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Thomlinson’s Case. - Sir Edward Coke, Selected Writings of Sir Edward Coke, vol. I 
The Selected Writings and Speeches of Sir Edward Coke, ed. Steve Sheppard (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2003). Vol. 1.
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(1605) Hillary Term, 2 James I.
In the Court of Common Pleas.
First Published in the Reports, volume 12, page 104.
Ed.: A note on a grant of a writ of habeas corpus to a litigant arrested by the Court of Admiralty for failing to give evidence in a Case filed before it, but which did not happen on the sea and was not in its jurisdiction. A note by the editors of the first edition suggests that this opinion was written for insertion into Part Seven of the Reports, but Coke withdrew it on the command of the King.
Theodore Thomlinson had brought an action of Account for Goods against one Philips in the Common Pleas, and thereupon Philips sued Thomlinson in the Court of the Admiralty, supposing the Goods to have been received in forain parts beyond the Seas: and the said Thomlinson being committed for refusing to answer upon his Oath to some Interrogatories there proposed to him, brought his Habeas Corpus,1 which was returned thus, Ego William Pope Marescallus supremae Curiae Admiralitatis Angliae Dom. Justic. Sereniss.Reginae nostrae in brevi huic Schedulae annex. specificat. Certific. quod infra vocat. Theodore Thomlinson ante advent. istius brevis capt. fuit & custodiae meae commiss. ex eo quod dictus Theodorus Thomlinson vinculo sacramenti coram Judice Admiralitatis Angliae astrictus ab respondend. quibusdam articulis contra eum in dictâ cur’ dat’ &c. sub poena quinque librarum &c. contumaciter examen suum subire recusavit, Idcirco, &c.2 And it was resolved by the Court of Common Pleas.
1. That the Court of Admiralty hath no Cognizance of things done beyond Sea, And this appears plainly by the Statute of 13 Ric. 2. cap. 5. the words of which Statute are, that the Admirals and their Deputies shall not meddle from henceforth of any thing done within the Realm, but only of a thing done upon the Sea, Vide 19 Hen. 6. fol. 7. For things transitory done beyond the Seas, are either triable in the Kings Courts, or the party grieved may have his remedy before the Justices where the Fact was done beyond Seas.
2. That the proceedings in the Court of the Admiralty are according to the course of the Civill Law, and therefore the Court is not of Record, and by consequence cannot assesse any Fine in such case, as Judges of a Court of Record may do.
3. That the Return above mentioned was insufficient, as being too generall, because it is not specified for what cause or matter Thomlinson was examined, so as it might appear that the Interrogatories were of such things, as were within their Jurisdiction, and that the party ought by Law to answer upon his Oath, for otherwise he might very well refuse.
This case was intended to have been inserted by my Lord Coke into his 7th. Report, but not then published, because the King commanded that it should not be Printed, but the Judges resolved ut supra.
[1. ][Ed.: Writ to ascertain the legality of an incarceration.]
[2. ][Ed.: I, William Pope, marshal of the supreme court of Admiralty of England, certify unto the lords Justices of our most serene queen specified in the writ annexed to this schedule that the within-named Theodore Thomlinson was taken and committed to my custody, before the arrival of this writ, forasmuch as the said Theodore Thomlinson was constrained by the bond of an oath to answer before the Judge of the Admiralty of England upon certain articles given against him in the same court, etc. on pain of five pounds, etc., and contemptuously refused to undergo his examination. Whereupon, etc.]