In English history, a civil and criminal court, named after the star-shaped ceiling decoration of the room in the Palace of Westminster, London, where its first meetings were held. Created in 1487 by Henry VII
, the Star Chamber comprised some 20 or 30 judges. It was abolished in 1641 by the Long Parliament
The Star Chamber became notorious under Charles I
for judgements favourable to the king and to Archbishop Laud
(for example, the branding on both cheeks of William Prynne in 1637 for seditious libel). Under the Thatcher government 197990 the term was revived for private ministerial meetings at which disputes between the Treasury and high-spending departments were resolved.
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