|DOCTORS COMMONS. The Courts. ||153
on it, and founded it anew, though not for the same, yet for another good
shall be shewn in its Place, rearing there a far nobler Structure.
TO the Divines of the City I subjoin the Civilians; who, as
the former addict themselves to the Study of the Law of God, so the latter study
Laws of Nature and Nations; and therefore have deservedly a large comely
appointed them in Baynard-Castle-Ward, in the Parish of St. Bennet Pauls Wharf,
almost over against the College of Heralds, but somewhat higher; where they live
together, study the Civil Law, practise, and decide Causes within their own
the Common Hall: for the doing Right to such as have Contoversies about
or Civil Matters. This College is commonly called Doctors Commons, because the
Doctors of the Civil Law live here in the manner of a College, Commoning
And all Persons that have Business relating to the Civil or Ecclesiastical Laws,
Occasion to consult with Learned Men in that Faculty, may repair hither, where
several Chambers, Apartments, and Offices be.
The College of the Civilians, called Doctors Commons.
And where also is a fair spacious Room for a Library, replenished with a great
of Books of all Sorts, but especially of History, and of that Faculty, given by
this College: And among the rest, the whole Library of Sir John Gibson, Knight,
sometime Chancellor to Archbishop Grindal, and his Two Successors of York, and
Judge of the Prerogative Office; Ancestor to James Gibson, Esq; the late worthy
Clerk, who bestowed it. And, as the Learned Civilian, Dr. Harwood, hath told
that Library is, and will be in a continual growing Condition; every Archbishop
Bishop, at their Confirmations, presenting 20l. or more, to the said Society,
for the said
Purpose, to buy Books for that Library. The last Archbishop of Canterbury gave
for that Use.
A Library here.
I shall first set down the Original Foundation of this Place. Next, Specify the
belonging to the Cognizance of these Civilians. Then, Shew the several Courts
kept here, or belong to it: And who the Practisers in them be. And lastly, The
and Times when these Courts are kept.
I. Dr. Henry Harvey, Doctor of the Civil and Canon Law, and Master of
in Cambridge, Prebendary of Ely, and Dean of the Arches; a Reverend, Learned,
good Man; purchased and provided this House for the Civilians and Canonists to
in; being then an old Stone Building belonging to Paul's Church, but let out.
beforetime were lodged in Pater-noster Row, in a meaner and less House;
and still a Tavern, known by the Name of the Queen's Head: Which had sometime
an House for a Residentary of St. Paul's.
Dr. Harvey Founder of Doctors Commons.
Here are the Courts kept, for the Practice of Civil or Ecclesiastical Causes.
Offices are also here kept; as the Registrary of the Archbishop of Canterbury,
Registrary of the Bishop of London.
The Courts kept here.
II. The Causes, whereof the Civil and Ecclesiastical Law take Cognizance, are
that follow; as they are enumerated in the Present State of England: Blasphemy,
Apostacy from Christianity, Heresy, Schism; Ordinations, Instituti-
ons of Clerks to Benefices, Celebration of Divine Service, Matrimony, Divorces;
Bastardy, Tythes, Oblations, Obventions, Mortuaries, Dilapidations, Reparation
Churches, Probate of Wills, Administrations; Simony, Incests, Fornications,
Adulteries, Sollicitation of Chastity; Pensions, Procurations, Commutation of
Right of Pews, and other such like, reducible to these Matters.
Causes belonging to the Civil Law.
III. The Courts belonging to the Civil and Ecclesiastical Law, are divers.
First, The Court of Arches. Which is the highest Court belonging to the
Canterbury. It was a Court formerly kept in Bow-Church, in Cheapside: And the
Church and Tower thereof being arched, the Court was from hence called The
and so still is called. Hither are all Appeals directed in Ecclesiastical
Matters within the
Province of Canterbury. To this Court belongs a Judge, who is stiled The Dean
Arches; so called, Because he hath a Jurisdiction over a Deanry in London,
of Thirteen Parishes, exempt from the Jurisdiction of the Bishop of London.
Court hath (besides this Judge) a Register, or Examiner, an Actuary, a Beadle or
and an Apparitor; besides Advocates and Procurators, or Proctors.
In the latter End of Queen Elizabeth's Reign, Whitgift being Archbishop of
and Dr. Cosins Dean of the Arches, a Paper was drawn up (as it seems) by Order;
Wherein it was written, That there should be, by Usage and Custom Time out of
but Twelve Doctors of Law admitted, which were called Advocates, to plead: And
Proctors, to be as Attorneys. But now [that is, in those Times of Queen
were trebled. These, after they be once admitted by Warrant and Commission,
from the Archbishop, and by the Dean of the Arches, may then exercise as
and Proctors there, and in any other Court.
Advocates and Proctors in the Arches.
Cotton Libr. Cleopatra F 2.
Secondly, The Court of Audience. This was a Court likewise of the Archbishop's:
Which he used to hold in his own House; where he received Causes, Complaints and
Appeals; and had Learned Civilians living with him, that were Auditors of the
Causes, before the Archbishop gave Sentence. This Court was kept in later Times
St. Paul's. The Judge belonging to this Court was stiled, Causarum,
Cantuarien. Auditor Officialis. It had also other Officers, as the other
There were anciently Complaints made of this Court; once in the Reign of King
VIII. as of the Troubles and Inconveniencies it caused both to Clergy and Laity;
that Men were forced up to London oftentimes from the remotest Parts, for a
Word, or a Farthing Candle. And therefore there was a Convocation that took
this Court, and made Complaint of it to that King; and urged, That the
Court of the Arches, kept at London, besides his other Courts kept within his
Diocese, was sufficient; being authorized to hear and determine all Causes and
Complaints appertaining to a Metropolitan. It was also complained of, in
respect of the
Place where it was kept; namely, in London, within the Church and Jurisdiction
another Bishop: As tho' the Archbishop minded to call other Bishops
of their Jurisdictions. But this Stir seemed partly to be moved out of an ill
Will in the
Popish Clergy towards Cranmer, who now was Archbishop. They suggested also,
That the Archbishop kept this Court, as he was Legate of the See of Rome:
no Archbishop with-
Complaints of this Court.