Select Documents


English Constitutional History








1904 All rights reserved


Set up and electrotyped October, 1901. Reprinted July, 1903; July, 1904.

Norwood Press

J. S. Cushing & Co. - Berwick & Smith Norwood Mass. U.S.A.


THE pressure felt by two teachers of English history for a comprehensive volume of documents bearing on the development of the English constitution has led to the compilation of this volume. No source book for the illustration of English history yet published has met the needs of the student of constitutional history. The excellent selections made by the late Bishop of Oxford, Mr. G. W. Prothero, Mr. S. R. Gardiner, and Messrs. Gee and Hardy only cover limited periods, or deal with one aspect of the subject Excellent as those selections are, they are too advanced or too partial to be used in a college undergraduate course covering a single year. The University of Pennsylvania Reprints and the Old South Leaflets contain too little material to illustrate a full course of English constitutional history. The editors have been guided in the present selection by their practical experience in undergraduate work, and it is hoped that it may meet the demands of similar courses of study in other colleges, and also of courses pursued in some secondary and in many law schools.

Every teacher of history has his own ideas of the relative importance of documents, and this compilation cannot expect to escape criticism either for its selections or for its omissions. There was no difficulty in deciding upon the insertion of the most famous documents, such as Magna Charta and the Bill of Rights, but the selection of documents of lesser importance to form illustrations of the growth of constitutional customs and traditions was of greater difficulty. The editors have kept in mind in making the selection that they were dealing with constitutional and legal, and not with political, economic, and social questions, and under this ruling many important documents, like the Grand Remonstrance, were abbreviated, and others, like the Poor Laws and the Navigation Acts, were omitted altogether.

The feature of the earlier pages of this compilation which needs chiefly to be defended is the translation of the documents of the medieval period from Latin and Old French. It was only after long discussion and much hesitation that it was resolved to print translations rather than the originals. It was felt by the editors that although it might be indispensable for advanced students to use their documents in the original language, yet it was not possible to expect from large undergraduate classes sufficient training to enable all students in them to make ready use of the original documents. It was desired also to provide for the apparently growing demand for such material in secondary schools. Professor G. B. Adams, who is responsible for the selection and editing of the documents down to 1485, is responsible likewise for the translations of these documents, but in the case of statutes, the official translation in the Statutes of the Realm has been followed with only slight changes. Professor Adams does not presume that all the difficulties of translation have been here, for the first time, overcome, and he will be grateful to those who will call his attention to errors which have escaped him in spite of considerable pains to avoid them.

The problem with regard to the later documents after 1485 has been one of abridgment rather than of translation. The much greater length of the later documents made it impossible to print them in full, and Professor Morse Stephens is responsible for the abridgment as well as for the selection and editing of these later documents. It is as objectionable theoretically to abridge as to translate an original document, but as in the case of the translations the abridgments have been necessitated by practical considerations. A few of the most important documents have been printed in full, but most of them have been cut down in length, either by the omission of less important clauses or by inserting asterisks in the place of legal repetitions.

The most valuable feature of the three well-known volumes of selections made for the Oxford Clarendon Press by Bishop Stubbs, Mr. Prothero, and Mr. Gardiner are the learned introductions to the documents they have edited. The editors of the present selection did not feel it incumbent upon them to follow this example, for their selection is intended to be used in class along with some recognized text-book. The same consideration which caused them to reject a general introduction explains also the absence of special introductions to the different documents. All that has been done is to give the date, a reference to the original source, and occasionally to former reprints, and in the case of documents earlier than 1485 to the pages in Stubbs's Constitutional History where there is some discussion of the document.

A few words should be given to the want of uniformity in spelling and capitalization. As a general rule this reprint follows the spelling and capitalization of the source from which the document is taken, as indicated at the head of each number. Some of the later documents, such as 264, 265, and 266 preserve the capitalization of the Acts of Parliament exactly as they were printed; others follow the system used in earlier reprints; while others again have been completely modernized. In all cases the originals have been collated, but it was believed to be unnecessary to return in every case to the original spelling and capitalization.

It only remains for the editors to express their great obligations to their predecessors. Such a work as this could never have been successfully undertaken had not the way been prepared by such distinguished scholars as Bishop Stubbs, Mr. Prothero, and Mr. Gardiner. Full credit has been given at the head of each number when any document has been taken from the volumes edited by these three historians, even although their reprints have been carefully collated with the originals and occasional slips corrected. It is hoped that one of the results of using this compilation with undergraduate classes will be to attract attention to the interest and importance of the study of documents, so that more advanced students will turn to the more full and elaborate editions of these distinguished scholars. Their three volumes, however, do not cover the whole field. The Select Charters and Other Illustrations of English Constitutional History, arranged and edited by William Stubbs, Bishop of Oxford, only reach to the death of Edward I in 1307 ; the Select Statutes and Other Constitutional Documents, edited by G. W. Prothero, concern the period from 1558 to 1625, the reigns of Elizabeth and James I; while the Constitutional Documents of the Puritan Revolution, selected and edited by Samuel Rawson Gardiner, deal with the period from 1625 to 1660. For the gaps which lie between these books considerable use has been made of the excellent collection of Documents Illustrative of English Church History, compiled by Henry Gee and W. J. Hardy, but for the most part documents not hitherto reprinted have been selected. In the period covered by Stubbs's Select Charters a number of documents not appearing in that collection have been included, especially such as illustrate the history of law.

Our thanks are due to Messrs. Gee and Hardy for permission to use a few of the translations in their Documents Illustrative of English Church History, and to Professor E. P. Cheyney for a similar permission to make use of translations appearing in the University of Pennsylvania Translations and Reprints. In both cases specific acknowledgment is made at the head of the translations borrowed. We desire to express our thanks also, for assistance rendered in getting this book into form for the press, to Professor G. M. Dutcher, Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut.


OCTOBER 5. 1901.




1. ------. Ordinance separating the Spiritual and Temporal Courts . I

2. 1080. Writ for an Inquest of Lands at Ely..... 2

3. 1086. Title of the Domesday Inquest for Ely .... 2

4. 1086. Typical Domesday Entries....... 3


5. 1095. Writ applying Feudal Principles to the Church ... 3

6. 1096. An Early Iter......... 4


7. 1100. Charter of Liberties........ 4

8. ------. Writ concerning Lands....... 7

9. ------. Writ concerning Lands....... 7


10. 1135. First Charter......... 7

11. 1136. Second Charter......... 8


12. 1154. A Trial in the Curia Regis....... 9

13. 1164. The Constitutions of Clarendon...... II

14. 1166. The Assize of Clarendon....... 14

15. 1170. Inquest of the Sheriffs....... 18

16. 1176. Assize of Northampton....... 20

17. 1181. Assize of Arms......... 23

18. 1184. Assize of the Forest or of Woodstock..... 25

19. 1188. Ordinance of the Saladin Tithe...... 27

20. ------. The Writ "Præcipe"........ 28


21. 1194. Form of Proceeding on the Judicial Visitation ... 29


22. 1199. The Coronation of John....... 34

23. 1207. Writ for the Assessment of the Thirteenth .... 35

24. ------. Recognitions, Assizes, and the Jury..... 36

25. 1213. Concession of the Kingdom to the Pope .... 38

26. 1213. Writ of Summons........ 40

27. 1213. Writ of Summons to a Great Council..... 40

28. 1214. Grant of Freedom of Election to Churches . ... 40

29. 1215. Great Charter of Liberties (Magna Charta) ... 42


30. 1220. Writ for the Collection of a Carrucage .... 52

31. 1231. Writ for the Assembling of the County Court before the Judges Itinerant........ 54

32. 1235. Writ for the Collection of Scutage..... 55

33. 1254. Writ of Summons for Two Knights of the Shire to grant an Aid........... 55

34. 1258. Provisions of Oxford........ 56

35. 1259. The Provisions of the Barons or of Westminster . . 63

36. 1265. Confirmation of the Charters...... 68


37. 1275. The Statutes of Westminster; the First .... 68

38. 1275. Grant of Custom on Wool, Woolfells, and Leather . . 69

39. 1278. Writ for the Distraint of Knighthood..... 70

40. 1279. Statute of Mortmain or De Religiosis . .... 71

41. 1283. The Statute of Merchants, or of Acton Burnell ... 72

42. 1285. The Statutes of Westminster; the Second . ... 75

43. 1285. The Statute of Winchester....... 76

44. 1285. The Statute of Circumspecte Agatis..... 80

45. 1290. The Statutes of Westminster; the Third : Quia Emptores . 81

46. 1295. Writs of Summons to Parliament ..... 82

47. 1296. The Bull "Clericis Laicos"...... 84

48. 1297. Confirmatio Cartarum........ 86

49. 1297. De Tallagio non Concedendo...... 88

50. 1307. The Statute of Carlisle....... 89


51. 1311. The New Ordinances........ 92

52. 1316. Articuli Cleri......... 95

53. 1322. Revocation of the New Ordinances..... 96

54. 1324. Statute concerning the Lands of the Templars ... 98

55. 1327. Articles of Accusation against Edward II .... 99


56. 1328. Statute of Northampton....... 100

57- 1330. Statute concerning Justices and Sheriffs .... 100

58. 1340. Presentment of Englishry abolished and Grant of a Subsidy 102

59. 1340. Unauthorized Charges and Taxes abolished . . . 104

60. 1340. England not to be Subject to the King as King of France . 105

61. 1341. Inquiry into Accounts ....... 105

62. 1341. An Act to secure the Rights of Peers and Others, and to

secure the Responsibility of the King's Ministers . . 106

63. 1341. Revocation of the Preceding Statute..... 108

64. 1343. An Act regulating the Coinage...... 109

65. 1343. Attempts to tax through the Merchants resisted . . . 110

66. 1344. Grant of a Subsidy for Two Years..... 110

67. 1344. A Grant of the Clergy for Three Years . . . .112

68. 1348. Grant on Conditions......' . . 113

69. 1349. An Ordinance concerning Laborers and Servants . . .114

70. 1351. Statute of Laborers........ 116

71. 1351. Statute of Provisors of Benefices..... 117

72. 1352. The Statute of Treasons....... 121

73. 1353. Statute of Præmunire ........ 123

74. 13S3. Ordinance of the Staples....... 124

75. 1353. Protest of Parliament against Legislation by Ordinance . 126

76. 1354. Certain Ordinances confirmed by Parliament . . . 127

77. 1361. An Act concerning Justices of the Peace . . . . 127

78. 1362. Purveyance, English to be used in the Courts, etc. . .128

79. 1366. Refusal of Tribute to the Pope...... 130

80. 1372. Lawyers and Sheriffs excluded from Parliament . . . 131

81. 1372. Grant of Tunnage and Poundage by Citizens and Burgesses alone.......... 131

82. 1376. Impeachment of Richard Lyons...... 132

83. 1377. Grant of a Poll Tax and Petition fur Special Treasurers . 135


84. 1377. Persons appointed to supervise Expenditures . . .136

85. 1378. Account of Expenditures required by Parliament . . 137

86. 1379. The King orders Accounts submitted to Parliament . .138

87. 1379. The Poll Tax of 1379........ 140

88. 1380. The Poll Tax of 1380........ 142

89. 1382. Merchants to use English Ships only. Charters granted to the Peasants annulled....... 144

90. 1382. An Act against Heretical Preaching..... 145

91. 1385. An Act to reform the Administration of Justice . . 146

92. 1385. An Act regarding Fugitive Villeins..... 148

93. 1386. Articles of Impeachment against Suffolk .... 148

94. 1386. Threat to depose Richard II...... 150

95. 1390. The Second Statute of Provisors..... 150

96. 1390. Statute of Maintenance and Livery . . . . 153

97. 1392. Conveyances to the Uses of Religious Houses and Other Corporations forbidden, etc....... 154

98. 1393. The Second Statute of Præmunire..... 156

99. 1397. New Definition of Treason ...... 159

100. 1398. Delegation of Powers by Parliament of Shrewsbury . . 159

101. 1398. Grant of. Subsidy for Life to Richard II by Parliament of Shrewsbury......... 160

102. 1399. Resignation of Richard II...... 161

l03. 1399. Deposition of Richard II and Election of Henry IV . 162


104. 1399. An Act for the Security of the Subject and in Repeal of the Acts of the Parliament of Shrewsbury . . .165

105. 1399. Haxey's Case......... 167

106. 1401. The Statute "De Hæretico Comburendo" . . . 168

107. 1401. Sir Arnold Savage asks for the Privileges of Parliament . 171

108. 1401. Members excused for Matters spoken in Parliament . . 172

109. 1401. Responses to the Petitions of the Commons . . . 173

110. 1406. Act to regulate the Succession ...... 173

111. 1406. The Manner of electing Knights of the Shire . . . 174

112. 1407. Commons to originate Money Bills..... 175

113. 1410. Act restraining Abuses by the Sheriffs in Election Returns 177


114. 1413. Grant of Subsidy and Tunnage and Poundage . . . 178

115. 1413. Residence required of Knights of the Shire and of their Electors......... 179

116. 1414. Confiscation of the Alien Priories..... 180

117. 1414. King agrees not to alter the Petitions of the Commons . 181

118. 1415. Grant of a Subsidy and Tunnage and Poundage for Life . 182


119. 1422. Government during the Minority of Henry VI . . . 184

120. 1428. Definition of the Powers of the Duke of Gloucester as Protector......... 188

121. 1429. Electors of Knights of the Shire must be Forty Shilling Freeholders......... 190

122. 1429. Larke's Case; Privileges of Member's Servants . . 191

123. 1437. Act against Smuggling....... 193

124. 1439. Against Abuse in Appointment of Justices of the Peace . 194

125. 1445. Qualifications of Knights of the Shire .... 195

126. 1450. Attainder of John Cade....... 195

127. 1460. Privilege of Members from Arrest; Clerk's Case . . 196

128. 1460. Recognition of the Duke of York as Heir to the Throne . 198


129. 1461. Act declaring Valid Acts of Lancastrian Kings. . . 202

130. 1467. Treaty of Commerce with Burgundy..... 204


131. 1484. Confirmation of Richard's Title..... 207

132. 1484. Grant of Subsidy........ 210

133. 1484. An Act to free Subjects from Benevolences . . .212


134. 1485. Recognition of the Title of Henry VII .... 213

135. 1485. An Act against bringing in of Gascony Wine except in English, Irish, or Welshmen's Ships .... 213

136. 1487. Establishment of the Court of Star Chamber . . . 214

137. 1495. Allegiance to a De Facto King not Treason . . . 215

138. 1503-1504. An Act against Unlawful Retainers and Liveries . 216

139. 1503-1504. Reversal of Attainders...... 218

140. 1503-1504. Grant of Two Aids....... 220


141. 1512. Benefit of Clergy denied to Murderers .... 223

142. 1512. Act in Strode's Case........ 224

143. 1514-1515. Resumption of Royal Grants..... 225

144. 1532. The Conditional Restraint of Annates .... 226

145. 1533. Act in Restraint of Appeals...... 229

146. 1534. Ecclesiastical Appointments Act..... 232

147. 1534. The First Act of Succession...... 235

148. 1534. Act of Supremacy of Henry VIII..... 239

149. 1534. The Treasons Act........ 240

150. 1536. Act for the Dissolution of the Lesser Monasteries . . 243

151. 1536. The King at Twenty-four may repeal Acts of Parliament passed during his Minority...... 246

152. 1539. The Lex Regia......... 247

153. 1539. Act for the Dissolution of the Greater Monasteries . .251

154. 1539. The Six Articles Act........ 253

155. 1542. The Attainder of Queen Katherine Howard . . . 259

156. 1543. Ferrers' Case......... 261

157. 1544. Act fixing the Succession....... 264

158. 1544. Act concerning Treasons committed out of the Realm . 268


159. 1547. Act for the Dissolution of Chantries..... 269

160. 1549. First Act of Uniformity....... 272

161. 1550. First Mention of Lords Lieutenant..... 278

162. 1552. Second Act of Uniformity....... 278


163. 1553. First Act of Repeal........ 281

164. 1554. Act for the Marriage of Queen Mary to Philip of Spain . 283

165. 1554. Revival of the Heresy Acts...... 289

166. 1554. Second Act of Repeal....... 290


167. 1559. The Act of Supremacy....... 296

168. 1559. The Act of Uniformity....... 302

169. 1559. Act of Recognition of the Queen's Title .... 306

170. 1559. Treason Act......... 307

171. 1559. Grant of Tonnage and Poundage..... 309

172. 1559. Establishment of the Court of High Commission . . 310

173. 1566. Ordinance of the Star Chamber for the Censorship of the Press.......... 315

174. 1571. Act against bringing Decrees of the Pope into England . 316

175. 1571. The Oath of a Privy Councillor..... 319

176. 1574. Commission for the Manumission of Villeins . . . 319

177. 1579. The Commission of a Justice of the Peace . . .321

178. 1581. The Oath of a Justice of the Peace..... 324

179. 1586. Resolutions on the Norfolk Election Case ... 324

180. 1601. The Queen's Message with Regard to Monopolies . . 325


181. 1604. Act of Recognition of the King's Title . . . .326

182. 1604. Commission for negotiating a Union with Scotland . . 327

183. 1604. Act in Shirley's Case....... 328

184. 1606. Opinions of the Court of Exchequer in Bates' Case . . 329

185. 1607. The Case of Prohibitions....... 332

186. 1608. Judgment in the Case of the Post-nati, or Calvin's Case . 334

187. 1610. The Case of Proclamations...... 334

188. 1624. Act against Monopolies....... 337


189. 1628. The Petition of Right....... 339

190. 1628. The Remonstrance against Tonnage and Poundage . . 343

191. 1628. The King's Speech proroguing Parliament . . . 345

192. 1628-1629. Protest of the House of Commons .... 346

193. 1634. First Writ of Ship-money....... 347

194. 1637. The Answer of the Judges in the Matter of Ship-money . 349

195. 1640-1641. The Triennial Act....... 351

196. 1641. The Protestation ........ 359

197. 1641. Act for the Attainder of Strafford . . . . . 361

198. 1641. Act against dissolving the Long Parliament without its own Consent ......... 362

199. 1641. Act for the Abolition of the Court of Star Chamber . . 363

200. 1641. Act for the Abolition of the Court of High Commission . 366

201. 1641. Act declaring the Illegality of Ship-money . . . 369

202. 1641. Act for the Limitation of Forests..... 371

203. 1641. Act prohibiting the Exaction of Knighthood Fines . . 374

204. 1641. The Grand Remonstrance, with the Petition accompanying it .......... 376

205. 1641. The King's Answer to the Petition accompanying the Grand Remonstrance ....... 380

206. 1641-1642. The Clerical Disabilities Act..... 383

207. 1643. The Solemn League and Covenant..... 383

208. 1643-1644. Ordinance appointing the First Committee of Both Kingdoms......... 387

209. 1645. The Self-denying Ordinance...... 388

210. 1648-1649. Act erecting a High Court of Justice for the Trial of Charles I......... 389

211. 1648-1649. Sentence of the High Court of Justice upon the King 391

212. 1648-1649. The Death Warrant of Charles I .... 394


213. 1648-1649. Act appointing a Council of State .... 394

214. 1648-1649. Act abolishing the Office of King .... 397

215. 1648-1649. Act abolishing the House of Lords .... 399

216. 1649. Act declaring England to be a Commonwealth . . . 400

217. 1650. Act declaring what Offences shall be adjudged Treason under the Commonwealth...... 400

218. 1653. Declaration by Oliver Cromwell and the Council of Officers after putting an End to the Long Parliament . . 403


219. 1653. The Instrument of Government..... 407

220. 1654. An Ordinance by the Protector for the Union of England and Scotland......... 416


221. 1660. The Declaration of Breda....... 420

222. 1660. Act abolishing Relics of Feudalism and fixing an Excise . 422

223. 1661. Corporation Act........ 425

224. 1662. Last Act of Uniformity....... 427

225. 1664. First Conventicle Act....... 431

226. 1665. Five Mile Act......... 433

227. 1673. Declaration of Indulgence...... 434

228. 1673. Test Act.......... 436

229. 1679. Resolution concerning the Royal Pardon in Bar of Danby's Impeachment........ 439

230. 1679. Exclusion Bill......... 439

231. 1679. Habeas Corpus Act........ 440

232. 1682. Forfeiture of Charter of London..... 448


233. 1686. Hales' Case: The Dispensing Power .... 450

234. 1687. Declaration of Indulgence...... 451


235. 1688-1689. Confirmation of the Convention Parliament . . 454

236. 1689. The Civil List......... 456

237. 1689. First Mutiny Act........ 457

238. 1689. The Toleration Act........ 459

239. 1689. The Bill of Rights........ 462

240. 1690. Act restoring the Charter of London .... 469

241. 1694. The Triennial Act........ 471


242. 1696. Treason Trials Act........ 472

243. 1701. The Act of Settlement....... 475


244. 1706-1707. Act of Union with Scotland..... 479

245. 1707. Place Act.......... 483


246. 1715. Riot Act.......... 485

247. 1716. The Septennial Act........ 487

248. 1719. The Peerage Bill........ 488


249. 1731. Use of English Language in the Law Courts made Obligatory ......... 489


250. 1760. Judicial Commissions not to cease on the Demise of the Crown . . . . . . . . . .491

251. 1763. Camden's Decision against General Warrants . . . 492

252. 1764. Mansfield's Decision against General Warrants . . . 493

253. 1771. Somerset's Case. Mansfield's Decision .... 494

254. 1780. Dunning's Resolution ....... 494

255. 1790. Dissolution of Parliament does not impair Impeachment . 495

256. 1792. Fox's Libel Act........ 495

257. 1794. Suspension of the Writ of Habeas Corpus . . . 496

258. 1800. Act of Union with Ireland...... 497

259. 1807. Abolition of the Negro Slave Trade..... 506


260. 1821. Disfranchisement of Grampound..... 507

261. 1828. Repeal of Corporation and Test Acts . . . .508

262. 1829. Catholic Emancipation Act...... 510


263. 1832. Reform Act of 1832........ 514

264. 1833. Abolition of Negro Slavery...... 527

265. 1833. Affirmation allowed instead of Oath..... 530


266. 1858. Jewish Relief Act........ 531

267. 1867. Reform Act of 1867........ 532

268. 1869. Disestablishment of the Irish Church . . . .538

269. 1870. Education Act......... 538

270. 1872. The Ballot Act......... 540

271. 1873. Supreme Court of Judicature Act ..... 543

272. 1876. Appellate Jurisdiction Act ...... 550

273. 1877. Abolition of Names of King's Bench, Common Pleas, and Exchequer for Divisions of the High Court of Justice . 552

274. 1881. Abolition of Certain Judicial Offices..... 553

275. 1884. Reform Act of 1884........ 553

276. 1885. Third Redistribution of Parliamentary Seats . . . 554


Bigelow Placita: Bigelow's Placita Anglo-Normannica.

Cheyney: Professor Cheyney in University of Pennsylvania Translations and Reprints.

6. & H.: Gee and Hardy's Documents Illustrative of English Church History.

R. P.: Rolls of Parliament.

S. L.: Statutes at Large.

S. R.: Statutes of the Realm.

Stubbs: Stubbs' Constitutional History.

Stubbs, S. C.: Stubbs' Select Charters.

English Constitutional Documents

1. Ordinance separating the Spiritual and Temporal Courts

(Date unknown. Latin text, Stubbs, S. C. 85. Translation, G. and H. 57. I Stubbs, 307.)

WILLIAM, by the grace of God king of the English, to R. Bainard, and G. de Magneville, and Peter de Valoines, and all my liege men of Essex, Hertfordshire and Middlesex greeting. Know ye and all my liege men resident in England, that I have by my common council, and by the advice of the archbishops, bishops, abbots and chief men of my realm, determined that the episcopal laws be mended as not having been kept properly nor according to the decrees of the sacred canons throughout the realm of England, even to my own times. Accordingly I command and charge you by royal authority that no bishop nor archdeacon do hereafter hold pleas of episcopal laws in the Hundred, nor bring a cause to the judgment of secular men which concerns the rule of souls. But whoever shall be impleaded by the episcopal laws for any cause or crime, let him come to the place which the bishop shall choose and name for this purpose, and there answer for his cause or crime, and not according to the Hundred but according to the canons and episcopal laws, and let him do right to God and his bishop. But if any one, being lifted up with pride, refuse to come to the bishop's court, let him be summoned three several times, and if by this means, even, he come not to obedience, let the authority of the king or sheriff be exerted ; and he who refuses to come to the bishop's judgment shall make good the bishop's law for every summons. This too I absolutely forbid that any sheriff, reeve or king's minister, or any other layman, do in any wise concern himself with the laws which belong to the bishop, or bring another man to judgment save in the bishop's court. And let judgment nowhere be undergone but in . the bishop's see or in that place which the bishop appoints for this purpose.

2. Writ for an Inquest of Lands at Ely

(1080. Latin text, Bigelow's Placita, 24. Translation by Editors.)

WILLIAM, king of the English, to Archbishop Lanfranc, and to Roger Count of Mortain, and to Godfrey Bishop of Coutances, greeting.

I order and direct you to assemble again all the shires which were present at the trial held concerning the lands of the church of Ely, before my consort went to Normandy the last time. With them, also, let there be those of my barons who had the right to be present and who were present at the aforesaid trial and who hold lands of the same church. When they have come together, let there be chosen some of those Englishmen who know how the lands of the said church were situated on the day that King Edward died, and what they say about it let them, thereupon, witness by an oath. This done, let there be restored to the church the lands which were in its demesne on the day of the death of Edward, excepting those which men claim that I have given to them. With regard to these, signify to me by letters which they are and who hold them. But let those who hold lands by service, which, without doubt, ought to be held from the church, make the best agreement they can with the abbot, and if they refuse, let the lands remain to the church. Let this also be done concerning those who hold sac and soc. Finally, order those men who hitherto by my order and direction have been accustomed to do it, to keep in repair the bridge at Ely.

3. Title of the Domesday Inquest for Ely

(1086. Latin text, Stubbs, 5. C. 86. Translation by Editors, 1 Stubbs, 416.)

HERE is written down the inquest of lands, in what manner the king's barons have made inquisition, namely, by oath of the sheriff of the shire, and of all the barons and of their Frenchmen and of the whole hundred, of the priest, the reeve and six villeins of each vill. Next the name of the manor, who held it in the time of King Edward, who holds it now; the number of hides; the number of plows on the demesne, the number of those of the men ; the number of villeins ; the number of cotters ; the number of serfs; the number of freemen ; the number of sokemen; the amount of forest; the amount of meadow; the number of pastures ; the number of mills; the number of fishponds; how much it has been increased or diminished; how much it was all worth then; and how much now ; how much each freeman and sokemari held and holds there. All this three times over, namely, in the time of King Edward, and when King William gave it, and as it now is, and if more can be had than is had.

4. Typical Domesday Entries

(1086. Latin original. Translation by Editors. Specific references below.)

1. The same earl holds Hiham. Godwin held it. In the time of King Edward there were two hides and a half, but it was assessed at two hides, as they say, and now at two. There is land for sixteen plows. In demesne is one, and thirty villeins and ten borders with nineteen plows. There are six acres of meadow and woods for two hogs. In the time of King Edward it was worth 100 shillings, now six pounds. It has been waste, (1 Domesday, 20, a.)

2. To the use of this manor the same Hugh claims three messuages and a corner of a meadow and one virgate and five acres of land against Turstin the chamberlain. Concerning this the whole hundred bears testimony that his predecessors were seised of it and holding it on the day on which King Edward was alive and dead, (1 Domesday, 45, a.)

5. Writ applying Feudal Principles to the Church

(1095. Latin text, Round's Feudal England, 309. Translation by Editors. 1 Stubbs, 325.)

WILLIAM, King of the English, to all the French and English who occupy freeholds from the bishopric of Worcester, greeting.

Know ye that since the bishop has died, the honor has returned into my possession. Now I will that you should give me from your lands such relief as I have arranged [assessed] through my

barons. Hugh de Lacy, twenty pounds; Walter Punher, twenty pounds; * * * Chipping, twenty shillings.

Witness: Ranulf the chaplain, and Eudes the steward, and Urso de Abetot. If any one shall refuse to do this, Urso and Bernard shall seise their lands and money into my possession.

6. An Early Iter: The King vs. The Abbot of Tavistock

(1096. Latin text, Bigelow's Placita, 69. Translation by Editors.)

IN the year of the Lord's Incarnation the one thousand and ninty-sixth, and of the reign of William the Second of famous memory, the ninth, the said king sent at Quadragesima into Devonshire, Cornwall and Exeter, his lords Walklin the Bishop of Winchester, Ranulf the royal chaplain, William Capra, and Hardin Fitz-Belnold to examine royal pleas. In which pleas, complaints have been made concerning a certain manor of the abbey of Tavistock, called Wulurunton, alleging and affirming that the said manor is wrongly held by the abbey of Tavistock and that on the contrary, it has always belonged of right to the royal demesne. We denying their allegations and false charges, proved that in the judgment of many of our predecessors the said manor belonged of perpetual right to the abbey of Tavistock, without any dispute. In which cause, together with the royal examiners of pleas above-mentioned, we besought the King of the English that, for the love of God and Saint Mary, he would grant that the aforesaid manor should belong to the abbey of Tavistock in perpetual right, without any question. These very facts having been recited in the king's hearing, the king himself in granting our petition, and, for the sake of the souls of his father and mother, restoring in perpetuity to the abbey church of God and Saint Mary at Tavistock that manor, namely Wulurunton, made reply in these words: * * *

7. Charter of Liberties of Henry I

(1100. Latin text, Stubbs, S. C. 100. Translation, Cheyney, 3. 1 Stubbs, 330.)

IN the year of the incarnation of the Lord, 1101, Henry, son of King William, after the death of his brother William, by the grace of God, king of the English, to all faithful, greeting:

1. Know that by the mercy of God, and by the common counsel of the barons of the whole kingdom of England, I have been crowned king of the same kingdom; and because the kingdom has been oppressed by unjust exactions, I, from regard to God, and from the love which I have toward you, in the first place make the holy church of God free, so that I will neither sell nor place at rent, nor, when archbishop, or bishop, or abbot is dead, will I take anything from the domain of the church, or from its men, until a successor is installed into it. And all the evil customs by which the realm of England was unjustly oppressed will I take away, which evil customs I partly set down here.

2. If any one of my barons, or earls, or others who hold from me shall have died, his heir shall not redeem his land as he did in the time of my brother, but shall relieve it by a just and legitimate relief. Similarly also the men of my barons shall relieve their lands from their lords by a just and legitimate relief.

3. And if any one of the barons or other men of mine wishes to give his daughter in marriage, or his sister or niece or relation, he must speak with me about it, but I will neither take anything from him for this permission, nor forbid him to give her in marriage, unless he should wish to join her to my enemy. And if when a baron or other man of mine is dead, a daughter remains as his heir, I will give her in marriage according to the judgment of my barons, along with her land. And if when a man is dead his wife remains, and is without children, she shall have her dowry and right of marriage, and I will not give her to a husband except according to her will.

4. And if a wife has survived with children, she shall have her dowry and marriage portion, so long as she shall have kept her body legitimately, and I will not give her in marriage, except according to her will. And the guardian of the land and children shall be either the wife or another one of the relatives as shall seem to be most just. And I require that my barons should deal similarly with the sons and daughters or wives of their men.

5. The common tax on money which used to be taken through the cities and counties, which was not taken in the time of King Edward, I now forbid altogether henceforth to be taken. If any one shall have been seised, whether a moneyer or any other, with false money, strict justice shall be done for it.

6. All fines and all debts which were owed to my brother, I remit, except my rightful rents, and except those payments which had been agreed upon for the inheritances of others or for those things which more justly affected others. And if any one for his

own inheritance has stipulated anything, this I remit, and all reliefs which had been agreed upon for rightful inheritances.

7. And if any of my barons or men shall become feeble, however he himself shall give or arrange to give his money, I grant that it shall be so given. Moreover, if he himself, prevented by arms, or by weakness, shall not have bestowed his money, or arranged to bestow it, his wife or his children or parents, and his legitimate men shall divide it for his soul, as to them shall seem best.

8. If any of my barons or men shall have committed an offence he shall not give security to the extent of forfeiture of his money, as he did in the time of my father, or of my brother, but according to the measure of the offence so shall he pay, as he would have paid from the time of my father backward, in the time of my other predecessors; so that if he shall have been convicted of treachery or of crime, he shall pay as is just.

9. All murders moreover before that day in which I was crowned King, I pardon; and those which shall be done henceforth shall be punished justly according to the law of King Edward.

10. The forests, by the common agreement of my barons, I have retained in my own hand, as my father held them.

11. To those Knights who hold their land by the cuirass, I yield of my own gift the lands of their demesne ploughs free from all payments and from all labor, so that as they have thus been favored by such a great alleviation, so they may readily provide themselves with horses and arms for my service and for the defence of my kingdom.

12. A firm peace in my whole kingdom I establish and require to be kept from henceforth.

13. The law of King Edward I give to you again with those changes with which my father changed it by the counsel of his barons.

14. If any one has taken anything from my possessions since the death of King William, my brother, or from the possessions of any one, let the whole be immediately returned without alteration, and if any one shall have retained anything thence, he upon whom it is found will pay it heavily to me. Witnesses Maurice, bishop of London, and Gundulf, bishop, and William, bishop-elect, and Henry, earl, and Simon, earl, and Walter Giffard, and Robert de Montfort, and Roger Bigod, and Henry de Port, at London, when I was crowned.

8. Writ concerning Lands at Stanton

(Date uncertain. Latin text, Chronicon Monasttrii de Abingdon, ii. 84. Translation by Editors.)

HENRY, King of England, to Hugh of Buckland and William sheriff of Oxfordshire, greeting.

Order on my behalf the men of your counties to declare the whole truth concerning the three virgates of land which Rualcus de Avranches claims, and if they belong to the manor of Stanton which I gave to him, let him have possession; but if not let the abbey of Abingdon have possession.

Witness: Roger the chancellor. By------Basset; at Cambridge.

9. Writ concerning Lands at Caversham

(Date uncertain. Latin text, Chronicon Monasterii de Abingdon, ii. 85. Translation by Editors.)

HENRY, King of England, to Walter Giffard and Agnes his mother, greeting.

I order that you render full justice to Faritius abbot of Abingdon concerning the land which Ralph of Caversham gave to Abingdon by your permission, and of which the church was seised; and so do lest I hear from thence complaint of lack of justice. Witness: Ranulf the chancellor, at Windsor.

10. First Charter of Stephen

(1135. Latin text, Stubbs, S. C. 119. Translation, Cheyney, 5. 1 Stubbs, 346.)

STEPHEN, by the grace of God, king of the English, to the justices, sheriffs, barons, and all his ministers and faithful, French and English, greeting.

Know that I have conceded and by this my present charter confirmed to all my barons and men of England all the liberties and good laws which Henry, King of the English, my uncle, gave and conceded to them, and all the good laws and good customs which they had in the time of King Edward, I concede to them. Wherefore I wish and firmly command that they shall have and hold all those good laws and liberties from me and my heirs, they and their heirs, freely, quietly, and fully; and I prohibit any one from bring-

ing any obstacle, or impediment, or diminution upon them in these matters on pain of forfeiture to me. Witness William Martel, at London.

11. Second Charter of Stephen

(1136. Latin text, Stubbs, S. C. 120. Translation, Statutes of the Realm as in G. and H. 66. I Stubbs, 347.)

I STEPHEN, by the grace of God and the assent of the clergy and people elected king of the English, and consecrated by William, archbishop of Canterbury and legate of the Holy Roman Church, and confirmed by Innocent, pontiff of the Holy Roman See, from regard and love to God, do grant holy Church to be free and confirm due reverence to her. I promise that I will not do nor allow any simony in the Church or in church affairs. I permit and confirm justice and power over ecclesiastical persons and all clerks and their effects, and the distribution of ecclesiastical goods to be in the hands of the bishops. The dignities of churches confirmed by their privileges, and their customs had of ancient continuance, I ordain and grant to remain inviolate. All the possessions and holdings of churches which they had on that day when William the king, my grandfather, was alive and dead, I grant to them to be free and absolute without any appeal from claimants. But if the Church shall hereafter seek to regain any of the things held or possessed before the death of the same king which the Church has no longer, I reserve them for my indulgence and dispensation for restoration and for consideration. But I confirm whatever has been bestowed upon them since the death of this same king, by the liberality of kings or the gift of great men, by presentation or acquisition, or by any exchange of the faithful. I promise that I will perform peace and justice in all things, and will maintain these for them as far as I can. I reserve for myself the forests which William my grandfather, and William my uncle established and had. All the others which King Henry further added I give back and grant to the churches and the kingdom without molestation. If any bishop or abbot or other ecclesiastical person shall, before his death, reasonably devise or intend to devise his goods, I grant it to remain firm. But if he shall be overtaken by death let the same devise take place with the advice of the Church for the health of his soul. Moreover, whilst sees shall be without their proper pastors, these and all their posses-

sions I will commit to the hand and custody of the clerks or good men of the same church, until a pastor be canonically appointed to succeed. I entirely abolish all exactions, and injuries, and miskennings wrongly introduced, whether by sheriffs or by any other. I will observe, and command and ordain to be observed, the good laws and ancient and just customs in murders and pleas and other causes. All these things I grant and confirm saving my royal and just dignity. Witness: W. Archbishop of Canterbury, Hugh Archbishop of Rouen, and Henry Bishop of Winchester, and Roger Bishop of Salisbury, and A. Bishop of Lincoln, and Nigel Bishop of Ely, and Everard Bishop of Norwich, and Simon Bishop of Worcester, and Bernard Bishop of Saint David's, and Owen Bishop of Evreux, Richard Bishop of Avranches, Robert Bishop of Hereford, John Bishop of Rochester, Athelwulf Bishop of Carlisle, and other lay signatories. At Oxford, in the year 1136 from the Lord's Incarnation, and the first of my reign.

12. A Trial in the Curia Regis. Case of Abbot Walter vs. Gilbert de Baillol

(c. 1154. Latin text, Bigelow's Placita, 175. Translation by Editors.)

["THE king grants his writ at the instance of Walter, abbot of Saint Martin, to John, earl of Eu, commanding him to do justice by the abbot against Gilbert de Baillol as to certain lands. The defendant evades the trial in various ways. Leave is finally obtained to bring the suit into the King's Court, but the king's presence cannot be obtained. The cause, though much litigated before the justiciars, comes to no satisfactory conclusion. The king's presence is at last obtained, and the trial proceeds." — BIGELOW.]

* * * Now therefore, since there was no longer opportunity for excuse, both parties appeared before the lord king, sitting in the seat of judgment. There stood forth in the midst one of the abbot's monks named Osmund, and a knight, Peter de Chriel, who, beginning at the beginning of the whole court proceedings, set forth in order before the king and his assessors, how the said land of Barnhorn had been partly given to the church of Saint Martin of Battle, and partly purchased, how afterwards it was taken away, and also how far progress had been made in the case, at the present so long since the beginning of the suit; adding also their complaint over the great and expensive delay of the affair,

and the constant and useless annoyance of the abbot and his party. Now since there was nothing in this statement of the case for prosecution which could be successfully controverted, as the Curia Regis possessed testimony on every point; at the permission of the king, the deeds of purchase and of gift were read in the hearing of all, and also the charters of confirmation. Since the other party had little to answer to these, Gilbert de Baillol, that he might not seem to make no objection, answered that he had heard the reading of the deeds given by his predecessors, but he took occasion to note that no seals were affixed to them in attestation. Turning to him, that splendid and wise man Richard de Lucy, the brother of the said abbot, then the Justiciar of the lord king, inquired whether he had a seal. Upon his reply that he had a seal, the illustrious man smiled and said, "The old fashion was not for every little knight to have a seal, but it was customary for only kings and people of consequence to have them, and in the old times spite did not make men pettifoggers or sceptics." And when the said Gilbert strove to cast doubt upon the confirmation by King Henry the elder, alleging that the abbot and monks were able to persuade the lord king not as a matter of justice but of favor, the lord king, taking the charter and seal of his grandfather King Henry into his own hands and turning to the said Gilbert, said, "By the eyes of God, if you can prove this charter false, it will be worth a thousand pounds to me in England." As he made little or no reply to these words, the king made this noteworthy remark, "If," said he, "the monks by means of a similar charter and confirmation were able to show that they had a right of this sort to the present place, to wit, Clarendon, which I chiefly love, there would be no just reply for me to make to save me from entirely surrendering it to them." The king, therefore, turning to the abbot and his party, said, "Go out, and having taken counsel, confer together to see if perchance there is anything upon which you wish to depend rather than upon this charter. Still I do not think you will seek at present any other proof." So the abbot and his party, withdrawing to take council concerning this, and recognizing that their charter sufficed for all proof, from the last words of the king in which he said, "I do not think you will seek at present any other proof," they returned into the presence of the king and his assessors, after holding the council, and asserted that they did not depend on others or seek other proof outside of the charter, that they claimed nothing more or less but the charter, but upon this they desired the judgment of the Curia Regis. As the other party had no reply to make inasmuch as it neither dared nor could assert that the

charter was false because this could not be proved; by the unanimous consent of the whole court, judgment was given that, to the abbot and church of Saint Martin of Battle restitution should be made of everything which he demanded on the testimony of the charter. * * *

13. Constitutions of Clarendon

(1164. Latin text, Stubbs, S. C. 137. Translation, G. and H. 68. I Stubbs, 501.)

IN the year 1164 from our Lord's Incarnation, the fourth of the pontificate of Alexander, the tenth of Henry II., most illustrious king of the English, in the presence of the same king, was made this remembrance or acknowledgment of a certain part of the customs, liberties, and dignities of his ancestors, that is of King Henry his grandfather, and of others, which ought to be observed and held in the realm. And owing to strifes and dissensions which had taken place between the clergy and justices of the lord the king and the barons of the realm, in respect of customs and dignities of the realm, this recognition was made before the archbishops and bishops and clergy, and the earls and barons and nobles of the realm. And these same customs recognized by the archbishops and bishops, and earls and barons, and by those of high rank and age in the realm, Thomas archbishop of Canterbury, and Roger archbishop of York, and Gilbert bishop of London, and Henry bishop of Winchester, and Nigel bishop of Ely, and William bishop of Norwich, and Robert bishop of Lincoln, and Hilary bishop of Chichester, and Jocelyn bishop of Salisbury, and Richard bishop of Chester, and Bartholomew bishop of Exeter, and Robert bishop of Hereford, and David bishop of Saint David's, and Roger elect of Worcester, conceded, and by word of mouth steadfastly promised on the word of truth, to the lord the king and his heirs, should be kept and observed in good faith and without evil intent, these being present: Robert earl of Leicester, Reginald earl of Cornwall, Conan earl of Brittany, John earl of Eu, Roger earl of Clare, earl Geoffrey de Mandeville, Hugh earl of Chester, William earl of Arundel, earl Patrick, William earl of Ferrers, Richard de Luci, Reginald de St. Valery, Roger Bigod, Reginald de Warenne, Richer de Aquila, William de Braose, Richard de Camville, Nigel de Mowbray, Simon de Beauchamp, Humphry de Bohun, Matthew de Hereford, Walter de Mayenne, Manser Biset the steward, William Malet, William de Courcy, Robert de Dunstanville, Jocelyn de Baillol, William de Lanvallei, William de Caisnet, Geoffrey de Vere, William de Hastings, Hugh de Moreville, Alan

de Neville, Simon son of Peter, William Maudit the chamberlain, John Maudit, John Marshall, Peter de Mara, and many other magnates and nobles of the realm, as well clerical as lay.

Now of the acknowledged customs and dignities, of the realm a certain part is contained in the present document, of which part these are the chapters : —

1. If controversy shall arise between laymen, or clergy and.lay-men, or clergy, regarding advowson and presentation to churches, let it be treated or concluded in the court of the lord the king.

2. Churches belonging to the fee of the lord the king cannot be granted in perpetuity without his own assent and grant.

3. Clerks cited and accused of any matter shall, when summoned by the king's justice, come into his own court to answer there concerning what it shall seem to the king's court should be answered there, and in the church court for what it shall seem should be answered there; yet so that the king's justice shall send into the court of holy Church to see in what way the matter is there treated. And if the clerk be convicted, or shall confess, the Church must not any longer protect him.

4. Archbishops, bishops, and persons of the realm are not allowed to leave the kingdom without licence of the lord the king; and if they do leave, they shall, if the king so please, give security that neither in going nor in staying, nor in returning, will they seek the ill or damage of the lord the king or realm.

5. Excommunicate persons are not to give pledge for the future, nor to take oath, but only to give security and pledge of abiding by the church's judgment that they may be absolved.

6. Laymen are not to be accused save by proper and legal accusers and witnesses in the presence of the bishop, so that the archdeacon do not lose his right nor anything due to him thence. And if the accused be such that no one wills or dares to accuse them, the sheriff, when requested by the bishop, shall cause twelve lawful men from the neighborhood or the town to swear before the bishop that they will show the truth in the matter according to their conscience.

7. No one who holds of the king in chief, and none of his demesne officers are to be excommunicated, nor the lands of any one of them to be put under an interdict unless first the lord the king, if he be in the country, or his justiciar if he be outside the kingdom, be applied to, in order that he may do right for him ; and so that what shall appertain to the royal court be concluded there, and that what shall belong to the church court be sent to the same to be treated there.

8. In regard to appeals, if they shall occur, they must proceed from archdeacon to the bishop, and from the bishop to the archbishop. And if the archbishop fail in showing justice, they must come at last to the lord the king, that by his command the dispute be concluded in the archbishop's court, so that it must not go further without the assent of the lord the king.

9. If a dispute shall arise between a clerk and a layman, or between a layman and a clerk, in respect of any tenement which the clerk wishes to bring to frank-almoign, but the layman to a lay fee, it shall be concluded by the consideration of the king's chief justice on the award of twelve lawful men, whether the tenement belong to frank-almoign or to lay fee, before the king's justiciar himself. And if the award be that it belongs to frank-almoign it shall be pleaded in the church court, but if to the lay fee, unless both claim under the same bishop or baron, it shall be pleaded in the king's court. But if both appeal concerning this fee to the same bishop or baron, it shall be pleaded in his own court, so that for making the award he who was first seised, lose not his seisin until the matter be settled by the plea.

10. If any one of a city, or castle, or borough, or a demesne manor of the lord the king, be cited by archdeacon or bishop for any offence for which he ought to answer them, and refuse to give satisfaction at their citations, it is well lawful to place him under interdict; but he must not be excommunicated before the chief officer of the lord the king of that town be applied to, in order that he may adjudge him to come for satisfaction. And if the king's officer fail in this, he shall be at the king's mercy, and thereafter the bishop shall be able to restrain the accused by ecclesiastical justice.

11. Archbishops, bishops, and all persons of the realm who hold of the king in chief, have their possessions from the lord the king as barony, and are answerable therefor to the king's justices and ministers, and follow and do all royal rights and customs, and like all other barons, have to be present at the trials of the court of the lord the king with the barons until it comes to a judgment of loss of limb, or death.

12. When an archbishopric or bishopric is vacant, or any abbey or priory of the king's demesne, it must be in his own hand, and from it he shall receive all revenues and rents as demesne. And when they come to provide for the church, the lord the king must cite the chief persons of the church, and the election must take place in the chapel of the lord the king himself, with the assent of the lord the king, and the advice of the persons of the realm

whom he shall have summoned to do this. And the person elected shall there do homage and fealty to the lord the king as to is liege lord for his life and limbs and earthly honor, saving his order, before he be consecrated.

13. If any of the nobles of the realm forcibly prevent the archbishop or bishop or archdeacon from doing justice in regard of himself or his people, the lord the king must bring them to justice. And if perchance any one should deforce the lord the king, the archbishops and bishops and archdeacons must judge him, so that he gives satisfaction to the lord the king.

14. The goods of those who are under forfeit of the king, no church or cemetery is to detain against the king's justice, because they belong to the king himself, whether they be found inside churches or outside.

15. Pleas of debt due under pledge of faith or without pledge of faith are to be in the king's justice.

16. Sons of villeins ought not to be ordained without the assent of the lord on whose land they are known to have been born.

Now the record of the aforesaid royal customs and dignities was made by the said archbishops and bishops, and earls and barons, and the nobles and elders of the realm, at Clarendon, on the fourth day before the purification of the Blessed Mary, ever Virgin, the lord Henry the king's son, with his father the lord the king being present there. There are moreover many other great customs and dignities of holy Mother Church and the lord the king and the barons of the realm, which are not contained in this writing. And let them be safe for holy Church and the lord the king and his heirs and the barons of the realm, and be inviolably observed.

14. Assize of Clarendon

(1166. Latin text, Stubbs, S. C. 143. Translation, Cheyney, 22. 1 Stubbs, 505, 662.)

HERE begins the Assize of Clarendon, made by King Henry II. with the assent of the archbishops, bishops, abbots, earls and barons of all England.

1. In the first place, the aforesaid King Henry, with the consent of all his barons, for the preservation of the peace and the keeping of justice, has enacted that inquiry should be made through the several counties and through the several hundreds, by twelve

of the most legal men of the hundred and by four of the most legal men of each vill, upon their oath that they will tell the truth, whether there is in their hundred or in their vill, any man who has been accused or publicly suspected of himself being a robber, or murderer, or thief, or of being a receiver of robbers, or murderers, or thieves, since the lord king has been king. And let the justices make this inquiry before themselves, and the sheriffs before themselves.

2. And let any one who has been found by the oath of the aforesaid, to have been accused or publicly suspected of having been a robber, or murderer, or thief, or a receiver of them, since the lord king has been king, be arrested and go to the ordeal of water and let him swear that he has not been a robber, or murderer, or thief, or receiver of them since the lord king has been king, to the value of five shillings, so far as he knows.

3. And if the lord of the man who has been arrested or his steward or his men shall have claimed him, with a pledge, within the third day after he has been seised, let him be given up and his chattels until he himself makes his law.

4. And when a robber, or murderer, or thief, or receiver of them shall have been seised through the above-mentioned oath, if the justices are not to come very soon into that county where they have been arrested, let the sheriffs send word to the nearest justice by some intelligent man that they have arrested such men, and the justices will send back word to the sheriffs where they wish that these should be brought before them; and the sheriffs shall bring them before the justices; and along with these they shall bring from the hundred and the vill where they have been arrested, two legal men to carry the record of the county and of the hundred as to why they were seised, and there before the justice let them make their law.

5. And in the case of those who have been arrested through the aforesaid oath of this assize, no one shall have court, or judgment, or chattels, except the lord king in his court before his justices, and the lord king shall have all their chattels. In the case of those, however, who have been arrested, otherwise than through this oath, let it be as it has been accustomed and ought to be.

6. And the sheriffs who have arrested them shall bring such before the justice without any other summons than they have from him. And when robbers, or murderers, or thieves, or receivers of them, who have been arrested through the oath or otherwise, are handed over to the sheriffs they also must receive them immediately without delay.

7. And in the several counties where there are no jails, let such be made in a borough or in some castle of the king, from the money of the king and from his forest, if one shall be near, or from some other neighboring forest, on the view of the servants of the king; in order that in them the sheriffs may be able to detain those who have been seised by the officials who are accustomed to do this or by their servants.

8. And the lord king moreover wills that all should come to the county courts to make this oath, so that no one shall remain behind because of any franchise which he has or court or jurisdiction which he had, but that they should come to the making of this oath.

9. And there is to be no one within a castle or without a castle, or even in the honor of Wallingford, who may forbid the sheriffs to enter into his court or his land for seeing to the frank-pledges and that all are under pledges; and let them be sent before the sheriffs under a free pledge.

10. And in cities and boroughs, let no one have men or receive them in his house or in his land or his soc, whom he does not take in hand that he will produce before the justice if they shall be required, or else let them be under a frankpledge.

11. And let there be none in a city or borough or in a castle or without or even in the honor of Wallingford who shall forbid the sheriffs to enter into his land or his jurisdiction to arrest those who have been charged or publicly suspected of being robbers or murderers or thieves or receivers of them, or outlaws, or persons charged concerning the forest; but he requires that they should aid them to capture these.

12. And if any one is captured who has in his possession the fruits of robbery or theft, if he is of bad reputation and has an evil testimony from the public, and has not a warrant, let him not have law. And if he shall not have been publicly suspected, on account of the possession which he has let him go to the water.

13. And if any one shall have acknowledged robbery or murder or theft or the reception of them in the presence of legal men or of the hundreds, and afterwards shall wish to deny it, he shall not have law.

14. The lord king wills moreover that those who make their law and shall be absolved by the law, if they are of very bad testimony, and publicly and disgracefully spoken ill of by the testimony of many and legal men, shall abjure the lands of the king, so that within eight days they shall go over the sea, unless the wind shall have detained them; and with the first wind which they shall have

afterward they shall go over the sea, and they shall not afterward return into England, except on the permission of the lord king; and then let them be outlawed if they return, and if they return they shall be seised as outlaws.

15. And the lord king forbids any vagabond, that is a wandering or an unknown man, to be sheltered anywhere except in a borough, and even there he shall be sheltered only one night, unless he shall be sick there, or his horse, so that he is able to show an evident excuse.

16. And if he shall have been there more than one night, let him be arrested and held until his lord shall come to give securities for him, or until he himself shall have secured pledges; and let him likewise be arrested who has sheltered him.

17. And if any sheriff shall have sent word to any other sheriff that men have fled from his county into another county, on account of robbery or murder or theft, or the reception of them, or for outlawry or for a charge concerning the forest of the king, let him arrest them. And even if he knows of himself or through others that such men have fled into his county, let him arrest them and hold them until he shall have secured pledges from them.

18. And let all sheriffs cause a list to be made of all fugitives who have fled from their counties; and let them do this in the presence of their county courts, and they will carry the written names of these before the justices when they come first before these, so that they may be sought through all England, and their chattels may be seised for the use of the king.

19. And the lord king wills that, from the time when the sheriffs have received the summons of the justices in eyre to appear before them with their county courts, they shall gather together their county courts and make inquiry for all who have recently come into their counties since this assize; and that they should send them away with pledges that they will be before the justices, or else keep them in custody until the justices come to them, and then they shall have them before the justices.

20. The lord king moreover prohibits monks and canons and all religious houses from receiving any one of the lesser people as a monk or canon or brother, until it is known of what reputation he is, unless he shall be sick unto death.

21. The lord king moreover forbids any one in all England to receive in his land or his jurisdiction or in a house under him any one of the sect of those renegades who have been excommunicated and branded at Oxford. And if any one shall have received them, he will be at the mercy of the lord king, and the

house in which they have been shall be carried outside the village and burned. And each sheriff will take this oath that he will hold this, and will make all his servants swear this, and the stewards of the barons, and all knights and free tenants of the counties.

22. And the lord king wills that this assize shall be held in his kingdom so long as it shall please him.

15. Inquest of the Sheriffs

(l170. Latin text, Stubbs, S. C. 148. Translation by Editors. I Stubbs, 510.)

IN the first place, the barons shall require bond and surety from all the sheriffs who have been sheriffs since the lord king last went over to Normandy, and from all who since that time have been bailiffs or ministers of theirs who have held a bailiwick from them and from all those who since that time have held the hundreds of the barons which they have in the county whether they hold them at a ferm or in custody; that on a day which they shall set for them they will appear before the lord king to do justice and to redress to him and to his men what they ought to redress. And if because of sickness the sheriffs shall be unable to appear before them, let them send in their place persons to answer for them, and let these give bond and surety sufficient for the sheriffs and for themselves, that they will perform in the presence of the lord king that which the sheriffs ought to perform on the fixed day.

Afterwards they shall take an oath from all the barons and knights and freemen of the county, that they will speak the truth concerning that which shall be inquired of them on behalf of the lord king, and that they will not conceal the truth for love of any one, or for hatred, or for bribe or reward, or for fear or promise or for any reason.

This shall be the manner of the inquest: —

I. In the first place let inquisition be made concerning the sheriffs and their bailiffs what and how much they have received from each hundred, and from each vill and from each man, since the lord king went abroad, whence the land and the people have been burdened; and what they have received by a judgment of the county or hundred, and what without a judgment, and what they learn was taken by a judgment, let it be written down by

itself, and what without a judgment let it be written by itself; and concerning all exactions inquisition shall be made of the cause and the evidence.

II. Likewise let inquisition be made concerning the archbishops, bishops, earls and barons, and their stewards and officers, what and how much they have received from their lands, since the said term, from each of their hundreds, and from each of their vills, and from each of their men, by a judgment or without a judgment, and let them write down separately all these exactions and their causes and occasions.

III. And likewise let inquisition be made concerning those men who since that term have held in custody other bailiwicks from the lord king, whether of a bishopric, or of an abbey, or of a barony, or of any honor or escheat.

IV. And likewise let inquisition be made concerning the king's bailiffs who have travelled through his land to do the king's business, which has been assigned to them; and what they learn from this, let them write down.

V. Also concerning the chattels of those who fled because of the Assize of Clarendon and concerning the chattels of those who have been undone through that assize, let inquisition be nude of what has been done and of what was obtained thence in each hundred and each vill, and let it be diligently and carefully written down. And likewise let inquisition be made whether any one has been unjustly accused under that assize for reward or promise or hatred or other unjust cause; and whether any accusation has been withdrawn or any accused person released for reward or promise or love and who received the reward for it, and likewise let this be written down.

VI. And let inquisition be made concerning the aids for marrying the king's daughter, what was obtained thence in each hundred and each vill, whether in payments or in remissions, and to whom this has been handed over and paid.

VII. And let inquisition be made of what and how much the foresters and their bailiffs and officers have received, since the said term, in their offices in whatever way they received it or under whatever circumstance, and whether they have remitted any of the rights of the king for reward or promise or for any friendship. And concerning forest offences; concerning those who have injured his forests and stags and hinds and other wild beasts; and what they learn, let them write down diligently; and whether the foresters or their bailiffs have arrested any one or attached any one by bond and surety or have accused any, and

afterwards have released them without trial on their own responsibility, and let inquisition be made concerning those who have done these things and let it be written down.

VIII. And let all who have been accused of anything be placed under bond and surety to appear before the lord king at a time which shall be appointed for them, and to do right and to redress to the king and to his men what they ought to redress, and let those without sureties be held in custody.

IX. And inquisition shall be made whether the sheriffs or any bailiffs have returned any of the things which they have taken or whether they have made any peace with men since they heard of the arrival of the lord king, to prevent any complaint from thence reaching the lord king.

X. And let inquisition be made concerning amercements whether any one has been released, for reward or love, from what he had at first been amerced, and by whom this has been done.

XI. And let inquisition be made concerning those who owe homage to the lord king and have done it neither to him nor to his son, and let them be written down.

XII. Concerning the demesnes of the lord king, let inquisition be made whether the houses are enclosed with ditch and hedge, and whether there are granaries there, and cow-sheds, and sheep-folds and other buildings and stock, as the lord king ordered before he went abroad.

XIII. And after they have been examined, my sheriffs and officers shall employ themselves about my other affairs, and they shall swear to attend lawfully to making the inquest throughout the lands of the barons.

16. Assize of Northampton

(1176. Latin text, Stubbs,5. C. 150. Translation by Editors. 1 Stubbs, 522.)

THESE are the assizes made at Clarendon and afterwards revised at Northampton.

1. If any one shall have been accused before the justices of the lord king of murder or theft or robbery or of harboring men who do such things or of forgery or arson, by the oath of twelve knights of the hundred, or if knights are not present, by the oath of twelve freemen, lawful men, and by the oath of four

men from each vill of the hundred, he shall go to the ordeal of water, and if he is undone he shall lose one foot. And at Northampton it was added for rigorous justice that he shall likewise lose his right hand with his foot, and he shall abjure the realm and within forty days he shall leave the kingdom. And if he shall have been to the water whole he shall furnish sureties and remain in the kingdom, unless he has been accused of murder or other infamous felony by the community of the county and of the lawful knights of the country, of which if he has been accused in the said manner, although he has been to the water safely, nevertheless within forty days he shall depart from the realm, and take with him his chattels saving the rights of his lords, and at the mercy of the lord king he shall abjure the realm. Moreover this assize shall be in force from the time the assize was made at Clarendon continuously to this time and from now on as long as it shall please the lord king, in cases of murder and treason and arson and in all of the aforesaid cases except in petty thefts and robberies which have been committed in time of war, such as of horses, oxen and smaller things.

2. Item let no one either in borough or vill entertain in his house for more than one night any stranger for whom he refuses to be responsible, unless the hospitality has a reasonable excuse, which the master of the house shall declare to his neighbors. And when he leaves, let him depart in the presence of the neighbors and by day.

3. If any one has about him the fruits of murder or theft or robbery or forgery and confesses it or any other felony which he has committed, before the reeve of the hundred or borough and before lawful men, he cannot afterwards deny that crime before the justices. And likewise, if without such fruits in his possession, he shall confess anything of the sort before them, in like manner he cannot deny this before the justices.

4. Item if any freeholder dies let his heirs remain in such seisin as their father had of his fee on the day of his death, and let them have his chattels out of which they shall execute the will of the deceased : and afterwards they shall seek out their lord and pay him a relief and the other things which they ought to pay him from their fee. And if the heir is under age the lord of the fee shall receive his homage and may keep him in custody as long as is his right. The other lords if there are several shall receive his homage and he shall render to them what is right. And let the wife of the deceased have her dowry and the portion of his chattels which falls to her. And if the lord of the fee shall refuse the

heirs of the deceased the seisin of the said deceased which they claim, the justices of the lord king shall thereupon cause recognition to be made by twelve lawful men of what seisin the deceased had of it on the day of his death : and according to the recognition, restitution shall be made to his heirs. And if any one has done contrary to this and has been convicted of it let him remain at the king's mercy.

5. Item the king's justices shall cause a recognition to be made of dispossessions contrary to the Assize, since the lord king's coming to England next after the peace made between him and the king his son.

6. Item the justices shall receive oaths of fealty for the lord king from the first Sunday after Easter to the first Sunday after Pentecost from all, to wit, earls, barons, knights and freeholders, and also villeins, who wish to remain in the realm. And whoever refuses to take the oath of fealty, shall be arrested as an enemy of the lord king. The justices are also to give orders that all those who have not yet paid homage and allegiance to the lord king that, at a time which shall be named for them, they shall come and pay homage and allegiance to the king as liege lord.

7. Item the justices shall determine all pleas and rights pertaining to the lord king and to his crown, by writ of the lord king or of those who shall be in his place, in the matter of a half a knight's fee and under, unless the dispute is so great that it cannot be settled without the lord king, or such as the justices shall refer to him or to those who shall be in his place on account of their uncertainty. They shall take care according to their ability to act for the advantage of the lord king. They shall also hold assize in the case of wicked robbers and evil-doers of the land, in the counties through which they are about to go, which assize is by the advice of the king his son and of his men.

8. Item the justices shall see to it that those castles which were destroyed are completely destroyed and that those which ought to be destroyed are leveled to the ground. And unless they shall do this the lord king will have the judgment of his court upon them as upon those who hold in contempt his commands.

9. Item the justices shall make inquisition with regard to churches and lands and women who are in the gift of the lord king.

10. Item let the bailiffs of the lord king answer to the exchequer both for the returns from the assize and for all their acquisitions which they make in their bailiwicks; those being excepted which pertain to the office of sheriff.

11. Item the justices shall make inquisition concerning the custody of castles both by whom and how much and where service ought to be made and let them report to the lord king.

12. Item a thief when he is arrested shall be handed over to the custody of the sheriff. And if the sheriff should be absent, he shall be taken to the nearest warden of a castle and he shall guard him till he delivers him to the sheriff.

13. Item the justices shall cause search to be made according to the custom of the land for those who have fled from the kingdom ; and unless they are willing to return within the set time and stand trial in the court of the lord king, then let them be outlawed ; and let the names of the outlaws be reported at Easter and at Michaelmas to the exchequer and from thence they shall be sent to the lord king.

17. Assize of Arms

(1181. Latin text, Stubbs, S. C. 154. Translation by Editors. I Stubbs.632.)

ASSIZE concerning the bearing of arms in England. 1. Let whoever holds a knight's fee have a coat of mail and a helmet, a shield and a lance; and let every knight have as many coats of mail, and helmets, and shields, and lances as he has knight's fees in his demesne [that is, not subinfeudated, or held by knights under him].

2. Also, let every free layman who is worth sixteen marks in chattels or in revenue have a coat of mail and a helmet and a shield and a lance; also, let every free layman who is worth ten marks in chattels or revenue have a hauberk and a head-piece of iron and a lance.

3. Item let all burghers and the whole body of freemen have a doublet of mail and a head-piece of iron and a lance.

4. Moreover let each one of them swear that before the feast of Saint Hilary he will have these arms and that he will bear faith to the lord king Henry, namely the son of the empress Matilda, and that he will bear these arms in his service according to his order and for the protection of the lord king and of his realm. And let no one who has these arms sell them or pledge them or give them away, or in any other manner alienate them, neither let a lord in any manner take them away from his man, either by forfeiture, or by gift or as a pledge, or in any other manner.

5. If any one having these arms shall die, let his arms remain to his heir. But if the heir should be of such age that he could not use the arms if there should be need let the one who has him in custody likewise have the custody of his arms and let him find a man who can use arms in the service of the lord king until the heir is of such age that he can bear arms, and then let him have them.

6. Let every burgher who has more arms than he need have according to this assize sell them or give them away or otherwise alienate them to such a man as will keep them in the service of the lord king of England. And let none of them keep more arms than he is required to have according to this assize.

7. Item let no Jew keep a coat of mail or a hauberk in his possession, but let him sell it or give it away or otherwise dispose of it so that it shall remain in the service of the king.

8. Item let no one carry arms out of England except by the order of the lord king; neither let any one sell arms to any one who will carry them out of England.

9. Item let the justices cause oaths to be taken by lawful knights or other free and lawful men of the hundred or borough as many as they shall see fit, who shall have the value of chattels which makes it necessary for him to have a coat of mail and a helmet and a lance and a shield according as has been said ; to wit, that one by one they will name to them all from their hundreds and neighborhoods and boroughs who have sixteen marks either in chattels or in revenue, and likewise those who have ten marks. And afterwards let the justices cause all those jurors and others to be registered; who have such an amount of chattels and revenues and what arms each ought to have according to the value of chattels or revenues, and afterwards in their presence, in the hearing of all those persons, let them cause that this assize concerning the having of arms be read and that they swear that they will have these arms according to the aforesaid value of chattels or revenue, and that they will hold them at the service of the lord king according to this said assize at the command and for the protection of the lord king Henry and of his realm. If indeed it should happen that any of those who ought to have these arms are not in the county at the time when the justices shall be in that county, the justices shall fix for him a time in another county, in their presence. And if he shall not have come to them in any county through which they shall go and he has not been in this land, a time shall be appointed for him at Westminster in the octaves of Saint Michael, that he shall be there to make his oath, as he values

his life and property. And let it be commanded him that before the feast of the said Saint Hilary, he shall have arms according as it is required of him.

10. Item let the justices cause to be proclaimed throughout all the counties through which they shall go, that whoever has not these arms according as is aforesaid, the lord king shall have recourse to their persons and not at all to their land or chattels.

11. Item let no one swear concerning lawful and free men, who has not sixteen marks or ten marks in chattels.

12. Item let the justices order throughout all the counties that no one, as he values his life and property, shall buy or sell any ship to be taken away from England, and that no one shall export or cause to be exported from England, timber. And the king commands that no one shall be received for the oath of arms except a freeman.

18. Assize of the Forest or of Woodstock

(1184. Latin text, Stubbs, 5. C. 157. Translation by Editors. I Stubbs, 527.)

HERE begins the assize of the Forest of the lord Henry the king.

This is the assize of lord Henry the king, the son of Matilda, in England, concerning the forest and his venison, by the advice and assent of the archbishops, bishops and barons, earls and nobles of England, at Woodstock.

1. First he forbids that any one shall offend in regard to his venison or his forests in any respect: and he wills that no trust shall be put in the fact that hitherto he has had mercy because of their chattels upon those who had offended in regard to his venison and his forests. For if any one hereafter shall offend and be convicted thereof, he wills that full justice be exacted as was done in the time of king Henry his grandfather.

2. Item he forbids that any one shall have bows or arrows, or hounds, or harriers in his forests unless he shall have as his warrantor the king or some one else who has the power to act as warrantor.

3. Item he forbids that any one shall give or sell anything to the wasting or destruction of his woods which are within the forest of king Henry: he grants fully that they may take from their woods what shall be necessary for them (i.e. firewood), without wasting, and this at the view of the royal forester.

4. Item he orders that all those who have woods within the bounds of the royal forest, shall place suitable foresters in their woods, for which foresters let those to whom the woods belong be sureties or find suitable sureties who can give redress if the foresters offend in regard to anything which pertains to the lord king. And those who, without the bounds of the forest visitation, have woods in which the venison of the lord king has peace [i.e. is under the protection of the law] shall have no forester unless they have sworn to the assize of the lord king, and to the peace of his venison, and to have some guardian for the keeping of his woods.

5. Item the lord king orders that his foresters shall take care concerning the forests of knights and others who have woods within the bounds of the royal forest, that the woods be not destroyed; for if in spite of this they shall have been destroyed, let those whose woods have been destroyed know well that redress will be exacted from their persons or their lands and not from another.

6. Item the lord king orders that all his foresters shall swear that according to their ability they will hold the assize of his forests as he made it; and that they will not annoy knights or other worthy men concerning anything which the lord king has granted to them in regard to their woods.

7. Item the king orders that in every county in which he has venison, twelve knights shall be appointed for guarding his vert and venison with the forest; and that four knights shall be appointed to agist his woods and to receive and keep his pasture rents; and the king forbids that any one shall agist his woods within the bounds of the forest before the king's own woods have been agisted, and the lord king's period for agisting the forest shall begin fifteen days before Michaelmas and shall last fifteen days after Michaelmas.

8. And the king orders that if his forester shall have demesne woods of the lord king in his custody, and those woods shall have been destroyed, and he can neither give nor allege a good reason for the destruction of the woods, the person of the forester himself and not something else shall be seized.

9. Item the king forbids that any clerk shall offend in regard to his venison or his forests : he especially orders his foresters that if they find them offending, they shall not hesitate to lay hands upon them to seise and arrest them, and the king himself will fully warrant them.

10. Item the king orders that his essarts new and old shall be

inspected [every third year], and his purprestures and wastes of the forest and that each be recorded by itself.

11. Item the king orders that the [archbishops, bishops] earls and barons and knights and freeholders and all men shall come at the summons of his master forester if they wish to avoid being at the mercy of the lord king, to try the forest pleas of the lord king and to transact his other business in county court.

12. At Woodstock the king orders that from whoever has offended in regard to his forests for the first time, good sureties shall be taken; and if he shall offend a second time, likewise ; but if he shall offend a third time, for the third offence no other sureties shall be taken from him, nor anything else except the very person of the offender.

[13. Item he orders that every man of twelve years of age, remaining within the hunting reserve, and clerks holding a lay fief shall take oath to keep his peace.

14. Item he orders that the lawing of mastiffs shall be performed wherever his wild animals have peace or are accustomed to have it.

15. Item he orders that no tanner or bleacher of hides shall dwell in his forests outside of a borough.

16. Item the king orders that no one for the future shall chase in any manner to capture wild animals by night within or without the forest, wherever his wild animals frequent or are accustomed to have peace, under penalty of imprisonment for one year and of paying a fine or ransom at the king's pleasure, and that no one, under the same penalty, shall make any obstruction living or dead against his wild animals in his forests and woods or in other places disafforested by himself or his predecessors.]

19. Ordinance of the Saladin Tithe

(1188. Latin text, Stubbs, S. C. 160. Translation by Editors. I Stubbs, 627.)

1. THIS year each one shall give in alms a tenth of his revenues and movables, with the exception of the arms and horses and clothing of the knights, and likewise with the exception of the horses and books and clothing and vestments and articles required in divine service of whatever sort of the clerks, and of the precious stones of both clerks and laymen.

2. Moreover this money shall be collected in each parish in

the presence of the parish priest and the arch-priest, and one Knight-Templar and one Knight-Hospitaller, and a servant of the lord king and the king's clerk, and a servant of the baron and his clerk, and a clerk of the bishops; excommunication having been pronounced previously by the archbishops, bishops and arch-priests each one in every parish upon any one who does not rightfully give the aforesaid tenth in the presence and cognizance of those who ought to be present, as has been said. And if any one, to their knowledge shall have given less than he ought, four or six lawful men shall be chosen from the parish, who upon oath shall declare what amount he ought to have declared; and then this sum shall be added to the smaller amount he had given.

3. But clerks and knights who shall have taken the cross shall not pay this tithe except for their own property and demesnes: and whatever their vassals ought to pay shall be collected for their use by the aforesaid and the whole shall be paid over to them.

4. Moreover the bishops by their letters in each parish of their dioceses shall cause proclamation to be made on the day of the Nativity and of Saint Stephen and of Saint John that each one shall get together at his home the prescribed tenth before the Purification of the Blessed Virgin, and on the following day and thereafter in the presence of the aforesaid at the place to which he has been summoned each man shall make payment.

20. Writ Præcipe

(Latin text, Glanville, Tractatus de legibus et constutudinibus regni Anglia, I. c. 6. Translation by Editors. Digby, Real Property, Fifth Edition, 73.)

THE king to the sheriff, greeting. Command A. that, lawfully and without delay, he restore to B. one hide of land, in such a town from which the said B. complains that the aforesaid A. is keeping him by force, and if he does not do it, summon him by good summoners, to be before me or my justices, on the morrow after the octave of Easter in such a place, to show cause wherefore he has not done it; and have there the summoners and this writ.

Witness : Ranulph de Glanville, at Clarendon.

21. Form of Proceeding on the Judicial Visitation

(1194. Latin text, Stubbs, 5. C. 259. Translation, Riley, The Annals of Roger de Hoveden, ii. 334, with slight changes. 1 Stubbs, 543.)

Form of Proceeding in the Pleas of the Crown

IN the first place, four knights are to be chosen from out of the whole county, who, upon their oaths, are to chose two lawful knights of every hundred and wapentake, and these two are to chose upon their oath ten knights of every hundred or wapentake, or, if there shall not be knights sufficient, free and lawful men, in order that these twelve may together make inquisition on each of the following heads in every hundred or wapentake.

Heads of the Pleas of the Crown

1. Of the pleas of the crown, both new and old, and all those which have not yet been concluded before the justiciaries of our lord the king.

2. Item of all recognizances and all pleas which have been summoned before the justiciaries, by writ of the king or of the chief justice, or which have been sent before them from the supreme court of the king.

3. Item of escheats, what these are now, and what these have been, since the king set out on his expedition to the land of Jerusalem ; and what were at that time in the king's hands, and whether they are now in his hands or not; and of all escheats of our lord king, if they have been taken out of his hands, how, and by whom, and into whose hands they have come, and of what kind, and if any person has had any profits from the same, and what, and what was the value thereof, and what is the present value; and if there is any escheat, which belongs to our lord the king, which is not at present in his hands.

4. Item of churches which are in the gift of our lord the king.

5. Item of wardships of children, which belong to our lord the king.

6. Item of marriages of maidens, or of widows, which belong to our lord the king.

7. Item of malefactors, and their harborers and abettors.

8. Item of forgers.

9. Item of murderers of the Jews, who they are, and of the pledges of Jews so slain, their chattels, lands, debts, and writings

and who has the same; and how much each person owes them, and what pledges they had, and who holds the same, and how much they are worth, and who has the profits thereof, and what they are; all the pledges and the debts of the Jews so slain are to be seised for the king; and those who were present at the murder of the Jews, who have not made a composition thereon with our lord the king, or with his justiciaries, are to be arrested and are not to be liberated except by our lord the king, or his justiciaries.

10. Item of all aids given for the ransom of our lord the king, how much each person promised, and how much he has paid, and how much is still due from him.

11. Item of the adherents of earl John, and such of them as have made a composition with our lord the king, and such as have not.

12. Item of the chattels of earl John or his adherents, which have not been converted to the use of our lord the king; and how much the sheriffs and their bailiffs have received; and who has given any thing contrary to the ancient customs of the kingdom.

13. Item of all the lands of earl John, of his demesnes, and wards, and escheats, and his gifts, and for what reason the same were given, and all the gifts of earl John are to be seised for our lord the king, except those which have been confirmed by the king.

14. Item of the debts and fines which are due to earl John, and for what causes; and all the same are to be demanded on behalf of our lord the king.

15. Item of usurers, and of the chattels of such of them as are dead.

16. Item of wines sold contrary to the assize, and of false measures for wine as also for other things.

17. Item of such crusaders as have died before setting out for the land of Jerusalem; and who possesses their chattels, and what they are, and how many.

18. Item of grand assizes, which are of lands a hundred shillings in value or less.

19. Item of defaults.

20. Also in every county there are to be three knights chosen, and one clerk, who are to be keepers of the pleas of the crown.

21. And no sheriff is to be justice in his shrievalty, nor yet in any county which he has held since the first coronation of our lord the king.

22. Also all the cities, and boroughs, and demesne lands of our lord the king are to be talliaged.

23. Also, the said justices, together with the bailiffs of William of the Church of Saint Mary, Geoffrey Fitz-Peter, William de Chimelli, William Bruere, Hugh Bardolph, and of the sheriff of each place, are to cause the knights mentioned on the roll to be summoned in their respective counties, to appear at a time and place which they shall signify to them, and to make them swear in their presence that they will use all their lawful endeavors to restore the lands and escheats belonging to our lord the king, and to value the same to the advantage of our lord the king, and not through hatred, favor or regard for any person, to omit so to do. And the said knights before named shall, upon their oath, make choice of twelve lawful knights, or free and lawful men, if knights shall not be found for the purpose, in the different parts of each county on the circuit of the said justices itinerant, as shall seem expedient; who shall, in like manner, make oath that they will use all their lawful endeavors to restore, and to value and establish the rights of wardship and escheat in those parts, and will give their counsel and assistance to advantage the king therein, as before mentioned. The said jurors shall also, upon oath, choose from free men as many and such as they shall think necessary for the performance of the aforesaid business of our lord the king as to escheats and wardships, in such manner as may be best done for the advantage of our lord the king. It is also to be known, that the said wardships and escheats shall be made good out of the revenues arising therefrom up to the feast of Michaelmas, as also from the revenues at that time due; and, if they shall not suffice, then the deficiency shall be supplied by a toll of our lord the king: it being understood that those who hold the said wardships and escheats to farm shall, at the feast of Saint Michael, answer for the same, and thenceforward for the improvements as well. And as for those who shall hold the said wardships and escheats to farm, our lord the king shall give them warranty for the same from year to year until the termination thereof; so that, although our lord the king should give any of them to any person, the farmer shall still hold his farm till the end of the year, by paying to him to whom our lord the king shall have so given it, the rent which shall be due to the king for the same until the end of the year. The rights of justice of the escheat, however, which he shall have so given shall remain with our lord the king, unless our lord the king shall have given them by name. The farmer, when he shall have given up his farm, is to have all his stock which he shall have placed upon the farm, and all his property over and above the property of the king there, freely and without diminution. They

shall also have letters patent of our lord the archbishop, containing the tenor of the charter of our lord the king made relative thereto.

Most diligent enquiry shall also be made what is the rental assessed upon each manor in the demesne, and the value of all other assessments in the said manors, and how many carrucates there are, and how much they are each worth, not estimating them at a fixed value of twenty shillings only, but, according as the land is good or bad, whether the value is likely to increase or decrease. Those persons who shall take these farms shall stock their farms, as already said, according to the above named value from the revenues of the escheats and wardships. Enquiry is also to be made with how many oxen and plough horses each carrucate ought to be stocked; and how many and what amount of stock each manor is able to support and the result thereof is then to be openly and distinctly reduced to writing. The price set upon a bull shall be four shillings, and upon a cow the same, upon a plough-horse the same, upon a sheep with fine wool ten pence, upon a sheep with coarse wool six pence, upon a sow twelve pence, and upon a boar twelve pence; and when the farmers give up their farms they shall be answerable in the aforesaid sums, or in animals payable for the same, at the option of the farmers ; and when all the aforesaid stock shall be placed thereon and duly valued, they shall all be enrolled openly and distinctly, and the register thereof shall be deposited in the exchequer. From this assize are to be excepted bishoprics and abbeys, and lands of barons who are nearly of age.

Also let enquiry be made, by the oath of the parties aforesaid, as to all wardships and escheats which are not in the hands of our lord the king, and they are to be taken possession of by our lord the king, and dealt with as other lands and escheats.

24. Heads concerning the Jews.

All debts and pledges of Jews are to be enrolled, as also their lands, houses, rents, and possessions. Any Jew who shall make concealment of any one of these things, shall forfeit to our lord the king his body, as also the thing concealed, and all his possessions and all his chattels; and no Jew shall ever be allowed to recover what he has so concealed. Also, let six or seven places be appointed at which they shall make their loans, and let two lawful Christians and two lawful Jews and two lawful scribes be appointed, and in their presence, and in that of the clerks of William of the Church of Saint Mary and of William de Chimelli, let such loans be made, and let a deed describing the loan be made, after the manner of an indenture. One part is to remain

in the hands of the Jew, sealed with his seal to whom the money is paid, while the other part is to remain in the common chest; on which there are to be three locks; whereof the two Christians are to keep one key, the two Jews another, and the clerks of William of the Church of Saint Mary and of Master William de Chimelli, the third; as also three seals, those who have the keys setting thereon their seals. The clerks also of the two Williams aforesaid are to have a register containing copies of all the deeds, and as the deeds are altered so shall the register be altered. For each deed shall be paid three pence; a moiety thereof by the Jew and a moiety by him to whom the money is lent; of which the two scribes are to have two pence, and the keeper of the register the third : and, for the future, no loan shall be made, no payment made to Jews, no alteration of the deeds, except in presence of the persons aforenamed, or the major part of them, if all shall be unable to be present. The said two Christians also are to have a register of receipts for payments made henceforth to Jews, and the two Jews are to have one, and the keeper of the register one. Also, every Jew shall make oath on his roll [of the Law] that he will cause all his debts, pledges, rents, and all his property and possessions to be enrolled, and that, as above stated, he will not conceal anything; and that, if he shall be able to learn that any one has concealed anything, he will secretly disclose the same to the judges sent to them, and that forgers of deeds and clippers of money, when he shall know of such persons, he will give information against, and detect the same, and the like with regard to the deeds so forged.

25. Also, the inquisition which was to be made relative to the exactions and seizures made by all bailiffs of the king, as well by the justices as by the sheriffs, constables, and foresters and their servants, since the time of the first coronation of our lord king Richard, and why such seizures were made, and by whom; and relative to all the chattels, gifts, and promises made on the occasion of seizure of the lands of earl John and his supporters; and who received the same, and what, and how much, was deferred by command of Hubert, archbishop of Canterbury, the king's chief justice.

22. The Coronation of John

(May, 1199. Latin text, Stubbs, S. C. 270. Translation, Giles's Roger of Wcndover's Flowers of History, ii. 180, slightly altered. I Stubbs, 553.)

JOHN duke of Normandy came over into England, and landed at Shoreham on the 25th of May; on the day after, which was the eve of our Lord's ascension, he went to London to be crowned there. On his arrival therefore, the archbishops, bishops, earls, barons, and all others, whose duty it was to be present at his coronation, assembled together. The archbishop, standing in the midst, addressed them thus, "Hear, all of you, and be it known that no one has an antecedent right to succeed another in the kingdom, unless he shall have been unanimously elected, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, on account of the superior merits of his character, after the example of Saul the first anointed king, whom the Lord set over his people, not as the son of a king, nor as born of royal ancestry. In the same manner, after Saul came David, son of Jesse. Saul was chosen because he was a brave man, and suited for the royal dignity: David, because he was holy and humble. Thus those who excel in vigor are elevated to kingly dignity. But, if any relative of a deceased king excel others in merit, all should the more readily and zealously consent to his election. We have said this to maintain the cause of earl John, who is here present, brother of our illustrious king Richard, lately deceased without heirs of his body, and as the said earl John is prudent, active, and indubitably noble, we have, under God's Holy Spirit, unanimously elected him for his merits and his royal blood." Now the archbishop was a man of bold character and a support to the kingdom by his steadiness and incomparable wisdom, no one, therefore, dared to dispute what he said, as knowing that he had good cause for what he did. Earl John and all who were present acquiesced, and they unanimously elected the earl, crying out, "God save the king." Archbishop Hubert was afterwards asked why he acted in this manner, to which he replied that he had foreseen, and had been informed and assured by revelations that John would one day or other bring the kingdom into great confusion, and that he might not have free hand to do this he determined that he should owe his elevation to election and not to hereditary right. Moreover the archbishop placed the crown on his head, and anointed him king, in the church of the chief of the apostles, at Westminster,

on the 27th of May; Philip, bishop of Durham, made an appeal to prevent this coronation taking place in the absence of Geoffrey archbishop of York, but did not obtain his wish. At this coronation king John bound himself by a triple oath, namely, to love Holy Church and its ordained priests, and to preserve it harmless from the attacks of evil designers, and to do away with bad laws, substituting good ones in their stead, and to see justice rightly administered throughout England. He was afterwards adjured by the same archbishop on behalf of God, and strictly forbidden to presume to accept this honor, unless he purposed in his mind, to fulfil in deed, what he had sworn to; in reply to this the king promised that, by God's assistance, he would in all good faith keep the oath which he had made. On the following day, after he had received the homage and fealty of his subjects, he went to Saint Alban's, the proto-martyr of England, to pray; and so, making but a very short stay in England, he with the advice of the nobles duly settled everything that required his attention.

23. Writ for the Assessment of the Thirteenth

(February, 1207. Latin text, Stubbs, S. C. 283. Translation by Editors.

I Stubbs, 620.)

THE king to all, etc. Be it known that by the common advice and assent of our council at Oxford it was provided, for the defence of our realm and the recovery of our right, and granted that every layman in all England, of whomsoever he may hold, who has rents and chattels in England, should give us in aid from every mark of his annual revenue, twelve pence, and from every mark's worth of every sort of movable chattels which he had on the octave of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin, that is at the time of the council, twelve pence, and thus in proportion more or less. And all the stewards and bailiffs of earls and barons, shall take oath before our justices of the value of the rents and movable chattels of their lords and likewise concerning their own. And every man except the earls and barons shall take oath concerning his own rents and chattels, according as our justices despatched for this purpose shall see to be best suited to our advantage. And if any one shall have been convicted of removing his chattels fraudulently to avoid our profit, or of concealing them in any place, or of putting them in the power of any one else, or of appraising them at less than their value, all his chattels shall be

seised for our use free of claims, and he himself shall be put in our prison until he shall be liberated by us. Moreover, let every hundred in your county be recorded by itself and each parish in every hundred by itself, so that our justices may know how to answer for every vill by itself. Moreover, when our justices shall have made the assessment of this aid of ours in any hundred, city, or vill, they shall immediately cause copy to be made from their rolls of all the particulars of the aid assessed, and shall hand over to the sheriff for the collection of the aid noted in each roll from fortnight to fortnight, with all speed, and our justices shall keep their own rolls safely in their possession until they bring them to us. It is also decreed that all our clerks, and all our justices and their clerks, and all who shall busy themselves in any of this work, shall swear that they will do this work faithfully and with all their might, as it has been set forth, and that for nothing will they neglect this. Moreover, we command, Upon penalties of life and limb, that every good penny of lawful weight, although it is not new, shall be accepted both for our use and for that of all others in our realm. Moreover, for assessing this aid in your county we send, in our stead, Robert of Berkeley, Richard of Mucegros, William of Falaise, Master R. of Gloucester, Walter of Aura, Adam Fitz-Nigel, etc. And we bid you to be just as attentive to them in this as to ourselves. Witness myself at Northampton, the seventeenth day of February.

24. Recognitions, Assizes, and the Jury

(Latin originals, Delisle, Recucil de Judgements de l'Echiquier de Normandie. Translation by Editors. Date and reference in each case. Though the first three cases are from Normandy, the usage is exactly the same as in England, and they are earlier than the Magna Carta. The last two are from Maitland's Bracton's Note Book.)

1. EUSTACE CALLOT, under age, asked seisin of the land of his father, that is of the manor of R., of which his father was seised in the year and day on which he died, of which Richard Callot his uncle was disseising him. A recognition was made concerning this by legal men and they swore that Robert Callot, his father, was seised of it at some time, but they did not know whether he was seised of it on the day on which he died or not. And so it was judged that he who was holding should hold, and that the right should remain between them. Afterwards the said

Eustace asked a recognition whether his father was seised of the said manor when he married his mother or not. But his uncle, who was holding that manor, asked the judgment of the king's court whether there ought to be taken another recognition concerning this than that which the said Eustace had had of the seisin of his father. But the bailiff pointed this out to lord Walter the chamberlain at Rouen. But lord Walter was unwilling to make judgment upon it at Rouen, but he postponed it to the exchequer of the lord king at Falaise, and when judgment was to be made upon it there, it was said and testified by many that the mother of the said Eustace asked the whole of the said manor in dower in the court of the lord king, and that she had by agreement in the court of the lord king a third part of that manor in dower. And so it was judged that the said Eustace as protector of that dower should have two parts of that manor, (p. 13, 1209.)

2. Recognition [recordatio] between Matthew le V. and Andrew de O. by [13 names] who say that they were at a certain assize at Grandmesnil and saw and heard that a certain inquiry by oath [jury] was made there between the same Matthew and the same Andrew concerning a certain land of the fee of Grandmesnil, and of the seisin of W. de A., uncle of the said Matthew. Ten men of those who made the inquiry by oath said that they never saw the said W. have seisin of the said land, but always they saw the father of the same Andrew and the same Andrew seised of that land. Two other men of those who made the inquiry by oath said that they knew nothing about it. And so the seisin of that land was judged in that assize to the same Andrew, and it was judged in that assize that the plea remained between them. It is judged that the same Andrew have seisin of that land, and the said Matthew in mercy for a false claim, (p. 27, 1212.)

3. Darrien Presentment. — It is judged that Alan de Av. have seisin of the presentation of the church of Av., since Henry de Al. who disseised the same Alan of this is unwilling to submit to a recognition according to the usages and customs of Normandy as to who presented the last parson deceased to that church, and the same Henry is in mercy, (p. 33, 1213.)

4. Novel Disseisin. — The assize came to inquire [recognitura] if Robert chaplain of Owresby unjustly etc. disseised Helena of Crosholm of her free tenement in Norton after etc. And R. came not nor was found and so the assize was taken by default. The jurors say he disseised her because R. made to reap in the land of the same Helena and to carry off. And so it was judged that Helena recover her seisin and R. be in mercy. (Case 1204, III., p. 217.)

5. Mort d' Ancestor. — The assize came to inquire if Simon son of Thomas, father of Richard son of Simon who is under age, was seised in his demesne and of fee of half a virgate of land with appurtenances in Brinton on the day on which he died, etc., and if etc. which land Gunnora of Brinton held, who came and called Richard of Brinton to warrant it, who came and warranted it to her and said . . . And since Richard is under age it was judged that he is not able to answer to this and so the assize proceeds. The jurors say that the said Simon died so seised as the writ says and that Richard is next heir of that same land which Gunnora held, concerning which she called to warrant the said Richard, whether there was more or less than half a virgate there. (Case 42, II., p. 39.)

25. John's Concession of the Kingdom to the


(May, 1213. Latin text, Stubbs, S. C. 284. Translation, G. and H. 75. 1 Stubbs, 560.)

JOHN, by the grace of God king of England, lord of Ireland, duke of Normandy and Aquitaine, earl of Anjou, to all the faithful in Christ who shall inspect this present charter, greeting. We will it to be known by all of you by this our charter, confirmed by our seal, that we, having offended God and our mother the holy Church in many things, and being on that account known to need the divine mercy, and unable to make any worthy offering for the performance of due satisfaction to God and the Church, unless we humble ourselves and our realms — we, willing to humble ourselves for him who humbled himself for us even to death, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit's grace under no compulsion of force or of fear, but of our good and free will, and by the common consent of our barons, offer and freely grant to God and His holy apostles Peter and Paul, and the holy Roman Church, our mother, and to our lord the Pope Innocent and his catholic successors, the whole realm of England and the whole realm of Ireland with all their rights and appurtenances, for the remission of our sins and those of all our race, as well quick as dead ; and from now receiving back and holding these as a feudal dependant, from God and the Roman Church, in the presence of the prudent man Pandulf, subdeacon and familiar of the lord the pope, do and swear fealty for them to the aforesaid our lord the

Pope Innocent and his catholic successors and the Roman Church, according to the form written below, and will do liege homage to the same lord the Pope in his presence if we shall be able to be present before him ; binding our successors and heirs by our wife, for ever, that in like manner to the supreme pontiff for the time being, and to the Roman Church, they should pay fealty and acknowledge homage without contradiction. Moreover, in proof of this our perpetual obligation and grant, we will and establish that from the proper and special revenues of our realms aforesaid, for all service and custom that we should render for ourselves, saving in all respects the penny of blessed Peter, the Roman Church receive 1000 marks sterling each year, to wit at the feast of Saint Michael 500 marks, and at Easter 500 marks; 700 to wit for the realm of England, and 300 for the realm of Ireland; saving to us and our heirs, our rights, liberties, and royalties. All which, as aforesaid, we willing them to be perpetually ratified and confirmed, bind ourselves and successors not to contravene. And if we or any of our successors shall presume to attempt this, whoever he be, unless he come to amendment after due admonition, let him forfeit right to the kingdom, and let this charter of obligation and grant on our part remain in force for ever.

The Oath of Fealty

I, John, by the grace of God king of England and lord of Ireland, from this hour forward will be faithful to God and the blessed Peter and the Roman Church, and my lord the Pope Innocent and his successors following in catholic manner: I will not be party, in deed, word, consent, or counsel, to their losing life or limb or being unjustly imprisoned. Their damage, if I am aware of it, I will prevent, and will have removed if I can; or else, as soon as I can, I will signify it, or will tell such persons as I shall believe will tell them certainly. Any counsel they intrust to me, immediately or by their messengers or their letter, I will keep secret, and will consciously disclose to no one to their damage. The patrimony of blessed Peter, and specially the realm of England and the realm of Ireland, I will aid to hold and defend against all men to my ability. So help me God and these holy gospels. Witness myself at the house of the Knights of the Temple near Dover, in the presence of the lord H. Archbishop of Dublin; . . . Warren, son of Gerald. The 15th day of May in the I4th year of our reign.

26. Writ of Summons

(May, 1213. Latin text, Stubbs, S. C. 276. Translation, Giles, Roger of Wendover's Flowers of History, ii. 274. I Stubbs, 565.)

THE next day the king sent letters to all the sheriffs of the kingdom, ordering them to send four liege men from each town in their demesnes, together with the warden, to Saint Alban's on the fourth of August, that through them and his other agents he might make inquiries about the losses and confiscated property of each of the bishops, and how much was due to each.

27. Writ of Summons to a Great Council

(November, 1213. Latin text, Stubbs, .9. C. 287. Translation by Editors, I Stubbs, 567, 609.)

THE king to the sheriff of Oxfordshire, greeting. We direct you to cause all the knights of your bailiwick, who have been summoned to appear before me at Oxford on All Saints' Day, to come in fifteen days with their arms; but all the barons to come in like manner unarmed: and that you cause four discreet men of your county to meet us there at the same time to consult with us about the affairs of our realm.

Witness myself at Witney, the seventh day of November. Similar writs were directed to all the sheriffs.

28. Grant of Freedom of Election to Churches

(November, 1214. Latin text, Stubbs, S, C. 288. Translation, G. and H. 77. 1 Stubbs, 568.)

Charter of King John for Free Elections in all England

JOHN, by the grace of God, king of England, lord of Ireland, duke of Normandy and Aquitaine, earl of Anjou, to the archbishops, bishops, earls, barons, knights, bailiffs, and to all who shall see or hear these letters, greeting. Since by the grace of God, of the mere and free will of both parties, there is full agreement concerning damages and losses in the time of the interdict, between us and our venerable fathers Stephen, archbishop of Can-

terbury, primate of all England, and Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church and Bishops William of London, Eustace of Ely, Giles of Hereford, Joscelin of Bath and Glastonbury, and Hugh of Lincoln — we wish not only to make satisfaction to them, as far as in God we can, but also to make sound and beneficial provision for all the Church of England forever; and so whatsoever custom has been hitherto observed in the English Church, in our own times and those of our predecessors, and whatsoever right we have claimed for ourselves hitherto in the elections of any prelates, we have at their own petition, for the health of our soul and the souls of our predecessors and successors kings of England, freely of our mere and spontaneous will, with the common consent of our barons, granted and constituted, and by this our present charter have confirmed: that henceforth in all and singular the churches and monasteries, cathedral and conventual, of all our kingdom of England, the elections of all prelates, whatsoever, greater or less, be free forever, saving to ourselves and our heirs the custody of vacant churches and monasteries which belong to us. We promise also that we will neither hinder nor suffer nor procure to be hindered by our ministers that in all and singular the churches and monasteries mentioned, after the prelacies are vacant, the electors should, whenever they will, freely set a pastor over them, yet so that leave to elect be first asked of us and our heirs, which we will not deny nor defer. And if by chance, which God forbid, we should deny or defer, let the electors, none the less, proceed to make canonical election; and likewise, after the election is concluded, let our assent be demanded, which in like manner we will not deny, unless we put forth some reasonable excuse and lawfully prove it, by reason of which we should not consent. Wherefore we will and firmly forbid that when churches or monasteries are vacant, any one in anything proceed or presume to proceed in opposition to this our charter. But if any do ever at any time proceed in opposition to it, let him incur the curse of Almighty God and our own. These being witnesses: Peter, bishop of Winchester, . . . William of Huntingfield. Given by the hand of Master Richard de Marisco, our Chancellor, at the new Temple in London, on the 21st day of November in the 16th year of our reign.

29.. Great Charter of Liberties

(June, 1215. Latin text, Stubbs, S. C. 296. Translation, Cheyney, 6. I Stubbs, 569.)

JOHN, by the grace of God, king of England, lord of Ireland, duke of Normandy and Aquitaine, count of Anjou, to the archbishops, bishops, abbotts, earls, barons, justiciars, foresters, sheriffs, reeves, servants, and all bailiffs and his faithful people greeting. Know that by the suggestion of God and for the good of our soul and those of all our predecessors and of our heirs, to the honor of God and the exaltation of holy church, and the improvement of our kingdom, by the advice of our venerable fathers Stephen, archbishop of Canterbury, primate of all England and Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church, Henry, archbishop of Dublin, William of London, Peter of Winchester, Joscelyn of Bath and Glastonbury, Hugh of Lincoln, Walter of Worcester, William of Coventry, and Benedict of Rochester, bishops; of Master Pandulf, subdeacon and member of the household of the lord Pope, of Brother Aymeric, master of the Knights of the Temple in England; and of the noblemen William Marshall, earl of Pembroke, William, earl of Salisbury, William, earl Warren, William, earl of Arundel, Alan of Galloway, constable of Scotland, Warren Fitz-Gerald, Peter Fitz-Herbert, Hubert de Burgh, seneschal of Poitou, Hugh de Nevil, Matthew Fitz-Herbert, Thomas Bassett, Alan Bassett, Philip d'Albini, Robert de Ropesle, John Marshall, John Fitz-Hugh, and others of our faithful.

1. In the first place we have granted to God, and by this our present charter confirmed, for us and our heirs forever, that the English church shall be free, and shall hold its rights entire and its liberties uninjured ; and we will that it thus be observed ; which is shown by this, that the freedom of elections, which is considered to be most important and especially necessary to the English church, we, of our pure and spontaneous will, granted, and by our charter confirmed, before the contest between us and our barons had arisen; and obtained a confirmation of it by the lord Pope Innocent III.; which we will observe and which we will shall be observed in good faith by our heirs forever.

We have" granted moreover to all free men of our kingdom for us and our heirs forever all the liberties written below, to be had and holden by themselves and their heirs from us and our heirs.

2. If any of our earls or barons, or others holding from us in chief by military service shall have died, and when he has died

his heir shall be of full age and owe relief, he shall have his inheritance by the ancient relief; that is to say, the heir or heirs of an earl for the whole barony of an earl a hundred pounds; the heir or heirs of a baron for a whole barony a hundred pounds; the heir or heirs of a knight, for a whole knight's fee, a hundred shillings at most; and who owes less let him give less according to the ancient custom of fiefs.

3. If moreover the heir of any one of such shall be under age, and shall be in wardship, when he comes of age he shall have his inheritance without relief and without a fine.

4. The custodian of the land of such a minor heir shall not take from the land of the heir any except reasonable products, reasonable customary payments, and reasonable services, and this without destruction or waste of men or of property; and if we

shall have committed the custody of the land of any such a one to the sheriff or to any other who is to be responsible to us for its proceeds, and that man shall have caused destruction or waste from his custody we will recover damages from him, and the land shall be committed to two legal and discreet men of that fief, who shall be responsible for its proceeds to us or to him to whom we have assigned them; and if we shall have given or sold to any one the custody of any such land, and he has caused destruction or waste there, he shall lose that custody, and it shall be handed over to two legal and discreet men of that fief who shall be in like manner responsible to us as is said above.

5. The custodian moreover, so long as he shall have the custody of the land, must keep up the houses, parks, warrens, fish ponds, mills, and other things pertaining to the land, from the proceeds of the land itself; and he must return to the heir, when he has come to full age, all his land, furnished with ploughs and implements of husbandry according as the time of wainage requires and as the proceeds of the land are able reasonably to sustain.

6. Heirs shall be married without disparity, so nevertheless that before the marriage is contracted, it shall be announced to the relatives by blood of the heir himself.

7. A widow, after the death of her husband, shall have her marriage portion and her inheritance immediately and without obstruction, nor shall she give anything for her dowry or for her marriage portion, or for her inheritance which inheritance her husband and she held on the day of the death of her husband; and she may remain in the house of her husband for forty days after his death, within which time her dowry shall be assigned to her.

8. No widow shall be compelled to marry so long as she prefers to live without a husband, provided she gives security that she will not marry without our consent, if she holds from us, or without the consent of her lord from whom she holds, if she holds from another.

9. Neither we nor our bailiffs will seise any land or rent, for any debt, so long as the chattels of the debtor are sufficient for the payment of the debt; nor shall the pledges of a debtor be distrained so long as the principal debtor himself has enough for the payment of the debt; and if the principal debtor fails in the payment of the debt, not having the wherewithal to pay it, the pledges shall be responsible for the debt; and if they wish, they shall have the lands and the rents of the debtor until they shall have been satisfied for the debt which they have before paid for him, unless the principal debtor shall have shown himself to be quit in that respect towards those pledges.

10. If any one has taken anything from the Jews, by way of a loan, more or less, and dies before that debt is paid, the debt shall not draw interest so long as the heir is under age, from whomsoever he holds; and if that debt falls into our hands, we will take nothing except the chattel contained in the agreement.

11. And if any one dies leaving a debt owing to the Jews, his wife shall have her dowry, and shall pay nothing of that debt; and if there remain minor children of the dead man, necessaries shall be

provided for them corresponding to the holding of the dead man; and from the remainder shall be paid the debt, saving the service of the lords. In the same way debts are to be treated which are owed to others than the Jews.

12. No scutage or aid shall be imposed in our kingdom except by the common council of our kingdom, except for the ransoming of our body, for the making of our oldest son a knight, and for once marrying our oldest daughter, and for these purposes it shall be only a reasonable aid ; in the same way it shall be done concerning the aids of the city of London.

13. And the city of London shall have all its ancient liberties and free customs, as well by land as by water. Moreover, we will and grant that all other cities and boroughs and villages and ports shall have all their liberties and free customs.

14. And for holding a common council of the kingdom concerning the assessment of an aid otherwise than in the three cases mentioned above, or concerning the assessment of a scutage we shall cause to be summoned the archbishops, bishops, abbots, earls, and greater barons by our letters individually; and besides we shall

cause to be summoned generally, by our sheriffs and bailiffs all those who hold from us in chief, for a certain day, that is at the end of forty days at least, and for a certain place ; and in all the letters of that summons, we will express the cause of the summons, and when the summons has thus been given the business shall proceed on the appointed day, on the advice of those who shall be present, even if not all of those who were summoned have come.

15. We will not grant to any one, moreover, that he shall take an aid from his free men, except for ransoming his body, for making his oldest son a knight, and for once marrying his oldest daughter; and for these purposes only a reasonable aid shall be taken.

16. No one shall be compelled to perform any greater service for a knight's fee, or for any other free tenement than is owed from it.

17. The common pleas shall not follow our court, but shall be held in some certain place.

18. The recognition of novel disseisin, mort d' ancestor, and dar-rein presentment shall be held only in their own counties and in this manner : we, or if we are outside of the kingdom our principal justiciar, will send two justiciars through each county four times a year, who with four knights of each county, elected by the county, shall hold in the county, and on the day and in the place of the county court, the aforesaid assizes of the county.

19. And if the aforesaid assizes cannot be held within the day of the county court, a sufficient number of knights and free-holders shall remain from those who were present at the county court on that day to give the judgments, according as the business is more or less.

20. A free man shall not be fined for a small offence, except in proportion to the measure of the offence; and for a great offence he shall be fined in proportion to the magnitude of the offence, saving his freehold ; and a merchant in the same way, saving his merchandise; and the villain shall be fined in the same way, saving his wainage, if he shall be at our mercy; and none of the above fines shall be imposed except by the oaths of honest men of the neighborhood.

21. Earls and barons shall only be fined by their peers, and only in proportion to their offence.

22. A clergyman shall be fined, like those before mentioned, only in proportion to his lay holding, and not according to the extent, of his ecclesiastical benefice.

23. No vill or man shall be compelled to make bridges over the rivers except those which ought to do it of old and rightfully.

24. No sheriff, constable, coroners, or other bailiffs of ours shall hold pleas of our crown.

25. All counties, hundreds, wapentakes, and trithings shall be at the ancient rents and without any increase, excepting our demesne manors.

26. If any person holding a lay fief from us shall die, and our sheriff or bailiff shall show our letters-patent of our summons concerning a debt which the deceased owed to us, it shall be lawful for our sheriff or bailiff to attach and levy on the chattels of the deceased found on his lay fief, to the value of that debt, in the view of legal men, so nevertheless that nothing be removed thence until the clear debt to us shall be paid ; and the remainder shall be left to the executors for the fulfilment of the will of the deceased ; and if nothing is owed to us by him, all the chattels shall go to the deceased, saving to his wife and children their reasonable shares.

27. If any free man dies intestate, his chattels shall be distributed by the hands of his near relatives and friends, under the oversight of the church, saving to each one the debts which the deceased owed to him.

28. No constable or other bailiff of ours shall take any one's grain or other chattels, without immediately paying for them in money, unless he is able to obtain a postponement at the goodwill of the seller.

29. No constable shall require any knight to give money in place of his ward of a castle if he is willing to furnish that ward in his own person or through another honest man, if he himself is not able to do it for a reasonable cause; and if we shall lead or send him into the army he shall be free from ward in proportion to the amount of time during which he has been in the army through us.

30. No sheriff or bailiff of ours or any one else shall take horses or wagons of any free man for carrying purposes except on the permission of that free man.

31. Neither we nor our bailiffs will take the wood of another man for castles, or for anything else which we are doing, except by the permission of him to whom the wood belongs.

32. We will not hold the lands of those convicted of a felony for more than a year and a day, after which the lands shall be returned to the lords of the fiefs.

33. All the fish-weirs in the Thames and the Medway, and throughout all England shall be done away with, except those on the coast.

34. The writ which is called præcipe shall not be given for the future to any one concerning any tenement by which a free man can lose his court.

35. There shall be one measure of wine throughout our whole kingdom, and one measure of ale, and one measure of grain, that is the London quarter, and one width of dyed cloth and of russets and of halbergets, that is two ells within the selvages; of weights, moreover it shall be as of measures.

36. Nothing shall henceforth be given or taken for a writ of inquisition concerning life or limbs, but it shall be given freely and not denied.

37. If any one holds from us by fee farm or by socage or by burgage, and from another he holds land by military service, we will not have the guardianship of the heir or of his land which is of the fief of another, on account of that fee farm, or socage, or burgage; nor will we have the custody of that fee farm, or socage, or burgage, unless that fee farm itself owes military service. We will not have the guardianship of the heir or of the land of any one, which he holds from another by military service on account of any petty serjeanty which he holds from us by the service of paying to us knives or arrows, or things of that kind.

38. No bailiff for the future shall put any one to his law on his simple affirmation, without credible witnesses brought for this purpose.

39. No free man shall be taken or imprisoned or dispossessed, or outlawed, or banished, or in any way destroyed, nor will we go upon him, nor send upon him, except by the legal judgment of his peers or by the law of the land.

40. To no one will we sell, to no one will we deny, or delay right or justice.

41. All merchants shall be safe and secure in going out from England and coming into England and in remaining and going through England, as well by land as by water, for buying and selling, free from all evil tolls, by the ancient and rightful customs, except in time of war, and if they are of a land at war with us; and if such are found in our land at the beginning of war, they shall be attached without injury to their bodies or goods, until it shall be known from us or from our principal justiciar in what way the merchants of our land are treated who shall be then found in the country which is at war with us; and if ours are safe there, the others shall be safe in our land.

42. It is allowed henceforth to any one to go out from our kingdom, and to return, safely and securely, by land and by water,

saving their fidelity to us, except in time of war for some short time, for the common good of the kingdom; excepting persons imprisoned and outlawed according to the law of the realm, and people of a land at war with us, and merchants, of whom it shall be done as is before said.

43. If any one holds from any escheat, as from the honor of Wallingford, or Nottingham, or Boulogne, or Lancaster, or from other escheats which are in our hands and are baronies, and he dies, his heir shall not give any other relief, nor do to us any other service than he would do to the baron, if that barony was in the hands of the baron; and we will hold it in the same way as the baron held it.

44. Men who dwell outside the forest shall not henceforth come before our justiciars of the forest, on common summons, unless they are in a plea of, or pledges for any person or persons who are arrested on account of the forest.

45. We will not make justiciars, constables, sheriffs or bailiffs except of such as know the law of the realm and are well inclined to observe it.

46. All barons who have founded abbeys for which they have charters of kings of England, or ancient tenure, shall have their custody when they have become vacant, as they ought to have.

47. All forests which have been afforested in our time shall be disafforested immediately; and so it shall be concerning river banks which in our time have been fenced in.

48. All the bad customs concerning forests and warrens and concerning foresters and warreners, sheriffs and their servants, river banks and their guardians shall be inquired into immediately in each county by twelve sworn knights of the same county, who shall be elected by the honest men of the same county, and within forty days after the inquisition has been made, they shall be entirely destroyed by them, never to be restored, provided that we be first informed of it, or our justiciar, if we are not in England.

49. We will give back immediately all hostages and charters which have been liberated to us by Englishmen as security for peace or for faithful service.

50. We will remove absolutely from their bailiwicks the relatives of Gerard de Athyes, so that for the future they shall have no bailiwick in England; Engelard de Cygony, Andrew, Peter and Gyon de Chancelles, Gyon de Cygony, Geoffrey de Martin and his brothers, Philip Mark and his brothers, and Geoffrey his nephew and their whole retinue.

51. And immediately after the reëstablishment of peace we

will remove from the kingdom all foreign-born soldiers, cross-bow men, Serjeants, and mercenaries who have come with horses and arms for the injury of the realm.

52. If any one shall have been dispossessed or removed by us without legal judgment of his peers, from his lands, castles, franchises, or his right we will restore them to him immediately; and if contention arises about this, then it shall be done according to the judgment of the twenty-five barons, of whom mention is made below concerning the security of the peace. Concerning all those things, however, from which any one has been removed or of which he has been deprived without legal judgment of his peers by King Henry our father, or by King Richard our brother, which we have in our hand, or which others hold, and which it is our duty to guarantee, we shall have respite till the usual term of crusaders; excepting those things about which the suit has been begun or the inquisition made by our writ before our assumption of the cross; when, however, we shall return from our journey or if by chance we desist from the journey, we will immediately show full justice in regard to them.

53. We shall, moreover, have the same respite and in the same manner about showing justice in regard to the forests which are to be disafforested or to remain forests, which Henry our father or Richard our brother made into forests; and concerning the custody of lands which are in the fief of another, custody of which we have until now had on account of a fief which any one has held from us by military service; and concerning the abbeys which have been founded in fiefs of others than ourselves, in which the lord of the fee has asserted for himself a right; and when we return or if we should desist from our journey we will immediately show full justice to those complaining in regard to them.

54. No one shall be seised nor imprisoned on the appeal of a woman concerning the death of any one except her husband.

55. All fines which have been imposed unjustly and against the law of the land, and all penalties imposed unjustly and against the law of the land are altogether excused, or will be on the judgment of the twenty-five barons of whom mention is made below in connection with the security of the peace, or on the judgment of the majority of them, along with the aforesaid Stephen, archbishop of Canterbury, if he is able to be present, and others whom he may wish to call for this purpose along with him. And if he should not be able to be present, nevertheless the business shall go on without him, provided that if any one or more of the aforesaid twenty-five barons are in a similar suit they should be removed as

far as this particular judgment goes, and others who shall be chosen and put upon oath, by the remainder of the twenty-five shall be substituted for them for this purpose.

56. If we have dispossessed or removed any Welshmen from their lands, or franchises, or other things, without legal judgment of their peers, in England, or in Wales, they shall be immediately returned to them; and if a dispute shall have arisen over this, then it shall be settled in the borderland by judgment of their peers, concerning holdings of England according to the law of England, concerning holdings of Wales according to the law of Wales, and concerning holdings of the borderland according to the law of the borderland. The Welsh shall do the same to us and ours.

57. Concerning all those things, however, from which any one of the Welsh shall have been removed or dispossessed without legal judgment of his peers, by King Henry our father, or King Richard our brother, which we hold in our hands, or which others hold, and we are bound to warrant to them, we shall have respite till the usual period of crusaders, those being excepted about which suit was begun or inquisition made by our command before our assumption of the cross. When, however, we shall return or if by chance we shall desist from our journey, we will show full justice to them immediately, according to the laws of the Welsh and the aforesaid parts.

58. We will give back the son of Lewellyn immediately, and all the hostages from Wales and the charters which had been liberated to us as a security for peace.

59. We will act toward Alexander, king of the Scots, concerning the return of his sisters and his hostages, and concerning his franchises and his right, according to the manner in which we shall act toward our other barons of England, unless it ought to be otherwise by the charters which we hold from William his father, formerly king of the Scots, and this shall be by the judgment of his peers in our court.

60. Moreover, all those customs and franchises mentioned above which we have conceded in our kingdom, and which are to be fulfilled, as far as pertains to us, in respect to our men; all men of our kingdom as well clergy as laymen, shall observe as far as pertains to them, in respect to their men.

61. Since, moreover, for the sake of God, and for the improvement of our kingdom, and for the better quieting of the hostility sprung up lately between us and our barons, we have made all these concessions; wishing them to enjoy these in a complete and firm stability forever, we make and concede to them the security

described below; that is to say, that they shall elect twenty-five barons of the kingdom, whom they will, who ought with all their power to observe, hold, and cause to be observed, the peace and liberties which we have conceded to them, and by this our present charter confirmed to them; in this manner, that if we or our justiciar, or our bailiffs, or any one of our servants shall have done wrong in any way toward any one, or shall have transgressed any of the articles of peace or security; and the wrong shall have been shown to four barons of the aforesaid twenty-five barons, let those four barons come to us or to our justiciar, if we are out of the kingdom, laying before us the transgression, and let them ask that we cause that transgression to be corrected without delay. And if we shall not have corrected the transgression or, if we shall be out of the kingdom, if our justiciar shall not have corrected it within a period of forty days, counting from the time in which it has been shown to us or to our justiciar, if we are out of the kingdom ; the aforesaid four barons shall refer the matter to the remainder of the twenty-five barons, and let these twenty-five barons with the whole community of the country distress and injure us in every way they can; that is to say by the seizure of our castles, lands, possessions, and in such other ways as they can until it shall have been corrected according to their judgment, saving our person and that of our queen, and those of our children; and when the correction has been made, let them devote themselves to us as they did before. And let whoever in the country wishes take an oath that in all the above-mentioned measures he will obey the orders of the aforesaid twenty-five barons, and that he will injure us as far as he is able with them, and we give permission to swear publicly and freely to each one who wishes to swear, and no one will we ever forbid to swear. All those, moreover, in the country who of themselves and their own will are unwilling to take an oath to the twenty-five barons as to distressing and injuring us along with them, we will compel to take the oath by our mandate, as before said. And if any one of the twenty-five barons shall have died or departed from the land or shall in any other way be prevented from taking the above-mentioned action, let the remainder of the aforesaid twenty-five barons choose another in his place, according to their judgment, who shall take an oath in the same way as the others. In all those things, moreover, which are committed to those five and twenty barons to carry out, if perhaps the twenty-five are present, and some disagreement arises among them about something, or if any of them when they have been summoned are not willing or are not able to be present, let that be considered valid and firm

which the greater part of those who are present arrange or command, just as if the whole twenty-five had agreed in this; and let the aforesaid twenty-five swear that they will observe faithfully all the things which are said above, and with all their ability cause them to be observed. And we will obtain nothing from any one, either by ourselves or by another by which any of these concessions and liberties shall be revoked or diminished; and if any such thing shall have been obtained, let it be invalid and void, and we will never use it by ourselves or by another.

62. And all ill-will, grudges, and anger sprung up between us and our men, clergy and laymen, from the time of the dispute, we have fully renounced and pardoned to all. Moreover, all transgressions committed on account of this dispute, from Easter in the sixteenth year of our reign till the restoration of peace, we have fully remitted to all, clergy and laymen, and as far as pertains to us, fully pardoned. And moreover we have caused to be made for them testimonial letters-patent of lord Stephen, archbishop of Canterbury, lord Henry, archbishop of Dublin, and of the aforesaid bishops and of Master Pandulf, in respect to that security and the concessions named above.

63. Wherefore we will and firmly command that the Church of England shall be free, and that the men in our kingdom shall have and hold all the aforesaid liberties, rights and concessions, well and peacefully, freely and quietly, fully and completely, for themselves and their heirs, from us and our heirs, in all things and places, forever, as before said. It has been sworn, moreover, as well on our part as on the part of the barons, that all these things spoken of above shall be observed in good faith and without any evil intent. Witness the above named and many others. Given by our hand in the meadow which is called Runnymede, between Windsor and Staines, on the fifteenth day of June, in the seventeenth year of our reign.

30. Writ for the Collection of a Carrucage

(August, 1220. Latin text, Stubbs, S. C. 352. Translation by Editors.

2 Stubbs, 36.)

THE king to the sheriff of Northamptonshire, Greeting. Know ye that, on account of our great need and the very urgent pressure of our debts and likewise for the protection of our territory of Poitou, all the magnates and subjects of our whole

realm have granted to us collectively and voluntarily a gift to be made to us, to wit, from each carrucate as it was defined on the morrow of the feast of the Blessed John the Baptist last part, in the fourth year of our reign, two shillings are to be collected by your own hand and the hands of two of the more lawful knights of your country; who shall be chosen to do this, by the will and counsel of all of the county in full county court. And therefore we bid you and firmly and strictly enjoin you that, after the convocation of the full court of your county, by the will and consent of those of the county, you cause to be chosen two of the more lawful knights of the whole county who shall best know how, wish and be able to attend to this business to our advantage, and when these have been associated with you, you shall immediately cause this gift to be assessed throughout your whole bailiwick and collected from each carrucate, as aforesaid, excepting the demesnes of the archbishops, bishops, and their villeins, and excepting the demesnes of the order of the Cistercians and Premonstratensians. And you shall see to it that you know how to make answer to us strictly and openly, on the morrow of Michaelmas next coming, at London, how many carrucates there are in your bailiwick from which we ought to have this gift; and the money coming from thence you shall cause to be safely collected by the hands of the aforesaid two knights and by your own hand, and that money you shall cause to be brought to London on the aforesaid day under your seal and the seals of the aforesaid two knights, and you shall have it deposited safely in the New Temple until it shall have been arranged what ought to be done with it; and you, as you value your life and property, busy yourself in this, lest afterwards, by occasion of malfeasance done by you and the aforesaid knights in the inquisition and collection, we should have to make diligent inquisition by faithful subjects sent from our court, to the serious confusion of yourself and of those who shall have been associated with you in the making of the aforesaid inquisition and collection. Witness, etc., at Oxford, the ninth day of August.

31. Writ for the Assembling of the County Court before the Judges Itinerant

(April, 1231. Latin text, Stubbs, S. C. 358. Translation by Editors. 2 Stubbs, 214.)

THE king to the sheriff of Yorkshire, Greeting. Summon by good summoners all archbishops, bishops, abbots, priors, earls, barons, knights, and all freeholders from your bailiwick, from each vill four lawful men and the reeve, and from each borough twelve lawful burgesses, throughout your whole bailiwick, and all others who are accustomed and ought to appear before the justices itinerant, that they be present at York on the octave of Trinity Sunday in the fifteenth year of our reign, before our beloved and faithful S. de Segrave, Ralph Fitz-Robert, Brian Fitz-Alan, William of Lisle, Robert of Lexington, Master Robert of Shardelawe, and William of London, whom we have appointed our justices, to hear and perform our commands. Also, at that time, cause to be brought before the said justices all pleas of the crown which have not been tried, and those which have arisen since our justices last went on circuit in those parts, and all attachments concerning those pleas, and all the assizes and all the pleas which are set down for the first assize of the justices, with the writs of the assizes and pleas, so that those assizes and pleas shall not be omitted, on account of any default of yours or of your summons. Also cause it to be proclaimed and made known throughout your whole bailiwick that all the assizes and all the pleas which were appointed a term for a hearing and have not been brought to an end before our justices at Westminster, or before our justices who last went on circuit in your county to hear all pleas, or before the justices sent thither to hold assizes of novel disseisin and of jail-delivery, shall at that time come before our aforesaid justices at York, in the same status in which they have remained by our order, or by the order of our aforesaid justices itinerant or our justices of the bench. Summon also all those who have been sheriffs since the last circuit of the aforesaid justices in those parts that they be present at that time and place before our aforesaid justices, with the writs concerning the assizes and the pleas which they received during their term of office, to answer for their term as they ought to answer before the justices itinerant. And have there the summons and this writ.

Witness Hubert de Burgh, etc., at Westminster, the twentieth day of April.

32. Writ for the Collection of Scutage

(July, 1235. Latin text, Stubbs, S. C. 364. Translation by Editors.

2 Stubbs, 52.)

THE king to the sheriff of Somersetshire, Greeting. Know that the earls and barons and all others of our whole realm of England, of their own free will and not as a precedent, have granted us an effectual aid to promote our great undertakings. Wherefore provision was made by their advice that we should have from each knight's fee which is held from us in chief, and from the wardships, as well from a new feoffment as from an old one, two marks to furnish us the aforesaid aid, of which they made provision to give us one moiety at Michaelmas in the nineteenth year of our reign, and the other moiety at Easter in our twentieth year. They also made provision that the said scutage should be collected by the hands of their bailiffs in each county and paid by the hands of the same to two knights whom we have designated in each county for conveying it to our exchequer in London, and delivering it there to our treasurer and our chamberlains; and therefore we order that, at the command of all the earls and barons and all others who hold from us in chief, in the aforesaid bailiwick, in the aforesaid manner, and without delay, you shall make distraint upon all the knights and freeholders who hold from them by knight service in your bailiwick for the paying to their bailiffs from each knight's fee and wardship two marks to render us the aforesaid aid at the aforesaid times, and for the delivery of it to John of Aura and Henry of Meriet whom we have appointed for this purpose in your county, as aforesaid etc.

Witness myself at Westminster, the seventeenth of July in the nineteenth year, etc.

33. Writ of Summons for Two Knights of the Shire to grant an Aid

(February, 1254. Latin text, Stubbs, S. C. 376. Translation by Editors. 2 Stubbs, 69, 232.)

FORM directed to all the magnates and sheriffs of England. The king to the sheriff of Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire, Greeting.

Since the earls and barons and other magnates of our realm

have faithfully promised us that they will be in London in three weeks from next Easter, furnished with horses and arms and well equipped to go without any delay to Portsmouth, to come over to Gascony to us, to aid us against the king of Castile who intends to invade our territory of Gascony with a strong force, next summer, we have ordered you to constrain to this all those in your bailiwick who hold lands worth twenty pounds a year from us in chief, or from others who are under age and in our wardship; we straitly command you, that besides all those aforesaid, you cause to come before our council at Westminster on the fifteenth day after Easter next, four lawful and discreet knights from the said counties whom the said counties shall have chosen for this purpose, in place of all and singular of the said counties, that is, two from one county and two from the other, who together with the knights from the other counties whom we have had summoned for the same day, shall arrange what aid they are willing to pay us in our need. And you yourself carefully set forth to the knights and others of the said counties, our need and how urgent is our business, and effectually persuade them to pay us an aid sufficient for the time being; so that the aforesaid four knights at the aforesaid time shall be able to give definite answer concerning the said aid to the aforesaid council, for each of the said counties. We also give you an absolute command that all dues to us in your bailiwick which are in arrears, and ought to be paid to our exchequer before Easter next, or which ought to be paid to the exchequer at the aforesaid Easter, you shall have at the aforesaid exchequer on the fifteenth day after the aforesaid Easter, and you are to know that unless you have the aforesaid debts then and there, we shall not only cause you to be placed under arrest but we shall also cause those dues to be collected from your lands and tenements to your exceeding loss.

Witness Eleanor the queen and Richard earl of Cornwall, at Windsor, the eleventh day of February.

34. Provisions of Oxford

(Summer of 1258. Text, Latin and French, Stubbs, S. C. 387. Translation of Latin by Editors, of French as in Stubbs, S. C. 393. 2 Stubbs, 76.)

Provision made at Oxford

IT is provided that from each county there shall be chosen four discreet and lawful knights, who on each day when the county

court is held, shall meet to hear all complaints made by the sheriffs or bailiffs or any one else against all persons whatsoever, concerning all trespasses whatsoever, and to make the attachments which belong to the said complaints before the next coming of the chief justice into those parts. Also they shall take sufficient sureties from the plaintiff to prosecute and from the defendant to appear for trial before the aforesaid justice at his next coming. And that the aforesaid four knights shall cause enrollment to be made of all the aforesaid complaints, with their attachments in proper order and sequence, that is, each hundred separately and by itself. So that the aforesaid justice at his next coming shall be able to hear and bring to an end the aforesaid complaints, one by one from each hundred. And they shall make known to the sheriff that all the hundredmen and their bailiffs shall be made to appear before the said justice, at his next coming, at a time and place which he shall have announced to them; so that each hundredman shall cause all plaintiffs and defendants from his bailiwick to appear in succession according as the said justice shall have called to trial from the said hundred; and also so many and such knights as well as free and lawful men from his bailiwick by whom the truth of the matter can best be established, in such manner that all shall not be troubled together and at the same time, but as many shall appear as can be tried and brought to an end in one day.

Likewise it is provided that no knight of the aforesaid counties, shall be excused by writ of the lord king that he be not placed upon juries and assizes, nor be quit with respect to this provision thus made for the common advantage of the whole realm.

Those elected from the Party of the Lord King

The lord bishop of London, the lord bishop-elect of Winchester, the lord Henry son of the king of Germany, the lord John earl of Warenne, the lord Guy of Lusignan, the lord William of Valence, the lord John earl of Warwick, the lord John Mansel, friar John of Darlington, the abbot of Westminster, the lord Henry of Wengham.

Those elected from the Party of the Earls and Barons

The lord bishop of Worcester, the lord Simon earl of Leicester, the lord Richard earl of Gloucester, the lord Humphrey earl of Hereford, the lord Roger Marshall, the lord Roger of Mortimer, the lord John Fitz-Geoffrey, the lord Hugh Bigot, the lord Rich-

ard de Gray, the lord William Bardulf, the lord Peter de Montfort, the lord Hugh le Despenser.

And if it happens that any one of these cannot be present, through necessity, the rest of these shall choose whom they will, to wit, the other necessary in the place of the one absent, in order to transact this business.

This the Commonalty of England swore at Oxford

We, so and so, make known to all men, that we have sworn upon the holy Gospels, and are held together by such oath, and promise in good faith, that each one of us and we all together will mutually aid each other, both ourselves and those belonging to us, against all people, doing right and taking nothing that we cannot without doing mischief, saving faith to the king and the crown. And we promise under the same oath, none of us will henceforth take land or movables by which this oath can be disturbed or in any ways impaired. And if any one acts against this, we will hold him as a mortal enemy.

This is the Oath to the Twenty-four

Each swore on the holy Gospels, that he to the honor of God, and to his faith to the king, and to the profit of the realm, will ordain and treat with the aforesaid sworn persons upon the reformation and amendment of the state of the realm. And that he will not fail for gift, nor for promise, for love, nor for hate, nor for fear of any one, nor for gain, nor for loss, loyally to do according to the tenor of the letter which the king and his son have together given for this.

This the Chief Justice of England swor

He swears that he will well and loyally according to his power do that which belongs to the justiciar of right to hold, to all persons, to the profit of the king and the kingdom, according to the provision made and to be made by the twenty-four, and by the counsel of the king and the great men of the land, who shall swear in these things to aid and support him.

This the Chancellor of England swore

That he will seal no writ, excepting writs of course, without the commandment of the king and of his council who shall be present.

Nor shall he seal a gift of a great wardship, or of a great ( ) 1 nor of escheats, without the assent of the great council or of the major part. And that he will seal nothing which may be contrary to the ordinance which is made and shall be made by the twenty-four, or by the major part. And that he will keep no fee otherwise than what is given to the others. And he shall be given a companion in the form which the council shall provide.

This is the Oath which the Guardians of the Kings Castles made

That they will keep the castles of the king loyally and in good faith for the use of the king and of his heirs; and that they will give them up to the king or to his heirs, and to none other, and by his counsel and in no other manner, to wit, by honest men of the land elected as his council, or by the major part. And this form by writ lasts for twelve years. And from that time forward by this settlement and this oath they shall not be hindered so that they cannot freely give them up to the king and his heirs.

These are those who are sworn of the King's Council

The archbishop of Canterbury, the bishop of Worcester, the earl of Leicester, the earl of Gloucester, the earl Marshall, Peter of Savoy, the earl of Albemarle, the earl of Warwick, the earl of Hereford, John Mansel, John Fitz-Geoffrey, Peter de Montfort, Richard de Gray, Roger of Mortimer, James of Aldithley.

The twelve on the king's side have elected out of the twelve on that of the commonalty the earl Roger the Marshall, and Hugh Bigot.

And the party of commonalty have elected out of the twelve who are on the king's side the earl of Warwick and John Mansel.

And these four have power to elect the council of the king, and when they have elected them, they shall present them to the twenty-four; and there, where the greater part of these agree, it shall be held.

These are the Twelve who are elected by the Barons to treat at the Three Parliaments by Year with the Kings Council for all the Commonalty of the Land of the Common Need

The bishop of London, the earl of Winchester, the earl of Hereford, Philip Basset, John of Balliol, John of Verdun, John de

1 A blank space in the manuscript

Gray, Roger of Sumery, Roger de Monthaut, Hugh le Despenser, Thomas of Gresley, Giles d'Argentine.

These are the Twenty-four appointed by the Commonalty to treat of Aid to the King

The bishop of Worcester, the bishop of London, the bishop of Salisbury, the earl of Leicester, the earl of Gloucester, the earl Marshall, Peter of Savoy, the earl of Hereford, the earl of Albemarle, the earl of Winchester, the earl of Oxford, John Fitz-Geoffrey, John de Gray, John of Balliol, Roger of Mortimer, Roger de Monthaut, Roger of Sumery, Peter de Monfort, Thomas of Gresley, Fulk of Kerston, Giles d'Argentine, John Kyriel, Philip Basset, Giles of Erdinton.

And if any one of these cannot or will not serve, those who shall be there have power to elect another in his place.

Of the State of Holy Church

Be it remembered that the state of the holy church be amended by the twenty-four elected to reform the state of the realm of England, when they shall see place and time, according to the power which they have respecting it by the letter of the king of England.

Of the Chief Justice

Moreover, that a justice be appointed, one or two, and what power he shall have, and that he be only for a year. So that at the end of the year, he answer concerning his time before the king and his council and before him who shall follow him.

Of the Treasurer, and of the Exchequer

The like of the treasurer. That he too give account at the end of the year. And other good persons are to be placed at the exchequer according to the direction of the aforesaid twenty-four. And there let all the issues of the land come, and in no part elsewhere. And let that which shall be seen to require amendment, be amended.

Of the Chancellor

The like of the chancellor. That he at the end of the year answer concerning his time. And that he seal nothing out of course by the sole will of the king. But that he do it by the council which shall be around the king.

Of the Power of the Justice and Bailiffs

The chief justice has power to amend the wrongs done by all the other justices and bailiffs, and earls, and barons, and all other people, according to the law and justice of the land, and in fit places, and that the justice take nothing unless it be presents of bread and wine, and such things, to wit, meat and drink, as have been used to be brought to the tables of the chief men for the day. And let this same thing be understood of all the king's councillors and all his bailiffs. And that no bailiff by occasion of plea or of his office, take any fee in his own hand, or through the agency of another in any manner. And if he is convicted, that he be punished, and he who gives likewise. And if it be fitting, that the king give to his justiciar and his people who serve him, so that they have no occasion to take any thing from elsewhere.

Of the Sheriffs

Let there be provided as sheriffs, loyal people, and substantial men, and land tenants; so that in each county there be a vavasour of the same county as sheriff, to treat the people of the county well, loyally, and rightfully. And that he take no fee, and that he be sheriff only for a year together; and that in the year he give up his accounts at the exchequer and answer for his time. And that the king grant unto him out of his own, according to his contribution, so that he can guard the county rightfully. And that he take no fee, neither he nor his bailiffs. And if they be convicted let them be punished.

Be it remembered that such amendment is to be applied to the Jewry, and to the wardens of the Jewry, that the oath as to the same may be kept.

Of the Escheators

Let good escheators be appointed; and that they take nothing of the effects of the dead, of such lands as ought to be in the king's hand. Also that the escheators have free administration of the goods until they shall have done the king's will, if they owe him debts. And that, according to the form of the Charter of liberty. And that inquiry be made into the wrongs done which the escheators have done there aforetime, and amendment be made of such and such. Nor let tallage on any thing else be taken, excepting such as ought to be according to the Charter of liberty.

Let the Charter of liberty be kept firmly.

Of the Exchange of London

Be it remembered to amend the exchange of London, and the city of London, and all the other cities of the king which have gone to shame and destruction by the tallages and other oppressions.

Of the Place of Reception of the King and Queen

Be it remembered to amend the hostelry of the king and the queen.

Of the Parliaments, how Many shall be held by Year, and in what


It is to be remembered that the twenty-four have ordained that there be three parliaments a year. The first at the octave of Saint Michael. The second the morrow of Candlemas. The third the first day of June, to wit, three weeks before Saint John. To these three parliaments the elected councillors of the king shall come, even if they are not sent for, to see the state of the realm, and to treat of the common wants of the kingdom, and of the king in like manner. And other times in like manner when occasion shall be, by the king's command.

So it is to be remembered that the commonalty elect twelve honest men, who shall come at the parliaments and other times when occasion shall be, when the king or his council shall send for them to treat of the wants of the king and of the kingdom. And that the commonalty shall hold as established that which these twelve shall do. And that shall be done to spare the cost of the commonalty.

There shall be fifteen named by these four, to wit, by the earl Marshall, the earl of Warwick, Hugh Bigot, and John Mansel, who are elected by the twenty-four to name the aforesaid fifteen, who shall be the king's council. And they shall be confirmed by the aforesaid twenty-four, or by the major part of them. And they shall have power to counsel the king in good faith concerning the government of the realm and all things which appertain to the king or to the kingdom; and to amend and redress all things which they shall see require to be redressed and amended. And over the chief justice and over all other people. And if they cannot all be present, that which the majority shall do shall be firm and established. [The names of the principal castles of the king, and of those who have them in keeping, follow in the Ms.]

35. The Provisions of the Barons or of Westminster

(October, 1259. Latin text and translation, 1 S. R. 8, Stubbs, S. C. 401.

2 Stubbs, 83.)

IN the year of the Incarnation of our Lord, one thousand two hundred and fifty-nine, and the forty-third year of the reign of king Henry the son of king John, there being assembled at Westminster in the fifteenth of Saint Michael, our said lord the king and his great men, by the common counsel and consent of the said king and great men, the underwritten provisions were made by the same king and great men, and were published in the manner following.

1. Of doing suits, unto the courts of the great men and others the lords of these courts, it is provided and with full consent ordained, that no man who hath been infeoffed by deed shall be distrained from henceforth to do suit unto the court of his lord, unless he be specially bounden to do suit by the form of his deed: except those whose ancestors or who themselves have used to do such suit, before the first voyage of the said lord the king into Brittany; from the time whereof there have passed twenty-nine years and a half at the time of making this ordinance ; and in like manner no man infeoffed without deed from the time of the Conquest, or by other ancient feoffment, shall be distrained to do such suit; unless he or his ancestors have used to do the same, before the first voyage of the said lord the king into Brittany.

2. And if any inheritance wherefrom only one suit was due, shall descend unto many heirs, as parceners thereof, he that hath the elder's share of that inheritance shall do one suit for himself and his coparceners; and his coparceners shall contribute after their shares, to the doing of that suit. And in like manner if many shall have been infeoffed of any inheritance wherefrom one suit were due, the lord of that fee shall have but one suit therefrom ; nor can he exact more than one suit from the said inheritance, as it hath been used to be done before. And if the persons infeoffed have no warrantor or mean who ought to acquit them thereof, then all of them shall contribute after their shares, to the doing of that suit.

3. And if it happen that the lords of courts do distrain their tenants for such suit, contrary to this provision, then upon the complaint of those tenants they shall be attached to appear in the

king's court at a short day to answer therefore; and they shall have but one essoin if they be within the realm; and the cattle or other distresses taken upon this occasion shall be delivered to the plaintiff forthwith, and shall remain delivered until the plea between them be ended. And if the lords of the courts who have made such distresses, shall not appear at the day whereto they were attached, or shall not keep the day given to them upon the essoin, then the sheriff shall be commanded to cause them to come upon another day; at which day if they come not, the sheriff shall be commanded to distrain them by all that they possess within his bailiwick, so that he shall answer to the king for the issues, and to have their bodies by a certain day to be prefixed, so that if they should not come upon that day, the party plaintiff may go thence without day; and the cattle or other distresses shall remain delivered until those lords shall recover that suit by award of the court of our lord the king; and in the mean time such distresses shall cease : saving to the lords of the courts their right to recover those suits in form of law, when they will sue therefore. And when the lords of the courts shall appear to answer unto the plaintiffs for such distresses, if they be thereupon convicted, then by the award of the court, the plaintiffs shall recover against them their damages, which they have sustained by occasion of the aforesaid distress. And in like manner, if tenants, after this act, do withdraw from their lords their suits which they ought to do, and which before the time of the aforesaid voyage and hitherto they have used to do, the lords of the courts shall obtain justice to recover their suits, together with their damages, by the same process and dispatch, in respect of appointment of days and awarding of distresses, like as the tenants do recover their damages. And this matter of recovering damages must be understood of the withdrawings done to themselves, and not of the withdrawings done to their predecessors: nevertheless the lords of the courts shall not recover seisin of such suits against their tenants by default; as that hath not been the custom hitherto. And concerning the suits that were withdrawn before the time of the aforesaid voyage, let the common law have its course, as it hath used to have before.

4. Concerning the sheriff's turn, it is provided that archbishops, bishops, abbots, priors, earls, barons, shall not be obliged to come thither, nor any men of religion, or women, unless their presence be specially required; but the turn shall be holden as it was wont to be in the times of our lord the king's predecessors. And where any do hold tenements in divers hundreds, they shall not be obliged

to come to such turn except in the bailiwicks where they shall dwell: and the turns shall be holden according to the form of the king's Great Charter, and as they were wont to be holden in the times of king John and king Richard.

5. It is also provided that neither in the circuit of justicers, nor in the county and hundred courts, nor in the courts baron, shall fines be taken from any from henceforth for fair pleading, nor for not being troubled on that account.

6. In the plea of dower that is called Unde nihil habet, from henceforth there shall be given four days in the year at least, and more if it may be conveniently done.

7. In assizes of darrein presentment, and in the plea of Quare impedit of churches vacant, the day shall be given from fifteen days to fifteen days, or from three weeks to three weeks, according as the place may be far or near. And in the plea of Quare impedit, if the disturber come not at the first day for which he shall have been summoned, nor cast an essoin, then he shall be attached unto another day, on which day if he come not nor cast an essoin, he shall be distrained by the great distress above mentioned. And if he come not then, upon his default the bishop shall be written to, that the claim of the disturber shall not obstruct the plaintiff for that term; saving unto the disturber his right at another time, when he will sue therefore.

8. Concerning charters of exemption and privilege, that the purchasers shall not be impanelled in assizes, juries, or recognitions, it is provided, that if their oath should be so necessary, that without it justice could not be administered, as in the great assize and perambulations, and where they may have been named as witnesses in charters, or writings of covenants, or in attaints or other like cases, they shall be compelled to swear; saving unto them at another time their aforesaid privilege and exemption.

9. If any heir should be under age after the death of his ancestor, and his lord have the wardship of his lands, if that lord will not render unto the said heir his lands when he cometh to lawful age, without plea, the heir shall recover his land as from the death of his ancestor, together with the damages that he shall have sustained by that withholding from the time of his coming to lawful age; and if an heir at the time of his ancestor's death be of full age, and such heir, apparent and known to be the heir, be found in the inheritance, his chief lord shall not put him out, nor take or remove any thing therefrom, but shall take simple seisin only for the acknowledgment of his seigniory.

10. And if a chief lord do maliciously keep such an heir out of the possession, whereby it behoveth him to proceed by an action of mort d'ancestor or cosinage, then he shall recover his damages, as in the action of novel disseisin.

11. No man from thenceforth shall be permitted, for any manner of cause, to make distresses out of his fee, nor in the king's or common highway, except our lord the king and his officers.

12. It is also provided, that where land that is holden in socage is in the custody of an heir's kinsfolk, because the heirs were within age, those guardians cannot make waste or sale or any despoiling in that inheritance, but shall keep it safely for the use of the heir: so that when he shall come to age, they shall answer unto him by a lawful account for the issues of the said inheritance; saving unto those guardians their reasonable expenses. Neither can the said guardians give or sell the marriage of the said heir, but for the benefit of the heir himself.

13. No escheator, or commissioner, or justice, especially assigned to take any assizes, or to hear and determine any complaints, shall from henceforth have authority to amerce for default of the common summons, except the chief justice or justices in eyre in their circuits.

14. It shall not be lawful for men of religion to enter into any man's fee, without the license of the chief lord of whom the fee is immediately holden.

15. Concerning essoins it is provided, that in the county or hundred courts, or courts baron, or elsewhere, no man shall be obliged to swear for the warranting of his essoin.

16. None but the king from henceforth shall hold plea in his court of a false judgment given in the court of his tenants; because such pleas do especially belong to the king's crown and dignity.

17. It is provided also, that if any man's cattle be taken and unjustly detained, the sheriff after complaint thereof made unto him, may deliver them, without let or gainsaying of him who took the said cattle, if they were taken without liberties, and if such cattle should be taken within liberties, and the bailiffs of the liberties will not deliver them, then the sheriff, for the default of the said bailiffs, shall cause them to be delivered.

18. No man from henceforth shall distrain his free tenants to answer for their freehold, nor for any matters pertaining to their freehold, without the king's writ; nor shall cause his free tenants to swear against their will: for none can do this without a precept of the king.

19. It is provided also, that if bailiffs who are bounden to render account unto their lords shall withdraw themselves, and have no lands or tenements whereby they may be distrained, then they shall be attached by their bodies, so that the sheriffs in whose bailiwicks they shall be found, shall cause them to come to the rendering of their account.

20. Also farmers during their farms, shall not make waste, or sale, or exile, in woods, houses, men, or in any thing else belonging to the tenements which they have to farm; unless they have a special grant in the writing of their covenant, making mention that they may do so. And if they do, and be convicted thereof, they shall restore damages in full.

21. The justices in eyre from henceforth shall not amerce the township in their circuit, because all that are twelve years old do not appear before the sheriffs and coroners upon inquests for the death of man, or other things pertaining to the crown; so that from those townships there come enough for the making of such inquests fully.

22. The fine of murder from henceforth shall not be adjudged before the justices, where it hath been adjudged to be misfortune only: but the fine of murder shall hold place upon those slain feloniously, and not otherwise.

23. It is moreover provided, that no man who is vouched to warranty before the justices in eyre, in a plea of land or tenement, shall from henceforth be amerced because he was not present, save on the first day of the coming of the justices: but if the vouchee be within the county, then the sheriff shall be enjoined to cause him to come within the third or fourth day, according to the distance of the places, as it was wont to be in the circuit of the justices: and if he dwell without the county, then he shall have a reasonable summons of fifteen days at the least, according to the discretion of the justices and the common law. '

24. If any clerk should be arrested for any crime or charge that toucheth the crown, and afterwards by the king's precept, be let to bail, or be replevied, so that those to whom he is let to bail should have him before the justices, from henceforth they to whom he hath been let to bail, or his other pledges shall not be amerced, if they have his body before the justices, although he will not or cannot make answer before them by reason of the privilege of clergy.

36. Confirmation of the Charters

(March, 1265. Latin text, Stubbs, S. C. 416. Translation by Editors. 2 Stubbs, 94.)

THE king to all the people of the county of York, Greeting. * * * We will and expressly agree that, if we or the said Edward our son shall have presumed to go in any way contrary — may it be far from us — to the said ordinance, or our provision, or oath, or to disturb the peace and tranquillity of our realm, or to molest, by reason of their former- acts in the time of the late disturbance and war, any one of the aforesaid, or of the party of the aforesaid whom we have defied, or do or procure the doing of injury to any of them, it shall be lawful for every one in our realm to rise against us and to use all the ways and means they can to hinder us; to which we will that each and every one shall henceforth be bound by our command, notwithstanding the fealty and homage which he has sworn to us; so that they shall in no way give attention to us, but that they shall do everything which aims at our injury and shall in no way be bound to us, until that in which we have transgressed and offenced shall have been by a fitting satisfaction brought again into due state, according to the form of the ordinance of the aforesaid, and of our provision or oath; this having been done let them be obedient to us as they were before. * * *

Witness myself at Westminster, the fourteenth day of March, in the forty-ninth year of our reign.

37. The Statutes of Westminster; the First

(1275. French text and translation, 1 S. R. 26, Stubbs, S C. 450. 2 Stubbs, 113.)

THESE be the acts of king Edward, son to king Henry, made at Westminster at his first parliament general after his coronation, on the Monday of Easter Utas, the third year of his reign, by his council and by the assent of archbishops, bishops, abbots, priors, earls, barons, and the commonalty of the realm, being thither summoned : because * * * ; the king hath ordained and estnblished these acts underwritten, which he intendeth to be necessary and profitable unto the whole realm.

5. And because elections ought to be free, the king commandeth upon great forfeiture, that no man by force of arms, nor by malice, or menacing, shall disturb any to make free election.


36. Forasmuch as before this time, reasonable aid to make one's son knight, or to marry his daughter, was never put in certain, nor how much should be taken, nor at what time, whereby some levied unreasonable aid, and more often than seemed necessary, whereby the people were sore grieved; it is provided, that from henceforth of a whole knight's fee there be taken but twenty shillings, and of twenty-pound land holden in socage, twenty shillings; and of more, more; and of less, less; after the rate. And that none shall levy such aid to make his son knight, until his son be fifteen years of age, nor to marry his daughter, until she be of the age of seven years. And of that there shall be made mention in the king's writ, formed on the same, when any will demand it. And if it happen that the father, after that he hath levied such aid of his tenants, die before he hath married his daughter, the executors of the father shall be bound to the daughter, for so much as the father received for the aid. And if the father's goods be not sufficient, his heir shall be charged therewith unto the daughter.

38. Grant of Customs on Wool, Woolfells, and


(May, 1275. Latin text, Stubbs, 5. C. 451. Translation by Editors. 2 Stubbs,

113, 550.)

WILLIAM of Valence, earl of Pembroke, to all the faithful in Christ to whom the present writ shall come, Greeting in the Lord.

Since the archbishops, bishops, and other prelates of the realm of England, and the earls, barons, and we and the communities of the said realm, at the instance and request of the merchants, have for many reasons, unanimously granted to the great prince and lord, our well-beloved lord Edward, by the grace of God, the illustrious king of England, for us and our heirs, a half mark from each sack of wool, and a half mark from each three hundred wool-fells, which make a sack, and one mark from each last of leather, exported from the realm of England and the land of Wales, to be

collected henceforth in each and every port of England and Wales, as well within liberties as without; we, at the request and instance of the aforesaid merchants, do grant, for ourselves and our heirs, that the same lord the king and his heirs in each and every one of our ports in Ireland, both within our liberties and without, shall have a half mark from each sack of wool, and a half mark from each three hundred woolfells, which make a sack, and one mark from each last of leather, exported from the land of Ireland, to be collected by the hand of the wardens and bailiffs of the said king, saving to us the forfeiture of those who, without licence and warrant of the said lord the king, by his letters patent signed by his seal for this provided, shall have presumed to carry out of Ireland wool, woolfells, or leather of this sort, through our fiefs where we have liberties. From which the aforesaid lord the king and his heirs shall receive and have the half mark from the wool and wool-fells and the mark from the lasts of leather in the form aforesaid; nevertheless so that in each of our ports where the writs of the aforesaid lord the king do not run, two of the more discreet and faithful men of those ports shall be chosen who, upon oath, until the merchants of the aforesaid wool, woolfells, and leather shall have his warrant for it under the seal of the lord the king for this provided, shall faithfully collect the customs from the wool, wool-fells, and leather, seized in the said ports, and shall receive them for the use of the said lord the king and shall answer to him for them.

In testimony whereof, we have set our seal to the present writ. Given in the general parliament of the aforesaid lord the king, at Westminster on Sunday the feast of Saint Dunstan the bishop, in the third year of the reign of the said king.

39. Writ for Distraint of Knighthood

(June, 1278. Latin text, Stubbs, S. C. 457. Translation by Editors. 2 Stubbs, 115, 221, 294.)

THE king to the sheriff of Gloucestershire, Greeting. We order and straitly enjoin you, that, without delay, you distrain all those in your bailiwick who have twenty pound lands or a whole knight's fee worth twenty pounds a year, and who hold from us in chief and ought to be knights and are not; that before the feast of the Lord's nativity next coming or at the same feast, they receive the insignia of knighthood from us: also, without

delay, distrain all those from your bailiwick who have twenty pound lands or a whole knight's fee worth twenty pounds a year, from whomsoever they hold, and ought to be knights and are not, that they receive insignia of the same sort at the same feast or before: so that you receive from the same good and sufficient security for it, and cause the names of all of them to be written down in a roll upon the attestation of two lawful knights of the aforesaid county, and to be transmitted to us, without delay, under your seal and the seals of the two knights. And we will you to know that we will make prompt visitation upon your action in the execution of this order of ours, and thereupon we shall cause suitable remedy to be made for it. Witness the king at Westminster, the twenty-sixth day of June.

40. Statute of Mortmain or De Religiosis

(November, 1279. Latin text, 1 S. R. 51, Stubbs, S. C. 458. Translation, 1 S. R. 51, G. and H. 81. 2 Stubbs, 117.)

THE king to his justices of the bench, Greeting. Where of late it was provided, that religious men should not enter into the fees of any without licence and will of the chief lords, of whom such fees be holden immediately; and notwithstanding such religious men have since entered as well into their own fees, as into the fees of other men, appropriating and buying them, and sometimes receiving them of the gift of others, whereby the services that are due of such fees, and which at the beginning were provided for defence of the realm, are wrongfully withdrawn, and the chief lords do lose their escheats of the same : we therefore, to the profit of our realm, intending to provide convenient remedy, by the advice of our prelates, earls, barons, and other our subjects, being of our council, have provided, established, and ordained, that no person, religious or other, whatsoever he be, presume to buy or sell, or under the color of gift or lease, or by reason of any other title, whatsoever it be, to receive of any man, or by any other craft or device to appropriate to himself any lands or tenements under pain of forfeiture of the same whereby such lands or tenements may any wise come into mortmain. We have provided also, that if any person, religious or other, do presume in any manner either by craft or device to offend against this statute, it shall be lawful to us and other chief lords of the fee

immediate to enter into the land so alienated, within a year from the time of the alienation, and to hold it in fee and inheritance. And if the chief lord immediate be negligent, and will not enter into such fee within the year, then it shall be lawful to the next chief lord immediate of the same fee to enter into the same fee within half a year next following, and to hold it as before is said ; and so every lord immediate may enter into such fee if the next lord be negligent in entering into the same fee, as is aforesaid. And if all the chief lords of such fees, being of full age, within the four seas, and out of prison, be negligent or slack in this behalf, for the space of one year, we, immediately after the year accomplished, from the time that such purchases, gifts, or appropriations hap to be made, shall take such lands or tenements into our hand, and shall infeoff other therein by certain services to be done for the same to us for the defence of our realm ; saving to the chief lords of the same fees their wards and escheats, and other things to them belonging, and the services for the same, due and accustomed. And therefore we command you, that you cause the aforesaid statute to be read before you, and from henceforth to be kept firmly and observed.

Witness myself at Westminster the fifteenth day of November, the seventh year of our reign.

41. The Statute of Merchants, or of Acton


(October, 1283. French text and translation, 1 S. R. 53. 2 Stubbs, 121.)

FORASMUCH as merchants, which heretofore have lent their goods to divers persons, be greatly impoverished, because there is no speedy law provided for them to have recovery of their debts at the day of payment assigned; and by reason hereof many merchants do refrain to come into this realm with their merchandises, to the damage as well of the merchants, as of the whole realm ; the king by himself and his council hath ordained and established, that the merchant which will be sure of his debt, shall cause his debtor to come before the mayor of London, or of York, or Bristol, and before the mayor and a clerk, which the king shall appoint for the same, for to acknowledge the debt and the day of payment; and the recognizance shall be entered into a roll with the hand of the said clerk, which shall be known. Moreover, the

said clerk shall make with his own hand a bill obligatory, whereunto the seal of the debtor shall be put, with the king's seal, that shall be provided for the same purpose, the which seal shall remain in the keeping of the mayor and clerk aforesaid : and if the debtor doth not pay at the day to him limited, the creditor may come before the said mayor and clerk with his bill obligatory; and if it be found by the roll, and by the bill, that the debt was acknowledged, and that the day of payment is expired, the mayor shall incontinent cause the movables of the debtor to be sold, as far as the debt doth amount, by the appraising of honest men, as also chattels, and burgages devisable, until the whole sum of the debt; and the money, without delay, shall be paid to the creditor. And if the mayor can find no buyer, he shall cause the movables to be delivered to the creditor at a reasonable price, as much as doth amount to the sum of the debt, in allowance of his debt: and the king's seal shall be put unto the sale and deliverance of the burgages devisable for a perpetual witness. And if the debtor have no movables within the jurisdiction of the mayor, whereupon the debt may be levied, but hath some otherwhere within the realm, then shall the mayor send the recognizance, made before him and the clerk aforesaid, unto the chancellor, under the seal aforesaid ; and the chancellor shall direct a writ unto the sheriff, in whose bailiwick the movables of the debtor be, and the sheriff shall cause the creditor to be satisfied in such form as it is prescribed that the mayor should have done in case that the movables of the debtor had been within his power; and let them that shall appraise the movable goods, to be delivered unto the creditor, take good heed that they do set a just and reasonable price upon them; for if they do set an over high price for favor borne to the debtor, and to the damage of the creditor, then shall the thing so appraised be delivered unto themselves at such price as they have limited, and they shall be forthwith answerable unto the creditor for his debt. And if the debtor will say, that his movable goods were delivered or sold for less than they were worth, yet shall he have no remedy thereby; forasmuch as the mayor or the sheriff hath sold the movable goods lawfully to him that offered most; for he may blame himself, that before the day of the suit he had it in his power to have sold his movable goods, and to have levied the money with his own hand, and yet he would not. And if the debtor have no movables whereupon the debt may be levied, then shall his body be taken where it may be found, and kept in prison until that he have made agreement, or his friends for him; and if he have not of his own wherewith he may sustain himself in prison,

the creditor shall find him bread and water, to the end that he die not in prison for default of sustenance, the which costs the debtor shall recompense him with his debt, before that he be let out of prison. And if the creditor be a merchant stranger, he shall remain at the costs of the debtor for so long time as he shall be suing for the levying of his debt, until the day that the movable goods of the debtor be sold or delivered unto him. And if the creditor do not content himself with the debtor alone for the surety of his payment, by reason whereof pledges or mainpernors be founden, then those pledges or mainpernors shall come before the mayor and clerk abovesaid, and shall bind themselves by writings and recognizances, as afore is said of the debtor. And in like manner if the debt be not paid at the day limited, such execution shall be awarded against the pledges or mainpernors, as before is said of the debtor; provided nevertheless, that so long as the debt may be fully taken and levied of the goods movable of the debtor, the mainpernors or pledges shall be without damage : notwithstanding, for default of movable goods of the debtor, the creditor shall have his recovery against the mainpernors or pledges, in such manner and form as before is limited against the principal debtor.

And to defray the charge of the aforesaid clerk, the king shall take out of every pound one penny. This ordinance and act the king willeth to be holden from henceforth throughout all his realm of England, among all persons whosoever they may be, who shall freely choose to make such recognizance; except Jews, to whom this statute extendeth not.

And by this statute a writ of debt shall not be abated. And the chancellor, barons of the exchequer, justices of the one bench and of the other, and justices errants, shall not be estopped to take recognizances of debts of those who shall choose so to do before them; but the execution of recognizances before them shall not be made according to the form aforesaid, but according to law, usage, and manner heretofore used.

Given at Acton Burnell, the twelfth day of October in the eleventh year of our reign.

42. The Statutes of Westminster; the Second

(June, 1285. Latin text and translation, 1 S. R. 71. 2 Stubbs, 122. Clause I., here given, is known as De donis conditionalibus.)

* * * OUR lord the king in his parliament, after the feast of Easter, holden the thirteenth year of his reign at Westminster, * * * did provide certain acts, as shall appear here following.

First, Concerning lands that many times are given upon condition, that is to wit, where any giveth his land to any man and his wife, and to the heirs begotten of the bodies of the same man and his wife, with such condition expressed that if the same man and his wife die without heir of their bodies between them begotten, the land so given shall revert to the giver or his heir: In case also where one giveth lands in free marriage, which gift hath a condition annexed, though it be not expressed in the deed of gift, which is this, that if the husband and wife die without heir of their bodies begotten, the land so given shall revert to the giver or his heir: in case also where one giveth land to another, and the heirs of his body issuing; it seemed very hard, and yet seemeth to the givers and their heirs, that their will being expressed in the gift, was not heretofore, nor yet is observed: for in all the cases aforesaid, after issue begotten and born between them, to whom the lands were given under such condition, heretofore such feoffees had power to aliene the land so given, and to disherit their issue of the land, contrary to the minds of the givers, and contrary to the form expressed in the gift: and further, when the issue of such feoffee is failing, the land so given ought to return to the giver, or his heir, by form of the gift expressed in the deed though the issue, if any were, had died : yet by the deed and feoffment of them, to whom land was so given upon condition, the donors have heretofore been barred of their reversion, which was directly repugnant to the form of the gift: wherefore our lord the king, perceiving how necessary and expedient it should be to provide remedy in the aforesaid cases, hath ordained, that the will of the giver, according to the form in the deed of gift manifestly expressed, shall be from henceforth observed; so that they to whom the land was given under such condition, shall have no power to aliene the land so given, but that it shall remain unto the issue of them to whom it was given after their death, or unto the giver or his heirs, if issue fail either by reason that there

is no issue at all, or if any issue be, it fail by death, the heir of such issue failing. Neither shall the second husband of any such woman, from henceforth, have any thing in the land so given upon condition, after the death of his wife, by the law of England, nor the issue of the second husband and wife shall succeed in the inheritance, but immediately after the death of the husband and wife, to whom the land was so given, it shall return to their issue, or to the giver, or his heir, as before is said. * * * And it is to wit that this statute shall hold place touching alienation of land contrary to the form of the gift hereafter to be made, and shall not extend to gifts made before. And if a fine be levied hereafter upon such lands, it shall be void in the law; neither shall the heirs, or such as the reversion belongeth unto, though if they be of full age, within England, and out of prison, need to make their claim. * * *

XXIV. *******

And whensoever from henceforth it shall fortune in the chancery, that in one case a writ is found, and in like case falling under like law, and requiring like remedy, is found none, the clerks of the chancery shall agree in making the writ, or shall adjourn the plaintiffs until the next parliament and write the cases in which they cannot agree, and refer them to the next parliament, and by consent of men learned in the law, a writ shall be made, lest it might happen hereafter that the court should long time fail to minister justice unto complainants.

43. The Statute of Winchester

(October, 1285. French text and translation, I S. R. 96, Stubbs, S. C. 470-472. 2 Stubbs, 122, 219.)

1. FORASMUCH as from day to day, robberies, murders, and arsons be more often used than they have been heretofore, and felons cannot be attainted by the oath of jurors which had rather suffer felonies done to strangers to pass without pain, than to indite the offenders of whom great part be people of the same country, or at least if the offenders be of another country the receivers be of places near; and they do the same because an oath is not put unto jurors; nor upon the country where such felonies were done as to the restitution of damages, hitherto no

pain hath been limited for their concealment and laches; our lord the king, for to abate the power of felons, hath established a pain in this case, so that from henceforth, for fear of the pain more than for fear of any oath, they shall not spare any nor conceal any felonies; and doth command that cries be solemnly made in all counties, hundreds, markets, fairs, and all other places where great resort of people is, so that none shall excuse himself by ignorance, that from henceforth every country be so well kept that immediately upon such robberies and felonies committed fresh suits shall be made from town to town and from country to country.

2. Likewise when need requires, inquests shall be made in towns by him that is lord of the town, and after in the hundred and in the franchise and in the county, and sometimes in two, three, or four counties, in case when felonies shall be committed in the marches of shires, so that the offenders may be attainted. And if the country will not answer for such manner of offenders, the pain shall be such, that every country, that is to wit, the people dwelling in the country, shall be answerable for the robberies done and also the damages: so that the whole hundred where the robbery shall be done, with the franchises being within the precinct of the same hundred, shall be answerable for the robberies done. And if the robbery be done in the division of two hundreds, both the hundreds and the franchises within them shall be answerable ; and after that the felony or robbery is done, the country shall have no longer space than forty days, within which forty days it shall behoove them to agree for the robbery or offence, or else that they will answer for the bodies of the offenders.

3. And forasmuch as the king will not that his people should be suddenly impoverished by reason of this penalty, that seemeth very hard to many, the king granteth that it shall not be incurred immediately, but it shall be respited until Easter next following, within which time the king may see how the country will order themselves, and whether such felonies and robberies do cease. After which term let them all be assured that the aforesaid penalty shall run generally; that is to say, every country, that is to wit, the people in the country, shall be answerable for felonies and robberies done among them.

4. And for the more surety of the country, the king hath commanded that in great towns being walled, the gates shall be closed from the sun-setting until the sun-rising; and that no man do lodge in suburbs, nor in the edges of the town, except in the daytime, nor yet in the day-time, unless his host will answer for him ; and the bailiffs of towns every week, or at the least every fifteenth

day, shall make inquiry of all persons being lodged in the suburbs or the edges of the towns; and if they do find any that have received or lodged in any other way people of whom there may be suspicion that they are against the peace, the bailiffs shall do right therein. And the king commandeth, that from henceforth all watches be made as it hath been used in times past, that is to wit, from the day of the Ascension unto the day of Saint Michael, in every city by six men at every gate; in every borough, by twelve men ; in every town, by six or four, according to the number of the inhabitants of the town, and they shall keep the watch continually all night from the sun-setting unto the sun-rising. And if any stranger do pass by them he shall be arrested until morning ; and if no suspicion be found he shall go quit; and if they find cause of suspicion, they shall forthwith deliver him to the sheriff, and the sheriff shall receive him without delay, and shall keep him safely, until he be delivered in due manner. And if they will not obey the arrest, they shall levy hue and cry upon them, and such as keep the watch shall follow them with all the town and the towns near, with hue and cry from town to town, until that they be taken and delivered to the sheriff as before is said; and for the arrestments of such strangers none shall be punished.

5. And further, it is commanded that highways leading from one market town to another shall be enlarged, whereas woods, hedges, or dykes be, so that there be neither dyke, underwood, nor bush whereby a man may lurk to do hurt, near to the way, within two hundred foot of the one side and two hundred foot on the other side; so that this statute shall not extend unto oaks, nor unto great trees, so as it shall be clear underneath. And if by default of the lord that will not abate the dyke, underwood, or bushes, in the manner aforesaid, any robberies be done therein, the lord shall be answerable for the felony; and if murder be done the lord shall make a fine at the king's pleasure. And if the lord be not able to fell the underwoods, the country shall aid him therein. And the king willeth that in his demesne lands and woods, within his forest and without, the ways shall be enlarged as before is said. And if perchance a park be near to the highway, it is requisite that the lord shall minish his park so that there be a border of two hundred foot near the highway, as before is said, or that he make such a wall, dyke, or hedge that offenders may not pass, nor return to do evil.

6. And further it is commanded that every man have in his house harness for to keep the peace after the ancient assize; that is to

say, every man between fifteen years of age and sixty years, shall be assessed and sworn to armor according to the quantity of their lands and goods; that is to wit, for fifteen pounds lands, and goods of forty marks, an hauberke, an helm of iron, a lance, a knife, and a horse ; and for ten pounds of lands, and twenty marks goods, an hauberke, an helme of iron, a lance, and a knife; and for five pound lands, a doublet, an helme of iron, a lance, and a knife; and from forty shillings of land and more up to one hundred shillings, a lance, a bow and arrows, and a knife; and he that hath less than forty shillings yearly shall be sworn to falces, gisarmes, knives, and other small arms; and he that hath less than twenty marks in goods, shall have swords, knives, and other small arms; and all other that may shall have bows and arrows out of the forest, and in the forest bows and pilets. And that view of armor be made every year two times. And in every hundred and franchise two constables shall be chosen to make the view of armor; and the constables aforesaid shall present before justices assigned, when they shall come into the country, such defaults as they shall have found about armor, and of suits, and of watches, and of highways; and also shall present all such as do lodge strangers in uplandish towns, for whom they will not answer. And the justices assigned shall present at every parliament unto the king such defaults as they shall find, and the king shall provide remedy therein. And from henceforth let the sheriffs take good heed, and bailiffs within franchises and without, greater or lesser, that have any bailiwick or forestry in fee or otherwise, that they shall follow the cry with the country, as they are able, having horses and armor so to do; and if there be any that do not, the defaults shall be presented by the constables to the justices assigned, and after by them to the king; and the king will provide remedy as before is said. And the king commandeth and forbiddeth that from henceforth neither fairs nor markets be kept in churchyards, for the honor of the. church.

Given at Winchester, the eighth of October, in the thirteenth year of the reign of the king.

44. The Statute of Circumspecte Agatis

(c. 1285. Latin text and translation, 1 S. R. 101. Translation G. and H. 83, is followed here. 2 Stubbs, 123. This so-called statute seems to be the combination of the writ Circumspecte Agatis, which forms the first paragraph, and another document of uncertain date. The statute occurs in various forms and with various readings in the different manuscripts and printed copies; which have been collated to form the texts cited above.)

THE king to such and such judges, Greeting. See that ye act circumspectly in the matter touching the bishop of Norwich and his clergy, in not punishing them if they shall hold pleas in the court Christian concerning those things which are merely spiritual, to wit: — concerning corrections which prelates inflict for deadly sin, to wit, for fornication, adultery, and such like, for which, sometimes corporal punishment is inflicted, and sometimes pecuniary, especially if a freeman be convicted of such things.

Item if a prelate impose a penalty for not enclosing a churchyard, leaving the church uncovered or without proper ornament, in which cases no other than a pecuniary fine can be inflicted.

Item if a rector demand the greater or the lesser tithe, provided the fourth part of any church be not demanded.

Item if a rector demand a mortuary in places where a mortuary has been usually given.

Item if a prelate of any church demand a pension from the rector as due to him : — all such demands are to be made in the ecclesiastical court.

Concerning laying violent hands on a clerk, and in case of defamation, it has been granted formerly that pleas thereof may be held in the court Christian, provided money be not demanded; but proceedings may be taken for the correction of the sin; and likewise for breach of faith. In all these cases the ecclesiastical judge has to take cognizance, the king's prohibition notwithstanding, although it be put forward.

Wherefore laymen generally obtain a prohibition for tithes, oblations, mortuaries, redemptions of penances, laying violent hands on a clerk or a lay-brother, and in case of defamation, in which cases proceedings are taken to exact canonical punishment.

The lord the king made answer to these articles, that in tithes, obventions, oblations, and mortuaries, when proceedings are taken, as is aforesaid, there is no place for prohibition. And if a clerk or religious person shall sell for money to any one his tithes stored

in the barn, or being elsewhere, and be impleaded in the court Christian, the royal prohibition has place, for by reason of sales, spiritual things are temporal, and then tithes pass into chattels.

Item if dispute arise concerning the right of tithes, having its origin in the right of patronage, and the quantity of these tithes exceeds the fourth part of the church, the king's prohibition has place.

Item if a prelate impose pecuniary penalty on any one for sin, and demand the money, the king's prohibition has place, if the money is exacted before prelates.

Item if any one shall lay violent hands on a clerk, amends must be made for a breach of the peace of the lord the king, before the king, and for excommunication before the bishop ; and if corporal penalty be imposed which, if the defendant will, he may redeem by giving money to the prelate or person injured, neither in such cases is there place for prohibition.

In defamations of freemen let the prelates correct, the king's prohibition notwithstanding, although it be tendered.

45. The Statutes of Westminster; the Third: Quia Emptores

(July, 1290. Latin text, 1 S. R. 106, Stubbs, S. C. 478. Translation, 1 S. R. 106. 2 Stubbs, 126, 259.)

1. FORASMUCH as purchasers of lands and tenements of the fees of great men and others, have many times heretofore entered into their fees, to the prejudice of the lords, to which purchasers the freeholders of such great men and others have sold their lands and tenements to be holden in fee to them and their heirs of their feoffers, and not of the chief lords of the fees, whereby the same chief lords have many times lost their escheats, marriages, and wardships of lands and tenements belonging to their fees; which thing seemed very hard and extreme unto those great men and other lords, and moreover in this case manifest disheritance: our lord the king, in his parliament at Westminster after Easter, the eighteenth year of his reign, that is to wit, in the quinzime of Saint John the Baptist, at the instance of the great men of the realm, granted, provided, and ordained, that from henceforth it shall be lawful to every freeman to sell at his own pleasure his lands and tenements, or part of them; so that the feoffee shall

hold the same lands or tenements of the same chief lord, and by the same services and customs as his feoffor held before.

2. And if he shall sell any part of such lands or tenements to any, the feoffee shall immediately hold it of the chief lord, and shall be forthwith charged with the services, for so much as pertaineth, or ought to pertain to the said chief lord for the same parcel, according to the quantity of the land or tenement sold. And so in this case the same part of the service shall cease to be taken by the chief lord by the hands of the feoffor, from the time that the feoffee ought to be attendant and answerable to the same chief lord, according to the quantity of the land or tenement sold, for the parcel of the service so due.

3. And it is to be understood, that by the said sales or purchases of lands or tenements, or any parcels of them, such lands or tenements shall in no wise come into mortmain, either in part or in whole, neither by policy nor craft, contrary to the form of the statute made thereupon of late. And it is to wit, that this statute extendeth but only to lands sold to be holden in fee simple.; and that it extendeth to the time coming; and it shall begin to take effect at the feast of Saint Andrew the apostle next coming.

46. Writs of Summons to Parliament

(30 September-3 October, 1295. Latin text, Stubbs, S. C. 484. Translation, Cheyney, 33. 2 Stubbs, 133, 209, 211, 235.)

Summons of the Clergy

THE King to the venerable father in Christ Robert, by the same grace archbishop of Canterbury, primate of all England, greeting. As a most just law, established by the careful providence of sacred princes, exhorts and decrees that what affects all, by all should be approved, so also, very evidently should common danger be met by means provided in common. You know sufficiently well, and it is now, as we believe, divulged through all regions of the world, how the king of France fraudulently and craftily deprives us of our land of Gascony, by withholding it unjustly from us. Now, however, not satisfied with the before-mentioned fraud and injustice, having gathered together for the conquest of our kingdom a very great fleet, and an abounding multitude of warriors, with which he has made a hostile attack on our kingdom and the inhabitants of the same kingdom, he now proposes to destroy

the English language altogether from the earth, if his power should correspond to the detestable proposition of the contemplated injustice, which God forbid. Because, therefore, darts seen beforehand do less injury, and your interest especially, as that of the rest of the citizens of the same realm, is concerned in this affair, we command you, strictly enjoining you in the fidelity and love in which you are bound to us, that on the Lord's day next after the feast of St. Martin, in the approaching winter, you be present in person at Westminster; citing beforehand [præmunientes] the dean and chapter of your church, the archdeacons and all the clergy of your diocese, causing the same dean and archdeacons in their own persons, and the said chapter by one suitable proctor, and the said clergy by two, to be present along with you, having full and sufficient power from the same chapter and clergy, to consider, ordain and provide, along with us and with the rest of the prelates and principal men and other inhabitants of our kingdom, how the dangers and threatened evils of this kind are to be met. Witness the king at Wangham, the thirtieth day of September.

Identical summons were sent out to the two archbishops and eighteen bishops, and, with the omission of the last paragraph, to seventy abbots.

Summons of the Barons

The king to his beloved and faithful relative, Edmund, Earl of Cornwall, greeting. Because we wish to have a consultation and meeting with you and with the rest of the principal men of our kingdom, as to provision for remedies against the dangers which in these days are threatening our whole kingdom; we command you, strictly enjoining you in the fidelity and love in which you are bound to us, that on the Lord's day next after the feast of St. Martin, in the approaching winter, you be present in person at Westminster, for considering, ordaining and doing along with us and with the prelates, and the rest of the principal men and other inhabitants of our kingdom, as may be necessary for meeting dangers of this kind.

Witness the king at Canterbury, the first of October.

Similar summons were sent to seven earls and forty-one barons.

Summons of Representatives of the Counties and Boroughs

The king to the sheriff of Northamptonshire. Since we intend to have a consultation and meeting with the earls, barons and other principal men of our kingdom with regard to providing remedies against the dangers which are in these days threatening

the same kingdom; and on that account have commanded them to be with us on the Lord's day next after the feast of St. Martin in the approaching winter, at Westminster, to consider, ordain, and do as may be necessary for the avoidance of these dangers; we strictly require you to cause two knights from the aforesaid county, two citizens from each city in the same county, and two burgesses from each borough, of those who are especially discreet and capable of laboring, to be elected without delay, and to cause them to come to us at the aforesaid time and place.

Moreover, the said knights are to have full and sufficient power for themselves and for the community of the aforesaid county, and the said citizens and burgesses for themselves and the communities of the aforesaid cities and boroughs separately, then and there for doing what shall then be ordained according to the common counsel in the premises; so that the aforesaid business shall not remain unfinished in any way for defect of this power. And you shall have there the names of the knights, citizens and burgesses and this writ.

Witness the king at Canterbury on the third day of October.

Identical summons were sent to the sheriffs of each county.

47. The Bull "Clericis Laicos"

(February, 1296. Latin text, Rymer's Fædera, i. 836. Translation, G. and H. 87. 2 Stubbs, 135.)

BONIFACE bishop, servant of the servants of God, for the perpetual memory of the matter. That laymen have been very hostile to clerks antiquity relates, which too the experiences of the present times manifestly declare, whilst not content with their own bounds they strive for the forbidden and loose the reins for things unlawful. Nor do they prudently consider how power over clerks or ecclesiastical persons or goods is forbidden them : they impose heavy burdens on the prelates of the churches and ecclesiastical persons regular and secular, and tax them, and impose collections: they exact and demand from the same the half, tithe, or twentieth, or any other portion or proportion of their revenues or goods; and in many ways they essay to bring them under slavery, and subject them to their authority. And, as we sadly relate, some prelates of the churches and ecclesiastical persons, alarmed where there should be no alarm, seeking

transient peace, fearing more to offend the temporal majesty than the eternal, acquiesce in such abuses, not so much rashly as improvidently, authority or licence of the Apostolic See not having been obtained. We therefore desirous of preventing such wicked actions, do, with apostolic authority decree, with the advice of our brethren, that whatsoever prelates and ecclesiastical persons, religious or secular, of whatsoever orders, condition or standing, shall pay or promise or agree to pay to lay persons collections or taxes for the tithe, twentieth, or hundredth of their own rents, or goods, or those of the churches, or any other portion, proportion, or quantity of the same rents, or goods, at their own estimate or value, under the name of aid, loan, relief, subsidy, or gift, or by any other title, manner, or pretext demanded, without the authority of the same see.

And also whatsoever emperors, kings, or princes, dukes, earls, or barons, powers, captains, or officials, or rectors, by whatsoever . names they are reputed, of cities, castles, or any places whatsoever, wheresoever situate, and all others of whatsoever rank, pre-eminence or state, who shall impose, exact, or receive the things aforesaid, or arrest, seise, or presume to occupy things anywhere deposited in holy buildings, or to command them to be arrested, seised, or occupied, or receive them when occupied, seised, or arrested, and also all who knowingly give aid, counsel, or favor, openly or secretly, in the things aforesaid, by this same should incur sentence of excommunication. Universities, too, which may have been to blame in these matters, we subject to ecclesiastical interdict.

The prelates and ecclesiastical persons above mentioned we strictly command, in virtue of their obedience, and under pain of deposition, that they in no wise acquiesce in such things without express licence of the said see, and that they pay nothing under pretext of any obligation, promise, and acknowledgement whatsoever, made so far, or in progress heretofore, and before such constitution, prohibition, or order come to their notice, and that the seculars aforesaid do not in any wise receive it, and if they do pay, or the aforesaid, let them fall under sentence of excommunication by the very deed.

Moreover let no one be absolved from the aforesaid sentences of excommunication and interdict, save at the moment of death, without authority and special licence of the Apostolic See, inasmuch as it is part of our intention that such a terrible abuse of secular powers should not in any wise pass under dissimulation, any privileges whatsoever notwithstanding, in whatsoever tenors,

forms or modes, or arrangement of words, conceded to emperors, kings and the others aforesaid; against which premises aforesaid we will that aid be given by no one, and by no persons in any respect.

Let it then be lawful to none at all to infringe this page of our constitution, prohibition, or order, or to gainsay it by any rash attempt; and if any one presume to attempt this, let him know that he will incur the indignation of Almighty God, and of his blessed apostles Peter and Paul.

Given at Rome in Saint Peter's on the twenty-fourth of February in the second year of our pontificate.

48. Confirmatio Cartarum

(October, 1297. French text and translation, 1 S. R. 123, Stubbs, S. C. 494-496. 2 Stubbs, 146.)

EDWARD, by the grace of God, king of England, lord of Ireland, and duke of Guyenne, to all those that these present letters shall hear or see, Greeting.

1. Know ye that we to the honor of God, and of holy Church, and to the profit of our realm, have granted for us and our heirs, that the great Charter of Liberties, and the Charter of the Forest, which were made by common assent of all the realm, in the time of king Henry our father, shall be kept in every point without breach. And we will that the same charters shall be sent under our seal, as well to our justices of the forest, as to others, and to all sheriffs of shires, and to all our other officers, and to all our cities throughout the realm, together with our writs, in the which it shall be contained, that they cause the foresaid charters to be published, and to declare to the people that we have confirmed them in all points; and to our justices, sheriffs, mayors, and other ministers, which under us and by us have the laws of our land to guide, that they shall allow the same charters in all their points, in pleas before them, and in judgments; that is to wit, the Great Charter as the common law, and the Charter of the Forest according to the Assize of the forest, for the wealth of our realm.

2. And we will, that if any judgment be given from henceforth contrary to the points of the charters aforesaid by the justices, or by any other our ministers that hold plea before them against the points of the charters, it shall be undone and holden for nought.

3. And we will, that the same charters be sent, under our seal, to cathedral churches throughout our realm, there to remain, and shall be read before the people two times by the year.

4. And that all archbishops and bishops shall pronounce the sentence of great excommunication against all those that by deed, aid, or counsel do contrary to the foresaid charters, or that in any point break or undo them. And that the said curses be twice a year denounced and published by the prelates aforesaid. And if the same prelates, bishops, or any of them be remiss in the denunciation of the said sentences, the archbishops of Canterbury and York for the time being, as is fitting, shall compel and distrain them to make that denunciation in form aforesaid.

5. And for so much as divers people of our realm are in fear, that the aids and tasks which they have given to us beforetime towards our wars and other business, of their own grant and good will, howsoever they were made, might turn to a bondage to them and their heirs, because they might be at another time found in the rolls, and so likewise the prises taken throughout the realm by our ministers in our name; we have granted for us and our heirs, that we shall not draw such aids, tasks, nor prises into a custom, for any thing that hath been done heretofore, or that may be found by roll or in any other manner.

6. Moreover we have granted for us and our heirs as well to archbishops, bishops, abbots, priors, and other folk of holy Church, as also to earls, barons, and to all the commonalty of the land, that for no business from henceforth we shall take of our realm such manner of aids, tasks, nor prises, but by the common assent of all the realm, and for the common profit thereof, saving the ancient aids and prises due and accustomed.

And for so much as the more part of the commonalty of the realm find themselves sore grieved with the maletote of wools, that is to wit, a toll of forty shillings for every sack of wool, and have made petition to us to release the same ; we at their requests have clearly released it, and have granted that we will not take such thing nor any other without their common assent and good will; saving to us and our heirs the custom of wools, skins, and leather, granted before by the commonalty aforesaid. In witness of which things we have caused these our letters to be made patents.

Witness Edward our son at London the tenth day of October, the five and twentieth year of our reign.

And be it remembered that this same charter, in the same terms, word for word, was sealed in Flanders under the king's great seal,

that is to say, at Ghent the fifth day of November in the twenty-fifth year of the reign of our aforesaid lord the king, and sent into England.

49. De Tallagio non Concedendo

(1297. Latin text, 1 S. R. 125, Stubbs, S. C. 497. Translation, 1 S. R. 125. 2 Stubbs, 148, 5450

1. No tallage or aid shall be laid or levied by us or our heirs in our realm, without the good will and assent of the archbishops, bishops, earls, barons, knights, burgesses, and other freemen of our realm.

2. No officer of ours, or of our heirs, shall take corn, wool, leather, or any other goods, of any manner of person, without the good will and assent of the party to whom the goods belonged.

3. Nothing from henceforth shall be taken in the name or by occasion of maletote.

4. We will and grant for us and our heirs, that all clerks and laymen of our land shall have all their laws, liberties, and free customs, as largely and wholly as they have used to have the same at any time when they had them best and most fully; and if any statutes have been made by us or our ancestors, or any customs brought in contrary to them, or any manner of article contained in this present charter, we will and grant, that such manner of statutes and customs shall be void and frustrate for evermore.

5. Moreover, we have pardoned Humphrey Bohun earl of Hereford and Essex, constable of England, Roger Bigod, earl of Norfolk and Suffolk, marshal of England, and other earls, barons, knights, esquires, and namely John of Ferrers, with all other being of their fellowship, confederacy, and bond, and also to all other that hold twenty pound land in our realm, whether they hold of us in chief, or of other, that were appointed at a day certain to pass over with us into Flanders, the rancor and ill-will which for the aforesaid causes we conceived against them, and all other offences, if any, that they have done against us or ours unto the making of this present charter.

6. And for the more assurance of this thing, we will and grant, for ourselves and our heirs, that all archbishops and bishops for ever in their cathedral churches, this present charter being first read, shall excommunicate, and publicly in the several parish churches of their dioceses, shall cause to be excommunicated, or

to be declared excommunicated twice in the year, all those that willingly do or procure to be done any thing contrary to the tenor, force, and effect of this present charter in any point and article. In witness of which thing we have set our seal to this present charter, together with the seals of the archbishops, bishops, earls, barons, and others which voluntarily have sworn that, as much as in them is, they shall observe the tenor of this present charter in all causes and articles, and shall extend their faithful aid to the keeping thereof forever.

50. The Statute of Carlisle

(March, 1307. Latin text and translation, 1 S. R. 150. G. and H. 92. 2 Stubbs, 163.)

OF late it came to the knowledge of our lord the king, by the grievous complaint of the honorable persons, lords, and other noblemen of his realm, that whereas monasteries, priories, and other religious houses were founded to the honor and glory of God, and the advancement of the holy Church, by the king and his progenitors, and by the said noblemen and their ancestors, and a very great portion of lands and tenements have been given by them to the said monasteries, priories, and houses, and the religious men serving God in them, to the intent that clerks and laymen might be admitted in such monasteries, priories, and religious houses, according to their sufficient ability, and that sick and feeble men might be maintained, hospitality, almsgiving, and other charitable deeds might be exercised and done in them for the souls of the said founders and their heirs; the abbots, priors, and governors of the said houses, and certain aliens their superiors, as the abbots and priors of the Cluniacs, Cistercians, and Premonstratensians, and of the orders of Saint Augustine, and Saint Benedict, and many more of other religion and order, have newly appointed to be made, and at their own pleasure ordained divers unwonted, heavy, and intolerable tallages, payments, and impositions upon every of the said monasteries and houses in subjection unto them in England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, without the privity of our lord the king and his nobility, contrary to the laws and customs of the said realm ; and thereby the number of religious persons, and other servants in the said houses and religious places being oppressed by such tallages, payments, and impositions, the service of God is diminished; alms are withheld from

the poor, the sick, and feeble, the healths of the living and the souls of the dead be miserably defrauded, hospitality, almsgiving, and other godly deeds do cease; and so that which in times past was charitably given to godly uses, and to the increase of the service of God, is now converted to an evil tax; by permission whereof besides those things which are before mentioned, there groweth great scandal to the people, and infinite losses are well known to have ensued, and are still like to ensue, to the disheritance of the founders of the said houses and their heirs, unless speedy and sufficient remedy be provided to redress so many and grievous detriments: wherefore our foresaid lord the king, considering that it would be very prejudicial to him and his people if he should any longer suffer so great losses and injuries to be winked at, and therefore being willing to maintain and defend the monasteries, priories, and other religious houses and places erected in his kingdom, and in all lands subject to his dominion, according to the will and pious wishes of their founders, and from henceforth to provide sufficient remedy to reform such oppressions, as he is bound, by the counsel of his earls, barons, great men, and other nobles and of the commons of his kingdom in his parliament holden at Westminster, on the Sunday next after the feast of Saint Matthias the apostle, in the three and thirtieth year of his reign, did ordain and enact:

2. "That no abbot, prior, master, warden, or other religious person, of whatsoever condition, state or religion he be, being under the king's power or jurisdiction, shall by himself, or by merchants or others, secretly or openly, by any art or device, carry or send, or by any means cause to be sent, any tax imposed by the abbots, priors, masters, or wardens of religious houses or places, their superiors, or in any way assessed among themselves, out of his kingdom and his dominion, under the name of a rent, tallage, tribute, or any kind of imposition, or otherwise in the name of exchange, sale, loan or other contract howsoever it may be termed ; neither shall depart into any other country for visitation, or upon any other color, by that means to carry the goods of their monasteries and houses out of the kingdom and dominion aforesaid. And if any will presume to offend this present statute, he shall be grievously punished according to the quality of his offence, and according to his contempt of the king's prohibition.

3. "Moreover our foresaid lord the king doth inhibit all and singular abbots, priors, masters, and governors of religious houses and places, being aliens, to whose authority, subjection, and obedience the houses of the same orders in his kingdom and

dominion be subject, that they do not at any time hereafter impose, or by any means assess any tallages, payments, impositions, tributes, or other burdens whatsoever, upon the monasteries, priories, or other religious houses in subjection unto them as is aforesaid; and that upon forfeiture of all that they have in their power, and can forfeit in future."

4. And further, our lord the king hath ordained and established that the abbots of the orders of Cistercians and Premonstratensians, and other religious orders, whose seal hath heretofore been used to remain only in the custody of the abbot, and not of the convent, shall hereafter have a common seal, and shall deposit the same in the custody of the prior of the monastery or house, and four of the most worthy and discreet men of the convent of the same house, to be laid up in safe keeping under the private seal of the abbot of the same house ; so that the abbot, or superior of the house which he doth govern, shall by no means be able of himself to establish any contract or obligation, as heretofore he hath used to. And if it fortune hereafter, that writings obligatory of donations, purchases, sales, alienations, or of any other contracts, be found sealed with any other seal than such a common seal kept as is aforesaid, they shall be adjudged void and Of no force in law. But it is not the meaning of our lord the king to exclude the abbots, priors, and other religious, aliens, by the ordinances and statutes aforesaid, from executing their office of visitation in his kingdom and dominion ; but they may visit at their pleasures, by themselves or others, the monasteries and other places in his kingdom and dominion in subjection unto them, according to the duty of their office, in those things only that belong to regular observation and the discipline of their order. Provided, that they which shall execute this office of visitation, shall carry, or cause to be carried out of his kingdom and dominion, none of the goods or things of such monasteries, priories, and houses, saving only their reasonable and competent charges.

And though the publication and open notice of the ordinances and statutes aforesaid was stayed in suspense, for certain causes, since the last parliament, until this present parliament holden at Carlisle in the octaves of Saint Hilary, in the five and thirtieth year of the reign of the same king Edward, and to the intent that they might proceed with greater deliberation and advice; our lord the king, after full conference and debate had with his earls, barons, nobles, and other great men and the commons of his kingdom, touching the premises, by their whole consent and agreement hath ordained and enacted, that the ordinances and statutes aforesaid,

under the manner, form, and conditions aforesaid, from the first day of May next ensuing, shall henceforward be inviolably observed and available for ever, and the offenders of them shall thenceforth be subjected to the pains prescribed.

51. The New Ordinances

(October, 1311. French text and translation, 1 S. R. 157. 2 Stubbs, 344. The original ordinances form the first six articles of the New Ordinances.)

EDWARD by the grace of God, king of England, lord of Ireland, and duke of Aquitaine, to all to whom these letters shall come, Greeting. Know ye that whereas on the sixteenth day of March, in the third year of our reign, to the honor of God, and for the weal of us and of our realm, we did grant of our free will by our letters patent to the prelates, earls, and barons of our said realm, that they might choose certain persons of the prelates, earls, and barons, whom they should see fit to call unto them ; and we did also grant, by the same letters, to those who should be chosen, whosoever they should be, by the said prelates, earls, and barons, full power to order the state of our household, and of our realm before mentioned, * * * : and the honorable father in God Robert, by the grace of God archbishop of Canterbury, primate of all England, the bishops, earls, and barons thereunto chosen, by virtue of our said letters, have ordained upon the said matters in the form which followeth:

Forasmuch as by bad and deceitfull counsel our lord the king and all his subjects, are dishonored in all lands; and moreover the crown hath been in many points abased and dismembered, and his lands of Gascony, Ireland, and Scotland on the point of being lost, if God do not give amendment; and his realm of England upon the point of rising, on account of oppressions, prises, and destructions ; the which things being known and shown, our lord the king, of his free will hath granted to the prelates, earls, and barons, and to the other good people of his realm, that certain persons should be chosen to order and establish the state of his household and of his realm, as more fully appears by the commission of our lord the king thereof made : Wherefore we, Robert, by the grace of God archbishop of Canterbury, primate of all England, the bishops, earls, and barons chosen by virtue of the said commission, do ordain, to

the honor of God and of holy Church, and to the honor of the king and of his realm, in the manner which followeth:

4. Moreover, it is ordained, that the customs of the realm be kept and received by people of the realm, and not by aliens; and that the issues and profits of the same customs, together with all other issues and profits of the realm arising from any matters whatsoever, shall come entirely to the king's exchequer, and by the treasurer and the chamberlains shall be delivered, to maintain the household of the king, and otherwise to his profit, so that the king may live of his own, without taking prises other than those anciently due and accustomed; and all others shall cease.

9. Forasmuch as the king ought not to undertake deed of war against any one, nor to go out of his realm, but by common assent of his baronage, for the many perils that may happen to him and his realm, we do ordain, that the king henceforth shall not go out of his realm, nor undertake against any one deed of war, without the common assent of his baronage, and that in parliament. And if he otherwise do, and upon such enterprise cause to be summoned his service, such summons shall be for none; and if it happen that the king undertake deed of war against any one, or go out of the realm, with the assent of his said baronage, and it be necessary that he appoint a guardian in his realm, then he shall appoint him with the common assent of his baronage, and that in parliament.


11. Also, new customs have been levied, and the old enhanced, as upon wools, cloths, wines, avoir de pois, and other things, whereby the merchants come more seldom, and bring fewer good into the land, and the foreign merchants abide longer than they were wont to do, by which abiding things become more dear than they were wont to be, to the damage of the king and his people; we do ordain, that all manner of customs and imposts levied since the coronation of king Edward, son of king Henry, be entirely put out, and altogether extinguished for ever, notwithstanding the charter which the said king Edward made to the merchants aliens, because the same was made contrary to the Great Charter and the franchise of the city of London, and without the assent of the baronage; and if any, of whatsoever condition he be, do take or levy any thing beyond the ancient

customs due and rightful, or make disturbance, whereby the merchants cannot of their goods do their will, and therof be attainted, there shall be awarded to the plaintiffs their damages, having regard to the purchase, to the suit, to the costs and losses which they shall have had, and to the violation of the Great Charter; and the trespasser shall be imprisoned according to the quantity of the trespass, and according to the discretion of the justices, and he shall never be in the king's service; saving nevertheless to the king the customs of wools, woolfells, and leather; that is to say, for each sack of wool, half a mark, and for three hundred woolfells, half a mark, and for a last of leather, one mark, if the goods be liable thereto: and henceforth merchants strangers shall come, abide, and go according to the ancient customs, and according to that which of old they were wont to do.

14. And forasmuch as many evils have come to pass by such counsellors and such ministers, we do ordain that the king do make the chancellor, chief justice of the one bench and the other, the treasurer, the chancellor and chief baron of the exchequer, the steward of his household, the keeper of his wardrobe, and comptroller and a fit clerk to keep the privy seal, a chief keeper of the forests on this side of Trent, and another on the other side of Trent, and also an escheator on this side of Trent and another on the other side of Trent, and the chief clerk of the king in the common bench, by the counsel and assent of his baronage, and that in parliament; and if it happen by any chance, that it be expedient to appoint any of the said ministers before there be a parliament, then the king shall appoint thereto by the good counsel which he shall have near him, until the parliament. And so it shall henceforth be done of such ministers when need shall be.

17. Moreover we do ordain, that the sheriffs be from henceforth appointed by the chancellor, the treasurer, and the others of the council who shall be present; and if the chancellor be not present, they shall be appointed by the treasurer and barons of the exchequer, and by the justices of the bench, and that such be appointed and made who are fit and sufficient and who have lands and tenements whereof they can answer to the king and to the people for their deeds, and that no other than such be appointed, and that they have their commission under the great seal.

29. * * * : We do ordain, that the king shall hold a parliament once in the year, or twice, if need be, and that in a convenient place: * * *


32. Forasmuch as the law of the land and common right are often delayed, by letters issued under the king's privy seal, to the great grievance of the people, we do ordain, that from henceforth the law of the land and common right be not delayed nor disturbed by letters of the said seal; and if any thing be done in any of the places of the court of our lord the king, or elsewhere, by such letters issued under the privy seal against right or the law of the land, it shall avail nothing, and be holden for none.


* * * Given at London, the fifth day of October, in the fifth year of our reign.

52. Articuli Cleri

(November, 1316. Latin text and translation, 1 S. R. 171. 2 Stubbs, 356.)

THE king to all to whom, &c., Greeting. Understand ye, that whereas * * * : and of late in our parliament holden at Lincoln, the ninth year of our reign, we caused the articles underwritten, with certain answers made to some of them heretofore, to be rehearsed before our council, and made certain answers to be corrected; and to the residue of the articles underwritten, answers were made by us and our council; of which said articles, with the answers of the same, the tenors here ensue.

6. Also if any cause or matter, the knowledge whereof belongeth to a court spiritual, and shall be definitively determined before a spiritual judge, so that it pass into a judgment, nor was not in suspense by an appeal; and after, if upon the same thing a question is moved before a temporal judge between the same parties, and it be proved by witness or instruments, such an exception is not to be admitted in a temporal court. The answer. When any one case upon different grounds, is debated before judges spiritual and temporal, as above appeareth upon the case of laying violent hands on a clerk, they say, that notwithstanding

the spiritual judgment, the king's court shall discuss the same matter according as it may seem expedient to that court.

7. Also the king's letter is used to be directed unto ordinaries, that have wrapped those that be in subjection unto them in the sentence of excommunication, that they should absolve them by a certain day, or else that they do appear, and show wherefore they have excommunicated them: the answer. The king decreeth, that hereafter no such letters shall be suffered to go forth, but in case where it is found that the king's liberty is prejudiced by the excommunication.

********* Witness the king at York, the twenty-fourth day of November, in the tenth year of the reign of king Edward, the son of king Edward.

53. Revocation of the New Ordinances

( May, 1322. French text and translation, 1 S. R. 189. 2 Stubbs, 369.)

WHEREAS our lord king Edward, son of king Edward, on the sixteenth day of March in the third year of his reign, to the honor of God, and for the weal of himself and his realm, did grant unto the prelates, earls, and barons of his realm, that they might choose certain persons of the prelates, earls, and barons, and of other lawful men whom they should deem sufficient to be called unto them, for the ordaining and establishing the estate of the household of our said lord the king, and of his realm according to right and reason, and in such manner that their ordinances should be made to the honor of God, and to the honor and profit of holy Church, and to the honor of the said king, and to his profit and to the profit of his people, according to right and reason, and to the oath which our said lord the king made at his coronation: and the archbishop of Canterbury, primate of all England, the bishop, earls, and barons thereunto chosen, did make certain ordinances which begin thus:

"Edward by the grace of God, king of England, lord of Ireland, and duke of Aquitaine, to all to whom these letters shall come, Greeting. Know ye that whereas on the sixteenth day of March in the third year of our reign, to the honor of God, &c." and which end thus, "Given at London the fifth day of October in the fifth year of our reign."

The which ordinances our said lord the king, at his parliament at York, in three weeks from Easter in the fifteenth year of his reign, did, by the prelates, earls, and barons, among whom were the more part of the said Ordainers who were then living, and by the commonalty of his realm, there by his command assembled, cause to be rehearsed and examined: and forasmuch as upon that examination it was found, in the said parliament, that by the matters so ordained the royal power of our said lord the king was restrained in divers things, contrary to what ought to be, to the blemishing of his royal sovereignty, and against the estate of the crown; and also, forasmuch as, in time past, by such ordinances and provisions, made by subjects against the royal power of the ancestors of our lord the king, troubles and wars have happened in the realm, whereby the land hath been in peril, it is accorded and established, at the said parliament, by our lord the king, and by the said prelates, earls, and barons, and the whole commonalty of the realm, at this parliament assembled, that all the things, by the said ordainers ordained and contained in the said ordinances, shall from henceforth for the time to come cease and shall lose their name, force, virtue, and effect for ever; the statutes and establishments duly made by our lord the king and his ancestors, before the said ordinances, abiding in their force: and that forever hereafter, all manner of ordinances or provisions, made by the subjects of our lord the king or of his heirs, by any power or authority whatsoever, concerning the royal power of our lord the king or of his heirs, or against the estate of our said lord the king or of his heirs, or against the estate of the crown, shall be void and of no avail or force whatever; but the matters which are to be established for the estate of our lord the king and of his heirs, and for the estate of the realm and of the people, shall be treated, accorded and established in parliaments, by our lord the king, and by the assent of the prelates, earls, and barons, and the commonalty of the realm; according as it hath been heretofore accustomed.

54. Statute concerning the Lands of the Templars

(March, 1324. Latin text and translation, 1 S. R. 194.)

* * * WHEREUPON, the greater part of the king's council, as well the justices as other lay persons being assembled together, the said justices affirmed precisely, that our lord the king, and other lords of the fees aforesaid, might well and lawfully, by the laws of the realm, retain the foresaid lands as their escheats, in regard of the ceasing and dissolution of the order aforesaid: but because the lands and tenements aforesaid were given to the brethren of the said order for the defence of Christians, * * * ; it seemed good to our lord the king, the noblemen, and others assembled in the same parliament, for the health of their souls, * * * , that the foresaid lands and tenements, * * *, and all other things pertaining thereunto, * * * , shall be assigned and delivered to other men of most holy religion; * * * : and thereupon in the same parliament it is agreed, ordained and established for law to continue for ever in this behalf, that neither our lord the king, nor any other lords of the fees aforesaid, or any other person, hath title or right to retain the foresaid lands and tenements, with the appurtenances or any part thereof, in the name of escheat, or by any other means, or hereafter to challenge the same lands in respect of the ceasing or dissolution of the foresaid military order of Templars, whereof the brethren of the same order were seised in their demesnes as of fee, at the time of ceasing and dissolution aforesaid; * * * : it is agreed and enacted in the said parliament * * * that all the lands, tenements, lordships, fees, churches, advowsons of churches, and liberties, with all things to them any way belonging, which were the said Templar's at the time of their ceasing and dissolution, shall be assigned and delivered to the foresaid Order of the Hospital, and to the prior and brethren of the same Hospital, to remain to them and their successors forever: * * *

55. Articles of Accusation against Edward II

(January, 1327. French text, Twysden's Historiae Anglicanae Scriptores Decem, 2765. Translation by Editors. 2 Stubbs, 379.)

IT has been decided that prince Edward, the eldest son of the king shall have the government of the realm and shall be crowned king, for the following reasons:

1. First, because the king is incompetent to govern in person. For throughout his reign he has been controlled arid governed by others who have given him evil counsel, to his own dishonor and to the destruction of holy Church and of all his people, without his being willing to see or understand what is good or evil or to make amendment, or his being willing to do as was required by the great and wise men of his realm, or to allow amendment to be made.

2. Item, throughout his reign he has not been willing to listen to good counsel nor to adopt it nor to give himself to the good government of his realm, but he has always given himself up to unseemly works and occupations, neglecting to satisfy the needs of his realm.

3. Item, through the lack of good government he has lost the realm of Scotland and other territories and lordships in Gascony and Ireland which his father left him in peace, and he has lost the friendship of the king of France and of many other great men.

4. Item, by his pride and obstinacy and by evil counsel he has destroyed holy Church and imprisoned some of the persons of holy Church and brought distress upon others and also many great and noble men of his land he has put to a shameful death, imprisoned, exiled, and disinherited.

5. Item, wherein he was bound by his oath to do justice to all, he has not willed to do it, for his own profit and his greed and that of the evil councillors who have been about him, nor has he kept the other points of his oath which he made at his coronation, as he was bound to do.

6. Item, he has stripped his realm, and done all that he could to ruin his realm and his people, and what is worse, by his cruelty and lack of character he has shown himself incorrigible without hope of amendment, which things are so notorious that they cannot be denied.

56. Statute of Northampton

(June, 1328. French text and translation, 1 S. R. 257. 2 Stubbs, 390, 613.)

2. ITEM, whereas offenders have been greatly encouraged, because that charters of pardon have been so easily granted in times past, of manslaughters, robberies, felonies, and other trespasses against the peace; it is ordained and enacted, that such charter shall not be granted, but only where the king may do it by his oath, that is to say, where a man slayeth another in his own defence, or by misfortune: * * *

* ********

12. Item, whereas all the counties in England were in old time assessed to a certain ferm, and then were all the hundreds and wapentakes in the sheriff's hands rated to this ferm; and after were approvers sent into divers counties, which did increase the terms of some hundreds and wapentakes; and after, the kings at divers times have granted to many men part of the same hundreds and wapentakes for the old ferms only; and now late the sheriffs be wholly charged of the increase, which amounteth to a great sum, to the great hurt of the people, and disherison of the sheriffs and their heirs: it is ordained, that the hundreds and wapentakes let to ferm by the king that now is, be it for term of life or otherwise, which were sometime annexed to the ferms of the counties where the sheriffs be charged, shall be joined again to the counties; and that the sheriffs and their heirs have allowance for the time that is past; and that from henceforth such hundreds and wapentakes shall not be given nor severed from the counties.

57. Statute concerning Justices and Sheriffs

( 1330. French text and translation, 1 S. R. 261. 2 Stubbs, 286, 391.)

* * * * * ** * *

2. ITEM, it is ordained, that good and discreet persons, other than of the places, if they may be found sufficient, shall be assigned in all the shires of England, to take assizes, juries, and certifications, and to deliver the jails; and that the said justices shall take the assizes, juries, and certifications, and deliver the jails, at the least three times a year, and more

often, if need be; also there shall be assigned good and lawful men in every county to keep the peace; and in the said assignments, mention shall be made that such as shall be indicted or taken by the said keepers of the peace, shall not be let to main-prise [bail] by the sheriffs, nor by none other ministers, if they be not mainpernable by the law; nor that such as shall be indicted, shall not be delivered but at the common law. And the justices assigned to deliver the jails shall have power to deliver the same jails of those that shall be indicted before the keepers of the peace; and that the said keepers shall send their indictments before the justices, and they shall have power to enquire of sheriffs, jailers, and others, in whose ward such indicted persons shall be, if they make deliverance, or let to mainprise any so indicted, which be not mainpernable, and to punish the said sheriffs, jailers, and others, if they do anything against this act.

* * * * * * * * . *

13. Item, because divers charters of pardon have been granted of felonies, robberies, and manslaughters, against the form of the statute lately made at Northampton, containing that no man should have such charters out of the parliament, whereby such misdoers have been the more bold to offend; it is enacted, that from henceforth the same statute shall be kept and maintained in all points.

14. Item, it is accorded that a parliament shall be holden every year once, or more often if need be.

15. Item, because sheriffs have before this time let hundreds and wapentakes in their bailiwicks to so high ferm, that the bailiff cannot levy the said ferm, without doing extortion and duress to the people; it is ordained, that the sheriffs shall from henceforth let their hundreds and wapentakes for the old ferm, and not above; and that the justices assigned shall have power to enquire of the said sheriffs, and punish them that shall be found offending against this statute.

58. Presentment of Englishry Abolished and Grant of a Subsidy

(April, 1340. First statute of 14 Edward III. French text and translation, S. R. 281. 2 Stubbs, 401.)

TO the honor of God and of holy Church, by the assent of the prelates, earls, barons, and other, assembled at the parliament holden at Westminster the Wednesday next after Mid-Lent, in the fourteenth year of the reign of our lord king Edward the Third of England, and the first year of his reign of France; the king for the peace and quietness of his people, as well great as small, doth grant and establish the things underwritten, which he wills to be holden and kept in all points perpetually to endure. *********

4. Item, because many mischiefs have happened in divers counties of England, which had no knowledge of presentment of Englishry, whereby the commons of the counties were often amerced before the justices in eyre, to the great mischief of the people; it is assented, that from henceforth no justice errant shall put in any article or opposition, presentment of Englishry against the commons of the counties, nor against any of them; but that Englishry and presentment of the same, be wholly out and void forever, so that no person by this cause may be from henceforth impeached.


20. Item, for the grants, releases, and pardons of the debts, chattels of felons and fugitives, and many other things and good establishments above written, which the king hath granted to the prelates, earls, barons, and all the commons of his realm, for the ease of them perpetually to endure, the said prelates, earls, barons, and all the commons of the realm, willing of one assent and good will, having regard to the will that the king their liege lord hath towards them, and to the great travail that he hath made and sustained as well in his wars of Scotland, as against the parts of France, and other places, and to the good will which he hath to travail to keep his realm, and maintain his wars, and to purchase his rights: they have granted to him the ninth lamb, the ninth fleece, and the ninth sheaf, to be taken by two years then next to come. And of cities and boroughs the very ninth

part of all their goods and chattels, to be taken and levied by lawful and reasonable tax by the same two years, in aid of the good keeping of this realm, as well by land as by sea, and of his wars, as well against the parts of Scotland, as against the parts of France, Gascony, and elsewhere. And in right of merchants foreign, which dwell not in the cities nor boroughs, and also of other people that dwell in forests and wastes, and all others that live not of their tillage, or their store of sheep, by the good advice of them which shall be deputed taxers, they shall be set lawfully at the value to the fifteenth, without being unreasonably charged; and it is not the intent of the king, nor of other great men, nor the commons, that by this grant made to the king of fifteenths, the poor cotiers, nor other that live of their bodily travail, shall be comprised within the tax of the said fifteenths, but shall be discharged by the advice of them which be deputed taxers, and of the great men which be deputed surveyors.

21. Item, though the commons of the realm did pray the king, that he would by assent of the parliament grant and establish, that never should be taken more custom of a sack of wool than half a mark, nor of lead, nor tin, leather, nor woolfells, but the old custom: nevertheless the king prayed the prelates, earls, barons, and all the commonalty, for the great business which he hath now in hand as they well know, that they would grant to him some aid upon the wools, leather, woolfells, and other merchandises, to endure for a small season; whereupon deliberation had, the said prelates, earls, barons, and commons of his realm, hath granted to him forty shillings to be taken of every sack of wool, and forty shillings of every three hundred woolfells, and forty shillings of every last of leather, and other merchandises that pass beyond the sea, after the rate; and to begin at the feast of Easter, in the fourteenth year of his reign, and to endure till the feast of Pentecost, then next following, and from that feast till the feast of Pentecost then next ensuing in a whole year. And for this grant, the king by the assent of the prelates, earls, barons, and all others assembled in parliament, hath granted, that from the feast of Pentecost, that cometh in a year, he nor his heirs shall not demand, assess, nor take, nor suffer to be taken more custom of a sack of wool of any Englishman, but half a mark of custom only; and upon the woolfells and leather the old custom; and the sack ought to contain twenty-six stones, and every stone fourteen pounds. * * * And this establishment lawfully, to be holden and kept, the king hath promised in the presence of the prelates, earls, barons, and others in his parlia-

ment, no more to charge, set, or assess, upon the custom, but in the manner as afore is said. In the same manner the prelates, earls, and barons have promised lawfully, as much as in them is, that they shall procure the king, as much as they may, to hold the same; and that they shall in no wise assent to the contrary, if it be not by assent of the prelates, earls, barons, and commons of the realm, and that in full parliament. And for the more greater surety, and to give cause to all to eschew to counsel to the contrary of this point established, the prelates have promised to give sentence upon all them that come against the same in any point.

59. Unauthorized Charges and Taxes Abolished

(April, 1340. Second statute of 14 Edward III. French text and translation, 1 S. R. 289. 2 Stubbs, 402.)

EDWARD, by the grace of God, king of England and of France, and lord of Ireland, to all to whom these letters shall come, Greeting.

1. Know ye, that whereas the prelates, earls, barons, and commons of our realm of England, in our present parliament holden at Westminster the Wednesday next after the Sunday of Middle Lent, the fourteenth year of our reign of England, and the first of France, have granted to us of their good gree and good will, in aid of the speed of our great business which we have to do, as well on this side the sea as beyond, the ninth sheaf, the ninth fleece, and the ninth lamb, to be taken by two years next coming after the making of the same, and the citizens of cities and the burgesses of boroughs, the very ninth part of all their goods; and the foreign merchants, and others which live not of tillage, nor of store of sheep, the fifteenth of their goods lawfully to the value: we, willing to provide for the indemnity of the said prelates, earls, barons, and others of the commonalty, and also of the citizens, burgesses, and merchants aforesaid, will and grant for us and our heirs, to the same prelates, earls, barons and commons, citizens, burgesses and merchants, that the same grant which is so chargeable, shall not another time be had forth in example, nor fall to their prejudice in time to come, nor that they be from henceforth charged nor grieved to make common aid, or to sustain charge, if it be not by the common assent of

the prelates, earls, barons, and other great men, and commons of our said realm of England, and that in the parliament; and that all the profits rising from the said aid, and of the wards and marriages, customs and escheats, and other profits rising of the said realm of England, shall be put and spent upon the maintenance of the safeguard of our said realm of England, and of our wars in Scotland, France, and Gascony, and in no places elsewhere during the said wars.


60. England not to be Subject to the King as King of France

(April, 1340. Third statute of 14 Edward III. French text and translation, 1 S. R. 292. 2 Stubbs, 402.)

THE king to all to whom these letters shall come, Greeting: Know ye, that whereas some people do think, that by reason that the realm of France is devolved to us as right heir of the same, and forasmuch as we be king of France, our realm of England should be put in subjection of the king and of the realm of France in time to come; we, * * * will and grant and establish for us, and for our heirs and successors, by assent of the prelates, earls, barons, and commons * * * that * * * our said realm of England, nor the people of the same, of what estate or condition they be, shall not in any time to come be put into subjection nor in obeisance of us, nor of our heirs nor successors as kings of France; * * *

61. Inquiry into Accounts

( May, 1341. French text, 2 R. P. 128, 130. Translation by Editors. 2 Stubbs, 409.)

12. ITEM, the great men and commons of the land pray, for the common profit of the king and of themselves, that certain persons be deputed by commission to audit the accounts of all those who have received the wool of our said lord, or other aids granted to him; and also of those who have received and paid out his money, as well beyond the seas as in the realm from

the commencement of his war until now; and that the rolls and other remembrances, obligations, and other things made abroad be delivered into the chancery, to be enrolled and recorded, just as was wont to be done heretofore.

38. Item, as to the second article, that is to say, of auditing accounts of those who have received the wool of the king, and other aids, etc. It is the king's pleasure that this be done by good men deputed for the purpose, with the addition that the treasurer and the chief baron be of the number: and that it be done concerning this as it was heretofore ordained; and that the lords be chosen in this parliament. And also that all rolls, remembrances, and obligations made beyond the sea, be delivered into the chancery.

62. An Act to secure the Rights of Peers and Others, and to secure the Responsibility of the King's Ministers

(May, 1341. French text and translation, 1 S. R. 295. 2 Stubbs, 409.)

* ********

1. FIRST, it is accorded and assented, that the franchise of holy Church, and the Great Charter, and the Charter of the Forest, and the other statutes made by our sovereign lord the king and his progenitors, peers, and the commons of the land, for the common profit of the people, be firmly kept and maintained in all points. And if anything be from henceforth made against the Great Charter, and the Charter of the Forest it shall be declared in the next parliament, and by the peers of the realm it shall be duly redressed. And if any, of what condition he be, do any thing to the contrary, he shall stand to the judgment of the peers in the next parliament, and so from parliament to parliament, as well of franchises used, as of them which shall be now granted; and that the franchises granted by our sovereign lord the king, or his progenitors, to holy Church, to the peers of the land, to the city of London and to other cities and boroughs, and to them of the five ports, and to the commons of the land, and all their franchises and free customs shall be maintained in all points, without any thing doing to the contrary. And that the writs demanded to have allowance of charters, of franchises and customs, charters of pardons, of debts, and of all other things

granted by the king, and by his progenitors before this time, be freely granted without disturbance before all manner justices, or other ministers where it needeth to have allowance, and they shall be made quit at the exchequer, or elsewhere.

2. Item, whereas before this time the peers of the land have been arrested and imprisoned, and their temporalties, lands and tenements, goods and chattels, asseised in the king's hands, and some put to death without judgment of their peers: it is accorded and assented that no peer of the land, officer or other, because of his office, nor of things touching his office, nor by other cause shall be brought in judgment to lose his temporalties, lands, tenements, goods and chattels, nor to be arrested, nor imprisoned, outlawed, exiled, nor forejudged, nor put to answer, nor to be judged, but by award of the said peers in the parliament. Saving always to our sovereign lord the king, and his heirs in other cases the laws rightfully used, and by due process, and saved also the suit of the parties. And if perchance any peer will, of his agreement, elsewhere answer or be judged, but in the parliament, that the same shall not turn in prejudice of the other peers, nor of himself in any other case; except if any of the peers be sheriff or fermer of fee, or hath been officer, or hath received money, or other chattels of the king, because of which office or receipt he is bound to account, that the same shall account by himself or by his attorney in places accustomed; so that the pardons before this time made in the parliament, shall stand in their force.

3. Item, because that the points of the Great Charter be blemished in divers manners, and less well holden than they ought to be, to the great peril and slander of the king, and damage of his people especially inasmuch as clerks, peers of the land, and other free men be arrested and imprisoned, and ousted of their goods and chattels, who were not appealed nor endited, nor suit of the party against them affirmed: it is accorded and assented, that from henceforth such things shall not be done. And if any minister of the king, or other person, of what condition he be, do or come against any point of the Great Charter, or other statutes, or the laws of the land, he shall answer in the parliament, as well at the king's suit, as at the suit of the party, where no remedy nor punishment was ordained before this time, as far forth where it was done by commission or commandment of the king, as of his own authority, notwithstanding the ordinance made before this time at Northampton, which by assent of the king, the prelates, earls, barons, and the commonalty of the

land, in this present parliament is repealed and utterly annulled. And that the chancellor, treasurer, barons, and chancellor of the exchequer, the justices of the one bench and of the other, justices assigned in the country, steward and chamberlain of the king's house, keeper of the privy seal, treasurer of the wardrobe, controllers, and they that be chief deputed to abide nigh the king's son duke of Cornwall, shall be now sworn in this parliament, and so from henceforth at all times that they shall be put in office, to keep and maintain the privileges and franchises of holy Church, and the points of the Great Charter, and the Charter of the Forest, and all other statutes, without breaking any point.

4. Item, it is assented, that if any of the officers aforesaid, or controllers, or chief clerk in the common bench, or in the king's bench, by death or by other cause be ousted of his office, that our sovereign lord the king, by the accord of the great men, which shall be found most nighest in the country, which he shall take towards him, and by the good counsel which he shall have about him, shall put another convenient in the said office; who shall be sworn after the form aforesaid. And that in every parliament, at the third day of the same parliament, the king shall take in his hands the offices of all the ministers aforesaid, and so shall they abide four or five days; except the offices of justices of the one place or the other, justices assigned, barons of the exchequer; so always that they and all other ministers be put to answer to every complaint; and if default be found in any of the said ministers, by complaint or other manner, and of that he be attainted in parliament, he shall be punished by judgment of the peers, and put out of his office, and another convenient put in his place. And upon the same our sovereign lord the king shall do to be pronounced and made execution without delay according to the judgment of the said peers in the parliament.

63. Revocation of the Preceding Statute

(October, 1341. Latin text and translation, 1 S. R. 297. 2 Stubbs, 410.)

THE king to the sheriff of Lincoln, Greeting. Whereas at our parliament summoned at Westminster in the quinzime of Easter last past, certain articles expressly contrary to the laws and customs of our realm of England, and to our prerogatives and

rights royal were pretended to be granted by us by the manner of a statute; we, considering how that by the bond of our oath we be tied to the observance and defence of such laws, customs, rights, and prerogatives, and providently willing to revoke and call again such things to a due state, which be so improvidently done, upon conference and treatise thereupon had with the earls, barons, and other wise men of our said realm, and because we never consented to the making of the said pretended statute, but as then it behoved us, we dissimulated in the premises, protests being before made for the revoking of the said statute, if indeed it should proceed, to eschew the dangers which by the denying of the same we feared to come, forasmuch as the said parliament otherwise had been, without dispatching anything, in discord dissolved, and so our earnest business had likely been ruinated, which God prohibit, and the said pretended statute we permitted then to be sealed: it seemed to the said earls, barons, and other wise men, that since the said statute did not of our free will proceed, the same should be void, and ought not to have the name nor strength of a statute; and therefore by their counsel and assent we have decreed the said statute to be void, and the same, in so far as it proceeded of deed, we have agreed to be annulled; willing nevertheless, that the articles contained in the said pretended statute which by other of our statutes, or of our progenitors kings of England, have been approved, shall, according to the form of the said statutes in every point, as convenient is, be observed; and the same we do, only to the conservation and reintegration of the rights of our crown, as we be bound, and not that we should in any wise grieve or oppress our subjects, whom we desire to rule by lenity and gentleness. And therefore we do command thee, that all these things thou cause to be openly proclaimed in such places within thy bailiwick where thou shall see expedient. Witness myself at Westminster the first day of October, the fifteenth year of our reign.

By the king himself and his council.

64. An Act regulating the Coinage

(May, 1343. French text and translation, 1 S. R. 299. 2 Stubbs, 413.)

ITEM, it is accorded to make money of good sterling in England of the weight and alloy of the ancient sterling, which shall be current in England between the great men and commons

of the land, and the which shall not be carried out of the realm of England in any manner, nor for any cause whatsoever; and in case that the Flemings will make good money of silver groats or other, according in alloy with good sterling, that such money shall be current in England between merchant and merchant, and others who of their own accord will receive the same; so that no silver be carried out of the realm.

65. Attempts to Tax though the Merchants resisted

(May, 1343. French text, 2 R. P. 140. Translation by Editors. 2 Stubbs, 412.)

28. ITEM, that the maletote of wool remain at half a mark as was used in the time of the king's progenitors and as it was granted by statute during the king's own reign. And seeing that the merchants of themselves have granted, without the assent of the commons, a subsidy of forty shillings on each sack of wool besides the lawful maletote of half a mark, you will, if it is your pleasure, have regard that it is all to the charge and to the mischief of your commons. Wherefore, if it is your pleasure, you will not suffer this mischief, but you will rather amend it at this parliament, for it is against reason, that the commons should be charged of their goods by the merchants.

The intent of our lord the king is not to charge the commons with the subsidy which the merchants have granted him, nor may it be regarded as a charge on the commons. Particularly inasmuch as the commons have put a certain price upon the wool throughout the counties; which price the king wills to continue, and that within this price no wool shall be bought upon forfeiture of the same wool in the hands of the merchants who purchased the same.

66. Grant of a Subsidy for Two Years

(June, 1344. French text and translation, 1 S. R. 300. 2 Stubbs, 414.)

IT is to be remembered, that at the parliament holden at Westminster, the Monday next after the utas of the Holy Trinity, the year of reign of our sovereign lord the king that now is of

England the eighteenth and of France the fifth, among other things many things were showed in full parliament, which were attempted by the party adversary to our sovereign lord the king, of France, against the truce lately taken in Britain, betwixt our said sovereign lord the king and his said adversary; and how that his said adversary enforceth himself as much as he may, to destroy our said sovereign lord the king, and his allies, subjects, lands, and places, and the tongue of England; and that was prayed by our said sovereign lord the king of the prelates, great men and commons, that they would give him such counsel and aid, as should be expedient in so great necessity: And the said prelates, great men and commons, taking good deliberation and advice, and openly seeing the subversion of the land of England, and the king's great business, which God defend, if hasty remedy be not provided, have counselled jointly and severally, and prayed with great instance our sovereign lord the king, that he would make him as strong as he might to pass the sea, in assurance of the aid of God and of his good quarrel, effectually this time to make an end of his wars, or by way of peace or else by force; and that nor for letters, words, nor fair promises, he shall let his passage, till he see the effect of his business; and for this cause the said great men do grant, to pass and to adventure them with him. And the said commons do grant to him, for the same cause upon a certain form two fifteenths of the commonalty, and two tenths of the cities and boroughs, to be levied in manner as the last fifteenth granted to him was levied, and not in other manner; and to be paid by two years, at the feasts of All Saints, and of Easter next following, for the first year; and in case that our sovereign lord the king doth pass the sea, to pay at the same terms a fifteenth and a tenth of the second year, and not in other manner; so that the money levied of the same, be dispended in the business showed to them in this parliament, by the advice of the great men thereto assigned, and that the aids beyond Trent, be put in defence of the North. And our said sovereign lord the king, for this cause, and in the ease of the said commons, and of all his faithful subjects of England, by the assent of the prelates, great men, and commons, hath granted of his good grace these things underwritten:

67. A Grant of the Clergy for Three Years

(July, 1344. Latin text and translation, 1 S. R. 302. 2 Stubbs, 414.)


FIRST, whereas many things have been attempted, by the party our adversary of France, against the truce late taken in Britain, betwixt us and him, and how that he enforceth himself, as much as he may, to destroy us, and our allies, subjects, lands, and places, and the tongue of England: And thereupon we prayed the prelates, great men, and commons, that they should give us such counsel and aid as there should be need of in so great extremity and the said prelates, great men and commons, having thereof good deliberation and advice, and seeing openly the subversion of the land of England, and of our great business, which God defend, if speedy remedy be not provided; have counselled jointly and severally, and with great instance prayed us, that in assurance of the aid of God, and our good quarrel we should make us as strong by all the good means that we might, at this time to finish our wars; and that for letters, words, nor fair promises, we should not let our passage, till we did see the effect of our business: and for this cause, the great men aforesaid granted to pass, and to adventure themselves with us; and the said prelates and procurators of the clergy, have granted to us for the same cause, a triennial tenth, to be paid at certain days, that is to say, of the province of Canterbury, at the feasts of the Purification of our Lady, and of Saint Barnabas the apostle: and of the province of York, at the feasts of Saint Luke, and the Nativity of Saint John Baptist. And we for this cause, in maintenance of the estate of holy Church, and in ease of the said prelates, and all the clergy of England, by assent of the great men, and of the commons, do grant of our good grace the things underwritten; that is to say, that no archbishop nor bishop shall be impeached before our justices because of crime, unless we especially do command them, till another remedy be thereof ordained.

68. Grant on Conditions

(April, 1348. French text, 2 S. P. 200. Translation by Editors. 2 Stubbs, 417, 606.)

4. * * * NEVERTHELESS, provided that the aid now granted by the said commons be in no manner turned into wool neither by loan, nor by valuation, nor in other manner be levied nor more hastily, than in the form in which it be granted, and that in the meantime the circuits of the justices, as well of the forest as of common pleas and general inquisitions, cease throughout the land; that the aid be levied, and that the subsidy granted of forty shillings on each sack of wool cease at the end of three years, which will be now at Michaelmas next coming, and that henceforth no such grant be made by the merchants, inasmuch as it is only to the grievance and charge of the commons, and not of the merchants who buy the wool at so much the less. And also, that henceforth no imposition, Ullage, nor charge by loan, nor of any other sort whatsoever, be put by the privy council of our lord the king without their grant and assent in parliament: and also, that two prelates, two lords, and two justices in this present parliament be assigned to hear and examine all the petitions previously put forward in the last parliament by the commons which have not yet been answered; and with them the petitions now set forth, in the presence of four or six of the commons chosen by them for this special purpose, so that the said petitions be answered reasonably in the present parliament, and of those which have been previously answered in full, that the answers be in force without change. And also that the merchants who have evilly deceived our lord the king, and have been extortionate toward his people in the matter of the twenty thousand sacks of wool of loan granted by the commons to our said lord, be put to answer before the justices having power to hear and determine throughout the counties of England, and that no release nor charter of pardon be allowed them. And that the said justices make inquisition of the false money which ruins the people. And that David Bruce, William Douglas and the other chieftains of Scotland be in no manner released neither for ransom nor on parole. And also that our lord the king restore to the commons the twenty thousand sacks of wool in time past taken from the commons by loan and that the aid for the marrying of the daughter of our

lord the king cease in the meantime. And that there be no Marshalsea in England, save the Marshalsea of our lord the king, or of the guardian of England when our lord the king shall be out of England, upon these conditions above named and not otherwise. And also, provided that the said conditions be entered on the roll of parliament as a matter of record, so that there can be remedy if anything to the contrary is attempted in time to come. Thus, the said poor commons, to their very great mischief, grant to our lord the king three fifteenths to be levied for three years commencing at Michaelmas next coming; so that each of the three years one fifteenth and no more be levied, at two terms of the year, at Michaelmas and at Easter, in equal portions. And that the said aid be assigned and kept solely for the war of our lord the king and in no manner for the payment of former debts. And also, if, by the grace of God, peace or long truce be made in the meantime, that the fifteenth for the last of the three years be not levied; but of that fifteenth the grant shall lose its force completely. And that letters patent of these conditions, and of the manner of this grant be made under the great seal to all the counties of England, without paying anything therefor. And that the said patents make mention of the great necessity of our lord the king, which has arisen since the last parliament. And also in case of war with Scotland that the aid granted north of the Trent be turned to the conduct of that war and in defense of that part of the country, as before this time has been done.

69. An Ordinance concerning Laborers and Servants

(June, 1349. Latin text and translation, 1 S. R. 307. 2 Stubbs, 420,

428, 4760

THE king to the sheriff of Kent, Greeting. Because a great part of the people, and especially of workmen and servants, late died of the pestilence, many seeing the necessity of masters, and great scarcity of servants, will not serve unless they may receive excessive wages, and some rather willing to beg in idleness, than by labor to get their living; we, considering the grievous incommodities, which of the lack especially of ploughmen and such laborers may hereafter come, have upon deliberation and treaty with the prelates and the nobles, and learned men assisting us, of their mutual counsel ordained:

1. That every man and woman of our realm of England, of what condition he be, free or bond, able in body, and within the age of three score years, not living in merchandise, nor exercising any craft, nor having of his own whereof he may live, nor proper land, about whose tillage he may himself occupy, and not serving any other, if he be required to serve in convenient service, his estate considered, he shall be bounden to serve him which shall so him require; and take only the wages, livery, meed, or salary, which were accustomed to be given in the places where he oweth to serve, the twentieth year of our reign of England, or five or six other common years next before. Provided always, that the lords be preferred before others in their bondmen or their land tenants, so in their service to be retained: so that nevertheless the said lords shall retain no more than be necessary for them; and if any such man or woman, being so required to serve, will not do the same, that proved by two true men before the sheriff, bailiff, lord, or constable of the town where the same shall happen to be done, he shall anon be taken by them, or any of them, and committed to the next jail, there to remain under strait keeping, till he find surety to serve in the form aforesaid. * ********

5. Item, that sadlers, skinners, whitetawers, cordwainers, tailors, smiths, carpenters, masons, tilers, boatmen, carters, and all other artificers and workmen, shall not take for their labor and workmanship above the same that was wont to be paid to such persons the said twentieth year, and other common years next before, as afore is said, in the place where they shall happen to work; and if any man take more, he shall be committed to the next jail, in manner as afore is said.

6. Item, that butchers, fishmongers, hostelers, brewers, bakers, pulters, and all other sellers of all manner of victual, shall be bound to sell the same victual for a reasonable price, having respect to the price that such victual be sold at in the places adjoining, so that the same sellers have moderate gains, and not excessive, reasonably to be required according to the distance of the place from whence the said victuals be carried; * * *

70. Statute of Laborers

(February, 1351. French text and translation, 1 S. R. 311. 2 Stubbs, 428, 476.)