Bromsgrove Court Leet exists today to preserve and uphold the traditions of the past, as a source of pride for the people of Bromsgrove and to support local businesses, schools, organisations and charities in a ceremonial role.
Each year the court organises Ale Tasting evenings in local inns and holds the Fair Day each year on the closest Saturday to midsummer to celebrate the 1199 Charter granted to the town by King John (see events page for more details).
At the Autumn Court on 7th November 2019 Ms Joanne Slade was unanimously elected as the first female Bailiff and head of the Ancient CourtLeet and Court Baron of the Manor of Bromsgrove. Click here for the article in the Bromsgrove Standard:
The court leet was a historical court in England and Wales. At a very early time in medieval England the Lord of the Manor exercised or claimed certain jurisdictional franchises. The most important of these was the "view of frankpledge" and its associated police jurisdiction. Some time in the later Middle Ages the court baron, when exercising these powers, gained the name of leet, and, later, of court leet. The quo warrantor proceedings of Edward I established a sharp distinction between the court baron, exercising strictly manorial rights, and the court leet, depending for its jurisdiction upon royal franchise.
The court leet was a court of record, and its duty was not only to view the pledges but to try by jury, and punish, all crimes committed within the jurisdiction. The steward of the court acted as judge, presiding wholly in a judicial character, the ministerial acts being executed by the bailiff.
The court leet began to decline in the fourteenth century, being superseded by the more modern magistrates' courts, but in many cases courts leet operated until nearly the middle of the nineteenth century. The courts leet survived for formal purposes until their legal jurisdiction was abolished in 1977 The courts were formally abolished in 1998 but the term may still be found in ceremonial use, for example at Bromsgrove, Alcester, Warwick and Henley in Arden.