In order to judge these new appeals the Parlement had above all to study written documents, the inquests which had been made and written down under the jurisdiction of the, court of first instance.
But at this point vast inquests were set on foot by the Inquisition, which terrorized the district.
The community is in the main composed of simple working people, who, apart from their peculiarity, have a good reputation; but their avoidance of professional medical attendance has led to severe criticism at inquests on children who have died for want of it.
The whole country is divided into districts, in each of which a medical man is appointed with a salary, who is under the obligation to attend to poor sick and assist the authorities in medical matters, inquests, &c. The relief of the poor is well organized, mostly on the system of out-door relief.
(2) Politically the villeins were not eliminated from the body of citizens: they had to pay taxes, to serve in great emergencies in the militia, to serve on inquests, &c., and although there was a tendency to place them on a lower footing in all these respects yet the fact of their being lesser members of the commonwealth did not remove the fundamental qualification of citizenship. (3) Even in civil matters villeins were deemed free as regards third persons.
The enqueteurs or auditeurs of the Parlement had at first been an auxiliary staff of clerks to whom were entrusted the inquests ordered by the Parlement.
But later, when the institution of the appeal was fully developed, and the procedure before the various jurisdictions became a highly technical matter, above all when it admitted written evidence, the documents connected with other inquests also came before the Parlement.