The Court of the Star Chamber - named after the star-spangled ceiling of the room where it met in the old palace of Westminster - was formed in the reign of the eighth Henry. It consisted of two chief judges and the Privy Council, and it was established for the purpose of considering important cases and those involving legal problems of more than ordinary complexity. It was effectively the judicial arm of the King's Council. It became a separate court of law after 1485, but was abolished in 1641.

Many Star Chamber cases, which frequently allege public disorder, riot, forcible entry and assault, were really private disputes about property rights. The court also investigated corruption in administration by officials and in the administration of justice, including corruption of juries, municipal and trade disputes, fraud, and disputes over the enclosure of land. The Court, however, quickly abused its power. It became unjust, prejudiced and tyrannical. As a result of orders given by the Star Chamber there were inflicted some of the most brutal tortures that ever disgraced English justice.

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