EYRE

EYRE

eyre (air). [Old French eire ¡°journey, march¡±] Hist. A system of royal courts sent out into the counties by the Crown to investigate allegations of wrongdoing, to try cases, and to raise revenue for the Crown through the levy of fines. ? The eyre system was abolished in the 14th century. See ARTICLES OF THE EYRE ; JUSTICE IN EYRE.

¡°In 1176 the itinerant justices were organised into six circuits…. The justices assigned to these circuits, who numbered as many as twenty or thirty at a time in the 1180s, were known as justiciae errantes (later justiciarii in itinere, justices in eyre); and the French word ¡®eyre¡¯ became the name of one of the most prominent forms of royal justice until the time of Edward III. Every so often a ¡®general eyre¡¯ would visit a county, bringing the king’s government with it…. The general eyres were not merely law courts; they were a way of supervising local government through itinerant central government.¡± J.H. Baker, An Introduction to English Legal History 19 (3d ed. 1990).


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