One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
(in England and Wales) the principal Justice of the Peace of a county, who has nominal custody of the records of the commission of the peace. The function is usually fulfilled by the Lord Lieutenant.
- ‘The play begins with Justice Shallow aggrieved by Falstaff and his men; accompanied by his cousin Slender, he explains to Sir Hugh Evans, a Welsh parson, how he will take the matter to the highest court (the Star Chamber), and declines his ranks and titles (including keeper of the rolls, custos rotulorum).’
- ‘The custos rotulorum also appointed the clerk of the peace, who advised the justices on legal matters beyond the scope of the quorum.’
- ‘The importance of the offices of lord lieutenant and custos rotulorum lay beyond the nature of their immediate functions.’
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