Incorporated Corfe Castle in 1663, the mayor being elected at a court leet from three nominees of the lord of the manor.
The corporation was replaced by two constables chosen annually in the court leet of the manor until 1894, when an urban district council was appointed.
A court leet and view of frankpledge have been held here from time immemorial.
It was governed by a portreeve and bailiff, elected annually at the court leet held by the lord of the manor.
Bishop Waynflete is said to have confirmed the original charter in 1452, and in 1566 Bishop Horne granted a new charter by which the burgesses elected 2 bailiffs and 12 burgesses annually and did service at their own courts every three weeks, the court leet being held twice a year.
The court leet began to decline in the 14th century, being superseded by the more modern courts of the justices, but in many cases courts leet were kept up until nearly the middle of the 19th century.
The court leet was a court of record, and its duty was not only to view the pledges but to present by jury all crimes that might happen within the jurisdiction, and punish the same.
It was governed by a bailiff elected by the burgesses at the court leet of the lord of the manor, and never received a charter of incorporation.
This arrangement lasted until 1565, when the burgesses put in a claim to their right of election, and it was decided that out of four burgesses nominated by the lord of the manor the jury of the court leet should select the mayor.
The borough was governed by two bailiffs, both elected at the court leet of the lord of the manor, one by his steward, the other by a borough.