Video & Gallery: Dignitaries celebrate Rising of town Court

PUBLISHED: 16:05 01 April 2008 | UPDATED: 08:23 02 June 2010

THE EVENT: The Rising of Wisbech Court. WHY IS IT HELD? Since the 12th century, it has been a tradition every year for the Sheriff of Cambridgeshire to host a Rising of the Court Luncheon in Wisbech. This is to mark the annual sitting of the Crown Court

THE EVENT: The Rising of Wisbech Court.

WHY IS IT HELD? Since the 12th century, it has been a tradition every year for the Sheriff of Cambridgeshire to host a Rising of the Court Luncheon in Wisbech. This is to mark the annual sitting of the Crown Court in the town. The same thing is done in Cambridge to mark the sitting of a senior High Court Judge in the Crown Court, and in Peterborough in honour of the Resident Judge.

THE HISTORY: From 1107 until 1837 the Isle of Ely was under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Ely, who appointed a Chief Justice for the Isle and exercised temporal powers within the Liberty of Ely. The Liberty of Ely Act 1837 ended the Bishop's secular powers and the area was declared a division of Cambridgeshire with the right to appoint Justices to administer law and order vested in the Crown. In 1894 the Isle of Ely was divided into districts, which included Wisbech, the only municipal borough. In 1965 the Isle formally became part of Cambridgeshire, with regular court sittings in Wisbech. In 1971 statute created the Crown Court which replaced the old Courts of Assize and Courts of Quarter Sessions. Today the administration of higher criminal court justice maintains its long association with Wisbech.

WHAT HAPPPENED? The court rose at 12.30pm and walked to the Town Council Chamber via Old Market, where the dignitaries enjoyed a luncheon. It included Aberdeen Angus Beef and Woburn Ham with salads and quiche, raspberry Crème Brûlée and wine.

WHO WAS THERE? Dignitaries who attended included Councillor David Oliver, the Mayor of Wisbech; Col Peter Horrell, The High Sheriff of Cambridgeshire; and Judge Gareth Hawkesworth, the resident judge.


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