At the beginning of the 19th century, outside of the city of London (where magisterial duties were, as now, performed by the lord mayor and aldermen), there were various public offices besides the Bow Street and Thames police offices where magistrates attended.
Three justices of the peace are elected in each magisterial district for a term of four years.
Each county is divided into magisterial districts, varying in number from three to eleven.
It was restricted only by the conservatism of the Roman, by the condition that the initiative must always be taken by a magistrate, by the de facto authority of the senate, and by the magisterial veto which the senate often had at its command (see Senate).
For local government purposes the province is divided into counties or magisterial divisions; Zululand being under special jurisdiction.
The last-named official soon confined himself to the judicial magisterial office, and a further increase in the numbers of the council having taken place by the appointment of 8 nominees of the king, a municipal council of 34, under the direction of the senior consul or burgomaster, dealt with matters exclusively civic. Later this council (the kleine Rat) was increased to 42 members, 8 of whom belonged to the artisan class.
At last Thakombau, disappointed in the hope that his acceptance of Christianity (1854) would improve his position, offered the sovereignty to Great Britain (1859) with the fee simple of 100,000 acres, on condition of her paying the American claims. Colonel Smythe, R.A., was sent out to report on the question, and decided against annexation, but advised that the British consul should be invested with full magisterial powers over his countrymen, a step which would have averted much subsequent difficulty.
The people were to be directly governed by their native chiefs, whose duty was to collect the tribute and exercise magisterial functions.
The changes that occurred in magisterial functions are scarcely less remarkable than the transition from the parish constable to the organized police.
On the other hand, natives manage the greater part of the administration of the revenue and land affairs and magisterial work.