|Description||The court's existence derives from the common history of the development of JPs, but there is also specific charter authority and other early evidence of criminal jurisdicton (such as the right to have a gaol, granted in the charter of 1348). The court's business was common to that elsewhere: criminal, licensing, certification. Additionally (perhaps peculiarly) Sessions were combined with the Leet. The Sessions were responsible for the town gaol and bridewell, for watching, and for the appointment of four constables to keep order [these nominated by parishes], accommodate, relieve and move on vagrants (a large problem in this town on the Old North Road). The Sessions also audited the constables accounts with the corporation; fixed precept on the four parishes; supervised the poor law, including approval of overseers, fixing poor rates, appellate jurisdiction, etc. The executive officer was the Town clerk, perhaps the same individual as the Clerk of the Peace for the Borough. |
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