piepowder courts

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Were the courts attached to fairs and markets and were probably so called because of the dusty feet (pieds poudrés) of the travelling merchants. The judges in these courts were merchants. Piepowder courts were popular with the mercantile community, being quick, effective, and not unduly hampered by procedural technicalities. However, by the end of the 16th cent. most had fallen into disuse.

Subjects: British History.

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