Meaning of REQUESTS, COURT OF in English

in England, one of the prerogative courts that grew out of the king's council (Curia Regis) in the late 15th century, with the particular function of dealing with civil petitions from poor people. Until 1529 it was called the Court of Poor Men's Causes, and it remained a popular court because of the limited expense of bringing suit before it. The Court of Requests (modeled after the French Chambre des Requtes) was concerned chiefly with civil matters, such as title to land, covenants, annuities, and debt, but it sometimes handled such criminal cases as forgery. Its procedures were similar to those used in the Court of Chancery, another prerogative court, which dealt with cases of equity. The Court of Requests was presided over by the lord privy seal with the assistance, after 1550, of two masters of requests. Under Elizabeth I the court enlarged its jurisdiction to cover Admiralty cases, involving mercantile as well as prize conflicts. After 1590 a series of prohibitions from the Court of Common Pleas, a common-law court, reduced the business in the Court of Requests. Unlike the prerogative courts of Star Chamber and High Commission, the Court of Requests was not abolished in 1642. The masters, however, ceased to sit at that point, and the court itself was used after the Restoration only for the purpose of assessing compensations due to royalists; it did not survive into the 18th century. The name of court of requests was also given to inferior local courts established by special acts of Parliament to deal with small debts. These were abolished in the mid-19th century along with the London Court of Requests.

Britannica English vocabulary.      Английский словарь Британика.