A Cambridgeshire Gaol Delivery Roll 1332-1334. These records of crimes committed over a wide area of the county are of value for social and economic, as well as legal, historians.
A Cambridgeshire Gaol Delivery Roll 1332-1334.
Edited by Elisabeth G. Kimball
The rolls of justices of gaol dellivery – the royal justices who heard cases pending at a a local level – are a rich source for social and economic, as well as legal, historians. The roll for Cambridgeshire printed in this volume covers a brief period, 1332 - 1334, but one that is significant in the development of criminal procedures. As the cases on the roll show, the jury of indictment as a means of accusation was only slowly replacing the appeal, a process not generally completed until the end of the century.
The crimes dealt with were chiefly homicides and thefts. The numerous attempts to involve accessories in the latter suggest that such offences were frequently the work of individuals working in groups, not alone. The number of offenders who came from other counties is striking and gives the volume an interest beyond the purely local.
There is a substantial introduction giving the background to the roll and explaining its purpose.