters of chivalry, tilts, tournaments and feats of arms, which were performed on horseback. The office of lord high constable in England has been disused, except only upon great and solemn occasions, such as the king's coronation.

Two kinds. These are high constables, and petty constables. The former are appointed at the court leets of the hundreds, over which they preside, or by the justices of the quarter sessions, and are removable by the same authority. The petty constables are inferior officers in every town and parish, subordinate to the high constable of the hundred, first instituted under Edward III. They were formerly also tithing men, but these are now chosen by a jury at the court leet, and if it be not in session, they are appointed by two justices of the peace.

Duties. The general duty of all constables, both high and petty, as well as of the other officers, is to keep the king's peace in their several districts, and to that purpose, they are armed with very large powers of arresting and imprisoning, of breaking open houses, and the like. They are to keep watch and ward in their respective jurisdictions. Ward, guard or custodia is chiefly applied to the day time, in order to apprehend rioters and robbers on the highways, the hundred being answerable for all robberies committed thereon by day-light, for having kept negligent guard. Watch is properly applicable to the night only, and begins when ward ends. The constable may appoint watchmen at his discretion, regulated by the custom of the place. The constable

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