“ ... the American county,
defined by Webster as 'the largest territorial division for local
government within a state ...,'
is based on the Anglo-Saxon county of England dating
back to about the time of the Norman Conquest. ...
(Oregon Blue Book; Secretary of State, County Government
"Before the Norman conquest of England in
1066, the people were the fountainhead of Justice.
The Anglo-Saxon courts of those days were composed of
large numbers of freemen, and the law
which they administered, was that which had been handed down by
oral tradition from generation to generation. In competition with
these popular, non-professional courts, the Norman King, who insisted
that he was the fountainhead of justice, set up his own tribunals.
The judges who presided over these royal courts were the agents
or representatives of the king, not of the people; but they were
professional lawyers * * * and the courts over which they presided
* * * gradually all but displaced the popular, non-professional
"The Anglo-Saxon tribunals had been open
to all; every freeman could appeal to them for justice.
But there was no corresponding right to sue in the king's
courts. That was a privilege which had to be purchased by
any suitor who wished to avail himself of * * * royal justice.
These privileges were issued to suitors by the king's secretary
and the document which evidenced the privilege was called an original
"Common Law Pleading"; by George L. Clark; Lawyers
Co-Op; 1947 (First Chapter, Opening)