Inquests of novel disseisin, of mort d'ancester, and of darrein presentment, shall not be held elsewhere than in their own county courts and that in manner following, We, or, if we should be out of the realm, our chief justiciar, will send two justiciars through every county four times a year, who shall, along with four knights of the county chosen by the county, hold the said assize in the county court, on the day and in the place of meeting of that court.
Darrein presentement was an inquest to discover who presented the last person to a church; mort de ancestor, whether the last possessor was seized of land in demesne of his own fee; and novel disseisin, whether the claimant had been unjustly disseized of his freehold. He has no power to do it, either with, or without, the king's command.
But previous to Magna Carta, the kings had adapted the practice of sending officers of their own appointment, called justices, into the counties, to hold jury trials in some cases; and Magna Carta authorizes this practice to be continued so far as it relates to three kinds of civil actions, to wit: "novel disseisin, mort de ancestor, and darrein presentment;" but specially forbids its being extended to criminal cases, or pleas of the crown.
Inquests of novel disseisin, of mort d'ancestor, and of darrein presentment shall not be held elsewhere than in their own county courts, and that in manner following; We, or, if we should be out of the realm, our chief justiciar, will send two justiciaries through every county four times a year, who shall alone with four knights of the county chosen by the county, hold the said assizes in the county court, on the day and in the place of meeting of that court.
When one has been at work among interlocutors, suspensions, tacks, wadsets, multiplepoindings, adjudications in implement, assignations, infeftments, homologations, charges of horning, quadriennium utiles, vicious intromissions, decrees of putting to silence, conjoint actions of declarator and reduction-improbation, the brain, being saturated with these and their kindred, becomes refreshed by crossing the border of legal nomenclature, and getting among common recoveries, demurrers, Quare impedits, tails-male, tails-female, docked tails, latitats, avowrys, nihil dicits, cestui que trusts, estopels, essoigns, darrein presentments, emparlances, mandamuses, qui tams, capias ad faciendums or ad withernam, and so forth.
Trials upon the Writs of Novel Disseisin, and of Mort d'ancestor, and of Darrein Presentment, shall not be taken but in their proper counties, and after this manner: We, or if we should be out of the realm, our chief justiciary, will send two justiciaries through every county four times a year, who, with four knights of each county, chosen by the county, shall hold the said assizes in the county, on the day, and at the place appointed.
This tendency Henry followed in granting the use of the primitive jury generally to his subjects in certain classes of cases, to defendants in the Great Assize to protect their freehold, to plaintiffs in the three assizes of Mort d'Ancestor, Novel Disseisin, and Darrein Presentment to protect their threatened seisin.