Oyer and terminer

Definitions

  • Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Oyer and terminer (Law) a term used in England in commissions directed to judges of assize about to hold court, directing them to hear and determine cases brought before them. In the U.S. the phrase is used to designate certain criminal courts.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Oyer and terminer a royal commission conferring upon a judge or judges the power to hear and determine criminal causes pending in a particular county
    • ***

Etymology

Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Norm. Fr. oyer (Fr. ouir)—L. audīre, to hear.

Usage

In literature:

There were also Oyer and Terminer and Admiralty Courts.
"Pioneers of the Old South" by Mary Johnston
OYER AND TERMINER, an English Court Commission to hear and determine special causes.
"The Nuttall Encyclopaedia" by Edited by Rev. James Wood
So far as the records show, no action was taken until the trial began in Oyer and Terminer.
"Henry Hudson" by Thomas A. Janvier
The journal of the Special Court of Oyer and Terminer is nowhere to be found.
"Salem Witchcraft, Volumes I and II" by Charles Upham
They were to constitute a court of oyer and terminer.
"The Journal of Negro History, Volume 3, 1918" by Various
The fatal day came at last, and Charles was arraigned before the court of oyer and terminer on charge of the murder of one Samuel Williams.
"The Witch of Salem" by John R. Musick
THE SPECIAL COURT OF OYER AND TERMINER.
"Salem Witchcraft and Cotton Mather" by Charles W. Upham
In '73 I was finally taken before Judge Davis in the Court of Oyer and Terminer.
"My Life in Many States and in Foreign Lands" by George Francis Train
As to the oyer and terminer, it is certain Heydon and Tuddenham will be at Norwich with all the maintenance and fellowship they can.
"The Paston Letters, Volume II (of 6)"
***

In news:

Governor Phipps, in response to Mather's plea and his own wife being questioned for witchcraft , prohibited further arrests, released many accused witches and dissolved the Court of Oyer and Terminer on October 29.
***