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Sir Basil Nield is thought to be the only judge now sitting to have presided in each of the sixty-one Assize towns in England and Wales.
This prompted him to write his personal reminiscences of these towns, before the abolition of the assize system, which has now followed ( upon the acceptance of most of the recommendations of the Royal Commission under the chairmanship of Lord Beeching).
He traces the long story of the system under which judges were sent out from Westminster on circuit throughout the counties; a story which starts with the Assize of Clarendon in 1166 and closes with the Courts Act of 1971.
There is to be found in this work some description and history of each of the sixty-one towns which spread from Carlisle to Bodmin in the West and from Newcastle-upon-Tyne to Maidstone in the East, and the author has included a large number of photographs, many of which he has taken himself.
It is not only those who are connected with the profession of the Law, but also all those with respect for the English judicial system and social historians, who will find it interesting to read of the life of a High Court judge on circuit-of the centuries-old traditional ceremonies which greet his appearance in each assize town, and of the dignities accorded to him as a representative of the Sovereign, under whose Commission he is empowered and required to do 'what to justice does appertain according to the laws and customs of England'