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Dalton's The Country Justice, 1690
Volume 153, Preface 5   View pdf image (33K)
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The Epistle.

    I speak not this without acknowledging it to be both just and
meet, that the actions and proceedings of the
Justices of Peace
should be well and duly looked into, and themselves worthy to be
punished, when through malice, or other corruption, they shall
do unjustly:  But if through unwilling ignorance they happen to
err and do amiss, they are rather to be better informed than ill
intreated. 
Nemo nascitur sapiens; & humanum est errare.
   
I am bold to write unto you, my worthy Masters and Worshipful
Friends, and the rest of this Honourable Fellowship, knowing
that there be many among you daily rising to great Places, whose
Honour it will be to maintain the life of the Law and Justice of the
Realm, with the excellency thereof, in causing due Execution
thereof to be had and done; redressing the abuses and defects thereof,

and incouraging such as shall carry themselves juste, fideliter,
& sincere
:  Again, that there be many among you of great Learning
and Judgment, by whom this my unperfect Work may, yea, and
I hope shall be more published and perfected.  And seeing some others
amongst you whose Fortunes prove (as mine doth) to withdraw
themselves into their Countries, I would gladly incourage them

to imploy their better talents to the common good.
    I acknowledge there be divers other Books in this kind more

Learned and Methodical; but withal I observe the business of the
Justices of Peace to consist partly in things to be done by them out of
their Sessions, (and sometimes privately, and peradventure upon
the sudden, without the advice of association of any other) and

partly at their Sessions of the Peace.  Of things of this last kind
I purpose not in this
Treatise to meddle, for that at such publick
Meetings and Assemblies they are far more able to direct themselves:
but for the private and sudden help of such
Justices of
Peace, who peradventure have not read over the former Writers,
and if they have, yet the multiplicity of Statutes (whereupon the
Office and private Practice of
Justices of Peace doth principally
consist) is such, and at every Parliament so altered, by Expiration,
Discontinuance, and otherwise, as that it is a Work very hard and
laborious for Gentlemen not Conversant in the study of the Laws
(although otherwise very industrious) to proceed as by the Commission
they ought and are prescribed,
sc. secundum Leges & Statuta
Regni;
upon these considerations, and for their ease principally,
I have published this Work; knowing that there be divers,
both Honourable and Worthy Persons in the Country, some of whom

for want of knowledge of the many particular Statutes in force, and
tediousness of the study of them, do seek to be exempt out of the
Commission of the Peace; others being in, do forbear to meddle,

 

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Dalton's The Country Justice, 1690
Volume 153, Preface 5   View pdf image (33K)
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