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American Dictionary of the English Language

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Assizes


ASSI'ZES, noun [Latin assideo, to sit by, of ad and sedeo, to sit.]

1. Originally, an assembly of knights and other substantial men, with a bailiff or justice, in a certain place and at a certain time, for public business. The word was sometimes applied to the general council, or Wittenagemote, of England.

2. A court in England, held in every county by special commission to one of the judges, who is called a justice of the assize, and empowered to take assizes that is, the verdict of a jury, called the assize.

3. A jury. In this sense the word was applied to the grand assize, for the trial of property, and to the petty assize, for the trial of possession. In Scotland, the assize consists of fifteen men, selected from a greater number.

4. A writ; as an assize of novel disseisin, which is given to recover the possession of lands, tenements, rents, common, etc., of which the tenant has been lately disseised; assize of mort d'ancestor, which lies against an abator, who enters upon land after the death of the tenant, and before the heir enters; assize of darrein presentment, which lies against a stranger who presents a clerk to a benefice.

5. A particular species of rents, established and not subject to be varied.

6. The time or place of holding the court of assize.

7. In a more general sense, any court of justice.

8. A statute of regulation; an ordinance regulating the weight, measure and price of articles sold in market; and hence the word came to signify the weight, measure or price itself; as the assize of bread.

This word is, in a certain sense, now corrupted into size, which see.

ASSI'ZE, verb transitive To fix the weight, measure or price of commodities, by an ordinance or regulation of authority.