Are paid magistrates who are professional lawyers. The normal mode of trial of minor criminal offences is by a bench of lay magistrates, but in the 18th cent. the problem of crime in London, exacerbated by the lack of a police force, led to the establishment in 1792 of paid magistrates for the metropolis. Later legislation provided that boroughs and urban areas could request the appointment of a stipendiary.
Subjects: Law — British History.