But he could not try criminal matters unless specially committed to him (Lyndwood, Provinciale, lib.
His chief opponent was Samuel Parker (1640-1688), bishop of Oxford, who, in his attack on the irreligious novelties of the Cartesian, treats Descartes as a fellow-criminal in infidelity with Hobbes and Gassendi.
In order to relieve the circuit judges the legislature has established by special acts inferior courts, generally with criminal jurisdiction only, in nine counties of the state.
" Greater causes " came in France to be restricted to criminal prosecutions of bishops.
In the matter of criminal jurisdiction we paused for a moment at the edict of Milan; but we may at once trace this second or civil branch of episcopal judicature or quasi-judicature down as far as the reign of Charlemagne, when it underwent a fundamental change, and became, if either litigant once chose, no longer a matter of consent but of right.