The Manor of Fyling Court Leet
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The Courts Leet

The role of Courts Leet has undergone many changes over the years. Known to have been in existence as early as the eleventh century, they were originally King's courts for the trial and punishment of petty criminal offences.

By the end of the 14th century, they were established all over England and had usually been absorbed into the manorial system.
As in the case of our court, they often incorporated the View of Frankpledge at which members of a tithing were held to account for the conduct of the other members.

They merged with other manorial courts such as Courts Baron, and came to carry out functions which are now in the province of local authorities, by making and enforcing rules for the good governance of the manor, so playing a central role in the life of the community. But, from the sixteenth century, their powers and influence were gradually eroded until, eventually, many ceased to operate.

The ancient powers of Courts Leet and Baron were finally swept away by The Administration of Justice Act 1977 which deprived them of all powers to hear legal proceedings. However our Court is specifically recognised and mentioned in the 1977 Act. It states that the business which Fyling Court Leet may sit to transact is the 'management of the commons in the manor'. This is now our primary function.

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