|DOCTORS COMMONS. Practisers. ||155
The said Dr. Lewis, in the said Year 1580, gave this Account of himself: That
in that Court of Admiralty now Twenty two Years. And before that he was an
Advocate about Eleven Years; having withal the Officialty of Surrey. That he
an Advocate, after he became Judge, Five or Six Years: So as thereby he made a
competent Living. After that Sir William Peter and Dr. Wotton began to withdraw
themselves from Court, the said Judge was driven to give such Attendance there,
elsewhere in her Majesty's Service) that he was forced to forego both his
Advocateship. And yet so long as he enjoyed his Office of Admiralty whole, and
without Impairment, he took his Hindrance that way in good part, in Hope of
Recompence some other way. And hereupon he grounded his Complaint abovesaid.
Dr. Lewis Judge of the Admiralty.
This Court was, in former Times, kept at St. Margaret's Hill in Southwark; but
days it is held in the Hall in Doctors Commons, where the other Civil Courts are
Only upon the Trial of Pirates, and Crimes committed at Sea, the Court often
sits at the
Sessions-House in the Old-Bailey.
This Court formerly kept in Southwark.
To these I add the Court of Delegates. To which high Court, Appeals do lie from
of the former Courts. This is the highest Court for Civil Causes. It was
an Act in the 25th of Henry VIII. Cap. 19. Wherein it was enacted,
be lawful, for lack of Justice at, or in any of the Archbishop's Courts, for the
grieved to appeal to the King's Majesty in his Court of Chancery. And that upon
such Appeal, a Commission under the Great Seal should be directed to such
should be named by the King's Highness. Like as in case of Appeals from the
Admiralty Court; to determine such Appeals, and the Causes concerning the same.
no further Appeals to be had or made from the said Commissioners for the
These Commissioners are appointed Judges only for that Turn. And they are
commonly of the Spiritualty, as Bishops; of the Common Law, as Judges of
Westminster Hall; as well as those of the Civil Law. And these are mixed one
another, according to the Nature of the Cause.
The Court of Delegates.
This Commission of Appeal may be granted in Three Cases, I. When any Sentence
given in any Ecclesiastical Cause by the Archbishop, or his Official. II. When
Sentence is given in any Ecclesiastical Cause in Places exempt. III. When
given in the Admiralty in Suits Civil and Marine.
This Commission, when granted.
Lastly, Sometimes a Commission of Review is granted by the King under the Broad
Seal, to consider and judge again, what was decreed in the Court of Delegates.
is but seldom, and upon great, and such as shall be judged just Causes by the
Keeper. And this done purely by the King's Prerogative; since by the Act for
Delegates, no farther Appeals were to be had or made from those Commissioners,
was mentioned before.
Commission of Review.
IV. The Practisers in these|
Courts are of two sorts,
Practisers in these Courts.
Advocates are such as have taken their Degree of Doctor in the Faculty of the
or (when this Kingdom submitted to the Papal See) of the Canon Law, or of the
Decrees; that is, Canons and Decrees made and enjoined by Popes. These are
as Counsellors or Pleaders. And they must first, upon their Petitions to the
Archbishop, have his Fiat; and then they are admitted by the Judge to practise.
manner of their Admission is solemn. Two Senior Advo-
cates in their Scarlet Robes with the Mace carried before them, conduct the
the Court with three low Reverences; and present him with a short Latin Speech,
together with the Archbishop's Rescript. And then having taken the Oaths, the
admits him, and assigns him a Place or Seat in the Court; which he is ever to
when he pleads.
The Habits they use in Court, both Judges and Advocates, are a Scarlet Robe, and
Hood lined with Taffata, if they be of Oxford; if of Cambridge, White Minever,
round Caps of Black Velvet.
Anno 1585, the Doctors then inhabiting the Commons, and Exercents in these
Dr. Bartholomew Clark, Dean of the Arches.
but Sixteen or Seventeen in all. Which Number is now considerably increased;
Doctors Exercent in these Courts in the Year 1694, being Forty four.
Proctors, or Procurators, the other sort of Practisers, are they that exhibit
for their Clients, and make themselves Parties for them, who draw and give
Libels and Allegations in behalf of their Clients; produce Witnesses, prepare
Sentence, and attend the Advocates with the Proceedings. They are admitted also
the Archbishop's Fiat, introduced by two Senior Proctors. They wear Black
and Hoods lined with White Fur.
Anno 1585, The Number of the Proctors then I cannot punctually assign; but the
Practisers then, and living about the Commons, were
In the Year 1694, the Number of the Proctors were Forty three.
Yet in Henry the VIIIth's Time, the Numbers of the Proctors were found a
And that they were so clamorous by reason of the Plenty of them, that neither
nor Advocates could be heard. That they retained and concluded Causes
without the Advocates, and thrust themselves into Causes without the Knowledge
Will of the Parties. In order to the reducing these Evils, Archbishop Cranmer
great and ever memorable Reformer of Abuses) thought good to begin with
of the Numbers of them. And whereas they were about Twenty in the Court of the
Arches, and Twenty four more, he made an Order that thenceforth there should be
more admitted till the Number were reduced to Ten; and then that Number never to
increased. And this was confirmed by the Chapter and Convent of Christ-Church,
Canterbury. Though some looked upon this as a Craft of the Proctors of that
all others being excluded from being Proctors, they might have all the Business
Arches in their own Hands. But this Order gave Offence to many; and a Petition
drawn up against it, and presented to the Parliament. Therein they shewed, how
prejudicial this would be to the Commonwealth; because the Number of Ten Persons
was not sufficient to dispatch the Causes
Numbers of the Proctors reduced by Archbishop Cranmer.