Eyre (legal term)

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An Eyre or Iter was the name of a circuit traveled by an itinerant justice in medieval England (a Justice in Eyre), or the circuit court he presided over,[1] or the right of the king (or justices acting in his name) to visit and inspect the holdings of any vassal. The eyre involved visits and inspections at irregular intervals of the houses of all vassals in the kingdom.

The eyre of 1194, was initiated under Hubert Walter's justiciarship to restore royal justice following the anarchy of Prince John's rebellion. Within two months, justices on eyre had visited every shire in England. The Articles of Eyre appointed local knights as coroners to record crown pleas to be presented to the justices. The motivation for this administrative reform was the need to raise money for King Richard I's reconquest of Normandy. The coroners were also required to account for the wealth forfeited by the rebels and list the financial resources of each shire.[2]

The 1233 Eyre of Cornwall, provoked terror in the populace causing most of the population to flee into the woods.[3]

Itinerant justices[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.yourdictionary.com/ahd/e/e0312100.html
  2. ^ Robert C. Stacey, ‘Walter, Hubert (d. 1205)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004
  3. ^ http://www.the-orb.net/medieval_terms.html#e
  4. ^ Stenton, Doris Mary (1964). English Justice Between the Norman Conquest and the Great Charter 1066–1215. Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society. p. 73. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Blomefield, Francis, (1807) An Essay towards a Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: volume 6, p. 244.