The only town charter is one of 1567-1568, in which Queen Elizabeth confirms an ancient privilege of the burgesses that they should not be upon assizes or juries with strangers, relating to matters outside the town.
The insurrection of dissenters (1708-1711), which was headed by Thomas Carey, who was deputy-governor while the trouble was brewing, was in opposition to the establishment of the Church of England; it was ultimately unsuccessful, the Church was established in 1711, a law was passed which deprived Quakers of the privilege of serving on juries or holding public office, and the establishment was continued until the War of Independence.
Juries are mentioned, sometimes of the county and sometimes of the county and merchants.
The judicial department comprises a supreme court consisting of a chief justice and (since 1881) four associate justices elected for terms of six years, and lower courts consisting of district courts with original jurisdiction in civil cases in law and equity, and in criminal cases upon indictments by grand juries; justices' courts, in which the amount in litigation cannot exceed $ioo, or the punishment cannot exceed three months' imprisonment or a fine of $loo; and of municipal and probate courts with the usual jurisdictions.
On the other hand, at nisi prius and on the criminal circuit, he was accused of frequently attempting unduly to influence juries in their estimate of the credibility of evidence.