In the Court of Common Pleas the Custos Brevium served as Chief Clerk, in charge of the officials that supported the Justices of the Common Pleas in their business. In practice the position was a royal favour, and the actual clerking was done by the Custos Brevium's Deputy.
The Custos Brevium of the King's Bench is a much more obscure figure because he was not appointed by the King. The office of Custos Brevium of the King's Bench was combined with the Clerk of the Treasury and Clerk of the Warrants by the 17th century, and there is enough evidence to suggest this had probably occurred by the middle of the 15th century.
List of Custodes Brevium of the Court of Common Pleas
|Term as Custos Brevium||Name|
|23 September 1501 – 23 April 1509||Richard Decons|
|2 June 1506–July 1521||Richard Decons and Thomas Bonham|
|July 1521–18 June 1532||Thomas Bonham|
|24 June 1532 – 11 April 1548||John Wellysbourne|
|6 May 1548 – 27 January 1562||William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley|
|27 January 1562 – 12 March 1591||John Lennard|
|2 February 1562 – 20 April 1586||Thomas Cecil|
|22 April 1586–1629||Thomas Spencer and Richard Spencer|
On the English Restoration of 1660, the remuneration was set at £80. The post was given to William Thursby, who held it to his death in 1701. During much of the 18th century, to 1776, the custos was from the Lee family of the Earl of Lichfield, Edward Lee, 1st Earl of Lichfield having been given the post in 1700 (?). The second, third and fourth Earls occupied the position, which had been attached to the title, and which typically brought in £1000 annually.
List of Custodes Brevium of the Court of King/Queen's Bench
|Term as Custos Brevium||Name|
|1543 – 26 April 1573||John Payne|
|? – 27 December 1606||Richard Payne|
|? – 21 December 1608||William Davison|
|21 December 1608 – ?||George Byng and Henry Byng|
|1626–1645||Robert Dewhurst and Justinian Paget|
- Bernard Bolingbroke Woodward; William Leist Readwin Cates (1872). Encyclopedia of Chronology: Historical and Biographical. Longmans, Green and Company. p. 393.
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- "Thursby, William (1630–1701), of Abington, Northants.; Hanslope, Bucks.; and the Savoy, Westminster, History of Parliament Online". Retrieved 17 June 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Lee, Sidney, ed. (1892). . Dictionary of National Biography. 32. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
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- The Scots Magazine. Sands, Brymer, Murray and Cochran. 1776. p. 622.
- A. P. W. Malcomson (2006). The Pursuit of the Heiress: Aristocratic Marriage in Ireland 1740-1840. Ulster Historical Foundation. p. 213. ISBN 978-1-903688-65-6.
- John Debrett (1839). The baronetage of England. J. G. & F. Rivington. p. 208.
- "House of Lords Journal". 1–10. May 1543. Cite journal requires
- Nicolas, Sir Nicholas Harris. Life of William Davison: Secretary of State and Privy Counsellor to Queen. p. 222.
- "Oxford DNB article: Robert Dewhurst (subscription needed)". Oxford University Press. 2004. Retrieved 20 December 2008. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)