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Dalton's The Country Justice, 1690
Volume 153, Preface 2   View pdf image (33K)
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To the Right Honourable,


Lord Chief Justice of the Pleas, holden before

My Honourable good Lord.

    AFter I had spent many Years in the Study of the Laws of
this Realm, and was called to the Ministration of Justice
in my Country, I thought it not sufficient to apply my self
only to the Precepts and Directions of former Times, but
withal to observe such new Accidents as daily happened within
my own Experience, whereby the better to perform the
Duties of my Place.  Whilst I thus endeavoured my self, I
observed that Justices of Peace in their Places grew in neglect,
and many times were over-swayed by Superiour Sollicitations,
yea, and sometimes disgraced, in such sort, as I
could have been content rather to have sat down in private
quiet, than with Care, Study and Pains to incur such Hazards
and Discontentments.  But again, whilst I stood thus doubtful,
it pleased the Fountain of Justice (I mean, His Royal Majesty)
so to Countenance and Grace, yea, to shew his Majesties
high Esteem of his Authority of Justices of Peace, not
only (in his Majesties late Speech in the Star-Chamber,) prizing
and valuing them with the nearest imployed about him,
but (to the great Honour of this Realm, and of the Government
thereof) sithence also establishing this Country Government
by Justices of peace in His Majesties Native Country
of Scotland; so as methought I saw the current of Justice
to run clear and comfortably through the Land, and
myself to receive new Vigour and Encouragement:  whereupon
I began to recollect my confused Notes and Observations,
willing, for my private help and better readiness, to
digest them into some Order and Method, such as my Understanding
could best contrive.  Thus prepared, I yet made question
with my self, whether it were better to adventure the
publishing of these my Labours, or to keep them by me only
for my own private Use.  In this unsettled Consultation, being
brought unto your Lordship by my good Friend, (who also
discovered to your Lordship this my Labour) and finding

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Dalton's The Country Justice, 1690
Volume 153, Preface 2   View pdf image (33K)
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