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Curia Regis

[Latin, The King's Court.]

The Anglo-Saxon kings of England regularly summoned the bishops and great men of the kingdom to a council (Witenagemot), which advised the king and occasionally served as a court of justice. Building upon this foundation, the Norman kings after the Conquest in 1066 developed more effective ways of centralizing royal government. By the end of the eleventh century the king was entrusting business to his Curia, a body of officials appointed from the ranks of the highest noblemen, church leaders, and officers of the royal court. With the king, the Curia Regis administered all of the king's business—financial, legislative, and judicial. From the Curia Regis developed the common-law courts, the Chancery, and even the Parliament.

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