STAR-CHAMBER

was a court which originally had jurisdiction in cases where the ordinary course of justice was so much obstructed by one party, through writs, com- bination of maintenance, or overawing influence that no inferior court would find its process obeyed. The court consisted of the privy council, the common-law judges, and (it seems) all peers of parliament. In the reign of Ilenry VIII. and his successors, the jurisdiction of the court was illegally extended to such a degree (especially in punishing disobedience to the king’s arbitrary proclamations) that it became odious to the nation, and was abolished. 4 Steph. Comm. 310; Sweet.

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