Infrastructure and Community: Law and Order in Ewyas Lacy

In early feudal times law and order was maintained by the King's sheriff and his men in each county, and by the Lord of the manor through his manorial courts. By the 17th century this was being done at local level by parish constables who were elected by the parishioners or appointed by the Justices of the Peace [JP]. The constables generally worked without pay and acted as the agents of the Justices to establish facts, collect evidence and bring offenders to the court for trial.

The role of Justice of the Peace dates from 1195 when King Richard I appointed certain Knights to uphold the law and preserve the King's Peace in unruly areas. The actual title of JP and powers to 'bind over' potential miscreants date from the reign of King Edward III in 1361. Until the introduction of elected County Councils in the 19th century, JPs also administered the counties at local level.

The position of most parish constables was ended by the County Police Act of 1839, which allowed for the establishment of full-time paid  police forces in each county headed by a chief constable appointed by the Justices of the Peace. This created the foundation for the modern system of policing that applies today.
Follow the links below for references to Law and Order in Ewyas Lacy
All Law & Order
County Court
Police Prison

Longtown Harriers
Press reports of police and court proceedings in the local area in the late 19th century.

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