JURY. A jury is an assembly of men authorised to inquire into or to determine facts, and bound by an oath to the faithful discharge of their duty. The word is from the Latin juro, to swear, whence we find this institution called in law Latin jurata, and the persons composing it jurati ; iu French les jures, and in English the jury. In the English law, when the object is inquiry only, the jury is some times called an inquest or inquisition, as in the instance of a grand jury or coro ner's inquest ; but when facts are to be determined by it for judicial purposes, it is styled a jury. When the trial by is now spoken of, it signifies the determi nation of facts in the administration of civil or criminal justice by twelve men sworn to decide facts truly according to the evidence produced before them.
Inquiry into facts on behalf of the crown by means of juries was frequent in England long before the trial by jury was commonly used in courts oŁ justice. Thus we find, immediately after the Conquest, inquisitions ad quod damn= (which anciently took place in all grants by the crown, though now of more limited use); inquisitions post modem, which were in stituted on the death of the king's tenants, to ascertain of what lands they died seised; inquisitions of lunacy (de lunatico inquirendo); and several other inquests, which were called inquests of office, and took place where the crown was concerned in interest : all these inquiries wcre made by means of juries of the neighbourhood, who were presumed to be conversant with the facts. In England also in the reign of John, when the lands of the Normans were seised into the hands of the king, inquisitions by jury were executed in each county to ascertain their value and incidents. (See the forms of these in quests in Hardy's Retail, Norniannice, vol. i. p. 122.) Besides these juries of inquiry (inqui sitoria jurata), there were accusatory juries (jurata delatoria), who presented offences committed within their district or hundred to the king or his commis sioned justices. These inquests were
immediately connected with the adminis. tration of justice, their duty being to charge offenders, who, upon such accuse tion, were put upon their trial before judges, and were afterwards condemned or "delivered" by them according to the result of the trial. These accusatory juries were probably the origin of our present grand juries. Juries of inquiry and accusatory might consist of more or occasionally of fewer than twelve men.
The third species of jury is that jury which we mean when we speak of trial by jwy. Dr. Pettingall, in a tract pub lished in 1769, expresses a confident opinion that juries of this description are the same as the Dicastau (aucaosred) of the Athenians and the Judices of the Ro mans, and he maintains that our trial by jury was derived immediately from Rome, and ultimately from Greece. But it is more probable that they are rather to be ascribed to the accidental resemblance of popular institutions for the administration of justice in different countries than to identity of origin. The precise time at which this species of trial originated in England has been the sub ject of much discussion ; and in particu lar whether it was known to the Anglo Saxons, or was introduced by the Con queror. Coke and Spelman, among earlier legal antiquaries, and, in later times, Nicholson (Preface to Wilkins's Anglo- Saxon Laws, p. 9), Blackstone (Commentaries, book in. c. 22), and Tur ner (History of Anglo-Saxons, vol. iv. book xi. cap. 9), maintain the existence of this institution before the Conquest. On the other hand, Hickes (Dissect. Epist., p. 34), Reeves (History of the Law, vol. i. p. 24), and several other learned writers, contend that it was introduced by the Conqueror, or at least that it was derived from the Normans, and was not of Anglo-Saxon origin. The latter opinion is adopted by Sir Francis Palgrave, in his History of the English Commonwealth, vol. i. p. 243.