Case XLIX 5 and 6 E6: 1220

An Act of Parliament not printed, ordains, that the quarter-sessions to be held for the county of Anglesey, shall he held at Beaumarrice in that county, and not elsewhere ; indictments of felony were found at Newburgh in the said county against several persons at a quarter-sessions held there after the said act; the justices of peace proceeded to take the said indictment although the said act was shewed to them, exemplified under the great seal, before the indictments were found : resolved for law, by all the judges, that these indictnents were void; by reason of the said negative words : and this offence being complained of in the Star-chamber, every one of those justices of peace was fined 5l. Note the moderation of that age in settirig fines in that court. The 25 H. 8, cap. 21, has negative words, that dispensations for benefices shall be granted by the Archibishop of Canterbury, and not otherwise : yet the King’s power is not excluded ; for, by those negative words, it is only intended to exclude all papal dispensations.
Affirmative words in a statute do not take away the common law. The justices of peace may hold their quarter-sessions where they think fit in the county, if they are not restrained as above.


6 E 6 1 Cr 275 3 Mar Dyer, [1220] EngR 550, (1220-1623) Jenk 212, (1220) 145 ER 144 (C)




England and Wales

Magistrates, Constitutional

Updated: 04 November 2022; Ref: scu.461462