Great Britain. Court of Great Sessions.

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Great Britain. Court of Great Sessions.

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The Court of Great Sessions was established by the so called Second Act of Union in 1542 and remained in existence until 1830. This Act brought Wales fully under English law. According to the Act the court was directed to hear all pleas 'in as large and ample a manner as the courts of the Kings Bench and Common Pleas'. It also appears that the court acquired an equity jurisdiction from the outset. The court was to sit twice a year and each session was to last for six days. For legal purposes the Act divided Wales into four circuits, with three counties to each circuit, namely: Chester (counties of Denbigh, Flint and Montgomery); North Wales (counties of Anglesey, Caernarfon and Merioneth); Brecon (counties of Brecon, Glamorgan and Radnor); and Carmarthen (counties of Cardigan, Carmarthen and Pembroke). There was no room for Monmouthshire in this new scheme and it was therefore assigned to the Oxford assize circuit. The records of this circuit are in The National Archives. In 1830 the Court of Great Sessions was replaced by the Chester and North Wales circuit and the South Wales circuit.

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