The Exchequer was well established as a court of law in the thirteenth century. For the next three hundred years, the Exchequer court seems to have carried out its duties without much change in function or status. At the beginning of the sixteenth century, the judicial business of the Exchequer amounted to about 200 cases per year as compared with about 2500 in the court of King's Bench and 10,000 in the Common Pleas. However, during the middle period of the reign of Henry VIII, the first signs of growth since the thirteenth century appeared. This expansion of the court of Exchequer continued steadily through the reigns of the later Tudors to the beginning of the Interregnum. In 1649 the Exchequer court established itself as a high court of general jurisdiction in both common law and equity. At this point the Exchequer can be said to have come of age as a court oflaw. This development began during the reign of Henry VIII and can be seen as part of the Tudor Revolution in government.

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



Edited by Delloyd J. Guth & John W. McKenna

Included in

Legal History Commons