The ordinary business of the ports was conducted in two courts known respectively as the court of brotherhood and the court of brotherhood and guestling, - the former being composed of the mayors of the seven principal towns and a number of jurats and freemen from each, and the latter including in addition the mayors, bailiffs and other representatives of the corporate members.
After the dissolution in 1538 the town sank into decay, and in 1555, on a representation of its pitiable condition, Queen Mary granted a charter establishing it as a free borough corporate with a common council consisting of a mayor, two bailiffs, twelve chief burgesses, and sixteen secondary burgesses, the mayor to be clerk of the market, coroner and a justice of the peace.
Be made bailiffs or farmers of the seaport.
The constitution of Wareham underwent a change during the years 1326-1338, when the governing body of the bailiffs and commonalty were replaced by the mayor and bailiffs.
The former courts, under their bailiffs, gradually absorbed the separate courts which the Syrians had at first been permitted to enjoy under their own refs; and the bailiff with his 6 assessors (4 Syrians and 2 Franks) thus came to judge both commercial cases and cases in which Syrians were involved.
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