Although Edward I instituted trailbaston
commissions in 1304, sending royal justices to local counties ostensibly to effectuate the law, the commissions were unpopular and viewed as, among other things, a corrupt means for the Crown to exact profit.
contributes significantly to the meaning of the text" (46) in a discussion that vacillates between examples of surviving manuscripts--presentation copies and books bound in boards--to imaginative texts, books, and fragments, such as the piece of parchment strategically placed on the highway in protest by the early fourteenth-century outlaw of Trailbaston
. Copyists and representations--both visual and textual--of them also feature here: Scattergood discusses the typical physical conditions a copyist might have to endure, even citing Thomas Hoccleve's reluctance to wear spectacles while scribing (80).
McLane, "Juror Attitudes Towards Local Disorder: The Evidence of the 1328 Lincolnshire Trailbaston
Proceedings," in Ibid., 36-64.
Two highly informative--not to say dense--pieces on legal history from Paul Hyams (crime and tort) and Amy Phelan (trailbaston
) reveal the attempts of the English crown to maintain and employ a monopoly on violence and the financial rewards of administering justice.
Particularly if one examines the entire range of commissions, commissions of assize, oyer and terminer, trailbaston
(in some periods), and gaol delivery, as well as those of the peace, it is remarkable how the same mix of people, indeed, frequently the same people, continually reappear.
It was far better, from the local landlord's point of view, that he, rather than commissioners of oyer and terminer or the notoriously rapacious justices of trailbaston
, should handle the operation of royal courts.
McLane demonstrates that a "pre-inquest sorting process, occurred in the trailbaston
trials held in Lincolnshire in the early fourteenth century, which saw the most serious offenders indicted for felony and others charged with the less onerous offence of trespass.(71) More generally still J.B.
The crown's immediate response to the spate of robberies and armed gangs was to resort to its professional justices, appointing punitive commissions (of "trailbaston
") from 1305, attempting to revive the eyre in 1328-9, and making available to plaintiffs special commissions of oyer and terminer.