Summonister

The Clerk of the Estreats and Summonister. Towards the reign of Edward III. the casual revenue being so much increased, that the clerk of the pipe could not engross all the sums estreated on his annual roll, and many of them being small, and paid on the first demand, it was necessary to make them part of the annual charge, in the same manner as the other annual revenue of the King was; therefore a new officer was created, viz. the clerk of the estreats; and instead of delivering the estreats of the Exchequer and other courts to the clerk of the pipe, they were, thenceforward, delivered to him, and he issued a distinct process from the summons of the pipe, viz. the summons of the green wax, which is the first process; and hence in this kingdom he is also called the summonister.

And this officer, as well as the clerk of the pipe, receives the answer of the sheriff in court; and the nihils are to be entered on the great roll.

As clerk of the estreats, he has the care of all fines, americiaments, and casualties, that arise in any of the courts of record; and of the fines and amerciaments that are imposed in the Exchequer, in the King's remebrancers office and pleas office, or at the assizes or sessions, which are brought into the clerk of the estreats, by the respective officers of the courts, and clerks of the peace; upon which he makes out process; which is transmitted under the seal of the court to the sheriffs, to levy such fines, forfeitures, and debts; and this process is in the nature of a feire facias, which notwithstanding the sheriff must answer in his accounts, or take bonds from the party, to clear such debts in court. (pp 17–18.)

Source: Howard, Gorges Edward. A Treatise of the Exchequer and Revenue of Ireland. Vol. I. Dublin: J.A. Husband, 1776.

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"The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there."—Lesley Poles Hartley (1895–1972), The Go-Between (1953).

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