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Sir Edward Coke, Selected Writings of Sir Edward Coke, vol. II [1606]

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Sir Edward Coke, The Selected Writings and Speeches of Sir Edward Coke, ed. Steve Sheppard (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2003). Vol. 2.

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About this Title:

Vol. 2 of a 3 vol. set of The Selected Writings. This volume contains Coke’s Speech at Norwich, excerpts from the small treatises, and excerpts from the 4 parts of the Institutes.

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The copyright to this edition, in both print and electronic forms, is held by Liberty Fund, Inc.

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This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.

Table of Contents:

Edition: current; Page: [i]
Edition: current; Page: [ii]
Edition: current; Page: [iii]
Volume Two
indianapolis, indiana
Edition: current; Page: [iv]

This book is published by Liberty Fund, Inc., a foundation established to encourage study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.

The cuneiform inscription that serves as our logo and as the design motif for our endpapers is the earliest-known written appearance of the word “freedom” (amagi ), or “liberty.” It is taken from a clay document written about 2300 b.c. in the Sumerian city-state of Lagash.

© 2003 Liberty Fund, Inc.

Frontispiece and cover art: volume I: Reproduced courtesy of the Right Honourable the Earl of Leicester and the Holkham Estate. volume II: Collection of the Editor. volume III: Corbis-Bettmann.

08 07 06 05 04 03 p 5 4 3 2 1

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Coke, Edward, Sir, 1552–1634.

[Selections. 2003] The selected writings and speeches of Sir Edward Coke edited by Steve Sheppard.

p. cm.

Includes bibliographical references and index.

isbn 0–86597–313-x (pbk.: alk. paper) 1. Law—England.

I. Sheppard, Steve, 1963-II. Title.

kd358.c65 2003

349.42’092—dc22 2003061935


0–86597–313-x volume I

0–86597–314–8 volume II

0–86597–441–1 volume III

0–86597–316–4 set

Liberty Fund, Inc. 8335 Allison Pointe Trail, Suite 300 Indianapolis, Indiana 46250–1684

Edition: current; Page: [v]

Contents to Volume II

II. Coke’s Speech and Charge at the Norwich Assizes
Preface 523
Coke’s Preface 525
Coke’s Charge 528
III. Excerpts from the Small Treatises
A. Book of Entries Preface 558
B. The Compleat Copyholder Section 33, on Customs 563
C. Little Treatise on Baile & Mainprize Conclusion, 29–31 569
IV. Institutes of the Lawes of England
A. The First Part of the Institutes; Coke upon Littleton
Preface Life and project of Sir Thomas Littleton, and some about the law; table of consanguinity 577
Sections 1–12, Fee Simple 591
Section 21, Fee Tail, part 2 681
Section 69, Tenant at Will, part 2 683
Section 80, Tenant by the Verge, part 3 684
Section 96, Escuage, part 2 685
Section 108, Knight’s Service, part 6 696
Section 138, Frankalmoin, part 5 700
Section 170, Tenure in Burgage, part 9 701
Section 199, Villenage, part 18 711
Section 342, Conditional Estates, part 17 723
Section 366, Conditional Estates, part 41 724
Section 372, Conditional Estates, part 47 731
Section 412, Descents, part 27 731
Section 464, Releases, part 20 734
Section 481, Releases, part 37 737
Section 723, Warranty, part 30 739
Section 728, Warranty, part 35 740
Epilogue 742
B. The Second Part of the Institutes
Prologue 746
Magna Carta (complete) 755
Merton, 20 Henry III (excerpts)
Preface 914
Chapter 9 Common Law, Parliament 916
Chapter 10 Suits 921
Chapter 11 924
Marlebridge, 52 Henry III Private disputes to be resolved by law
Preface 924
Westminster 1, 3 Edward I (excerpts) Preface History of statute 927
Glocester (excerpts) Preface History of statute 932
Westminster 2, 13 Edward I (excerpts) Preface History of statute 942
Westminster 3, 18 Edward I Preface Tenants may assign tenancies. 943
C. The Third Part of the Institutes
Table of Offenses 945
Preface 949
Chapter 1, High Treason 952
Chapter 2, Petit Treason 992
Chapter 3, Misprision of Treason 1028
Chapter 4, Conspiring to Kill the King 1029
Chapter 5, Heresy 1033
Chapter 6, Felonie by Conjuration, Witchcraft, Sorcery and Inchantment 1041
Chapter 62, Indictments 1048
D. The Fourth Part of the Institutes
Table of Courts 1054
Preface 1058
Chapter 1, Of the High and Most Honourable Court of Parliament 1062
Chapter 7, Of the Court of the Kings Bench 1166
Edition: current; Page: [viii] Edition: current; Page: [ix]

II: Coke’s Speech and Charge at the Norwich Assizes

Edition: current; Page: [521] Edition: current; Page: [522] Edition: current; Page: [523]

In 1606, Coke was sitting as justice in the Court of Assizes in Norwich. As was the custom, he charged the grand jury with the forms of crime it should consider in bringing indictments, but he particularly suggested the jurors should be concerned with official misconduct. The charge was recorded and published by Robert Pricket in London in 1607 under the title The Lord Coke His Speech and Charge. With a Discoverie of the Abuses and Corruption of Officers. Coke realized the charge was politically volatile, and it appears he was criticized at court, so, in the preface to his Seventh Part of the Reports, published in 1608, he repudiated the publication of the charge as misrepresenting his comments and being full of errors. See p. 164.—Ed.

(Preface, written by Robert Prickett)

To The Right Honourable the Earle of Exceter,

Knight of the most Honorable order of the Garter: and one of the Lordes of his Majesties most Honorable privie Counsel.

R. P. wisheth all encrease of Honor and endlesse happinesse.1

May it please your Hon. The observation which this world begets, may teach experience truly to report, that Love and Charity are for the most part growne so cold, even in the hotest Sun-shine of our Profession, as that despised Povertie, though addicted to the Religious exercise of endevors commendable, is in the best employment (which seemes with greatest Favor to smile upon his Hope) so coldly recompensed, as that pooreunpitieddejected miserable Povertie knowes neither Meanes nor Place how or where to warme it selfe.

Unhappie I, in this best time of greatest happines, who being as I am a Poore dispised, hated, scorned, and unrespected Souldier so unfortunate as no commended meanes, though many used, with confirmation both of love and Loyaltie, can bee of power from dispayres Gulfe, to raise a Spirit Edition: current; Page: [524] drowned, in worst of misery: but were I not indeered unto those by heaven made mine, who are indeed, to me, their life, more deare from whom there is no way to run, unlesse in me, selfe being be disolved, I would assuredly by heavens assistance in some honest War with use of Armes, give to my life so long as I should live, a living maintenance: but now Immured in my native home, unseperably Yoakt 2 with leane-fact povertie. I have experience to conclude that as it is most certaine Pax procreat Bellum,3 so is it no lesse true, that a confirmed Peace, Non amat Filios belli,4 untill she hath need of them.

In this estate not knowing how to mend my selfe, Religions Lawe shall make my resolution honest, & though Rerum conditionem mutare non possum,5 yet I will have power to say Hoc possum magnum sumere animam et viro forti dignum,6 with patience therefore shal my grieved thoughts joyfully be thrown upon my makers providence bywhose assistance I will still resolve with a constant Bosome to persist in the prosecution of commendeddeedes, for this I know Spes mea, Christo vivens, Est vivere ut semper vivam.7

And thus, my Honorable Lord, having breathed forth a sight unto the grace of your compassionate respect: I humbly craveyour Honorwill vouch-safe, to patronize in this little booke (by me collected) not my owne but the words of that reverend and learned Judge, the Lord Coke, who at his coming to Norwich, did at the Assises there upon the bench, deliver a charge so exelent as that it worthyly deserves to bee continued in perpetuall memorie, which being thus prodused to a publique view, I hope it shall unto our Publickeweale remaine a worthy presedent, wherein Romes champions may with shame decerne their long continued shamefull practices, Puritans & Sismatickes learne to knowe with what Injustice they disturbe the happinesse of our most happie peace, our Justices, inferior officers, Jurors, and Commons generally, may in this booke find out commended documents, and instructions profitable as wel directing how to govern as to be governed: all which particulars the learned Judge hath wisely handled with such plausible Edition: current; Page: [525] Oratorical wisedomes eloquence, as that when I heard him speake, I thought the Poet had just cause to say, Prospera lux orritur linguisque; animisque; favete: Nam dicenda bono sunt bona verba die.8 If therefore in this following worke my Memory hath given a true instruction to my pen, I hope my labour shalbe accounted profitable, when it administersapublique benefit.

Thus Right Hon., Earle, what I have herein performed, together with my most unworthy selfe, I humbly referre unto your Honoured wisedomes consideration, remaining as I will alwayes rest,

Your Honours in all humblenesse of Dutie.
R. P.

The Lord Coke, the Preface to his Charge given at the Assises houlden in Norwich, the fourth of August, 1606.

Because I perceive the time hath more swiftly passed then I did expect: my strife and labour with my selfe, hath bin in my selfe to abreviate what I purpose to speak. And though my speech shall principally bee directed to you of the Jurie, which are sworne: yet for that I know the scope and summe of my endevours are solely dedicated to Gods glory and my countries publicke benefit, I hope that all my words shall extend unto the generall good of all these here present; unto whom they are spoken. For I do purpose in my course, as it were with a finger to point out those growing and groning evils, which doe not only for the present time disturb & hurt our Publique Weale, but doe also strive, and that with a most dangerous force to deface, ruin, & utterly subvert the Honors of our auncient name, & our now Great Brittaines Monarchie. But before the substance of my intended speech receives his purposed begining, I think it not amisse first to begin with my selfe, and of my selfe to speake thus much.

There was a certaine young Romane, whose youth so directed his labours, with industrious care to attaine to knowledge by the reading and study of good letters, Edition: current; Page: [526] as that the Senat of Rome amongst themselves determined to make that yong man a Judge: thereby with honored reputation to recompence the travels of his youth, & to give encouragement unto other Romane Citizens by their good endevors to attain unto like estate & credit in the government of Romes Publique Weale.

It happened that shortly after the determination by the Consuls & Senat agreed upon, the yong man upon whom the place of a Judge should be conferred, comming unto the knowledge therof, fell presently into a deepe consideration with himselfe about the force & Office of that worthy place wherunto he should be called. And first considered that in his owne opinion, he was most unfit: sufficiently to execute the substantiall and somtimes dangerous (though most commended duties) properly belonging to so great a dignity. For this yong Roman having many Friends, Kinsfolkes, & Allies, some of them of such Rancke & Place, in the authority of government, as that their love or hate could not aptly draw unto it selfe a light or trivial respect (amongst whom) this young man thoght that comming to be a Judge; time might unhappely produce some such occation wherin his sentence, in the place of Judgement, might give distaste, procure enimies, loose Friends & gaine suspect of hatefull partialitie. From which corrupt & most impoysoned evill, thogh this yong Roman did never so much desire, to stand cleared, yet Judging amongst Friends, & Kinsfolks, he should assuredly (as he thought) by some detractors, be therof suspected.

The Romaine Cittizen having thus unto himselfe presented divers Obsticles and Objections, which could not in his owne sence receive sufficient contradiction, he resolved by no meanes to take upon him the place & person of a Judge: but did use all his Friendes and greatest power of meanes to perswade the Senate, to alter their determination concerning him and to bestow so great an Office on some other, that might more worthily deserve the same.

Whilest this young man continued in a discontented passion, with purpose to desire some good advice, he goeth unto a faithfull friend of his, whom he acquainted with what the Senate purposed, and how loath he was to undertake so high an Office as to be a Judge. His friend upon hearing the cause, presently concluded, that hee had great reason to shun the execution of such an Office, in the discharge where of, so much danger rested. For (said he) Cave ne sis Judex inter Amicos because inter Amicos Judicare1 Amongst friends to judge, is a thing nothing more dangerous. And therefore be constantly advised, that in any wise he should refuse Edition: current; Page: [527] such honor, though offered unto him: and rather be contented with a meane and privat life, then in such a place to be imployed; in which he should assuredly loose old friends, and get new enemies.

This yong man (though thus by his friend advised, and in himselfe resolved never to take upon him any such, as he accounted dangerous dignitie) yet when he understood, that the Senat would not be altered in their purpose, but that by them the place was decreed unto him, he then determined with himselfe, to trie the counsell of some other friend, whose Judgement and Experience might beare some generall note, in directing the high affaires to the State belonging. And in this purpose he went unto a certain Nobleman, whose prudent wisdome had oft bin used in businesse of most weighty consequence: unto whom, when he had laid open his mind, shewed his griefe, and signified the Senats pleasure. The noble Gentleman with pleasant, yet grave alacritie of spirit (seasoned with the soundnesse of a learned and understanding wisedome) did most powerfully advise, that this young man should cheerefully accept so worthy an Office, being so freely bestowed upon him. And that he should by no means seeme to neglect the gracious clemencie of supreme authoritie. Nor in any sort account it dangerous amongst friends to judge: for in the Office and execution of Judgement, he that is a Judge (Desinet esse Amicus 2) ceaseth to be a friend: for in the manner of judgement, no acquaintance, no griefes, no friends, no remembrance of fore-passed present, or hope of future friendship must direct the thoughts of him that is a Judge. All that on judgements seat is done, must be, because justice commaunds the doing thereof, and that with no other affection, but onely because it is just. And therefore said this Noble Gentleman unto his friend, arme thy selfe, in the constancie of a conscionably uprightnes, and be noe longer loath to execute the Honorable Office of a Judge, but in thy love to Romes Common-wealth, dedicate thy laboures to her publique benifit.

By the grave and sage advice of that Honored Lord, this yong man wasperswaded contrarie to his former purpose, with humble thankfulnes to accept that Office, which the Senate without any meanes of his, was pleased freelie to bestowe upon him: and yer genrallie made shew as if he ment the contrarie and soddainlie preparing a sumptuous Feast, unto which he envited all his Friends, Kinsfolke, and familiar acquintance, seeming that in regard he did rather choose to leave his Countrie, then to take upon him the Office of a Judge: he had provided a Edition: current; Page: [528] Banquet or Feast, to Banquet with his Friends before his departure: and in some solemne maner would take leave of them all. Who being, as they thought, to this end assembled: did sorrowfully expect the occasion of their griefe, by the departure of their friend, which when the yong man perceived, he spake thus unto them.

It is true that I purpose as I must, to take my leave of you all, and to be a stranger to my dearest friends, and nearest Allies: I must forget all former friendships, and my most familiar Acquaintance, I must accompt as greatest strangers unto me; Thus must I depart from you, & yet continue amongst you, for by the love, power & authoritie of the Senate, I am appointed to be a Judge, and in the seate of Justice, I must forget the remembrance of your former friendships and acquaintance, and onely in the person of a Judge, with respect tokeepemyconscience cleare, I must with equitie & uprightnes, justly administer justice unto you all. And this is my cause, by the love & favour of my greatest maister King James, in whose royall and gratious disposition I am, (Sinè precationeè, vel precatio,3 without price or request, freely called unto this great Office, by the favour of my King) Unto whose service, my life, and all I have is humbly bound, by him, and by his gratious Clemency, I am thus sent to bee a Judge amongst my Kinsfolkes and familiar friends, even in bosome of my native Country.

I must therefore as the young Romaine did, take leave of all former Acquaintance, & do that which is just unto all Estates and Degrees, without partialitie. Which dutie (by Gods permission and assistance) I will faithfully performe, so long as God and my King shall please: that in this place I be employed in the uprightnesse and equitie of Judgement, shall all my performance entirely consist. The contrarie whereof shall (as I hope) neither be desired nor expected. And thus much for my selfe.

¶ Here followeth the words of his Charge in Order.

As concerning the manner and Method of my charge, I will for order and memorie sake, extract or draw forth all that I purpose to speak, from five words in his Majesties Commission contained: the words are these; Quis, Quibus, Quid, Quomodo, and de Quibus.1 Quis, from whom the Commission commeth; Quibus, to whom it is directed; Quid, what it concerneth; Quomodo, Edition: current; Page: [529] how it ought to be executed; and de Quibus, of who, and of what causes, wee are to enquire by vertue of the Commission unto us graunted: and this last, De Quibus is of all the rest the greatest.

As touching the first word, Quis, whom, or from whom our Commission commeth, that is, from the Imperiall Majestie of Great Brittaines Monarchie, our dread Lord, and Soveraigne, King James, the lawfull Heyre unto our Kingdomes Throne: whose Princely Scepter is his proper owne, by a most royall and lineall discent. It is his Commission, by whose powerfull authoritie we are now and at all times commaunded to doe him service: for the awfull sway of his Soveraigne government doth, ought, and must injoyne all his subjects to a due subjection and obedience; for he is over us the Lords annointed, and in these his Realmes and Dominions, in all Causes, & over all Persons, as well Ecclesiasticall as Civile, next under Christ Jesus our supreame Governour. Unto his Highnesse then let our lives submission bend; let our faiths loyaltie dedicate it selfe unto his vertues praise: and for the long continuance of his Majesties most happie, powerfull, and victorious Rule, let all good subjects pray.

Now that I have spoken from whom our Commission commeth, the next word which doth direct my worke is, Quibus, To whom it is directed, that is, To us his Majesties Justices of Assise, to whome by vertue of the Kings Commission is given such power, as that in the administration of Justice wee doe represent the person of our King: So as if in the time of the Assises one shall strike another in the presence of the Judge, be it no more then a blow on the eare, the Law provideth, That the offendor shall loose his hand, wherewith hee gave the stroake, because the offence was done as in the presence of the Prince: For the Law hath so much care to protect the person of a Judge: As that if a Justice of Assise shall happen by any in his Circuit to be slaine, the Law adjudgeth it to bee Lese Crimen Majestatis,2 An offence done against the Majestie of the King, and is punishable, as in cause of Treason.

To shew the worthinesse of our Place and Office, you shall understand, that the Kings Majestie at his Coronation is sworne to doe Justice unto all his Subjects, which in his owne Person it is impossible to performe. And therfore his Highnesse is constrayned by his Ministers, Deputies, Justices, and Judges, to administer Justice unto all his people. Men therfore (in such place employed) Edition: current; Page: [530] ought with wonderous care, & conscionable diligence to discharge the trust in them reposed: for unto them, & into their hands, is (as it were) delivered the Kings owne Oath; because, what he is sworne unto, must be by them in his behalfe performed. See then the dignity of the Justices and Judges of Assizes, Assignavimus vos Justiciaries nostros. We have assigned you our Justices, and you may administer Justice unto our Subjects. Thus by the Kings Commission the Kings owne Oath is put into our hands: and at this instant (in the place and person of a Judge) my Soveraignes Oath into my hands is put: I (though his unworthie Subject) am by his gracious clemencie Authorized (as in his owne person) according to his owne Oath, to administer Justice unto you his Subjects: Which duty (by Gods assistance) as I have vowed, I will faithfully performe: For if any (with a Kings Oath trusted) shall be so vilde, as to falsifie their trust, such offence is more then Capitall.

The Place of a Judge then, the greater that it is, so much the more should their care be, to discharge the same, upon whom so weighty an Office and Honorable Authoritie is bestowed.

From whom our Commission commeth, and to whom it is directed, hath bin briefely specified: I will now proceed, and shew out of this word Quid, what is in the Commission contained. Briefely therefore, it is that bounded limit, in which solely doth consist the strength of our authoritie; beyondwhich compasse we are commaunded not to passe: For it appointeth unto us the Justices of Assises, what it is that wee must execute, as well in causes betwixt partie and partie, as also the King and partie depending. So as wee are not onely to heare, judge, and determine, such Causes of Controversie, as shall by Writ of Nisi prius 3 bee tryed, but also to examine, acquit, or condemne all such Prisoners, as shall for any offence against his Majestie bee brought before us, to receive their Tryall. So that by vertue of our Commission wee have authoritie, as in the person of our Soveraigne, to judge in causes, that doe concerne the life and death of the Subject.

That our Commission then is very Large, Ample, and Absolute, contayning in it selfe a powerfull Authoritie, may by your selves bee judged. And to the end, that Justice may by us receyve the more full sound and perfect Execution, Our Commission, when it hath largely described unto us what wee may doe therein, it then most sweetely doth Appoint, Limit, and Commaund. What Edition: current; Page: [531] manner of doing we must use in those thinges appointed to bee done, so that it dooth not onely give unto us authoritie, what to execute, but dooth also lay downe unto us the manner how our Authoritie must bee executed, and to the understanding here of, my next word Quomodo doth direct it selfe.

Wee then, the justices of Assises and Gaole Deliverie, are by his Majestie appointed to administer justice unto his Subjects; but Quomodo, how, not according to our owne Will, Conceit, or Opinion, but Secundum Legem & Consuetudinem Moduli Anglicani,4 According to the Lawe, Custome, and Manner of England: Which Lawe, Custome, and Manner must bee executed with Knowledge, judgement, understanding, and Equitie. For wee must know our selves, and Place wherein wee are: Wee must Knowe and understand each cause before us brought, and according to our Knowledge and understanding, wee must uprightly Judge, according to Equitie, without (in the least sort) beeing drawne, by respecting eyther Person or Profite, to beare a Partiall Hand in the Execution of Judgement.

Partialitie in a Judge, is a Turpitude, which doth soyle and stayne all the Actions done by him. A Judge that will bee Partiall, will receive a Bribe, and such an one cannot by any meanes bee just, in his manner of Judging. Brybes, and Partiall dealyng dooth defile the Puritie of Justice, with great suspected Evill: For a Judge, if but in some things he be knowne to take a Bribe, or be approved Partiall, he leaveth no one Action done by him, free from the like suspect. A Judge that for a Bribe will speake, and but once execute a Justice purchased, all his words & Actions for ever after may justly bee suspected, though never so uprightly done or spoken.

A Judge must uprightly, with an equall and indifferent eare and minde fully heare and understand each cause before hee judgeth; otherwise, it is not possible that justice should bee justly executed: And to judge in a point of difference, hearing but one partie speake, is assuredly to be unjust; for this sentence is directly true: Qui Judicat causam parte inaudita altera, Æquum licet, Statuat, Judex iniquus est:5 Who judgeth a cause for the one partie, not hearing the other, though what he doth, may stand to be upright, yet is the Judge unjust.

Edition: current; Page: [532]

Our auncient Fathers did in their Pictures and Emblemes of ten time senclose a very great and substantiall wisedome: Justice (as you know) useth ever to bee painted with a Sword in the one hand, and a paire of Scales or Ballance in the other; thereby signifying, That Justice never strikes her Stroke, till first the cause be weighed in the Ballance; her Blow comes not, until the weight of the Cause to be tried, hath by an upright hand equally received sufficent triall: for then she knoweth rightly how to strike her stroke and not before: when the glory of her dignity shall receive perfectious Honor, as wel by protecting the Good, as in punishing the Bad.

Mee thinkes, that oftentimes when I ryde by the way, I see the Effects of Justice rightlie resembled, when I behold a River with a silver currant, bounded in her equall course, with what just proportion shee doth disperse her streames, without bewraying any little rage of intemperate violence. But if the passage of that streame bee stopt; then how like a raging Sea, shee over-flowes her banckes: and that then by an unresisted force, the Meadowes, humble Vallies, weake and low growne Shrubs are drowned up; enduring a recure-lessewracke, whilest Hilles & Mountaines stand safe from feare of harme. Even so it fareth with us: The equall course of Justice being stayed, the poore & meaner sort of people they are overwhelmed with wrongs oppression, whilest great and wealthy men, like Hilles and Mountaines, buyld their Stations sure, being freed from any cause of griefe: Justice with-held, only the poorer sort are those that smart for it.

Justice unto all estates doth measure an even proportion to rich and poore, her met-wand keepes an equall length, being sealed with the testimonie of an upright conscience. To Kings, Rulers, Judges, and Magistrates, this sentence is proper: Vos Dii estis;6 you are Gods on earth: when by your execution of Justice and Judgement, the God of heaven is by your actions represented: but if by us, that so are called Gods, Justice and Judgement be perverted; it will be heavy for our soules, when we shall dye like men.

Briefly, the office of a Judge, is patiently to heare each party speake soberly; to answere or object, directly; to see (as neere as may bee possible) each truth substantially prooved: And then to Judge with an upright heart according to Justice and Equitie: Never in any one thing preferring Conclusion, before a conscionable, wise, and judiciall Consideration. In which uprightnesse, the Edition: current; Page: [533] execution of Justice used by the Right Honourable (my most worthie Predecessor) in this place shall be an Example, which I will desire to follow.

Of all the Morall vertues, Justice (Queene like) is enthroned: for unto her onely is a Throne ascribed, because her Execution doth neerest represent Heavens eternall Deitie. Justice and Mercie are inseparable Vertues; Mercie and Judgement, as it was Righteous King Davids, and lately our good Queenes, heavenly Elizabeth: so it is nowe vertuous King James his Song, in whose princely breast Mercie and Judgement are most gloriously united. And to the end, that I his Subject, and in his place his Substitute, and you his Subjects may execute Justice as wee ought, I will nowe out of my last word, de Quibus, declare unto you, of whom, and of what Causes wee are to enquire, that Justice and Judgement may thereby receive a more cleare and powerfull Execution.

Those then of whome wee are in the first place to enquire, are such, by whome our King is most disobeyed, his State disturbed, and Kingdomes threatened: Whereof (if you consider) it will be evident, That all those growing and desperate attempting evils, by which, wee are most prowdly menaced and afflicted, doe principally proceed from three sorts of Recusants living amongst us. Of all which, the Popish Recusant is the most dangerous with our English Romanists will I therefore at the first begin, and in the discription of their Actions and practises, I doe desire that my wordes may bee entertained with your best Attention.

Our Worldes Admired Queene, Renowned Elizabeth, did (as you know) in the beginning of her Raigne, change the State of Religion in this Kingdome in her first Parlament, by the consent of her Lordes Spirituall and Temporall, being especially by the Lord of Heaven directed, Error, Popish blindnesse, and Faithlesse Constitutions grounded upon Humaine Traditions were extinct. And Religions Puritie according to the Law of Faith, was Reestablished, being built upon the unremoved foundation, of the alone Authenticke word Canonicall. The bookes of the old and newe Testament, from the trueth whereof, shee did alwayes direct the course of her so happie and Tryumphant Government.

Notwithstanding, the Change of Religon, it cannot bee denyed. That for the first tenne yeeres, of her Majesties Raigne, the estate of Romaine Catholique in England was Tollerable, though some were Committed in the beginning of her Comming to the Crowne, yet none but those whose precedent Actions, had caused the faith of their Allegience to remaine doubtfull, and so was the manner of their commitment mixed with such gratious Clemencie. As that they rather endured a favourable restraint, then any straight or rigorous imprisonment, Edition: current; Page: [534] But as well those so restrayned, as generally all the Papists in this Kingdome, not any of them did refuse to come to our Church, and yeeld their formall Obedience to the Lawes Established. And thus they all Continued, not any one refusing to Come to our Churches, during the first tenne yeeres of her Majesties government. And in the beginning of the eleventh yeere of her Raigne, Cornewallyes, Beddingfield and Silyarde were the first Recusants. They absolutely refusing to come to our Churches. And untill they in that sort began the name of Recusant, was never heard of amongst us.

In the beginning of the eleventh yeere, when three Recusants were onely in this Kingdome to bee found. In the same yeere, Pope Impius, though abusively surnamed Pius Quintus, his Hellishnes was informed by some of our English Jesuits, that such was the number of Romaine Catholiques here in England, as that if his Horriblenesse would denounce an Excommunication against the Queene there was in this Realme and Kingdome, a power Catholical which would presently upon an instant be in redinesse, to enter into open hostilitie with force sufficient to depose, and utterly to supplant her Highnes; and to reestablish the Romaine faith.

Pope Impius of that name the firste, upon the Information specified the better to sever his hope in his good meaning to this Kingdome, presently plotteth with the King of Spaine for a suddaine Invasion upon the present Excommunication of the Queene. And to this end one Robert Rodulphy a gentleman of Florence, was sent by the Pope, under colour of Marchandize, to sollicit a Rebellion amongst us. And gave order unto him for the receiving of one hundred and fiftie thousand Crownes, to set forward this Attempt. And Phillip King of Spaine, by the instance of the Pope, had determined to send the Duke of Alna into England, with all his forces in the Low Countries To Assist some great men amongst us, who were by the Pope Sollicited, to be the principall Agents in a most Rebellious enterprise, unto whome some of the one hundred and fiftie Thousand Crowns was delivered, and some other part sent into Scotland for the like effect.

Thus as you have heard even at the same time, when her Majesty the late Queene, delt most mercifully with the Papists, did the Pope with them conspire to worke her Ruyne, & this Kingdomes Overthrowe, secretly complaninghow on sodaine they might bring upon us Distructions, Spoyle, and generall Desolation, when our then Soveraigne that Queene of Vertue, knowing Shee had diserved no such evill, did not in the least sort suspect any such danger.

The Pope having as he thought surely Established the foundation of his Edition: current; Page: [535] hopes; Hee then Denounced the Excommunication against the Queene which was not unto her selfe made knowne, untill the intended Rebellion in the North brake forth, a little before Christmas, in the yeere 1569, being the twelfth yeere of her Highnesse Raigne. And then it was knowne, that the Pope had Excommunicated her Majestie. And thereby freed her Subjects as the Bull imported, from their Subjection and Obedience. But God was pleased that the Popes Bull was so Bayted, as that the Rebellion by it procured, was sodainly suppressed; For the Pope whose labour is to defend Lies, was himselfe deceived with a lie, for the strength of the Papists here not being such as hee was enformed, The true harted Protestants taking parte with their Soveraigne, did quickly Cutt the Throats of our English Romaines, dryving some of the heads of that Rebellion, unto a shamefull flight, and brought the rest by our Lawes Justice, to a shamefull death.

Her Majestie in the thirteenth yeere of her Raigne, having made the Law before specified, the very next yeere following, out Commeth Sanders Booke de Visibili Monarchya,7 wherein he plainely seteth downe how the Pope had sent one Morton and Web, two Priests before the said Rebellion to the Lords & Gentlemen in the North, to Excite them, with their followers, to take up Armes, signifying unto them the Popes Commandement: Alleadging, That her Majestie being excommunicated, Her Subjects were released from their Obedience. And therefore he doth Directly Justifie the sayd Commotion. Ascribing the evill successe thereof to the late publishing of the saide Excommunication. Because it was not generally knowne, untill the yeere after it was Denounced. When Felton had set it upon the Bishop of Londons gate. Affyrming that if it had bin published the yeere before, or when the Rebells were in Armes, they had assuredly prevailed against the Queene, and executed the saide Sentence at the same time, for her deposinge from the Crowne.

Thus Trayterously with more then Brazen Insolence, did that Traytor Sanders spitt out his poysoned venim. Thereby desiring to Corrupt the hearts of her highnes Subjects, and to make them fit for a newe Rebellion, which course by him taken, was Immitated by Parsons, & many others to the like effect. Who ceased not by there Hereticall and Lying Pamphlits, with most Trayterous impudencie, to abuse her Majestie and the State. And not thus contented, in the yeere one thousand five hundred seventie and nine, Stukely assisted by Edition: current; Page: [536] Sanders, and other Catholiques, both English, Irish, and Italian, with the Popes Commission, entred into Ireland. The Pope himselfe, in the furtherance of that Course sending thither certaine forces upon his owne Charge, Whilest all that time, her Majestie that Queene of mercie was so farre frombeingmoved, as that with Patience, shee endured all these Injuries, onely inforcing that one Lawe, which as you have heard, shee most Justly made against them.

Whilest Ireland by the Popes procurement remained in Combustion. It happened that, Pius Quintus dyed, and Gregorie the thirteenth succeeded in his place, who presently Reneweth his Predecessors former Bull, and denounced her Majestie to bee Excommunicated, with Intimation of all other particulers in the former Bull mentioned, which done, there was by him sent over into England. Campion and Parsons, they came unto us in the yeere one thousand five hundred and eightie, their comming was to Alienate the hearts of her Majesties Subjects, from their due obedience. And to make a partie strong to depose the Queene, Joyning with the Pope, and King of Spaine, by whome there was then an intended preparation against us. But the Attempts and practises of them both at that instant fayling in England. The Pope as a Temporall Prince, displayeth his Banner in Ireland, with purpose to deprive her Highnes. First from that Kingdome, and then by degrees to depose her from this. Notwithstanding so mild was the proceedings of her Majestie against them, as that there were in the space of Tenne yeers, not much above twelve persons, that were by the Justice of her Lawes adjudged to die, and the most of them Semenaries, and all of them Convicted in causes of Treason.

Her Majestie when shee heard of the second Excommunication, and had seene what followed in her Kingdome upon the first. Shee was then in all Christian Pollecie enjoyned to prevent the successe of dangers imminent. Her Highnesse therefore, in the yeere one thousand five hundred eightie and one, caused a Proclamation to bee made for the calling home of her Subjects from beyond the Seas, such especially as were Trayned up in the Seminaries, perceiving that they learned nothing there but disloyaltie, & Treason. And presently after this her Proclamation, shee called a Parliament, wherein a Lawe was agreeable in effect to the sayd Proclamation, enforced with a penaltie of death, for any Jesuite or Seminary Priest, to repayre into England, and for any to receive or intertaine them, shee would willingly that those of such profession, should keep themselves without the Limits of her Kingdome.

But if against her will, they would come into her Land to sow the seed of Sedition, and Rebellion amongst her Subjects, and to lay, their plots how to Edition: current; Page: [537] supprize her life, and to make a way for Forraigne Enemies with bloodiehandes to enter uppon her Dominions. And by Hostill Invasion to bring her Kingdomes to distruction, and to expose her people unto the Slaverie of a servile yoake, What shoulde her Majestie lesse have done in the prevention of such a Lamentable evill, but to hang up them that were the principall Actors in so bloodie and Tragecall a Tyranny.

From the yeere eighty one, to eightie eight, her Majestie was not free from Continual Traiterous and Rebellious practises, desperately attempted against her life, or intended subvertion of her Kingdome. First the Popes forces being over-throwne in Ireland, the Pope and King of Spaine, presently joyned with the Duke of Guise, for the executing of a most desperate disignment against her Majestie. Arden and Someruilde, would have layd vyolent handes upon her sacred person. Doctor Parrie, intended the like villanie. Northumberland revolted from his Obedience. Mendoza the Jesuite, and others of that Crue or Sect, appointed by the Pope to order and Mannage these develish designments.

In the yeare eightie, to forerunne the purposed Spanish Invasion, against which time Campion, Parsons, Haywoode, and all the Jesuites and Seminaries, had so besturred themselves. There is certaine bookes printed beyond the Seas, sent hither into England, thereby to prepare the hearts of our people, to Joyne with Spaine, and to take up armes against their Soveraigne, with perswasions grounded upon this position. Viz. That in all warres which may happen for Religion: every Catholike man is joyned in conscience to imploy his person and forces by the Popes direction, that is, how far, when, where, & how either at home or abroad, he may and must breake with his temporall Soveraigne, and that upon paine of deadly sinne. Upon a foundation so diabolical: What fruits other then devillish can be expected? And yet, do but further note how damnable a spirit is in their bookes and writings bewrayed.

All the Papists in this kingdome, were most violently perswaded, that upon the Spanish invasion, they should all joyne their greatest force with Spaine. It was in them accounted an error of conscience, want of courage, and effeminate dastardie, that they had suffered her Majestie almost thirtie yeares to raigne over them. They were threatned with Excommunication, and utter ruine, both of themselves and their posteritie, if they did any longer obey and defend, or acknowledge her highnes to be their Queene or superior, and did not foorthwith joyne their forces to the Spaniards. And to the end, that this most godlesse, trayterous, inhumane and unnaturall appointment, by subjects to their lawfull annointed Soveraigne, and native countrey, might receive the Edition: current; Page: [538] better acceptance; There was used a most insinuating, though faithlesse manner of perswasion, guilded over with a seeming shew of Holinesse: (For thus, our English Romane Catholikes were promised) That in the king of Spaines armie, there were diverse Priests readie to serve everie mans spirituallnecessitie, by confession, counsell, and all consolation in Christ Jesus, and that they should be so assisted by the blessed patrons, both in heaven, and in earth, with the gard of all Gods holy Angels, with our blessed Saviour in the soveraigne Sacrament, and with the dailye, most holy Oblation of Christs owne deare body and bloud. As that it could not fall out otherwise, but that they should assuredly prevaile: Herby may the world perceive in what Angelike manner of brightnesse Popish doctrine can suite treasons damnable, even as blacke as hell.

You have heard what preparation was provided by the Pope and Papists, for the furtherance of Spaines intended invasion, we will now proceed to matter of action. And but call to our remembrance (that ever to bee remembred) powerfull worke of God: for our deliverance in the yeare 88. The king of Spanes Armado, that admirable, and warlike navie, so well furnished with valiant souldiers, and all munition fit for warre, when suddenly we were in danger by a Potent enemie to be surprised, when her late Majesties Royall Navie, was scarily put foorth to sea. And the best ships of strength not fully furnished with shot and powder, as was necessarie in so weightie a businesse: yet to the never dying glory of a maiden Queene, such was her princely power, although at sea but in part unprovided, as that by the love and grace of heavens eternall providence, her Majestie by a most noble Battell at sea, even in the presence of her kingdoms Territories, did utterly disperse and overthrow, that surnamed invincible Spanish navie, so that not any Spaniards floate, (unlesse brought captive could arrive) upon her Englands shoare. Nor but verie few of their so much admired fleete of shippes, returned to their native home. Thus did God on Queene Elizabeth bestow a glorious victorie, even in the despite of Pope, Papist, trayterous Jesuits, Seminaries, Monkes, Friers, and all the rablement of that Antichristian Sec.

The power of Spaine, was brought against us, by the procurement of our English Papists, and what recompence was intended for them, in the charitie of their catholike profession may appeare, by that which the Duke of Medina Sidonia affirmed, which was, That both Catholickes and Heretikes that came in his way, should be all one to him, his sword could not discerne them, so he might make way for his master, all was one to him. Thus did Papists, as still they doe, desire to worke our downefall in the certaintie of their owne destruction.

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God having shewed his love to our late Queene and kingdome, by that wonderfull deliverance before described: The Pope to further his accustomed indevours, practised with Spaine, about a new invasion, and the better to bring his purpose to passe: Parsons, that auncient Jesuite, and most notorioustraytor, under the Pope, chiefe governour of all the Jesuits, (principall enemiesto Jesus,) was placed in the Spanish Court, by whose perswasion there was a new Seminarte erected at Valedolyde, from whence in three yeares, there was sent thirteene priests into England, to prepare a passage for the new intended invasion. Whereupon in the yeare 1591. a Proclamation went forth for the apprehending of all such Priests or Seminaries, as should come from Spaine. Because their intention was knowne unto the State here. But to the end the Divell (the Pope I should say) might want no instrument for the effecting of murthers, treasons, and rebellions, by Parsons procurement, more Seminaries were erected in Spaine, (and England still troubled with Romes trayterous disciples. But the new invasion being twise set on foote, God did so warre against their purposes, as that their prepared Navie was at sea, dispersed by stormes, so as most of them endured shipwracke.

That expectation failing, then was the Infant of Spaine intituled to the Crowne of England: (and to that end, sundry bookes divulged) Queene Elizabeth was by them accounted a tyrant: more tyrannicall then Nero, Decius, Dioclesion, Maxentius, or any the greatest persecutors of the Christians: Not thus contented, from the yeare 88. to the yeare 99. therewerecontinualtreasons practised against the Royall person of her late Majestie, Patricke, Collen, Lopez, Torke, Williams, Squire, all attempting to murther her Highnesse.

All these attempts, plots, projects, & trayterous stratagems, taking no effect. Then was there from the Pope a new Bull sent, wherby the Papists were commaunded to use a formall maner of obedience, until they might grow to be a strength sufficiently strong to depose the Queene. Which expectation once accomplished, then had they power by the said Bull to take up armes against her. Thus they never left continuall practising, untill a little before her Majesties death: about which time, by some of the principall Agents, in the last most horrible treason, there was complotted another Spanish invasion: For the accomplishing wherof, the yonger Winter was a messenger unto the King of Spaine, and Gujdo Fawkes unto the Pope, and a third was imployed to the Archduke.

The King of Spaine at that time beeing our enemie, entertained Winters motion, with most kinde acceptance, protesting that the English Catholiks should bee as deare unto him, as his home-borne Castillians, and in love to Edition: current; Page: [540] the intended businesse, vowed in the word of a King to defend their safety, (all which, as souldiers say, with pollicie in warre he might do) beeing then our enemy. But it is a matter cleane out of my Element, and therefore I will dispute no further about it: But the Counsell of Spaine holding a conference about the mannaging of the plot by Winter layd. It was objected that there would be want of horse for such a businesse. Whereupon Winter undertaketh to furnish them with a certaine number, and receiveth gold to that end. At last the purposed designement being embraced with a generall consent, a souldier standing by, being some Commander, a Captaine, or such like, ruffles out this souldier like Latine, Nunc temptus pro nobis erit aliquid obtinere: [Now shall it be time for us to get something]. But in the middest of this intended preparation, it happened, that her Majestie Royall, and most gracious Elizabeth died: And our now Imperiall Soveraigne King James, did both inherite her kingdomes and her vertues.

His Majestie beeing with peace established in his royall seate, the king of Spaine would no longer embrace his former purposed appointment: Nor would consent, that any thing should against a king be plotted, with whom he never had warre: Nor by whom he never received any injurie. So as our Papists were in that behalfe dismissed of their expected hope: and enforced to seeke out some other meanes; and now I will betray a secret (I am sure not generally knowne.) In the discourse whereof I doe desire attention.

Pope Clement the ninth, who was accounted the last best of many Popes, (all notwithanding being naught.) He understanding Spaines purpose, as before is specified, concerning an invasion, supposing that the Queene might die before that businesse tooke effect: And foreseeing unto whom thesekingdomes should of right descend, sent secretly a Bull into England, which was so closely concealed, amongst our Papistes here, as that her Majestie in her life time knewe not thereof. (For if she had) I am sure, that by reason of mine employment neare unto her: I should have heard if she had knowne any such thing. But assuredly both her selfe, and the State, were ignorant thereof.

But now this Bull being brought to light (which my selfe have seen & read) it importeth thus much quando contingeret illam miserimam Elizabetham mortuam esse.8 That when that miserable wench Elizabeth should happen to dye, Tunc nos volumus.9 Then we will, that all and every of you, do use your best Edition: current; Page: [541] & uttermost endevors quo basunque modes et vis10 by what strength or meanes so ever to keepe out the Scottish Hereticke, that in any wise he may not be admitted to the kingdome of England, unlesse he would reconcile himselfe to Rome, and hold his crowne of the Pope, and conforme himselfe and all his subjects to the religion of the Romane Church. This Bull until Garnet was taken, slept in England, beeing filled with a most proud, scornfull and Trayterous boldnesse.

When that miserimam faeminam11 Miserable woman or wench Elizabeth shall dye, had the Papall proud usurper, no other attribute to bestowe upon a Queene then Miserable wench? shee lived Renowned thorough all the Corners of the worlde, shee ruled in peace, beloved of all her Subjects, unlesse those infected with the Romane Leprosie, shee was admired, & feared, confronting all oppositions, with undoubted confidence, shee was a Prince potent enough, to defend her Kingdomes and to helpe her Neighbours beeing oppressed with glorious victorie she beat Spaine from off her coasts, and rifled him in the bosome of his owne kingdome, wrapping his townes and shippes in cloudes of fire and smoake. She swaied the Roiall Scepter of her kingdomes government with triumphant victorie maintaining peace amongst her people, even in the worlds dispight, 44 yeares her unmatched wisdome, and unconquered prowes crowned her the Peereles wonder of her sexe: she liv’d and died a Queene, her life beloved, and her death lamented: And yet for all this, was she no more in the Popes account, then a miserable wench. Let the Popes pride sinke to hell: whilest heavens Elizabeth (whose blessed soule from earth to heaven is taken) doth, and shall with God and Christ for ever live in the heavenly glorie of eternall happinesse.

Pope Clement the ninth, having by his Bull, as before specified, given commaundement that the Papists should by all meanes howsoever withhold our now Soveraigne from his lawfull right. (And notwithstanding that Rebellious Commission,) his Majestie being with great joy peaceably enstalled. Peersie & Catesby went unto their great Provinciall Garnet, & of him enquired, whether the king being as he was already established, they might by vertue of the Popes Bull, use any meanes to supplant or depose him, considering they were not of force to withstand his comming at the first. And Garnet answered, that undoubtedly they might, whereupon they presently resolved to put in execution Edition: current; Page: [542] that most horrible powder treason, the like whereof, untill that time, was never to the world reported.

Some are of opinion, that if a tolleration of religion had bin admitted unto the Papists: that then no such bloudie stratagem should by any of them have bene practised. But if you shall consider the tenor of the Popes Bull, you may then perceive, that their request of indifferent Tolleration was but a colourable pretence in them. For that might not have served the turnes: For they were enjoyned to worke his Majesties overthrow, unlesse hee would reconcile himselfe to Rome, hold his Crown of the Pope, and conforme himselfe and all his subjects to the Religion of the Roman Church: It is not then a toleration only which they seeke, nor could they have beene contented therewith (although so much shall never be graunted unto them.) They may therefore easily despaire of the rest (though they the Pope and the Divell) doe never so much conspire to bring their Hell-borne practises to passe.

As touching the last horred treason, by inhuman savages complotted: I knowe not what to speake, because I want words, to describe the trayterous, detestable, tyrannicall bloudy, murtherous villany of so vilde an action. Onely this had their horrible attempt taken place. This Sea Invyronde ylande, the beauty, and wonder of the world. This so famous and farre renown’d great Brittains Monarchy, had at one blowe endured a recoverlesse ruine, beeing overwhelmed in a sea of bloud, all those evils, should have at one instant happened, which would have made this happiest kingdome of all kingdomes, the most unhappy. Our conquering Nation, conquered in her selfe: her faire and fertile bosome, beeing by her owne native (though foule unnatural children) torne in peeces, should have beene made a scorne to all the nations of the earth. This so well planted, pleasant, fruitfull worlds, accounted Edens paradise, should have beene by this time, made a place disconsolate, a wast and desert wildernesse, generally overrunne with heards of bloud-desiring wolves. This so well govern’d, Populous, potent Monarchy, had in one moment beene left without either King, Queene, Prince, State, Nobility, Law, Justice, or any strength of government, sodainly had we then beene throwne not onely to the cruelty of civill warre, that too too murtherous Domestick spoyling enemie: But also even in that instant generally have beene exposed unto the all-devouring hand of forraine Enemies, in our Congregations, the songs of Syon had no more been sung: But in their steed had bin brought unto us the songs of Gehenna set from Rome: that Sathans synagogue, all our best-freedomes liberty, had by this bene turn’d into the worst bondage of most slavish servitude: Papists, Romane Catholickes that would have wrought all our Edition: current; Page: [543] destructions thus; Should not justice, justly then commaund their actions chiefly to be enquired of.

If what hath bene spoken, be unto your memories committed, you may then consider, that from the eleventh yeare of Queene Elizabeths Raigne, untill the third yeare of our now Soveraignes government, the Papists have continually labored to advance the supremacy of the Romane Church, which to accomplish they have contended thirty foure years, in which time they have not omitted to practise Treasons and Rebellions onely amongst us here at home. But have also complotted to bring upon us Forraine Invasions, & that from time to time, so soone as they were dismissed of one hope, they presently set a foote some other project: both at home and abroad: and still being by the love and mercy of God towards us continually prevented: At last, taking counsell with hell, and Sathan, they had practised a most hellish attempt. wherein their Divellishnesse brought it selfe nearest to the nature of the Divell, making fire and brimstone the instruments of our destruction. And though the principall Actors of that evill, have thereby themselves destroyed: yet the former experience of their continuall attempting may give us warning, that they will not yet sease to attempt, and though that Jesuites and Seminaries have beene the principall Agents in all the severall complotted treasons, and that the Papists amongst us cannot generally be accused, yet thus much I must say, those persons, and that Religion whereby Jesuites and Seminaries are received, protected and concealed, are equally to be accounted daungerous, for were there not such receivers amongst us, Romes state, Traytors would not so fast come, swymming from Tyber hither to arrive at Tyborne. Onely I conclude, therefore, that if in great Brittaine, there were no Papists, this Monarchy should be as free from treason as any Nation in the world.

But now deare Contrimen, seeing you have heard what godlesse and dangerous practises have continually by Romes favorites beene plotted against us. I desire that with attention you will understand what it is (as they say) for which with such vehemency they contend. The world is made believe, that the advancement of Religion is the onely cause for which they strive, wherein they joyne themselves unto the Pope, because there is no religion good, but that which is by the Pope allowed, wherein my purpose is to binde all Papists unto their owne assertion.

That Pius Quintus12 whome those of their side doe account to have beene Edition: current; Page: [544] a good Pope (though by false perswasions too much misled) before the time of his excommunication against Queene Elizabeth denounced, sent his letter unto her Majestie, in which hee did allow the Bible, and Booke of divine service, as it is now used amongst us, to bee authenticke, and not repugnant to truth. But that therein was contayned enough necessary to salvation, (though there was not in it, so much as might conveniently bee) and that hee would also allowe it unto us, without chaunging any parte: so as her Majestie would acknowledge to receive it from him the Pope, (and by his allowance) which her Majestie denying to do, she was then presently by the same Pope excommunicated: And this is the truth concerning Pope Pius Quintus, as I have faith to God and men. I have oftentimes heard avowed by the late Queene her owne wordes: And I have conferred with some Lordes that were of greatest reckoning in the State, who had seene and read the letter, which the Pope sent to that effect: as have bene by me specified. And this upon my credit, as I am an honest man, is most true.

By this then all our English Papistes, either Jesuites or Seminaries may learne to knowe that it is not Religion that they strive for, but onely to maintaine the Antichristian head of Romes usurpt supremacie. And if there bee in this presence any Romane Catholickes, or so manie of this nation, as shall heare of that which hath now beene spoken, I entreate them, as my deare and loving Countrey men, that they will no longer bee seduced, by any living spirite sent from Rome, the Pope, whom they beleeve, hath himselfe allowed, that in our Church, We have a doctrine of Faith and Religion, sufficiently necessarie to Salvation: Deere Countreymen, wee have then enough, and neede not the helpe of anie Pope, Sythence all the Papistes generally came unto our Churches before our late Queene Elizabeth was excommunicated.) Against our Dread Soveraigne there is no Excommunication denounced. In Gods name, then let us joyne in our prayers, and Sacraments, and performe a due obedience to God, and to our King, as wee are all of one Nation, so let us be all of one Church, and Christ beeing onely our head, let us all desire as in one sheepfolde, to be the sanctified members of his glorious bodie.

If there be any Papists so foolish, and altogether reasonlesse, as to expect that in time his Majestie may be drawne to such alteration, or Tolleration: as they desire, I will them assuredly to know, they hope in vaine, for his Majestie is, and ever hath beene confidently resolved, in matter of Religion, to continue the selfe same order and profession, which he now professeth. Whereof I will give you an instance, Since the time of the Earle of Northumberlands Imprisonment, Edition: current; Page: [545] there was amongst his papers found a letter, which was objected against him in Starre Chamber, when himselfe was called unto his answere: The letter was directed to the Kings Majesty, that now is, as he was then King of Scotland. In which amongst other things, the Earle had advised his Highnesse not to desire to bee proclaimed Heire apparant to this Crowne, nor proclaime Prince Henry to be the Prince of Wales, But to stay the time, untill the Queenes death. And that then he would resolve at his comming to admit unto the Catholicks a Tolleration for their religion, which he requested, because the Papists did put some trust in him, to Sollicit that businesse in their behalfe. This letter beeing read, his Majesties owne answer was shewed: (Till that time, by Gods owne hand preserved) to signifie unto the world his religious unremoved confidence. To the first parte of the Earles letter, his Highnesse answered, that he had no contrary purpose, but to attend Gods leasure. And for his motion concerning the Catholicks tolleration, he was purposed to come unto this kingdome in peace. But as touching matter of Government, he was resolved never to alter anything, either in Church or State. His Majesties most noble and Kingly resolution, not enduring then to temporize under any pretext of humane pollicy. Can it now be thought, that his Highnes will be removed in matter of Religion, from that Station whereupon his Soules salvation standeth built.

Such Papists (as notwithstanding the impossibility of their hope will still remaine perverse) despising to be admonished: Let them know for certainty, that the lawes concerning them, shall receive a most strict and severe execution, you therfore of the jury, ought to be very carefull in that businesse. And all the justices in their severall Limits, are in their allegiance to the King, bound in conscience to use all diligence so to observe the Papists, as that unto their houses, there bee not any Jesuites or Seminaries intertayned. For there practise, is to Alienate the hearts of our English Subjects, from the obedience to their soveraigne. In which imployment, though the Jesuites bee most notorious, yet I account the Seminarie Priests more dangerous; Because their estimation stealeth to it selfe a better opinion in the hearts of the simple.Notwithstanding, all their worke is directed to one and the selfe same end; If all good subjects then shall desire the administration of Justice, according to the Lawes established: they may either be converted or supplanted. By whome our subversion, and utter supplanting hath so often times beene attempted. I therefore leave them, their actions and proceedings to be judged off, and carefullie to be lookt into, by your most mature consideration and best diligence, least that our too Edition: current; Page: [546] too much conveniencie, doth yet untimely bring uppon us some dangerous mischief. Them and their actions therfore are principally in the first place to be enquired of, and that with such regard as their cunning may by no meanes outreach the meaning of the Statute Law inacted for their punishment, wherin though there be as much concluded, as the wisedome of our state could devise, in the prevention of any future evill, yet as I heare the Pope hath alreadygranted such dispensation, as that by their hellish sophistrie of equivocating, they may take a course wherein to deceive our hope of there amendment, but in Gods name let the law provided, receive a just and faithfull execution, & then doubt not, but their faithlesse Popish policie shall be sufficiently prevented. And that in time the most sacred person of Gods anointed King, whome Pope Clement the ninth, could proudly dare to tearm the scottish Heritike, shall underneath his Princely foot tread downe Romes faithlesse Papall proud and Antichristian heresy, & now in hells despight, vertuous King James being the Emperiall Majesty of great Brittaines Monarchy, the strength of whose establisht awfull government, makes the proudest Territories & most strong foundation of earths Babilonde to shake, I doubt not but in his royall selfe and his most blest posterity, as is already by force of his commaunding power, not without just cause fearfully suspected, the destruction of the scarlet whore shall be made certaine to her, and her adulterates, when they together shall bee with wrath destroyed for the accomplishing of which most glorious worke, let all true beleeving protestants, like faithfull subjects to their lawfull Soveraigne yeelde there best obedience to his highnesse lawes, and thus much concerning Romane Catholikes.

Those that you are in the second place to enquier of, are a second manner of Recusants, though nothing so dangerous as the Popish recusant is, yet are they a Sect not to be tollerated in any Monarchyall government. They are a certaine Brotherhood, which can indure no Bishops: The originall founder of their schisme, as they now professe, it hath (as some of them say) turnd an Apostatate, to his first profession, in so much as they are ashamed of his name, and will by no meanes in their fraternity be derived from him, yet they remaine knowne to the world, by the name of Brownings. The most part of them are simple, & Illiterate people. And they together with those of that sorte, which seeme to have learning, are as all the rest, onely arrogant, and wilfully perverse, fitter to be reformed by punishment, rather then by argument: And though their ignorance understands not what they doe, yet doe their endeavours strive to shake in sunder the whole frame of our Emperiall government, for if (as Edition: current; Page: [547] they desire) the forme of our Civill Lawes were abrogated, Then should our Common Law, and it of necessity fall togither. For they are so woven and incorporated each in other, as that without the one, the other cannot stand: for example.

An action Reall, beeing brought at common Law, in Bar thereof Bastardy is pleaded, our common Law can then proceed no further, untill by the civill Law the matter of Bastardy be determined, So is it in the right of a Womans Dowre, and in the tryall of Wills; In all these, and diverse others without the Assistance of the civill Law, the common Law hath no power to determine. If then the civill Law must of necessity remain, it is no lesse necessary that the judges therof should be continued.

And againe without the grave assembly of our Reverend Bishops, his Majesties high court of parliament, should be unfurnished, no law being there enacted, but that which is by the King, his Lords spirituall and temporall confirmed. These therefore that would have no Bishops amongst us, do in their desires strive, from his highnes, and the dignity of his State, to pluck the right hand of government, and as much as in them lyeth to break in sunder, the golden frame of just Authority for if no Bishops, then no Lawes, if no Lawes, no King; and to this height doth their presumption clime, although their ideot blindnes seems as if they did not understand so much, the mischiefe of their schisme is most unsufferable: For never was there a nation knowne to flourish having a Monarchie in the kingdome, and a Mallachie in the Church. And therfore you of the Jurie faile not to enquire of all such Sectaries and present them.

It is therefore the faithfull Protestant, that only sets the Crowne upon our Soveraignes head, & holds it up so fast, as no opposition can make it shake. And by their loyall hands will Heaven be pleased, to keep it safe from falling, which Mercy in the most Royall issue now established, God for christs his sake confirme unto us, so long as Sun & Moon endureth.

The last sort of Recusants, though troublesome, (yet in my conscience the least dangerous) are those which do with too much violence, contend against some ceremonies used in the Church, with whose indirect proceedings, in mine owne knowledge, his Majestie is not a little grieved. But I will hope (as his Highnesse doth) that in time, they will grow wise enough to leave their foolishnesse, and consider that ceremonies not against the Analogie of Faith, nor hindering Faiths devotion, are no such bug-beares as should scar them from the exercises of divine duties, nor cause them to disturbe the peace of Edition: current; Page: [548] our Church, whose government is more consonant to Scripture then all the best reformed Churches at this day in the world. You of the Jurie faile not therefore to enquire of their abuses, which doe delay to conforme themselves unto the lawes obedience, that such of them as doe growe insolent, may not goe unpunished: And thus much concerning our three sorts of Recusants.

Thus having touched these growing evills, which beeing well considered, doe cry for justice against themselves, threatning (if not suppresse) To make our Commonwealth to grone under the burthen of inforced calamity. I will now, from them proceed unto those growing enormities, whose ungovernd height is already to such imperfection grown, as that the justice of this kingdomes government, receiveth scandall by their meanes, and the publick weale grieved by unjust oppression.

I heare a generall complaint against the multiplicity of ecclesiasticall courts, and that causes are in them continued longer then an upright and orderly proceeding would necessarily inforce, by meanes wherof, his Majesties good subjects, do receive losse, and are much hindred, by there so often constrayned attendance. But in this Diocesse, I hope the occasion of any such complaints, shall no more be heard of, Because I speake before those reverend Magistrates, the Lord Bishop, and the Chancelour of that dioces being then present upon the bench, in whose authority consisteth sufficient power to reforme those abuses already complained upon, I will therfore insist no further, few words content the wise, what I have spoken, I know is heard by an approved wisedome.

As touching the pennall Statutes for the punishing of any unreverent demeanure in Churches, or violence offered to the ministers, or quarrellingstryking, or drawing of any weapon in Church, or Church yard, I know they be ordynary matters, given in every charge. And therfore you are not ignorant of the Lawes in that case made and provided: I will therfore in respect of the shortnesse of the time, onely point out unto you some severall officers, whose actions not beeing sufficiently looked into, many abuses are committed, which do passe unpunished.

Our common wealth, Receives much injurie by our Escheators, who by abusing their commission, doe most intollerable wrong, to many of his Majesties good Subjects, for an Escheator will come into the country, and beeing informed of an honest yeoman deceased, be it that his Lands, be not above the yearly value of forty or fiftie Pounds, & leaving an heire behind him, an inquiry shall bee made, by what evidence every acre of ground is holden, and Edition: current; Page: [549] finding but one peece, for which an expresse evidence cannot bee shewed, for that particular parcell, Then by a jury to that end Summoned by the Escheator, that peece of ground must be adjudged to be held in Capite. And so an office beeing found: all the whole inheritance must bee taynted, and the yong heire a warde to the King, who then beeing presently Begged by some one or other, by then hee hath compounded for his wardship, sued out his livery, and then perhaps marryed to one starke naught, or not worth any thing, the yong heire shall bee lest just worth so much, and no more: And this (as I thinke) is a most lamentable thing. God forbid that every man should be inforced by such course, to prove his right in every particular acre of ground which he hath. For many particular peeces are oft included in one evidence, without being distinguished by severall names. So that it is impossible, but by such course, as the Escheator takes, lands that never held in Capite, must needs be brought in compasse of such Tenure. And againe, the intent of the Law, for the benefit of the king, looketh only to Manors, Lands, and Tenements of great value, without having respect to such petty things. Where an heire to cleare the incumbrance, must overthrow his estate, loose his inheritance, and be undone for ever. But this notwithstanding, so the Escheator may have his part, in the spoile, he careth not to use any indirect corruption. You of the jurie therefore for the good of your selves and yours, carefully looke to the proceedings used in this case, and such abuse as you shall find therein, let it be presented. And such as shall bee found offendors, they shall know, that we have lawes to punish them. For proofe whereof, I would you could find out some, of whom there might be made an example: But if you will be content to let the Escheator alone, and not looke unto his actions, he will bee contented by deceiving you, to change his name, taking unto himselfe the two last syllables, only with the Es left out: and so turne Chetor.

We have then an excellent Officer, surnamed the Clarke of the Market, concerning whose office, for mine owne part, I see not the necessitie thereof, considering the Justices of peace in their severall limmits, are at every Sessions to enquire of, and to punish all those abuses which are by the Clarke of the market continued, under shew of reformation. For he will come downe and call before him all waights and measures, and where a fault is found, there must a Fee be payd, which is devided betwixt him and the Informer: So the offendor payes for his offence, to the end it might be continued, but not reformed. And thus the Clarke of the market by receiving bribes, enricheth himselfe, by abusing his Majesties lawes, and wronging his Subjects. It was Edition: current; Page: [550] once my hap to take a Clarke of the market in these trickes: But I advanst him higher then his fathers sonne; by so much as from the ground to the toppe of the Pillorie. If you of the Jurie will therefore have a care to find out these abuses, by Gods grace they shall not goe unpunished. For we have a Coyfe, which signifies a Scull: whereby in the execution of Justice, wee are defended against all oppositions, bee they never so violent.

There is a certaine ruffling officer, which will seeme to command much by the authoritie of his Commission. And he wilbe known to be a Purveyor. Some of which officers, if they can find nothing to be dealing with, they will purvey mony out of your purses: if you will suffer them. But know there is no mony to be purveyed, unlesse by the high way side, and any Purveyor that shall take such course, is but in his passage the high way to the gallowes.

But to speake of that, which may by them bee lawfully done, admit a Purveyor commeth downe with Commission, to take up timber for the Kings use; What timber is it then that he must take: He cannot come and pull downe any timber in my house, what then? May he go into any of my woods which I purpose to preserve, and there marke out of my best timber, and inforce me to suffer it to be felled, and carried away at the kings price? No, There is not any such authoritie granted unto him. But only thus, If I have any timber felled, which I purpose to sell: then may the Purveyor (the King having use of timber) come and make choise of what trees he will. For there is great reason, that in such case the king should first be served. But if any of you do desire to preserve your timber growing, be not scared with a Purveyorswarrant: Nor do not preserve the standing of your trees by bribing any one of them. The dignitie of his Majesties prerogative Royall is not used to enforce his subjects to indure wrong. But the rust being scoured off, which abused time, hath cast upon it, then will the glorie thereof shine in the perfection of an uncorrupted brightnesse. You of the Jurie therfore looke into the abuses done by Purveyors, and present them.

Resides these spoken of. There is also a Salt peterman, whose Commission is not to breake up any mans house or ground without leave. And not to deale with any house, but such as is unused for any necessarie imployment by the owner. And not to digge in any place without leaving it smooth and levell: in such case as he found it. This Salt-Peter man under shew of his authoritie, though being no more then is specified, will make plaine and simple people beleeve, that hee will without their leave breake up the floore of their dwelling Edition: current; Page: [551] house, unlesse they will compound with him to the contrary. Any such felow, if you can meete with all, let his misdemenor be presented, that he may be taught better to understand his office: For by their abuse the countrey is often times troubled.

There is another troublesome fellow called a Concealer, who is indeed little better then a plaine Cosioner, and would in many things be proved so, if well looked unto, there be many Statute lawes to prevent the occurrence of his mischiefe, give him not a peny for any of his claimes or titles: For they are meere illusions, and like himselfe not worth any thing.

There be 4 sorts of people, whom if you observe, you shall find not any of them to thrive. I have alwayes knowne them little better then beggers, and may easily be knowne by these names. A Concealer of whom I have spoken: unto whom is rightly joyned a Promooter, a Monopolitan, and an Alcumist: The Promooter is both a begger and a knave, and may, if well looked unto, in the part of an Informer (For many abuses) by your information eyther be well punished or reformed. Their Office, Iconfesse, is necessarie.Andyetitseldome happeneth, that an honest man is imployed therein: yet there is some hope, that by punishing their abuses, they may at the last bee made honest against their wils. In which imployment, you of the Jurie shall do well to use a respective diligence.

As touching the Monopolitane, hee for the most part useth at a deare rate to pay for his foolishnes: For some of that profession, have bene so wise, to sell twentie, thirtie, or perhaps fortie pound land a yeare, and bestow most part of the money in purchasing of a Monopolie: Thereby to anoy and hinder the whole Publicke Weale for his owne privat benefit: In which course he so well thriveth, as that by toyling some short time, either in Starch, Vineger, or Aquavitae, he doth in the end thereby purchase to himselfe an absolute beggerie, and for my owne part, their purposes and practises considered, I can wish unto them no better happinesse.

But then our golden Foole the Alcumist, he will be striving to make Gold and Silver, untill he leaves himselfe not worth a pennies weight in either of both. I will not deny, but to understand the nature, quintessence, & spirit of the Minerals, out of them to extract a Metaphisicall and Paracelsian manner of Physicke, may according to art be commendable, but by the studie of Alcumie, to desire to turne imperfect mettals into Gold and Silver, such labour I account ridiculous: Andoftentimes by thoseofthis Camicall Science is Fellony Edition: current; Page: [552] comitted: For by any imperfect commixture, to use multiplication, either in Gold or Silver, is directly Fellonie by Statute Law: you of the Jurie are therefore to enquire of such offendors, and present them.

Because I must hast unto an end, I wil request that you will carefully put in execution the Statute against Vagarants: Since the making whereof, I have found fewer theeves, and the Gaole lesse pestered then before.

The abuse of Stage players, wherewith I find the Countrey much troubled, may easily be reformed: They having no Commission to play in any place without leave: And therefore, if by your willingnesse they be not entertained you may soone be rid of them.

You are also concerning Innes and Alehouses diligently to observe what the Statute Lawe determineth. As also to keep the orders set down by my honorable predecessor, concerning which, there is now by the appointment of the Lords of the Counsel, certaine Briefes to be delivered unto all the Justices in their severall Limmits. And assuredly, if you of the Jurie, pettie Constables, Chiefe Constables, and Justices of Peace, wouldtogether; labourthatthe Lawes carefully Enacted for our good, might receive a a due and just execution, abuses would then bee reformed, God and our King faithfully served and honored. And the tranquillitie of our Publicke weale preserved: which so great happinesse, that it may the better be accomplished, I would request, that all imployed in any place of authoritie, would have an speciall care to suppresse that root of evill, from whence all mischiefs do proceed, and that is Idlenes: For idle persons are those of whome the Psalme speaketh, They doe wickedly all the day long, they imagine wickednesse upon their beds, the imaginations of their hearts are evill continually, and such for the most part are all those, given over to an idle deposition: who by their wickednes do make themselves worse then beasts: For, Homo malus infinitis modis plura mala perpetraverit quam bestia, an evill man by an infinit manner committeth more evill then a beast. For the reformation of which dangerous evill: you shall do well to have an especiall eye unto the company that frequent Taverns, Innes, Alehouses, Bowling allies, and such like thriftlesse places of resort, where you shall find Tradesmen, and Artificers, which have no other meanes whereby to live, then onely the lawfull use of their Science, or Manuall profession. And yet such is their unthriftie idlenesse, as they will spend their time and labors profit, at some, or all the places before recited: whilest their wives and children sit at home and weepe, wanting necessarie maintenance: Those of such condition, let them be enquired of and presented: For were the Justice of the Lawe rightly executed Edition: current; Page: [553] uppon such offendors (they receiving condigne punishment for their offence) would be inforced to betake themselves unto a better course of life, and live as becometh good Subjects in the list of a more commended obedience.

Of that idle company, you shall also finde some of our accounted Gallants young Gentlemen, upstarts, perhaps honest yeomens sonnes, that by their intemperate Ryote, love to spend their inheritance before they come to inherit, and being questioned for their chargeable and expensive manner of living, they will bravely answer that they spend nothing but their owne: And will seeme as if they scorn’d to be reformed by admonition or authority. The law provideth a course whereby to teach such vain & idle royoters so to spend, that they may keepe their own: For when by their misdemenor all their owne is spent; Then their next course is to live upon the goods of others: and then at last, such Gallants turning starke theeves, do make their last period at the Gallowes, reaping to themselves, by an untimely death, the fruit of idlenesse.

There is also a sort of idle seeming Gentlemen, whom if you do observe, you shall find them walking with a gray hound in a slip, or a birding peece upon their necke, and they forsooth will make a path over the Statute Lawe, and into any mans Groundes, Lordshippes, or Liberties, passe and repasse at their pleasure: As if it were lawfull for everie Fellow to keepe a Graye hound, and to hunt, when and where he listeth, or as if a birding peece were no Gunne, and so not included in the Statute made against Gunnes.

But if you would finde out those Fellowes, and present them, they shall be taught to knowe themselves: And that the wisedome of a Kingdomes state, in the framing of a Statute Law, could not be deluded by a vaine and shallow brain’d idlenesse of their ridiculous Foolery. Let them be therfore punished whose misdemenor in this case offendeth.

The better to prevent the Ryotous expence of unthriftie idlenesse, you shall do well to have a speciall care unto the Statute for Apparell, by the neglect whereof too much abuse is nourished.

As touching all the abuses last recited, have great respect to punish one abuse, in which all our idle Gallants and disordered disolutes do desire to swim, untill themselves, and their whole estate do sinke, in the Slymie dregs of Swinelike drunkennes, to drunkards therefore have especiall heed, you know the Lawe provideth for their punishment, & were such offendors duly presented, Indited, Fined, & imprisoned, they may by such good meanes be in time haply refined from that contagious evill, their continuall amisse, beeing continually with Justice punished, to the utter suppressing of such vile occasion: From Edition: current; Page: [554] whence as from Hels mouth flames forth, Ryoats, murthers, man-slaughters, quarrels, fightings, whoredemes, and presumptuous blasphemies, all proceeding from that sinke of sin, in whose sick healths is dronke the bodies Surfiting, and the Soules damnation. In this, as in all the rest of the abuses specified, use your best indeavors for the furtherance of a setled Reformation, according to the Lawes established: For you must know, that Vita &, vigor Juris, in execucione consistit, The life and strength of the Laws, consisteth in the execution of them: For in vaine are just lawes Inacted, if not justly executed.

And now my loving Countrey men, because I would that all which I have spoken, may receive a profitable remembrance. I will thus conclude, Similes and Comparisons doe best confirme our understanding: and do fastest cleave unto the memorie; my conclusion therefore, shall consist upon this one Similitude.

There was a certain man, who having a great account to make untoa mightie King, made triall of his best Friends, that might accompany him, in that dangerous journey, and not forsake him untill his account were made. This man upon his Inquisition found one friend that would go with him a great part of the way, but then forsake him. And that was his (Riches.) Some other Friends he found that would goe with him untill he came in sight of the Kings pallace, but then they would also leave him and beare him company nofurther, all these Friends were his wife and children, that would follow him to his grave. But at last, he found one Friend that would go with him into the presence of the King, and not forsake him, untill he had seene his account made and for ever beare the greatest part with him, either in woe, or happinesse, and this Friend was his Conscience; Deare Countrymen betwixt God and your Consciences therefore, make your peace, for he is the King, unto whom all of us must make a strickt account of all our actions done. This then considered, such would be our care, as God and our King should be obeyed, and our peace in this life, and in the world to come preserved. Unto which eternall grace be we all in Jesus Christ committed.

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III: Excerpts from the Small Treatises

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These books were of neither the influence nor the breadth of the Institutes. The only one to be published in Coke’s life was the Entries, a pleading manual. The others, dealing with specific problems of property law, were published from his manuscripts posthumously, separately and also in a single binding of Law Tracts, in 1764.—Ed.

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A. Book of Entries

The Book of Entries was first published in 1614 under the title A Booke of Entries. Containing Perfect and Approved Presidents of Counts, Declarations, Informations, Pleints. It is the only treatise, other than the First Part of the Institutes, that Coke published during his lifetime. It was the result of Coke’s careful study and use of pleading, which exercised a strong influence on the outcome of law cases. The Entries enjoyed some success but later became only one among several competing manuals containing pleadings from Coke’s Reports.Ed.

Epigrams from the Title Page:

Cicero Rhetor. Lib. 4.

Rerum omnium imperiti, qui unius cujusque; rei de rebus ante gestis exampla petere non possunt, hi per imprudentiam facillime deducuntur in fraudem: at hi qui sciunt quid aliis acciderit, facile ex eorum eventibus suis possunt rationibus providere.1

Vir bonus est quis?

Qui Consulta patrum, qui Leges juraque servat.2

Periculosum existimo quod doctorum virorum non comprobatur exemplo.3

Deo duce ἑυρηκα.4

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The Preface of Sr. Edward Coke, Knight Lord Chiefe Justice of England of Pleas Before the King Himselfe to be Holden Assigned, and One of the Lords of His Majesties Most Honorable Privie Councell.

Deo, Patriæ, Tibi.5

He that duly considereth (learned Reader) the Theoricke and Practique parts of the laws of England, that is, the Knowledge in universalities, and the Practise in particulars, shall find that most aptly to be applied to this profession that long since was spoken of another, Ars longa, vita brevis, studium difficile, occasio præceps, experimentum periculosum.6 A learned man in the lawes of this realme is long in making, the student thereof, having sedentariam vitam 7 is not commonly long lived, the study abstruse and difficult, the occasion sodaine, the practise dangerous. Many have written of the former part, onely one of the later, unlesse you will account that auncient little treatise called Les novel Tales, or Novæ narrationes, to be one; and yet the Active part is as necessarie as the Speculative, for usus & experientia dominantur in artibus;8 and certain it is, that no art can be perfectly attained unto by reading without use and exercise. What auayleth the Serjeant or Apprentice the general knowledge of the laws, if he know not withall the forme and order of legall proceedings in particular cases, and how to plead and handle the same soundly, and most for his Clients advauntage? Good pleading hath three excellent qualities, that is to say (as Littleton saith) it is Honorable, Laudable, and Profitable: Honorable, for he cannot be a good pleader, but he must be of excellencie in judgement, Honor est prœmium excellentiae:9 Laudable for the fame and estimation of the professor, Laus est sermo elucidans magnitudinemscientiæ:10 And profitable for three respects: first, for that good pleading is Lapis lidius11 the touchstone of the Edition: current; Page: [559] true sence of the law: secondly, to the Client whose good cause is often lost or long delayed for want of good pleading, for herein is occasio praeceps & experimentum periculosum12 lastly, to the professor himselfe, who being for skill therein exalted above others, tanquam inter viburna Cupressus13 it cannot be unto him but exceeding profitable. It is true, that of ancient time Judges gave no way to nice and overcurious exceptions to formes of counts or pleadings; nay before the raigne of king Edw. 3. they sometimes gave too much way to the neglect of legall formes in pleading, and that made Sir William de Thirning chiefe Justice of the Court of Common Pleas to say in 12. Hen. 4. 19. Que devant le raigne del Roy Edw. 3. le manner de pleder no fuit forsque feeble, eyant regard que fuit unques puis in temps de cel Roy.14 And I am of opinion, that the neglect of essentiall formes would bring in ignorance and confusion: yet doe I well allow, that men should not be fined pro non pulchre’ placitando,15 or as some Records say pro stultiloquio,16 because the same have beene forbidden by acts of Parliament, videlicet Marlebridge cap.11. Westm. 1. cap. 8. and 1. Edw. 3. cap. 8. Vide Registr’ 179. 13. Edw. 1. tit Attachment 8. & F.N.B. 270. Inter placita de Banco, termin’ Mich. ann. 5. Hen. 3. incipiente Rot’ 10. Dors. Essex. Radulphus de Bardfield qui narravit pro germano filio Turoldi, in misericordia pro stultiloquio:17 which and many other Records doe prove, that the fine in those dayes was set vpon the Councellor and not upon the Client; for it was not holden just that the Client should be fined for the Councellors fault, and that had beene to have added affliction to the afflicted, videlicet18 to fine the Client for erronious pleading, who therefore lost his cause. And Sir Robert de Wilby in Anno 24. Edw. 3. fol. 48. speaking to the Councellors at the barre, Ieo ay vieu le temps, que si vous vibes plead un erronious plea, que vous alastes al prison.19 Edition: current; Page: [560] And even as he that hath a long journey upon weightie affaires that require present dispatch, especially si via fit salebrosa, saxis aspera, sentibus obducta, gurgitibus intercisa, torrentibus rapida &c.20 would be glad of a sure guide that by approved experience could lead him in the right way, both to avoyddangers, and to come with speed to his journeys end; So the professor of the Law (that is presently to plead his Clients cause, which many times is full of obscuritie and difficultie, in the pleading whereof if there be found errour, though the right be good, the cause quaileth) will (I persuade my selfe) be glad of this Booke, contayning many excellent Presidents of Counts, Pleadings, and all other matters fitting almost everie particular Case that can fall out; which being upon mature deliberation sifted, examined, and approved in the highest Courts of Justice, videlicet the Chauncerie, Kings Bench, Common Pleas, and Exchequer, may serve for well experienced guides in his Clients cause, to conduct him in such a way as his Client may avoid daunger, and attaine to his desired end.

What reverence hath beene given by the most reverend Sages of the law to judiciall Presidents, appeareth (amongst many others) in Ellice Case in 39. H. 6. fol. 30. where the opinion of learned Prisot chiefe Justice of the Court of Common Pleas, and other Justices, was, That in a writ of Mesne, quele pl’ covient de fine force de surmitter le tenure inter le mesne & Seignior paramout en son Count, ou auterment il ne serra bone: & puis quant Prisot avoit demaund de les prothonotaries le forme de les novel Tales, & ensement que ils avoyent view que les Tales ne fesoyent mention de nultenure in tiel case, & que cest forme avoiet touts foits este use, ils ne voillont chaunger cest use, nient obstant que lour opinion fuit al contrarie, Quia non valet ratio contra experimentum.21

No man can be a compleat Lawyer by universalitie of knowledge without experience in particular cases, nor by bare experience without universalitie of knowledge; he must be both speculative & active, for the science of the laws, I assure you, must joyne hands with experience. Experientia (saith the great Edition: current; Page: [561] Philosopher) est cognitio singularium, ars vero universalium.22,23 The learned Sages of the law doe found their judgement upon legall reason and judiciall President; the one they find in our bookes of yeres and termes, the other out of records formerly examined and allowed: These two, Reason and President are clarissima mundi lumina,24 whereby all the wise men of the world are directed: But in these dayes of many it may be justly said, Quod statim sapiunt, statim sciunt omnia, neminem verentur, imitantur neminem, ipsi sibi exempla sunt.25 But it is safe for the Client and for the Councellor also (if he respect his conscience) to follow Presidents formerly approved and allowed, and not to trust to any new frame carved out of his owne invention, for Nihil simul inventum & perfectum est.26

The former Booke of Entries being published at that time when the Authour was beyond the Seas (as in his Preface he confesseth) could not so exactly and perfectly be done (though it be, for many Presidents therein, verie profitable and of good use) as if he had bin at the fountaines head it selfe, and might have had conference with the grave Judges, and well experiensed Prothonotaries, Officers, and Clarkes.

In this Booke six things are worthie of observation. First, that none of the Presidents herein have bin by any published heretofore. 2. That they are of greater authoritie and use, and fitter for the moderne practise of the law, for that they be for the most part of later times, and principally, of the raigne of our late Soveraigne Ladie of ever blessed memorie Queene Elizabeth, and of his most excellent Majestie the King that now is. 3. That for thy further satisfaction (learned Reader) everie President hath a true reference to the Court, yeare, terme, number-roll, and record, where the President it selfe is to be found. 4. In this worke are contayned the records of divers of the cases which in the nine former parts of my Commentaries I have published, with a certaine reference to the report it selfe. 5. Here shall you find Presidents adjudged upon Demurrer, wherein lye hidden many matters of Law and excellent points of learning, which being never reported, here is for thy better light (studious Edition: current; Page: [562] Reader) a short touch given of the reasons and causes whereupon they were adjuged. Lastly, there is an exact and plaine table of Titles, without perplexed and intricat divsions or subdivisions or tedious referments, everie mans owne method and observation in reading, being ever the best and readiest of all others for himselfe. Read these Presidents (learned Reader) and reape in this faire and large field, the delectable and profitable fruits of reverend Experience and Knowledge; which you may doe with greater ease, for that more easily shall you learne by patterne than by precept: and they have beene so painfully and diligently weeded, as it cannot be sayd, that in this fruitfull field,

Infœlix lolium aut steriles dominantur avena.27

Your true and faithfull friend

Edw. Coke.
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B. The Compleat Copyholder

The Compleat Copyholder, first published in 1630, is a textbook posthumously built from Coke’s manuscript notes on the ancient estate, the copyhold. Copyholds were one of the most basic tenancies, usually held by villeins, small tenant farmers on manors, or great estates, who paid in rents in money or in kind to their landlords. Their interests were not conveyed by indenture, deed, or by the other grants that specified their protections in their lands. Rather they were written on a list, literally, copied into a court roll. The rights and duties of copyholders were limited but controlled primarily by the custom specific to each manor. Coke was among the first to attempt to state the rights and powers essential to all copyholds, and his cases, treatment of copyhold in the First Institute, and treatment in this volume allowed considerably greater protection for the working agricultural poor than had been given before.—Ed.


|Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [68] Customes are defined to be a Law, or Right not written, which being established by long use, and the consent of our Ancestors, hath been, and is daily practised.

Custome, Prescription, and usage, how-|Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [69]-soever there be correspondency amongst them, and dependancy one on the other, and in common speech, one of them is taken for another, yet they are three distinct things; Custom and Prescription differ in this.Custome, Prescription, and Usage, how they differ. 1. Custom cannot have any commencement since the memory of man, but a Prescription may, both by the Common Law, and the Civill: and therefore where the Statute. 1.H.8. saith, that all actions popular; must be brought within three yeares after the offence commited; whosover offendeth against this Statute, and doth escape uncalled for three Edition: current; Page: [564] yeares, he may be justly said to prescribe an immunity against any such Action. 2. A Custome toucheth many men in generall; Prescription, this, or that man in particular: and that is the reason why Prescription is personall, andisalwayes made in the name of some person certaine, and his Ancestors, or those whose estate he hath; but a Custome having no person certaine in whose name to prescribe, is therefore called and alledged after this manner. In such a Borough, in such a Manor, there is this or that Custome. And for usage, that is the efficient cause, or rather the life of both; for Custome and Prescription lose their being, if usage faile. Should I goe about to make a Cata-|Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [70]-logue of severall Customes, I should with Sisiphus, saxum volvere,1 undertake an endlesse peece of worke, therefore I will forbeare, since the relation would be an argument of great curiositie, and a taske of great difficultie. I will onely set down a briefe distinction of Customes, and leave the particulars to your owne observation. Customes are either Generall or Particular. Generall, which are part of the Common law, being currant through the whole Common-wealth, and used in every County, every City, every Towne, and every Manor. Particular, which are confined to shorter bounds and limits, and have not such choice of fields to walke in, as generall Customes have. These particular Customes are of two sorts, either disallowing what generall Customes doe allow, or allowing what generall Customes doe disallow, as for example sake. By the generall Customes of Manors it is in the Copiholders power to sell to whom he pleaseth, but by a particular Custome used in some places, the Copyholder, before he can inforce his Lord to admit any one to his Copihold, is to make a proffer to the next of the blood, or to the next of his Neighbors ab oriente solis,2 who giving as much as the partie to whom the Surrender was made, should |Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [71] have it: so on the other side by the generall Customes of Manors, the passing away of Copyhold land by Deede, for more than for one yeare without licence, is not warranted; yet some particular customes in some Manors doe it: so by the generall Customes of Manors, Presentments, or any other act done in the Leete, after the moneth expired, contrary to the Statute of magna Charta, and 31. E. 3. are voyd; yet by some particular Customes, such acts are good, and so in millions of the like, as in the sequell of this discourse shall be made manifest. And therefore, not to insist any longer in dilucidating this point, Edition: current; Page: [565] let us in few words learne the way how to examine the validity of a Custome: For our direction in this businesse, we shall doe well to observe these fixed Rules, which will serve us for exact tryall. 1. Customes and Prescriptions ought to be reasonable, and therefore a Custome that no Tenant of the Manor shal put in his Cattell to use his common in Campis seminatis:3 after the Corne severed, untill the Lord have put in his Cattell, is a voyd Custome, because unreasonable, for peradventure the Lord will never put in his Cattell, and then the Tenants shall lose their profits: so if the Lord will prescribe that he hath such a Custome with-|Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [72]-in his Manor, that if any mans beasts be taken by him upon his Demesnes damage Fesant, that he may detaine them untilltheowners of the beasts give him such recompence for his harmes, as hee himselfe shall request; this is an unreasonable Custome, for no man ought to be his owne Judge. 2. Customes and Prescriptions ought to be according to common right, and therefore if the Lord will prescribe to have of every Copyholder belonging to his Manor, for every Court he keepeth a certaine summe of money, this is a void prescription, because it is not according to common Right, for hee ought for Justice sake to doe it Gratis;4 but if the Lord prescribe to have a certaine Fee of his Tenants, for keeping an extraordinary Court, which is purchased onely for the benefit of some particular Tenants, to take up their Copyholds and such like; this is a good prescription, andaccordingtocommon right. 3. They ought to be upon good consideration, and therefore if the Lord will prescribe that whosoever passeth through the Kings High way which lyeth through his Manor, should pay him a peny for passing, this prescription is voyd, because it is not upon a good consideration; but if he will prescribe to have a peny of every one |Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [73] that passeth over such a bridge within his Manor, which bridge the Lord doth use to repaire, this is a good prescription, and upon a good consideration. So if the Lord will prescribe to have a fine at the marriage of his Copyholder, in which Manor the custome doth admit the husband to be Tenant by the curtesie, or the seme Tenant in Dower of a Copyhold, this prescription is good, and upon a good consideration; but in such Manors, where these estates are not allowed, the Law is otherwise. 4. They ought to be compulsary, and therefore if the Lord will prescribe that every Copyholder ought to give him so much every moneth tobeare his charges Edition: current; Page: [566] in time of warre, this prescription is void; but to prescribe they ought to pay so much money for that purpose, is a good prescription; for a payment is compulsary, but a gift is Arbitrary at the voluntary liberty of the giver. 5. They ought to be certaine; and therefore, if the Lord will prescribe that whensoever any of his Copyholders dye without heire, that then another of the Copyholders shall hold the same lands for the yeere following, this prescription is void, for the incertainty; but if the Lord will prescribe to have of his Copyholders, 2 d. an Acre Rent, in time of warre |Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [74] 4 d. an Acre, this prescription is certain enough. 6. They ought to be beneficiall to them that alledge the prescription; and therefore if the Lord prescribeth that the custome hath alwayes beene within the Manor, that what distresse soever is taken within his Manor, for any common persons cause, is to be impounded for a certaine time within his pound; this is no good prescription, for the Lord is hereby to receive a charge, and no commoditie: but if the prescription goeth further, that the Lord should have for every beast so impounded a certaine summe of money, this is a good prescription. If we desire to be more fully satisfied in the generall knowledge of prescriptions and Customes, wee shall finde many Maximes, which make very materiall for this purpose, amongst which I have made choyse of these three, as most worthy of your observation. 1. Things gained by matter of Record onely, cannot be challenged by prescription, and therefore no Lord of a Manor can prescribe to have fellons goods, fugitives goods, Deodands and such like; because they cannot bee forfeited untill it appeare of Record: but waves, estraies, wreckes, and such like may be challenged by prescription, because they are gained by usage, without matter of Record. |Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [75] 2. A custome never extendeth to a thing newly created; and therefore if a Rent be granted out of Gavel-kind Land, or land in Borough-English, the rent shall descend, according to the course of the Common Law, not according to the Custome. If before the Statute. 32. H. 8. Lands were deviseable in any Borough, or City by speciall Custome; A Rent granted out of these Lands, was not deviseable by the same Custome; for what things soever have their beginning since the memory of man, Custome maintaines not. If there be a Custome within a Manor, that for every house or cottage two shillings Fine shall be paid, if any Tenant within these liberties maketh two houses of one, or buildeth a new house, hee shall not pay a fine for any of these new houses; for the Custome onely extendeth to the old. So if I have Estovers appendant to my house, and I build a new house, I shall not have Estovers for this new built house upon this ground. It hath been doubted, if a man by Prescription Edition: current; Page: [567] hath course of water to his Fulling-mill, he converting these into Corne-mills, whether by this conversion, the Prescription is not destroyed, in regard that these Corne-mills are things newly created; but because the qualitie of the thing, and not the substance is altered; |Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [76] therefore this alteration is held insufficient to overthrow the Prescription; for if a man by Prescription hath Estovers to his house, although they alter the Roomes and Chambers in the house, as by making a Parlour where there was a Hall, vele converso,5 yet the Prescription stands still in force: and so if by Prescription I have an ancient Window to my Hall, and I convert this into a Parlor, yet my neighbours upon this change cannot stoppe my Window; Causa qua supra.6 3. Customes are likewise taken strictly, though not alwayes literally. There is a Custome in London, that Citizens and Freemen may devise in Mortmayne: A Citizen that is a Forreiner, cannot devise by this Custome. An Infant by the Custome of Gavelkind, at the age of fifteene, may make a Feoffment; yet he cannot by the Custome make a Will at that age to passe away his Land; to make a Lease, and a Release, which amounteth to a Feoffment. If there be any custome that copyhold-lands may be leased by the Lord, vel per Supervisor, vel deputatum supervisoris:7 This Custome giveth not power to the Lord, to authorize any by his last Will and Testament, to keepe a Court in their owne name, and to make Leases, Secundum consuetudinem Manerii:8 but these Customes |Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [77] have this strict construction, because they tend to the derogation of the Common Law; yet they are not to be confined to literall interpretation; for if there be a Custome within any Manor, that Copyhold Lands may be granted in Feodo simplici,9 by the same Custome they are grantable to one, and the heires of his body, for life, for yeeres, or any other estate whatsoever; because, Cui licet quod majus, non debet quod minus est non licere;10 so if there be a Custome that copyhold lands, may be granted for life; by the same Custome they may be granted, Durante viduitate,11 but not e converso,12 because an estate during Edition: current; Page: [568] Widdowhood, is lesse than an estate for life. Before the Statute of 32. H. 8. Lands in certaine Boroughs were devisable by Custome: By the same Custome was implicitie13 waranted, authorizing Executors to sell Lands devisable. Now with your patience, I will onely point at the manner of pleading of Customes, I finde a foure-fold kinde of Prescribing.

1. To prescribe in his Predecessours, as in himselfe, and all those whose estate he hath.

2. To prescribe generally, not tying his Prescription to place, or person, as where a Chiefe Justice prescribeth, that it hath been |Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [78] used, that every Chiefe Justice may grant Offices; or where a Sergeant prescribeth, Quod talis habetur consuetudo,14 that Sergeants ought to be impleaded by originall Writ, and not by Bill.

3. To Prescribe in a place certaine.

4. To Prescribe in the place of another.

The first sort of these Prescriptions, a Copyholder cannot use, in regard of the imbecillity of his estate; for no man can Prescribe in that manner, but onely Tenants in Fee simple, at the Common Law.

The second sort of these may be used sometimes by Copyholders in the pleading of a generall Custome, but in alledging of a particular Custome, a Copyholder is driven to one of the last, and as occasion serveth, he useth sometimes the one, sometimes the other. If he be to claime Common, or other profit in the soyle of the Lord, then he cannot Prescribe in the name of the Lord, for the Lord cannot Prescribe to have Common or other profit in his owne soyle; but then the Copyholder must of necessitie Prescribe in a place certaine, and alleadge, that within such a Manor, there is such a Custome, that all the Tenants within that Manor, have used to have Common in such a place, parcell of |Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [79] the Manor: but if he be to claime common, or other profit in the soyle of a stranger, then he ought to prescribe in the name of his Lord, saying, that the Lord of the Manor, and all his Ancestors, and all those whose estate he hath, were wont to have a Common in such a place for himselfe, and his Tenants at will, &c.

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C. Little Treatise on Baile and Mainprize

The Little Treatise, first published in 1635 shortly after Coke’s death, augments Coke’s discussions of criminal procedure in the Second and Third Parts of the Institutes. Bail and mainprize were the two methods by which a sheriff or other officer of a court could be required to set free the person detained. Bail was used primarily for a person arrested or imprisoned on suspicion of a crime, but mainprize could be used in other situations, and it required the delivery of the person detained into the custody of someone who promised to deliver the detainee for a later hearing.—Ed.

The Conclusion with Advertisment.

The end and scope of this little Treatise is, (under correction of those of better judgement) to set forth what the Law of the Realme doth require touching Baile and Maineprize: A necessary thing (in mine opinion) for such as be Justices of the peace, to be knowne: for as he that standeth upon plaine & sure ground, although he should be borne of rage and tempest to the ground, yet might hee without danger rise of himselfe againe: so hee that hath the administration of Justice, and in all his occasions is guided and directed by the rule of the law, neither abusing his authority, nor exceeding his Commission, standeth on a sure ground, which will beare him up at all seasons: Sapientis est cogitare (saith Cicero) tantum esse permissum quantum commissum & creditum.1 And good was the Counsell (as those that follow it finde) whosoever Edition: current; Page: [570] gave it, (videlicet )2 exceede not the Commission: And albeit it is truely said, that Judicium est legibus & non exemplis:3 And as the Logician saith, Exempla demonstrant, non probant;4 yet undoubtedly it is a great contentment and satisfaction to an honest minde and a good conscience, especially in cases that concerne the life and liberty of a man, to follow the president of grave and reverend men: how beit for as much as all good Lawes are instituted, and made for the repelling of those evils that most commonly happen: For ad ea quae frequentius accidunt jura ad prantur,5 and principally doe respect the generall peace and profit of the people: and therefore we use to say, that a mischiefe is rather to be suffered then an inconvenience: That is to say, that a private person should be punished or damnified by the rigour of the Law, then a general rule of the Law should be broken to the generall trouble and prejudice of many. It is therefore very necessary, that the Law and discretion should bee Concomitant, and the one to be an accident inseparable to the other, so as neither Law without discretion, least it should incline to rigour, nor discretion without Law, least confusion should follow, should bee put in use: my meaning hereby, is not to allow of every mans discretion that sitteth on the seate of Justice: (for that would bring forth a monstrous confusion) But I meane that discretion, that ariseth upon the right discerning, and due consideration of the true and necessary circumstances of the matter: and as wee commonly use to say, that Common Law is nothing else but common reason; and yet we meane thereby nothing lesse, then that common reason where-with a man is naturally endued, but that perfection of reason which is gotten by long and continuall study: so in associating discretion so neare to Law, it is not meant to preferre it to that society: each mans discretion, which commonly rather deserveth the name of affection and selfe-will, then of discretion indeed: but that discretion onely we allow of in this place, that either grave and reverend men have used in such cases before, or rise of the circumstances of the matter: (as is aforesaid) As for example, being not also impertinent to the matter of our Treatise, if it were a question, whether in an appeale of Maine, the defendant were to bee let to Baile, or Maineprize, or no. It is Edition: current; Page: [571] necessary to be examined, whether the manner of the Maine were horrible or hainous: for the defendant may be denied Baile and Maineprize: whether the same were done upon a suddaine affray, or of the plaintiffes assault, or against the intent of the defendant, &c. For the defendant may bee let to baile: and this I take to be a lawfull discretion, for to that end is the booke, reason of the booke in 6. H. 7. fo. 2. where in an appeale of Maine, the Justices of the Kings Bench denied the defendant to bee bailed; for that upontheexamination of the matter, it appeared to be most cruel and horrible, and therefore inrespect of the abhominable hainousnes of the same, the Justices would not suffer the defendant to be bailed: and with this agreeth the opinion of Bract. in the 2. treatise of his 3. booke ca. 8. Appellati vero de morte hominis, & de pace & plagis periculosis saltem capiantur, et in prisonam detru antur, et ibi custodiantur, donec per Dominum Regem per Pleg’ dimittantur, vel per Judicem deliberantur, &c.6 whereby I note that he saith, plag’ periculosis,7 insinuating a difference inter plagas periculosas, & minus periculosas,8 in that he saith, Donec per Dominum Regem per pleg’ demittantur,9 it is to bee understood, untill by that Court the offence be determined and judged, they bee let to Baile, and this particular may suffice to the resolution of the generall.

To conclude, the Authour of all wisedome and true knowledge, thought it requisite, that those that were Judges of the earth, should bee both wise and learned, whom I beseech God to blesse with his true knowledge and wisedome.

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IV: Excerpts from the Institutes

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The Institutes of the Lawes of England is a comprehensive and vast project which Coke apparently contemplated as a whole prior to publishing his first volume, the great Commentary upon Littleton, in 1608. While Coke’s Institutes is roughly patterned on the Justinian Institutes, its namesake, the organization of Coke’s work bears little resemblance to that of Justinian’s. The four parts of Coke’s work cover matters of property, statutes, crimes, and courts. The first two parts are in the forms of glosses on earlier texts, and the last two parts are effectively treatises inventorying the examples of their respective genre. Although Coke had apparently written components of the latter three parts while he was on the bench, having, as he says in his preface below, completed much of them by 1608, portions of theseworks seem to have been completed in the later 1610s and 1620s, after his dismissal as chief justice. Only the first part appeared during his lifetime, being published in 1608 and going rapidly through new editions. The manuscripts for the other three parts were among the papers seized by the Crown while Coke lay dying, and they were published only after the manuscripts were restored to Coke’s son by Parliament during the Commonwealth.—Ed.

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A. The First Part of the Institutes

Thomas de Littleton was a Justice of Common Pleas in the later half of the fifteenth century, serving from 1466 to 1481. He wrote a textbook of property law, Tenures, during a time of considerable political unrest; the War of the Roses ran throughout his time on the bench. Dramatically updating a book of the same name then already a century old itself, Littleton’s Tenures, perhaps appearing about 1470, was a comprehensivetreatise on the estates by which land could be held, as well as on the procedures for transfers of interest in land. The feudal property system was then at its peak, and the heart of its economy was the complicated system by which various people held an interest in land in return for services to others; Littleton’s book brought considerable clarity to the area, and it remained the leading treatise for over a century.

By Coke’s day, Littleton’s treatise was, however, beginning to age quickly. Coke glossed the text, section by section, providing annotations of later cases and statutes that modified or applied ideas in Littleton’s text. More important, perhaps, he added a trove of ideas on related matters, often matters only casually related to the text he had before him. His commentary includes observations on the nature of law, the practice and study of law, and of man in general, as well as of the particular problems Littleton had placed in each section.

Coke upon Littleton soon became the essential tool for the study of the law. Its mastery was required of every law student for the next century and a half. The difficulty of the task for a fledgling lawyer was notorious, but the rewards were seen by most students as well worthwhile. A fine illustration of the point is in the experience of young Joseph Story, long before he became a U.S. Supreme Court justice or a law professor. In 1799, his tutor, Samuel Sewell, required him to read “the intricate, crabbed, and obsolete learning of Coke on Littleton,” a task he found, initially, quite overwhelming. Edition: current; Page: [576] “I took it up, and after trying it day after day with very little success, I sat myself down and wept bitterly. My tears dropped upon the book, and stained its pages.” With tenacity, though, he began “to see daylight, ay and to feel that I could comprehend and reason upon the text and the comments. . . . The critical period was passed; I no longer hesitated.”—Ed.

Epigrams from the Title Page:

Quid te vana juvant miserae ludibria chartae?

Hoc lege, quod possis dicere jure meum est.1


Major haereditas venit unicuique; nostrum à Jure, et Legibus, quàm à Parentibus.2

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The First Part of the Institutes of the Lawes of England: Or A Commentary upon Littleton, Not the name of the Author only, but of the Law it selfe.

The Preface.

Deo, Patriae, Tibi.1

The name and degree of our Author.Our Author, a Gentleman of an ancient and faire descended Family de Littleton, tooke his name of a Towne so called, as that famous chiefe Justice Sir John de Markham, and divers of our Profession and others have done.

Thomas de Littleton Lord of Frankley, had issue Elizabeth his only child, and did beare the Armes of his Ancestors,His Armes. viz. Argent, a Chevron betweene three Escalop shels Sable. The bearing hereof is verie ancient and honourable, for the Senators of Rome did weare bracelets of Escalop shels about their armes, and the Knights of the Honourable Order of S. Michael in France3 do weare a coller of Gold in the forme of Escalop shels at this day. Hereof much more might be said, but it belongs unto others.

With this Elizabeth married, Thomas Westcote Esquire, the Kings servant Edition: current; Page: [578] in Court,Thomas Westcote. a Gentleman anciently descended, who bare Argent, a Bend betweene two Cotisses Sable, a Bordure engrayled Gules, Bezantie.

But she being faire and of a noble spirit, and having large possessions and inheritance from her Ancestors de Littleton, and from her mother the daughter and heire of Richard de Quatermains, and other her Ancestors, (ready meanes in time to worke her owne desire) resolved to continue the honour of her name (as did the daughter and heire of Charleton with one of the sonnes of Knightly, and divers others) and therefore prudently, whilest it was in her owne power, provided by Westcotes assent before marriage, that her issue inheritable should be called by the name of de Littleton. These two had issue foure sons, Thomas, Nicholas, Edmund and Guy, and foure daughters.

Our Author bare his Mothers surname.Thomas the eldest was our Author, who bare his fathers Christian name Thomas, and his mothers surname de Littleton, and the armes de Littleton also; and so doth his posteritie beare both name and armes to this day.

Camden4 in his Britannia saith thus; Thomas Littleton alias Westcote, the famous Lawyer5 to whose Treatise of Tenures the Students of the Common Law are no lesse beholding, than the Civilians to Justinians Institutes.

The dignitie of this faire descended Family de Littleton hath growne up together, and spread it selfe abroad by matches with many other ancient and honourable Families, to many worthy and fruitfull branches, whose posteritie flourish at this day, and quartereth many faire Coats, and6* enjoyeth fruitfull and opulent inheritances thereby.

He was of the Inner Temple, and read learnedly upon the Statute of W.2. De donis conditionalibus,7 which we have. He was afterward called ad statum & gradum Servientis ad Legem,8 and was Steward of the Court of the Marshalsey of the Kings houshold, and for his worthinesse was made by King H.6. his Serjeant,9Kings Serjeant. and rode Justice of Assise the Northern Circuit, which places he held under King E.4. untill he in the sixth yeare of his reigne constituted him Edition: current; Page: [579] one of the Judges of the Court of Common Pleas,10Judge of the Common Pleas. and then he rode North-amptonshire Circuit. The same King in the 15. yeare of his reigne, with the Prince, and other Nobles and Gentlemen of ancient bloud, honoured him with Knighthood of the Bath.11Knight of the Bath.

He compiled this Book when he was Judge, after the fourteenth yeare of the reigne of King E.4. but the certain time we cannot yet attain unto,When hee wrote this Booke. but (as we conceive) it was not long before his death, because it wanted his last hand, for that Tenant by Elegit, Statute Merchant, & Staple, were in the table of the first printed Booke, and yet he never wrote of them.12

Our Author in composing this Work had great furtherance, in that he flourished in the time of many famous and expert Sages of the Law.The deceased of his Contemporaries. Sir Richard Newton,13 Sir John Prisot,14 Sir Robert Danby,15 Sir Thomas Brian,16 Sir Pierce Arderne,17 Sir Richard Choke,18 Walter Moyle,19 William Paston,20 Robert Danvers,21 William Ascough,22 and other Justices of the Court of Common Pleas: And of the Kings Bench, Sir John June,23 Sir John Hody,24 Sir John Fortescue,25 Sir John Markham,26 Sir Thomas Billing,27and other excellent men flourished in his time.

And of worldly blessings I account it not the least that in the beginning of my study of the Lawes of this Realme, the Courts of Justice, both of Equitie & of Law, were furnished with men of excellent Judgement, Gravitie, and Edition: current; Page: [580] Wisdome; As in the Chancerie, Sir Nicholas Bacon, and after him Sir Thomas Bromley. In the Exchequer Chamber, the Lord Burghley, Lord high Treasurer of England, and Sir Walter Mildemay Chancellor of the Exchequer. In the Kings Bench, Sir Christopher Wray, and after him Sir John Popham. In the Common Pleas, Sir James Dyer, and after him Sir Edmund Anderson. In the Court of Exchequer, Sir Edward Saunders, after him Sir John Jefferey, and after him Sir Roger Manwood, men famous (amongst many others) in their severall places, and flourished, and were all honoured and preferred by that thrice noble and vertuous Queene Elizabeth of ever blessed memorie. Of these reverend Judges, and others their Associates, I must ingenuously confesse, that in her reigne I learned many things which in these Institutes I have published: And of this Queene I may say, that as the Rose is the queene of flowers, and smelleth more sweetly when it is pluckt from the branch: so I may say and justifie,Queene Elizabeth. that shee by just desert was the Queene of Queenes, and of Kings also, for Religion, Pietie, Magnanimitie, and Justice; who now by remembrance thereof, since Almightie God gathered her to himselfe, is of greater honour and renowne, than when she was living in this world. You cannot question what Rose I meane; for take the Red or the White, she was, not onely by royall descent, and inherent Birthright, but by Rosiall Beautie also, heire to both.

And though we wish by our labours (which are but Canabula Legis,28 the cradles of the Law) Delight and Profit to all the Students of the Law, in their beginning of their study, (to whom the first part of the Institutes is intended) yet principally to my loving friends, the Students of the honourable and worthy Societies of the Inner Temple,Inner Temple. Cliffords Inne. Lyons Inne. and Cliffords Inne, and of Lyons Inne also, where I was sometime Reader. And yet of them more particularly to such as have been of that famous University of Cambridge, Alma mea mater.29 And to my much honoured & beloved Allies & Friends ofthe Counties of Norfolke, my deare & native Country; and of Suffolke, where I passed my middle age; & of Buckinghamshire, where in my old age I live. In which Counties, we out of former Collections compiled these Institutes. But now returne we againe to our Author.

His marriage.He married with Johan one of the daughters and coheires of William Burley Edition: current; Page: [581] of Broomescroft Castle in the Countie of Salop, a Gentleman of ancient descent, and bare the Armes of his Family, Argent, a Fesse Checkie Or and Azure, upon a Lion Rampant Sable, armed Gules. And by her had three sons,His issue. Sir William, Richard the Lawyer, and Thomas.

The establishment of his posteritie by the matches of his three sonnes, with Vertue & good Bloud.In his lifetime, he, as a loving Father and a wise man, provided matches for these three sons, in vertuous and ancient Families, that is to say, for his son Sir William, Ellen Daughter and Coheire of Thomas Welsh Esquire, who by her had issue Johan his onely childe, married to Sir John Aston of Tixall Knight: And for the second wife of Sir William, Mary the Daughter of William Whittington Esquire, whose posteritie in Worcestershire flourish to this day. For Richard Littleton his second son, to whom he gave good possessions of inheritance,He gave possessions of inheritance to his younger sons, for their better advancement. Alice daughter and heire of William Winsbury of Pilleton-hall in the Countie of Stafford, Esquire, whose posteritie prosper in Staffordshire to this day. And for Thomas his third son, to whom hee gave good possessions of inheritance, Anne daughter and heire of John Botreaux Esquire, whose posteritie in Shropshire continue prosperously to this day. Thus advanced he his posteritie, and his posteritie by imitation of his Vertues have honoured him.

His last Will.He made his last Will & Testament the 22. day of August in the 21. yeare of the reigne of King Edward the fourth, whereof he made his three sons, a Parson,His Executors. a Vicar, & a Servant of his Executors, & constituted supervisor thereof, his true & faithfull friend John Alcock Doctor of Law, of the famous University of Cambridge,His Superviser. then Bishop of Worcester, a man of singular Pietie, Devotion, Chastitie, Temperance, & Holinesse of life, who amongst other of his pious & charitable works, founded Jesus College in Cambridge, a fit and fast friend to our honourable & vertuous Judge.

His age.He left this life in his great & good age, on the 23. day of the month of August, in the said 21. yeare of the reigne of King Edward the fourth:His departure. For it is observed for a speciall blessing of Almighty God, that few or none of that profession die Intestatus & improles30 without Will & without Child; which last Will was proved the 8. of November following in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, for that hee had Bona notabilia31 in divers Diocesses. But yet our Author liveth still in ore omnium juris prudentium.32

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Littleton is named in 1.H.7. and in 21.H.7.33 Some do hold, that it is no error either in the Reporter or Printer; but that it was Richard the son of our Author, who in those daies professed the Law, and had read upon the statute of West. 2.34 quia multaper malitiam,*35,36 unto whom his Father dedicated his Book; And this Richard died at Pilleton hall in Staffordsh. in 9.H.8.

His Sepulchre.The body of our Author is honourably interred in the Cathedrall Church of Worcester, under a faire Tomb of Marble, with his statue of portraiture upon it, together with his own match, & the matches of some of his Ancestors, and with a memoriall of his principall titles, and out of the mouth of his statue proceedeth this praier, Fili Dei miserere mei,37 which he himselfe caused to be made and finished in his life time, & remaineth to this day. His wife Johan Lady Littleton survived him, and left a great inheritance of her Father, and Ellen her Mother, daughter & heire of John Grendon Esquire, and other her Ancestors, to Sir William Littleton her son.

This Work was not published in print, either by our Author himselfe, or Richard his son, or any other, untill after the deceases both of our Author, and of Richard his son.When this Worke was published. For I finde it not cited in any Booke or Report, before Sir Anthony Fitzherbert cited him in his Natura Brevium;38 who published that Booke of his Natura Brevium in 26.H.8.39 Which Work of our Author, in respect of the excellencie thereof, by all probabilitie should have beene cited in the Reports of the reignes of E.5. R.3. H.7. or H.8. or by S. Jermyn in his Booke of the Doctor and Student, which he published in the three and twentieth yeare of H.8. if in those dayes our Authors Booke had beene printed.Nota. And yet you shall observe, that Time doth ever give greater authoritie to Works and Writings that are of great and profound learning, than at the first they had.When this Work was first imprinted. The first impression that I finde of our Authors Booke was at Roan in France by William le Tailier (for that it was written in French) Ad instantiam,40 Edition: current; Page: [583] Richardi Pinson, at the instance of Richard Pinson the Printer of King H.8. before the said Book of Natura Brevium was published; and therefore upon these and other things that we have seene, wee are of opinion, that it was first printed about the foure and twentieth yeare of the reigne of King H.8. since which time hee hath beene commonly cited, and (as he deserves) more and more highly esteemed.

His Picture.He that is desirous to see his picture, may in the Churches of Frankley and Hales Owen see the grave and reverend countenance of our Author, the outward man, but he hath left this Booke, as a figure of that higher & nobler part,The figure of his Minde. that is, of the excellent and rare endowments of his minde, especially in the profound knowledge of the fundamentall Lawes of this Realme. He that diligently reads this his excellent Work, shall behold the childe and figure of his minde, which the more often he beholds in the visiall line, and well observes him, the more shall he justly admire the judgement of our Author, and increase his owne. This only is desired, that he had written of other parts of the Law, and specially of the rules of good pleading (the heart-string of the Common Law) wherein hee excelled: for of him might the saying of our English Poet be verified;

  • Thereto he could indite and maken a thing,
  • There was no Wight could pinch at his writing.41

Good pleading.So farre from exception, as none could pinch at it. This skill of good pleading he highly in this Work commended to his sonne, and under his name to all other Students sons of his Law. He was learned also in that Art, which is so necessarie to a compleat Lawyer,Logicke. I meane Logick, as you shall perceive by reading of these Institutes, wherein are observed his Syllogismes, Inductions, and other arguments; and his Definitions, Descriptions, Divisions, Etymologies, Derivations, Significations, and the like. Certaine it is, that when a great learned man (who is long in making) dieth, much learning dieth with him.42

The commendation of his Worke.That which we have formerly written, that this Book is the ornament of the Common Law, and the most perfect and absolute Work that ever was written in any humane Science; and in another place,43 that which I affirmed Edition: current; Page: [584] and tooke upon me to maintaine against all opposites whatsoever, that it is a Work of as absolute perfection in his kinde, and as free from errour as any book that I have knowne to be written of any humane learning, shall to the diligent and observing Reader of these Institutes be made manifest, and we by them (which is but a Commentarie upon him) be deemed to have fully satisfied that, which we in former times have so confidently affirmed and assumed. His greatest commendation, because it is of greatest profit to us, is, that by this excellent Work, which he had studiously learned of others, he faithfully taught all the professors of the Law in succeeding ages. The victorie is not great to overthrow his opposites, for there was never any learned man in the Law, that understood our Author, but concurred with me in his commendation: Habae enim justam venerationem quicquid excellit;44 For whatsoever excelleth hath just honour due to it. Such as in words have endevoured to offer him disgrace, never understood him, and therefore we leave them in their ignorance, and wish that by these our Labors they may know the truth, and be converted. But herein we will proceed no further: For, Stultum est absurdas opiniones accuratius refellere,45 It is meere folly to confute absurd opinions with too much curiositie.

And albeit our Author in his three Books cites not many authorities, yet he holdeth no opinion in any of them, but is proved and approved by these two faithfull witnesses in matter of Law, Authoritie, and Reason. Certaine it is, when hee raiseth any question, and sheweth the reason on both sides, the latter opinion is his owne, and is consonant to Law. We have knowne many of his cases drawne in question,Nota. but never could find any judgement given against any of them, which we cannot affirme of any other Booke or Edition of our Law. In the reigne of our late Soveraigne Lord King James of famous and ever blessed memorie, it came in question upon a demurrer in Law,46 whether the release to one trespasser should be available or no to his companion, Sir Henry Hobart that honourable Judge and great Sage of the Law, and those reverend and learned Judges, Warburton, Winch, and Nichols his companions, gave judgement according to the opinion of our Author, and openly said, That they owed so great reverence to Littleton, as they would Edition: current; Page: [585] not have his Case disputed or questioned: and the like you shall finde in this part of the Institutes. Thus much (though not so much as his due) have we spoken of him, both to set out his life, because he is our Author, and for the imitation of him by others of our Profession.

What is endevoured by these Institutes.We have in these Institutes endevoured to open the true sense of every of his particular Cases, and the extent of everie of the same either in expresse words, or by implication, and where any of them are altered by any latter Act of Parliament, to observe the same, and wherein the alteration consisteth. Certaine it is, that there is never a period, nor (for the most part) a word, nor an &c. but affordeth excellent matter of learning. But the module of a Preface cannot expresse the observations that are made in this Worke, of the deepe Judgement and notable Invention of our Author. We have by comparison of the late and moderne impressions with the originall print, vindicated our Author from two injuries; First, from divers corruptions in the late and moderne prints, and restored our Author to his owne: Secondly, from all additions and incroachments upon him, that nothing might appeare in his worke but his owne.

The benefit of these Institutes.Our hope is, that the young Student, who heretofore meeting at the first, and wrastling with as difficult termes and matter, as in many yeares after, was at the first discouraged, as many have beene, may by reading these Institutes, have the difficultie and darknesse both of the Matter, and of the Termes & words of Art in the beginnings of his study facilitated & explained unto him, to the end he may proceed in his study cheerfully, and with delight; and therefore I have termed them Institutes,Wherefore called Institutes. because my desire is, they should institute and instruct the studious, and guide him in a ready way to the knowledge of the nationall Lawes of England.

Wherefore published in English.This part we have (and not without president) published in English, for that they are an Introduction to the knowledge of the nationall lawes of the Realme; a work necessary, and yet heretofore not undertaken by any, albeit in all other professions there are the like. Wee have left our Author to speake his owne language, & have translated him into English, to the end that any of the Nobilitie, or Gentrie of this Realme, or of any other estate, or profession whatsoever, that will be pleased to read him & these Institutes, mayunderstand the language wherein they are written.

I cannot conjecture that the generall communicating of these Lawes in the English tongue can worke any inconvenience, but introduce great profit, seeing that Ignorantia Juris non excusat, Ignorance of the Law excuseth not.Regula. And Edition: current; Page: [586] herein I am justified by the wisdome of a Parliament; the words whereof be,47 That the Lawes and Customes of this Realme the rather should be reasonably perceived and knowne, and better understood by the tongue used in this Realme, and by so much everie man might the better governe himselfe without offending of the Law, and the better keepe, save, and defend his heritage and possessions. And in divers Regions and Countries where the King, the Nobles, and other of the said Realme have beene, good governance and full right is done to everie man, because that the Lawes and Customes be learned and used in the Tongue of the Countrey:Regula. as more at large by the said Act, and the purview thereofmayappeare: Et neminem oportet esse sapientiorem Legibus,48 No man ought to be wiser than the Law.

And true it is that our Books of Reports and Statutes, in ancient times were written in such French as in those times was commonly spoken and written by the French themselves. But this kind of French that our Author hath used is most commonly written and read,Our Authors kinde of French. and verie rarely spoken, and therefore cannot be either pure, or well pronounced. Yet the change thereof (having been so long accustomed) should be without any profit, but not without great danger and difficultie: For so many ancient Termes and words drawne from that legall French, are growne to be Vocabula artis, Vocables of Art, so apt & significant to expresse the true sense of the Lawes, & are so woven into the lawes themselves,49 as it is in a manner impossible to change them, neither ought legall termes to be changed.

In Schoole Divinitie, and amongst the Glossographers and Interpreters of the Civill and Canon Lawes, in Logick and in other liberall Sciences, you shall meet with a whole Army of words, which cannot defend themselves in Bello Grammaticali, in the Grammaticall Warre, and yet are more significant, compendious, and effectuall to expresse the true sense of the matter, than if they were expressed in pure Latine.

Wherefore called the first part.This Worke wee have called The first part of the Institutes, for two causes: First, for that our Author is the first booke that our Student taketh in hand. Secondly, for that there are some other parts of Institutes not yet published, (viz.) The second part being a Commentarie upon the Statute of Magna Edition: current; Page: [587] Charta, Westm. I. and other old Statutes. The third part treateth of Criminall causes and Pleas of the Crowne: which three parts we have by the goodnesse of Almightie God already finished. The fourth part wee have purposed to be of the Jurisdiction of Courts; but hereof we have onely collected some materialls towards the raising of so great and honourable a Building. Wee have by the goodnesse and assistance of Almightie God brought this twelfth Worke to an end: In the eleven Bookes of our Reports wee have related the opinions and judgements of others; but herein we have set downe our owne.

Before I entred into any of these parts of our Institutes, I acknowledging mine owne weaknesse and want of judgement to undertake so great Workes, directed my humble Suit and Prayer to the Author of all Goodnesse and Wisdome, out of the Booke of Wisdome; 50 Pater & Deus misericordiae, da mihi fedium tuarum assistriceur sapientiam, mitte eam de Coelis sanctis tuis & à sede magnitudinis tuae, ut mecum sit & mecum laboret, ut sciam quid acceptum sit apud te; Oh Father and God of mercie, give me wisdome, the Assistant of thy seats; Oh, send her out of thy holy Heavens, and from the seat of thy Greatnesse, that shee may be present with mee and labour with mee, that I may know what is pleasing unto thee, Amen.

Our Author hath divided his whole Worke into three Bookes: In his first he hath divided Estates in Lands and Tenements, in this manner; For; Res per divisionem melius aperiuntur.51,52

Our Author dealt onely with the Estates and termes abovesaid; Somewhat Wee shall speake of Estates by force of certaine Statutes, as of Statute Merchant, Statute Staple, and Elegit,53 (whereof our Author intended to have written) and likewise to Executors to whom lands are devised for payment of debts, and the like.

I shall desire,54 that the learned Reader will not conceive any opinionagainst any part of this painfull and large Volume, untill hee shall have advisedly read over the whole, and diligently searched out and well considered of the severall Authorities, Proofes, and Reasons which wee have cited and set downe for warrant and confirmation of our opinions thorowout this whole worke.

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Edition: current; Page: [589] Edition: current; Page: [590]

Mine advice to the Student is, That before hee read any part of our Commentaries upon any Section, that first he read againe and againe our Author himselfe in that Section, and doe his best endevours, first of himselfe, and then by conference with others, (which is the life of Study) to understand it, and then to read our Commentarie thereupon, and no more at any one time, than he is able with delight to beare away, and after to meditate thereon, which is the life of reading. But of this Argument we have for the better direction of our Student in his Study, spoken in our Epistle to our first Booke of Reports.

And albeit the Reader shall not at any one day (doe what he can) reach to the meaning of our Author, or of our Commentaries, yet let him no way discourage himselfe, but proceed; for on some other day, in some other place, that doubt will be cleared. Our Labours herein are drawne out to this great Volume, for that our Author is twice repeated, once in French, and againe in English.

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Section 1
Fee Simple

|Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [1 a] Tenant in Fee simple is hee which hath Lands or Tenements to hold to him and his heires for ever. And it is called in Latine, Feodum Simplex, for Feodum is the same that Inheritance is, and Simplex is as much to say, as lawfull or pure. And so Feodum simplex signifies a lawfull or pure Inheritance. For if a man would purchase lands or tenements in fee simple, it behoveth him to have these words in his purchase, To have and to hold to him and to his Heires: for these words (his Heires) make the Estate of the Inheritance. For if a man purchase Lands by these words, To have and to hold to him for ever; or by these words, To have and to hold to him and his Assignes for ever: in these two cases hee hath but an estate for terme of life, for that there lack these words (his Heires) which words onely make an Estate of Inheritance in all Feoffments and Grants.


In Latine Tenens, is derived of the verb Teneo and hath in the Latin five significations.1 1. It signifies the estate of the Land, as when the Tenant in a Praecipe of land pleads, Quod non tener,2 etc. this is as much as to say, That hee hath not seisin of the Freehold of the Land in question. And in this sense doth our Author take it in this place: & therefore he saith, tenant in fee simple is hee which hath lands to hold to him & his heires. 2. It signifieth the Tenure of the service whereby the lands & tenements beene holden, and in this sense it is said in the Writ of right, Quae clamat tenere de te per liberum seruitium, &c.3 And in this signification hee is called a Tenant or holder,4 because all the lands & tenements in England in the hands of subjects, are holden mediately or immediately of the King. For in the law of England we have not properly, Allodium,5 That is,6 any Subjects Land that is not holden, unlesse you will take Allodium, for Ex. solido, as it is often taken in the Booke of Domesday: and tenents in Fee simple are there called Alodarii or Aloarii, And he is called Edition: current; Page: [592] a Tenant, because hee holdeth of some superior Lord by some service.7 And therefore the King in this sense cannot be said to be a Tenant, because hee hath no superior but God Almightie; Praedium domini: regis est directum dominium cuius nullus Author est nisi Deus. And8 as Bracton saith, Omnis quidem sub eo, & ipse sub nullo, nisi tantum sub Deo. The posessions of the King are called Sacra patrimonia. & Dominica Coronae Regis. But though a Subject hath not properly Directum,9 yet hath hee utile Dominium.10 Of these Tenants our Author, speaketh in his second Booke. Also Tenere signifieth performance, as in the Writ of Covenant, Quod teneat conventionem, that is, That he hold or performe his Covenant. And likewise it signifieth to be bound, as it is said in everie common Obligation, teneri & firmiter obligari.11 Lastly, It signifieth to deeme or judge, as in 38. Ed. 3c. 4. It shall be holden for none (that is) judged or deemed for none, and so wee commonly say, it is holden in our Bookes. And these severall significations doe properly belong to our Tenant in Fee simple. For he hath the estate of the Land, he holdeth the land of some superiour Lord, and is to performe the services due, and thereunto he is bounden by doome and judgement of Law. Of the severall estates of Land, our Author treateth in his first booke, and beginneth with Fee simple, because all other estates and interests are derived out of the same.

“Fee Simple.”

Fee commeth of the French Fief, (i)12 praedium beneficiarium,13 and legally signifieth Inheritance, as our Author himselfe hereafter expoundeth it. And Simple is added, for that it is descendible to his heires generally, that is, simply, without restraint to the heires of his body, or the like. Feodum est quod quis tenet ex quacunque causa, sive sit tenementum, sive redditus, &c. In Domesday it is called Feudum. (a)14 Of Fee simple, it is commonly holden, that there be Edition: current; Page: [593] three kinds, viz. fee simple absolute, fee simple conditionall, and fee simple qualified, or a base fee. But the more genuine and apt division, were to divide fee, that is, Inheritance, into three parts, viz. Simple as absolute, Conditionall, and qualified or base. For this word (Simple) properly excludeth both conditions and limitations, that defeat or abridge the fee.* 15 Hereby appeareth, that fee in our legall understanding signifieth, that the land belongs to us & our heires, in respect whereof the owner is said to be seised in fee, and in this sense the King is said to be seised in fee. (b) 16 It is also taken, as it is holden of another by service, and that belongeth onely to the Subject; Item dicitur feodum alio modo eius qui alium feoffat, & qod quis tenet ab alio, ut si sit qui dicat, talis tenet de me tot feoda per servitium militare. And Fleta saith, Poterit unus tenere in feodo quoad servitia, sicut dominus capitalis, & non in Dominico, alius in feodo & dominico, & non in servitio, sicut libere tenens alicuius 17 (c)18 And therefore if a stranger claims a Seigniorie, and disteine and avow for the service, the Tenant may plead, That the Tenancie is extra feodum, &c. of him (that is) out of the Seigniorie, or not holden of him that claimeth it, but he cannot plead Hors de fon fee, unlesse he take the tenancie, that is, the state of the Land upon him. Of fee in the first sense our Author treateth in this first Booke; and as is taken in the second sense, in his second booke: and of the third you shall read in our Author, Sect. 13, 643, 644, 645. and plentifully in our books quoted in the margent.

“Lands or Tenements.”

Here is to be observed, That a man may have a fee simple in three kinds of hereditaments, viz. Reall, Personall, and Mixt: Reall, as Lands and Tenements, whereof our Author here speaketh: Personall, King Edward the first in the Edition: current; Page: [594] thirteenth yeare of his Reigne,19 Concessit Edmundo fratri suo charissimo, quod ipse & haeredes sui habeant ad requisitionem suam in Cancellaria nostra & haeredum nostrorum Justi-|Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [2 a]-ciarios ad placita forestarum quas idem Fraternosterhabet ex dono domini Regis Henrici parris nostri secundum assiss. forestae tenend; &c.20 In this case the grantee and his heires had a personall inheritance in making of a request to have Letters patents of Commission to have Justices assigned to him to heare and determine of the pleas of the forrests, and concerneth neither lands or tenements. And so it is if an Annuity be granted to a man and his heires, It is a fee simple personall, & sic de similibus. And lastly hereditaments mixt both of the realty and personality. As the Abbot of Whitbie in the County of Yorke having a forrest of the gift of William of Percie founder of that Abby, and by the Charters of King John and of other his progenitors, King Henry the third did grant21 Abbati & conventui de Whitbye quod ipsi & eorum successores in perpetuum habeant viridarios suos proprios de libertate sua de Whitb. eligend’ de cetero in pleno com’ Eborum prout moris est ad responsiones & presentationes, faciend’ de transgressionibus quas amodo fieri continget de venatione infra metas forestae suae de Whitbye quam habent ex donatione Willi. de Percey, & Alani de Percey, filii ejus, & redditione & concessione domini Johan. quondam regis Angliae patris nostri & confirmatione nostra coram justiciariis nostris itinerantibus ad placita forestae in partibus illis & non alibi sicut viridarii forestae nostrae hujusmodi responsiones&presentationes facere debent, & consueverunt. Et si contingat aliquos forinsecos qui non sunt de libertate predictorum Abbatis & conventus transgressionem facere de venatione infra metas forestae predictae quos predicti viridarii attachiare non possunt: Volumus & concedimus pro nobis & heredibus nostris quod hujusmodi transgressores per Justicarios forestae nostrae ultra Trentam attachientur ad praesentationem viridariorum praedict. ad respondendum, inde coram justiciariis nostris itinerantibus ad placita forestae nostrae in partibus illis cum ibid. ad placitandum venerint prout secundum assisam & consuetudinem forestae fuerint faciend.22 Edition: current; Page: [595] Which Charter was pleaded upon the Claime made by the Abbot of Whitbye before Willoughby, Hungerford, and Hanbury, Justices in Eire in the forrest of Pickering, which Eire began Anno 8.Edw.3. And these before them were allowed. And when the King createth an Earle of such a county or other place, To hold that dignity to him and his heires, This Dignity is personall, and also concerneth lands and tenements. But of this matter more shall be said in the next Chapter, Sect. 14. & 15.

“Called in Latine, feum sinplex, for Feodum is the same that Inheritance is,”

Here23 Littleton himselfe teacheth the signification of feodum; according to that which hath bin said, which onely is to be applied to fee simple pure and absolute. And this and all his other interpretations of words and Etymologies throughout all his three bookes (wherein the studious Reader will observe many) are perspicuous, and ever per notiora & nunquam ignotum per ignotius,24 and are most necessary, for ignoratis terminis ignoratur & ars.25,26

Simplex is as much to say, as lawfull or pure.”

Hereof hee treateth onely in this place. And Litt. saith well, that Simplex idem est quod purum. Simplex enim dicitur quia sine plicis; & purum dicitur, quod Edition: current; Page: [596] est merum & solum sine additione. Simplex donatio & pura est ubi nulla addita est conditio siue modus, simplex enim datur quod nullo additamento datur.27,28

“a lawfull or pure Inheritance.”

And therefore it is well said,29 quod donationum alia simplex & pura, quae nullo jure civili vel naturali cogente, nullo precedente metu vel interveniente ex mera gratuitaque libertate donantis procedit, & ubi nullo casu velit donator ad se reverti quod dedit, alia sub modo conditione vel ob causam, in quibus casibus non proprie sit donatio cum donator, id ad se reverti velit, sed quedam potius feodalis dimissio, alia absoluta & larga, alia stricta & coarctata sicut certis heredibus quibusdam a successoribus exclusis, &c.30 And therefore seeing fee simple is hereditaslegitima vel pura,31 it plainly confirmeth that the division of fee is by his authority rather to be divided as is aforesaid than fee simple. And he saith well in the disjunctive legitima vel pura, for every fee simple is not Legitimum. For a disseisor, abator, intruder, usurper &c. have a fee simple, but it is not a lawfull fee. So as every man that hath a fee simple, hath it either by right or by wrong. If by right, then he hath it either by purchase or discent. If by wrong, then either by disseisin, intrusion, abatement, usurpation, &c. In this Chapter he treateth onely of a lawfull fee simple, and divideth the same as is aforesaid.

“For if a man would purchase.”

Persons capable of purchase who have ability to grant.Persons capable of purchase are of two sorts, persons naturall created of God, as I. S. I. N. &c. and persons incorporate or politique created by the policy Edition: current; Page: [597] of man, (and therefore they are called bodies politique) and these be of two sorts, viz, either sole, or aggregate of many: againe aggregate of many, either of all persons capable, or of one32 person capable, and the rest incapable or dead in law, as in the Chapter of Discontinuance, Sect. 57. shall be shewed. Some men have capacitie to purchase, but not abilitie to hold.33 Some capacity to purchase and abilitie to hold, or not to hold, at the election of them or others. Some capacity to take and to hold. Some neither capacity to take nor to hold. And some specially disabled to take some particular thing.

If an alien Christian or infidell purchase houses, lands, tenements, or hereditaments to him |Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [2 b] and his heires, albeit he can have no heires, yet he is of capacitie to take a fee simple but not to hold. For upon an office found, the king shall have it by his prerogative, of whomsoever34 the land is holden. And so it is if the alien doth purchase land and die, the law doth cast the freehold and inheritance upon the King. If an alien purchase any estate of freehold in houses, lands, tenements, or hereditaments, the King upon office found shall have them. If an alien be made Denizen and purchase lands and die without issue, the lord of the fee shall have the escheat, and not the King.35 But as to a lease for yeares, there is a diversitie betweene a lease for yeares of a house for the habitation of a marchant stranger being an alien, whose king is in league with ours, and a lease for yeares of lands, meadowes, pastures, woods, and the like. For if he take a lease for yeares of lands, meadowes, &c. upon office found, the king shall have it. But of a house for habitation he may take a lease for yeares as incident to Commercety, for without habitationheecannot merchandize or trade. But if he depart, or relinquish the realme, the king shall have the lease. So it is if he die possessed thereof, neither his Executors or administrators, shall have it, but the king: for he had it only for habitation as necessary to his trade or traffique, and not for the benefit of his Executor or adminstrator. But if the alien be no merchant, then the king shall have the lease for yeares, albeit it were for his habitatation, and so it is if he be an alien enemie. And all this was so resolved by the Judges assembled together for that purpose in the case of Sir James Croft, Pasch. 29. of the reigne of Queene Elizabeth.36 Also if a man commit felony, and after purchase lands and after Edition: current; Page: [598] is attainted, he had capacitie to purchase but not to hold it, for in that case the Lord of the fee shall have the Escheat. And if a man be attainted of felony, yet he hath capacity to purchase to him and to his heires, albeit he can have no heire, but he cannot hold it, for in that case the king shall have it by his prerogative, and not the Lord of the fee, for a man attainted hath no capacity to purchase (being a man civiliter mortuus37) but onely for the benefit of the king, no more than the alienee hath. If any sole Corporation or aggregate of many, either Ecclesiasticall or temporall (for the words of the statute be Si quis religiosus vel alius38) purchase Lands or Tenements in fee, they have capacity to take but not to retaine (unlesse they have a sufficient Licence in that behalfe) for within the yeare after the alienation, the next Lord of the fee may enter, and if he doe not, then the next immediate lord from time to time to have half a yeare, and for default of all the mesne Lords, then the king to have the land so aliened for ever, which is to be understood of such inheritance as may be holden. But of such inheritances as are not holden, as Villeins, rents charges, commons, and the like, the king shall have them presently by a favourable interpretation of the statute. An Annuity granted to them is not mortmaine,39 because it chargeth the person onely. Some have said that it is called mortmaine Manus mortua, quia possessio corum est immortalis, manus propossessione, & mortua pro immortali,40 and the rather for that by the lawes and statutes of the realme, all Ecclesiastiall persons are restrained to alien.41 Others say it is called manus mortua per Antiphrasin,42 because bodies politique and corporate never die. Others say that it is called Mortmaine by resemblance to the holding of a mans hand that is ready to die, for that he then holdeth he letteth not goe till he be dead. These and such others are framed out of wit and invention, but the true cause of the name, and the meaning thereof, was taken from the effects, as it is expressed in the statute it selfe,43 per quod quae servitia ex hujusmodi feodis debentur, & quae ad defensionem regni ab initio Edition: current; Page: [599] provisa fuerunt indebite subtrahuntur & capitales domini eschaetas suas amittunt,44 so as the lands were said to come to dead hands as to the Lords, for that by alienation in Mortmaine, they lost wholly their escheats, and in effect their knights services for the defence of the Realme, Wards, Marriages, Reliefes, and the like, and therefore was called a dead hand, for that a deadhandyeeldeth no service.

I passe over Villeins or Bondmen, who have power to purchase lands, but not to reteyne them against their Lords, because you shall reade at large of them in their proper place in the Chapter of Villenage.

An infant or minor (whome we call any that is under the age of 21 yeares) have without consent of any other, capacity to purchase, for it is intended for his benefit, and at his full age he may either agree thereunto, and perfect it, or without any cause to be alleged, Waive or disagree to the purchase, and so may his heires after him, if he agree not thereunto after his full age.

A man of non sane memory may without the consent of any other, purchase lands, but hee himselfe cannot waive it, but if he die in his madnesse, or after his memory recovered without agreement thereunto, his heire may Waive and disagree to the state, without any cause shewed, and so of an Ideot. But if the man of non sane memory, recover his memory, and agree unto it, it is unavoydable.

If an Abbot purchase lands to him and his successors without the consent of his Covent, he himselfe cannot Waive it, but his successor may upon just cause shewed,45 as if a greater rent were reserved thereupon than the value of the land, or the like, but he cannot Waive it unlesse it be upon just cause, et sic de similibus praelatus Ecclesiae suae conditioné meliorare potest, deteriorare nequit.46 And in another place he saith,47 Est enim Ecclesia ejusdem conditionis, quae fungitur vice minoris.48

|Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [3 a] But no Simile holds in everie thing, according to the ancient saying, Nullum simile quatuor pedibus currit.49 (a)50 An hermaphrodite may purchase Edition: current; Page: [600] according to that Sex which prevaileth. A feme covert cannot take any thing of the gift of her husband, but is of capacitie to purchase of others without the consent of her husband. And of this opinion was Littleton in our Books, and in this Booke Sect 677. but her husband may disagree thereunto, and divest the whole estate, but if he neither agree nor disagree, the purchase is good; but after his death, albeit her husband agreed thereunto, yet shee may without any cause to be alleaged waive the same, and so may her heires also, if after the decease of her husband she her selfe agreed not thereunto.

(b)51 A wife (Uxor) is a good name of Purchase, without a Christian name, and so it is, if a Christian name be added and mistaken, as Em for Emelya, &c. for utile per inutile non vitiatur.52 But the Queene, the Consort of the King of England, is an exempt person from the King by the Common Law, and is of abilitie, and capacitie to purchase and grant without the King. Of which see more at large, Sect. 206.

(c)53 The Parishioners or Inhabitants, or probi homines of Dale, or the Church wardens, are not capable to purchase lands, but goods they are, unlesse it were in ancient time when such grants were allowed.

(d)54 An ancient grant by the Lord to the Commoners in such a waste, that a way leading to their Common should not be streightened, was good, but otherwise it is of such a grant at this day. (e)55 And so in ancient time a grant made to a Lord, & hominibus suis tam liberis quam nativis,56 or the like, was good, but they are not of capacitie to purchase by such a name at this day. But yet at this day if the King grant to a man to have the goods and cattels de hominibus suis, or de tenentibus suis, or de residentibus, infra feodum, &c.57 it is good, for there they are not named as purchasers or takers, but for another mans benefit, who hath capacitie to purchase or take. (f )58 And regularly it Edition: current; Page: [601] is requisite that the Purchaser be named by the name of Baptisme and his surname, and that speciall heed bee taken to the name of Baptisme, for that a man cannot have two names of Baptisme as he may have divers surnames. (g)59 And it is not safe in writs, pleadings, grants, &c. to translate surnames into Latine. As if the surname of one be Fitzwilliam, or Williamson, if he translate him to filius Willi. if in truth his father had any other Christian name than William, the Writ, &c. shall abate, for Fitzwilliam or Williamson is his surname whatsoever Christian name his father had, therefore the Lawyer never translates surnames. And yet in some cases, though the name of Baptisme be mistaken, (as in the case before put of the wife) the grant is good.

So it is if lands be given to Robert Earle of Pembroke where his name is Henry, to George Bishop of Norwich, where his name is John, and so of an Abbot, &c. for in these and the like cases there can be but one of that Dignitie or name. And therefore such a grant is good, albeit the name of Baptisme be mistaken. If by Licence lands be given to the Deane and Chapter of the holy and individed Trinitie of Norwich, this is good, although the Deane bee not named by his proper name, if there were a Deane at the time of the grant, but in pleading he must shew his proper name. And so on the other side, If the Deane and Chapter make a Lease without naming the Deane by his proper name, the Lease is good, if there were a Deane at the time of the Lease, but in pleading the proper name of the Deane must be shewed, and so to the Booke of 18.Edw.4. to be intended for the same Judges in 13.Edw.4. held the grant good to a Mayor, Alderman, and Commonaltie, albeit the Mayor was not named by his proper name, but in pleading it must be shewed, as it is there also holden. If a man be baptized by the name of Thomas, and after at his Confirmation by the Bishop he is named John, he may purchase by the name of his Confirmation. And this was the case of Sir Francis Gawdye, late chiefe Justice of the Court of Common Pleas, whose name of Baptisme was Thomas, and his name of Confirmation Francis, and that name of Francis by the advice of all the Judges in Anno 36.Hen.8. hee did beare, and after used in all his purchases and grants. (h)60 And this doth agree with our ancient Edition: current; Page: [602] Bookes, where it is holden that a man may have divers names at divers times, but not divers Christian names. And the Court said, that it may be that a woman was baptized by the name of Anable and fortie yeares after she was confirmed by the name of Douce, and then her name was changed, and after she was to be named Douce, and that all purchases, &c. made by her by the name of Baptisme before her Confirmation remaine good, a matter not much in use, nor requisite to be put in ure, but yet necessarie to be knowne. (i)61 But purchases are good in many cases by a knowne name, or by a certaine description of the person without either surname, or name of Baptisme, as Uxori I. S. as hath beene said, or primogenito filio, or secundo genito filio, &c. or filio natu minimo I.S. or seniori puero, or omnibus filiis or filiabus I.S. or omnibus liberis seu exitibus of I.S. or to the right heires of I.S.62

(k)63 But if a man doe infranchise a Villeine, cum tota sequela sua,64 that is not sufficient to infranchise his children borne before, for the incertaintie of the word sequela. (l)65 But regularly in Writs, the Demandant or Tenant is to be named by his Christian name and Surname, unlesse it be in cases of some Corporations or Bodies politique.

|Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [3 b] (a)66 A bastard having gotten a name by reputation may purchase by his reputed or knowne name to him and his heires, although he can have no heire but of his body. A man makes a lease to B. for life, remainder to the eldest issue male of B. & the heires males of his body. B. hath issue a bastard son, he shall not take the remainder, because in Law he is not his issue,67 for qui ex damnato coitu nascuntur inter liberos non computentur.68 And as Littleton saith, A bastard is quasi nullius filius69 & can have no name of reputation as Edition: current; Page: [603] soone as he is borne. (b)70 So it is if a man make a lease for life to B. the remainder to the eldest issue male of B. to bee begotten of the body of Jane S. whether the same issue be legitimate or illegitimate. B. hath issue a bastard on the body of Jane S. this son or issue shall not take the remainder, for (as it hath beene said) by the name of issue, if there had beene no other words he could not take, and (as it hath beene also said) a bastard cannot take, but after hee hath gained a name by reputation, that hee is the sonne of B. &c. (c)71 And therefore he can take no remainder limited before he be borne, but after he be borne, and that he hath gained by time a reputation to be knowne by the same of a son, then a remainder limited to him by the name of the sonne of his reputed father is good. But if he cannot take the remainder by the name of issue at the time when hee is borne hee shall never take it. And so it seemeth, and for the same cause, if after the birth of the issue, B. had married Jane S. so as hee became Bastard eigne,72 and had a possibilitie to inherit, yet he shall not take the remainder.

Persons deformed having humane shape, ideots, mad men, lepers, deafe, dumb, and blinde, minors, and all other reasonable creatures have power to purchase and retaine lands or tenements. (d)73 But the Common Law doth disable some men to take any estate in some particular things: As if an office either of the grant of the King or Subject which concernes the administration, proceeding, or execution of Justice, or the Kings revenue, or the Commonwealth, or the interest, benefit, or safetie of the subject, or the like; if these, or any of them be granted to a man that is unexpert, and hath no skill and science to exercise or execute the same, the grant is meerely void, and the partie disabled by Law, and incapable to take the same, pro commodo regis & populi,74 for only men of skill, knowledge, & abilitie to exercise the same are capable of the same to serve the King & his people. (e)75 An infant or minor is not capable of an office of Stewardship of the Court of a Mannor either in Edition: current; Page: [604] possession or reversion. (f )76 No man though never so skilfull and expert, is capable of a judiciall office in reversion, but must expect untill it fall in possession. And see Sect. 378. where bargaining or giving of money, or any manner of reward, &c. for offices there mentioned, shall make such a purchaser incapable thereof, which is worthy to bee knowne, but more worthy to be put in due execution.

Some are capable of certaine things for some speciall purpose, but not to use or exercise such things themselves. As the King is capable of an office, not to use, but to grant, &c.

A monster borne within lawfull matrimony, that hath not humane shape cannot purchase much lesse retaine any thing. (g)77 The same Law is de professis & mortuis seculo, for they are civiliter mortui,78 whereof you shall read at large in his proper place, Sect. 200.


In Latine Perquisitum of the Verbe Perquirere, Littleton describeth it in the end of this Chapter in this manner, Item, purchase est appel le possession de trés outenèments que home ad per son fait, ou per son agreement, a quel possession il neavient per title de discent de nul de ses ancesters, ou de ses cosens mes person fait dem.79 So as I take it, a purchase is to be taken, when one commeth to lands by conveyance or title, and that disseisins, abatements, intrusions, usurpations, and such like estates gained by wrong, are not said in Law purchases, but oppressions and injuries.

Note that purchasers of lands, tenements, leases, and hereditaments for good and valuable consideration, shall avoyd all former fraudulent and covinous conveyances, estates, grants, charges & limitations of uses, of or out of the Edition: current; Page: [605] same, (h)80 by a Statute made since Littleton wrote, whereof you may plainly and plentifully read in my Reports, to which I will adde this case, I. C. had a Lease of certaine lands for 60 yeares if hee lived so long, and forged a Lease for 90 yeares absolutely, and he by Indenture reciting the forged Lease for valuable consideration bargained, and sold the forged Lease: and all his interest in the land to R. G. It seemed to me that R. G. was no purchaser within the Statute of 27 Eliz. for he contracted not for the true & lawfull interest, for that was not knowne to him, for then perhaps hee would not have dealt for it, and the visible and knowne tearme was forged, and although by generall words the true interest passed notwithstanding he gave no valuable consideration nor contracted for it. And of this opinion were all the Judges in Serjeants Inne in Fleetstreet.

(i)81 In ancient time when a man made a fraudulent feoffment it was said, quod posuit terram illam in brigam,82 where brigam doth signifie wrangle, contention, or intricacie, for fraud is the mother of them all. (k)83 And on the other side, purchases, estates, and contracts may be avoyded since Littleton wrote by certaine Acts of Parliament against Usurie above ten in the hundred, in such manner and forme as by those Acts is provided. Which Statutes are well expounded in my books of Reports which may be read there. To them that lend money my caveat is, that |Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [4 a] neither directly nor indirectly, by art, or cunning invention, they take above ten in the hundred, for they that seeke by fleight to creepe out of these Statutes, will deceive themselves, and repent in the end.

“Purchase Lands.”

Lands and other things to be purchased.Littleton here and in many other places putteth Lands but for an example, for his rule extendeth to Seigniories, Rents, Advowsons, Commons, Estovers, and other hereditaments of what kinde or nature soever.

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Terra,84 Land in the legall signification comprehendeth any ground, soile or earth whatsoever, as Meadowes, Pastures, Woods, Moores, Waters, Marshes, Furses and Heath, Terra est nomen generalissimum, & comprehendit omnes species terrae,85 but properly Terra dicitur à terendo, quia vomere teritur,86 andanciently it was written with a singler, and in that sense it includeth whatsoever may bee plowed, and is all one with arvum ab arando.87 It legally includeth also all Castles, Houses, and other buildings: for Castles, Houses, &c. consist upon two things, viz. land or ground, as the foundation and structure thereupon, so as passing the land or ground, the structure or building thereupon passeth therewith.88 Land is anciently called Fleth, but land builded is more worthy than other land, because it is for the habitation of man, and in that repeat hath the precedencie to be demanded in the first place in a Praecipe, ashereafter shall be said. And therefore this element of the Earth is preferred before the other elements; first and principally, because it is for the habitation and resting place of man, for man cannot rest in any of the other elements, neither in the Water, Aire or fire. For as the Heavens are the habitation of Almightie God, so the Earth hath he appointed as the Suburbs of Heaven to be the habitation of man; Coelum coeli Domino, terram autem dedit filiis hominum.89 All the whole Heavens are the Lords, the earth hath he given to the children of men. Besides, everie thing as it serveth more immediately or more meerely for the food and use of man (as shall be said hereafter) hath the precedent dignitie before any other. And this doth the earth, for out of the earthcommeth mans food, and bread that strengthens mans heart, Confirmat cor hominis, and Wine that gladdeth the heart of man,90 and Oyle that makes him a cheereful Edition: current; Page: [607] countenance. And therefore Terra olim Ops mater dicta est quia omnia hac opus habeant ad vivendum.91 And the Divine agreeth herewith, for he saith,92 Patriam tibi & nutricem, & matrem, & mensam, & domum posuit terram Deus, sed & sepulchrum tibi hanc eandem dedit.93 Also the waters that yeeld fish for the food and sustenance of man are not by that name demandableina Praecipe, but the land whereupon the water floweth or standeth is demandable (as for example) viginti acr’ ter’ aqua coopert’,94 and besides the earth doth furnish man with many other necessaries for his use, as it is replenished with hidden treasures, namely with Gold, Silver, Brasse, Iron, Tinne, Lead, and other metals, and also with great varietie of precious stones, and many other things for profit, ornament and pleasure. And lastly, the earth hath in Law a great extent upwards, not only of water as hath beene said, but of aire and all other things even up to Heaven, for cujus est solum ejus est usque ad coelum, as it is holden, 22.Hen.6.59. 10.Edw.4.14. Regist. origin and in other bookes.

And albeit land, whereof our Author here speaketh, be the most firme and fixed inheritance, and therefore it is called solum, quid est solidum,95 and fee simple the most highest and absolute estate that a man can have, yet may the same at severall times be moveable;96 sometime in one person, and alternis vicibus97 in another, nay sometime in one place, and sometime in another. As for example, if there be 80 acres of meadow which have been used time out of minde of man, to be divided betweene certain persons, and that a certaine number of acres appertaine to everie of these persons, as for example, to A. 13. acres to be yearely assigned and lotted out,98 so as sometime the 13. acres lye in one place, and sometime in another, and so of the rest. A. hath a moveble fee simple in 13. acres, and may be parcell of his Mannor, albeit they have no certaine place, but yearly set out in severall places, so as the number onely is Edition: current; Page: [608] certaine, and the particular acres or place wherein they lye after the yeare incertaine. And so it was adjuged in the Kings Bench upon an especiall verdict.99

If a partition be made betweene two Coparceners of one and the selfe-same land, that the one shall have the land from Easter untill Lammas to her and to her heires, and the other shall have it from Lammas till Easter to her and her heires, or the one shall have it the first yeare, and the other the second yeare alternis vicibus, &c. there it is one selfe-same land wherein two persons have severall inheritances at severall times. So it is if two Coparceners have two severall Mannors by descent, & they make partition, that the one shall have the one Mannor for a yeare, and the other the other Mannor for the same yeare, and after that yeare, then he that had the one Mannor shall have the other, & sic alternis vicibus for ever, and albeit the Mannors be severeall, yet are they certaine, and therefore stronger than Bridgewaters case, so as this doth make a Division of states of inheritances of lands, viz. Certaine or unmoveable whereof Littleton here speaketh, and incertaine and moveable,100 whereof these three cases for examples have beene put. Wherein it is to bee noted, that the possession is not onely severall, but the inheritance also.

|Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [4 b] It is also necessarie to bee seene by what names lands shall passe.By what names, &c. lands, &c. shall passe. (a)101 If a man hath twentie acres of land, and by Deed granteth to another and his heires, vesturam terrae,102 and maketh Liverie of seisin secundum formam cartae,103 the land it selfe shall not passe, because hee hath a particular right in the land, for thereby he shall not have the houses, timber trees, mines and other reall things parcell of the Inheritance, but he shall have the vesture of the land, (that is) the Corne, Grasse, Underwood, Swepage, and the like; and hee shall have an Action of trespasse, quare clausum fregit.104 (b)105 The same Edition: current; Page: [609] Law, if a man grant herbagium terrae, hee hath a like particular right in the land, and shall have an Action quare clausum fregit, but by grant thereof and liverie made, the soile shall not passe, as is aforesaid. (c)106 If a man let to B. the herbage of his woods, and after grant all his lands in the tenure, possesion, or occupation of B. the woods shall passe, for B. hath a particular possession and occupation, which is sufficient in this case, and so it was resolved. (d)107 So if a man be seised of a River, and by Deed doe grant separalem piscariam108 in the same, and maketh liverie of seisin secundum forman cartae, the soile doth not passe nor the water; for the Grantor may take water there, and if the river become drie, hee may take the benefit of the soile, for there passed to the Grantee but a particular right, and the liverie being made secundum forman cartae, cannot enlarge the grant. (e)109 For the same reason, if a man grant aquam suam, the soile shall not passe, but the Pischarie110 within the water passeth therewith. And land covered with water shall be demanded by the name of so many Acres aqua coopert̀111 whereby it appeareth that they are distinct things. (f )112 So if a man grant to another to dig turves113 in his land; and to carrie them at his will and pleasure, the land shall not passe, because but part of the profit is given, for trees, mines &c. shall not passe. (g)114 But if a man seised to lands in fee by his Deed granteth to another the profits of those lands, to have and to hold to him and his heires, and maketh liverie secundum formam cartae, the whole land it selfe doth passe, for what is the land but the profits thereof, for thereby vesture, herbage, trees, mines, and all whatsoever parcell of that land doth passe.

(h)115 By the grant of the Boillourie of salt, it is said that the soile shall passe, for it is the whole profit of the soile, And this is called Saliva of the Edition: current; Page: [610] French word Salure for a Salt-pit, and you may read de Saliva in Domesday, and Selda, signifieth the same thing: (i)116 & where you shall read in Records de lacerta in profunditate aque salse,117 there lacerta signifieth a fathome. A man seised of divers acres of wood, grants to another omnes boscos suos,118 all his woods, not onely the woods growing upon the land passe, but the land it selfe, and by the same name shall bee recovered in a Praecipe, for Boscus doth not onely include the trees, but the land also whereupon they grow.

(k)119 The same Law if a man in that case grant omnes boscos suos crescentes,120 &c. yet the land itselfe shall passe, as it hath been adjudged.121 Frassetum signifieth a wood, or ground that is woodie. (l)122 If a man hath a wood of Elder trees containing 20. acres, and granteth to another 20. acras alneti (with an N not a V) the wood of Elders, and the soile thereof shall passe, but no other kinde of woods shall passe by that name. Alnetum est ubi alni arbores crescunt.123,124 And Sullings are taken for Elders. (m)125 Salicetum doth signifie a wood of wilowes, ubi salices crescunt,126 these trees in our Books are called Sawces.127 Selda, is a wood of Sallowes, Willowes, or Withies. A brackie ground is called Filecetum, ubi filices crescunt.128 A wood of Ashes is called Fraxinetum, ubi fraxini crescunt,129 and passeth by that name, and Lupulicetum where hops grow, and Arundinetum, where reeds grow. Some say that Dene or Denne, whereof Dena commeth, is properly a valley or dale. Denasylvae, and the like. (n)130 Drofden, or Drufden, or Druden, signifieth a thicket of wood in a valley, Edition: current; Page: [611] for Druf or Dru, signifieth a thicket of wood, and is often mentioned in Domesday. And sometimes Dena or Denna signifieth, as Villa and Denne, a towne.

(o)131 Cope signifieth a hill, & so doth Lawe, as Stanlawe is Saxeus collis.132 (p)133 Howe also signifieth a hill. And Hope combe, and Stow are valleyes, & so doth Clough. And Dunham or Duna, signifieth a hill or higher ground, and therefore commonly the townes that end in Dun, have hills or higher grounds in them, which we call Downes. It commeth of the old French word Dun.

(q)134 In our Latine a wood is called Boscus, Grava signifieth a little wood, in old Deeds, and Hirst or Hurst a wood and so doth Holt and Shawe. Twaite signifieth a wood grubbed up, and turned to arable. Stethe or Stede, betokeneth properly a banke of a River, and many times a place, as Stowe doth, and Wic, a place upon the Sea shore, or upon a River. Lea or Ley signifieth pasture.

(r)135 If a man doth grant all his pastures, Pasturas, the land it selfe imployed to the feeding of beasts doth passe, and also such pastures or feedings, as he hath in another mans soile. Leswes or Lesues is a Saxon word, and signifieth pastures. (s)136 Between Pastura and Pascuum, the legall difference is that Pastura in one signification containeth the ground it selfe called pasture, and by that name is to be demanded. Pascuum feeding, is wheresoever cattell are fed, of what nature soever the gound is, and cannot be demanded in a Praecipe by that name.

(t)137 If a man grant omnia prata sus, all his meadowes; the land it selfe of that kinde passe, & dicitur pratum quasi paratum, because it groweth sponte without maintenance. (u)138 A man grant omnes brueras suas, the soile where heath doth grow passeth, and may be demanded by that name |Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [5 a] in a praecipe, it is derived from bruyer a French word for heath, and it is called Ros in the British tongue.

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Roncaria or Rancaria signifieth land full of brambles & briers, and is derived of Roucier the French word which signifieth the same, & as much as senticetum. (a)139 By the grant of omnes Juncarias or joncarias, the soile were rushes do grow, doth passe, for Lonc in French is a Rush, whereof Joncaria commeth. (b)140 A man grant omnes Ruscarias suas, the soile where ruscii. kneholme, or butchers pricks or broome doe grow, shall passe, and so in the verse in the Register it is called, but in F.N.B. fol. 2. in the verse, Pischaria is put in stead of Ruscaria. And Jampna 141 commeth of lonc and nower, a waterish place, and is all one in effect with Joncaria. Hee that granteth omnes mariscos suos, all his fennes or marish grounds doe passe. Mariscus is derived of the French word mares or marets; the Latine word for it, is palus or locus paludosus. Mora is derived of the English word Moore and signifieth a more barren and unprofitable ground than marshes, dangerous for any cattell to goe there, in respect of myrie and morish soyle, neither serves it for getting of turves there: (c)142 you shall read in Record, that such a man perquisuit trescent. acr. maretti, &c. this word maretrum is derived of mare the sea, and tego, and properly signifieth a moorish and gravelly ground, which the sea doth cover and overflow at a full sea, and lyeth betweene the high water marke, and the low water marke, infra fluxum & refluxum maris. By grant of these particular kindes, the land of these particular kindes onely doe passe, but as hath beene said by the grant of land in generall, all these particular kindes, and some others doe passe. Non mihi si centum linguae sint oraque centum, Omnia terrarum percurrere nomina possem. And therefore let us turne our eye to generall words, which doe include lands of severall sorts and qualities. (d)143 By the name of an Honor, which a subject may have, divers mannors and lands may passe. So by the name of an Isle, Insula, many mannors, lands and tenements may passe.

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Holme or hulmus signifieth an Isle or fenny ground. *144 A Commote is a great Seigniory, & may include one or divers mannors; (e)145 By the name of a castle, one or more mannors may be conveyed, & è converso, by the name of a mannor, &c., a castle may passe. In Domesday I read Comes Alanus habet in suo castellatu 200. maneria, &c. praeter castellarium habet 43. maneria, and in that booke a castle is called castellum, and castrum, and domus defensibilis, and mansus muralis. (f )146 But note by the way, that no subject can build a castle or house of strength embattelled, &c. or other fortress defensible, called in Law by the names aforesaid, and sometimes domus kernellatae, or Carnellatae, imbattellatae, tenellatae, machecollatae, mese, carnelet, &c without the licence of the King, for the danger which might ensue, if everie man at his pleasure might do it. And they be called imbattlements, because they are defences against battles in assaults. Tenellare or tanellare, is to make holes or loopes in walls to shoot out against the Assailants. Machecollare or machecoulare, is to make a warlik device over a gate or other passage like to a grate through which scalding water, or ponderous, or offensive things may be cast upon the assaylants. But to returne to the matter from whence upon this occasion we are fallen.

By the name of a towne Villa, a mannor may passe. In Domesday, Alodium (in a large sense) signifieth a free mannor and Alodiarii or Alodarii, Lords of the same, and Lannemanni there signifie lords of a mannor, having socam & sacam de tenentibus & hominibus suis.147 (g)148 And by the name of a Mannor, divers townes may passe, quod olim dicebatur fundus nunc manerium dicitur,149 by the name of a ferme or fearme firma, houses, lands, and tenements may passe, and firma is derived of the Saxon word feormian, to feed or releeve, for in ancient time they reserved upon their Leases, cattell and other victuall & provision for their sustenance. (h)150 Note a fearme in the North parts is called Edition: current; Page: [614] a Tacke, in Lancashire a Fermeholt, in Essex a Wike. But the word fearme, is the generall word, and anciently fundus signified a fearme and sometime land. (i)151 Lands making a Knights fee, shall passe by the grant of a Knights fee de uno feodo militis.152

(k)153 Unum solinum or solinus terrae in Domesday book containeth two plow Lands and somewhat lesse than an halfe, for there it is said, Septem Solini, or Solina terrae sunt 17. carucat’. Una hida seu carucata terrae which is all one as a plow land, viz. as much as a plough can till, fullery also signifieth a plowland. Una virgata terrae, a yard land, the Saxons called it Girdland, and now the G. is turned to a Y. as in some Countries 10. in some 20. in some 24. in some 30. &c. (l)154 Una bovata terrae, an oxgange, or an oxgate of land, is as much as an oxe can till. (m)155 But carucata terrae and bovata terrae, are words compound, and may containe meadow, pasture, and wood, necessarie for such tillage. Jugum terrae in Domesday, containeth halfe a plow-land. And by all these names in the reign of Richard the first lands were usually demanded and long after.

(n)156 By the name of a Grange, Grangia a house or edifice, not onely where corne is stored up like as in barnes, but necessarie places for husbandrie also, as stables for hay and horses, and stables and styes for other cattell, and a curtilage, and the close wherein it standeth shall passe, and it is a French word, and signifieth the same, as we take it.

(o)157Stagnum, in English a poole, doth consist of water and land, and therefore by the name of |Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [5 b] Stagnum or a poole, the water and land shall passe also. (a)158 In the same manner Gurges, a deepe pit of water, a gors or gulfe consisteth of water and land, and therefore by the grant thereof by that name, the soile doth passe, and a praecipe doth lye thereof, & shall lay his esplées in taking Edition: current; Page: [615] of fishes, as Breames and Roches.Domesday. In Domesday it is called guort, gort & gors plurally, as for example, de 3. gorz. mille anguillae.

(b)159 So it is of a Forest, Parke, Chase, vivarye, and Warren in a mans owne ground, by the grant of any of them, not onely the privilege, but the land it selfe passes, for they are compound. In the book of Domesday, that is called lewad and leuga, and lewed, and lewe, which in Latine is called leuca.

(c)160 Stadium, or ferlingus sive ferligum, or quarentena terrae, is a furlong of Land, and is as much as to say, a furrow long, which in ancient time was the eighth part of a mile, and land will passe by that name. And some hold, that by that name land may be demanded. And de ferlingis & quarentenis, you shall read divers times in the booke of Domesday,Domesday. and there you shall read In insula Rex habet unum frustrum terrae unde exeunt sex vomeres.161 Nota frustrum signifieth a parcell,162 (d)163 Warectum or wareccum, or varectum, doth signifie fallow; Terra jacet ad Warectum, the land lyeth fallow: but in truth the word is vervactum, quasi vere novo victum seu subactum, terra novalis seu requieta, quia alternis annis requiescat.164 (e)165 Tam culta novalia.166 (f )167 By the grant of a messuage, or house mesuagium, the orchard, garden and curtilage doe passe, and so an acre or more may passe by the name of a house. It is derived of the French word mese. (g)168 In Domesday, a house in a City or Burrough, is called haga; other houses are called there mansiones, mansurae, & domus, (h)169 and in an ancient plea concerning Feuersham in Kent, hawes are interpreted to signifie mansiones. In Normans French it is called mesiul or mesuil: Bye signifieth a dwelling, bye an habitation, and byan to dwell.

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It is to be noted, that in Domesday there be often named bordarii seu borduanni, cosces, coscet, cotucami, cotarii, are all in effect bores or husbandmen, or cotagers, saving that bordarii, which commeth of the French word borde for a cottage, signifieth their bores holding a little house with some land of husbandry bigger than a cottage, and coterelli are meere cottagers, qui cotagia & curtilagia tenent.170

Villani in Domesday (often named) are not taken there for bondmen, but had their name de villis, because they had fermes, and there did worke of husbandry for the Lord, and they were ever named before bordarii, &c. and such as are bondmen are called there servi.

Domesday.(i)171 Coleberti often also named in Domesday signifieth Tenants in free socage by free rent, and so it is expounded of record. Radmans and Radchemisters, (Rad, or rede, signifieth firme and stable) there also often named, these are liberi tenentes qui arabant & herciebant ad curiam domini, seu falcabant, aut metebant,172 because their estates are firme and stable, and they are many times called Sochemans and sokemanni because of their plough service.

Dreuchs signifieth free tenants of a Mannor there also named. Taini or thaini mediocres were free holders, and sometime called milites regis, and their land called Tainland, and there it is said, haec terra T.R.E. fuit Tainland, sed postea conversa in Reveland.173 (k)174 But thainus regis is taken for a Baron, for it is said in an ancient Author, Thainus regis proximus comiti est, & ibidem mediocris thainus, & alibi Baro sive thainus.175 Berquarium or Bercaria commeth of Berc, an old Saxon word, used at this day for barkes or rindes of trees, and signifieth a Tanhouse, or a heath house, where barkes or rindes of trees are laid to tan withall,Domesday. and Berquarij are mentioned in Domesday. It signifieth also, and more legally a sheepe coat, of the french word Bergerie.

(l)176 By Vaccaria in Law is signified a Dairy house, derived of vacca the Edition: current; Page: [617] cow. In Latine it is Lactarium or Lactitium, and vaccarius is mentioned in Domesday. And Fleta maketh also mention of porcaria a swinestye.

The content of an Acre is knowne, the name is common to the English, German, and French. In legall Latine it is called Acra, which the Latinists call iugerum. In Domesday it is called Arpen prati, sylvae, &c. 10. R.I. inter fines, Acra in Cornwall continet 40. perticatas in longitudine & 4. in latitudine, & quaelibet perticata de 16. pedibus in longitudine.177

(m)178 By the grant of a Selion of land, Selio terrae, a ridge of land which containeth no certainty, for some be greater and some be lesser, and by the grante de una porca, a ridge doth passe, Selio is derived of the French word Sellon for a ridge.

(n)179 By the grant de centum libratis terrae, or 50. libratis terrae or centum solidatis terrae &c.180 land of that value passeth, and so of more or lesse, and in ancient time by that name it might have beene demanded. (o)181 And many things may passe by a name, that by the same name cannot be demanded by a praecipe (for that doth require more prescript forme) but whatsoever may be demanded by a praecipe, may passe by the same name by way of grant.

(p)182 Frythe is a plaine betweene woods, and so is lawnd or laund, Combe, hope, dene, glyne, hawgh, howgh signifieth a Vally. Howe, hoo, knol, law, peu, and cope a hill. Ey, Ing and worth signifieth a watry place or water. Falesia is a banke or hill by the sea-side, it commeth of falaize, which signifieth the same: of all these you shall read in ancient bookes, charters, deeds,|Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [6 a] and records, and to the end that our student should not be discouraged for want of knowledge when he meeteth with them (nescit enim generosa mens ignorantiam pati) 183 wee have armed him with the signification of them, to the end he may proceed in his reading with alacritie, and set upon, and know how to worke into with delight these rough mines of hidden treasure.

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(m)184 By the name of Minera, or Fodina plumbi, &c.185 the land itself shall passe in a grant if it liverie be made, and also be recovered in an assise, & sic de similibus.186

By the grant of a fould course or the like, lands and tenements may passe. (n)187 Tenementum, Tenement is a large word to passe, not onely lands and other inheritances which are holden, but also offices, rents, commons, profits apprender out of lands and the like, wherein a man hath any franktenement, and whereof he is siesed ut de libero tenemento. But haereditamentum,188 hereditament, is the largest word of all in that kinde, for whatsoever may be inherited is an hereditament, be it corporeall or incorporeall, reall or personall or mixt.

(o)189 A man seised of lands in fee hath divers Charters, deeds & evidences, or maketh a feoffment in fee, either without warrantie, or with warrantieonely against him and his heires, the purchaser shall have all the Charters, deeds and evidences, as incident to the Lands, & ratione terrae,190 to the end he may the better defend the land himselfe, having no warrantie to recover in value, for the evidences are as it were the sinewes of the land, and the feoffor being not bound to warrantie hath no use of them. But if the feoffor be bound to warrantie, so that he is bound to render in value, then the defence of the title at his perill, and therefore the feoffee in that case shall have no deeds that comprehend warrantie, whereof the feoffor may take advantage. Also he shall have such Charters as may serve him to deraigne the warrantie paramount; Also hee shall have all deeds and evidences, which are materiall for the maintenance of the title of the land, but other evidences which concerne the possession, and not the title of the land, the feoffee shall have them.

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“To have and to hold.”

These two words doe in this place prove a double signification, viz., a ayer to have an estate of inheritance of lands descendible to his heires, and tener to hold the same of some superior land.

There have been eight formall or orderly parts of a deed of feoffment,191 viz. 1. the premisses of the deed implied by Littleton. 2. the habendum, whereof Littl. here speaketh. 3. the tenendum mentioned Littleton, 4. the Reddendum, 5. the Clause of warrantie, 6. the In cujus rei testimonium, comprehending the sealing, 7. The date of the deed containing the day, the moneth, the yeare, and stile of the King, or of the yeare of our Lord. (p)192 Lastly, the clause of hiis testibus,193 and yet all these parts were contained in verie few and significant words, (q)194 Haec fuit candida illius aetatis fides et simplicitas, quae pauculas lineis omnia fidei firmamenta posuerunt.195

The office of the premisses of the deed is twofold. First, rightly to name the feoffor and the feoffee. And secondly, to comprehend the certaintie of the lands or tenements to be conveyed by the feoffment, either by expresse words, or which may by reference be reduced to a certaintie; for, certum est quod certum reddi potest.196 The habendum hath also two parts, viz. first, to name againe the feoffee, and secondly to limit the certaintie of the estate. The Tenendum at this day where the fee simple passe, must be of the chiefe lords of the fee. And of the Reddendum more shall be said in his proper place, in the Chapter of Rents.197 Of the Clause of warantie more shall be said in the chapter of warranties. In cujus rei testimonium sigillum meum apposui 198 was added, for the Seale is of the essentiall part of the deed. The date of the deed many times Antiquitie omitted, and the reason thereof was, for that the limitation of prescription or time of memorie did often in processe of time change, Edition: current; Page: [620] and the law was then holden that a deed, bearing date, before the limited time of prescription was not pleadable, and therefore they made their deeds without date, to the end they might alleage them within the time of prescription. And the date of the deeds was commonly added in the reiqne of Henry the second and Edward the third and so ever since.

And sometime Antiquitie added a place, as Datum apud D.199 which was in disadvantage of the feoffee, for being in generall, hee may alleage the deed to be made where he will. And lastly, Antiquitie did adde, hiis testibus in the continent of the deed after the In cujus rei testimonium,200 written with the same hand that the deed was, which witnesses were called, the Deed read, and then their names entered. (r)201 And this is called charter land, and accordingly the Saxons called it Bockland, as it were bookeland. Which clause of hiis testibus in subjects deeds continued until and in the reigne of Henry the eighth but now is wholly omitted. And it appeareth by the ancient Authors and authorities of the Law; that before the Statute of 12. Processe should be a market against the witnesses named in the deed, testes in carta nominatos,202 (s)203 and that the same Statute was but an affirmance of the Common Law, which not being well understood, hath caused varietie of opinions in our bookes. But the delay therein was so great, and some times (though rarely) by exceptions against those witnesses, which being found true; they were not to be sworne at all, neither to be joyned to the Jurie, nor as witnesses, (t)204 as if the witnesse were infamous, for example, if he attainted of a false verdict, or of a conspiracie at the |Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [6 b] suit of the King, or convicted of perjurie, or of a Premunire, or of forgerie upon the Statute of 5. Eliz. cap. 14. and not upon the Statue of 1 Hen. 5. cap. 3. or convict of felony, or by judgement lost his cares, or stood upon the pillorie or tumbrell, or beene stigmaticus branded, Edition: current; Page: [621] or the like, whereby they become infamous for some offences, quaesuntminoris culpae sunt majoris infamiae.205 (c)206 If a Champion in a Writ of right become recreant or coward, he thereby loseth liberam legem,207 and thereby becomes infamous, and cannot be a witnesse, for regularly he that loseth liberam legem, becommeth infamous, and can be no witness. Or if the witnesse be an Infidell, or of non sane memorie, or not of discretion, or a partie interessed, or the like. (d)208 But often-times a man may be challenged to be of a Jurie, that cannot be challenged to be a Witnesse, and therefore though the Witnesse be of the nearest alliance, or kindred, or of counsell, or tenant, or servant to either partie, (or any other exception that maketh him not infamous, or to want understanding, or discretion, or a partie in interest) though it be proved true, shall not exclude the witnesse to be sworn, (e)209 but he shall be sworne, and his credit upon the exceptions taken against him left to those of the Jurie, who are triers of the fact, insomuch as some Bookes have said, that though the witnesse named in the Deed be named a Disseisor in the writ, yet hee shall be sworne as a witnesse to the deed. (f )210 A Witnesse amongst others named in a deed was outlawed, and no Processe was awarded against him by the Statute, because he was extra legem,211 and an outlawed person cannot be an Auditor. And the Court in some bookes have said, that they have not seene witnesses challenged, which is regularly to be understood with the limitations above-said, but such as are returned to be of a Jurie, are to be challenged for the causes aforesaid for outlawrie, and divers other causes (for the which a witnesse cannot be challenged) and such Processe against witnesses banished. But seeing the witnesses named in a Deed shall be joyned to the Inquest, and shall in some sort joyne also in the verdict (in which case if Jurie and Witnesses finde the Deed that is denied to be the Deed of the partie, the adverse partie is barred of his attaint, because there is more than twelve that affirme the verdict.) It is reason that in that case of joyning, such exception shall be taken Edition: current; Page: [622] against the Witnesse as against one of the Jurie, because he is in the nature of a Juror. (a)212 And therefore to put one example, if he be outlawed in a personall action he cannot be joyned to the Jurie, but yet that is no exception against him to exclude him to be sworne as a Witnesse to the Jurie. And the reason of all this is, for that if he with others should joyne in verdict with the Jurie in affirmance of the Deed, the partie should be barred of his Attaint. But note, there must be more than one witnesse, that shall bee joyned to the Inquest. And albeit they joyne with the Jurie, and finde it not his Deed, notwithstanding this joyning, the partie shall have his attaint, for it is amaxime in law, (b)213 That Witnesses cannot testifie a negative, but an affirmative. And if one of the witnesses named in the Deed be one of the panell, he shall be put out of the panell, and all these secrets of law doe notably appeare in our bookes.

To shut up this point, it is to be knowne (c)214 that when a triall is by witnesses, regularly the affrimative ought to be proved by two or three witnesses, as to prove a summons of the Tenant, or the challenge of a Juror, and the like. But when the triall is by verdict of 12. men, there the judgement is not given upon witnesses, or other kinde of evidence, but upon the verdict, and upon such evidence as is given to the Jurie they give their verdict. And Bracton saith there is probatio duplex, viz. viva.215 as by witnesses viva voce, and mortua,216 as by deeds, writings, and instruments. And many times Juries, together with other matter, are much induced by presumptions, whereof there be three sorts, viz. violent, probable, and light or temerarie. Violenta praesumptio is many times plena probatio,217 as if one be run thorow the body with a sword in a house whereof he instantly dieth, and a man is seene to come out of that house with a bloudy sword, and no other man was at that time in the house. Praesumptio probabilis moveth little, but, Praesumptio levis seu temeraria,218 moveth not at all. So it is in the case of a Charter of feoffment, Edition: current; Page: [623] if all the witnesses to the Deed be dead (as no man can keepe his witnesses alive, & time weareth out all men) then violent presumption which stands for a proofe is continuall and quiet possession,219 for ex diuturnitate temporis omnia praesumuntur solemniter esse acta,220 also the Deed may receive credit,221 per collationem sigillorum, scripturae, &c. & super fidem cartarum mortuis testibus erit ad patriam de necessitate currendum.222

Note, it hath beene resolved by the Justices, that a wife cannot be produced either against or for her husband,223 quia sunt duae animae in carne una,224 and it might be a cause of implacable discord and dissention between the husband and the wife, and a meane of great inconvenience, but (d)225 in some cases women are by Law wholly excluded to beare testimony, as to prove a man to be a Villeine, mulieres ad probationem status hominis admitti non debent.226 It was also agreed by the whole Court (e)227 that in an Information upon the Statute of usurie, the partie to the usurious contract shall not be admitted to be a witnesse against the Usurer, for in effect hee should be testis in propria causa,228 and should avoyd his owne bonds and assurances, and discharge himselfe of the money borrowed, and though hee commonly raise up an Intormer to exhibit the Information, yet in rei veritate229 he is the partie. And herewith in effect agreeth Brit-|Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [7 a]-ton, that be that challengeth a right in the thing in demand, cannot be a witnesse, for that he is a partie in interest. But now let us returne to that from the which by way of digression (upon this occasion) we are fallen.

And the ancient Charters of the King which passed away any franchise or Edition: current; Page: [624] revenue of any estate of inheritance, had ever this clause of hiis testibus230 of the greatest men of the Kingdome, as the Charters of creation of Nobilitie, yet have at this day: when hiis testibus was omitted, and when teste me ipso,231 came in into the Kings grants, you shall read in the second part of the Institutes, Mag. Charta, cap. 38. I have tearmed the said parts of the Deed, formall or orderly parts, for that they be not of the essence of a Deed of feoffment, for if such a Deed be without premisses, habendum, tenendum, reddendum clause of warrantie,232 the clause of In cujus rei testimonium,233 the Date, and the clause of hiis testibus, yet the Deed is good. (f )234 For if a man by Deed give lands to another, and to his heires without more saying, this is good, if he put his Seale to the Deed, deliver it, and make liverie accordingly. (g)235 So it is if A. give lands, to have and to hold, to B. and his heires, this is good, albeit the feoffee is not named in the promisses. And yet no well advised man will trust to such Deed, which Law by construction maketh good ut res magis valeat,236 but when forme and substance concurre, then is the Deed faire and absolutely good. The sealing of Charters and Deeds is much more ancient than some, out of error, have imagined, for the Charter of the King Edwyn, brother of King Edgar, bearing Date Anno Domini 956, made of the land called Jecklea in the Isle of Ely, was not onely sealed with his owne Seale (which appeareth by these words, Ego Edwinus gratia Dei totius Britannicae telluris Rex meum donum proprio sigillo confirmavi)237 but also the Bishop of Winchester put to his Seale, Ego Aelfwinus Winton Ecclesiae divinus speculator proprium sigillum impressi.238 And the Charter of King Offa, whereby he gave the Peterpence, doth yet remaine under Seale. But no King of England, before, or since the Conquest, sealed with any seale of Armes, before King Richard Edition: current; Page: [625] the first but the Seale was the King sitting in a chaire on the one side of the Seale, and on horse backe on the other side in divers formes. And King Richard the first sealed with a Seale of two Lyons, for the Conqueror for England bare two Lyons, and King John in the right of Aquitaine (the Duke whereof bare one Lyon) was the first that bare three Lyons, and made his Seale accordingly, and all the Kings since have followed him. And King Edward the third in anno 13. of his reigne did quarter the Armes of France with his three Lyons, and took upon him the title of King of France, and all his Successors have followed him therein.

In ancient Charters of feoffment there was never mention made of the deliverie of the Deed, or any liverie of seisin indorsed, for certainly the witnesses named in the Deed, were witnesses of both: and witnesses either of deliverie of the Deed, or of liverie of seisin by expresse tearmes was but of latter times, and the reason was in respect of the notorietie of the feoffment. And I have knowne some ancient deeds of feoffment having liverie of seisin indorsed suspected, and after detected of forgerie. As if a Deed in the stile of the King name him Defensor fidei239 before 13.Henry the eighth or Supreme head before 20.Henry the eighth at what time hee was first acknowledged supreme head by the Clergie, albeit the King240 used not the stile of Supreme head in his Charters, &c. till 22.Henry the eighth or King of Ireland, before 33.Henry the eighth at which time he assumed the title of the King of Ireland, being before that called Lord of Ireland, it is certainly forged, & sic de similibus.241

And some have observed, that Grace was attributed to King Henry the fourth.242 Excellent Grace to King Henry the sixth Majestie to King Henry the eighth and before, the King was called, Soveraigne Lord, Liege Lord, Highnesse and Kingly Highnesse, which in Latine in legall proceedings is called Regia Celsitudo, as the beginning of the petition of right to the King is, Humillimè supplicavit vestrae Celsitudini regiae, &c,243 and the like. And upon this occasson it shall not be impertinent, seeing it is part of the formall Deed, to set downe the severall stiles of the Kings of England since the Conquest.

Edition: current; Page: [626]

William the Conquerour commonly stiled himselfe Willielmus Rex, and sometimes Willielmus Rex Anglorum. And the like did William Rufus, and sometimes Willielmus Dei gratia Rex Anglorum.244

Henry the first, Henricus Rex Anglorum, and sometimes Henricus Dei gratia Rex Anglorum.245

Mawde the sole daughter and heire of Henry the first wrote, Matildis Imperatrix Henrici Regis filia & Anglorum Domina.246 Divers of whose creations and grants I have seene.

King Stephen used the stile that King Henry the first did. Henry the second, Fitz Emprice omitted Dei gratia, and used this stile, Henricus Rex Angliae, Dux Normanniae, & Aquitaniae, & Comes Andegaviae,247 hee having the Duchie of Aquitaine, and Earledome of Poitiers in the right of Elianor his wife heire to both: And the Earledomes of Anjow, Tournie, and Maine, as sonne and heire to Jeffery Plantagenet by the said Mawde his wife, daughter and sole heire of King Henry the first. She was first married to Henry the Emperour, and after his death to the said Jeffery Plantagenet. Which Duchie of Aquitaine doth include Gascoinge and Guian.

King Richard the first used the stile that Henry the second his father did, yet was hee King of Cyprus, and after of Jerusalem, but never used either of them.

|Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [7 b] King John used that stile, but with this addition Dominus Hiberniae,248 and yet all that hee had in Ireland was conquered by his father King Henry the second which title of Dominus Hiberniae, hee assumed, as annexed to the Crowne, albeit his father, in the 23. yeare of his reigne, had created him King of Ireland in his life time.

King Henry the third stiled himselfe as his father King John did, untill the 44. yeare of his reigne, and then he left out of his stile Dux Normanniae, & Comes Andegaviae, and wrote onely Rex Angliae, Dominus Hiberniae, & Dux Aquitaniae.

King Edward the first stiled himselfe in like manner as King Henry the third his father did, Rex Angliae, Dominus Hiberniae, & Dux Aquitaniae. And Edition: current; Page: [627] so did King Edward the second during all his reigne. And King Edward the third used the selfe same stile untill the 13. yeare of his reigne, and then hee stiled himselfe in this forme, Edwardus Dei gratia Rex Angliae & Franciae, & Dominus Hiberniae, leaving out of his stile Dux Aquitaniae. He was King of France, as sonne and heire of Isabel wife of King Edward the second daughter and heire of Philip le Beau King of France, he first quartered the French Armories with the English in his great Seale, Anno Domini 1338. & regni sui 14.

King Richard the second and King Henry the fourth used the same stile that King Edward the third did. And King Henry the fifth untill the 8. yeare of his reigne continued the same stile, and then wrote himselfe, Rex Angliae, Haeres & Regens Franciae, & Dominus Hiberniae, and so continued during his life.

King Henry the sixth wrote,249 Henricus Dei gratia Rex Angliae et Franciae, & Dominus Hiberniae; this King being crowned in Paris King of France used the said stile 39. yeares, till hee was dispossessed of the Crowne by King Edward the fourth who after he had reigned also about ten yeares, King Henry the sixth was restored to the Crowne againe, and then wrote, Henricus Dei gratia Rex Angliae, & Franciae, & Dominus Hiberniae ab inchoatione regni sui 49. & receptionis regiae potestatis primo.250

King Edward the fourth Richard the third and Henry the seventh stiled themselves, Rex Angliae & Franciae, & Dominus Hiberniae.

King Henry the eighth used the same stile till the tenth yeare of his reigne, and then hee added this word (Octavus)as Henricus octavus Dei gratia, &c. In the 13. yeare of his reigne hee added to his stile Fidei Defensor. In the 22. yeare of his reigne, in the end of his stile hee added, Supremum Caput Ecclesiae Anglicanae.251 And in the 23. yeare of his reigne hee stiled himselfe thus, Henricus octavus Dei gratia Angliae, Franciae & Hiberniae Rex, Fidei Defensor, &c. & in terra Ecclesiae Anglicanae & Hiberniae supremum caput.252

King Edward the sixth used the same stile, and so did Queene Mary in the Edition: current; Page: [628] beginning of her reigne, and by that name summoned her first Parliament, but soone after omitted Supremum Caput. And after her marriage with King Philip, the stile not withstanding that omission was the longest that ever was, viz. Philip and Mary by the grace of God King and Queene of England and France, Naples, Jerusalem and Ireland, Defenders of the faith, Princes of Spaine and Cicily, Archdukes of Austria, Dukes of Millaine, Burgundy and Brabant, Countees of Hasburgh, Flanders and Tyroll. And this stile continued till the fourth and fifth yeare of King Philip and Queen Mary, and then Naples was put out, and in place thereof both the Cicilies put in, and so it continued all the life of Queene Mary.

I need not mention the stile of Queene Elizabeth, King James, nor of our Soveraigne Lord King Charles, because they are so well knowne, and I feare I have beene too long concerning this point, which certainlyis notunnecessarie to be knowne for many respects. But to shew the causes and reasons of these alterations would aske a Treatise of itselfe, and doth not sort to the end that I have aimed at. And now let us returne to the learning of Charters and Deeds of Feoffments and Grants.

Verie necessarie it is that Witnesses should bee underwritten or indorsed, for the better strengthening of Deeds, and their names (if they can write) written with their owne hands. For Liverie of seisin see hereafter Sect. 59.253 and for Deeds, Sect. 66. and of Conditionall Deeds see our Author in his Chapter of Conditions. And now let us proceed to the other words of our Author.

“To him and to his Heires.”

Haeres, in the legall understanding of the Common Law,254 implyeth that he is ex justis nuptiis procreatus, for haeres legitimus est quem nuptiae demonstrant,255 and is he to whom lands, tenements, or hereditaments by the act of God, and right of blood doe descend of some estate of inheritance, for Solus Deus haeredem facere potest non homo: dicuntur autem haereditas & haeres ab haerendo, Edition: current; Page: [629] quod est arctè insidendo, nam qui haeres est, haeret, vel dicitur ab haerendo quia haereditas sibi haeret, licet nonnulli haeredem dictum velint quod haeres fuit, hoc est dominus terrarum, &c. quae ad eum preveniunt.256

A monster which hath not the shape of mankinde, cannot be heire or inherit any land, albeit it be brought forth within marriage, (a)257 but although hee hath deformitie in any part of his bodie, yet if he hath humane shape he may be heire. Hii qui contra formam humani generis converso more procreantur, ut si mulier monstrosum, vel prodigiosumenixa, inter liberos non computentur, partus tamen cui natura aliquantulem ampliaverit vel diminuerit, non tamen superabundanter (ut si sex digitos vel nisi quatuor habuerit) bene debet inter liberos connumerari. |Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [8 a] Si inutilia natura reddidit, ut si membra tortuosa habuerit, non tamen is partus monstrosus.258 Another saith, Ampliatio seu diminutio membrorum non nocet.259 (b)260 A Bastard cannot be heire, for (as hath beene said before) qui ex damnato coitu nascuntur inter liberos non computentur.261 Everie heire is either a male, or female, or an Hemophradite, that is, both male and female. And an Hermophradite (which is also called Androgynus) shall be heire, either as male or female, according to that kinde of the sex which doth prevaile. Hermaphradita, tam masculo, quàm foeminae comparatur secundum praevalescentiam sexus incalescentis.262 And accordingly it ought to be baptized. See more of this matter, Sect. 35.

(c)263 A man seised of lands in fee hath issue an Alien that is borne out of Edition: current; Page: [630] the Kings ligeance, he cannot be heire, propter defectum subjectionis,264 albeit hee be borne within lawfull marriage. If made Denizen by the Kings Letters Patents, yet cannot hee inherit to his father or any other. But otherwise it is if hee be naturalized by Act of Parliament, for then hee is not accousted in Law Alienigena, but Indigena. But after one be made Denizen, the issue that hee hath afterwards shall be heire to him, but no issue that he had before. If an Alien commeth into England and hath issue two sonnes, these two sonnes are Indigenae subjects borne, because they are borne within the Realme. And yet if one of them purchase lands in fee, and dieth without issue, his brother shall not be his heire, for there was never any inheritable blood betweene the father and them, and where the sonnes by no possibilitie can be heire to the father, the one of them shall not be heire to the other. See more at large of this matter, Sect. 198.

If a man be attainted of treason, or felony, although he be borne within wedlocke, hee can be heire to no man, nor any man heire to him propter delictum,265 for that by his attaindor his blood is corrupted.Andthiscorruption of blood is so high, as it cannot absolutely be salved, and restored but by Act of Parliament,266 for albeit the person attainted obtaine his Charter of pardon, yet that doth not make any to be heire whose blood was corrupted at the time of the attainder, either downeward or upward. (d)267 As if a man hath issue a sonne before his attainder, and obtaineth his pardon, and after the pardon hath issue another sonne, at the time of the attainder, the blood of the eldest was corrupted, and therefore he cannot be heire. But if he dye living his father, the younger sonne shall be heire, for he was not in esse at the time of the attainder, and the pardon restored the blood as to all issues begottenafterwards. But in that case if the eldest sonne had survived the father, the younger sonne cannot be heire; because he hath an elder brother which by possibilitie might have inherited, but if the elder brother had beene an Alien, the younger sonne Edition: current; Page: [631] should be heire, for that the Alien never had any inheritable blood in him. See more plentifully of this matter, Sect. 646, 647.

If a man hath issue two sonnes, and after is attainted of treason, or felony, and one of the sons purchase lands and dieth without issue, the other brother shall be his heire, for the attainder of the father corrupteth the lineall blood only, and not the collaterall blood betweene the brethren, which was vested in them before the attainder, and each of them by possibilitie might have beene heire to the father, and so hath it beene adjudged, (*)268 but other wise in the case of the Alienee, as hath beene said. (e)269 But some have holden that if a man after he be attainted of treason or felony have issue two sonnes; that the one of them cannot be heire to the other, because they could not be heire to the father, for that they never had any inheritable blood in them.

(f)270 One that is borne deafe and dumbe may be heire to another, albeit it was otherwise holden in ancient time. And so if borne deafe, dumbe, and blinde, for in hoc casu, vitio parcitur naturali,271 but contract they cannot. Ideots, leapers, mad men, outlawes in debt, trespasses, or the like, persons excommunicated, men attainted in a praemunire, or convicted of heresie, may be heires.

(g)272 If a man hath a wife, and dieth, and within a verie short time after the wife marrieth againe, and within nine moneths hath a childe, so as it may be the childe of the one or of the other. Some have said, That in this case the childe may chuse his father, quia in hoc casu filiatio non potest probari,273 and so is the Booke to be intended, for avoyding of which question and other inconveniences, this was the Law before the Conquest, Sit omnis vidua sine marito duodecim mensibus, & si maritauerit perdat dotem.274

(h)275 A man by the Common Law cannot be heire to goods or Chattels, Edition: current; Page: [632] for haeres dicitur ab haereditate.276 (i)277 If a man buy divers fishes, as Carps, Breames, Tenches, &c. and put them in his pond, and dyeth, in this case the heire shall have them, and not the Executors, but they shall goe with the inheritance, because they were at libertie and could not be gotten without industrie, as by nets, and other engines, otherwise it is if they were in a trunke or the like. Likewise Deere in a Parke, Coneyes in a Warren, and Doves in a Dove-house, young and old shall goe to the heire. (k)278 But of ancient time the heire was permitted to have an Action of debt upon a bond made to his Ancestor and his heires, but the Law is not so holden at this day. Vid. Sect. 12.

(l)279 It is to be noted that one cannot be heire till after the death of his Ancestor, hee is called haeres apparens, heir apparent.

|Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [8 b] In our old Bookes and Records there is mention made of another heire, viz. haeres astrarius so called of Astre, that is, an harth of a house, because the Ancester by conveyance hath set his heire apparent, and his family in a house and living in his lifetime, of whom Bracton saith thus, (a)280 item esto quod haeres sit astrarius, vel quod aliquis antecessor restituat haeredi in vita sua haereditatem, & se dimiserit, videtur quod nullo tempore jacebit haereditas, & ideo quod nec relevari possit, nec debet, nec relevium dari.281 (b)282 For the benefit and safetie of right heires contra partus suppositos, the Law hath provided remedy by the Writ De ventre inspiciendo,283 whereof the rule in the Register is this; Nota si quis habens haereditatem duxerit aliquam in uxorem & postea moriatur ille sine haerede de corpore suo exeunte, per quod haereditas illa fratri ipsius Edition: current; Page: [633] defuncti descendere debeat, & uxor dicit se esse praegnantem de ipso defuncto cum non sit, habeat frater, & haeres breve de ventre inspiciendo.284 It seemeth by Bracton and Fleta which followed him, that this Writ doth lye, Ubi uxor alicujus in vita viri sui se praegnantem fecit cum non sit, vel post mortem viri sui se praegnantem fecit cum non sit ad exhaeredationem veri haeredis, &c. ad quaerelam veri haeredis per praeceptum domini regis, &c.285 which is to be understood according to the rule of the Register: when a man having lands in fee simple dieth, and his wife soone after marrieth againe, and faines her selfe with childe by her former husband, in this case though she be married, the Writ De ventre inspiciendo doth lye for the heire. But if a man seised of lands in fee (for example) hath issue a daughter, who is heire apparent, she in the life of her father cannot have this writ for divers causes; first, because she is not heire, but heire apparant, for as hath beene said, nemo est haeres viventis,286 and this Writ is given to the heire to whom the land is descended. And both Bracton and Fleta saith, that this Writ lieth Ad quaerelam veri haeredis,287 which cannot be in the life of his Ancestor, and herewith agreeth Britton and the Register.288 Secondly, the taking of a husband in the case aforesaid being her owne act, cannot barre the heire of his lawfull Action once vested in him. Thirdly, the Law doth not give the heire apparant any Writ, for it is notcertaine whether he shall be heire, solus Deus facit haeredes.289 Fourthly, the inconvenience were too great if heires apparent in the life of their Ancestor should have such a Writ to examine and trie a mans lawfull wife in such sort as the Writ De ventre inspiciendo doth appoint, and if she should be found to be with child, or suspect, then shee must bee removed to a Castle and there safely Edition: current; Page: [634] kept untill her deliverie, and so any mans wife might be taken from him against the Laws of God and man.290

The words of the Writ De ventre inspiciendo make this evident, Rex Vic. salutem, monstravit nobis A. quod cum R. quae fuit uxor Clementis B. praegnans non sit, ipsa falsò dicit se esse praegnantem de eodem Clemente, adexhaeredationem ipsius A. desicut terra quae fuit ejusden C. ad ipsum A. jure haereditariodescendere debeat tanquam ad fratrem & haeredem ipsius se si praedict. R. prolem de eo non habuerit, &c.291 But this rather belongs to the Treatise of originall Writs, and therefore thus much herein shall suffice.

And it is to be observed that everie word of Littleton is worthy of observation, first (Heires) in the plurall number, for if a man give land to a man & to his heire in the singular number, he hath but an estate for life, for his heire cannot take a fee simple by descent, because he is but one, and therefore in that case his heire shall take nothing. Also observable is this conjunctive (Et), for if a man give lands to one, To have and to hold to him or his heires, hee hath but an estate for life for the uncertaintie. (Se, suis)292 If a man give land unto two, To have and to hold to them two & haeredibus (c)293 omitting suis, they have but an estate for life for the uncertaintie, whereof more hereafter in this Section. But it is said, if land be given to one man, & haeredibus, omitting suis, that notwithstanding a fee simple passeth, but it is safe to follow Littleton.

(d)294 “and his Assignes.”

Assignee commeth of the verbe assigno. And note there bee Assignes in Deed, and Assignes in Law, whereof see more in the Chapter of Warrantie, Sect. 733.

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“these words (his Heires) which words onely make an Estate of Inheritance in all Feoffments and Grants.”

(e)295 Si autem facta esset donatio, ut si dicam, do tibi talem terram, ista donatio non extendit ad haeredes sed ad vitam donatoria, &c.296 (f )297 Here Littleton treateth of purchases by naturall persons, and not of Bodies politique or corporate; (g)298 for if lands be given to a sole Body politique or corporate, (as to a Bishop, Parson, Vicar, Master of an Hospitall, &c.) there to give him an estate of inheritance in his politique or corporate capacitie, hee must have these words, To have and to hold to him and his successors, for without these words Successors, in these cases there passeth no inheritance, for as the heire doth inherit to the Ancestor, so the Successor doth succeed to the Predecessor, and the Executor to the Testator. (h)299 But it appeareth here by Littleton, that if a man at this day give lands to IS and his Successors, this createth no fee simple in him, for Littleton speaking of naturall persons saith that these words (his heires) make an estate of inheritance in all Feoffments and Grants, whereby he excludeth these words (his successors.) (i)300 And yet if it be an ancient grant it must be expounded as the Law was taken at the time of the grant. (k)301 A Chantrie Priest incorporate tooke a Lease to |Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [9 a] him and his successors for a hundred yeares, and after tooke a release from the Leasor to him and his successors, and it was adjudged that by the release he had but an estate for life, for he had the Lease in his naturall capacitie for it could not goe in succession, and (his successors) gave him no estate of inheritance for want of these words (his heires.) (l)302 If the King by his Letters Patents giveth Edition: current; Page: [636] lands Decano & Capitulo, habendum sibi & haeredibus & successoribus suis,303 In this case albeit they be persons in their naturall capacitie to them and their heires, yet because the Grant is made to them in their politique capacitie, it shall enure to them and their successors. And so if the King doe grant lands to I. S. Habendum sibi & successoribus sive haeredibus suis,304 this Grant shall enure to him and his heires.

(m)305 B. having divers sonnes and daughters, A. giveth lands to B. & Liberis suis, et a lour heires,306 the father and all his children doe take a fee simple joyntly by force of these words (their heires) but if hee had no childe at the time of the feoffment, the childe borne afterward shall not take.

These words (his heires) doe not onely extend to his immediate heires, but to his heires remote, and most remote, borne and to be borne, (n)307 Sub quibus vocabulis (haeredibus suis) omnes haeredes propinqui comprehenduntur, & remoti, nati, & nascituri.308,309 And haeredum appellatione veniunt haeredes haeredum in infinitum.310 And the reason wherefore the Law is so precise to prescribe certaine words to create an estate of inheritance, is for avoyding of uncertaintie, the mother of contention and confusion.

There be many words so appropriated, as that they cannot be legally expressed by any other word, or by any periphrasis, or circumlocution: Some to estates of lands, &c. as here and in (a)311 other places of our Author. In this place these words tantsolement, not solement alone, but tantsolement all onely, i. solummodo,312 or duntaxat are to be observed; (b)313 Some to Tenures; (c)314 Some to persons; (d)315 Some to offences; (e)316 Some to formes of originall Edition: current; Page: [637] Writs either for recoverie of right, or removing, or redresse of wrong, (f )317 Some to warrantie of land. These have I touched for examples, I leave others to the studious Reader to observe, and adde, holding this for an undoubted veritie, that there is no knowledge, case, or point in Law, seeme it of never so little account, but will stand our Student in stead at one time or other, and therefore in reading, nothing to be pretermitted.

“make an Estate.”

Status dicitur à stando,318 because it is fixed and permanent. The Isle of Man, which is no part of the Kingdome, but a distinct Territorie of it selfe, hath beene granted by the great Seale to divers subjects and their heires. (g)319 It was resolved by the Lord Chancellor, the two chiefe Justices and chiefe Baron, that the same is an estate descendible according to the course of the Common Law, for whatsoever state of inheritance passe under the great Seale of England, it shall be descendible according to the rules, and course of the Common Law of England.

“in all Feoffments and Grants.”

Here hee giveth the feoffment the first place, as the ancient and most necessarie conveyance, both for that it is solemne and publike, and therefore best remembered and proved, (*)320 and also for that it cleareth all disseisins, abatements, intrussions, and other wrongfull or defensible estates, where the entrie of the Feoffor is lawfull, which neither Fine, Recoverie, nor Bargaine and sale by Deed indented and inrolled doth. And here is implyed a division of Fee, or Inheritance, viz. (h)321 into corporeall (as Lands and Tenements which lye in Liverie) comprehended in this word Feoffment, and may passe by Liverie by Deed, or without Deed, which of some is called Haereditas corporata,322 Edition: current; Page: [638] and incorporeall, (which lye in Grant, and cannot passe by Liverie, but by Deed, (as advowsons, Commons, &c. and of some is called Haereditas incorporata) and, by the deliverie of the Deed, the Freehold, and Inheritance of such Inheritance, as doth lye in Grant, doth passe) comprehended in this word Grant. And the Deed of incorporeate inheritances doth equall the Liverie of corporeate. And therefore Littleton saith, in all feoffments and Grants, Hereditas, alia corporalis, alia incorporalis: Corporalis est, quae tangi potest & videri, incorporalis quae tangi non potest, nec videri.323,324

Feoffment is derived of the word of Art Feodum,325 quia est donatio feodi,326 for the ancient Writers of the Law called a feoffment donatio, of the verbe do or dedi, which is the aptest word of feoffment. And that word Ephron used,327 when he enfeoffed Abraham, saying, I give thee the field of Machpelah over against Mamre, and the Cave therein I give thee, and all the trees in the field and the borders round about, all which were made sure unto Abraham for a possession, in the presence of many witnesses.

By a feoffment the corporeate fee is conveyed, and it properly betokeneth a conveyance in fee, as our Author himselfe hereafter saith, in his Chapter of Tenant for life. And yet sometime improperly it is called a feoffment when an estate of freehold onely doth passe, Done est nosme generall plus que nest feoffment, car done est generall a touts choses moebles & nient moebles, feoffment est riens forsque del soyle.328 And note there is a difference inter cartam & factum,329 for |Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [9 b] carta is intended a Charter which doth touch inheritance, and so is not factum unlesse it hath some other addition.

Grant, Concessio, is properly of things incorporeall, which (as hath been Edition: current; Page: [639] said) cannot passe without Deed.330 And here it is to be observed (that I may speake once for all) that everie period of our Author in all his three Bookes containes matter of excellent learning, necessarily to bee collected by implication, or consequence, for example hee saith here, that these words (his heires) make an estate of inheritance in all feoffments and grants, he expressing feoffments and grants, necessarily implyeth, that this rule extendeth not, first, to Last Wills and Testaments, for thereby, (i)331 as he himselfe after saith, an estate of inheritance may passe without these words (his heires) (k)332 As if a man devise 20. acres to another, and that he shall pay to his Executors for the same ten pound, and hereby the Devisee hath a Fee simple by the intent of the Devisor, albeit it be not to the value of the land. (l)333 So it is if a man devise lands to a man imperpetuum, or to give, and to sell, or in feodo simplici, or to him and to his Assignes for ever. In these cases a Fee simple doth passe by the intent of the Devisor, but if the devise be to a man and his Assignes without saying (for ever) the Devisee hath but an estate for life. (m)334 If a man devise land to one & sanguino suo,335 that is a Fee simple, but if it be Semini suo,336 it is an estate taile.

(n)337 Secondly, that it extendeth not to a Fine sur conusans de droit come ceo que il ad de son done,338 by which a fee also may passe without this word (heires) in respect of the height of that fine, and that thereby is implyed that there was a precedent gift in fee.

Thirdly, nor to certain Releases, and that three manner of wayes, (o)339 first when an estate of inheritance passeth and continueth, as if there be three Coparceners or Joyntenants, and one of them release to the other two, or to one of them generally without this word (heires) by Littletons owne opinion Edition: current; Page: [640] they have a Fee simple as appeareth hereafter. 2. By release (p)340 when an estate of inheritance passeth and continueth not, but is extinguished, as where the Lord releases to the Tenant, or the Grantee of a rent, &c. release to the Tenant of the land generally all his right, &c. hereby the Seigniorie, rent, &c. are extinguished for ever, without these words (heires.) 3. (q)341 when a bare right is released, as when the Disseisee release to the Disseisor all his right, he need not (saith our Author in another place) speake of his heires. But of all these, and the like cases, more shall be treated in their proper places. 4. Nor to a Recoverie, A. seised of land suffereth B. to recover the land against him by a common recoverie where the judgement is quod praedictus B. recuperet versus praed’. A. tenementa praedicta cum pertin’,342 yet B. recovereth a fee simple without these words (heires) for regularly everie Recoveror recovereth a fee simple. 5. Nor to a creation of Nobilitie by Writ, for when a man is called to the Upper House of Parliament by Writ, he is a Baron and hath inheritance therein without the word (heires) yet may the King limit the generall state of inheritance created by the Law and Custome of the Realme to the heires males, or generall, of his body by the Writ, as he did to Bromflete who in 27. H. 6:343 was called to Parliament by the name of the Lord Vescye, &c. with the limitation in the Writ to him and the heires males of his body, but if he be created by Patent, he must of necessitie have these words (his heires) or the heires males of his body, or the heires of his body, &c. otherwise he hath no inheritance. The first creation of a Baron by patent that I finde was of John Beauchampe of Holte created Baron by patent in 11. R. 2. for Barons before that time were called by Writ. And it is to be observed that of ancient times Earles, &c. were created by girding them with a sword, and nominating him Earle, &c. of such a Countie or place, and this with a calling of him to Parliament by Writ, by that name was a sufficient creation of inheritance.

But out of this rule of our Author, the Law doth make divers exceptions (Et exceptio probat regulam)344 for sometime by a feoffment a Fee simple shall Edition: current; Page: [641] passe without these words (his heires.) For example, first, (r)345 if the father enfeoffe the son, To have and to hold to him and to his heires, and the son infeoffeth the father as fully as the father infeoffed him, by this the father hath a Fee simple, quia verba relata hoc maxime operantur per referentiam ut in esse videntur.346 (s)347 Secondly, in respect of the consideration, a Fee simple had passed at the Common Law without this word (heires) and at this day an estate of inheritance in taile, as if a man had given land to a man with his Daughter in frank marriage generally, a Fee simple had passed without this word (heires) for there is no consideration so much respected in Law, as the consideration of marriage, in respect of alliance and posteritie. (t)348 Thirdly, if a Feoffment or Grant bee made by Deed to a Mayor and Communaltie or any other Corporation aggregate of many persons capable, they have a Fee simple without the word (Successors) because in judgement of the Law they never dye. (u)349 Fourthly, in case of a sole Corporation a Fee simple shall sometime passe without this word (Successors) as if a feoffment in fee be made of land to a Bishop, To have and to hold to him in libera eleemosyna,350 a Fee simple doth passe without this word (Successors.) (w)351 And so if a man give lands to the King by Deed inrolled, a Fee simple doth passe without these words (Successors or Heires) because in judgement of Law the King never dieth. Fifthly, in Grants sometimes an Inheritance shall passe without this word (heires) (x)352 as if partition be made between Coparceners of lands in Fee simple, and for oweltie of partition the one grant a rent to |Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [10 a] the other generally, the Grantee shall have a Fee simple without this word (heires) because the Grantor hath a Fee simple in consideration whereof he granted the rent. Ipsae etenim leges cupiunt ut jure regantur.353 Sixthly, by the Forrest Law if an Assart354 bee granted by the King at a Justice seat (which may be done Edition: current; Page: [642] without Charter) to another Habendum & tenendum sibi imperpetuum355 he hath a Fee simple without this word (heires) (y)356 for there is a speciall Law of the Forrest, as there is a Law Marshall for wars, and a Marine Law for the Seas. (z)357 And this rule of our Author extendeth to the passing of estates of inheritances in exchanges, releases, or confirmations that ensure by way of enlargement of estates, warranties, bargaine and sales by Deed indented and inrolled, and the like, in which this word (heires) is also necessarie, for they doe tantamount to a feoffment or grant, or stand upon the same reason that a feoffment or grant doth, for like reason doth make like Law, Ubi eadem ratio, ibi idem jus.358 And this is to be observed thorowout all these three Bookes, that where other cases fall within the same reason, our Author doth put his case but for example, for so our Author himselfe in another place359 explaneth it, saying, Et memorandum que en totus auters cases coment que ne sont icy expressment moves & specifies si sont en semblable reason sont en semblable ley.360 And here our Author is to bee understood to speake of heires when they are inheritable by discent, for they are capable of land also by purchase, and then the course of descent is sometime altered, as if lands of the nature of Gavelkind be given to B and his heires having issue divers sons, all his sons after his desease shall inherit, but if a lease for life be made, the remainder to the right heires of B. and B. dieth, his eldest son onely shall inherit, for hee onely to take by purchase is right heire by the Common Law. So note a diversitie betweene a purchase and a descent, but where the remainder is limited to the right heires of B. it need not to be said, and to their heires, for being plurally limited it includeth a Fee simple, and yet it resteth but in one by purchase.

Out of that which hath beene said it is to be observed, that a man may purchase lands to him and his heires by ten manner of conveyances, (for I speake not here of Estoppels.) First, by Feoffment: Secondly, by Grant (of Edition: current; Page: [643] which two our Author here speaketh.) Thirdly, by Fine, which is a feoffment of record. Fourthly, by common Recoverie, which is a common conveyance, and is in nature of a feoffment of record. Fifthly, by Exchange, which is in nature of a Grant. Sixthly, by Release to a particular Tenant. Seventhly, by Confirmation to a particular Tenant, both which are in nature of Grants. Eighthly, by Grant of a reversion or remainder with attornment of the particular Tenant, of all which our Author speaketh hereafter.361 Ninethly, by bargaine and sale by Deed indented and inrolled ordained by Statute since Littleton wrote. Tenthly, by Devise by custome of some particular place, as hee sheweth hereafter, and since he wrote; by Will in writing, generally by authoritie of Parliament.

What words are apt words for a Feoffment or Grant, vide Sect. 531.362 Our Author speaketh of Feoffments and Grants, whereby is implyed lawfull conveyances, and therefore this rule extendeth not to Disseisins, Abatements, or Intrusions into lands or tenements, or to usurpations to Advowsons, &c. in which cases estates in Fee simple are gained by the act and wrong of the Disseisors, Abators, Intruders and Usurpers, and if a disseisin, abatement, or intrusion be made to the use of another, if cey que use agreeth thereunto in pays by this bare agreement he gaineth a Fee simple without any liverie of seissin or other ceremony.

Section 2
Fee Simple

And if a man purchase land in fee simple and dye without issue, hee which is his next cosen collaterall of the whole bloud, how farre so ever hee bee from him in degree, may inherit and have the land as heire to him.

Littleton sheweth here who shall bee heire to lands in Fee simple, for he intendeth not this case of an estate taile, for that he speaketh of an heire of the whole bloud, for that extendeth not to estates in taile as shall bee said hereafter in this Chapter, Sect. 6.

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“his next cosen collaterall.”

Neither excludeth hee brethren or sisters because hee hath a speciall case concerning them in this Chapter, Sect. 5. and in his Chapter of Parceners, but this is intended |Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [10 b] where a man purchaseth lands and dieth without issue, and having neither brother nor sister, then his next cosin collaterall shall inherit.1 So as here is implyed a divisson of heires, viz. lineall (who ever shall firstinherit) and collaterall, (who are to inherit for default of lineall.) For in descents it is a maxime in Law quod linea recta semper praefertur transversali.2 Lineall descent is conveyed downward in a right line, as from the grandfather to the father, from the father to the sonne, &c. Collaterall descent is derived from the side of the lineall, as grandfathers brother, fathers brother, et.3 Prochein cousin collateral enheritera4 doth give a certaine direction to the next cosin to the son, and therefore the fathers brother and his posteritie shall inherit before the grandfathers brother and his posteritie. Et sic de caeteris, for propinquior excludit propinquum, & propinquus remotum, & remotus remotiorem.5

Upon this word (Prochein) I put this case. One hath issue two sonnes A. and B. and dieth, B. hath two sonnes C. and D. and dieth. C. the eldest son hath issue and dieth: A. purchaseth lands in Fee simple and dieth without issue, D. is his next cosin, and yet shall not inherit, but the issue of C. for hee that is inheritable is accounted in Law next of bloud. And therefore here is understood a division of next, viz. next, jure repraesentationis,6 and next, jure propinquitatis7 that is, by right of representation and by right of propinquitie.8 And Littleton meaneth of the right of representation, for legally in course of descents he is next of bloud inheritable. And the issue of C. doth represent the person of C. and if C. had lived he had beene legally next of bloud. And whensoever the father if he had lived, should have inherited, his Edition: current; Page: [645] lineall heire by right of representation shall inherit before any other, though another be jure propinquitatis neerer of bloud. And therefore Littleton intendeth his case of next cosin of bloud immediately inheritable. So as this produceth another division of next bloud, viz. immediately inheritable, as the issue of C. and mediately inheritable as D. if the issue of C. die without issue, for the issue of C. and all that live be they never so remote shall inherit before D. or his line,9 and therefore Littleton saith well de quel pluis long degree que il soit.10 And here ariseth a diversitie in Law betweene next of bloud inheritable by descent and next of bloud capable by purchase. And therefore in the case before mentioned if a Lease for life were made to A. the remainder to his next of bloud in fee. In this case as hath beene said D. shall take the remainder, because he is next of bloud and capable by purchase, though he be not legally next to take as heire by descent.

Section 3
Fee Simple

But if there be father and son, and the father hath a brother that is uncle to the son, and the son purchase land in fee simple, and die without issue, living his father, the uncle shall have the land as heire to the son, & not the father, yet the father is neerer of bloud; because it is a maxime in Law, That inheritance may lineally descend, but not ascend. Yet if the son in this case dye without issue, and his uncle enter into the Land as heire to the sonne (as by Law hee ought) and after the uncle dieth without issue, living the father, the father shall have the land as heire to the uncle, & not as heire to his sonne, for that he commeth to the land by collelaterall discent & not by lineal ascent.

“yet the father is neerer of bloud,”1

And therefore some doe hold upon these words of Littleton that if a Lease for life were made to the sonne the remainder to his next of bloud, that the father should take the remainder by purchase, and not the uncle, for that Littleton saith the father is next of bloud, and yet the uncle is heire. As if a Edition: current; Page: [646] man hath issue two sonnes, and the eldest sonne hath issue a sonne and die, a remainder is limited to the next of his bloud, the younger son shall take it, yet the other is his heire.

(p)2 “it is a maxime in Law, That inheritance may lineally descend, but not ascend.”

Maxime, i.e. a sure foundation or ground of Art, and a |Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [11 a] conclusion of reason so called (q)3 quia maxima est ejus dignitas & certissima authoritas, atque quod maxime omnibus probetur,4 so sure and uncontrollable as that they ought not to be questioned. (r)5 And that which our Author here and in other places calleth a Maxime, hereafter he calleth a Principle, and it is all one with a Rule, a common ground, Postulatum or an Axiome, and it were too much curiositie to make nice distinctions betweene them. And it is well said in our Bookes, (s)6 nest my a disputer lancient principles del ley.7 I never read any opinion in any booke old or new against this Maxime, but onely in lib. rub. where it is said, (t)8 si quis sine liberis discesserit, pater aut mater ejus in haereditatem succedat, vel frater & soror si pater & mater desint, si nec hos habeat, soror patris vel matris & deinceps qui propinquiores in parentela fuerint haereditario succedant, & dum virilis sexus extiterit, & haereditas abinde sit, foemina non haereditat’.9 But all our ancient Authors and the constant opinion ever since doe affirme the maxime.

By this maxime in the conclusion of his case, onely lineall ascention in the right line is prohibited, and not in the collaterall, (u)10 Quaelibet haereditas Edition: current; Page: [647] naturaliter quidem ad haeredes haereditabiliter descendit, nunquam quidem naturaliter ascendit, descendit itaque jus quasi ponderosum quod cadens deorsum recta linea vel transversali, & nunquam reascendit ea via qua descendit post mortem antecessorum, à latere tamen ascendit alicui propter defectum haeredum inferius provenientium;11 so as the lineall ascent is prohibited by Law, and not the collaterall. And in prohibiting the lineall ascent, the Common Law is assisted with the Law of the twelve tables.

Here our Author for the confirmation of his opinion draweth a reason and a proofe (as you have perceived) from one of the maximes of the Common Law: Now that I may here observe it once for all, his proofes and arguments, in these his three bookes, may be generally divided into two parts, viz. from the Common Law and from Statutes, of both which, and of their severall branches I shall give the studious Reader some few examples, and leave the rest to his diligent observation.

For the Common Law his proofes and arguments are drawen from twentie severall fountaines or places.

(a)12 First, from the Maximes, Principles, Rules, Intendment and Reason of the Common Law, which indeed is the rule of the Law, as here, and in other places our Author doth use.

(b)13 Secondly, from the bookes, records, and other authorities of Law cited by him, Ab authoritate, & pronunciatis.14

(c)15 Thirdly, from originall Writs in the Register, à rescriptis valet argumentum.16

(d)17 Fourthly, from the forme of good pleading. (e)18 Fifthly, from the right entrie of Judgements.

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(f)19 Sixthly, à praecedentibus approbatis & usu, from approved Precedents and Use.

(g)20 Seventhly, à non usu, from not use.

(h)21 Eighthly, ab artificialibus argumentis, consequentibus & conclusionibus, artificiall arguments, consequents and conclusions.

Ninthly, (i)22 à communi opinione jurisprudentium, from the common opinion of the Sages of the Law.

Tenthly, (k)23 ab inconvenienti, from that which is inconvenient.

Eleventhly, (l)24 à divisione, from a division, vel ab enumeratione partium, from the enumeration of the parts.

Twelfthly, (m)25 à majore ad minus, from the greater to the lesser, or (n)26 from the lesser to the greater, (o)27 à simili,28(p)29 à pari.30

13. (p)31 Ab impossibili, from that which is impossible.

14. (q)32 A fine, from the end.

15. 33 Ab utili vel inutili, from that which is profitable or unprofitable.

16. (r)34 Ex absurdo, for that thereupon shall follow an absurditie, quasi à surdo prolatum,35 because it is repugnant to understanding and reason.

17. (s)36 A natura & ordine naturae, from nature or the course of nature.

|Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [11 b] 18. (t)37 Ab ordine religionis, from the order of Religion.

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19. (u)38 A communi praesumptione, from a common presumption.

20. (w)39 A lectionibus jurisprudentium, from the readings of learned men or Law. From Statutes his arguments and proofes are drawne.

1. (x)40 From the rehearsall or preamble of the Statute.

2. By the body of the Law diversly interpreted.

Sometime by other parts of the same Statute, which is benedicta expositio, & ex visceribus causae.41

(y)42 Sometime by the reason of the Common Law. But ever the generall words are to bee intended of a lawfull Act, (z)43 and such interpretation must ever be made of all Statutes, that the innocent or he in whom there is no default may not be damnified.

“in Law,”

There be divers Lawes within the Realme of England. As first (a)44 Lex Coronae, the Law of the Crowne.

2. (b)45 Lex & consuetudo Parliamenti. Ista lex est ab omnibus quaerenda, à multis ignorata, à paucis cognita.46

3. (c)47 Lex naturae, the Law of nature.

4. (d)48 Communis Lex Angliae, the Common Law of England sometime called Lex terrae, intended by our Author in this and the like places.

5. (e)49 Statute Law, Lawes established by authoritie of Parliament.

6. (f)50 Consuetudines, Customes reasonable.

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7. (g)51 Jus belli, The Law of Armes, Warre, and Chivalrie, in republica maximè conservanda sunt jura belli.52

8. (h)53 Ecclesiasticall or Canon Law in Courts in certaine Cases.

9. (i)54 Civill Law in certaine cases not onely in Courts Ecclesiasticall, but in the Courts of the Constable and Marshall, and of the Admiraltie, in which Court of the Admiraltie is observed, la ley Olyron, anno 5. of Richard the first, so called, because it was published in the Isle of Olyron.

10. (k)55 Lex forestae, forest Law.

11. (l)56 The Law of Marque or reprisail.

12. (m)57 Lex mercatoria, Merchant, &c.

13. (n)58 The Lawes and Customes of the Isles of Jersey, Gernesey, and Man.

14. (o)59 The Law and priviledge of the Stannaries.

15. (p)60 The Lawes of the East, West, and middle Marches, which are now abrogated.

But here of this is little taste for our Student, that he may be capable of that which hee shall read concerning these and others in Records, and in our Bookes, and orderly observe them, shall suffice.

“and his uncle enter into the Land.”

For if the Uncle in this case doth not enter into the land, then cannot the father inherit the land, for there is another maxime in Law herein implyed. (q)61 That a man that claimeth as heire in fee simple to any man by descent Edition: current; Page: [651] must make himselfe heire to him that was last seized of the actuall freehold and inheritance. And if the Uncle in this case doth not enter, then had he but a freehold in Law, and no actuall freehold, but the last that was seized of the actuall freehold was the sonne to whom the father cannot make himselfe heire, and therefore Littleton saith, Et son uncle enter en la terre (sicome denoit per la ley)62 to make the father to inherit, as heire to the uncle. (r)63 Note, that true it is that the uncle in this case is heire, but not absolutely heire, for if after the descent to him the father hath issue a sonne or daughter, that issue shall enter upon the Uncle. (f )64 And so it is if a man hath issue a sonne and daughter, the sonne purchaseth land in fee and dieth without issue, the daughter shall inherit the land, but if the father hath afterward issue a sonne, this sonne shall enter into the Land as heire to his brother, and if he hath issue a daughter and no sonne, she shall be coparcener with her sister.

“as by Law hee ought.”

These words as a key doe open the secrets of the Law, for hereupon it is concluded, that where the Uncle cannot get an actuall possession by entrie or otherwise, there the father in this case cannot inherit. And therefore if an Advowson65 be granted to the sonne and his heires, and the sonne dye without issue, and this descend to the uncle, and he dye before he doth or can present to the Church, the father shall not inherit, because he should make himselfe heire to the son, which hee cannot doe. And so of a rent and the like. But if the uncle had presented to the Church, or has seisin of the rent, there the father should have inherited. For Littleton putteth his case of an entrie into land but for an example, If the sonne make a Lease for life, and die without issue, and the reversion descend to the uncle, and he die, the reversion shall not descend to the father, because in that case he must make himselfe heire to the sonne. A. infeoffe the sonnes with warrantie to him and his heires, the sonne dies, the uncle enters into the Land and dies, the father if he be impleaded shall not take advantage of this war-|Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [12 a]-rantie, for then he must vouch A. as heire to his sonne, which hee cannot doe for albeit the warrantie descended Edition: current; Page: [652] to the uncle, yet the uncle leaveth it as he found it, and then the father by Littletons (devoit)66 cannot take advantage of it. For Littleton, Sect. 603. saith that warranties shall descend to him that is heire by the Common Law,67 and Sect. 718. hee saith that everie warrantie which descends, doth descend to him that is heire to him which made the warrantie by the Common Law, which proveth that the father shall not be bound by the warrantie made by the son, for that the father cannot be heire to the son that made the warrantie.68 And a warrantie shall not goe with tenements, whereunto it is annexed, to any especiall heire but alwaies to the heire at the Common Law. And therefore if the uncle be seised of certaine lands, and is disseised, the son release to the disseisor with warrantie, and die without issue, this shall bind the uncle, but if the uncle die without issue, the father may enter, for the warrantie cannot descend upon him. So if the sonne concludeth himselfe by pleading concerning the tenure and services of certaine lands, this shall bind the uncle, but if the uncle die without issue, this shall not bind the father, because he cannot be heire to the son, and consequently not to the Estoppell in that case:69 but if it be such an Estoppell as runneth with the land, then it is otherwise.

Section 4
Fee Simple

And in case, where the sonne purchaseth Land in Fee simple, and dyes without issue, they of his bloud on the fathers side shall inherit as heires to him, before any of the bloud on the mothers side. But if hee hath no heire on the part of his father, then the land shall descend to the heires on the part of the mother. But if a man marrieth an inheretrix of lands in Fee simple, who have issue a son, and die, and the sonne enter into the tenements, as sonne and heire to his mother, and after dies without issue, the heires of the part of his mother ought to inherit, and not the heires of the part of the father. And if hee hath no heire on the part of the mother, then the Lord of whom the land is holden, shall have the land by Escheat. In the same manner it is, if lands descend to the sonne, Edition: current; Page: [653] of the part of the father, and hee entreth, and afterwards dies without issue, this Land shall descend to the heires on the part of the father, and not to the heires on the part of the mother. And if there bee no heire of the part of the father, the Lord of whom the Land is holden shall have the land by Escheat. And so see the diversitie, where the sonne purchaseth lands or tenements in Fee simple, and where hee commeth to them by descent on the part of his mother, or on the part of his father.

By this it appeareth1that our Author divideth heires into heires of the part of the father; and into heires of the part of the mother. (a)2And note it is an old and true Maxime in Law, that none shall inherit any lands as heire, but onely the bloud of the first Purchaser, for (*)3refert à quo fiat perquisitum,4As for example, Robert Coke taketh the daughter of Knightley to wife and purchaseth lands to him and to his heires, and by Knightley hath issue Edward, none of the bloud of the Knightleys though they be of the bloud of Edward shall inherit, albeit hee had no kindred but them, because they were not of the bloud of the first purchaser, viz. of Robert Coke.

(b)5“they of his bloud on the fathers side.”

Here it is to be understood, that the father hath two immediate blouds in him, viz. the bloud of his father, and the bloud of his mother, both these blouds are of the part of the father. (c)6And this made ancient Authors say, that if a man be seised of lands in the right of the wife, and is attainted of felony, and after hath issue, this issue should not inherit his mother, for that he could derive no bloud inheritable from the Father. And both these blouds of the part of the Father must bee spent |Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [12 b] before the heire of the bloud of the part of the mother shall inherit, wherein ever the line of the male of the part Edition: current; Page: [654] of the father, (that is) the posteritie of such male, bee they male or female, (who ever in descents are preferred) must faile before the line of the mother shall inherit, (d)7and the reason of all this is for that the bloud of the part of the father is more worthy, more neere in judgement of Law, than the bloud of the part of the mother.

“before any of the bloud on the mothers side.”

And it is to be observed,8that the mother hath also two immediate blouds in her, (viz.) her fathers bloud, and her mothers bloud. Now to illustrate all this by example. Robert Fairefield Sonne of John Fairefield and Jane Sandie, take to wife Anne Boyes Daughter of John Boyes and Jane Bewpree, and hath Issue William Fairefield who purchaseth lands in fee. Here William Fairefield hath foure immediate blouds in him, two of the part of his father, viz. the bloud of the Fairefields, and the bloud of the Sandies, and two of the part of his mother; viz. the bloud of the Boyses, and the bloud of the Bewprees, and so in both cases upward in infinitum.

Now admit that William Fairefield die without issue, first the bloud of the part of his father, viz. of the Fairefields, and for want thereof the bloud of the Sandies (for both these are of the part of the father) if both these faile, then the heires of the part of the mother of William Fairefield shall inherit, viz. first the bloud of the Boyses, and for default thereof the bloud of the Bewprees.

It is necessarie to be knowne in what cases the Heire of the part of mother shall inherit, and where not. If a man be seised of lands as Heire of the part of his mother, and maketh a feoffment in fee, and taketh backe an estate to him and to his heires, this is a new purchase, and if hee dieth without issue, the heires of the part of the father shall first inherit. If a man so seised maketh a feoffment in fee upon condition,9and die, the heire of the part of the father which is the heire at the Common Law shall enter for the condition broken, but the heire of part of the mother shall enter upon him, and enjoy the land. (m)10 A man so seised maketh a feoffment in fee reserving a rent to him and Edition: current; Page: [655] to his heires, this rent shall goe to the heires of the part of the father; but (n)11 if he had made a gift in taile, or a lease for life reserving a rent, the heire of the part of the mother shall have the reversion, and the rent also, as incident thereunto, shall passe with it; but the heire of the part of the mother shall not take advantage of a condition annexed to the same, because it is not incident to the reversion, nor can passe therewith. (o)12 If a man had been seised of a mannor as heire on the part of his mother, and before the Statute of Quia emptores terrarum,13 had made a feoffment in fee of parcell to hold of him by rent and service, albeit they be newly created, yet for that they are parcell of the mannor, they shall with the rest of the mannor descend to the heire of the part of the mother, quia multa transeunt cum universitate quae per se non transeunt.14 If a man hath a rent secke of the part of his mother, and the tenant of the land |Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [13 a] granteth a distresse to him and his heires, and the Grantee dieth, the distresse shall goe with the rent to the heire of the part of the mother as incident or appurtenant to the rent, for now is the rent secke become a Rent charge.

(p)15 A man so seised as heire on the part of his mother maketh a Feoffment in Fee to the use of him and his heires, the use being a thing in trust and confidence shall insue the nature of the land, and shall descend to the heire on the part of the mother. (q)16 A man hath Seigniorie as heire of the part of his mother, and the Tenancie doth escheat, it shall goe to the heire of the part of the mother. If the heire of the part of the mother of land whereunto a Warrantie is annexed is impleaded and Vouche, and judgement is given against him, and for him to recover in value, and dieth before execution (r)17 the heire of the part of the mother shall sue execution to have in value against the Vouchee, for the effect ought to pursue the cause, and the recompence shall ensue the losse.

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If a man giveth lands to a man, to have and to hold to him and his heires on the part of his mother, yet the heires of the part of the father shall inherit, for no man can institute a new kinde of inheritance not allowed by the Law, and the words (of the part of his mother) are void, as in the case that Littleton putteth this Chapter. If a man giveth lands to a man to him and his heires males, the Law rejecteth this word males, because there is no such kinde of inheritance, whereof you shall read more in his proper place.

If a man hath issue a sonne, and dieth, and the wife dieth also, lands are letten for life, the remainder to the heires of the wife, the sonne dieth without issue, the heires of the part of the father shall inherit, & not the heires of the part of the mother, because it vested in the son as a Purchaser. And the rule of Littleton holdeth as well in other kinde of Inheritances, as in Lands and Tenements. (f )18 And therefore if there be Lord, feme mesne,19 and Tenant, and the Mesne binde her selfe and her heires by her Deed to the acquitall of the Tenant, the Mesne take husband, the Tenant by his Deed granteth to the husband and his heires, that hee or his heires shall not bee bound to acquitall, the husband & wife have issue, and die, this issue, being bound as heire to his mother, shall not take benefit of the said grant of discharge, for that extends to the heires of the part of the father, and not to the heires of the part of the mother, and therefore the heire of the part of the mother was bound to the Acquitall. And thus much for the better understanding of Littleton’s Cases concerning the heire of the part of the mother shall suffice.

“But if a man marrieth an inheretrix.”

Here there is another maxime, (t)20 That whensoever Lands doe descend from the part of the mother, the heires of the part of the father shall never inherit. And likewise when Lands descend from the part of the father, the heires of the part of the mother shall never inherit. Et sic paterna paternis, et è converso, materna maternis.21 For more manifestation hereof, and of that which hereafter shall be said touching Descents, see a Table in the end of this Chapter.

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“shall have the land by Escheat”

(u)22 Escheat, Eschaeta is a word of art, and derived from the French word Eschear (id est) cadere, excidere or accidere, and signifieth properly when by accident the Lands fall to the Lord of whom they are holden, in which Case wee say the Fee is escheated. And therefore, of sonne, Escheats are called excadentiae, or teriae excadentiales (w)23 Dominus vero capitalis loco haeredis habetur quoties per defectum vel delictum extinguitur sanguis sui tenentis, loco haeredis & haberi poterit, nisi per modum donationis sit reversio cujusque tenementi. And Ockam (who wrote in the reigne of Henry the second) treating of Tenures of the King, saith, Porro eschaetae vulgo dicuntur, quae decedentibus hiis quae de Rege tenent, &c. cum non existit ratione sanguinis haeres ad fiscum relabuntur.24 (x)25 So as an Escheat doth happen two manner of wayes, aut per defectum sanguinis, i.e for default of heire, aut per delictum tenentis, i.e. for felony, and that is by judgement three manner of wayes, aut quia suspensus per collum, aut quia abjuravit regnum, aut quia utlegatus est.26 And therefore, they which are hanged by Martiall Law, in furore belli forfeit no Lands: and so in like Cases Escheats by the Civilians are called Caduca.

(y)27 The father is seised of Lands in fee holden of I.S. the son is attainted of high treason, the father dieth, the Land shall escheat to I.S. propter defectum sanguinis, for that the father dieth without heire. And the King cannot have the Land because the sonne never had any thing to forfeit. But the King shall have the Escheat of all the Lands whereof the person attainted of high treason was seised, of whomsoever they were holden.

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(z)28 In an Appeale of Death or other felony, &c. processe is awarded against the Defendant and hanging the processe the Defendant conveyeth away the land, and after is outlawed, the conveyance is good and shall defeat the Lord of his Escheat, but if a man be indited of felony, and hanging the processe against him, hee conveyeth away the Land, and after is outlawed, the Conveyance shall not in that case prevent the Lord of his Escheat. And the reason of this diversitie is manifest: For in the case of the Appeale, the Writ containeth no time when |Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [13 b] the felony was done, and therefore the Escheat can relate but to the Dutlawrie pronounced. But the inditement containeth the time when the felony was committed, and therefore the Escheat upon the Outlawrie shall relate to that time. Which cases I have added, to the end the Student may conceive, that the observation of writs, Inditements, Processe, Judgements, and other Entries, doth conduce much to the understanding of the right reason of the Law.

Of this word (Eschaeta) here used by our Author, commeth (a)29 Eschaetor, an ancient Officer so called, because his office is properly to looke to Escheats, Wardships, and other casualties belonging to the Crowne. In ancient time there were but two Escheators in England, the one on this side of Trent, and the other beyond Trent, at which time they had Subescheators. But in the reigne of Edward the second, the Offices were divided and severall Escheators made in everie Countie for life, &c. and so continued untill the reigne of Edward the third. And afterwards by the statute of 14 Edw. 3. it to enacted by authoritie of Parliament, that there should be as many Escheators assigned, as when king Edward the third came to the Crowne, and that was one in every Countie, and that no Escheator should tarrie in his office above a yeere, and by another Statute to be in office but once in three yeeres, the Lord Treasurer nameth him.

And hereof also commeth Eschaetria, which signifieth the Escheatership, or the office of the Escheater. But now let us heare what our Author will further say unto us.

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“And so see the diversitie.”

This kinde of speech is often used by our Author, and doth ever import matter of excellent observation, which you may finde in the Sections noted in the margent.30

And it is to be well observed, that our Author saith, Sil nad ascun heire, &c. la terre eschaetera.31 In which words is implyed a diversitie (as to the Escheat) between Fee simple absolute, which a naturall body hath, and Feesimple absolute which a body politique or incorporate hath. (b)32 For if land holden of I. S. be given to an Abbot and his Successors: In this case if the Abbot and all the Convent die, so that the body politique is dissolved, the Donor shall have againe this land, and not the Lord by Escheat. And so if land be given in Fee simple to a Deane and Chapter, or to a Major and Commonaltie, and to their Successors, and after such body politique or incorporate is dissolved, the Donor shall have againe the land, and not the Lord by Escheat. And the reason and cause of this diversitie is, for that in the case of a body politique or incorporate the Fee simple is vested in their politique or incorporate capacitie created by the policie of man, and therefore the Law doth annex a condition in Law to everie such gift and grant; That if such body politique or incorporate be dissolved, that the Donor or Grantor shall re-enter, for that the cause of the gift or grant faileth, but no such condition is annexed to the estate in Fee simple vested in any man in his naturall capacitie, but in case where the Donor or Feoffor reserveth to him a Tenure, and then the Law doth imply a Condition in Law by way of Escheat. Also (as hath been said) no Writ of Escheat lyeth but in the three cases aforesaid, and not where a body politique or incorporate is dissolved.

Section 5
Fee Simple

Also if there bee three brethren, and the middle brother purchaseth lands in Fee simple, and dye without issue, the elder brother shall have the Land by Edition: current; Page: [660] descent, and not the younger, &c. And also if there be three brethren, and the youngest purchase lands in Fee simple, & die without issue, the eldest brother shall have the land by descent & not the middle, for that the eldest is most worthy of bloud.

Now commeth our Author to the descent between brethren, which hee purposely omitted before. Discent, descensus commeth of the Latine word descendo, and, in the legall sense, it signifieth, when lands doe by right of bloud fall unto any after the death of his Ancestors: or a descent is a meanes whereby one doth derive him title to certaine lands, as heire to some of his Ancestors. And of this, and of that which hath beene spoken doth arise another division of estates in fee simple, viz. every man that hath a lawful estate in fee simple, hath it either by descent, or purchase.

|Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [14 a] “The eldest is most worthy of bloud.”

It is a maxime in Law that the next of the worthiest bloud shall ever inherit, as the male and all descendant from him before the female, and the female of the part of the father before the male or female of the part of the mother, &c. because the female of the part of the father is of the worthiest bloud. (c)1 And therefore among the males the eldest brother and his posteritie shall inherit lands in Fee simple, as heire before any younger brother, or any descending from him, because (as Littleton saith) hee is pluis digne de sanke. Quod prius est dignius est, and qui prior est tempore prior est jure. Si quis plures filios habuerit, jus proprietatis primo descendit ad primogenitum, eò quòd inventus est primo in rerum naturâ.2 In King Alfreds time Knights fees descended to the eldest sonne, for that by division of them between males the defence of the Realme might be weakened, but in those dayes Socage fee was divided betweene the heires males, and there with agreeth Glanvill.3 Cùm quis haerēditatem habens moriatur, &c. si plures reliquerit filios, tunc distinguitur utrùm ille fuerit miles, sive per feodum militare tenens, aut liber Sockmannus, quia si Edition: current; Page: [661] miles fuerit aut per militiam tenens, tunc secundum jus regni Angliae primogenitus filius patri succedit in toto, &c. si verò fuerit liber Sockmannus, tunc quidem dividetur haereditas inter omnes filios, &c.4 But hereof more shall be said hereafter in his proper place.

Section 6
Fee Simple

Also it is to bee understood, that none shall have land of Fee simple by descent as heire to any man, unlesse hee be his heire of the whole bloud, for if a man hath issue two sonnes by divers venters, and the elder purchase lands in Fee simple, and dye without issue, the younger brother shall not have the land, but the uncle of the elder brother, of some other his next cosin shall have the same, because the younger brother is but of halfe bloud to the elder.

No man can be heire to a Fee simple by the Common Law, (d)1 but hee that hath sanguinem duplicatum, the whole bloud, that is, both of the father and of the mother, so as the halfe bloud is no bloud inheritable by descent, because that hee that is but of the halfe bloud cannot be a compleat heire, for that hee hath not the whole and compleat bloud, and the Law in descents in Fee simple doth respect that which is compleat and perfect. And this maxime doth not onely hold where lands (whereof Littleton here speaketh) are claimed or demanded as heire, (e)2 but also in case of appeale of death: for if one brother be slaine, the other brother of the halfe bloud shall never have an appeale (albeit hee shall recover nothing therein either in the realtie or personaltie) because in the eye of the Law hee is not heire to him.3 Also this rule extends to a warrantie, as our Author himselfe elsewhere holdeth.

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Section 7
Fee Simple

And if a man hath issue a son and a daughter by one venter, and a son by another venter, & the son of the first venter purchase lands in fee and dye without issue, the sister shal have the land by descent as heire to her brother, & not the younger brother, for that the sister is the whole bloud of her elder brother.

This is put for an example to illustrate that which hath |Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [14 b] beenesaid, and needeth no explanation. And herewith agreeth Britton.1

Section 8
Fee Simple

And also where a man is seised of lands in Fee simple, & hath issue a sonne and daughter by one venter, and a son by another venter, and dye, and the eldest son enter, and dye without issue, the daughter shall have the land, & not the younger son, yet the younger son is heire to the father but not to his brother, but if the elder sonne doth not enter into the land after the death of his father but dye before any entry made by him then the younger brother may enter & shall have the land as heire to his father: but where the elder son in the case aforesaid enters after the death of his father, & hath possession there the sister shall have the land, Because Possessio fratris de feodo simplici facit sororem esse haeredem.1 But if there be 2. brothers by divers venters, and the elder is seised of land in fee, & die without issue, & his uncle enter as next heire to him, who also dye without issue, now the younger brother may have the land as heire to the uncle, for that he is of the whole bloud to him, albeit hee be but of the halfe bloud to his elder brother.

“seised of lands in Fee simple,”

These words exclude a seisin in Fee taile, albeit he hath a Fee simple expectant. (f )2 And therefore if Lands bee given to a man and his wife, and to the heires Edition: current; Page: [663] of their two bodies, the remainder to the heires of the husband, and they have issue a sonne, and the wife dyeth, and hee taketh another wife, and hath issue a sonne, the father dieth, the eldest sonne entreth, and dyeth without issue, the second brother of the halfe bloud shall inherit, because the eldest sonne by his entrie was not actually seised of the fee simple, being expectant but onely of the estate taile. And the rule is, that Possessio fratris de feodo simplici facit sororem esse haeredem, and here the eldest sonne is not possessed of the Fee simple but of the estate taile. And where Littleton speaketh onely of Lands (g)3 yet there shall bee Possessio fratris of an use, of a seigniorie, a rent, an advowson and of other hereditaments.

“and the eldest son enter,”

(h)4 These words are materially added when the father dies seised of lands in fee simple, for if the eldest sonne doth not in that case enter, then without question the youngest |Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [15 a] son shall be heire, because as it hath beene said before regularly hee must make himselfe heire to him that was last actually seised (or to the purchaser) and that was to the father where the eldest sonne did not enter. And therefore Littleton addeth that the son is heire to the father. (i)5 But when the eldest sonne in this case doth enter, then cannot the youngest sonne being of the halfe bloud bee heire to the eldest, but the land shalldescend to the sister of the whole bloud. Yet in many cases albeit the sonne doth not enter into lands descended in Fee simple, the sister of the whole bloud shall inherit, & in some cases where the eldest sonne doth enter, yet the younger brother of the halfe bloud shall be heire.

(k)6 If the father maketh a Lease for yeares, & the Lessee entreth & dieth, the eldest son dieth during the tearme before entrie or receipt of rent, the younger sonne of the halfe bloud shall not inherit but the sister, because the possession of the Lessee for yeares, is the possession of the eldest son, so as he is actually seised of the Fee simple, and consequently the sister of the whole bloud is to bee heire. The same Law it is if the lands be holden by Knights Edition: current; Page: [664] service, and the eldest sonne is within age, and the Gardian entreth into the lands. And so it is if the Gardian in Socage enter.

But in the case aforesaid, if the father make a lease for life or a gift in taile, and dieth, and the eldest sonne dieth in the life of Tenant for life or Tenant in taile, the younger brother of the halfe bloud shall inherit, because the Tenant for life or Tenant in taile is seised of the Freehold, and the eldest sonne had nothing but reversion expectant upon that Freehold or estate taile, and therefore the youngest sonne shall inherit the land as heire to his father, who was last seised of the actuall Freehold. And albeit a rent had beene reserved upon the lease for life, and the eldest sonne had received the rent and died, yet it is holden by some7 that the younger brother shall inherit because the seisin of the rent is no actuall seisin of the Freehold of the land. But 35. Ass. pl. 2. seemeth to the contrarie, because the rent, issueth out of the land and is in lieu thereof, wherein the onely question is, whether such a seisin of the rent be such an actuall seisin of the land in the eldest sonne as the sister may in a Writ of right make herselfe heire of this land to her brother. But it is cleere that (l)8 if there be a bastard eigne, and mulier puisne,9 and the father maketh a Lease for life or a gift in taile be reserving a rent and dye, and the bastard receive the rent and dye, this shall barre the mulier, for the reason of that standeth upon another maxime as shall manifestly appeare in his apt place, Sect. 399.

“seised of lands,”

(m)10 But in this case if the eldest sonne doth enter and get an actuall possession of the Fee simple, yet if the wife of the father be indowed of the third part and the eldest sonne dyeth, the younger brother shall have the reversion of this third part notwithstanding the elder brothers entrie, because that his actuall seisin which hee got thereby was by the endowment defeated. But if the eldest sonne had made a lease for life, and the Lessee has endowed the wife of the father, and tenant in dower had died, the daughter should have had Edition: current; Page: [665] the reversion, because the reversion was changed and altered by the Lease for life, and the reversion is now expectant on a new estate for life.


Hereupon the question groweth, whether if the father be seised of divers severall parcels of lands in one Countie, and after the death of the father the sonne entreth into one parcell generally, and before any actuall entrie into the other dieth, this generall entrie into part shall vest in him an actuall seisin in the whole, so as the sister shall inherit the whole. And this is a Quaere in 21. Hen. 7. 33. a.11

|Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [15 b] And some doe take a diversitie when an entrie shall vest, or devest an estate, that there must be severall entries into the severall parcels, but where the possession is in no man, but the Freehold in Law is in the heire that entreth, there the generall entrie into one part reduceth all into his actuall possession. And therefore if the Lord entreth into a parcell generally for a Mortmaine, or the Feoffor for a condition broken, or the Disseisee into parcell generally, the entrie shall not vest nor devest in these or like cases, but for that parcell. But when a man dies seised of divers parcels in possession, and the Freehold in Law is by a Law cast upon the heire, and the possession in no man, there the entrie into parcell generally seemeth to vest the actuall possession in him in the whole. But if his entrie in that case be speciall, viz. that he enter onely into that parcell and into no more, there it reduceth that parcell only into actuall possession.

“man is seised of lands”

What then is the Law of a Rent, Advowson, or such things that lye in grant? (g)12 If a Rent, or an Advowson doe descend to the eldest sonne, and hee dieth before he hath seisin of the Rent, or present to the Church, the Rent or Advowson shall descend to the youngest sonne, for that he must makehimselfe heire to his father, as hath been oftentimes said before. The like Law is of Offices, Courts, Liberties, Franchises, Commons of inheritance, and such like. Edition: current; Page: [666] (h)13 And this case differeth from the case of the Tenant by the Courtesie, for there if the wife dieth before the rent day, or that the Church become voyd, because there was no laches or default in him, nor possibilitie to get seisin, the Law in respect of the issue begotten by him will give him an estate by the Courtesie of England. But the case of the descent to the youngest sonne standeth upon another reason, viz. to make himselfe heire to him that was last actually seised, as hath beene said.

“in Fee simple”

(i)14 For halfe bloud is not respected in estates in taile, because that the issues doe claime in by descent, per formam Doni,15 and the issue in taile is ever of the whole bloud to the Donee.

(k)16 “Possessio fratris de Feodo simplici facit sororem esse haeredem.”

Hereupon foure things are to bee observed, everie word almost being operative and materiall. First, That the brother must be inactuall possession: For Possessio est quasi pedis positio.17 Secondly, De feodo simplici,18 exclude estates in taile. Thirdly, Facit sororem esse haeredem.19 So as (l)20 Soror est haeres facta,21 and therefore some act must be done to make her heire, and the younger sonne is haeres natus,22 (m)23 if no act be done to the contrarie. And albeit the words be Facit sororem esse haeredem, yet this doth extend to the issue of the sister, &c. who shall inherit before the younger brother. Fourthly, Of Dignities whereof no other possession can be had but such as descend (as to be a Duke, Marquesse, Earle, Viscount, or Baron) to a man and his heires, there can be Edition: current; Page: [667] no possession of the brother to make the sister to inherit, but the younger brother being heire (as Littleton saith) to the father, shall inherit the Dignitie inherent to the bloud, as heire to him that was first created noble.

And you shall understand that concerning Descents there is a Law, parcell of the Lawes of England, called Jus Coronae,24 and differeth in many things, from the generall Law concerning the subject.25 As for example, The King in any suit for any thing that pertaines to the Crowne shall not shew in certaine his cosinage as a subject shall doe, or as be himselfe shall doe for things touching his Dutchie. (n)26 And in the case of the King, if he hath issue a sonne, and a daughter by one venter, and a sonne by another venter, and purchaseth lands and dieth, and the eldest son enter and dieth without issue, the daughter shall not inherit these lands, not any other Fee simple lands of the Crowne, but the younger brother shall have them. Wherein note that neither possessio fratris doth hold of lands of the possessions of the Crowne, nor halfe bloud is no impediment to the descent of the lands of the Crowne, as it fell out in experience after the decease of King Edward the sixth to the Queene Marie, and from Queene Marie to Queene Elizabeth, both which here were of the halfe bloud, and yet inherited not onely the Lands which King Edward or Queene Marie purchased, but the ancient Lands parcell of the Crowne also.

A man that is King by descent of the part of his mother,27 purchase lands to him and his heires and dye without issue, this land shall descend to the heire of the part of the mother, but in the case of a subject, the heire of the part of the father shall have them.

So King Henry the eighth purchased lands to him and his heires, and died having issue two daughters, the Lady Mary, and the Lady Elizabeth, after the decease of King Edward, the eldest daughter Queene Mary did inherit only, all his lands in Fee simple. For the eldest daughter, or sister of a King shall inherit all his Fee simple lands. So it is if the King purchaseth Lands of the custome of Gavelkinde, and dye having issue divers sons, the eldest son shall onely inherit these lands. And the reason of all these cases is, for that the qualitie of the person doth in these andmany other like cases alter the descent,28 Edition: current; Page: [668] so as, all the Lands and possessions whereof the King is seised in jure Coronae, shall secundum jus Coronae, attend upon and follow the Crowne, and therefore to whomsoever the Crowne descend, those Lands and possessions descend also, for the Crowne and the Lands whereof the King is seised in jure Coronae, are concomitantia.29 If the |Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [16 a] right heire of the Crowne be attained of treason, yet shall the Crowne descend to him, and eo instante (without any other reversall) the attainder is utterly avoided, as it fell out in the case of Henry the seventh.30 (o)31 And if the King purchase lands to him and his heires, he is seised thereof in jure Coronae, è fortiori,32 when he purchases land to him his heires and successours.

But hereof this little taste shall suffice.

Section 9
Fee Simple

And it is to wit, that this word (inheritance) is not only intended where a man hath Lands or Tenements by descent of inheritage, but also everie Fee simple or taile which a man hath by his purchase may be said an inheritance, because his heires may inherit him. For in a Writ of right which a man bringeth of land that was of his owne purchase, the Writ shall say, Quam clamat esse jus & haereditatem suam.1 And so shall it be said in divers other Writs which a man or woman bringeth of his owne purchase, as appeares by the Register.

“And it is to wit”2

This kind of speer is used twice in this Chapter, and oftentimes by our Author in all his three Bookes, and ever teacheth us some rule of Law, or generall or sure leading point, as you shall perceive by reading, and observing of the same, which for the ease of the studious Reader I have observed.

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“Quam clamat esse jus & haereditatem suam.”

(a)3 Here our Author declareth the right signification of this word (inheritance.) And true it is, that in the Writ of right Patent, &c. Quando Dominus remittit Curiam suam,4 The words of the Writ be, Quam clamat esse jus & haereditatem suam. And in the Praecipe in capite, in a Cui in vita,5 (b)6 when the Defendant claimeth by purchase, the Writ is Quam clamat esse jus & haereditatem suam. And with Littleton agreeth the Register, fol. 4. & 232. and the Booke in 49 Edw. 3. 22. against sodaine opinions 7. Hen. 4. 5. 10. Hen. 6.9. 39. Hen. 6.38. Pl. Com. Wimbethes case 47. And yet in 7. Hen. 4.5. which is the Booke of the greatest weight, Sir. William Thirning Chiefe Justice of the Common Bench (as it seemeth doubting of it) went into the Chancerie to enquire of the Chancerie men the forme of the Writ in that case, and they said that the forme was both the one way and the other, so as thereby the opinion of Littleton is confirmed, and the Booke in6. notable,7 for there in an Action of waste the Plaintife supposed, that the Defendant did hold de haereditate sua,8 and it is ruled, that albeit the Plaintife purchased the reversion, yet the Writ should serve. And there it is said, It hath beene seene, that in a Cui in vita, the Writ was, which the Demandant claimed as her right and inheritance, when it was her purchase. And so this point wherein there might seeme some contrarietie in bookes is manifestly cleared. But in the Statute of West. 2. cap. 5.9 de haereditate uxorum by construction of the whole Statute is taken onely for the wives inheritance by descent, and not by purchase, as appeareth in 1. Edw. 2. tit. Quare imped. 43. 35. Hen. 6. 54. F. N. B. 34.b.10

There be some that have an inheritance (c)11 and have it neither by descent, nor properly by purchase, but by Creation, as when the King doth create any man a Duke, a Marquesse, Earle, Viscount, or Baron to him and his heires, Edition: current; Page: [670] or to the heires males of his bodie, &c. hee hath an inheritance therein by Creation. A man may have an inheritance in title of Nobilitie and Dignitie three manner of wayes, that is to say, by Creation, by Descent, and by |Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [16 b] Prescription. By Creation two manner of ordinarie wayes (for I will not speake of a Creation by a Parliament) by Writ, and by Letters Patents. Creation by Writ is the ancienter way, and here it is to be observed; that a man shall gaine an inheritance by Writ. King Richard the second created John Beauchampe de Holte Baron of Kedermister by his Letters Patents, bearing date the 10. of October, anno regni sui II. before whom there was never any Baron created by Letters Patents, but by Writ. And it is to bee observed, that if hee bee generally called by Writ to the Parliament, he hath a Fee simple in the Barony without any words of inheritance. But if he be created by Letters Patents, the state of inheritance must be limited by apt words, or else the grant is void. If a man be called by Writ to the Parliament, and the Writ is delivered unto him, and he dieth before he commeth and sits in Parliament, whether he was a Baron or no? And it is to be answered that he was no Baron, for the direction and deliverie of the Writ to him maketh not him Noble; for the better understanding whereof it is to be knowne that the words of the Writ in that case are, Rex, &c. E. B. de D. Chivalier salutem. Quia de advisamento & assensu concilii nostri pro quibusdam arduis & urgentibus negotiis statum & defensionem regni nostri Angliae, &c. concernentibus quoddam Parliamentum nostrum apud Civitatem Westm. à 21. Octob. proxim. futuro teneri ordinavimus, & ibid. vobiscum & cum Praelatis, Magnatibus & Proceribus dicti regni nostri colloquium habere & tractatum, vobis in fide & ligeancia quibus nobis tenemini firmiter injungendo mandamus, quod consideratis dictorum negotiorum arduitate, & periculis imminentibus cessante excusatione quacunque, dictis die & loco personaliter intersitis nobiscum & cum Praelatis, Magnatibus, & Proceribus supradictis, super dictis negotiis tractatur’ vestrumque consilium impensur’, &c.12,13 And this Writ Edition: current; Page: [671] hath no operation or effect untill hee sit in Parliament, and thereby his bloud is ennobled to him and his heires lineall, and thereupon a Baron is called a Peere of Parliament. (d)14 And if issue be joyned in any action, whether he be a Baron, &c. or no, it shall not be tried by Jurie, but by the Record of Parliament, which could not appeare unlesse hee were of the Parliament. Therefore a Duke, Earle, &c. of another Kingdome, are not to bee sued by those names here, for that they are not Peeres of our Parliament. And albeit the Creation by Writ is the ancienter, yet the Creation by Letters Patents is the surer, for hee may bee sufficiently created by Letters Patents, and made Noble, albeit hee never sit in Parliament.

(e)15 And it is to be observed that Nobilitie may bee granted for terme of life, by act in Law without any actuall Creation; as if a Duke take a wife, by the intermarriage shee is a Duchesse in Law, and so of a Marquesse, an Earle, and the rest, and in some other case. And there is a diversitie betweene a woman that is Noble by Descent, and a woman that is noble by marriage. (f)16 For if a woman that is Noble by Descent, marrie one that is under the degree of Nobilitie, yet remaineth Noble still; but if shee gaine it by marriage, shee loseth it, if shee marrie under the degree of Nobilitie, and so is the rule to be understood, Si mulier nobilis nupserit ignobili desinit esse nobilis.17 (g)18 But if a Dutchesse by marriage marrieth a Baron of the Realme she remaineth a Dutchesse and loseth not her name, because her husband is Noble, &c de caeteris.19

And as an estate for life may be gained by marriage, so may the King create either man or woman Noble for life (h)20 but not for yeares, because then it might goe to Executors or Administrators. The true division of persons is, that everie man is either of Nobilitie, that is, a Lord of Parliament of the upper House, or under the degree of Nobilitie, amongst the Commons, as Knights, Edition: current; Page: [672] Esquires, Citizens and Burgesses of the lower House of Parliament, commonly called House of Commons, and he that is not of the Nobilitie is by intendment of Law among the Commons.

“as appeares by the Register”

Which booke in the Statute of West. 2. ca. 24. is called Registrumde Cancellaria, because it containeth the formes of Writs at the Common Law that issue out of the Chancerie, tanquam ex officina justiciae.21 There is a Register of originall Writs, and a Register of judiciall Writs, but when it is spoken generally of the Register it is meant of the Register originall. For the antiquitie and excellencie of this Booke, see in my Preface to the eighth part of my Commentaries. This excellent Booke our Author voucheth divers times in these Bookes, and so doth he divers other Authorities in Law of severall kindes, but with this observation, that he citeth no Authoritie, but when the case is rare or may seeme doubtfull, which appeareth in this, that he putteth no Case in all his three Bookes but hath warrant of good Authoritie in Law. For he knew well the rule,22 that perspicua vera non sunt probanda.23 And the like observation its made of Justice Firzherbert in his Booke of Natura Brevium, that he never citeth Authoritie, but when the Case is rare or was doubtfull to him. The Authorities which our Author hath cited in his three Bookes I have collected.

Section 10
Fee Simple

|Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [17 a] And of such things whereof a man may have a Manuell occupation, possession or receipt, as of lands, Tenements, Rents, and such like, there a man shall say in his Count Countant and Plea Pleadant, that such a one was seised in his demesne as of fee, but of such things which do not lye in such Manuall occupation, &c. as of an Advowson of a Church and such like, there he shall say, that hee was seized as of fee, and not in his Demesne as of fee. And in Latine it is in one Case, Quod talis seisitus fuit in dominico suo ut de feodo,1 and in the other Case, Quod talis seisitus fuit, &c. ut de feodo.

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“In his Count Countant.”

In Count Countant. Count, i.e. narratio commeth of the French word Conte which in Latine is Narratio, and is vulgarly called a Declaration. The originall writ is according to his name Breve, briefe & short, but the Count which the Plaintife or Demandant make is more narrative & spacious and certaine both in matter & in circumstance of time and place, to the end the defendant may be compelled to make a more direct answer; so as the writ may be compared to Logicke and the Count to Rhetoricke, and it is that which the Civilians call a Libell. And in that ancient booke of the Mirror of Justices,2 Lib. 2. cap. des Loiers, Contors are Serjants skilfull in Law, so named of the Count as of the principall part, and in Wil. 2. ca.29.3 hee is called Serjant Counter.

“in his Plea Pleadant.”

Placitum. Here Littleton teacheth good pleading in this point, of which in his third Booke and Chapter of Confirmation, Sect. 534. hee thus saith, Et saches mon sits que est un des pluis honorables, laudables, & profitable choses en nostreley, de auer le science de bien pleader en actions reals & personels, & pur ceo, ieo toy counsaile especialment de metteraton courage, & cure de ceo apprender.4 And for this cause this Word Placitum is derived à placendo, quia bene placitare super omnia placet,5 and it is not as some have said, so called per Antiphrasin, quia non placet.6


Seisitus commeth of the French word seisin, i. possessio, saving that in the Common Law seised, or seisin is properly applyed to Freehold, and possessed Edition: current; Page: [674] or possession properly to goods and chattels; although sometime the one is used in stead of the other.

“in his demesne as of fee, In Dominico suo ut in feodo.8

Dominicum is not onely that inheritance, wherein a man hath proper dominion or ownership, as it is distinguished from the lands which another doth hold of him in service, but that which is manually occupied, manured, and possessed, for the necessarie sustentation, maintenance and supportation of the Lord and his houshold, and savoureth de domo, of the house, either ad mensam, for his or their board and sustentation, or manually received (as Rents) for bearing and defraying of necessarie charges publike or private. Of these (saith our Author) he should plead, that he is seised in dominico suo ut de feodo, i.e. de feodo dominicali, seu terrâ dominicali, seu redditu dominicali,9 which is as much to say as Demeyne or Demaine, of the hand, i. manured by the hand, or received by the hand, and therefore he calleth it manuall occupation, possession or receipt. And in Domesday10 Demeane land is called Inland, as for example, 4. bovatas terrae de Inland, & 10. bovatas in servitio.11

“in such Manuall occupation, &c.”

There is nothing in our Author but is worthy |Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [17 b] of observation. Here is the first (&c.) and there is no (&c.) in all his three Bookes (there being as you shall perceive verie many) but it is for two purposes. First it doth imply some other necessarie matter. Secondly, that the Student may together with that which our Author hath said, inquire what authorities there be in Law that treat of that matter, which will worke three notable effects: First, it will make him understand our Author the better: Secondly, it will exceedingly adde to the Readers invention. And lastly, it will fasten the matter more surely in his memorie, for which purpose I have for his case in the beginning set downe in these Institutes, the effect of some of the principall authorities in Law, as Edition: current; Page: [675] I conceive them concerning the same. In this place the (&c.) implyeth possession or receipt, and such other matter as appeareth by my notes in this Section. As for the Authorities of Law, you shall finde the effect of them in this Section, and the like of the rest of the (&c.) which you shall finde in the Sections hereafter mentioned, omitting those (for avoyding of tediousnesse) that either are apparent, or which are explained in some other places, viz. Sect. 20. 48. 102. 108. 120. 125. 136. 137. 146. 149. 154. 164. 166. 167. 168. 177. 179. 183. 184. 194. 200. 202. 210. 211. 217. 220. 226. 233. 240. 242. 244. 245. 248. 262. 264. 269. 270. 271. 279. 320. 322. 323. 325. 326. 327. 329. 330. 335. 336. 341. 347. 348. 349. 350. 352. 355. 356. 359. 364. 365. 374. 375. 377. 381. 384. 389. 393. 395. 397. 399. 401. 402. 410. 417. 428. 433. 447. 449. 464. 470. 471. 477. 483. 489. 500. 501. 522. 532. 552. 553. 556. 558. 562. 578. 591. 592. 593. 594. 603. 613. 624. 625. 630. 632. 634. 637. 638. 648. 659. 660. 661. 669. 687. 693. 700. 718. 745. 748. 749. All which I have observed and quoted here once for all, for ease of the studious Reader.

ut de feodo,12

Where (ut) is not by way of similitude, but to be understood positively that he is seised in fee.13 And so it is where one pleads a descent to one ut filio & haeredi,14 that is, to Io.S. that is sonne and heire, & sic de caeteris,15 where (ut) denotat ipsam veritatem.16

“as of an Advowson”

Of an Advowson (i)17 wherein a man hath as absolute ownership and propertie as hee hath in Lands or Rents, yet hee shall not plead, that hee is seised in Dominico suo ut feodo, because that inheritance, favouring not de domo,18 cannot either serve for the sussentation of him and his houshold, nor any thing can bee received for the same for defraying of charges. And therefore Edition: current; Page: [676] hee cannot say, that hee is seised thereof in dominico suo de feodo, whereby it appeareth how the Common Law doth detest Simony, and all corrupt bargaines for presentations to any Benefice, but that (k)19 idonea persona for the discharge of the Cure should be presented freely without expectation of any thing; nay, so cautious is the Common Law in this point that the Pl. in a Quare impedit should recover no damages for the losse of his presentation untill the Statute of West 2.cap.5. And that is the reason that Gardian in Socage (l)20 shall not present to an Advowson, because hee can take nothing for it, and by consequent hee cannot account for it. And by the Law hee can meddle with nothing that hee cannot account for it. (m)21 And in a Writ of right of Advowson, the Patron shall not alleage the explees or taking of the profits in himselfe, but in his Incumbent. And hereby the old Bookes shall bee the better understood, viz. Bracton, lib. 4. tract.3. cap. nu. 5. Est autem dominicum quod quis habet ad mensam, & proprie, sicut sunt Boordlands Anglice. And Fleta lib. Est autem dominicum proprie terra ad mensam assignata. Dominicum etiam dicitur ad differentiam ejus quod tenetur in servitio.22 But of an Advowson and such like hee shall plead, that hee is seised de advocatione ut de feodo & jure.23


Advocatio, signifying an advowing or taking into protection, is as much as jus patronatus. Sir William Herle in 7. Edw. 3. fol. 4.24 saith, that it is not long past, that a man did known what an Advowson was, but when a man would grant an Advowson hee granted, Ecclesiam the Church, and thereby the Advowson passed, Vide 45. Edw. 3. 5.25 But surely the word is of greater antiquitie, Edition: current; Page: [677] for in the Register there is an originall Writ de recto Advocationis, and in the originall Writ of Assise de darreine presentment the Patron is callen Advocatus. (n)26 Vide Wil. 2. ca.5. And so doth (o)27 Bracton call him. Advocatus autem dici poterit ille ad quem pertinet jus advocationis alicujus, ut ad Ecclesiam praesentet nomine proprio & non alieno.28 And (p) Fleta lib. 5. cap.14.29 agreeth herewith almost totidem verbis: Advocatus est ad quem pertinet jus advocationis alterius Ecclesiae, ut ad Ecclesiam nomine proprio non alieno possit praesentare.30 And (q)31 Britton cap. 92. The Patron is called Avow, and the Patrons are called Advocati, for that they bee either Founders, or Maintainers, or Benefactors of the Church either by building, donation, or increasing of it, in which respect they were also called Patroni, and the Advowson jus patronatus.

And it is to be understood that there is a great (r)32 diversitie inter advocationem medietatis Ecclesiae, &c. & medietatem advocationis Ecclesiae.33 And of their severall remedies for the same, For the Advowson of the moytie is when there be severall Patrons, and two severall Incumbents in one Church, the one of the one moytie thereof, and the other of the other moytie, and one |Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [18 a] part as well of the Church as of the Towne allotted to the one, and the other part thereof to the other, and in that case each Patron if he be disturbed shall have a Quare impedit, quod permittat ipsum praesentare idoneam personam ad medietatem Ecclesiae.34

But if there be two Coparceners, and they do agree to present by turne, each of them in truth hath but a moytie of the Church, but for that there is but one Incumbent, if either of them bee disturbed she shall have a Quare impedit, &c. praesentare idoneam personam ad Ecclesiam; 35 for that there is Edition: current; Page: [678] but one Church and one Incumbent, and so of the like. But in (s)36 the said case of the Coparceners one of them shall have a writ of right of Advowson de medietate advocationis,37 for in truth she hath but a right to a moytie, but in the other case where there be two Patrons and two Incumbents in one Church, each of them shall have a writ of right of Advowson De advocatione medietatis.

And as there may (as hath beene said) be two severall Parsons in one Church, so there may be two that may make but one parson in a Church. (t)38 Britton saith, Si ascun Esglise soir done a divers persons per un sole avowe nul ne sepura pleadre per assise de juris utrum ne nul estre implede sauns lautre, &c.39 And therewith agreeth Fleta. (u)40 Item licet aliqua Ecclesia divisa fuerit inter duos, sive bona sua habeant communia sive separata, dum tamen unicum habeant advocatum nullus eorum sine alio agere poterit vel implacitari.41 And Fitzh.saith42 that two Prebendaries may be one Parson of a Church, who shall joyne in a Juris utrum,43 so as one Rectorie may be annexed to two severall Prebends, and both of them make but one Parson. But where one is Parson of the one moytie of a Church, and another of the other moytie, as hath been said, there one of them shall have a juris utrum against the other, and in the Writ shall name him persona medietatis Ecclesiae, &c. But for avoyding of suspicion of curiositie if we should proceed any further44 herein, we will attend what Littleton will further teach as.

Edition: current; Page: [679]

Section 11
Fee Simple

And note that a man cannot have a more large or greater estate of inheritance than Fee simple.

This doth extend as well to Fee simples conditionall & qualified as to Fee simples pure and absolute. For our Author, speaketh here of the amplenesse and greatness of the estate, and not of the perdurableness of the same. And he that hath a Fee simple conditionall or qualified, hath as ample and great an estate as hee that hath a Fee simple absolute, so as the diversitie apeareth between the quantitie and qualitie of the estate.

From this state in Fee simple, estates in taile, and all other particular estates are derived, and therefore worthily our Author beginneth his first Book with Tenant in Fee simple, for à principalioribus seu dignioribus est inchoandum.1

“cannot have a more large or greater estate.”

For this cause two (a)2 Fee simples absolute cannot be of one and the selfesame land. If the King make a gift in taile, and the Donee is attainted of treason, in this case the King hath not two simples in him, viz. the ancient reversion in Fee, & A Fee simple determinable upon the dying without issue of Tenant in taile, but both of them are consolidated and conjoyned together, and so it is if such a Tenant in taile both convey the land to the King his heires and successors, the King hath but one estate in Fee simple united in him, and the Kings grant of one estate is good, and so was it adjudged in the Court of Common Pleas. And yet in severall persons by act in Law, a reversion may bee in Fee simple in one, and a Fee simple determinable in another by matter Ex post facto; as if a gift in taile made to a Villeine, and the Lord enter, the Lord hath a Fee simple qualified, and the Donor a reverssion in fee, but if the Lord infeoffe the Donor, now both Fee simples are united, and he hath but one Fee simple in him: but one Fee simple cannot depend upon another Edition: current; Page: [680] by the grant of the partie, as if lands be given to A. so long as B. hath heires of his body the remainder over in fee, the remainder is voyd.

Section 12
Fee Simple

Also purchase is called the possession of lands or tenements that a man hath by his deed or agreement, unto which possession hee commeth not by title of descent from any of his Ancestors, or of his Cousins, but by his owne deed.

Purchase in Latine is either acquisitum, of the verb acquiro, for so I find it in the originall Register 243. In terris vel tenementis quae |Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [18 b] viri & mulieres conjunctim acquisiverunt, &c. Bracton,1 calleth it perquisitum; and by (b)2 Glanvill it is called quaestus or perquisitum.

A purchase is alwayes intended by title, and most properly by some kinde of conveyance either for money or some other consideration, or freely of gift: for that is in Law also a purchase. But a descent, because it commeth meerely by act of Law, is not said to be a purchase, and accordingly the makers of the act of Parliament in I. Hen. 5. ca. 53 speaketh of them that have lands or tenements by purchase or descent of inheritance. And so it is of an Escheat or the like, because the inheritance is cast upon, or a title vested in the Lord by act in Law and not by his owne deed or agreement, as our Author here saith, Like Law of the state of Tenant by the Courtesie, Tenant in Dower or the like. But such as attaine to lands by meere injurie and wrong, as bydisseisin, intrusion, abatement, usurpation, &c. cannot be said to come in by purchase, no more than Robbery, Burglary, Pyracy or the like can justly be termed purchase.

If a Nobleman, Knight, Esquire, &c. be burried in a Church, and have his Coat armor and Pennions with his armes, and such other ensignes of honour as belong to his degree or order set up in the Church, or if a grave stone or tombe be laid or made, &c. for a monument of him. (c)4 In this case albeit the freehold of the Church be in the Parson, and that these be annexed to the freehold, yet cannot the Parson or any take them or deface them, but he Edition: current; Page: [681] is subject to an action to the heire, and his heires in the honour and memorie of whose Ancestor they were set up. And so it was holden, Mic. 10. Ja.5 And here with agreeth the Lawes (d)6 in other Countries. Note this kinde of inheritance: and some hold that the wife or Executors that first set them up may have an action in that case against those that deface them in their time. And note that in some places chattels as heire-loomes, (as the best bed, table, pot, pan, cart, and other dead chattels movable) may goe to the heire, and the heire in that case may have an action so; for them at the Common Law, and shall not sue for them in the Ecclesiasticall Court, but the heire-loome is due by Custome and not by the Common Law. And the (e)7 ancient jewels of the Crowne are heire-loomes and shall descend to the next Successor, and are not devisable by testament.

An heire-loome is called principalium or haereditarium.8

Consuetudo hundredi de Stretford in Com’ Oxon’ est quod haeredes ten’torum infra hundredum praedictum existen’ post mortem antecessorum suorum habebunt, &c.9 principalium, Anglice an heire-loome, viz. De quodam genere catallor’, utensilium, &c. optimum plaustrum, optimam carucam, optimum ciphum, &c.10

Our Author hath not spoken of parcencers in this Chapter, for that he hath particular Chapters of the same.

Gradus parentelœ, &c.11

Section 21
Fee Tail, part 2

|Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [24 a] And all these Entailes aforesaid be specified in the said Statute of W. 2. Also there bee divers other estates in taile, though they bee not by expresse words specified in the said Statute, but they are taken by the equitie of the same Statute. Edition: current; Page: [682] As if lands be given to a man, and to his heires males of his body begotten, in this case his issue male shal inherit, and the Issue female shall never inherit, and yet in the other entailes aforesaid, it is otherwise.

“And all these Entailes aforesaid be specified in the said Statute of W[estmister].2.”

And so it appeareth by the said statute. Auxy sont divers auters estates en le taile, &c. And herewith agreeth Carbonels Case, 33. Edw. 3. titulo Taile 5.

That the cases of the statute are set downe but for examples of estates tailes generall and speciall, and not to exclude other estates taile 3. Edw. 3. 32. 18. Ass. p. 5. 13. Edw. 3. 46. 1. Mar. Dyer 46. Pl. Com. Seignior Barkleys case, fo. 251.1 For, Exempla illustrant, non restringunt legem.2

|Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [24 b] “equitie.”

Is a construction made by the Judges, that cases out of the letter of a statute yet being within the same mischiefe, or cause of the making of the same, shall bee within the same remedie that the Statute provideth; And the reason hereof is for that the Law-maker could not possibly set downe all cases in expresse termes, Aequitas est convenientia rerum quae cuncta coaequiparat, & quae in paribus rationibus paria jura & judicia desiderat. And againe, Aequitas est perfecta quaedam ratio quae jus scriptum interpretatur&emendat, nullascripturâ comprehensa, sed solum in vera ratione consistens. Aequitas est quasi aequalitas.3 Bonus Judex secundum aequum & bonum judicat, & aequitatem stricto juri praefert. Et jus respicit aequitatem.4

“As if lands be given to a man, and to (f)5 his heires males of his body begotten, in this case his issue male shall inherit, and the Issue female shall never inherit, &c.”

This shall be explaned afterward, Sect. 24.

Edition: current; Page: [683]

Section 69
Tenant at Will, part 2

|Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [56 a] Also if a house be letten to one to hold at will, by force whereof the Lessee entreth into the house, & brings his householdstuffe into the same, and after the Lessor puts him out, yet hee shall have free entrie, egresse and regresse into the said house, by reasonable time to take away his goods and Utensils. As if a man seised of a mese in fee simple, fee taile, or for life, hath certain goods within the said house, and makes his Executors, and dieth, whosoever after his decease hath the house, his Executors shall have free entrie egresse and regresse to carrie out of the same house the goods of their testator by reasonable time.

“if a house be letten to one to hold at will,”

The reason of this is evident upon that which hath beene said before.


or Mai-|Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [56 b]-son, called in Legall Latine Messuagium, containeth (as hath beene said) the Buildings, Curtelage, Orchard, and Garden.

Cottage, Cotagium is a little house without land to it. (a)1 See 31. Eliz. cap. I and Cottagers in Doomesday Booke are called Cotterelli: and in ancient Records Haga signifieth a house. If a man hath a house neer to my house, and hee suffereth his house to be so ruinous, as it is like to fall upon my house, (b)2 I may have a writ De domo reparanda,3 and compell him to repaire his house. But a Praecipe lieth not de domo, but de messuagio.4

“by reasonable time”

(c)5 This reasonable time shall be adjudged by the discretion of the Justices, before whom the cause dependeth; and so it is of reasonable fines, customes, and services, upon the true state of the case depending before them; for reasonableness Edition: current; Page: [684] in these cases belongeth to the knowledge of the Law, and therefore to be decided by the Justices. (d)6 Quam longum esse debet non definitur in jure, sed pendet ex discretione Justiciariorum:7 And this being said of time, the like may be said of things incertaine, which ought to be reasonable; for nothing that is contrarie to reason, is consonant to Law.

(e)8 “As if a man seised of a mese9 in fee simple, fee taile,”

This is so evident as it needeth no explaination.

Section 80
Tenant by the Verge, part 3

|Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [62 a] And so it is to be understood, that in divers Lordships, and in divers Manors, there be many and divers customes, in such cases as to take tenements, & as to plead, and as to other things and customes to bee done, and whatsoever is not against reason, may well be admitted and allowed.

“be many and divers customes,”

This was cautiously set downe, for in respect of the varietie of the customes in most Mannors, it is not possible to set downe any certaintie, only this incident inseparable everie custome must have, viz. that it be consonant to reason, for how long soever it hath continued, if it bee against reason, it is of no force in Law.

“against reason,”

This is not to be understood of everie unlearned mans reason, but of artificiall and legall reason warranted by authoritie of Law: Lex est summa ratio.1

Edition: current; Page: [685]

Section 96
Escuage, part 2

|Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [70 a] But it appeareth by the pleas and arguments made in a plea upon a Writ of detinue of a writing obligatorie brought by one H. Gray. T.7.E.3. that it is not needfull for him which holdeth by Escuage to goe himselfe with the King if hee will finde another able person for him conveniently arrayed for the warre to goe with the King. And this seemeth to be good reason. For it may be that hee which holdeth by such services is languishing, so as hee can neither goe nor ride. And also an Abbot or other man of Religion, or a feme sole, which hold by such services, ought not in such case to goe in proper person. And Sir William Herle then chief Justice of the common place said in this plea, that Escuage shall not bee granted, but where the King goes himselfe in his proper person. And it was demurred in judgment in the same plea, whether the 40. dayes should bee accounted from the first day of the muster of the Kings host made by the Commons, and by the commandement of the King, or from the day that the King first entred into Scotland. Therefore inquire of this.

TR. 7. E. 3. &c.1 This is the first booke at large that our Author hath cited and it is to be observed that this point is not debated in the said booke, but onely it is there admitted, and yet is good authoritie in law, for our Author saith that it appeareth by this booke, now both by Littleton himselfe, and by the booke of 7. Edw. 3. it is apparant that albeit the tenure is that hee which holdeth by a whole knights fee ought to be with the King, &c. todoeacorporall service, yet he may finde another able man to doe it for him.

By the Statute of Magna Charta, cap. 20. it is provided, that no knight that holdeth by Castle-gard shall bee distreined to give money for the keeping of the Castle, Si ipse eam fucere voluerit in propria persona sua vel per alium probum hominem faciet si ipse eam facere non possit propter rationabilem causam.2

Some have thought that hee that holds by Escuage is taken by the equitie of this statute that speaketh onely of Castle-gard, but it is holden that this statute is but an affirmance of the common law. For where that Act saith, (propter rationabilem causam)3 that reasonable cause is referred to the tenants Edition: current; Page: [686] owne discretion and choyce, and the cause is not materiall or issuable no more than in the case that Littleton here putteth, as hereafter appeareth. And I would advise our Student, that when he shall be enabled and armed to set upon the yeere bookes, or reports of Law, that hee be furnished with all the whole course of the Law, that when hee heareth a case vouched and applyed either in Westminster Hall, (where it is necessarie for him to be a diligent hearer, and observer of cases of Law) or at readings or other exercises of learning, hee may find |Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [70 b] out and reade the case so vouched, for that will both fasten it in his memorie, and bee to him as good as an exposition of that case, but that must not hinder his timely and orderly reading, which (all excuses set apart) he must binde himselfe unto, for there bee two things to be avoided by him, as enemies to learning, praepostera lectio,4 and praepropera praxis.5 But let us now heare what our author will say:

“And this seemeth to be good reason.”

Here Littleton sheweth three reasons wherefore the Tenant should not be constrained to doe his service in person.

First, It may be the Tenant is sicke, so as he is neither able to goe nor ride. And ever such construction must be made in matters concerning the defence of the Realme or common good, as the same may be effected and performed. To the former disabilitie may be added where a Corporation aggregateofmany, as Deane and Chapter, Mayor and Communaltie, &c. or an Infant being a Purchaser, for these also must finde an able man. But it may be objected that in these particular Cases the Tenant might finde a man, but not when hee himselfe is able without all excuse or impediment. To this it is answered, that Sapiens incipit à fine.6 And the end of this service is for defence of the Realme, and so it be done by an able and sufficient man, the end is effected.

Secondly, Seeing there are so many just excuses of the Tenant, it were dangerous, and tending to the hindrance of the service, if these excuses should Edition: current; Page: [687] be issuable Multa in jure communi contra rationem disputandi pro communi utilitate introducta sunt.7

Lastly, both Littleton and the Booke in the 7. Edw. 3, giveth the Tenant power, without any cause to be shewed to finde an able and sufficient man, and oftentimes Jura publica ex privato promiscue decidi non debent.8

“an Abbot or other man of Religion,”

Note that if the King had given Lands to an Abbot and his Successours to hold by Knights Service, this had beene good, and the Abbot should doe homage and finde a man., &c. or pay Escuage, but there was no Wardship or Reliefe or other Incident belonging thereunto. And though the Law saith that this was a Mortmaine, that is, that they held fast their Inheritances, yet if the Abbot with the assent of his Covent, had conveyed the land to a natural man and his heires, now Wardship and Reliefe & other Incidents belonged of common right to the Tenure. And so it is, if the King give Lands to a Mayor and Communaltie, and their Successours to be holden by Knights Service. In this case the Patentees (as hath beene said) shall doe no homage, neither shall there be any Wardship or Reliefe, onely they also shall finde a man, &c. or pay Escuage. But if they convey over the lands to any naturall man and his heires, now Homage, Ward, Marriage, and Reliefe, and other Incidents belong hereunto. And yet this possibilitie was remota potentia,9 but the reason hereof is, Cessante ratione legis cessat ipsa lex,10 the reason of the immunitie was in respect of the Body politique, which by the conveyance over ceaseth, which is worthy of observation.

And it is to be observed, that everie Bishop in England hath a Barony, and that Barony is holden of the King in Capite,11 and yet the King can neither have Wardship or Reliefe.

If two Joyntenants be of Land holden by Knights Service, if one goeth with the King, it sufficeth for both, and both of them cannot be compelled to goe, for by their Tenure one man is onely to goe.

Edition: current; Page: [688]

If the Tenant peravaile goeth, it dischargeth the Mesne, for one Tenancie shall pay but one Escuage.12

“or other man of Religion,”

Here this word (Religion) is taken largely, viz. not onely for regular, or dead persons, as Abbots, Monks, or the like; But for secular persons also, as Bishops, Parsons, Vicars, and the like, for neither of them are bound to goe in proper person. For nemo militans Deo implicet’ secularibus negotiis.13


So it may be said of an Ideot, a mad man, a leper, a man maimed, blinde, deafe, of decrepit age, or the like.

“or a feme sole,”

Seeing that a feme sole, that cannot performe Knights Service, may serve by deputie, it may bee demanded wherefore an Heire male being within the age of 21 |Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [71 a] yeeres may not serve also by Deputie, being not able to serve himselfe.

To this it is answered, that in cases of Minoritie, all is one to both sexes, viz. if the Heire male be at the death of the Ancestor under the age of one and twentie, or the Heire female under the age of 14. they can make no Deputie, but the Lord shall have wardship as an incident to the Tenure: therefore Littleton is here to be understood of a feme sole of full age, and seised of land holden by Knights Service either by purchase or descent.

“conveniently arrayed for the warre.”

So as here are foure things to be observed.

First, (as hath beene said) that he may finde another.

Secondly, that he that is found must be an able person.

Thirdly, he must be armed at the costs and charge of the Tenant, and herein Edition: current; Page: [689] is to be noted, Quod non definitur in jure,14 with what manner of Armor the Souldier shall be arrayed with, for time, place, and occasion doe alter the manner and kinde of the Armour.

Fourthly, he must have such Armour, as shall be necessarie, andsoappointed in readinesse.

Ferdwit is a Saxon word,15 & significat quietanciam murdri in exercitu.16 Worscot is an old English word and signifeth Liberum esse de oneribus armorum.17

It is truly said, Quod miles haec tria curare debet, corpus ut validissimum & pernicissimum habeat, arma apta ad subita imperia, caetera Deo, & imperatori curae esse.18

Sapiens non semper it uno gradu, sed una via, non se mutat sed aptat. Qui secundos optat eventus, dimicet arte non casu. In omni conflictu non tam prodest multitudo quam virtus.19,20

Est optimi ducis scire & vincere, & cedere prudenter tempori. Multum potest in rebus humanis occasio, plurimum in bellicis.21,22

Quid tam necessarium est quam tenere semper arma quibus tectus esse possis.23,24 But I will take my leave of these excellent Authors of Art Militarie, and referre them to those that professe the same, and will returne to Littleton.


I finde this word in the Statute of 18. Hen. 6. cap. 19. and the ancient Militarie Order is worthy of observation, for before and long after that Statute, when Edition: current; Page: [690] the King was to be served with Souldiers for his warre, a Knight or Esquire of the Countrey, that had Revenues, Farmers and Tenants would covenant with the King by Indenture inrolled in the Exchequer to serve the King for such a terme for so many men (specially named in a List) in his warre, etc. an excellent institution that they should serve under him, whom they knew and honoured, and with whom they must live at their returne, these men being mustered before the Kings Commissioners, and receiving any part of their wages, and their names so recorded, if they after departed from their Captaine within the Terme, contrarie to the forme of that Statute, itwasfelony. But now that Statute is of no force, because that ancient and excellent forme of militarie course is altogether antiquated: but latter Statutes have provided for that mischiefe.25

To muster is to make a shew of Souldiers well armed and trained before the Kings Commissioners in some open field. Ubi se ostendentes praeludunt proelio.26 In Latine it is censere, seu lustrare exercitum.27

By the Law before the Conquest Musters and shewing of Armour should be Uno eodem die per universum regnum, ne aliqui possint arma familiaribus & notis accommodare, nec ipsi illa mutuo accipere, ac justitiam Domini Regis defraudare, & Dominum Regem & Regnum offendere.28,29

Concerning the point in Law, demurred in judgement, in 7. Edw. 3, here mentioned by our Author: The Law accounteth the beginning of the fortie dayes after the King entreth into the forraine Nation, for then the warre beginneth, and till he come there, he and his host are said to goe towards the warre, and no militarie service is to be done, till the King and his Host come thither.

Sir William Herle.

A famous Lawyer constituted Chiefe Justice of the Common Pleas by Letters Patents dated, 2. die Martii anno 5. E. 3. It appeareth by Littleton, and by the Edition: current; Page: [691] Record that he was a Knight, against the conceit of those, that thinke, that the chiefe Justices of the Court of Common Pleas were not knighted till long after.

Our Student shall observe that the knowledge of the Law is like a deep Well out of which each man draweth according to the strength of his understanding. He that reacheth deepest, he seeth the amiable and admirable secrets of the Law, wherein, I assure you, the Sages of the Law in former times, (whereof Sir William Herle was a principall one) have had the deepest reach. And as the Bucket in the depth is easily drawne to the uppermost part of the water, (for Nullum elementum in suo proprio loco est grave),30 but take it from the water, it cannot be drawneupbutwith great difficultie.Soalbeitbeginnings of this studie seeme difficult, yet when the Professor of the Law can dive into the depth, it is delightfull, easie, and without any heavie burthen, so long as he keepe himselfe in his owne proper element.

|Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [71 b] “Justice.”

In Glanvil hee is called Justicia in ipso abstracto,31,32 as it were Justice it selfe, which appellation remaines still in English and French, to put them in minde of their dutie and functions. But now in legall Latine they are called Justiciarii tanquam justi in concreto,33 and they are called Justiciarii de Banco, &c,34 and never Judices de Banco, &c.

“Common Bank (place)”

Banke is a Saxon word, and signifieth a Bench or high seat, or a Tribunall, and is property applyed to the Justices of the Court of Common Pleas, because the Justices of that Court set there as in a certaine place: for all Writs returnable into that Court are Coram Justiciariis nostris apud Westmon35 or any other certaine place where the Court set, and Legall Records tearme them Justiciarii Edition: current; Page: [692] de Banco. But Writs returnable into the Court called the Kings Bench, are Coram nobis (i. Rege) ubicunque fuerimus in Anglia.36 And all judiciall Records there are stiled Coram Rege. But for distination sake it is called the Kings Bench,37 both because the Records of that Court are stiled (as hath beene said) Coram Rege, and because Kings in former times have often personally set there. For the antiquitie of the Court of Common Pleas they erre, that hold that before the Statute of Magna Charta there was no Court of Common Pleas, but had his Creation by, or after that Charter: for the learned know, that in the six and twentieth yeere of Edward the Third, the Abbot of B. in a Writ of Assize, brought before the Justices in Eire claimed Conusance and to have Writs of Assize, and other originall Writs out of the Kings Court by prescription, time out of minde of man, in the raignes of Saint Edmond, and Saint Edward the Confessor before the Conquest. And on the behalfe of the Abbot were shewed divers allowances thereof in former times in the Kings Courts, and that King Henry the first confirmed their usages, and that they should have Conusance of Pleas, so that the Justices of the one Bench, or the other, should not intermeddle. And the Statute of Magna Charta, erecteth no Court, but giveth direction for the proper jurisdiction thereof in there words. Communia Placita non sequantur Curiam nostram, sed teneantur in aliquo certo loco.38 And properly the Statute saith, non sequantur, for that the Kings Bench did in those dayes follow the King ubicunque fuerit in Anglia, and therefore enacteth that Common Pleas should be holden in a Court resident in acertaine place. In the next Chapter of Magna Charta (made at one and the same time) it is provided:39 Et ea quae per eosdem (s. justiciarios itinerantes) propter difficultatem aliquorum articulorum terminari non possunt, referantur ad Justiciarios nostros de Banco, & ibi terminentur.40 And in the next to that, Assisae de ultima praesentatione semper capiantur coram Justiciariis de Banco, & ibi terminentur.41 Edition: current; Page: [693] Therefore it manifestly appeareth, that at the making of the Statute of Magna Charta, there were Justiciarii de Banco, which all men confesse to be the Court of Common Pleas. And therefore that Court was not created by or after that Statute. For the Authoritie of this Court, it is evident by that which hath beene said, that it hath jurisdiction of all Common Pleas. But let us returne to Littleton.

“demurred in judgment.”

A Demurrer commeth of the Latine word Demorari, to abide, and therefore hee which demurreth in Law, is said, he that abideth in Law, Moratur, or Demoratur in lege.42 Whensoever the Counsell learned of the partie is of opinion, that the Court or Plea of the adverse partie is insufficient in Law, then he demurreth or abideth in Law, and referreth the same to the judgment of the Court, and therefore well saith Littleton here, demurre en judgement, the words of a Demurrer being Quia narratio, &c. materiaque in eadem contenta minus sufficiens in lege existit, &c,43 and so of a Plea, Quia Placitum, &c. materiaque in eodem contenta minus sufficiens in lege existit, &c. unde pro defectu sufficientis narrationis sive placiti, &c. petit judicium, &c.44 But if the Plea be sufficient in Law, and the matter of fact be false, then the adverse partie taketh issue thereupon, and that is tried by a Jurie, for matters in Law are decided by the Judges, and matters in fact by Juries, as elsewhere is said more at large.

Now as there is no issue upon the fact, but when it is joyned betweene the parties, so there is no Demurrer in Law, but when it is joyned, and therefore when a Demurrer is offered by the one partie as is aforesaid, the adverse partie joyneth with him, (for example) saith, Quod Placitum praedictum, &c. materiaque in eodem contenta bonum & sufficiens in lege existunt, &c. & petit judicium,45 and thereupon the Demurrer is said to be joyned, and then the Case is argued by Councell learned of both sides, and if the points be difficult, then it is argued openly by the Judges of that Court,46 and if they or the greater Edition: current; Page: [694] part concurre in opinion, accordingly judgment is given, and if the Court be equally divided, or conceive great doubt of the Case, then may they adjourne it into the Exchequer Chamber, where the Case shall be argued by all the Judges of England,47 where if the Judges shall be equally divided, then (if none of them change their opinion) it shall be decided at the next Parliament by a Prelate, two Earles, and two Barons which shall have power and commission of the King in that behalfe, and by advice of themselves, the Chancellor, Treasurer, the Justices of |Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [72 a] the one Bench and the other, and other of the Kings Councell, as many and such as shall seeme convenient, shall make a good judgment, &c.48 And if the difficulty be so great as they cannot determine it, then it shall be determined by the Lords in the upper house of Parliament. See the statute, for it extends not onely to the case abovesaid, but also where judgements are delayed in the Chancery, Kings bench, Common bench, and the Exchequer, the Justices assigned, and other Justices of Oyer and Terminer, sometime by dificulty, sometime by divers opinions of Justices, and sometime for other causes. (a)49 Before which Statute, if judgements were not given by reason of difficulty, the doubt was decided at the next Parliament, (which then was to be holden once every yeere at the least)(b)50 Siautemtalianunquam prius evenerint, & obscurum & difficile sit eorum judicium, tunc ponatur judicium in respectum usque ad magnam curiam, ut ibi per concilium curiae terminentur.51 But hereof thus much shall suffice. (r)52 He that demurreth in Law confesseth all such matters of fact as are well and sufficiently pleaded. If there be a demurrer for part and an issue for part, the more orderly course is to give judgement upon the demurrer first, but yet it is in the discretion of the Court to try the issue first if they will. After demurrer joyned in any Court of Record, the Judges shall give judgement according as the very right of the Edition: current; Page: [695] cause and matter in Law shall appeare, without regarding any want of forme in any Writ, Returne, Plaint, Declaration, or other pleading Proces, or course of proceeding, except those only which the party demurring shall specially and particularly set downe and expresse in his demurrer. (a)53 Now what is substance and what is forme you shall reade in my Reports.

And in some cases a man shall alleage special matter, and conclude with a Demurrer, (b)54 as in an action of trespasse brought by I.S. for the taking of his horse, the defendant pleads that he himselfe was possessed of the horse until he was by one I. S. dispossessed, who gave him to the plaintife, &c. the plaintife saith that I. S. named in the barre, and I. S. the plaintife were all one person, and not divers; and to the plea pleaded by the defendant in the manner, he demurred in Law and the Court did hold the plea and demurred good, for without the matter alleaged he could not demurre. Now as there may be a demurrer upon counts and pleas, so there may be of Aid prier, Voucher, Receipt, waging of Law, and the like. (c)55 By that which hath beene said it appeareth, that there is a general demurrer, that is, shewing no cause, and a speciall demurrer which sheweth the cause of his demurrer. Also by that which hath beene said, there is a demurrer upon pleading, &c. and there is also a demurrer upon evidence. (d)56 As if the plaintife in evidence shew any matter of Record, or Deeds, or Writings, or any sentence in the Ecclesiasticall Court, or other matter of evidence by testimony of witnesses, or otherwise, whereupon doubt in Law ariseth, and the defendant offer to demurre in Law thereupon, the plaintife cannot refuse to joyne in demurrer no more than in a demurrer upon a count, replication, &c. and so E converso, may the plaintiff demurre in Law upon the evidence of the defendant.

But if evidence for the King in an Information or any other suit be given, and the Defendant offer to demurre in Law upon the Evidence, the Kings counsell shall not be inforced to joyne in Demurrer:57 but in that case, the Court may direct the Jury to finde the speciall matter.

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“in judgment.”

For the signification of this word, Vide Sect. 366.

Section 108
Knight’s Service, part 6

|Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [80 b] Note, it hath been a question, how these words shall bee understood.(Siparentes conquerantur.)1

And it seemeth to some who considering the Statute of Magna Charta, which willeth, Quod haeredes maritentur absque disparagatione, &c.2 Upon which, this Statute of Merton upon this point is founded, that no action can be brought upon this Statute, insomuch as it was never seene or heard, that any action was brought upon the Statute of Merton for this disparagement against the Gardian for the matter aforesaid, &c. And if any action might have been brought for this matter, it shall bee intended that at some time it would have been put in ure. And note that these words shall bee understood thus, Si parentes conquerantur, id est, si parentes inter eos lamententur,3 which is as much to say, as if the Cousins of such Infant have cause to make lamentation or complaint amongst themselves, for the shame done to their Cousin so disparaged, which in manner is a shame to them, then may the next Cousin to whom the inheritance cannot descend, enter and ouste the Gardein in Chivalrie. And if he will not, another cousin of the Infant may doe this, and take the issues & profits to the use of the Infant, & of this to render an account to the Infant when he comes to his full age: or otherwise the Infant within age may enter himselfe & ouste the Gardein, &c. Sed quaere de hoc.4

“the Statute of Magna Charta,”5

Though it be in forme of a |Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [81 a] Charter, yet being granted by assent and authoritie of Parliament, Littleton here saith it is a Statute.6

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This Parliamentarie Charter hath divers appellations in law. Here it is called Magna Charta, not for the length or largenesse of it (for it is but short in respect of the Charters granted of private things to private persons now adayes being (Elephantinae Chartae 7) but it is called the great Charter in respect of the great weightinesse and weightie greatnesse of the matter contained in it in few words, being the fountaine of all the fundamentall lawes of the Realme, and therefore it may truly be said of it, that it is magnum in parvo. It is in our Bookes called Charta libertatum,8 et Communis libertas Angliae, or Libertates Angliae. Charta de liberratibus, Magna Charta, &c. And well may the Lawes of England be called Liberrates, quia liberos faciunt.9 Magna fuit quondam magnae reverentia Chartae.10

This Statute of Magna Charta, is but a confirmation or restitution of the Common Law, as in the Statute called Confirmatio chartarum,11 Anno 25. Edw. 1.12 it appeareth by the opinion of all the Justices; and in 5. Hen. 3. tit. Mord. 53.13 Magna Charta is there vouched, for there it appeareth, that King John had granted the like Charter of renovation of the ancient Lawes

This Statute of Magna Charta hath beene confirmed above thirty times and commanded to bee put in execution, By the Statute of 25. Edw. 1. c. 2 judgements14 given against any points of the Charters of Magna Charta or Charta de Forests are adjudged void. And by the Statute of 42. Edw. 3. cap. 3.15 If any Statute bee made against either of these Charters it shall be voyd.

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“considering the Statute of Magna Charta, Upon which, this Statute of Merton upon this point, is founded. Quod haeredes maritentur absque disparagatione,16“founded,”

So as Magna Charta is the foundation of other Acts of Parliament. This Act extendeth as well to females as to males.

“no action can be brought upon this Statute, insomuch as it was never seene or heard . . . &c. And if any action might have been brought for this matter, it shall bee intended that at some time it would have been put in ure.”

Hereby it appeareth how safe it is to be guided by judiciall presidents the rule being good,17 Periculosum existimo quod benorum virorum non comprobatur exemplo.18 And as usage is a good Interpreter of Lawes, so non usage where there is no example is a great intendment, that the Law will not beare it; for saith Littleton, If any Action might have beene grounded upon such matter, it shall be intended that sometime it should have beene put in ure. Not that an Act of Parliament by non User can be antiquated or lose his force, but that it may be expounded or declared how the Act is to be understood.

Si parentes conquerantur,

Of this sufficient hath beene said before.

“if the Cousins”19

Here Littleton expoundeth Parents to be his Cousins, under which name of Cousins Littleton includeth Uncles and other Cousins, who when the Father is dead are in loco parentum.20

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“have cause to make lamentation,”

Note if they have cause to make, lamentation on, it sufficeth, though they complaine.

“for the shame done to their Cousin.”

For when their Cousin is disparaged in his marriage, it is not onely a shame and infamie to the heire, but in him to all his bloud and kindred.

“then may the next Cousin to whom the inheritance cannot descend, enter and ouste the Gardein in Chivalrie.”

This is worthy the observation, for the words of the Statute are generall, Secundum dispositionem parentum, and the construction thereof shall be according to the reason of the Common Law, for the next Cousin, to whom the inheritance cannot descend, shall enter and ouste the Gardian, and shall be in place of a Gardian, as it is in case of a Gardian in socage.21

“And if he will not, another cousin of the Infant may doe this.”

Still pursuing the reason of the Common Law in case of Gardian in Socage.

“and take the issues & profits to the use of the Infant, &c.”

This is so evident as it needeth no explaination.

“or otherwise the Infant within age may enter himselfe & ouste the Gardein.”

If none of the Cousins aforesaid will enter, then the heire himself may enter. In all which the reason of the Common Law is pursued. But what if the heire be disparaged, and the next of kin doth enter, and when the heire commeth to 14 hee agreeth to the marriage; yet shall not this give any advantage to the Lord, for that he had lost the Wardship before.

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Section 138
Frankalmoin, part 5

|Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [97 a] Also if it be demanded, if tenant in frankmarriage shall doe fealtie to the donor or his heires before the fourth degree be past, &c. it seemeth that he shall, for he is not like as to this purpose to tenant in frankalmoigne, for tenant in frankalmoign by reason of his tenure shall doe divine service for his Lord, (as is said before) and this he is charged to doe by the Law of holy Church, and therefore he is excused and discharged of fealty, but tenant in frankmarriage shal not doe for his tenure such service, and if he doth not fealty, he shall not doe any manner of service to his Lord neither spirituall nor temporall, which would be inconvenient and against reason, that a man shall be tenant of an estate of inheritance to another, and yet the Lord shall have no manner of service of him, and so it seemes he shall doe fealty to his Lord before the fourth degree be past. And when he hath done fealty, he hath done all services.

“which would be inconvenient.”1

An argument drawne from an inconvenience, is forcible in Law, as hath been obser-|Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [97 b]-ved before, and shall be often hereafter. Nihil quod est inconveniens, est licitum.2,3 And the law that is the perfection of reason, cannot suffer any thing that is inconvenient.

It is better, saith the laws,4 to suffer a mischiefe (that is pecultar to one) than an inconventence that may prejudice many: See more of this after in this Chapter.

Note, the reason of this diversity, betweene Frankalmoigne and Frankmarriage, standeth upon a maine maxime of Law, that there is no land, that is not holden by some service spirituall or temporall, and therefore the donee in Frankmarriage shall doe realty, for otherwise he should doe to his Lord no service at all, and yet it is Frankmarriage, because the Law createth the service of Fealty for necessity of reason, and avoiding of an inconvenience. But tenant in Frankalmoigne both spirituall and divine service, which is within the said Edition: current; Page: [701] Maxime and therefore the Law will not cohort him to doe any temporall service. See the next session.

“and against reason,”

And this is another strong argument in Law, Nihil quod est contra rationem est licitum.5 For reason is the life of the Law, nay the common Law it selfe is nothing else but reason, which is to be understood of an artificiall perfection of reason, gotten by long study, observation, and experience, and not of every mans naturall reason, for, Nemo nascitur artifex.6 This legall reason, est summa ratio.7 And therefore if all the reason that is dispersed into so many severall heads were united into one, yet could he not make such a Law as the Law of England is, because by many successions of ages it hath been fined and refined by an infinite number of grave and learned men, and by long experience growne to such a perfection, for the government of this Realme, as the old rule may be justly verified of it, Neminem oportet esse sapientiorem legibus:8 No man (out of his owne private reason) ought to be wiser than the Law, which is the perfection of reason.

Section 170
Tenure in Burgage, part 9

|Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [113 a] And note that no custome is to bee allowed, but such custome as hath bin used by title of prescription, that is to say, from time out of minde. But diversopinions have beene of time out of minde, &c. and of title of prescription, which is all one in the Law. For some have said, that time of minde should be said from time of limitation in a Writ of right, that is to say, from the time of King Richard the first after the Conquest, as is given by the Statute of Westminster the first, for that a Writ of right is the most highest Writ in his nature that may be. And by such a writ a man may recover his right of the possession of his Ancestors, of the most ancient time that any man may by any writ by the Law, &c. And in so much that it is given by the said Estatute, that in a writ of right none shall Edition: current; Page: [702] be heard to demand of the seisin of his Ancestors of longer time, than of the time of King Richard aforesaid, therefore that is proved, that continuance of possession, or other customes & usages used after the same time is the title of prescription, and this is certaine. And others have said, that well and truth it is, that seisin and continuance after the limitation, &c. is a title of prescription, as is aforesaid, and by the cause aforesaid. But they have said that there is also another title of prescription that was at the Common Law, before any estatute of limitation of writs, &c. And that it was where a custom or usage, or other thing hath beene used, for time whereof mind of man runneth not to the contrary. And they have said that this is proved by the pleading: where a man will plead a title of prescription of custome hee shall say that such custome hath been used from time whereof the memory of men runneth not to the contrary, that is as much to say, when such a matter is pleaded, that no man then alive hath heard any proofe of the contrary, nor hath no knowledge to the contrary, & insomuch that such title of prescription was at the common law, & not put out by an estatute, Ergo, it abideth as it was at the common law, & the rather, insomuch that the said limitation of a writ of right, is of so long time passed, Ideo quaere de hoc.1 And many other customes and usages have such ancient Boroughs.


Prescription is a title taking his substance of use and time allowed by the Law; Prescriptio est titulus ex usu & tempore substantiam |Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [113 b] capiens ab authoritate Legis.2 In the Common Law a prescription which is personall is for the most part applied to persons, being made in the name of a certaine person and of his Ancestors, or those whose estate he hath, or in bodies politique or corporate, & their Predecessors, for as a naturall body is said to have Ancestors, so a body politique or corporate is said to have Predecessors. And a custome which is locall is alleaged in no person, but laid within some Mannor or other place. As taking one example for many, J. S. seised of the mannor of D. in3 fee prescribeth thus: That J. S. his Ancestors, and all those whose estate he hath in the said Mannor, have time out of minde of man had and used to have Common of pasture, &c. in such a place, &c. being the land of some other, Edition: current; Page: [703] &c. as pertaining to the said Mannor. This properly we call a prescription. A custome is in this manner: A Coppyholder of the Mannor of D. doth plead, that within the same Mannor, there is and hath been such a custome time out of mind of man used, that all the Coppyholders of the said Mannor have had and used to have Common of pasture, &c. in such a wast of the Lord, parcell of the said Mannor, &c. where the person neither doth or canprescribe, but alleageth the custome within the Mannor. But both to customes and Prescriptions, these two things are incident inseparable, viz. Possession, or usage; and Time. Possession must have three qualities, it must be long, continuall, and peaceable, Longa, continua, & pacifica: For it is said,4 Transferuntur dominia sine titulo & traditione, per usucaptionem s. per longam, continuam, & pacificam possessionem. Longa, i.e. per spatium temporis per legem definitum, of which hereafter shall bee spoken, Continua dico ita quod non sit legitime interrupta. |Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [114 a] Pacificam dico, quia si contentiosa fuerit, idem erit quod prius, si contentio fuerit justa. Ut si verus Dominus statim cum intrusor vel disseisor ingressus fuerit seisinam, nitatur tales viribus repellere, & expellere, licet id quod inceperit perducere non possit ad effectum, dum tamen cum defecerit diligens sit ad impetrandum & prosequendum. Longus usus nec per vim, nec clam, nec precario, &c.5,6

If a man prescribeth to have a rent, and like-wise to take a Distresse for the same, it cannot be avoided by pleading, that the rent hath beene alwayes paid by cohersion, albeit it began by wrong.7

“a title of prescription.”

Seeing that prescription maketh a title, it is to be seene, first to what things a man may make a title by prescription without charter. And secondly, how it may be lost by interruption.

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For the first, as to such franchises and Liberties as cannot bee seised or forfeited, before the cause of forfeiture appeare of Record,8 no man can make a title by prescription because that prescription being but an usage in pais, it cannot (*)9 extend to such things as cannot bee seised nor had without matter of Record: as to the goods and chattels of Traitors, Felons, Felons of themselves, Fugitives, of those that be put in exigent, Deodands, Conusance of Pleas, to make a Corporation, to have a Sanctuarie, to make a Coro-|Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [114 b]-ner, &c. to make Conservators of the peace, &c.

(c)10 But to Treasure Trove, Waifes, Estraies, Wrecke of sea, to hold Pleas, Courts of Leets, Hundreds, &c. Infange thiefe, Outfange thiefe, to have a Parke, Warren, Royall fishes, as Whales, Sturgions, &c. Faires, Markets, Franke foldage, the keeping of a Goale, Toll, a Corporation by prescription, and the like, a man may make a Title by usage and prescription only without any matter of Record, (*)11 Vide Sect. 310. where a man shall make a Title to lands by prescription.

But is to be observed (f )12 that although a man cannot as is aforesaid prescribe in the said Franchise to have Bona & catalla proditorum, felonum, &c.13 yet may they and the like be had obliquely or by a meane by prescription; for a Countie Palatine may be claimed by prescription, and by reason thereof to have Bona & catalla proditorum, felonum, &c.

As to the second, by what meanes a Title by prescription or custome, may be lost by interruption;14 It is to be knowne that the title being once gained by prescription or custome, cannot be lost by interruption of the possession for 10. or 20. yeeres, but by interruption in the right, as if a man have had a Rent or Common by prescription, unity of possession of as high and perdurable estate is an interruption in the right.

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In a Writ of Mesne the Plaintife made his title by prescription,15 that the Defendant and his Ancestors had acquited the Plaintife & his Ancestors, and the Terre tennant time out of minde, &c. the Defendant tooke issue, that the Defendant & his Ancestors had not acquited the Plaintife & his Ancestors & the Terre tenant, and the Jurie gave a speciall verdict, that the Grandfather of the Plaintife was enfeoffed by one Agnes and that Agnes and her Ancestors were acquited by the Ancestors of the Defendant time out of minde before that time, since which time no acquitall had been, and it was adjudged and affirmed in a Writ of error, that the Plaintife should recover his Acquitall, for that there was once a title by prescription vested, which cannot be taken away by a wrongfull Cesser to acquite of late time, and albeit the verdict had found against the letter of the issue, yet for that the substance of the issue was found, viz. a sufficient title by prescription, it was adjudged both by the Court of Common Pleas, and in the Writ of error by the Court of Kings Bench for the plaintife, which is worthy of observation. So a Modus decimandi 16 was alleaged17 by prescription time out of minde for tithes of lambs, and thereupon issue joyned, and the Jurie found that before 20 yeeres then last past there was such a prescription, and that for these 20 yeeres, he had paid tithe lambe in Specie, and it was objected, first, That the issue was found against the Plaintife, for that the prescription was generall for all the time of prescription, and 20 yeeres faile thereof. 2. That the partie by payment of tithes in Specie had waived the prescription or custome. But it was adjudged for the Plaintife in the prohibition, for albeit the Modus decimandi had not beene paid by the space of 20 yeeres, yet the prescription being found, the substance of the issue is found for the Plaintife. And if a man hath a Common by prescription, and taketh a lease of the land for 20 yeeres, whereby the Common is suspended, after the yeeres ended, he may claime the Common generally by prescription, for that the suspension was but the possession, and not to the right, and the inheritance of the Common did alwayes remaine, and when a prescription or custome doth make a title of inheritance (as Littleton speaketh) the partie cannot alter or waive be the same in pais.

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“time out of minde, &c. and of title of prescription, which is all one in the Law,”

So as the time prescribed or defined by Law is, time, whereof there is no memorie of man to the contrary. (c)18 Omnis quaerela, &omnis actio injuriarum limitata intra certa tempora.19

“time of limitation.”

Limitation as it is taken in Law is a certaine time prescribed by Statute, within the which the Demandant in the action must prove himselfe or some of his Ancestors to be seised.

“in a Writ of right,”

In (f )20 ancient time the limitation in a Writ of Right was from the time of Henry the first whereof it was said, à tempore Regis Henrici senioris.21 After that by the Statute of (g)22 Merton the limitation was from the time of Henry the Second and by the Statute (h)23 of West. I. the limitation was from the time of Richard the First. And this is that limitation that Littleton here speaketh of, whereof in the Mirror in reprose of the Law it is thus said, (i)24 Abusion est de counter cy longe temps dount nul ne poet testmoigner de vieu & de oyer que ne dure my generalment ouster 40. ans.25

|Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [115 a] Time of limitation is twofold, First, in Writs, and that is by divers Acts of Parliament.26 Secondly, To make a title to any Inheritance, and that (as Littleton here saith) is by the Common Law.

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Limitation of times in Writs are provided by the said Statute of Merton, and after by the said Statute of West. I. which Littleton here citeth, and which was in force when he wrote, but is since altered by a profitable and necessary Statute (k)27 made Anno 32. Hen. 8. and by that Act, the former limitation of time in a Writ of Right is changed and reduced to threescore yeeres next before the Teste of the Writ, and so of other actions, as by the statute at large appeareth. But it is to be observed that this Act of 32. Hen. 8. extendeth (l)28 not to a Formedon,29 in the Discender,30 nor tothe Services of Escuage, Homage, and Fealtie, for a man may live above the time limited by the Act: neither doth it extend to any other service, which by common possibility may not happen or become due within sixty yeeres; as to cover the hall of the Lord, or to attend on his Lord when he goeth to warre, or the like, nor where the seisin is not traversable or issuable, neither doth it extend to a Rent created by Deed,31 nor to a Rent reserved upon any particular estate, for (m)32 in the one case the Deed is the title, and in the other the reservation, nor to any writ of Right of advowson, Quare impedit,33 or Assise of Darreine presentment 34 (for there was a Parson of one of my Churches that had been Incumbent there above fifty yeeres, and died but lately) or any Writ of Right of Ward, or ravishment of Ward, &c. but they are left as they were before the Statute of 32. Hen. 8.35 But hereof thus much for the better understanding of Littleton shall suffice.

“from the time of King Richard the first.”

36 And that was intended from the first day of his reigne, for (from the time) being indefinitely, doth include the whole time of his reigne, which is to be observed.

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“a Writ of right,”

Breve de recto,37 As writ of Right, so called, for that the words in the Writ of Right are, Quod fine dilatione plenum rectum teneas.38

“title of prescription that was at the Common Law, . . . from time whereof the memory of men runneth not to the contrary.”39

Docere oportet longum tempus, & longum usum illum, viz. qui excedit memoriam hominum, tale enim tempus sufficit pro jure.40

“any proofe of the contrary,”

For if there bee any sufficient proofe of Record or writing to the contrarie, albeit it exceed the memorie, or proper knowledge of any man living, yet is it within the memorie of man: for memorie or knowledge is twofold First, By knowledge by proofe, as by Record or sufficient matter of writing.41 Secondly, by his owne proper knowledge. A Record or sufficient matter in writing are good memorialls, for Litera scripta manet.42 And therefore it is said, when we will by any record or writing commit the memory of any thing to Posterity, it is said tradere memoriae.43 And this is the reason that regularly a man cannot prescribe or alleage a Custome against a Statute, because that is matter of Record, and is the highest proofe and matter of Record in Law. But yet a man may prescribe against an Act of Parliament, when his Prescription or Custome in saved or preserved by another Act of Parliament.

There is also a diversity betweene an Act of Parliament in the negative and in the affirmative, for an affirmative Act doth not take away a custome as the Statutes of Wills of 32 and 34. Hen. 8. doe not take away a Custome to devise Edition: current; Page: [709] Lands, as it hath beene often adjudged. Moreover, there is a diversitre betweene Statutes that be in the negative, for if a Statute in the negative be declarative of the ancient Law, that is in affirmance of the Common Law, there as well as a man may prescribe or alleage a Custome against the Common Law, so a man may doe against such a Statute, for as our Author saith, Consuetudo, &c. privat communem legem.44 As the Statute of Magna Charta provideth,45 that no Leet shall be holden but twice in the yeere, yet a man may prescribe to hold it oftener, and at other times, for that the Statute (n)46 was but in affirmance of the Common Law.

So the Statute (o)47 of 34. Edw. 1. provideth that none shall cut downe any trees of his owne within a Forrest without the view of the Forrester: but inasmuch as this Act is in affirmance of the Common Law, a man may prescribe to cut downe woods within a Forrest without the view of the Forrester. And so was it adjudged in 16. Eliz. in the Exchequer by Sir Edward Sanders Chiefe Baron, and other the Barons of the Exchequer, as Sir John Popham Chiefe Justice of the Kings Bench reported to me.

In the Eire of the Forrest of Pickering before Willoughby, Hungerford and Hanbury, Justices Itinerants there, Anno 8. Edw. 3. I read (p)48 a claime made by Henry de Percy, Lord of the Manor of Semor within the said Forrest, the Forresters, Verderours, and Regarders found his claime to be true, viz. Quod praedictus Henricus de Percy, & omnes antecessores sui tenentes |Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [115 b] maneriū praedictum à tempore quo non extat memoria & sine interruptione aliquali tenuerunt praedictū manerium cum pertinentiis extra regardum Forestae, & habuerunt Woodwardū portantem arcū & sagittas ad praesentandū praesentanda de venatione tantum, &c. & habuerunt in boscis suis de Semere forgeas, & mineras, & amputârunt, dederunt, & vendiderunt boscum suum infra manerium praedictum sine visu forestariorum pro voluntate sua, & fugarunt & ceperunt Vulpes, Lepores, Capriolos, &c. sicut idē Henricus Percy superius clamat.49 Which claime by prescription, Edition: current; Page: [710] and found as is aforesaid the Justices doubted onely of two points. The first forasmuch as the said Mannor was within the limits of the Forrest, it should not onely be Contra assisam Forestae,50 (o) for his Woodward to beare Bow and Arrowes, where by Law he ought to beare but an Hatchet and no Bow nor Arrowes within the Forrest, but also de facili cedere possit in destructionem ferarum, &c.51 and therefore doubted whether it might be claimed by prescription. Their second doubt was concerning fugationem, & captionem Capriolorum in boscis suis praedictis, eo quod est bestia venationis Forestae, & transgressores inde convicti finem facerent ut pro transgressione venationis,52 & for that difficultie the claime was adjourned into the Kings Bench. But of the other parts of the Prescription no doubt at all was made: and the like had beene allowed in the same Eire, as in the case of Thomas Lord Wake at Lydell, and of Gilbert of Acton, in the same Eire, Rot. 37. and of others.

“this is proved by the pleading.”

Note one of the best arguments or proofes in Law is drawne from the right entries or course of pleading, for the Law it selfe speaketh by good pleading, and therefore Littleton here saith, It is proved by the pleading, &c. as is pleading were ipsius legis viva vox.53

“insomuch that such title of prescription was at the common law, &c.”

Note all the prescriptions that were limited from a certaine time were by Act of Parliament, as from the time of Henry the First which was the first time of limitation set downe by any Act of Parliament, and so from the reigne of Richard the First &c. But this prescription of time out of memory of man Edition: current; Page: [711] was (as Littleton here saith) at the Common Law, and limited to no time. Also here is implyed a maxime of the Law, viz. That whatsoever was at the Common Law, and is not ousted or taken away by any Statute, remaineth still.

“common law.”

The Law of England in divided, as hath beene said before, into three parts, the Common Law, which is the most generall and ancient Law of the Realms; of part whereof Littleton wrote; 2. Statutes or Acts of Parliament; and 3. particular Customes (whereof Littleton also maketh some mention) I say particular, for if it be the generall Custome of the Realme, it is part of the Common Law.

The Common Law hath no controller in any part of it, but the high Court of Parliament, and if it be not abrogated or altered by Parliament, it remaines still, as Littleton here saith, The Common Law appeareth in the Statute of Magna Charta and other ancient Statutes (which for the most part are affirmations of the Common Law) in the originall writs, in judiciall Records, and in our bookes of termes and yeers. Acts of Parliament appeare in the Rols of Parliament, and for the most part are in print. Particular customes are to be proved.

Section 199
Villenage, part 18

|Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [129 b] The fourth is, a man who by judgement given against him upon a Writ of Praemunire facias, &c.1is out of the Kings protection, if hee sue any action, and the tenant or the defendant shew all the Record against him, hee may aske judgement if hee shall be answered; for the Law and the Kings writs be the things by which a man is protected and holpen, and so, during the time that a man in such case is out of the Kings protection, hee is out of helpe and protection by the Kings Law, or by the Kings writ.

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Some hold an opinion that the writ is called a Praemunire, because it doth fortifie Jurisdictionem jurium regiorum Coronae suae2 of the Kingly Lawes of the Crown against foreine jurisdiction,3 and against the usurpers upon them, as by divers Acts of Parliaments appeare. But in truth it is so called of a word in the Writ; for the words of the Writ be, Praemunire facias praefatum A.B. &c. quod tunc sit coram nobis, &c.4 where Praemunire is used for praemonere, and so do divers interpreters of the Civill and Canon Law use it, for they are praemunit that are praemoniti. By the Statutes before quoted in the margent you shall perceive what statutes were made before Littleton wrote, and what have beene ordained since to make offences in danger of a Praemunire.

“out of the King’s protection,”

The judgement in a Praemunire is5 that the Defendant shall be from thenceforth out of the king’s protection, and his Lands and Tenements, goods and chattels |Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [130 a] forfeited to the king, & that his body shall remaine in prison at the Kings pleasure. So odious was this offence of Praemunire, that a man that was attained of the same, might have beene slaine by any man without danger of Law, because (k)6 it was provided by Law, that a man might do to him as to the Kings enemy, and any man may lawfully kill an enemy. But Queene Elizabeth and her Parliament,7 liking not the extreme and inhumane rigor of the Edition: current; Page: [713] Law in that point, did provide that it should not be lawfull for any person to slay any person in any manner attainted in or upon any Praemunire, &c. Tenant in taile is attainted in a Praemunire, he shall forfeit the land but during his life, for albeit the Stature of 16. R.2. ca.5. enacteth that in that case their lands and tenements, goods and chattels, shall be forfeit to the King, that must be understood of such an estate as he may lawfully forfeit, and that is during his own life. And these generall words doe not take away the force of the Statute De donis conditionalibus, but he shall forfeit all his Fee simple lands, states for life, goods and chattels, and so was it resolved in Trudgins case.

“for the Law and the King’s writs.”

There bee three things as here it appeareth whereby every subject is protected, viz. Rex, Lex, & Rescripta Regis, the King, the Law, and the Kings Writs. The Law is the rule, but it is mute; The King judgeth by his Judges, and they are the speaking Law, Lex loquens. The processe and the execution which is the life of the Law consisteth in the Kings Writs. So as he that is out of the protection of the King cannot be aided or protected by the Kings Law, or the Kings Writ, Rex tuetur legem, & lex tuetur jus. (1)8 Besides, men attainted in a Praemunire every person that is attained of high treason, petit treason or felony,Protection: Generall, Particular.10 is disabled to bring any action, for he is (*)9 Extra legem positus,11 and is accounted in Law Civiliter mortuus.12

It is to be understood that there is a generall protection of the King whereof Littleton here speaketh, and this extends generally to all the Kings loyall Subjects, Denizens and Aliens within the Realme, whose offences have not made them uncapable of it, as before it appeareth. And there is a particularprotection by Writ, which is one of the Kings Writs that Littleton here speaketh of. This particular protection is of two sorts, one, to give a man an immunitie or freedome from actions or suits, the second, for the safety of his person, servants and goods, lands and tenements whereof he is lawfully possessed from violence, unlawfull molestation or wrong. The first is of right, and by Law; the second are all of grace, (saving one) for the generall protection implyeth as Edition: current; Page: [714] much. Of the first sort some are Cum clausula (volumus), so called because the Writ hath this word (volumus) in it, viz. Volumus quod interim sit quietus de omnibus placitis & querelis, &c.13 And the other a protection Cum clausula, (nolumus) so called for the like reason. Of protections Cum clausula (volumus) for staying of pleas and suites there be foure kinds, viz. Quia profecturus14 (so called by reason they are part of the words of the Writ) 2. Quia moraturus15 (so named for distinction for the like cause) 3. Quia indebitatus nobis existit16 of the matter. 4. When any sent into the Kings service in warre is imprisoned beyond Sea. The former are for staying of actions and suits in generall. The third is for staying of suits of the subject for debts and duties due by the Kings debtor to them. Of the fourth you shall reade hereafter in this place. For the former two these nine things are to be observed. First, for what cause they are to be granted. 2. For what persons they are allowable. 3. A threefold time is to be considered, viz. the time of the purchase of them, the time of the continuance of them, and the time when they shall be cast. 4. In what place the service is to be performed. 5. Inwhat actionstheseprotectionsareallowable. 6. Under what seale and to whom they are directed. 7. Who is to allow, or disallow of them. 8. By whom they are to be cast and in what manner. 9. How upon just cause they may be repealed or disallowed. I must but point at these matters, to make the studious reader capable of them, and referre him to the Books and other Authorities at large being excellent points of learning.

As to the first, it is of two natures, the one concerns services of war, as the Kings souldier, &c. the other wisdome and counsell, as the Kings Ambassador or Messenger Pro negotiis regni, both these being for the publique good of the Realme, private mens actions and suits must be suspended for a convenient time; for Jura publica anteferenda privatis;17 and againe, Jura publica ex privatis promiscue decidi non debent,18 (a)19 And the cause of granting of the protection must be expressed in the protection, to the end it may appeare to the Court Edition: current; Page: [715] that it is granted Pro negotiis regni & pro bono publico,20 (b)21 or as some others say, pur le common profit del realme.22 And Britton saith, Nostre service, sicome estre en nostre force, & le defence de nous & de nostre. people, &c.23,24 A man in execution in salva custodia25 shall not be delivered by a Protection.

(c)26 To the second these protections are not allowable onely for men of full age, but for men within age, and for women, as necessarie attendants upon the Camp, and that in three cases, Quia lotrix, seu nutrix, seu obstetrix.27

(d)28 Corporations aggregate of many are not capable of these two protections, either Profecturae, or Moraturae,29 because the Corporation itselfe is invisible, and resteth onely in |Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [130 b] consideration of Law. (c)30 Protection for the Husband shall serve also for the Wife.

(f )31 Albeit the Vouchee, Tenant by resceit, Preier in aid, or Garnishee bee no parties to the Writ, yet before they appeare, a Protection may be cast for them, because when the Demandant grants the Vouchor or receitinjudgement of Law they are made privie, but if the Demandant counterplead the Vouchor or receit, then untill it be adjudged for them, and so they privie in Law, a Protection cannot be cast for them. And so it is of the Garnishee, a Protection may be cast for him at the day of the returne of the Scire facias.32 (g)33 No Protection can be cast for the Demandant or Plaintife because the Tenant or Defendant cannot sue a Resommons, or a Re-attachment, but the Plaintife onely that sued out the sommons or attachment, &c. must sue also the re-sommons Edition: current; Page: [716] or re-attachment. And so it is of an Actor in nature of a Plaintife, &c. and the Garnishee after appearance, and an avowant, and the like. (h)34 An Officer of the Kings receit, or any other Officer in any Court of Record, whose attendance is necessary for the Kings service, or administration of Justice being sued, cannot have a Protection cast for him.

(i)35 In every action or plea, reall or mixt, against two (where a Protection doth lie) a Protection cast for the one doth put the plea without day for all. So it is in debt, detinue, and account. But in trespasse, or in any action in nature of trespasse, which is in Law severall, where every one may answer without the other, there a Protection cast for the one shall serve for him onely, unlesse they joyne in pleading, or if they plead severall pleas, and one Venire facias36 is awarded against all, there a Protection cast for one, shall put the plea without day for all, and therefore in former times the Plaintife used to sue out severall Venire facias in those cases for feare of a Protection, &c.

(k)37 As to the threefold time, First, a Protection profecturae, regularly must not be purchased hanging the plea, but this faileth when he goeth in the Kings service in a Voyage royall; and that is twofold, either touching warre, and that onely is when the King himselfe or his Lieutenant, that is prorex goeth, or when any goeth in the Kings ambassage, Pro negotio regni,38 or for the marriage of the Kings daughter or the like, this also is called a Voyage royall. But a Protection Moraturae39 may be purchased, and cast pendente placito.40

(l)41 Regularly a Protection cannot be cast, but when the partie hath a day in Court, and when if he made default, it should save his default: therefore Edition: current; Page: [717] when execution is to be granted against body, lands, or goods, no Protection can be cast; because the Defendant hath no day in Court. If a protection be cast at the Nisi prius42 for one, if before the day in banke it be repealed by Innotescimus,43 yet because it was once well cast, it shall save his default, but if the Protection be disallowed, either for variance, or that it lay not in the Action, or the like, there it shall turne to a default.

(m)44 If a man hath a Protection, notwithstanding plead a plea, yet at another day of continuance after that a Protection may be cast, so at a day after an Exigent, but after appearance he cannot cast a Protection in that Terme untill a new continuance be taken.

(n)45 Thirdly, no Protection, either Profecturae or Moraturae, shall indure longer than a yeer and a day next after the teste or date of it. And so it is of an Essoigne de service le Roy.46 If a Protection beare teste 7. die Januarii, and have allowance pro uno anno,47 the resommons, re-attachment or regarnishment may be sued 8. Januarii the next yeere, and yet that is the last day of the yeere.

And where Britton treating of an Essoigne beyond the Graecian Sea in a Pilgrimage, &c. saith thus, (o)48 Ascun gent nequident se purchasent nos letters de protection patents durable a un an, on a 2.ou a. 3. ans, & jalameyns font attorneys generals, ausi per nos letters patents: & ceux font bien & sagement, car nul grand Seignior ne chivalier de nostre realme ne doit prender chemyn sauns nostre conge, car issent poet le realme remainer disgarny de fort gente.49

Three things are hereupon to be observed, First, that this was a protection of grace, whereof more shall be said hereafter. Secondly, that it was for the safetie of the great men of the realme, and that they should make general Attorneyes, so as no actions, or suits should be, thereby stayed. Thirdly, (by Edition: current; Page: [718] the way) that great men could not passe out of the Realme without the Kings licence. (p)50 A Protection granted to one, &c. untill he be returned from Scotland, was disallowed for the incertaintie of the time.

(q)51 To the fourth, the Protection as well Moraturae as Profecturae must be regularly to some place out of the Realme of England, and that must be to some certaine place, as super salva custodia Caliciae, &c.52 and not to Carlisle or Wales, which are within the Realme, or the like. But it may be to Ireland or Scotland, because they are distinct Kingdomes; or to Calice, Aquitaine, or the like. But a Protection, Quia moratur super altum mare,53 will not serve, not only because (as some thinke) that mare non moratur,54 but for the incertaintie of the place, and for that a great part of the sea is within the Realme of England.

(r)55 To the fifth. In some actions, Protections shall not be allowed by the Common Law, & in some actions they are ousted by Act of Parliament, Actions at the Common Law, as all Actions that touch the Crowne, as Appeales of Felony, and Appeales of Mayhem. (f)56 So |Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [131 a] where the King is sole partie no Protection is to be allowed, in like manner in a Decies tantum,57 where the King and the Subject are Plaintifes, but in late Acts of Parliament, Protections in personall actions are expressly ousted. A Protection may be cast against the Queene the Consort of the King.

(t)58 In a writ of Dower unde nihil habet,59 no protection is allowable, because the Demandant hath nothing to live upon. Otherwise it is in a writ of right of Dower.60 Likewise in a Quare impedit,61 or Assise of Darreine presentment62 Edition: current; Page: [719] a protection lieth not, for the eminent danger of the laps. Neither lieth a Protection in an Assise of Novel disseisin,63 because it is festinum remedium,64 to restore the Dissesee to his freehold, whereof he is wrongfully and without judgement disseised. (u)65 In a Quare non admisit;66 a Protection is not allowable, because it is grounded upon the Quare impedit, and the like in a Certificate upon Assise for the like reason, and sic de similibus.67 Aprotection, Quia profecturus68 is not allowable (as hath beene said) in any Action commenced before the date of the Protection, unlesse it bee in a Voyage Royall. (w)69 An Infant is vouched, and at the Pluries venire facias,70 a Protection was cast for the Infant, and disallowed, because his age must be adjudged by the inspection of the Court.

(x)71 By act of Parliament no Protection shall be allowed in an attaint. (But at the Common Law a Protection for one of the Petite Jurie had put the plea without day for all) nor in an Action against a Gaoler for an escape, nor for victuals taken or bought upon the voyage or service, nor in pleas of Trespasse, or other contract made or perpetrated after the date of the same Protection.

(y)72 In a writ of Error73 brought by an Infant upon a fine levied, the Plaintife sued a Scire facias against the Conusee, for whom a Protection was cast, and the Court examined the age of the Plaintife, and by inspection adjudged him within age, and recorded the same, and then allowed the Protection, and this can be no mischiefe to the Plaintife, whereupon it followeth, that albeit the Plaintife dieth afterwards before the fine reversed, yet after his age adjudged and recorded, his heirs shall in that case reverse the fine for the nonage of his Edition: current; Page: [720] Ancestor. (a)74 And so it was resolved in the case of Kekewiche in a writ of Error brought by him by the opinion of the whole Court of the Kings Bench, otherwise it is, if the Plaintife dieth before his age inspected.

(b)75 Note in judiciall Writs, which are in nature of Actions, where the partie hath day to appeare and plead, there Protection doth lie, as in Writs of Scire facias upon Recoveries, Fines, Judgements, &c. albeit by the Statute of W.2. Essoignes and other delayes be ousted in writs of Scire facias, yet a Protection doth lie in the same. So it is in a Quid Juris clamat,76 and the like. But in Writs of Execution,77 as Habere facias seisinam, Eleit, Execution upon a Statute, Capias ad satisfaciendum, Fieri facias,78 and the like, there no Protection can be cast for the Defendant, because he hath no day in Court, and the Protection extendeth only ad placita & querelas,79 and must be allowed by the Court, which cannot bee but upon a day of appearance.

(c)80 In a writ of Disceit brought against him that obtained and cast a Protection upon an untrue surmise in delay of the plaintife, that protection is allowable. In an Action brought upon the Statute of Labourers a Protection doth lye, & sic de similibus.81

(d)82 To the sixth, no Writ of Protection can be allowed unlesse it be under the great Seale, (*)83 and it is directed generally.

(e)84 To the seventh, the Courts of Justice where the Protection is cast, are to allow, or disallow of the same, be they Courts of Record, or not of Record, and not the Sherife, or any other Officer or Minister.

(f )85 To the eighth, the Protection may be cast either by any stranger, or by the partie himselfe, an Infant, Feme Covert, a Monke, or any other may Edition: current; Page: [721] cast a Protection for the Tenant or Defendant, and this difference there is when a stranger casteth it, and when the Tenant or Defendant casteth it himselfe. (g)86 For the Defendant or Tenant casting it, he must shew cause wherefore he ought to take advantage of the Protection, but an estranger need not shew any cause, but that the Tenant or Defendant is here by Protection.

(h)87 As to the ninth, A protection may be avoided three manner of waies: First, upon the casting of it before it be allowed. Secondly, by repeale thereof after it be allowed: by disallowing of it many wayes, as for that it lyeth not in that Action, or that he hath no day to cast it, or for materiall variance between the Protection and the Record, or that it is not under the great Seale, or the like. (i)88 Thirdly, After it be allowed by Innotescimus,89 as if any tarrie in the Countrey without going to the service for which he was retained, over a convenient time after that he had any Protection, or repairs from the same service, upon information thereof to the Lord Chancellor, he shall repeale the Protection in that case by an Innotescimus. But a Protection shallnotbeavoided by an Averment of the partie of that case, because the Record of the Protection must be avoided by matter of as high nature.

|Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [131 b] (k)90 There is a clause in the Protection to this effect, Praesentibus minime valituris, si contingat ipsum, &c. a custodia castri praedicti recedere. Or si contingat iter illud non arripere, vel infra illum terminum à partibus transmarinis redire.91 Whereupon there be two conclusions to be observed.

First, That though the protection be allowed by the Court for a yeere, yet if it be repealed by an Innotescimus that the Resommons or Re-attachment shall be granted upon the Repeale within the yeare, for the Protection that was allowed had the said clause in it. And of that opinion be our later Bookes, and the Repeale by Innotescimus should serve for little purpose, if the Law should not be taken so.

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Secondly, That albeit he that had the Protection either Moraturae or Profecturae, returne into England, and haply be arrested and in prison, yet if he came over to provide Munition, Habiliments of warre, victuals, or other necessaries, it is no breach of the said conditionall clause, nor against the Act of 13. Richard 2. cap. 16. for that in judgement of Law comming for such things are of necessitie for the maintenance of the warre, moratur, according to the intention of the Protection and Statute aforesaid. And thus much of the two first Protections, Cum clausula volumus, Protecturae and Moraturae.92

(l)93 As to the third Protection, Cum clausula volumus, the King by his Prerogative regularly is to be preferred in payment of his dutie of debt by his Debtor before any Subject, although the Kings debt or dutie be the latter, & the reason hereof is, for that Thesaurus Regis est fundamentum belli, & firmamentum pacis.94 And thereupon the Law gave the King remedy by Writ of Protection to protect his Debtor, that he should not be sued or attached untill hee paid the Kings debt, but hereof grew some inconvenience, for to delay other men of their suits, the Kings debts were the more slowly paid. And for remedie thereof (m)95 it is enacted by the Statute of 25.E.3. that the other Creditors may have their actions against the Kings Debtor and to proceed to Judgement, but not to Execution unlesse he will take upon him to pay the Kings debt, and then he shall have Execution against the Kings Debtor for both the two debts.

This kinde of Protection hath (as it appeareth) no certaine time limited in it. But in some cases the subject shall be satisfied before the King (n)96 for regularly whensoever the King is intitled to any fine or duty by the suit of the partie, the party shall be first satisfied, as in a Decies tantum,97 And so if in Action of Debt the Defendant deny his Deed, and it is found against him he shall pay a fine to the King, but the Plaintife shall be first satisfied, and so in all other like cases. And so it is in Bills preferred by subjects in the Starchamber, Edition: current; Page: [723] their costs and damages (if any be) shall be answered before the Kings fine, as it is daily in experience.

The fourth protection, Cum clausula volumus, is when a man sent into the Kings Service beyond Sea is imprisoned there, so as neither Protection, Profecturae or Moraturae, will serve him, and this hath no certaine time limited in it, (o)98 whereof you shall read at large in the Register, and F.N.B.

(p)99 Now are we at length come to Protections, Cum clausula nolumus, All which saving one, are of grace, and as hath beene said are implyed under the generall protection, for as Fitzherbert saith, every loyall subject is in the Kings Protection. Of these Protections of grace, you shall not read much in our yeere Books, because they stayed no Actions or Suits; (q)100 Of the divers formes, of these you shall read at large in the Register, and F.N.B. which were too long and needlesse to be here recited.

The Protection Cum clausula nolumus, that is, of right, is, that every spirituall person may sue a Protection for him and his goods, and for the fermors of their lands and their goods, that they shall not be taken by the Kings Purveyor, not their carriages or chattels taken by other Ministers of the King, which Writ both recite the Statute of 14.E.3.

Of these Protections I cannot say any thing of mine owne experience, for albeit Queene Elizabeth maintained many warres, yet she granted few or no Protections, and her reason was, that he was no fit subject to be imployed in her service, that was subject to other mens actions, lest she might be thought to delay Justice.

Section 342
Conditional Estates, part 17

|Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [211 b] And therefore it wil be a good & sure thing for him that will make such feoffment in morgage, to appoint an especiall place where the money shall be payd, and the more speciall that it bee put, the |Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [212 a] better it is for the feoffor. As if A. infeoffe B. to have to him and to his heires, upon such condition, That if A. pay to B. on the Feast of Saint Michael the Arch-Angell next comming, Edition: current; Page: [724] in the Cathedrall Church of Saint Pauls in London, within foure houres next before the houre of Noone of the same feast, at the Rood loft of the Rood of the North doore, within the same Church, or at the Tombe of Saint Erkenwald, or at the doore of such Chappell, or at such a pillar within the same Church, that then it shall bee lawfull to the aforesaid A. and his heires to enter, &c. In this case he needeth not to seek the Feoffee in an other place, nor to bee in any other place, but in the place comprised in the Indenture, nor to bee there longer than the time specified in the same Indenture, to tender or pay the money to the feoffee, &c.

Here is good counsell and advice given, to set downe in Conveyances every thing in certainty and particularity, for Certainty is the mother of Quietness and Repose, and Incertainty the cause of variance and contentions: and for obtaining of the one, and avoiding of the other, the best meane is, in all assurances to take counsell of learned and well experienced men, and not to trust only without advice, to a Precedent. For as the rule is concerning the state of a mans body, Nullum medicamentum est idem omnibus,1 so in the state and assurance of a mans Lands, Nullum exemplum est idem omnibus.2

“at the Tombe of Saint Erkenwald,

This Erkenwald was a younger sonne of Anna King of the East Saxons, and was first Abbot of Chersey in Surry which hee had founded, and after Bishop of London, a holy and devout man, and lyeth buryed in the South Ile, above the Quire in Saint Pauls Church, where the Tombe yet remaineth that Littleton speaketh of in this place: he flourished about the yeere of our Lord, 680.

The residue of this Section, and the (&c.) are evident.

Section 366
Conditional Estates, part 41

|Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [226 a] Also albeit a man cannot in any action pleade a condition which toucheth & concernes a freehold, without shewing writing of this, as is aforesaid, yet a man may be aided upon such a condition by the verdict of 12. men taken at large Edition: current; Page: [725] in an assise of Novel disseisin,1 or in any other action where the Justices will take the verdict of 12. Jurors at large. As put the case, a man seised of certaine land in fee, letteth the same land to another for terme of life without deed, upon condition to render to the Lessor a certaine rent, and for default of payment, a re-entrie, &c. by force whereof the lessee is seised as of freehold, and after the rent is behinde, by which the lessor entreth into the land, and after the lessee arraigne an Assise of Novel Disseisin of the land against the Lessor, who pleads that he did no wrong nor disseisin, and upon this the Assise is taken; in this case the Recognitors of the Assise may say and render to the Justices their verdict at large upon the whole matter, as to say that the defendant was seised of the land in his demesne as of fee, and so seised, let the same land to the Plaintife for terme of his life, rendring to the lessor such a yeerely rent payable at such a feast, &c. upon such condition, that if the rent were behind at any such feast at which it ought to bee payd, then it should bee lawfull for the Lessor to enter, &c. by force of which lease the Plaintife was seised in his demesne as of freehold, and that afterwards the Rent was behind at such a feast, &c. by which the lessor entred into the land upon the possession of the lessee, and prayed the discretion of the Justices if this bee a disseisin done to the Plaintife or not. Then for that it appeareth to the Justices that this was no disseisin to the plaintife, insomuch as the entrie of the Lessor was congeable on him; the Justices ought to give judgement that the plaintife shall not take any thing by his writ of Assise. And so in such case the lessor shall bee ayded, and yet no writing was ever made of the Condition. For aswel as the Jurors may have conusance of the lease, they also aswell may have conusance of the Condition which wasdeclared&rehearsed upon the lease.

“verdict of 12. men.”

Veredictum quasi dictum veritatis, as judicium est quasi juris dictum.2,3 Et sicut ad quaestionem juris, non respondent juratores, sed judices: sic ad quaestionem facti non respondent judices sed juratores.4 For Jurors are to try the fact, and Edition: current; Page: [726] the Judges ought to judge according to the Law that riseth upon the |Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [226 b] fact, for Ex facto jus oritur.5

“taken at large.”

There bee two kinds of verdicts, viz. one generall and another at large or especiall. As in an Assise of Novel disseisin brought by A. against B. the Plaintife makes his plaint, Quod B. disseisivit cum de 20. acris terrae cum pertinentiis,6 the Tenant pleads, Quod ipse nullam injuriam seu disseisinam praefato A. inde fecit, &c.7 the Recognitors of the Assise doe finde Quod praedict. A. injuste & sine judicio disseisivit praedict. B. de praedict. 20. acris terrae cum pertinent’ &c.8 This is a generall verdict. The like Law it is if they finde it negatively. And Littleton here putteth a case of a Verdict at large or a speciall Verdict, and it is therefore called a speciall Verdict or a Verdict at large, because they finde the speciall matter at large, and leave the judgment of Law therupon to the Court, of which kinde of Verdict it is said, (l)9 Omnis conclusio boni & veri judicii sequitur ex bonis & veris praemissis & dictis Juratorum.10

And though Littleton here putteth his case of a Verdict at large upon a generall issue (which in the case hee puts it was necessary for the Tenant to plead, yet when Issue is joyned upon some speciall point, the Jury, as shall bee said hereafter in this Section, may finde the speciall matter, ifitbedoubtfull in Law, for as much as doubt may arise upon one point upon the generall issue as upon the generall issue. And as a speciall verdict may be found in Common |Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [227 a] Pleas, so may it also bee found in Pleas of the Crowne,11 orcriminall causes that concerne life or member.

A Verdict finding matter incertainely or ambiguously is insufficient, and no judgement shall be given thereupon,12 as if an Executor plead Pleinment Edition: current; Page: [727] administre,13 and issue is joyned thereupon, and the Jury finde, that the Defendant have goods within his hands to bee administered, but finde not to what value, this is uncertaine, and therefore insufficient.

A Verdict that finds part of the issue, and finding nothing for the residue, this is insufficient for the whole,14 because they have not tryed the whole issue wherewith they are charged. As if an information or intrusion bee brought against one for intruding into a mesuage, and 100. acres of land, upon the generall issue the Jury finde against the Defendant for the land, but saith nothing for the house, this is insufficient for the whole, & so was it twice adjudged. (m)15 But if the Jury give a verdict of the whole issue, and of more, &c. that which is more is surplusage, and shall not (a)16 stay judgement, for Utile per inutile non vitiatur,17 but necessary incidents required by law, the Jury may find.

If the matter and substance of the issue bee found, it is sufficient as Littleton himself sayeth hereafter.18

Estoppells which bind the interest of the Land, as the taking of a Lease of a mans owne Land by Deed indented, and the like, being specially found by the Jury, the Court ought to judge according to the speciall matter, for albeit Estoppels regularly must be pleaded and relied upon by an apt conclusion, and the Jury is sworne ad veritatem dicendam,19 yet when they finde veritatem facti,20 they pursue well their oath, and the Court ought to adjudge according to Law. (b)21 So may the Jury finde a warranty being given in evidence, though it be not pleaded, because it bindeth the right, unlesse it be in a Writ of Right, when the Mise in joyned upon the meere right.

|Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [227 b] (c)22 After the verdict recorded, the Jury cannot vary from it, but before Edition: current; Page: [728] it be recorded they may vary from the first offer of their verdict, and that verdict which is recorded shall stand: also they may vary from a privy Verdict.

An issue found by Verdict shall alwaise be intended true untill it be reversed by attaint, and thereupon upon the attaint no Supersedeas is grantable by Law.23

If the Jury after their evidence given unto them at the Barre, doe at their owne charges eat or drink either before or after they be agreed on their Verdict, it in finable,24 but it shall not avoyd the Verdict: but if before they be agreed on their Verdict, they eat or drink at the charge of the Plaintife, if the Verdict bee given for him, it shall avoyd the Verdict: but if it be given for the Defendant, it shal not avoyd it, & sic è converso.25 (d)26 But if after they be agreed on their Verdict, they eat or drinke at the charge of him for whom they doe passe, it shall not avoyd the Verdict.

(e)27 If the Plaintife after evidence given and the Jury departed from the Barre, or any for him, doe deliver any Letter from the Plaintife to any of the Jury concerning the matter in Issue, or any Evidence, or any escrowle touching the matter in issue, which was not given in Evidence, it shall avoyd the Verdict, if it be found for the Plaintife, but not if it be found for the Defendant, & sic è converso. But if the Jury carry away any writing unsealed, which was given in evidence in open Court, this shall not avoyd their Verdict, albeit they should not have carryed it with them.

By the Law of England a Jury after their Evidence given upon the Issue, ought to bee kept together in some convenient place, without meat ordrinke,28 fire or candle, which some Bookes (f)29 call an imprisonment, and without speech with any, unlesse it be the Bailife, and with him onely if they be agreed. After they be agreed, they may in causes between party and party give a Verdict, and if the Court be risen, give a privy Verdict before any of the Judges of the Court, and then they may eat and drinke, and the next morning in open Court they may either affirme or alter their privy Verdict, and that which is given Edition: current; Page: [729] in Court shall stand. But in criminall cases of life or member, the Jury can give no privy Verdict, but they must give it openly in Court. And hereby appeareth another division of Verdicts, viz a publique Verdict openly given in Court, and a privy Verdict, given out of the Court before any of the Judges, as is aforesaid.

A Jury sworne and charged in case of life or member,30 cannot be discharged by the Court or any other, but they ought to give a Verdict. And the King cannot be Non-suit, for he is in Judgement of Law ever present in Court: but a common person may be non-suit.

“in an assise of Novel disseisin or in any other action.31

Here it is to be observed, That a speciall Verdict, or at large may be given in any Action, and upon any issue, be the Issue generall or speciall: and albeit there be some contrary opinions in our Bookes, yet the Law is now settled in this poynt.

“by which the lessor entereth.”

Here it appeareth that the condition is executed by re-entry, and yet the Lessor after his re-entry shall not by the opinion of Littleton, plead the Condition without shewing the Deed, because he was party and privy to the condition: for the parties must shew forth the Deed, unlesse it be by the act and wrong of his adversary, as hath been said, (m)32 but an estranger which is not privy to the condition, nor claymeth under the same, as in the cases abovesayd appeareth, shal not after the condition is executed in pleading, be inforced to shew forth the Deed: and by this diversity all the bookes and authorities in law which seeme to bee at variance are reconciled. See also for this matter the Section next following.

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“the Recognitors of the Assise may say.”33

Here it appeareth that the Jurors may find the fact, albeit the Deed bee not shewed in evidence, and the rather, for that the Condition upon the Livery (as hath been said) is good albeit there be no Deed at all.

“and prayed the discretion of the Justices.”

That is to say, They, (having declared the speciall matter) pray the discretion of the Justices, which is as much to say, as, That they would discerne what the Law adjudgeth thereupon, whether for the Demandant or for the Tenant: for as by the authority of Littleton, Discretio est discernere per legem, quid sit justum,34 that is, to discerne by the right line of law, and not by the crooked cord of private opinion, which the vulgar call Discretion: Si à jure discedas, vagus eris, & erunt omnia omnibus incerta: 35 and therefore Commissions that authorise any to proceed,36 secundum sanas discretiones vestras,37 is as much to say, as, Secundum Legem & consuetudinem Angliae.38

“For as well as the jurors may have conusance.”

Hereby it appeareth, That they that have Conusance of any thing, are to have Conusance also all Incidents and Dependants thereupon, for an Incident is a thing necessarily depending upon another.

|Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [228 a] If a Deed bee made and dated in a forraine Kingdome, of lands within England, yet if39 Livery and Seisin be made secundum formam cartae,40 the land shall passe, for it passeth by the Livery.

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Section 372
Conditional Estates, part 47

|Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [230 a] The making of an Indenture in the first person is, as in this forme. To all Christian people to whom these presents indented shall come, A. of B. sends greeting in our Lord God everlasting. Know yee me to have given, granted, and by this my present Deed indented, confirmed to C. of D. such land, &c. Or thus: Know all men present and to come, that I A. of B. have given, granted, and by this my present Deed indented, confirmed to C. of D. such land, &c. To have and to hold, &c. upon Condition following, &c. In witnesse whereof, as well I the said A. of B. as the aforesaid C. of D. to these Indentures have interchangeably put our Seales. Or thus: In witnesse whereof I the aforesaid A. to the one part of this Indenture have put my Seale, and to the other part of the same Indenture, the said C. of D. hath put his Seale, &c.

Here Littleton sets downe three formes of deeds indented in the first person, Brevis via per exempla, longa per praecepta.1 It is requisite for every Student to get Precidents and approved formes, not onely of deeds according to the example of Littleton,2 but of Fines, and other Conveyances, and Assurances, and especially of good and perfect pleading, and of the right entries, and formes of Judgements, which will stand him in great stead, both while he studies, and after when he shall give counsell. It is safe thing to follow approved precidents, for Nihil simul inventum est, & perfectum.3

Section 412
Descents, part 27

|Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [249 a] Also it is said that if a man be seised of Lands in fee by occupation in time of warre, and thereof dyeth seised in the time of warre, and the tenements descend to his heire, such discent shall not oust any man of his entry, and of this a man may see in a Plea upon a Writ of Aiel, 7.E.2.

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“by occupation in time of Warre,”

First it is necessary to bee knowne, what shall bee said, Time of peace, Tempus pacis: 1 and what shall bee said, Tempus belli, sive guerrae,2 time of warre. Tempus pacis est quan-|Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [249 b]-do Cancellaria & aliae Curiae Regis sunt apertae, quibus lex fiebat cuicunque prout fieri consuevit.3,4 And so it was adjudged in the case of Roger Mortimer, and of Thomas Earle of Lancaster. Utrum terra sit guerrina necne, naturaliter debet judicari per recorda Regis, et eorum, qui curias Regis per legem terrae custodiunt, & gubernant, sed non alio modo.5,6

And therefore when the Courts of Justce be open, and the Judges and Minsters of the same may by Law protect men from wrong and violence, and distribute Justice to all, it is said to be time of peace. So, when by invasion, Insurrection, Rebellions, or such like, the peaceable course of Justice is disturbed and stopped, so as the Courts of Justice bee as it were shut up, Et silent leges inter arma,7 then it is said to be time of war. And the tryall hereof is by the Records, and Judges of the Court of Justice, for by them it will appeare, whether Justice had her equall course of proceeding at that time or no, and this shall not be tried by Jury.

If a man be disseised in time of peace, and discent is cast in time of warre, this shall not take away the entry of the disseisee.

Item tempore pacis, quod dicitur ad differentiam eorum quae fuerunt tempore belli, quod idem est, quod tempore guerrino, quod nihil differt a tempore juris, & injuriae, est enim tempus injuriae, cum fuerunt oppressiones violentae quibus resisti non potest, & disseisinae injustae.8,9

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So as hereby it also appeareth, that time of peace is the time of law and right, and time of warre is the time of violent oppression, which cannot be resisted by the equall course of Law. And therefore in all reall actions, the expleas, or taking of the profits are laid Tempore pacis, for if they were taken Tempore belli, they are not accounted of in Law.

“by occupation.”

Occupation is a word of Art,10 and signifieth a putting out of a mans Freehold in time of warre, and it is all one with a disseisin in time of peace, saving that it is not so dangerous, as it appeareth have by Littleton, and therefore the Law gave a writ in that case of Occupavit,11 so called, by reason of that word in the Writ, in stead of disseisivit,12 in the Assise of Novel dissesin, if the dessesin had beene done in time of peace, whereby it appeareth,13 how aptly both in this, and in all other places, Littleton thorow his whole Booke speaketh. But albeit Occupatio whereof Littleton here speaketh, is used only in the said Writ, and in none other, (that I can finde or remember) yet hath it been used commonly in Conveyances and Leases, to limit or make certaine precedent words ad tunc in tenura & occupatione.14 But occupaitio is applyed to the possession, be it lawfull or on unlawfull; It hath also crept into some Acts of parliament, as 4 H. 7.cap. 19. 39. Eliz. cap. 1 and others, and occupare, is sometime taken to conquer.

“and of this a man see in a Plea upon a Writ of Aiel, [year] 7.E.2.”

Hereby it appeareth, that ancient termes or yeares, after the example of Littleton, are to bee cited and vouched, for confirmation of the Law, albeit they were never printed, and that of those yeares, those especially of E. 1. H. 3. &c. are worthy of the reading and observation, a great number of which I have sene and observed, which in mine opinion doe give a great light, not onely to the understanding and reason of the Common Law, (which Fitzherbert Edition: current; Page: [734] either saw not, or were by him omitted) but also to the true exposition of the ancient Statutes, made in those times, yet mine advice is, that they be read in their time: for after our Student is enabled and armed to set on our yeere Bookes, or reports of the Law, let him reade first the latter reports, for two causes: First, for that for the most part the latter Judgements and Resolutions are the surest, and therefore it is the best to season him with them in the beginning, both for the settling of his judgement, and for the retaining of them in memory. Secondly, for that the latter are more facile and easier to be understood, than the more ancient: but after the reading of them, then to read these others before mentioned, and all the ancient Authors that have written of our Law; for I would wish our Student to be a compleat Lawyer. But now to returne. As it is in case of discent, so it is in case of presentation, for no usurpation in time of warre putteth the right Patron out of possession, albeit the incumbent come in by institution and induction: And time of war doth not only give priviledge to them that be in warre, but to all others within the Kingdome, and although the admission and institution be in time of peace, yet if the presentment were in time of warre, it putteth not the right Patron out of possission.15

Section 464
Releases, part 20

|Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [272 a] Another cause they alledge, That if such Land bee worth forty shillings a yeare, &c. then such Feoffor shall bee sworne in Assise and other enquests in Plees reals, and also in Plees personals, of what great summe soever the Plaintiffe will declare, &c. And this is by the Common Law of the land, Ergo this is for a great cause, and the cause is, for that the Law will that such feoffors and their Heires ought to occupie, &c. and take and enjoy all manner of profits, issues, and revenues, &c. as if the Lands were their owne without interruption of the Feoffees, notwithstanding such Feoffement, Ergo, the same Law giveth a privity betweene such Feoffors and the Feoffees upon confidence, &c. for which causes they have said, That such releases made by such Feoffees upon confidence to their feoffor or to his heires, &c. so occupying the Lands, shall be good enough: and this is the better opinion, as it seemeth.

Quære, for this seemeth no Law at this day.

Edition: current; Page: [735]

By the Statute of 2. Hen. 5. cap. 3. Statute. 2. it is enacted, That in three cases,1 he that passeth in an Enquest, ought to have Lands and Tenements to the value of fortie shillings, viz. First, Upon tryall of the death of a man. Secondly, in Plea reall betweene party and party. And thirdly, In Plea personall, where the debt, or the dammages in the Declaration amount unto fortie Markes. And it is worth the noting, That the Judges that were at the making of that Statute did construe it by equity: for where the Stature speakes in the disjunctive debt or dammages, they adjudged that where the debt and dammages amounted to forty Markes, that it was within the Statute.2 Fortescue (f )3 saith, Ubi damna vel debitum in personalibus Actionibus non excedunt quadraginta Marcas monetae Anglicanae, hinc non requiritur, quod Juratores in Actionibus hujusmodi tantum expendere possint: habebunt tamen terram vel redditum, ad valorem competentem, juxta discretionem justiciariorum, &c.4 And forasmuch as the time of the making of this Statute, the greater part of the Lands in England in those troublesome and dangerous times (when that unhappy controversie betweene the Houses of Yorke and Lancaster was begun) were in use. And the Statute was made to remedy |Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [272 b] a mischiefe, that the Sheriffe use to return simple men of small or no understanding, and therefore the Statute provided,5 That hee should returne sufficient men, and albeit in Law the Land was the Feofees, yet for that they had it but upon trust, and Cesty que use,6 tooke the whole profits, as our Authour here saith, and in equity and conscience the Land was his, therefore the Judges for advancement and expedition of justice, extended the Statute (against the Letter) to Cesty que use, & not to the Feoffees.

(n)7 But note if a man hath a Freehold pur terme dauter vie,8 or is seised in his Wifes right, and is returned on a Jury, yet if after he be returned, Cesty Edition: current; Page: [736] que vie, or his wife die, he may be challenged, and so it is if after the returne the Lands be evicted.

“And this is by the Common Law . . .”

Here three things are to be observed. First, That the surest construction of a State is by the rule and reason of the common Law. Secondly, That uses were at the Common Law. Thirdly, That now seeing the Statute (g)9 of 27.H. 10. which hath been in enacted since Littleton wrote, hath transferred the possession to the use, this case holdeth not at this day, but this latter opinion before that Statute was good Law, as Littleton here taketh it.

“the same Law giveth a privity . . .”

Hereof it followeth, That when the Law gives to any man any estate or possession, the Law giveth also a privity & other necessaries of the same and Littleton concludeth it with an Illative, Ergo, mesme la Ley dont privitie,10 which is very observable for a conclusion in other cases.

And the (Quaere) here made in the end of this Section is not in the Originall, but added by some other, and therefore to be rejected.

Also since Littleton wrote, the said Statute of 2. H. 5. is altered:11 for where that Statute limited forty shillings, now a later Statute hath raised it to foure pounds, and so it ought to be contained in the Venire facias.12

Nota,13 an Use is a Trust or Confidence reposed in some other, which is not issuing out of the Land, but as thing collaterall, annexed in privity to the estate of the Land, & to the person touching the Land, scilicet, that Cesty que use shall take the profit,13 and that the Terre-tenant shall make an estate according to his direction. So as Cesty que use had neither Jus in re,14 nor Jus ad rem,15 Edition: current; Page: [737] but for breach of trust his remedy was only by Sub poena, in Chancery: and yet the Judges for the cause aforesaid, made the said construction upon the said Statute.

Now how Jurors shall bee returned both in Common Plees, and also in Plees of the Crowne, and in what manner evidence shall be given to them, and how they shall be kept untill they give their verdict, you may read in Fortescue,16 & therefore need not to be here inserted.

Section 481
Releases, part 37

|Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [280 a] Also to prove that the graund Assise ought to passe for the demandant, in the case aforesaid I have often heard the reading of the statute of West[minster]. 2. which begunne thus: In casu quo vir amiserit per defaltam tenementum quod fuit jus uxoris suae, &c.1 that at the Common Law before the said Statute, if a lease were made to a man for terme of life, the remainder over in fee, and a Stranger by feigned Action recovered against the Tenant for life by default, and after the Tenant dyeth, he in the remainder had no remedie before the Statute, because he had not any possession of the Land.

“I have often heard the reading of the statute of West[minster]. 2.”

Here it is to bee observed, of what authority ancient Lectures or Readings upon Statutes were, for that they had five excellent qualities: First, They declared what the Common |Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [280 b] Law was before the making of the Statute, as here it appeareth. Secondly, they opened the true sense & meaning of the Statute. Thirdly, their cases were briefe, having at the most one poynt at the Common Law, and another upon the Statute. Fourthly Plaine and Perspicuous, for then the honour of the Reader was to excell others in authorities, arguments, and reasons for proofe of his opinion & for confutation of the objections against it. Fifthly, they read, to suppresse subtill inventions to creepe out of the Statute. But now readings having lost the said former qualities, have lost also their former authorities, for now the cases are long, obscure, and intricate, full of Edition: current; Page: [738] new conceits, liker rather to Riddles than Lectures, which when they are opened they vanish away in the smoke, and the Readers are like to Lapwings,2 who seeme to be nearest their nests when they are farthest from them, and all their study is to finde nice evasions out of the Statute. By the authority of Littleton ancient Readings may be cited for proofe of the Law, but new Readings have not that honour, for that they are so obscure and darke.

“the statute of West[minster]. 2.”

Which is the third chapter.

“the remainder over in fee,”

Here is to be observed, that although the Statute speaketh of a Reversion, (a)3 yet by the authority of Littleton a remainder is within the Statute.

See the Statute of 14. Eliz. cap. 8. which provideth fully for him in the remainder.

“feigned Action.”

Feint is a Participle of the French word Feindre, which is to feign or falsly pretend, so as a feint Action is a false Action.

“had no remedie before the Statute,”

(b)4 Here it appeareth by Littleton, That if a man maketh a Lease for life the remainder in fee, and tenant for life suffereth a recovery by default, that he in the remainder should not have a Formedon by the common law: for Littleton saith, That he had not any remedy before the Statute. Neither is there any such writ in that case in the Register, albeit in some Bookes mention is made of such a Writ.

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Section 723
Warranty, part 30

|Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [379 a] The third cause is, when the condition is such, that if the elder sonne alien, &c. that his estate shall cease or be void, &c. then after such alienation, &c. may the Donor enter by force of such condition, as it seemeth, and so the donor or his heires in such case ought sooner to have the land then the second son, that had not any right before such alienation; and so it seemeth that such remainders in the case aforesaid are void.

Here it is to bee observed, that part of the condition that prohibiteth the alienation made by tenant in taile is good in Law, with such distinction as hath beene before said in the Chapter of Conditions. And the consequent of the Condition, viz. that the lands should remaine to another, &c. is void in Law, and by the opinion of Littleton the Donor may re-enter for the Condition broken, for utile per inutile non vitiatur:1 Which being in case of a Condition for the defeating of an estate, is worthy of observation.

And it is to bee noted, that after the death of the Donor, the Condition descendeth to the eldest sonne, and consequently his alienation doth extinguish the same for ever, wherein the weaknesse of this invention appeareth, and therefore Littleton here saith, that it seemeth that the Donor may re-enter, and speaketh nothing of his Heires. A man hath issue two sonnes, and maketh a Gift in taile to the eldest, the Remainder in fee to the puisne, upon condition, that the eldest shall not make any Discontinuance with Warranty to barre him in the Remainder, and if he doth, that then the puisne son and his heires shall re-enter, the eldest make a Feoffment in Fee with Warranty, the father dieth, the eldest sonne dieth without issue, the puisne may enter, but if the Discontinuance had beene after the death of the father, the puisne could not have entred. In this case foure points are to be observed. First, as Littleton here saith, the Entrie for the breach of the Condition is given to the father, and not to the puisne sonne. Secondly, |Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [379 b] that by the death of the Father the condition descends to the elder Sonne, and is but suspended, and is revived by the death of the eldest Sonne without issue, and descendeth to the youngest Sonne.2 Thirdly, That the feoffment made in the life of the Father cannot Edition: current; Page: [740] give away a condition that is Collaterall, as it may doe a right.3 Fourthly, That a Warrantie cannot binde a title of Entrie for a condition broken, (as hath beene said) but if the discontinuance had been made after the death of the Father, it had extinct the condition: Which case is put to open the reason of our authors opinion.

In these last three Sections our Author hath taught us an excellent point of Learning, That when any innovation or new invention starts up, to trie it with the Rules of the common Law, (as our Author here hath done) for these be true Touchstones to sever the pure gold from the drosse and sophistications of novelties and new inventions. And by this example you may perceive, That the rule of the old common Law being soundly (as our Author hath done) applied to such novelties, it doth utterly crushthemandbringthemtonothing, and commonly a new invention doth offend against many rules and reasons (as here it appeareth) of the common Law, and the antient Judges and Sages of the Law have ever (as it appeareth in our Bookes4) suppressed innovations and novelties in the beginning, as soone as they have offered to creepe up, lest the quiet of the common Law might be disturbed: and so have Acts of Parliament done the like,5 whereof by the authorities quoted in the margent, you may in stead of many others, upon this occasion take a little taste. But our excellent Author, in all his three Bookes, hath said nothing but Ex veterum sapientium ore, et more.6

Section 728
fee Warranty, part 35

|Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [381 a] Also it is spoken in the end of the said statute of Glou[cester] which speaketh of the alienation with Warrantie made by the tenant by the courtesie in this forme. Also, in the same manner, the heire of the woman after the death of the father and mother shall not bee barred of action, if hee demandeth the heritage or the marriage of his Mother by writ of Entry,1 that his father aliened in his mothers time, whereof no fine is levied in the Kings Court. And so by force of Edition: current; Page: [741] the same statute, if the husband of the wife alien the heritage or marriage of his wife in fee with Warrantie, &c. by his Deed in the Countrey, it is cleere Law, that this Warranty shall not bar the heire, unlesse he hath Assets by discent.

“whereof no fine is levied in the Kings Court, &c.”

Here are three things worthy of observation concerning the construction of Statutes. First, that (a)2 it is the most naturall and genuine exposition of a Statute to construe one part of the Statute by another part of the same Statute, for that best expresseth the meaning of the makers.3 As here the question upon the generall words of the Statute is, whether a fine levied onely by a husband seised in the right of his wife with Warranty shall bar the heire without Assets. And it is well expounded by the former part of the act, whereby it is enacted, that alienation made by Tenant by the curtesie with warranty shall not bar the heire, unlesse assets des-|Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [381 b]-cend. And therefore it should be inconvenient to intend the statute in such manner, as that he that hath nothing but in the right of his wife should by his fine levied with warrantie barre the heire without assets. And this exposition is ex visceribus actus.4

Secondly, the words of an act of Parliament must bee taken in a lawfull and rightfull sense, as here the words being (whereof no fine is levied in the Kings Court) are to be understood, whereof no fine is lawfully or rightfully levied in the Kings Court. And therefore (b)5 a fine levied by the husband alone is not within the meaning of the Statute, for that fine should worke a wrong to the wife, but a fine levied by the husband and wife is intended by the Statute, for that fine is lawfull and worketh no wrong. (c)6 So the Statute of W.2.c.5. saith (Ita quod Episcopus Ecclesiam conferat)7 is construed, Ita quod Episcopus Ecclesiam legitimeè conferat,8 and the like in a number of other Cases in our Bookes. And generally the rule is, Quod non praestat impedimentum quod de jure non sortitur effectum.9

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Thirdly, that construction must bee made of a statute in suppression of the mischiefe, and in advancement of the remedie, as by this case it appeareth. For a fine levied by the husband only, is within the letter of the Law, but the mischiefe was, the heire was barred of the Inheritance of his mother, by the warranty of his father without Assets, and this act intended to apply a remedy, viz. that it should not barre unless there were assets, and therefore, them is chiefe is to be suppressed, and the remedie advanced, Et qui haeret in littera, haeret in cortice,10 as often before hath beene said.


And know my son, that I would not have thee beleeve, that all which I have said in these Bookes is Law, for I will not presume to take this upon me: But of those things that are not Law, inquire & learne of my wise Masters learned in the Law; notwithstanding albeit that certaine things which are moved and specified in the said Bookes, are not altogether Law, yet such things shall make thee more apt, and able to understand & apprehend the Arguments and the reasons of the Law, &c. For by the Arguments and Reasons in the Law, a man more sooner shall come to the certaintie and knowledge of the Law.

Lex plus laudatur quando ratione probatur.1

“I will not presume,”

Here observe the great modestie and mildness of our Author, which is worthy of imitation; for Nulla virtus, nulla scientia locum suum & dignitatem conservare potest sine modestia.2 And herein our Author followed the example of Moses, who was a Judge, and the first Writer of Law, for he was Mitissimus omnium hominum qui fuit in terris,3 as the holy History testifieth of him.

“the Arguments and the reasons of the Law,”

Ratio est anima Legis;4 for then are we said to know the Law, when we apprehend the reason of the Law, that is, when we bring the reason of the Law Edition: current; Page: [743] so to our owne reason, that wee perfectly understand it as our owne, and then and never before, we have such an excellent and inseperable propertie and ownership therin, as wee can neither lose it, nor any man take it from us, and will direct us (the learning of the Law is so chained together) in many other Cases. But if by your studie and industrie you make not the reason of the Law your owne, it is not possible for you |Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [395 a] long to retaine it in your memorie. And well doth our author couple arguments and reasons together, Quia argumenta ignota & obscura ad lucem rationis proferunt & reddunt splendida:5 and therefore argumentari & ratiocinari are many times taken for one. And that our author may not speake any thing without authority (which in these Institutes we have as we take it manifested) his opinion herein also agreeth with that of the learned and reverend Chiefe Justice of the Court of Common pleas. Sir Richard Hankford, (y)6 Home ne scavera de quel mettal un campane est, si ne soit bien bate, ne le ley bien conus sans disputation.7 And another saith, (*)8 Jeo aye dispute cest matter pur la apprender la ley.9 So as our author hath made a most excellent Epilogue or Conclusion with a grave advice and counsell, together with the reason thereof, which all students are toknowandfollow, and with Scire and sequi,10 I will conclude our authors Epilogue.

Lex plus laudatur quando ratione probatur.11

This is the fourth time that our author hath cited verses.12

When I had finished this worke of the first part of the Institutes, and looked backe and considered the multitude of the conclusions in Law, the manifold diversities between cases & points of learning, the varietie almost infinite of authorities ancient, Constant & Moderne, & withall their amiable & admirable consent in so many successions of ages, the manychanges&alterations Edition: current; Page: [744] of the Common Law, & additions to the same, even since our author wrote, by many acts of Parliament, & that the like worke of Institutes had not been attempted by any of our profession whom I might imitate, I thought it safe for me to follow the grave & prudent example of our worthy Author, not to take upon me, or presume that the reader should thinke, that all that I have said herein to be Law: yet this I may safely affirme, that there is nothing herein, but may either open some windowes of the Law, to let in more light to the Student by diligent search to see the secrets of the Law, or to move him to doubt, and withall to enable him to inquire and learne of the Sages, what the Law together with the true reason thereof in these cases is: Or lastly upon consideration had of our old Bookes, Lawes, and Records, (which are full of venerable Dignitie and antiquity) to find out where any alteration hath beane upon what ground the Law hath beene since changed, knowing for certaine, that the Law is unknowne to him that knoweth not the reason thereof, and that the knowne certainty of the Law is the safety of all. I had once intended for the ease of our student to have made a Table to these institutes, but when I considered that Tables and abridegments are most profitable to them that make them, I have left that worke to every Studious Reader. And for a farewell to our Jurisprudent I wish unto him the gladsome light of Jurispidence, the lovelinesse of Temperance, the stabilitie of Fortitude, and the soliditie of Justice.

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B. The Second Part of the Institutes

First published in 1642, The Second Part of the Institutes of the Lawes of England was, like Coke’s commentary on Littleton, a glossator’sproject. Coke selected the statutes that then most affected the rights and interests of England and annotated each section of them, not only presenting cases that applied or modified each statute but also describing and amplifying its meaning and application. The most significant of these is undoubtedly his commentary on Magna Carta, which became the essential understanding of its meaning for the next three hundred years.

Magna Carta, as it was signed in 1215, signed again, confirmed, and confirmed again by various kings over the years, was originally a series of concessions to the baronial families and the Church, with some benefits for merchants, townsmen, and the lesser aristocracy. The art of Coke’s gloss was, however, to read the terms as they were written, which were in more general words, and to find in them a much more universal set of protections. The form of Magna Carta that Coke set for his text was the form in which Henry III confirmed it, in 1225, primarily because its status as law prior to that time is not so clear as it was after Henry’s confirmation of it.

The remaining statutes cover a host of subject matter, particularly interests in land. In that context, though, it is important to see estates in land as much as a constitutional matter as a matter of private law. The relationship among monarch, mesne lord (or an intermediate holder of an estate), tenant, and tenant’s servants was the relationship that structured almost all other relationships in the state, including access to Parliament and the courts. The one significant institution outside of that structure ran in a rough parallel, the Church. Statutes dealing with religious matters had an influence that is, perhaps, difficult for the modern mind to grasp. It is at least suggested by the tremendous influence the Church wielded as the largest landlord after the King, a situation that changed only with Henry Edition: current; Page: [746] VIII’s dissolution of the monasteries, and by the Church’s control of ecclesiastical offenses, such as heresy, recusancy, or improper use of the sacraments.—Ed.

Epigrams from the Title Page:

Jurisperito dixit, In lege quid scriptum est? quomodo legis?

Luc. 10. 26.1
Quod non lego, non credo.


Jurisprudentia est juvenibus regimen, senibus solamen, pauperibus divitiae, & divitibus securitas.3

Deo, Patriae, Tibi.

A Proeme to the second Part of the Institutes.

In the first Part of the Institutes, following Littleton our Guide, we have treated of such parts of the Common Laws, Statutes, and Customes, as he in his three Books hath left unto us. We are in this second Part of the Institutes to speak of Magna Charta, and many ancient and other Statutes, as in the Table precedent doe appeare.

It is called Magna Charta, not that it is great in quantity, for there be many voluminous Charters commonly passed,1 specially in these later times, longer then this is; nor comparatively in respect that it is greater then Charta de Foresta, but in respect of the great importance, and weightinesse of the matter, as hereafter shall appeare: And likewise for the same cause Charta de Foresta, Edition: current; Page: [747] is called, Magna Charta de Foresta, and both of them are called Magnae Chartae libertatum Angliae.2

King Alexander was called Alexander Magnus, not in respect of the largenesse of his body, for he was a little man, but in respect of the greatnesse of his heroicall spirit, of whom it might be truly said,

Mens tamen in parvo corpore magna fuit;3

So as of this Great Charter it may be truly said, that it is Magnum in parvo.4 And it is also called Charta libertatum Regni;5 and upon great reason it is so called of the effect, Quia liberos facit:6 Sometime for the same cause, Communis libertas,7 and le Chartre des franchises.8

The Ends. Sapiens incipit a fine.9There be four ends of this Great Charter, mentioned in the Preface, viz. 1. The honour of Almighty God, &c. 2. The safety of the Kings Soule; 3. The advancement of holy Church; and 4. The amendment of the Realme: foure most excellent ends, whereof more shall be said hereafter.

By Charter bearing date the 11. day of February, in the 9. yeare of King Henry the third and secondly, by that Charter established by Authority of Parliament then sitting,By what Authority, and when. and so entered into the Parliament Roll; the Witnesses to the said Charter were 31. Lords Spirituall, viz. Stephen Langton Archbishop of Canterbury, E. Bishop of London, I. B. of Bath, P. of Winchester, H. of Lincoln, Robert of Salisbury, W. of Rochester, W. of Worcester, I. of Ely, H. of Hereford, R. of Chicester, William of Exeter, Bishops. The Abbot of S. Edes, the Abbot of S. Albons, the Abbot of Battaile, the Abbot of S. Augustines in Canterbury, the Abbot of Evesham, the Abbot of Westminster, the Abbot of Burghe S. Peter, the Abbot of Reading, the Abbot of Abindon, the Abbot of Malmesbury, the Abbot of Winchcombe, the Abbot of Hyde, the Abbot of Certefey, the Abbot of Shernborn, the Abbot of Cerne, the Abbot of Abbotebury, the Abbot of Middleton, the Abbot of Selbie, the Abbot of Cirencester; And 33. of the Nobility, Edition: current; Page: [748] viz. Hubert de Burgo Chiefe Justice of England, and 32. Earles and Barons, viz. Randall Earle of Chester and Lincoln, William Earle of Salisbury, William Earle Warren, Gilbert of Clare Earle of Glocester and Hertford, William de Ferrars Earle of Derby, William Mandevile Earle of Essex, H. de Bigod Earle of Norffolk, William Earle of Albemarle, H. Earle of Hereford, John Constable of Chester, Robert de Ros, R. Fitzwalter, Robert de Vipount, William de Bruer, R. de Mountfitchet, P. Fitzherbert, William de Aubeine, Robert Gresly, Reignald de Brehus, John de Movenne, J. Fitz-Alen, Hugh de Mortimer, Walter de Beauchamp, William de S. John, Peter de Mololacu, Brian de Lisle, T. de Multon, Richard de Argentein, Jeffrey de Nevill, William Maudint, John de Baalim, and others.

There were many of the great Charters, and Charta de Foresta, put under the Great Seale, and sent to Archbishops, Bishops, and other men of the Clergie,The great providence and policy for preservation of it. to be safely kept, whereof one of them remain at this day at Lambeth, with the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Also the same was entred of Record in a Parliament Roll.

And after King Edward the first by Act of Parliament10 did ordain that both the said Charters should be sent under the Great Seale, as well to the Justices of the Forest, as to others, and to all Sheriffes, and to all other the Kings Officers, and to all the Cities through the Realme, and that the same Charters should be sent to all the Cathedrall Churches, and that they should be read and published in every County four times in the yeare in full County,11 viz. the next County day after the feast of S. Michael, and the next County day after Christmas, and the next County day after Easter, and the next County day after the Feast of S. John.

It was for the most part declaratory of the principall grounds of the fundamentall Laws of England,The quality. and for the residue it is additionall to supply some defects of the Common Law; and it was no new declaration: for King John in the 17. yeare of his raigne had granted the like, which also was called Magna Charta, as appeareth by a Record before this Great Charter made by King Hen. 3.12

Home ne suer’ Mordanc’ apud Westmonasterium des terres in auter Countie, Edition: current; Page: [749] car ceo ser encont’ Lestatut de Magna Charta sinon que illaassisasemelinterminata fuit coram Justic’.13,14

Also by the said Act of 25. E. I15 (called Confirm’ Chartar’ )16 it is adjudged in Parliament that the Great Charter, and the Charter of the Forest should be taken as the Common Law.

How, and upon what grounds it hath been impugned.Soon after the making of this Great Charter, the young King by evill Counsell fell into great mislike with it, which Hubert de Burgo summus Justiciarius Anglia17 perceiving (who in former times had been a great lover, and well deserving Patriot of his Country, and learned in the Laws (for Rot. claus. II. Hen. 3. membr. 44. I finde that he, and many others were Justices Itinerant in 5 Hen. 3.18 and I have seen a fine levied before him, and sixe other Judges, between Stephen de Wamcesle, and the Abbot of Hales) yet meaning to make this a step to his ambition (which ever rideth without reines) perswaded and humored the King that he might avoid the Charter of his Father King John by duresse, and his own great Charter, and Charta de Foresta also, for that he was within age when he granted the same, whereupon the King in the 11. yeare of his raign, being then of full age, got one of the great Charters, and of the Forest into his hands, and by the counsell principally of this Hubert his Chiefe Justice, at a Councell holden at Oxford, unjustly cancelled both the said Charters, (notwithstanding the said Hubert de Burgo was the primier Witnesse of all the temporall Lords to both the said Charters) whereupon he became in high favour with the King, insomuch as he was soon after (viz. the 10. of December, in the 13. yeare of that King, created to the highest dignity that in those times any Subject had) to be an Earle, viz. of Kent. But soon after (for flatterers and humorists have no sure foundation) he fell into the Kings heavy indignation, and after many fearfull and miserable troubles, he was justly, and according to Law sentenced by his Peeres in open Parliament, and justly degraded of that dignity which he unjustly had obtained by his Edition: current; Page: [750] counsell for cancelling of Magna Charta, and Charta de Foresta.19 And the King by his Charter granted, Quod nos firmiter & integre tenebimus judicium de Huberto de Burgo per Barones dictum;20 he was buried in the Frier predicants where Whitehall is now built, so as no Monument remains of him at this day.

In this advice Hubert de Burgo either dissembled his opinion, or grosly erred (as ever ambitious flattery bedazles the eye, even of them, that be learned) first, for that a King cannot avoid his Charter, albeit he make it when he is within age, for in respect of his royall and politique capacity as King, the Law adjudgeth him of full age. Secondly, it being done by Authority of Parliament, and enrolled of Record, it was strange that any man should think that the King could avoid them in respect he was within age. Thirdly, it was to no end to cancell one where there were so many, or to have cancelled all, when they were of Record in the Parliament Roll, or to have cancelled Roll and all, when they were, for the most part, but declaratories of the ancient Common Laws of England, to the observation, and keeping whereof, the Kingwasbound and sworn. What successe those potent and opulent Subjects, Hugh Spencer the Father, and Son had, for giving rash and evill counsell to King Edward the second enconter la forme de la grand Chartre,21 I had rather you should read then I should declare.Exilium turgonis la Spencer patris & filii.22

After the making of Magna Charta, and Charta de Foresta, divers learned men in the Laws,23 that I may use the words of the Record, kept Schooles of the Law in the City of London, and taught such as resorted to them, the Laws of the Realme, taking their foundation of Magna Charta, and Chartade Foresta, which as you have heard, the King by ill advice sought to impeach.

The King in the 19 year of his raign,24 by his Writ, commanded the Maior and Sheriffes of London, Quod per totam Civitatem London clamari faciant & firmiter prohiberi, ne aliquis scholas tenens de legibus in eadem Civitate de caetero ibidem leges doceat, & si aliquis ibidem fuerit hujusmodi scholas tenens, ipsum sine dilatione cessare fac’; Teste Rege, &c. 11. die Decembris, Anno Regni sui decimo Edition: current; Page: [751] nono.25 But this Writ took no better effect then it deserved, for evill counsell being removed from the King, he in the next yeare, viz. in the 20. yeare of his raigne compleat, and in the one and twentieth yeare current, did by his Charter under his great Seale confirme both Magna Charta, and Charta de Foresta, he being then 29. years old. And after in the 52. yeare of his raigne established and confirmed both the same by Act of Parliament,26 with the clause, Quod contravenientes per Dominum Regem, cum convicti fuerint, graviter puniantur.27 Hereby shall some opinions and resolutions in our Books be the better understood, which speak of alienations without license before or after 20 Hen. 3.28 which yeare was named for that the King then confirmed the said great Charter, and in like manner did King Edward the first by Act of Parliament in the 25. year of his raign: and the said two Charters have been confirmed, established, and commanded to be put in execution by 32. severall Acts of Parliament in all.

This appeareth partly by that which hath been said, for that it hath so often been confirmed by the wise providence of so many Acts of Parliament.Of what high estimation it hath been.

And albeit judgements in the Kings Courts are of high regard in Law, and Judicia29 are accounted as Juris dicta,30 yet it is provided by Act of Parliament, that if any judgement be given contrary to any of the points of the great Charter, or Charta de Foresta, by the Justices, or by any other of the Kings Ministers, &c. it shall be undone, and holden for nought.31

And that both the said Charters shall be sent under the great Seale to all Cathedrall Churches throughout the Realm there to remain, and shall be read to the people twice every yeare.32

The highest and most binding Laws are the Statutes which are established by Parliament;33 and by Authority of that highest Court it is enacted (onely Edition: current; Page: [752] to shew their tender care of Magna Charta, and Charta de Foresta) That if any Statute be made contrary to the great Charter, or the Charter of the Forest, that shall be holden for none: By which words all former Statutes made againsteither of those Charters are now repealed; And the Nobles and great Officers were to be sworn to the observation of Magna Charta, and Charta de Foresta.

Magna fuit quondam Magnae reverentia Chartae.34

We in this second Part of the Institutes, treating of the ancient and other Statutes have been inforced almost of necessity to cite our ancient Authors, Bracton, Britton, the Mirror, Fleta, and many Records, never before published in print, to the end the prudent Reader may discerne what the Common Law was before the making of every of those Statutes, which we handle in this work, and thereby know whether the Statute be introductory of a new Law, or declaratory of the old, which will conduce much to the true understanding of the Text it selfe. We have also sometime in this and other Parts of the Institutes, cited the Grand Custumier de Normandy, where it agreeth with the Laws of England, and sometime where they disagree, ex diametro,35 being a Book compounded as well of the Laws of England, which King Edward the Confessor gave them, as he that Commenteth upon that Book testifieth (as elswhere we have noted) as of divers Customes of the Duchie of Normandie, which book was composed in the raign of King Henry the third viz. about 40. yeares after the Coronation of King Richard the first, 3. Septembris, Anno 1. of his raign, Anno Dom. 1189. about 138. yeares after the Conquest. See that Book cap. 22. fo. 29. a. and the Comment upon the same, & cap. 112. In which Custumier a great number of the Courts of Justice, of the originall Writs, and of many other of the titles of the Laws of England, are not so much as named or mentioned. And seeing we have in these, and other parts of our Institutes, cited the Laws and Statutes of divers Kings before the Conquest, and in the Conquerors time, we have thought good for the ease of the Reader, to set down the times wherein those Kings lived, and deceased. Inas began to raign Anno Dom. 689. and deceased 726. Aluredus, alias Alfredus, alias Elfredus, began to raign Anno Dom. 872. and deceased 901.36 Of this Alured it is thus written,37 Edition: current; Page: [753] Aluredus acerrimi ingenii princeps per Grimbaldum & Johannem doctissimos Monachos tantum instructus est, ut in brevi librorum omnium notitiam haberet, totumque novum & vetus Testamentum in eulogiam Anglicae gentis transmutaret (cujus translationis pars nobis feliciter accidit.)38 This learned King in advancement of Divine and humane knowledge, by the perswasion of those two Monks founded the famous University of Cambridge. Edwardus, sonofthesaid Alured, began to raign Anno Dom. 901. and deceased 924.aa Fortis, sapiens, & fortunatus: Danos expuli: & Angliam in Monarchiam reduxit. Ethelstanus, alias, Adelstane eldest son of the said Edward began to raign Anno Dom. 924. and deceased 940.b Edmundus began to raign Anno Dom. 940. and deceased 946.c Edgarus began to raign Anno Dom. 959. and deceased 975.d Etheldredus began to raign Anno Dom. 979. and deceased 1016.e Canutus began to raign Anno Dom. 1016.b Martir apud Hoxon̄ olim Hegilsdon. and deceased 1035.f Edwardus began to raign Anno Dom. 1042. and deceased 1066.gc Pacificus, Rex excellentissimus. Willielmus Bastardus began to raign Anno Dom. 1066. and deceased 1087.d Named in Domesday. Glouc’ Ecclesia de Evesham. Adelredus.

Some fragments of the Statutes in the raigns of the abovesaid Kings doe yet remain, but not onely many of the Statutes, and Acts of Parliament, but also the Books and Treatises of the Common Laws both in these and other Kings times,e In Domesday he is ever written Cnut’ Rex. and specially in the times of the ancient Brittons (an inestimable losse) are not to be found.f He is ever called in Domesd. Episcopus S. Edw. Cestr: Rex Edwardus dedit Regi Griffino terram quae jaccbat trans aquam quae De vocatur.

It is to be observed that in Domesday Haroldus, who usurped the Crown of England, after the decease of King Edward the Confessor, is never named per nomen Regis, sed per nomen Comitis Haroldi, seu Heraldi;39 And therefore we have omitted him.

In citing of the abovesaid Laws originally written in the Saxon tongue, we have referred you to M. Lambard,g He is in Domes. written Willielmus Rex, vel Willielmus, vel W. Rex. who accurately and faithfully translated the same into Latin, one page containing the Saxon, and the next the Latin, and is in print (for our manner is not to cite anything, but so to referre the Reader, as he may easily finde it;) Sed ut unicuique suus tribuatur honos,40 all those Statutes in the raigns of all the abovesaid Kings were of ancient time plainly and truly translated into Latin, (whereof we have a very ancient, if not the first Manuscript) which no doubt did not a little abbreviate M. Lambards pains.

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Upon the Text of the Civill Law, there be so many glosses and interpretations, and again upon those so many Commentaries, and all these written by Doctors of equall degree and authority, and therein so many diversities of opinions, as they do rather increase then resolve doubts, and incertainties, and the professors of that noble Science say, That it is like a Sea full of waves. The difference then between those glosses and Commentaries, and this which we publish, is, that their glosses and Commentaries are written by Doctors, which be Advocates, and so in a manner private interpretations: And our Expositions or Commentaries upon Magna Charta, and other Statutes, are the resolutions of Judges in Courts of Justice in judiciall courses of proceeding, either related and reported in our Books, or extant in judiciall Records, or in both, and therefore being collected together, shall (as we conceive) produce certainty, the Mother and Nurse of repose and quietnesse, and are not like to the waves of the Sea,Regula. but Statio bene fida peritis:41 for Judicia sunt tanquam Juris dicta.42

Finis Proemii.43

But now let us peruse the Texit selfe.

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Magna Charta,

Edita Anno nono H.3.

|Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [1] Henry, by the Grace of God, King of England, Lord of Ireland, Duke of Normandy and Aquitaine, and Earl of Anjou, to all Archbishops, Bishops, Abbots, Priors, Earls, Barons, Sheriffs, Provosts, Officers, and to all Bailiffs, and other our faithful Subjects, which shall see this present Charter, Greeting: Know Ye, that We, unto the honour of Almighty God, and for the salvation of the souls of our Progenitors and Successors Kings of England, to the advancement of Holy Church and amendment of our Realm, of our meer and free will, have given and granted to all Archbishops, Bishops, Abbots, Priors, Earls, Barons, and to all Freemen of this our Realm, these Liberties following, to be kept in our Kingdom of England for ever.

“Henry, by the Grace of God, King of England, &c.”

Concerning the Styles of the Kings of England, both before and after this King, and how often they altered the same, see in the first part of the Institutes, Sectione prima.1

“Archbishops, Bishops, Abbots, Priors, Earls, Barons, &c.”

Note not onely the preamble of this Charter, & of the forest, but the bodies of the Charters themselves are contained in the Charter of King John, An. 17. of his reign, Mat. Par. Pag. 246. Quae ex parte maxima leges antiquas & regni consuetudines continebant. pag. 244.This or the like particular direction, this King and his Progenitors before him used; and so did Edw. 1. Edw. 2. &c. Edw. 3. King Ric. 2. in his Letters Patents used a more generall, and compendious direction, viz. Omnibus ad quos praesentes literae pervenerint, &c.2 which direction is used to this day, saving in Charters of Creation of Dignities, the directions to this day, are Archiepiscopis, Episcopis, Ducibus, Marchionibus, &c. and hiis testibus,3 in the end.

“We, unto the honour of Almighty God, and for the salvation of the souls, of our Progenitors and Successors Kings of England, to the advancement of Holy Church and amendment of our Realm.”

Here bee foure notable causes of the making of this great Charter rehearsed. 1. The honour of God. 2. For the health of the Kings soul. 3. For the exaltation of holy Church; and fourthly, for the amendment of the Kingdome.

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There be those excellent Laws contained in this great Charter, and digested into 38. Chapters, which tend to the honour of God, the safety of the Kings conscience, the advancement of the Church, and amendment of the Kingdome, granted and allowed to all the Subjects of the Realme.

|Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [2] “our meer and free will.”

These words were added, for that King John, as hath been said, made the like Charter in effect, and sought to avoid the same, pretending it was made by duress.

This great Charter is divided into 38. Chapters.

Chapter 1

First, We have granted to God, and by this our present Charter have confirmed, for Us and our Heirs for ever, that the Church of England shall be free, and shall have all her whole Rights and Liberties inviolable. We have granted also, and given to all the Freemen of our Realm, for Us and our Heirs for ever, these Liberties under-written, to have and to hold to them and their Heirs, of Us and our Heirs for ever.

Sanctum Dei,1 imprimis, Ecclesiam liberam facio, ita quod nec vendam, nec ad firmam ponam, nec mortuo Archiepiscopo sive Episcopo, vel Abbate aliquid accipiam de dominio Ecclesiae, seu de hominbus ejus, donec successor in eam ingrediatur, et omnes malas consuetudines quibus regnum Angliae injuste opprimebatur, inde aufero.2

“We have granted to God.”

We have graunted to God: when any thing is granted for God it is deemed in Law to be graunted to God, and whatsoever is graunted to his Church for his honour, and the maintenance of his Religion and service, is graunted for and to God; Quod datum est Ecclesiae, datum est Deo.3

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And this and the like were the formes of ancient Acts and Graunts, and those ancient acts and graunts must be construed and taken as the Law was holden at that time when they were made.4

Here in this Charter, both in the title and in divers parts of the body of the Charter, the King speaketh in the plurall number, concessimus; 5 The first King that I read of before him, that in his graunts wrote in the plurall number, was King John, Father of our King Henry the third other Kings before him wrote in the singular number, they used Ego,6 and King John, and all the Kings after him, Nos.7

“for Us and our Heirs for ever.”

These words were added to avoid all scruples, that this great Parliamentary Charter might live and take effect in all successions of ages for ever. More of this word (heires) hereafter in this Chapter: When Pro nobis, haeredibus & successoribus nostris8 came in, shall be shewed in his fit place.

“that the Church of England, &c.”

This at the making of this great Charter, extended not to Ireland, nor to any of the Kings forain Dominions; but by the Law of Poynings,9 made by the Authority of Parliament in Ireland, in Anno 11. Hen. 7. all the Laws and Statutes of this Realm of England before that time had or made do extend to Ireland, so as now Magna Charta doth extend into Ireland.

“That the Church of England shall be free.”

That is, that all Ecclesiasticall persons within the Realm, their possessions, and goods shall be freed from all unjust ex-|Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [3]-actions and oppressions, but Edition: current; Page: [758] notwithstanding should yeeld all lawfull duties, either to the King or to any of his Subjects, so as libera10 here, is taken for liberata,11 for as hath been said, this Charter is declaratory of they ancient Law and Liberty of England, and therefore no new freedom is hereby granted, (to be discharged of lawfull tenures, services, rents, and aids) but a restitution of such as lawfully they had before, and to free them of that which had been usurped and incroached upon them by any power whatsoever; And purposely, and materially, the Charter saith Ecclesia, because Ecclesia non moritur,12 but moriuntur Ecclesiastici,13 and this extends to all Ecclesiasticall persons of what quality or order soever.

“and shall have all her whole Rights.”

That is that all Ecclesiasticall persons shall enjoy all their lawful jurisdictions, and other their rights wholly without any diminution or substraction whatsoever; and jura sua14 prove plainly, that no new rights were given unto them, but such as they had before, hereby are confirmed;15 and great were sometimes their rights, for they had the third part of the possessions of the Realme, as it is affirmed in a Parliament Roll.

“Liberties inviolable.”

Libertates16 are here taken in two senses. 1. For the Laws of England so called, because liberos faciunt,17 as hath been said. 2. They are here taken for priviledges held by Parliament, Charter or prescription more then ordinary;18 and in this sense it is taken in the Writ De libertatibus allocandis,19 and in another Writ Edition: current; Page: [759] De libertatibus exigendis in itinere,20 but it is but libertates suas,21 such as of right they had before; Jura Ecclesiae publicis aequiparantur.22Regula.

Every Archbishoprick and Bishoprick in England are of the Kings foundation, and holden of the King per Baroniam,23 and many Abbots and Priors of Monasteries were also of the Kings foundation, and did hold of him per Baroniam, and in this right the Archbishop and Bishops, and such of the Abbots and Priors as held per Baroniam, and called by Writ to Parliament, were Lords of Parliament; and this is a right of great honour that the Church, viz. the Archbishop and Bishops now have. Ecclesia est infra aetatem, & in custodia Domini Regis, qui tenetur jura & haereditates suas manutenere & defendere;24 And in other Records it is said,25 Ecclesia quae semper est infra aetatem fungitur semper vice minoris, nec est juri consonum quod infra aetatem existentes, per negligentiam custodum suorum exhaeredationem patiantur seu ab actione repellantur.26

They are discharged of purveyance for their own proper goods.27

And this was the ancient Common Law, and so declared by divers Acts of Parliament, and there is a Writ in the Register for their discharge in that behalfe:28 And this is not restrained by the said Act of 27. Hen. 8. for thereby it is provided that the Purveyor shall observe the Statutes for them provided, so as where the Purveyor is prohibited to purvey by any Statute, the said Act of 27. Hen. 8. setteth him not at liberty.

And true it is, that Ecclesiaticall persons have more and greater liberties then other of the Kings Subjects, wherein, so set down all, would take up a whole Volume of it self, and to set down no example, agreeth not with the Edition: current; Page: [760] Office of an Expositor; therefore some few examples shall be expressed, and the studious Reader left to observe the rest as he shall reade them in our Books, and other Authorities of Law.

If a man holdeth Lands of Tenements, by reason whereof he ought (upon election, &c.) to serve in a temporall office,29 if this man be made an Ecclesiasticall person within holy Orders, he ought not to be elected to any such office, and if he be, he may have the Kings Writ for his discharge, and the words of the Writ are observable, Rex, &c. Cum secundum legem & consuetudinem Regni nostri Angliae Clerici infra sacros ordines constituti ad tale officium eligi non debeant, nec hactenus consueverunt, &c.,30 and the reason thereof is expressed in the Writ, Quia juri non est consonum, quod hii qui salubri statu animarum, &c. (in tali loco, &c.) deserviunt, alibi extra (eundem locum) secularibus negotiis compellantur.31

|Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [4] By this writ it appeareth that this was the ancient common Law, and custome of England and had a sure foundation,32 Nemo militans Deo, implicet se negotiis secularibus, ut ei placeat cui se probavit.33 Ecclesiasticall persons have this priviledge that they ought not in person to serve in warre. Also Ecclesiasticall persons ought to be quit and discharged of Tolles and Customes, Avirage, Pontage, Paviage, and the like, for their Ecclesiasticall goods, and if they be molested therefore, they have a writ for their discharge, by which writ it appeareth that this was the ancient Common Law of England.34 Rex, &c. cum personae Ecclesiasticae secundum consuetudinem hactenus in regno nostro usitatam, & approbatam; ac ad telonium, paviagium & muragium, &c. de bonis suis Ecclesiasticis alicubi in eodem regno praestand’ nullatenus teneantur, &c.35

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If any Ecclesiasticall person be in feare or doubt that his goods or Chattells, or Beasts, or the goods of his farmor, &c. should be taken by the ministers of the King, for the businesse of the King, he may purchase a protection cum clausula nolumus.36,37

Distresses shall not be taken by Sheriffs or other of the Kings ministers in the inheritance of the Church wherewith it was anciently endowed, but otherwise it is of late purchase.38

If any Ecclesiasticall person knowledge a statute Merchant or statute staple or a recognizance in the nature of a statute staple, his body shall not be taken by force of any processe thereupon, and for more surety thereof the writ thereupon to take the body of the conusor is si laicus sit.39

If a person bee bound in a recognizance in the Chancery or in any other Court, &c. and he pay not the sum at the day, by the Common Law, if the person had nothing but Ecclesiasticall goods, the recognizee could not have had a levari fac’40 to the Sheriffe to levie the same of these goods, but the writ ought to be directed to the Bishop of the Dioces to levie the same of his Ecclesiasticall goods.41

*42 In an action brought against a person (wherein a Capias43 lieth) for example, an account, the Sheriffe returns quod clericus est beneficiatus, nullum habens laicum feodum,44 in which he may be summoned, in this case the plaintiffe cannot have a Capias to the Sheriffe to take the body of the person, but he shall have a writ to the Bishop to cause the person to come and appeare. But if he had returned quod clericus est nullum habens laicum feodum,45 then is a Capias to be granted to the Sheriffe, for that it appeared not by the returne that he had a benefice, so as he might bee warned by the Bishop his Diocesan, Edition: current; Page: [762] and no man can be exempt from justice. See more of this matter Artic. Cleri. cap. 9.

Secundum legem & consuetudinem Regni Angliae clerici in decenna, &c. poni non debeant, vel ea occasione distringi vel inquietari non consueverunt:46 and Ecclesiasticall persons are not bound to appeare at Tournes or viewes of Frankpledge.47,48

But hereof this little taste shall in this place suffice, with this, that as the over-flowing of waters doe many times make the river to lose his proper chanell, so in times past Ecclesiasticall persons seeking to extend their liberties beyond their true bounds, either lost or enjoyed not that which of right belonged to them.

“We have granted also, and given to all Freemen of our Realm, &c.”49

These words (omnibus liberis hominibus regni50) doe include all persons Ecclesiasticall and temporall and temporal incorporate politique or naturall, nay they extend also to villeines, for they are accounted free against all men saving against the Lords.

*51“these Liberties under-written.”

Here it is to be observed that the aforesaid clause that concerned the Church onely, is in favour of the Church generall without any restraint, but this clause that concernes all the Kings subjects hath a restraint by reason of this word (subscriptas52) which restraineth libertates to the 38. Chapters of this great Charter.

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*53 Note that courts of justice are also called libertates, because in them the Lawes of the Realm que liberos faciunt,54 are administred.

|Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [5] “Heirs.”

At this time Haeredes55 were taken for Successores56 and Successors for Haeredes.

“of Us.”

In this place these words are not inserted to make a legall tenure of the King, but to intimate that all liberties at the first were derived from the Crowne.

Chapter 2

If any of our Earls or Barons, or any other, which hold of Us in chief by Knight’s Service, die, and at the time of his death his Heir be of full age, and oweth to us Relief, he shall have his inheritance by the old Relief; that is to say, the Heir or Heirs of an Earl for a whole Earldom, by one hundred pound; the Heir or Heirs of a Baron, for an whole Barony, by one hundred marks; the Heir or Heirs of a Knight, for one whole Knight’s Fee, one hundred shillings at the most; and he that hath less shall give less, according to the old Custom of the Fees.

“If any of our Earls or Barons.”

At this time there was never a Duke, Marquesse, or Viscount in England, for if there had been, they had (no doubt) been named in this Chapter; the first Duke that was created since the Conquest, was Edward the Black Prince, in 11 Edw. 3. Robert de Vere Earle of Oxford, was in the 8. year of Richard the second, created Marquesse of Dublin in Ireland, and he was the first Marquesse that any of our Kings created.1

The first Viscount that I finde of Record, and that late in Parliament by Edition: current; Page: [764] that name, was John Beaumont, who in the 18. yeare of H.6. was created Viscount Beaumont.2


Dicuntur Comites, viz. quia in Comitatu sive à societate nomen sumpserunt, qui etiam dici possunt Consules a consulendo: Reges enim tales sibi associant ad consulendum & regendum populum Dei, ordinantes eos in magno honore, & potestate, & nomine, quando accingunt eos gladius, ringis gladiorum, &c, gladius autem significat defensionem Regni & Patriae.4


Sunt & alii potentes sub Rege qui dicuntur Barones, hoc est, robur belli:5,6 And where some have thought that Baro is no Latin word, we find it in Tullies Epistles, Apud Patronem, Et alios Barones te in maxima gratia posui.7 Galfridus Cornwall tenet manerium de Burford de Rege, per servitium Baroniae,8 But it is to be understood, that if the King give Land to one and his heirs, Tenend de rege per servitium Baroniae,9 he is no Lord of Parliament untill he be called by Writ to the Parliament. These which are Earls and Barons have offices and duties annexed to their dignities of great trust and confidence, for two purposes, 1. Ad consulendum tempore pacis.10 2. Ad defendendum Regem & Patriam tempore belli.11 And prudent Antiquity hath given unto them two ensignes to Edition: current; Page: [765] resemble, and to put them in minde of their duties;12 for first they have an honourable and long robe of scarlet resembling Counsell, in respect whereof they are accounted in Law, De magno concilio Regis.13 2. They are girt with a sword that they should ever be |Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [6] ready to defend their King and Country: And it is to be observed that in ancient Records the Barony (under one word) included all the Nobility of England,14 because regularly all Noblemen were Barons, though they had a higher dignity, and therefore of the Charter of King Edward the first in the Exposition of this Chapter hereafter mentioned, the conclusion is, Testibus Archiepiscopis, Episcopis, Baronibus, &c.15 So placed, in respect that Barones included the whole Nobility: and the great Councell of the Nobility, when there were besides Earles and Barons, Dukes and Marquesses, were all comprehended under the name De la Councell de Baronage.16,17

“or any other, which hold of Us in chief ”

It is worthy of observation, with what great judgement this Statute concerning reliefe is penned; For by the Act of Parliament called, The Assise of Clarendon, Anno 10. Hen. 2. Anno Domini 1164. it is thus enacted; Archiepiscopi, Episcopi, & universae personae Regni, qui de Rege tenent in capite, habeant possessiones suas de Rege, sicut Baroniam, & inde respondeant Justiciariis & ministris Regis, & sicut caeteri Barones debent interesse curiae Regis cum Baronibus, &c.18 Therefore this Chapter beginneth, Si quis Comitum, vel Baronum;19 So as (as to reliefe of an Earle or Baron) it is not materiall that he hath Baroniam, unlesse he be Noble, that is, Earle or Baron, and others being not Noble, but holding in Capite,20 shall pay reliefe according to the Knights fees which he hath. See hereafter Cap. 31. who shall be said to hold in Capite.

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“by Knight’s Service,”

For this see the first part of the Institutes, Sect. 103. 112, 154, 157, 126, 127. whereunto you may adde this Record following.

Per Assisam Johannes de Moyse, qui est infra, aestatē, implacitat Thom’ de Weylaund & Marg’ ux’ ejus pro uno Messuag.ii. molendinis, iiii. acris prati, & xlii.s. red. in Eastsmithfield ext’ Algate.21 Ipsi voc’ ad war’ Rad’ de Berners, qui war’ & dic’ quod nihil clamat nisi custod. eo quod Johannes pater dicti Johannis tenuit de eo praedicta ten’ per homag’ & servic’ vi.d. & inveniendi quendam hominem pro eo in turri London. cum arcubus & sagittis per quadraginta dies tempore guerrae. Johannes dic’ quod tenet ten’ praed. per homagium & servitium quorundam calcariorum vel vi.d. pro omni servic’. Et sic omittendo multa ex utraque parte manifeste patebit per verd’ Jur’ & per Jud’ Cur’ quid in hac ass. terminatum fuit.Veredictum. Jur’ dic’ quod praedicta ten’ tenent’ de praedicto Radulpho per homagium & servic’ unius paris calcariorū deauratorum vel sex den’*22 & inven’ quend’ hominē pro ipso Radulpho in turri Lond. cum arcub’ & sagit’ per xl. dies tempore guerrae in boreal’ Angulo turris praedicta pro omni servic’.**The Judgement. Et quia compertū est, &c. quod Radulphus cognoscit in responc’ quod praedict’ herestenere debet eadem ten’ per pradict’ homag’ & servic’ praedict’ calcar’ vel sex denar’ & per serjantiā inveniedi unū hominē pro eo in praed’ turri per xl. dies, & manifeste liquet quod huōdi minores serjantiae quae debent fieri pro Dominis suis de quibus tenent tenementa sua per alios quā seipsos nullā inde dabunt custodiā eisdē Dominis, nec dare debent licet iidem Domini infra etatem haeredū per negligentiam propinquorum parentū hujusmodi custodias occupaverunt, & iste Radulpus non potest dedicere quod unquā aliquā habuit seisinam de praedict’ Custod’ nisi per occupationem suam & negligentiam parentum praedict’ haeredis antecessoris sui dum infra aetatem fuit, & non alio jure. Considerat’ est quod praedict’ Johannes rec’ inde seis. &c. & damn’ Cx.l.iv.s.vii.d. &c. Valor terr’ per annum x.x.l.x.d.23

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See the first part of the Institutes, Sect. 155. & 157. and note the diversitie between such a tenure of the King, for in that case it should be a tenure by Grand-serjanty,24 and that Grand-serjanty, for the greatest part, is to be done within the |Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [7] Realme, and Knights service out of the Realme, as Littleton there saith.

“full age.”

See the first part of the Institutes, Sect. 104.

“the old Relief; that is to say, &c.”

Concerning the word Relevium,25 vide 1. Part Institut. Sect. 103. It appeareth that the reliefe here set down, is the ancient relief, and was certain at the Common Law; But there had been of long time an heavy incroachment of an incertain reliefe at will and pleasure, which under a fair term was called rationabile Relevium,26 and this Act had just cause to say, Per Antiquum relevium,27 for in the raign of Hen. 2. Grandfather to Hen. 3. the King exacted Edition: current; Page: [768] an incertain reliefe, for so Glanvill saith,28 who wrote in his time, De Baroniis vero nihil certum Statutum est, quia juxta voluntatem & misericordiam Domini Regis solent Baroniae Capitales de releviis suis Domino Regi satisfacere.29 And Glanvill under the name of Baronies doth include Earledomes also, so the reliefe of all the nobility was taken as incertain at that time, and therefore how necessary it was that the ancient reliefe should be restored is evident.

“that is to say, the Heir or Heirs.”

Of this word (heire) see the first part of the Institutes, Sect. 1. whereunto you may adde that which was there omitted, concerning the Antiquity of descents, which the Germanes had agreeable with the ancient Laws of the Britons, continued in England to this day, out of that faithfull and learned Historian, who of the ancient Germanes saith;30 Haeredes successoresq; sui cuique liberi, & nullū Testamentum: si liberi non sunt, proximus gradus in possessione, fratres, patrui, avunculi, &c.31 Wherein we observe three things. 1. That for Default of children and brethren, the Uncle, &c. and not the Father, or any in the right line ascendent should inherit, but the collaterall onely. 2. That by the Common Law no Testament or last Will could be made of Land. 3. That of ancient time Successores32 were Synoyma33 with haeredes.34 But in this ancient Statute it is pertinently said, haeres,35 and not successor, for every Bishop of England hath a Barony, and so had many Abbots and Priors (in respectwhereof they were Lords of Parliament) and yet they paid no reliefe, because their successors came to it by succession and not as heire by inheritance; And this Act saith, Habeat haereditatem suam.36 And they are seised in Jure Episcopatus Edition: current; Page: [769] Monasterii, &c. de Comitatu integro & de Baronia integra.37 The Barons in Domesday are accounted amongst the Tenants in Chiefe. Vide Glanv. lib. 9. cap. 6 Magna Charta cap. 31.

It is to be understood that of ancient time (as it evidently appeareth by this Chapter, and by our Books)38 every Earledome and Barony were holden of the king in Capite, which proveth that both the Dignities of the Earle and the Baron, and the Earldome and Barony were derived from the Crown.a39 And it is to be known that the fourth part of the yearly valus of an Earledome, a Barony, and the living of a Knight, was the ancient reliefe that this Chapter speaketh of. And for that of ancient time,b40 a Knights living was esteemed at 20.l. per ann. (which in those dayes was sufficient to maintain the dignity of a Knight) his ancientc41 relief was 5.l. which is the fourth part of his living by one year.

The yearly value of a Barony was to consist of 13. Knights fees, and a quarter, which by just account amounted to 400. Marks by the year, therefore his reliefe was as is here set down 100. Marks.

See an ancient Manuscript intituled, De modo tenendi Parliamentum, &c. tempore Regis Edwardi filii Regis Etheldredi, cui quidem modus suit perdiscretiores Regni cora Willielmo Duce Normannorū & Conquestore & Rege Angliae ipso conquestore hoc tempore praecipiente recitat’& per ipsum approbat’, &c.42 Of the Authority and Antiquity whereof you may reade in the fourth part of the Institutes Cap. of the Court of Parliament, Et hic infra.43

Now every Earledome consisted of the value of an entire Barony and an halfe, which amounted to 20. Knights fees amounting to 400.l. per annum, and therefore his ancient reliefe here called Antiquum relevium, being the fourth part of the yearly value of his Earledome was 100.l. In that excellent Charter which King H. 1. |Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [8] made on the day of his Coronation, Communi Edition: current; Page: [770] Concilio & assensu Baronum Regni Angliae44 amongst other things it is thus contained, Omnes malas consuetudines, quibus Regnum Angliae opprimebatur, inde aufero, quas malas consuetudines exinde suppono. Si quis Baronum meorum, Comitum, five aliorum, qui de me tenet, mortuus fuerit, haeres suus non redimet terram suam, sicut faciebat tempore fratris mei, sed legitima & justa relevatione relevabit eam, sicut homines Baronum meorum legitima & justa relevatione relevabunt terras suas a Dominis suis, &c. Legem *45 Regis Edw. vobis reddo cum illis emendationibus, quibus Pater meus emendavit consilio Baronum suorum.46

By this Charter it appeareth, 1. that there was a lawfull and just reliefe, to bee paid by the Earle, and Baron, which implyeth a proportionable reliefe according to the value of the living, by reason of this word (Justa)47 which cannot be intended of an uncertaine reliefe, but of the just reliefe, upon the Computation of so many Knights fees contained in the Modus,48 whereunto this Charter hath relation. 2. It appeareth that there was an unjust reliefe, in the time of William Rufus his Brother, which upon search we have found in an ancient Manuscript in the Librarie of Arch-Bishop Parker, which we have seene, and will transcribe, in that Language that we finde it.

De releefe al cunte que al Roy afert 8. chivals enfrenees, & ensebees, & 4. Hauberts & 4. Hawmes & 4. escues, & 4. launces, & 4. espees les aultres, & 4. chaceurs & 4. palefrees à freins eta chevestre.49

De reliefe a barun 4. chivals les 2. exfrenes & enseeles & 2. hauberts & 2. hawmes & 2. escus, & 2. espees & 2. launces, & les autres 2. chivals un chaceur & un palfrey a freins & a chevestres.50

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De reliefe a vavassur a son lige senior doit estre quite per le chival son pier; tiel come il avoit jour de son mort, & per son hawme, & per son escu & per son haubert, & per son lance, & sul fuit disaparaile, que il noust chiual ne arme juste quite per C. sol.51

Le relief al villian le meliour avoir que il averad 2. Chivals, 2. Boefs, 2. Vaches durrad a son seignior & puis sont touts les villains in frankpledge.52

In K. Canutus time, Relevatio Comitis fuit 8. equi, 4. sellati, 4. insellati, & galeae 4. & lorice. 4. cum 8. lanceis, & totidem scutis, et gladii.53 4. et54 CC. mancae auri.55

Postea *56 thani Regis, qui ei proximus sit, 4. equi, 2. sellati, 2. non sellati. 2. gladii. 4. lancee, et totidem scuta, et galea cum lorica sua, et 50. mancae auri.57

Et: mediocris thani equus cum apparatu suo et arma sua et halstang in Westsexa, &c.58

Lastly, this Chapter of Magna Charta is but a restitution and declaration of the ancient Common Law, and that antiquum relevium of the Earle, and Baron was certaine; so now joyning both together, this certaine reliefe here set downe is legitimum, justum & antiquum relevium,59 mentioned in the Modus, &c.

It is said that there be ancient precedents in the Exchequer, that he that held by a Dukedome, which being valued at two Earles livings, should pay according to the proportionall and just fourth part of his living by yeare, 2co. li. And a Marques that held by a Marquedoome, who should have two Baronies, should pay for his reliefe 200. marks. What the value of the living of Edition: current; Page: [772] a Viscount should be, I have not heard, but certaine it is he should pay the fourth part of the yeerely value of his Viscountesdome.

But all this is to be intended, where the King granteth a Dukedome, Marquesdome, Earledome, Viscountesdome, or Barony to hold, as here it is spoken, de nobis in Capite per servitium militare, viz. De Comitatu integro & de Baronia integra, & qui minus habuerit, minus det secundum antiquam consuetudiē feodorū.60

|Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [9] But in some cases the heire of an Earle, or a Baron may pay the reliefe expressed in this statute, albeit he hath not so many knights fees, as is above-said;61 so if upon the creation of the Earle the King did grant any Mannors, Lands, or Annuity per Comitatum, & nomine Comitis,62 or sub nomine & honore Comitis,63 or the like, he should pay, C. li. for reliefe, and so of the Baron, mutatis mutandis64 for a speciall reservation may derogate from the Common Law.

But otherwise it is, if the Mannors, Lands, or annuity be granted unto the Earle, ut idem Comes statum & honorem Comitis melius manutenere &supportare possit,65 or, ad sustinendum nomen et onus,66 or the like; for then the Earle holdeth not per Comitatum, or, nomine Comitis.

But now the ancient manner of creation is altered, for now, when the King creates a Duke, a Marques, an Earle, a Viscount, or Baron, he seldome creates a Dukedome, Marquisdome, Earledome, &c. ad sustinendum nomen & onus,67 viz. to grant him Mannors, Lands, tenements, &c to hold of him in chiefe, for commonly upon creations the King grants to them created an annuity; And therefore at this day Noblemen doe pay such reliefes,68 as other men use to doe, in respect of their tenures, for as the heire of a Knight shall not pay reliefe, unlesse he have a Knights fee, &c. so the heire of an Earle, or Baron, Edition: current; Page: [773] shall not pay reliefe by this great Charter, unlesse he hath an Earledome, or Baronie, as is aforesaid.69

“one hundred shillings at the most;”

And this was the ancient reliefe for a Knights fee, and so was holden in the reigne of Hen. 2. for Glanvil saith,70 dicitur autem rationabile relevium alicujus juxta consuetudinem regni de feodo unius militis per centum solidos,71 so as the fee of a Knight at that time was certaine, viz. the fourth part of his living per annum,72 and so ought, as appearreth, the relief of the Nobility to have been in curtainty, though they were not permitted to have it so, which favored of the power of a conqueror to keepe the Nobility under, or to make himselfe the more amiable to them.

“according to the old Custom of the Fees.”

This is observable, that these certaine and proportionable rates are according to the ancient custome of reliefes.

73 A Knight holds land by Grand Serjantie, he is not within this Statute, and therefore shall not pay the reliefe of a Knight declared by this act, but the heire being of full age at the decease of his ancestor, shall pay the value of his lands for one yeere which is his Primer season.74

But here it is demanded, seeing Littleton saith, that tenure by Cornage, if it be of any other Lord then the King, is Knights service, what reliefe the Heir of such a tenant shall pay, or whether he shall pay any reliefe at all. Littleton in the same place saith, that tenure by Cornage draweth unto it ward, and mariage, and speaketh nothing of reliefe, and by this act reliefe is to be payed according to the quantity of the Knights fee,75 viz. De feodo militis integro per Edition: current; Page: [774] centum solidos & qui minus habuerit,76 but a tenure by Cornage hath no such quantities, nec suscipit majus & minus,77 and therefore tenure by Cornage, though it be Knights service, is not within this Statute; Hereof you may read a Record to this Effect.

Inter Johannem Craistoke querentem versus Idoneam de Leybourne quae distrinxit ipsum per averia pro relevio dando, pro terris in Dunston, Brampton yanene which, Eseclyve, et Boulton, quae valent C. li. per ann. quae tenet de ea per homagium et Cornagium. Et ipse dicit quod talis est consuetudo patriae de Westm. quod haeredes post mortem antecessorum suorum debent relevare terras suas dominis de quibus, &c. scilicet solvendo pro relevio quantum terrae valent per annum, quae de ipsis dominis tenentur, nisi de minori ipsis dominis possunt satisfacere, unde ipsa advocat captionem pro relevio secundum praedictam consuetudinem, &c.

Johannes negat talem esse consuetudinem, sed concedit, quod tenet tenementa prae-|Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [10]-dicta per Cornag’ xxv. s. vi.d. et dicit quod antecessores sui prius duplicarunt antecessor.ipsius Idoneae solvendo Li.s. Ipsa dicit quod cum Johannes cogn’, quod ipse tenet praedicta ten’ de ipsa per cornagiū, ad quod hujusmodi relevium mere est accessor’, ratione consuet’ praedictae. Et dic’ quod idem Johannes exigit tale relevium versus tenentes suos in eadem patria a tempore quo non, &c. Et de consuet’ uterq’, pon’ se super patriam. Ideo ven’ Jur’ in Crō S. Johannis Baptistae, &c. Insuper Idonea dic’ quod duplex est tenura in Com’ Westmerl. scilicet, una per Albā firmā, et alia per Cornagium.78 Et quod tenentes per Albam firmam post Edition: current; Page: [775] mortem antecessorum suorum debent duplicare firmam suam tantum. Et tenentes per Cornagium post mortem antecess. suorum tenentur reddere valorem terrarum suarum unius anni. Et Johannes e contra dic’ quod consuetudo patriae est quod haeredes non solvant nisi duplicando Cornaginm, &c.79

Bracton li. 2. fo. 84. cap. 36. nu. 2.80 Et imprimis de feodo militari quale sit rationabile relevium antiquum de feodo militari distinguitur in Carta libertatum, cap.2.&c.81 And in the same Chapter, nu.7. saith thus, De serjantiis vero nihil certum exprimitur, quid vel quantum dare debeant haeredes, ideo juxta voluntatem Dominorum Dominis satisfaciant pro relevio, dum tamen ipsi Domini rationem & mensuram non excedant.82

Certain it is, that he that hold by Castle-guard shall pay no Escuage, for Escuage must be rated according to the quantity of the Knights fees,83 as for a whole Knights fee, or half a Knights fee, &c. and of that nature is not Castle-guard. Littleton treating of Castle-guard, saith,84 that in all cases where a man holdeth by Knights service, such service draweth to it Ward and Marriage, and speaks not there of relief.

Chapter 3

But if the Heir of any such be within Age, his Lord shall not have the Ward of him, nor of his Land, before that he hath taken of him Homage; and after such an Heir hath been in Ward, when he is come to full Age, that is to say, to the Age of one and twenty years, he shall have his Inheritance without Relief, and without Fine: So that, if such an Heir being within Age, be made Edition: current; Page: [776] Knight, yet nevertheless his Land shall remain in the keeping of his Lords, unto the term aforesaid.


This Statute is onely to be intended of an heire male, whereof haeres1 is derived: and who shall be haeres, &c. See the first part of the Institutes. lib. 1. sect. 1, 2, 3. Custumier de Norm. 99. and the Expositions upon the same.2

“before that he hath taken of him Homage.”3

For homage see the first part of the Institutes. sect. 85. and it is to be observed that in England and France it is called Homage, Homagium, and in Italy Vassalagium.

Some have thought that these words are to be understood that the heire within age shall not be in Ward untill the Lord hath taken the homage of some of the auncesters of the Ward, so as the auncester of the heire may die in the homage of the Lord: for in a Writ of Ward brought by the Lord, it is a good plea to say that the auncester died not in his homage, and the Statute saith not Antequam homagium |Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [11] suum ceperit,4 but homagium5 generally; and, say they, if the Lord should receive homage of the heire, he should not be in Ward at all.6

But this is not the right intendment of these words, but the Statute meant that the homage should be taken of the heire himselfe, and that for the benefit of the heire and so doth it appear bya7 our old Books that wrote some after this Statute, and contemporanea expositio est fortissima in lege,8 and so do the words themselves of this Law import, and the reason thereof is notable, which Edition: current; Page: [777] was, that before the Lord should have benefit of Wardship, he should be bound to two things;b9 To warrant the Land to the heir and to that end the heir might have a Writ, De homagio capiendo;10 2. To acquit him from service and other duties to be done and paid to all other Lords, both which the Lord was bound to doc11 as the law was then holden) if the Lord accepted homage de droit12 of his tenant, (in such sort as the Lord is, if he receiveth homage auncestrel13 at this day) but otherwise it is of homage in fait;14,15 Homagium est juris vinculum, quo quis astringitur ad warrantizandum, defendendum, & acquietandum tenentem suum in seisina versus omnes per certum servitum in donatione nominatum & expressum; & etiam vice versa, quo tenens astringitur ad fidem Domino suo servand: & servitium debitum faciend.16,17 We have an ancient Manuscript of a case adjudged in a Writ of Customes and Services betweene Alexander of Poulton, and Robert de Norton, that homage is of an higher nature to divers purposes then escuage. 1.f18 For that homage bindeth to warranty, which escuage doth not. 2. Homage is so solemne as that it cannot be done again as long as the Tenant that made it liveth, but escuage may be given every other year.g19 And Littleton saith that homage is the most honourable service, and humble service of reverence, and yet it is true that escuage taking it for service, draweth to it homage.

h20 But at the Common Law, if a man holding Land by Knights service, had made a gift in frank marriage, and the donee had died, his heir within age, the heir should be in Ward before any homage received, Quia Dominus Edition: current; Page: [778] non potest capere homagium usque ad tertium haeredem,21 and this Statute is to be intended where homage was to be received by Law, yet did the Tenant in judgement of Law die in the homage of the Lord, or otherwise he could not be in Ward, a case worthy of great consideration.

i22But after when it was resolved for Law, and so held to this day, that homage of it selfe doth not binde the Lord to any warranty or acquitall, unlesse it were homage auncestrell, which either is worne out, or very rare in England at this day; then according to the old rule, Cessante ratione legis cessat ipsa lex;23 The heir cannot binde the Lord to receive homage in this case, but if the tenure be by homage auncestrell there the Lord shall not have the custody of body or land before he receiveth homage of the heire, for that homage bindeth him to warranty and acquitall, and consequently within the reason of this Law.

k24 Here is to be noted that one within age may doe homage, but he cannot do fealty because that is to be done upon oath. Hoc observato, quod si minor homagium fecerit nullum tamen juramentum fidelitatis, antequam ad aetatem pervenerit, praestabit.25 See more concerning this matter 1. Part. Institut. lib. 2. cap. Homage & Fealty.

“be made Knight.”

Be made a Knight; And his tenure of service is called Servitium militare,26 Knights service,27 and therefore if the King create the heire within age, a Duke, a Marquesse, an Earle, a Viscount or a Baron, yet he shall remain in Ward for his body, but if the heire of a Duke, or of any other of the Nobility be made a Knight, he shall be out of Ward for his body. If the heire in Ward be created a Knight of the Garter, a Knight of the Bathe, a Knight Banneret, or a Knight Bachelor, he shall be out of Ward for his body for that he is a Knight, Edition: current; Page: [779] and somewhat more, and the Statute speaketh generally, unlesse a Knight, and therefore within the words and meaning of this Law, and the Soveraigne of Chivalry hath adjudged him able to doe Knights service.

And this word Fiat,28 be made, proveth that Knighthood ought to be by creation making, and cannot be by descent.

m29 But albeit the heir be made a Knight within age yet is he not freed of the value |Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [12] of his marriage, for that was vested before in the King, or other Lord, and the King being Soveraigne of Chivalry hath adjudged him of full age, that is, able to doe Knights service to this intent, to free his body from custody, but neither to barre the King or other Lord of the value of the marriage, no more then if he had attained to his full age of 21. years.

“remain in the keeping of his Lords.”30

This word (remaneat31) implieth that this Statute is to be understood onely, where the heir after he be in Ward is made knight within age, for when the heire apparent is made knight within age in the life of the auncester, and the auncester dieth, his heir within age, he shall be out of Ward both for body and Land, because the Soveraign of Chivalry hath adjudged him of full age, and able to do knights service in the life of his auncester, so as in that case no title of Wardship did ever accrew, and there can be no remanere32 or residue, but of that thing that had his essence or beeing.

Chapter 4

The Keeper of the Land of such an Heir, being within Age, shall not take of the Lands of the Heir, but reasonable Issues, reasonable Customs, andreasonable Services, and that without Destruction and Waste of his men, and his goods. And if We commit the custody of any such Land to the Sheriff, or to any other, which is answerable to Us for the Issues of the same Land, and he make Destruction Edition: current; Page: [780] or Waste of those things that he hath in Custody, We will take of him amends and recompence therefore, and the Land shall be committed to two lawful and discreet men of that Fee, who shall answer unto Us for the Issues of the same Land, or unto him whom we will assign. And if We give or sell to any man the Custody of any such Land, and he therein do make Destruction or Waste, he shall lose the same Custody. And it shall be assigned to two lawful and discreet Men of that Fee; who also in like manner shall be answerable to Us, as afore is said.


A Keeper, some derive the word à cura & sto, quia custos est is cui cura rei stat custodiend’;1 and thereupon sometime he is called Curator, in French he is called a Gardien, so as his name custos doth put him in minde of his office and duty, that is not onely to keep and preserve the Lands and Tenements of the Ward committed to his custody in safety, but also to educate and bring up his ward vertuously, and to advance him in marriage without disparagement. Vide 1. part Institut. Sect. 103. of the cause and end of Wardship; and see the 4 part of the Institut. cap. Court of Wards and Liveries.

“reasonable Issues.”2

Exitus is derived ab exeundo,3 and signifieth the rents and profits issuing out or comming of the Lands or Tenements of the Ward, which must be taken by the Gardien in reasonable manner, and therefore to exitus, rationabiles4 is added, for that nothing that is unreasonable is allowed by Law.5

“reasonable Customs.”

That is, things due by custome or prescription, and appendant or appurtenant to the Lands or Tenements in Ward, as advowsons, commons, waste, straie Edition: current; Page: [781] wreck, and the like; also the reaso-|Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [13]-nable customes, fines, &c. of Tenants in Villenage, or by Copy of Court roll where fines be incertain: for though the customes, duties, fines, or the like be incertain, yet if that which is exacted or demanded be unreasonable, it is against the Common Law, for this word (consuetud’)6 and the divers significations thereof see hereafter cap.30.

“reasonable Services.”

This also, as appeares by Glanvill that wrote in the reigne of Hen. 2. was the Common Law of England, that incertain services and aides ought to be reasonable; for, saith he,7 the Lord may rationabilia auxilia de hominibus suis inde exigere, ita tamen moderate secundum quantitatemfeodorumsuorum&secundum facultates, ne minus gravari inde videantur, vel suum contenementum amittere;8,9 and that which he speaketh there of aids, is tobe appliedtoallincertainservices, customes, fines, or duties.

But it may be demanded, How and by whom shall the said reasonablenesse in the cases aforesaid be tried? This you may reade in the first part of the Institutes, Sect. 69.

“and that without Destruction and Waste of his men, and his goods.”10

For these words, Destruction and Waste, see the first part of the Institutes, Sect. 67. and the Statute of Gloc. cap. 5.

“And if We Commit, &c.”

For this word commiserimus11 vide the first part of the Institutes, Sect. 58. & 531. Here the Committee of the King is taken for him to whom the king Edition: current; Page: [782] committeth the custody of the Land to one or more; by this word commisimus, reserving a Rent, Quamdiu quis alius plus dare voluerit,12 and there the king remain Gardien.

“We will take of him amends and recompence therefore.”13

And this may be upon an office found, or by Writ directed to the Sheriffe to this effect, Quia datum est nobis intelligi, &c.14

“And if We give or sell to any man the Custody, &c.”

In this case the King graunteth, or selleth the very custody itselfe, so as the grauntee or vendee becommeth Guardian in fact: and that this distinction betweene the Committee and Grauntee was by the Common Law, hear what Glanvill saith,15 Si verò Dominus Rex aliquam custodiam alicui commiserit, tune distinguitur utrum ei custodiam pleno jure commiserit ita quod nullum inde reddere computum oportet ad Scaccarium aut aliter: si vero plene ei custodiam commiserit, tunc poterit, &c. negotia sicut sua recte disponere.16 King H. 7. graunted a Ward to the Dutches of Buckingham quamdiu in manibus suis fore contigerit;17 And afterwards the King made a speciall Livery, as by Law he might, to the heir within age, and it was adjudged, as Justice Frowick reported, that the Duches was without remedy; but otherwise it had been if the graunt were durante minore aetate haeredis,18 or, durante minore aetate & quamdiu in manibus nostris, &c.19

But here it may be materially demanded, What if the Committee or Grauntee doth waste, and the King during the minority taketh no amends, what Edition: current; Page: [783] remedy hath the heire after his full age?20 The answer is, That he shall have an action of Waste, and that by order of the Common Law: and then it is further doubted and demanded, What shall the heire then recover, for the Wardship cannot be lost, seeing the heire is of full age, neither by this Statute nor by the Statute of Gloc.21 To this the answer is very observable, that seeing that the Wardship cannot be lost, and the Waste, being to the heirs ditherision, ought not to remain unpunished, that the heire shall recover treble damage, for that penalty is annexed to the action of Waste; and therefore if an action of Waste were given against Tenant in tail apres possibilitie,22 generally the plaintife shall recover treble damages, because they are annexed to this suit. But if the king doe take amends, then the heire at full age shall have no action of Waste.

|Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [14] “he shall lose the same Custody.”23

This is understood of the land, and not of the body for the words be tradatur duobus, &c. qui de exitibus terrae nobis inde respondeant.24

(*)25 Nota, since this statute of Magna Charta divers other statutes against wastes and destructions in the lands of Wards have been made.

At the making of this statute, the King has not any prerogative in the Custodie of the lands of Idiots during the life of the Idiot, for if he had had, this Act would have provided against Wast, &c. committed by the Committee, or assignee of the King to be done in their possessions, as well as in the possessions of Wards, but at this time the gardianship of Idiots &c. was to the Lords and others according to the Course of the Common Law. And Idiots from their nativity were accounted alwayes within age, and therefore the Custodie of them was perpetuall so long as they lived, for that their impotencie was perpetuall. And the Lord of whom the Land was holden, had not a tenant that was able to doe him service. And therefore within the reason of a Custodie Edition: current; Page: [784] of a minor or of an heire within age in Case of Wardship. And this appeareth by Fleta,26 Solent tutores Idiotarum & stultorum cum corporibus eorum perpetuo, quod lictium fuit & provisum, eo quod se ipsos regere non noverint,*27 nam semper judicabantur infra aetatem: vel quia verumq: plures per hujusmodi custodiam ex haeredationes compatiebantur, provisum fuit. & cōmuniter concessum quod Rex corporū & haereditatū hujusmodi idiotarum & stultorum sub perpetuis custodiam obtineret, dum tamen à nativitate fuerint idiotae & stulti; secus autē si tardae a quocunque Domino tenuerint, & ipsos maritaret, & ex omni exhaeredatione salvaret hoc cum adjecto quod domini feodorum & aliis quorum interfuerit ut servitiis, redditibus & custodiis usque ad legitimam aetatem secundum conditionem feodorum, releviis & hujusmodi nihil juris deperiret.28

But then it is demanded, when was this prerogative given to the King?29 Certain it is, that the King had it before the statute of 17. E. 2. de praerogativa Regis,30 for it appeareth in our Bookes, that the King had this prerogative, Anno. 3. E. 2. And before that, it is manifest that the King had it before Britton wrote in the raigne of E. 1. as you may read in his booke.31

And it is as cleare, that when Bracton wrote32 (who wrote about the end of the reigne of Hen. 3. that the King had not then this prerogative.

And therefore it followeth, that this prerogative was given to King Edward the first before that Britton wrote, by some Act of Parliament, which is not now extant. And it appeareth by the Mirror of Justices agreeing with Fleta, Edition: current; Page: [785] that this prerogative was granted by Common assent, vide. lib. 4. Beverleys Case fol. 126.

Chapter 5

The Keeper, so long as he hath the Custody of the Land of such an Heir, shall keep up the Houses, Parks, Warrens, Ponds, Mills, and other things pertaining to the same Land, with the Issues of the said Land; and he shall deliver to the Heir, when he cometh to his full Age, all his Land, stored with ploughs and all other things, at the least as he received it. All these things shall be observed in the Custodies of Archbishopricks, Bishopricks, Abbeys, Priories, Churches, and Dignities vacant, which appertain to Us; except this, that such Custody shall not be sold.

|Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [15] That this was the Common Law appeareth by Glanvile, who saith,1 Restituere autem tenentur custodes haereditates ipsis haeredibus inslauratas & debitis acquietatas juxta exigentiam temporis custodiae & quantitatis haereditatis.2

“All these things shall be observed in the Custodies of Archbishopricks, &c.”

The Custodie of the temporalties of every Arch-Bishop, and Bishop within the realme, and of such Abbeyes, and Priories, as were of the Kings foundation, after the same became voide, belonged to the king during the vacation thereof by his prerogative:3 for as the spiritualties belonged during that time to the Deane and Chapter, de communi jure,4 or to some other Ecclesiascticall person by prescription, or composition, so the temporalties came to the King as founder, and this doth belong to the King, being patronus & protector Ecclesiae,5 in so high a prerogative incident to his Crowne, as no subject can claime the temporalties of an Arch-Bishop, or Bishop, when they fall by grant or prescription.6

Edition: current; Page: [786]

Regula.But as, In omni re nascitur res quae ipsam rem exterminat,7 unlesse it bee timely prevented (as the worme in the wood, or the mothe in the Cloth, and the like) so oftentimes no profession receives a greater blow, then by one of their owne coat: for Ranulph an ecclesiasticall person, and King William Rufus his Chaplain, a man subacto ingenio,8 and profunda nequitia,9 was a factor for the King in making merchandize of Church livings, in as much, as when any Archbishopricke, Bishopricke, or Monastery became void, first he perswaded the King to keepe them voide a long time, and converted the profits thereof sometime by letting, and sometime by sale of the same, whereby the temporalties were exceedingly wasted, and destroyed. Secondly, after a long time no man was preferred to them per traditionem annuli & baculi,10 by livery of season, freely, as the old fashion was, but by bargain, and sale from the King to him, that would give most, by meanes whereof the Church was stuffed with unworthy, and insufficient men, and many men of lively wits, and towardlinesse in learning despairing of preferment turned their studies to other professions. This Ranulph, for serving the Kings turnes, was advanced, first, to be the Kings Chancellour, & after to be Bishop of Duresme, who after his advancement to so high dignities, made them servants to his sacrilegious and simoniacall designes. King Henry the first seeing this mischiefe, and foreseeing the great inconvenience that would follow thereupon, was contented for his owne time to binde his owne hands, to the end the Church now naked and bare might receive some comfort, and have meanes to provide things necessary for their profession, and calling. He thereupon at his Coronation made a Charter to this effect,11 Quia regnum oppressum erat injustis exactionibus, ego in respectu dei & amore quem erga vos omnes habeo, sanctā Dei Ecclesiamimprimis liberam fac’ ita quod nec vendam, nec ad firmam ponam, nec mortuo Archiepiscopo, sive Episcopo vel abbate, aliquid accipiam de Dominio Ecclesiae vel hominibus ejus, donec successor eam ingrediatur, & omnes malas consuetudines, quibus regnum Angliae opprimebatur, inde aufero.12 He committed the said Ranulph Edition: current; Page: [787] then Bishop of Durham to prison for his intolerable misdeeds, and injuries to the Church, where he lived without love, and died without pity, saving of those, that thought it pity, he lived so long.

“Shall not be sold.”

Fleta, ubi supra, saith,13 vendi non debent nec legari:14 Yet the King may commit the temporalties of them during the vacation, as by the statute of 14. Ed. 3. appeareth.

Chapter 6

Heirs shall be married without Disparagement.

This is an ancient maxime of the Common Law: see more hereof in the first part of the Institutes sect. 107. 108. 109.

Chapter 7

|Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [16] A Widow, after the Death of her Husband, incontinent, and without any difficulty, shall have her Marriage and her Inheritance; and shall give nothing for her Dower, her Marriage or her Inheritance, which her Husband or she held the day of the death of her Husband; and she shall tarry in the chief house of her Husband by forty days after the death of her Husband, within which days her Dower shall be assigned her, if it were not assigned her before, or that the house be a Castle. And if she depart from the Castle, then a competent house shall be forthwith provided for her, in the which she may honestly dwell, until her Dower be to her assigned, as aforesaid; and she shall have in the mean time her reasonable Estovers of the Common. And for her Dower shall be assigned unto her the third part of all the Lands of her Husband, which were his during Coverture, except she were endowed of less at the Church-door. No Widow Edition: current; Page: [788] shall be distrained to marry herself: Nevertheless she shall find Surety that she shall not marry without our Licence and Assent, if she hold of Us, nor without the Assent of the Lord, if she hold of another.

It appeareth by Bracton of ancient time,1 that a woman being Heire, sine Dominorum dispositione & assensu, haereditatem habens, maritari non potest, nec etiam in vita antecessorum de jure sine assensu Domini capitalis, quod si olim fecissent, haereditatem amitterent sine spe recuperandi, nisi solum per gratiam: hodie tamen aliam poenam incurrunt, sicut inferius dicetur, & hoc ideo ne cogatur Dominus homagium capere de capitali inimico, vel de alio minime idoneo.2

Also it appeareth by the same Author,3 quod si mulier dotem habens pro voluntate sua alicui nuberet, praeter assensum Warranti sui de dote, olim ex tali causa dotem amitteret, nunc tamen non amittet.4

Item cum semel legitime maritatae fuerint, & postea viduae, iterum non custodientur sub custodia Dominorum, licet teneantur assensum eorum requirere maritandi se, &c.5 And herewith agreeth Glanvile, who wrote before this statute.6

Hereby you may see what had beene used of ancient time in these cases: But at this day widowes are presently after the decease of their husbands without any difficulty to have their marriage (that is, to marrie where they will without any licence, or assent of their Lords) and their inheritance, without any thing to be given to them; but in this branch the King is not included, as hereafter in the end of this Chapter shall appeare.

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“And she shall tarry in the chief house of her Husband by forty days after the death of her Husband.”7

And this is called her Quarentine, and if the Widow be witholden from her Quarentine, she shall have her Writ, De quarentena habenda8 to the Sherife, which reciting this Statute, is in nature of a Commission to him, Quod vocatis coram vobis partibus praedictis, & auditis inde earum rationibus, eidem B.C. Viduae plenam & celerem justitiam inde fieri faciatis juxta tenorē cartae praedictae, ne pro defectu justitiae querela ad nos perveniat iterata.9,10 |Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [17] By force of which Writ, the Sherife may make processe against the defendant, retournable within two or three dayes &c. and may, and ought (if no just cause may be shewed against it) speedily to put her in possession; and the reason why such speed is made, is for that her Quarentine is but for forty dayes.

“A Widow, &c. shall tarry &c.”

Therefore if she marry within the forty dayes, she loseth her Quarentine, for then her Widowhood is past, and she hath provided for her selfe, and the Quarentine is appropriate to her Widowes estate.11

“within which days her Dower shall be assigned her.”12

Here it appeareth how speedily Dower ought to be assigned, to the end the Widow might not be without livelihood.

“after the death of her Husband.”

The day wherein the husband dieth, shall be accounted the first day, so as she shall have but thirty nine after.13

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“or that the house be a Castle.”14

This is intended of a Castle, that is warlike, and maintained for the necessary defence of the Realm, and not for a Castle in name maintained for habitation of the owner, but hereof see more in the first part of the Institutes, Sect. 36. & 242. De aedibus kernelatis.15 Kernellare, or cernellare,16 by some is derived from the French word kerner, or cerner,17 to fortifie, inviron, or inclose round about: And by others, from karnean, or carnean,18 a battlement of a wall; or from karnele, or carnele,19 imbatteled, or having imbattlements; and the truth is, it beareth all these significations in the Lawes of England, and the use of it in Castles and forts was to defend himselfe by the higher place, and to offend the assailants at the lower.

Brittons words be,20 Si le chief mees foit chief del Countee, ou del Barony, ou Castle, &c.21 So as it appeareth by him that she is not to have her Quarentine of that, which is Caput Comitatus, seu Baroniae,22 and with him, agreeth Fleta,23 but Bracton only speaketh de Castro.24 The ancient Law of England had great regard of honour and order.

“then a competent house shall be forthwith provided for her, in the which she may honestly dwell,”25

But this must be of a house, whereof she is Dowable, for she must have her Quarentine of that; whereof she may be endowed.

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“and she shall have in the mean time her reasonable Estovers of the Common:”

Britton saith,26 Que eux eient des issues del intier de les terres lour covenable sustenance, &c.27

Fleta saith,28 Ubi inveniantur ei necessaria honeste de haereditate communi, donec rationabilis dos fuerit ei assignata.29

So as estoverium30 here is taken for sustenance: There is an opinion in our Books,31 that the Widow cannot kill any of the Oxen of the husbands, whiles she remain in the house; But the register saith,32 Quod interim habeant rationabilia estoveria de bonis eorundem maritorum,33 which seemeth to be an exposition of this Branch.

In the Statute intituled, De catallis felonum,34 it is said, Cum ibidem captus coram Justiciariis nostris fuerit convictus de felonia, tunc resid’ catallorum ultra estoverium suum secundum Regni consuetudinem nobis remaneant;35,36 where estovetium signifieth sustenance, or aliment, or nourishment. This word estoverium commeth of the French verb estover, id est, alere, to sustain, or nourish, and this agreeth with the said old Books, and in this sense it is taken in the Statute of Gloc.37 Trover estovers in viver & vesture,38 that is, things that concern the nourishment, or maintenance of man in victu & vestitu,39 wherein is contained meat, |Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [18] drink, garments, and habitation. Alimentorum appellatione venit victus, vestitus & habitatio.40

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When estovers are restrained to woods, it signifieth housebote, hedgebote, and ploughbote.

“And for her Dower shall be assigned unto her the third part of all the Lands of her Husband, &c.”

See for this in the first part of the Institutes, Sect. 37.

“No Widow shall be distrained to marry herself, &c.41

This is to be understood of Widowes Tenants in Dower of Lands holden of the King by Knights service in chiefe, and thereupon she is called the Kings Widow, and if the Kings Widow marry without license, she shall pay a fine of the value of her Dower by one year.

And the reason of this Law is yeelded wherefore they should not marry without the Kings license,42 Ne forte capitalibus inimicis Domini Regis maritentur.43

And old Readers have yeelded this reason, lest they should marry unto strangers, and so the treasure of the Realme might be carried out, and others say that the reason is for that upon the assignement of her Dower she is sworn in the Chancery,44 Que el ne marier sans license, & pur ceo si el fait encont son serement el ferra fine.45

Others say that it is a contempt to marry without the Kings license, and against this Statute, and therefore for this contempt she shall make a fine.

If the Kings Tenant in Capite46 dye seised, his heire female of full age, if she marry without the Kings license, she shall pay no fine, for she is no Widow, and the Words be nulla vidua distringatur, &c.47,48

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If the Queen being the Widow of a King be endowed, and marry without the Kings license, because she is endowed of the seison of the King himselfe, she is out of this Statute: But at the Parliament holden in anno 6.H.6.49 it is enacted by the King, the Lords temporall, and the Commons, that no man should contract with, or marry himselfe to any Queen of England, without the special license or assent of the King, on pain to lose all his goods, and lands; to which Act the Bishops, and other Lords Spirituall gave their consent, as farre forth, as the same swerved not from the Law of God, andof the Church, and so as the same imported no deadly sin.

“If she hold of another.50

This is to be understood, where such a license of marriage in case of a common person, was due by custome, prescription, or speciall tenure, the words being si de alio tenuerit; 51 and this exposition is approved by constant and continuall use and experience, Et optimus interpres legum consuetudo.52

Chapter 8

We, or our Bailiffs, shall not seize any Land or Rent for any Debt, as long as the present Goods and Chattels of the Debtor do suffice to pay the Debt, and the Debtor himself be ready to satisfy therefore. Neither shall the Pledges of the Debtor be distrained, as long as the principal Debtor is sufficient for the payment of the Debt; and if the principal Debtor fail in payment of the Debt, having nothing wherewith to pay, or will not pay where he is able, the Pledges shall answer for the Debt; and if they will, they shall have the Lands and Rents of the Debtor, until they be satisfied of that which they before paid for him, except that the Debtor can shew himself to be acquitted against the said Sureties.1

|Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [19] “We.”

These words being spoken in the politique capacity doe extend to the successors, for in judgement of Law the King in his politique capacity dieth not.

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“or our Bailiffs.”2

In this place the Sheriffe and his underbailiffes are intended and meant, and to this day the Sheriffe useth this in his Returns, Infra balivam meam,3 for Infra comitatum, &c.4

“shall not seize any Land or Rent for any Debt, as long as the present Goods and Chattels of the Debtor, do suffice to pay the Debt,”5

By order of the Common Law, the King for his debt had execution of the body, lands, and goods of the debtor: This is an act of grace, and restraineth the power that the King before had.


For the severall kinde of rents, see the first part of the Institutes; Lit. lib. 2. cap. 12. whereunto you may adde, 1. Redditus assisus, or redditus assisae: vulgarly rents of Assise are the certain rents of the Freeholders, and ancient Copiholders, because they be assised, and certain, and doth distinguish the same from redditus mobiles, farm rents for life, years, or at will, which are variable and incertain. 2. Redditus albi, White rents, blanch Farmes, or rents, vulgarly and commonly called quitrents; they are called white rents, because they were paid in silver, to distinguish them from work-dayes, rent cummin, rent corn, &c. And again these are called, 3. Redditus nigri, black maile, that is, black rents, to distinguish them from white rents; see Rot. claus. 12. Hen. 3. m. 12. Rex concessit hominibus de Andevor maneria de M.F.A. &c. Reddendo per annum ad Scaccar̄ Regis Lxxx. li. blanc, de Antiqua firma.6 4. Redditus resoluti be rents Edition: current; Page: [795] issuing out of the mannors, &c. to other Lords, &c. Feodi firma, see Farm, for this kinde of rent, vide infra Gloc. cap. 8.

After the Statute of 33. Hen. 8. cap. 39. was made for levying of the Kings debts the usuall processe to the Sheriffe at this day, is, Quod diligenter per sacramentum proborum & legalium hominum de baliva tua, &c. inquiras quae & cujusmodi bona & catalla, & cujus precii idem (debitor) habuit in dicta baliva tua,&c. Et ea omnia capias in manus nostras, ad valentiam debiti praedict’, & inde fieri fac’debitum praedict’, &c. Et si forte bona & catalla praedict’ (debitoris) ad solutionem debiti praedict’ non sufficerent, tunc non omittas propter aliquam libertatem, quin eam ingrediaris, & per sacramentum praefat̄ proborum, & legalium hominum diligenter inquiras, quas terras, & quae tenementa, & cujus annui valoris, idem (debitor) habuit, seu seisitus fuit in dicta baliva tua, &c. Et ea omnia & singula in quorumcunque manibus jam existunt, extendi fac’, & in manus nostras capias, &c. Et capias praedict’ debitorem, ita quod habeas corpus praedict’ (debitoris) ad satisfac’ nobis de debito praedict’.7

Whereby it appeareth, that if the goods and chattels of the Kings Debtor be sufficient, and so can be made to appeare to the Sheriffe, whereupon he may levy the Kings debt, then ought not the Sheriffe to extend the Lands, and Tenements of the Debtor, or of his heire, or of any Purchaser, or terre Tenant.8 To conclude this point with the Authority of old and Auncient Ockham.

|Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [20] Terrae & tenementa debitoris regis, ad quascunq; manus quocunq; titulo devenerunt, post debitum Regis inceptum Regi tenentur, si non aliunde satisfacere possit.9,10

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“Neither shall the Pledges of the Debtor.”

As pledges, or sureties to keepe the peace, pledges for a fine to the King upon a contempt, &c. are within this branch, but otherwise it is of mainperners, and this appeareth by Glanvile, to be the Common Law before the making of this act.11

And the author of the Mirror saith, ceux sont pleges queux plevisher aut’ chose que corps de home, car ceux ne sont propment pledges, mes sont main-perners pur ceo queils supposont plevishables sont liver a ceux per baille Corps pur Corps.12

“and if the principal Debtor fail in the payment, &c. or will not pay where he is able.”

Some have thought that this branch hath taken away the next precedent, concerning pledges, but both doe stand well together, for reddere noluerit cum possit13 must be understood, when the principall is able, and yet his ability cannot bee made to appeare, being in money, treasure or the like, or in debts owing to him, which he conceales, and will not reddere14 so as de non apparentibus, & non existentibus eadem est lex,15 and in that case plegii de debito respondeant,16 and yet the former branch concerning pledges doth stand, where the pledges can make it appeare to the Sheriffe, that he may levie the Kings debt: see in the statute of articuli super cartas.17 cap. 11.

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“and if they will they shall have the Lands and Rents of the Debtor, &c.”

a18 Upon these words some have said that the writ de plegiis acquietandis19 is grounded, and seeing no mention is made in this Statute of any deed, the pledges shall have that Writ without any deed. And if the pledges have any deed, covenant, or other assurance for their indemnitie, then may they take their remedie at the Common Law;b20 but it appeareth by Glanvile that this was the Common Law, for he saith, Soluto vero eo quod debetur ab ipsis plegiis, recuperare inde poterint ad principalem debitorem, si postea habuerit unde eis satisfacere possit per principale placitum,21 and set downe thec22 Writ de plegiis acquietandis.

Note here is a Chapter omitted, viz. nullum scutagium, vel auxilium ponam in regno nostro nisi p commune conciliū regni nostri,23 which clause was in the Charter, anno 17. Regis Johannis, and was omitted in the exemplification of this great Charter, by Ed. I. vide Cap. 30.

Chapter 9

The City of London shall have all the old Liberties and Customs which it hath been used to have. Moreover, We will and grant, that all other Cities, Boroughs, Towns, and the Barons of the Five Ports, and all other Ports, shall have all their Liberties and free Customs.

d1 This Chapter is excellently interpreted by an ancient Author, who saith, In pointe que demaunde, que le Citie de Londres eit fes auncient franchises, & fes frank Customes, est interpretable in cest maner, que les Citizens eient lour fraunchises, Edition: current; Page: [798] dont ils font inherit per loyall title, de dones, & confirmements des royes, & les queux ilz ne ont forsfeits per nul abusion, & que ilz eient lour franchises, & customes, que sont sufferable per droit, & nient repugnant al Ley: Et le interpretation que est dit de Londres soit intendu de les cinque ports, & des autres lieus;2 And this interpretation agreeth with divers of our later Books.3

It is a maxime in Law, that a man cannot claim any thing by custome or pre-|Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [21]-scription against a Statute, unlesse the custome, or prescription be saved by another Statute; For example: They of London claim by custome, to give lands without license to mortmain, because this custome is saved, and preserved, not onely by this Chapter of Magna Charta, but by divers other Statutes, & sic de caeteris.4 See more in particular concerning London, in the fourth part of the Institutes, Cap. of the Courts of the City of London.

Chapter 10

No Man shall be distrained to do more Service for a Knight’s Fee, nor any Frehold, than therefore is due.1

That this was the auncient Law of England, appeareth by Glanvill,2 and also that the Writ of Ne injuste vexes3 was not grounded upon this Act appeareth also by him, for he saith, Et alia quaedam placita, veluti, si quis conqueratur se curiae de Domino suo, quod consuetudines, & indebita servitia, vel plus servitii exigit ab eo, quā inde facere debeat:4 And setteth down the form of the writ Edition: current; Page: [799] of Ne injuste vexes; Rex N. salutem. Prohibeo tibi ne injuste vexes, vel vexari permittas H. de libero tenemento suo, quod tenet de te in tali villa, nec inde ab eo exigas, aut exigi permittas consuetudines vel servitia, quae tibi inde facere non debet, &c.5

And another ancient Author which wrote of the ancient Laws long before this Statute, maketh mention of the Writ of Ne injuste vexes.6

Hereby it appeareth how they are deceived, that hold that this Writ is grounded upon this Act, and how necessary the reading of ancient Authors is, to give the ancient Common Law his right, as hereby it appeareth.7

The words of the Statute be, nullus distringatur,8 therefore if the Lord incroach more Rent of the same nature, by the voluntary payment of the Tenant, be shall not avoid this incroachment in an avowry but in an assise cessavit,9 or ne injuste vexes, the Tenant shall avoyd the incroachment; This rule holdeth not in case of a successor, or of the issue in taile, for they shall avoyd it in an avowry, but if the service incroached be of another nature, the Tenant shall avoyd that season in an avowry, for majus servitium10 implieth a greater exaction of the same nature: if the incroachment of the same nature be gotten by cohertion of distresse, there the Tenant shall avoyd that season in an avowry, for nullus distringatur ad faciendum majus servitium.11 But if an incroachment be made upon a Tenant in tail, or Tenant for life, or any other, who cannot maintain a Writ of ne injuste vexes, nor a contra formam collationis,12 nor other remedy, he shall have an action upon this Statute;13 for this Statute intendeth to relieve those, which had no remedy by the Common Law.

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Chapter 11

Common Pleas shall not follow our Court, but shall be holden in some place certain.1

Before this Statute, Common pleas might have been holden in the Kings Bench, and all originall Writs retournable into the same Bench: And because the Court was holden Coram Rege,2 and followed the Kings Court, and removable at the Kings will, the Retourns were Ubicunque fuerimus, &c.3 whereupon |Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [22] many discontinuances ensued, and great trouble of jurors, charges of parties, and delay of Justice, for these causes this Statute was made.

“Common Pleas.”

Here it is to be understood, a division of Pleas, for Placita4 are divided in Placita Coronae,5 and Communia placita:6 Placita Coronae are otherwise, and aptly called criminalia,7 or mortalia,8 and placita communia are aptly called civilia:9 Placita Coronae are divided into high Treason, misprision of Treason, petit Treason, Felony, &c. and to their accessories,10 so called, because they are contra coronam & dignitatem;11 and of these the Court of Common pleas cannot hold plea; of these you may reade at large in the third part of the Institutes. Common or civill pleas are divided into reall, personall, and mixt.

They are not called Placita Coronae, as some have said, because the King jure Coronae12 shall have the suite,13 and Common pleas, because they be held by common persons. For a plea of the Crown may be holden between common Edition: current; Page: [801] persons, as an appeale of murder, robbery, rape, felony, mayhem, &c. and the King may be party to a common plea, as to a Quare impedit,14 and the like.

Now as out of the old fields must come the new corne, so our old books do excellently expound, and expresse this matter, as the Law is holden at this day, therefore Glanvill saith,15 Placitorum aliud est criminale, aliud civile;16 where Placitum criminale, is Placitum Coronae; and Placitum civile,17 placitum commune, named in this Statute.

And Bracton that lived when this Statute was made, saith,18 Sciendum quod omnium actionum sive placitorum, (ut inde utatur aequivoce) haec est prima divisio, quod quaedam sunt in rem, quaedam in personam, & quaedam mixtae; Item earū quae sunt in personam, alia criminalia, & alia civilia, secundum quod descendunt ex maleficiis vel contractibus; Item criminalium, alia major, alia minor, alia maxima, secundum criminum quantitatem.19

Fleta saith,20 Personalium injuriarum quaedam sunt criminales, & quaedam civiles; criminalium quaedam sententialiter mortem inducunt, quaedam vero minime.21

Britton calleth them pleas de la Corone,22 & Common pleas, and the Court taketh his name of the Common pleas.23

To treat of the jurisdiction of this Court, doth belong to another part of the Institutes, but a word or two of the Antiquity of the Court of Common pleas, which is the lock and the key of the Common Law.

Glanvill saith,24 Placita in superioribus, &c. sicut & alia quaelibet placita Edition: current; Page: [802] civilia, &c. solet autem id fieri corã Justiciariis Domini Regisin Banco residentibus, &c.25 And in another place, Coram Justic’ in Banco sedentibus.26

Bracton in divers places cals the Justices of the Court of Common pleas,27 as Glanvill did, Justiciarii in Banco residentes,28 so called for that the Retourns in the Kings Bench, are Coram Rege ubicunque fuerimus in Anglia,29 as hath been said, because in ancient time it was, as hath been said, removable, and followed the Kings Court.

And therefore all Writs retournable, Coram Justiciariis nostris apud Westm.30 are retournable before the Judges of the Common Pleas, and all Write retournable, Coram nobis ubicunque tunc fuerimus in Anglia,31 are retournable into the Kings Bench.32

Britton speaking of the Court of Common Pleas, saith,33 Ouster ceo voilloms que Justices demurgent continualment à Westm. ou ailours, ou nous voudrous ordinaire a pleader Common pleas &c.34

Fleta saith,35 Habet & (Rex) curiam suam & justiciarios suos residentes, qui recordum habent in hiis, quae coram eis fuer’placitata, & qui potestatem habent de omnibus placitis, & actionibus realibus, personalibus, & mixtis &c.36

It is manifest that this Court began not after the making of this Act, as some have thought, for in the next Chapter,37 and divers others of this very great Charter mention is made De Justiciariis nostris de Banco,38 which all men know to be the Justices of the Court of Common pleas, commonly called the Edition: current; Page: [803] Common |Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [23] Bench, or the Bench, and Doct. and Stud. saith, that it is a Court created by Custome.

The Abbot of B. claimed conusans of plea in Writs of assise, &c.39 in the times of King Etheldred, and Edward the Confessor, and before that time, time out of minde, and pleaded a Charter of confirmation of King Henry the first to his predecessor, and a graunt, &c. so that the Justices of the one Bench, or of the other should not intermeddle.

It appeareth by our Books that the Court of Common pleas was in the reign of Henry the first.40

That there was a Court of Common pleas in anno. 1. H. 3.41 which was before this Act; Martinus de Pateshull,42 was by Letters Patents constituted chiefe Justice of the Court of Common pleas in the first yeare of H. 3.

It is resolved by all the Judges in the Exchequer Chamber,42 that all the Courts, viz. the Kings Bench, the Common Place, the Exchequer, and the Chancery, are the Kings Courts, and have been time out of memory, Issint que home ne poet scaver que est plus auncient.43

“shall not follow our Court.”

Divers speciall cases are out of this Statute.

1. The King may sue any action for any Common plea in the Kings Bench, for this generall act doth not extend to the King.44

452. If any man be in custodia Mareschalli46 of the Kings Bench, any other may have an action of Debt, Covenant, or the like personall action by Bill in the Kings Bench, because he that is in custodia Mareschalli ought to have the priviledge of that Court, and this Act taketh not away the priviledge any Court, because if he should be used in any other Court, he should not in Edition: current; Page: [804] respect of his priviledge answer there, and so it is of any officers, or ministers of that Court: The like Law is of the Court of Chancery, and Exchequer.

3. Any action that is Quare vi & armis,47 where the King is to have a fine, many be purchased out of the Chancery, retournable into the Kings Bench, as ejectione firmae trn̄s, vi & armis,48 forcible entry, and the like.

4. And a replevin49 may be removed into the Kings Bench, because the King is to have a fine, and so it is in an assise brought in the County where the Kings Bench is.50

5. Albeit originally the Kings Bench be restrained by this Act to hold plea of any real action, &c. yet by a mean they may. As if a writ in a real action be by judgment abated in the Court of Common pleas, if this judgement in a Writ of Error be reversed in the Kings Bench, and the Writ adjudged good, they shall proceed upon that Writ in the Kings Bench, as the Judges of the Court of Common pleas should have done, which they doe in the default of others, for necessity, lest any party that hath right should be without remedy, or that there should be a failer of Justice, and therefore Statutes are alwayes so to be expounded, that there should be no failer of Justice, but rather than that should fall out, that case (by construction) should be excepted out of the Statute, whether the Statute be in the negative, or affirmative.51

6. In a redisseisin52 or the like.

“our Court.”

Are words collective, and not onley extend to the Kings Bench, but into the Court of Eschequer, Vide Artic. super Cart. Cap. 4.53

When judgement is given before the Sheriffe, and the Tenant hath nogoods, &c. in that County, he may have a Certiorare54 to remove the Record into the Kings Bench, and there have execution, for that is not Placitum.55 See Edition: current; Page: [805] more hereof in the fourth part of the Institutes, Cap. Of the Court of Eschequer.

Chapter 12

|Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [24] Assises of Novel Disseisin and of Mortdauncestor shall not be taken but in the Shires, and after this manner: If We be out of this Realm, our Chief Justicers shall send our Justicers through every County once in the year; which with the Knights of the Shires shall take the said Assises in those Counties; and those things that at the coming of our foresaid Justicers being sent to take those Assises in the Counties, cannot be determined, shall be ended by them in some other place in their Circuit; and those things, which for difficulty of some Articles cannot be determined by them, shall be referred to our Justices of the Bench, and there shall be ended.

Before the making of this Statute, the Writs of assise of Novel disseisin,1 and Mordanc’2 were retournable, either coram Rege,3 or into the Court of Common Pleas, and to be taken there, and this appeareth by Glanvill,4 Coram me, vel coram Justiciariis meis.5 But since this Statute, these Writs are retournable, Coram Justiciariis nostris ad assisas, cum in partes illas venerint;6 by force of these words, Mittent Justiciarios nostros per unumquemque comitat̃ nostrum semel in anno, qui cum militibus eorundem comitatuum capiant in comitat̃ illis assisas prædict’.7

“but in the Shires.”8

This tendes greatly to the ease of the Jurors, and for saving of charges of the parties, and of time, so as they might follow their vocations, and proper businesse, and the rather, for that the Assise of Novel disseisin, was frequens & Edition: current; Page: [806] festinum remedium9 in those dayes, and so was the assise of Mordanc’ also: It is a great benefit to the subject to have justice administred onto him at home in his owne Country.

For an assise of Novel disseisin, and assise of Mordanc’ see the first part of the Institutes.10

And where Bracton saith,11 Succurritur ei, (1. disseisito) per recognitionem assisæ novæ disseisinæ multis vigiliis excogitatam, & inventam recuperandæ possessionis gratia, quam disseisitus injuste amisit, & sine judicio, ut per summariam cognitionem absq; magna juris solemnitate quasi per compendium, negotium terminetur.12 See the Custumier de Normand’, (composed, as hath been said, in 14.H.3.) sect. 91. & 93. of the Assise of Novel disseisin, which being invented and framed in England, as Bracton and others have testfied, must of necessity be transported into Normandy.13

But where we yeeld to Bracton, that the Assise of Novel disseisin was so invented, so he must yeeld to us, that it was a very auncient invention, for Glanvill maketh mention thereof, and of the Assise of Mordaunc’, as hath been said, and by the Mirror also the antiquity of Assise De novel desseisin doth appeare, who saith, that this writ of Assise of Novel disseisin, was ordained in the time of Ranulph de Glanvill.14

But the case of 26. Assise before touched, doth prove that the Writs of Assise are of farre greater antiquity, for there it appeareth that in an Assise of Novel disseisin, claimed to have Conusans of Plea, and Writs of Assise, and other originall Writs out of the Kings Courts by prescription time out of minde of man, |Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [25] in the times of S. Edmond, and S. Edward the Confessor, Kings of this Realme before the Conquest, and shewed divers allowances thereof: but true it is, as the ancient Authors affirme, that a new forme of Writs of Assise, for the more speedy recovery of possession, which werecalled Festinaremedia,15 Edition: current; Page: [807] was invented in England since the Conquest, & were called Brevia de assisa novæ disseisinæ;16 which Writs so altered continue so untill this day, and according to the alteration is cited in the Custumier cap. 93. fol. 107. b.

If an assise be taken in proprio comitatu,17 and the tenant pleade, and after the assise is discontinued by the non venu18 of the Justices, this Act extends to the Assise, but not to a reattachment thereupon, for that the Assise was first arrained and examined in the proper County, neither doth this Act extend to a Writ of attaint, brought upon the verdict of the recognitors of the Assise:19 And herewith agreeth Britton,20 who saith, Et tout conteine la grand Chie des franchises, que ascuns assises soient prises in Counties, pur ceo ne intent nul que certifications, & attaints auter foitz estre pledes, &c.21

And Bracton saith,22 Et si ad hoc se habeat communis libertas, quod assisæ extra comitatum capi non debeant, non sequitur quod propter hoc remaneant juratæ in com̄ capiendæ; aliud enim habet privilegium assisa, & aliud jurata.23

An assise is brought in the Kings bench,24 then being in the County of Suff. (as it may be, as hath been said) of lands lying in that County, the tenant plead in barre, the pl’ reply and pray the Assise, the Kings bench is removed to Westm. and there the pl’ prayed the Assise, this Statute is, that the Asisse shall not be taken but in the County, and now the Kings bench is in another County, and the originall cannot goe out of this place, for when a Record is once in this Court, here it must remaine, wherefore by th’ advise of all the Judges, the Assise was awarded at large, quia nihil dicit,25 and a Nisi prius26 granted in the County of Suff. that there might the Assise be taken. A case Edition: current; Page: [808] worthy of observation, how by this exposition both the parties sute was preserved, and the purvien of this statute observed.

Yet in some case notwithstanding this negative Statute, the asisse should not have been taken in his proper County.27 And therefore if a man be disseised of a Commote or Lordship Marcher in Wales, holden of the King in Capite,28 as for example of Gowre, the Writ of assise should have been directed to the Sherife of Gloc. within the Realme of England, and albeit the land of Gowre was out of the power of the Sherife of Gloc. being out of his County within the dominion of Wales, and this Statute saith that the assise shall not be taken but in his proper County, yet was the assise taken in the County of Gloc. and Judgement thereupon given and affirmed in a Writ of error: and the reason is notable, for the Lord Marcher though he had jura Regalia,29 yet could not he doe justice in his owne case, and if he should not have remedy in this case by the Kings writ out of the Chauncery in England, he should not have right and no remedy by Law given for the wrong done unto him, which the Law will not suffer, and therefore this case of necessity is by construction excepted out of the Statute. And it was well said in an old booke,30 Quamvis prohibetur quod communia placita non sequantur curiam nostram, non sequitur propter hoc, quin aliqua placita singularia sequantur Dominum Regem,31 and the like in this negative Statute.

Hereby it appeareth (that I may observe it once for all) that the best expositors of this and all other Statutes are our bookes and use or experience.

More shall be said hereof in the exposition of the Statute of W. 2.

“of Mortdauncestor.

See the first part of the Institutes, sect. 234. Custumier de Norm. cap. 98. fol. 115.

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“If We be out of this Realm, our Chief Justicers.”

This Capitalis Justitiarius32 (when the King is extra Regnum, out of the Realme) is well described by Ockham, Rege extra Regnum agente, br̄ia dirigebantur sub nomine præsidentis Justitiarii & testimonio ejusdem.33 This is he that |Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [26] is constituted by letters patents when the King is out of the Kingdome, to be custos sive gardianus Regni,34 keeper of the Kingdome, and locum tenens Regis,35 and for his time is Prorex,36 such as was Edward Duke of Cornewall 13. E. 3. Lionell Duke of Clarence 21. E. 3. And the teste to all originall Writs, were teste Lionello filio nostro charissimo custode Angliae &c.37 John Duke of Bedford 5. H. 5. Richard Duke of Warwick 3. E. 4. and many others:38 before whom as keepers of the Kingdome, Parliaments have been holden, and as hath been said, the teste39 of originall Writs are under the name of the Keeper, which no officer can doe, when the King is within the Realme. In 8. H. 5. a great question arose whether if the Kings Lieutenant, or Keeper of his Kingdome under his teste, doth summon a Parliament, the King being beyond sea, andinthemeane time the King returne into England, whether the Parliament so summoned might proceed: it was doubted that in praesentia majoris cessaret potestas minoris,40 and therefore it was enacted that the Parliament should proceed, and not be dissolved by the Kings returne.41 Now that this Statute is to be intended of such a Lieutenant or keeper of the Kingdome, it is proved by this Act it selfe, Capitales Justitiarii nostri mittent Justitiarios nostros.42 that is, they shall name and send Justices by authority under the great seale under their owne teste; which none can doe but the King himselfe if he be present, or his Lieutenant, or the keeper or guardian of his Kingdome, if he be, as this Act Edition: current; Page: [810] speaketh, extra Regnum:43 and this exposition is made ex verbis & visceribus Actus.44 But then it is demanded, whether this locum tenens Regis, seu custos Regni,45 was called capitalis Justitiarius before the making of this act, and this very name you shall read in Glanvile, who saith Praeterea sciendum, quod secundum consuetudines Regni, nemo tenetur respondere in Curia Domini sui de aliquo libero tenemento suo sine praecepto domini Regis, vel ejus Capitalis Justitiarii,46 where Capitalis Justitiarius is taken for Custos Regni.47

It is to be observed, that before the raigne of King Ed. 1. the Kings Chiefe Justice was some time called summus Justitiarius,48 sometime praesidens Justitiarius,49 and sometimes Capitalis Justitiarius. In anno primo E. 1. his chiefe Justice was called Capitalis Justitiarius ad placita coram Rege tenenda,50 and so ever since; and this chiefe Justice is created by Writ, and all the rest of the Justices of either bench, by letters patents.51

In Glanviles time,52 and before, the Kings Justices were called Justiciae, the returnes of Writs being coram Justiciis meis,53 so as the Kings Justices were antiently called Justitiae, for that they ought not to be only Justi in the concrete, but ipsa Justitia,54 in the abstract. Since that time, as by this great Charter in many places it appeareth, they are called Justitiarii à Justitia.55 The honourable manner of the creation of these Justices you may read in Fortescue.56

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“in some other place in their Circuit.”

This is taken largely and beneficially, for they may not only make adjournement before the same Justices in their Circuite, but also to Westm. or to Serjeants Inne, or any other place out of their Circuite, by the equity of this Statute, and according as it had been alwayes used:57 for constant allowance in many cases doth make Law.

a The Statute speaking only of an adjournment in Assise of novell disseisin, &c.58 and yet a certificate of an Assise is within this Statute.

b Regula.b Sed rerum progressus ostendunt multa, quae initio praevideri non possunt.59

c60 Time found out, that because the justices of Assise came not but once in the yeare, and that any adjournment could not have beene made by this Act, unles the jurors had given a verdict, for this Act saith propter difficultatem aliquorum articulorum,61 and not upon demurrer, doubtfull plea, Estoppel, &c.*62 or for preservation of the Kings peace, and no provision was made by this Act, if the ten in the assise of Mordaunc. had made a foreine vowcher, or pleaded a foreine plea: all these are holden by the Statute of W. 2. cap. 30 as shall appeare when we come thereunto.

Chapter 13

|Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [27] Assises of Darrein Presentment1 shall be alway taken before our Justices of the Bench, and there shall be determined.

It appeareth by Glanvil,2 that before this Statute the Writ of Darrein presentment was retornable coram me vel Justic. meis.3 And the reason of this Act was for expedition, for doubt of the laps.

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By the Statute of W. 2. it is provided, that justices of Nisi prius4 may give judgement in an assise of Darrein presentment,5 and Quare impedit.6

Chapter 14

A Freeman shall not be amerced for a small Fault, but after the manner of the Fault, and for a great Fault, after the greatness thereof, saving to him his Contenement; and a Merchant likewise, saving to him his Merchandise; and any other’s Villein than ours shall be likewise amerced, saving his Wainage, if he fall into our mercy. And none of the said Amercements shall be assessed but by the oath of honest and lawful Men of the Vicinage. Earls and Barons shall not be amerced but by their Peers, and after the manner of their Offence. No Man of the Church shall be amerced after the quantity of his Spiritual Benefice, but after his Lay Tenement, and after the quantity of his Offence.

“A Freeman.”

A free man hath here a speciall understanding, and is taken for him, qui tenet libere,1 for a free-holder, as it is taken in the venire fac.2 Where duodecim liberos, &c.3 homines are taken for free-holders, and this appeareth by this Act which saith, salvo contenemento suo,4 whereof more shall be said in this Chapter. The words of this Act being liber homo, it extendeth as well to sole Corporations, as Bishops &c. as to lay men, but not to Corporations aggregate of many, as Major and Commonalty, and the like, for they cannot be comprehendedunder these words liber homo, &c.5

“shall not be amerced.”

This Act extends to amerciaments and not to fines imposed by any Court of Justice: what amerciaments be, and whereof this word Amerciament cometh, Edition: current; Page: [813] see the 8. book of my Reports, see also there, that this Statute is in some cases of amerciaments, to be intended of private men, and not of amerciaments of officers, or ministers of Justice, so as liber homo, is not intended of officers, or ministers of Justice.6 And how, and in what cases the afferment shall be, you shall also read there, together also with the ancient Authors, and many other authorities of Law, concerning these matters.7

It appeareth by Glanvile8 that this Act was made in affirmance of the com-|Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [28]mon Law, as hereafter shall appeare, but yet the Writ de moderatamisericordia,9 is grounded upon this Statute, for it reciteth the Statute and giveth remedy to the partie that is excessively americied,

“saving to him his Contenement.”

First for the word, you shall read it in Glanvile,10 Est autem misericordia Domini Regis, qua quis per juramentum legalium hominum de viceneto eatenus amerciandus est, ne quid de suo honorabili contenemento amittet.11

And Bracton. Salvo contenemento suo.12,13

Fleta, continentia.14,15

2. For the signification, Contenement signifieth his countenance, which he hath, together with, and by reason of his free-hold, and therefore is called contenement, or continence and in this sense doth the Statute of 1. E. 3.16 and old Nat. Brev. use it, where countenance is used for contenement: the armor of a Souldior is his countenance, the books of a Scholler his countenance, and the like.

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“and a Merchant likewise, saving to him his Merchandise;”

For trade and traffique is the livelihood of a Merchant, and the life of the Commonwealth, wherein the King and every subject hath interest, for the Merchant is the good bayliffe of the Realme to export and vent the native commodities of the Realme, and to import and bring in the necessary commodities for the defence and benefit of the Realme.

“and any other’s Villein than ours shall be in likewise amerced, saving his Wainage.”17

Here Villanus18 is taken for one that is a bondman, nativus de sanguine19 or servus.20

A Villein is free to sue, and to be sued, by and against all men, saving his Lord.

“saving his Wainage.”

Wainagium, is the contenement or countenance of the Villen, and cometh of the Saxon word Wagna, which signifieth a Cart or Waine, wherewith he was to doe Villein service, as to carry the dung of the Lord out of the scite of the Mannor unto the Lords land, and casting it upon the same, and the like, and it was great reason to save his wainage, for otherwise the miserable creature, was to carry it on his back, it is said here Wainagio suo,21 but yet the Lord may take it at his pleasure.22

But hereby it appeareth, that albeit the Law of England, is a Law of mercy, yet is it a Law, which is now turned into a shadow, for where by the wisdome of the Law, these amerciaments were instituted to deterre both demaundants and plaintiffs from unjust suits, and tenants, and defendants from unjust defences, which was the cause in ancient times of fewer suits, but now we have Edition: current; Page: [815] but a shadow of it. Habemus quidem fenatus-consultum, sed in tabulis reconditum, & tanquam gladium in vagina repositum.23,24

“Earls and Barons shall not be amerced but by their peers, &c.”25

Although, this statute be in the negative, yet long usage hath prevailed against it, for the amerciament of the Nobility is reduced to a certainty, viz. a Duke 10 l. an Earle 5 l. a Bishop, who hath a Baronie 5 l. &c. in the Mirror it is said that the amerciament of an Earle was an C l., and of a Baron an C. marks.

It is said that a Bishop shall be amercied for an escape 100 l. A Bayler shall be amercied for a negligent escape of a Felon attaint 100 l. and of a Felon indited only 5 l.

If a Noble man and a Common person joyne in an action, and become non-sute, they shall be severally amercied: viz. the Noble man at C s. and the Common person according to the Statute, therefore when a Noble man is plaintiffe, it is pollicy rather to discontinue the action, then to be non-suite.

“by their Peers.”

By his peeres, that is, by his equalls.

|Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [29] The generall division of persons by the law of England, is either one that is noble, and in respect of his nobility of the Lords house of Parliament, or one of the Commons of the Realme, and in respect thereof, of the house of Commons in Parliament,26 and as there be diverse degrees of Nobility, as Dukes, Marquesses, Earles, Viscounts and Barons, and yet all of them are comprehended within this word, Pares, so of the Commons of the Realme, there be Knights, Esquires, Gentlemen, Citizens, Yeomen, and Burgesses of severall degrees, and yet all of them of the Commons of the Realme, and as every of the Nobles is one a Peer to another, though he be of a severall degree, so is it of the Commons, and as it hath been said of Men, so doth it hold of Noble Women, either by birth, or by mariage, but see hereof Cap. 29.

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Bracton saith,27 Comites vero vel Barones, non sunt amerciandi, nisi per Pares suos, & secundum modum delicti, & hoc per Barones de Scaccario, vel coram ipso Rege. Nulla Ecclesiastica persona amercietur secundum quantitatem beneficii sui Ecclesiastici, sed secundum Laicum tenent-suum.28

“Man of the Church.”

For Ecclesiasticall persons, and their diversities, and degrees, see the first part of the Institutes, ubi sup.


Benefice. Beneficium is a large word, and is taken for any Ecclesiasticall promotion or Spirituall living whatsoever.

Here appeareth a priviledge of the Church, that if an Ecclesiasticall person be amercied (though amerciaments belong to the King) yet he shall not be amercied in respect of his Ecclesiasticall promotion, or benefice, but in respect of his lay fee, and according to the quantity of his fault, which is to be afferred: and Bracton setteth downe the oath of the afferers of amerciaments, & ad hoc fideliter faciend. affidabunt amerciatores, quod neminem gravabunt per odium, nec alicui deferent propter amorem, & quod celabunt ea quae audierunt.29

Chapter 15

No Town nor Freeman shall be distrained to make Bridges nor Banks, but such as of old time and of right have been accustomed to make them in the time of King Henry our Grandfather.

Here it is to be observed, that in the raigne of King John, and of his elder brother King Richard, which were troublesome and irregular times, diverse Edition: current; Page: [817] oppressions, exactions, and injuries, were incroached upon the Subject in these Kings names, for making of Bulwarks, Fortresses, Bridges, and Bankes, contrary to Law and right.

But the raigne of King Henry the second is commended for three things, first, that his privy Counsell were wise, and expert in the Lawes of the Realme. Secondly, that he was a great defender and maintainer of the rights of his Crowne, and of the Lawes of his Realme. Thirdly, that he had learned and upright Judges, who executed Justice according to his Lawes. Therefore for his great and never dying honour, this and many other Acts made in the raigne of Hen. 3. doe referre to his raigne, that matters should be put in use, as they were of right accustomed in his time, so as this Chapter is a declaration of the common Law, and so in the raignes of Hen. 4. and Hen. 5. the Parliaments referre to the raigne of King Edw. 1. who was a Prince of great fortitude, wisedome and justice.1

And diverse Statutes referre to King Edward the third who was a noble, wise, and warlike King, in whose raigne, the Lawes did principally flourish.

|Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [30] “Banks.”

Is here taken for Ripa, which is extrema & eminentior terrae ora, quam fluvius utrinque alluit.2

But the making of bulwarks, fortresses, and other things of like kinde, were not prohibited by this Act, because they could not be erected, but either by the King himself, or by Act of Parliament.3

Chapter 16

No Banks shall be defended from henceforth, but such as were in defence in the time of King Henry our Grandfather, by the same Places and the same Bounds, as they were wont to be in his time.

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That is, that no owner of the Banks of rivers shall so appropriate, or keep the rivers severall to him, to defend or barre others, either to have passage, or fish there, otherwise, then they were used in the raigne of King H. 2.

This Statute, saith the Mirror,1 is out of use, Car plusors riverssont ore appropries & engarnies, & mise in defence, que soilount estre commons a pisher & user en temps le Roy Henry 2.2

Chapter 17

No Sheriff, Constable, Escheator, Coroner, nor any other our Bailiffs, shall hold Pleas of our Crown.

One of the mischiefes before this Statute was, That none of them here named, could command the Bishop of the Diocesse to give the delinquent his Clergy, where he ought to have it, for as Bracton saith,1 Nullus alius, praeter regem, possit Episcopo demandare, &c.2 And therewith agreeth our other old, and later Books,3 that the Bishop is not to attend upon any inferiour Court, nor that any inferiour Court can write unto, or command the Bishop, but the King, (that is) the Kings great Courts of Record, and such, as since that time have authority by Act of Parliament.

Another cause was, that the life of man, which of all things in this world, is the most precious, ought to be tried before Judges of learning, and experience in the Laws of the Realme:Regula. For ignorantia Judicis est saepenumero calamitas innocentis. Et cum ex quo Magna charta de libertatibus Angliae alias concessa, (quam quidem chartam Dominus Rex in Parliamento suo apud Westm. an. Regni sui 28. ad requisitionem omnium praelatorum, Comitum, Baronum, & communitatis totius Regni, de novo concessit, renovavit, & confirmavit)placitacoronae ipsi Domino Regi specialiter reservantur, per quod nullus de Regno hujusmodi placita tenere potest, seu habere, sine speciali concessione, post confirmationem Edition: current; Page: [819] chartae praedictae factae.4,5 In the same yeare, and terme, Coram Rege,6 a complaint by the Abbot of Feversham, both cases adjudged in the Kings Bench, whereunto they were referred by the Parliament. See Michael.17. Edw. 1. in Banco. Rotulo. 33. Southampton.

The Chapter of Magna charta here intended, and in both the said Records |Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [31] expressed, is this 17. Chapter of Magna charta now in hand. By these Records two things are to be observed. 1. That this is a generall Law, by reason of these words, Vel alii balivi nostri,7 under which words are comprehended all Judges or Justices of any Courts of Justice. 2. Albeit it be provided by the ninth Chapter of Magna Charta, Quod Barones de quinque portubus, & omnes alii portus habeant omnes libertates, & liberas consuetudines suas;8 That these genereall words must be understood of such liberties, and customes onely, as are not afterwards in the same Charter by expresse words taken away, and resumed to the Crown.9 And therefore if the Maior and Barons of the Cinque Ports had power before this Act to hold pleas of the Crown, yet by this Act of the seventeenth Chapter, they are abrogated, and resumed: a notable and a leading judgement. Both these Records being within two years after the confirmation of King E. 1. of Magna Charta, are worthy to be read and observed.


See for his name, office, and antiquity in the first part of the Institutes. sect. 234.10

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Is here taken for Castellanus, a Castellein, or Constable of a Castle, for so doth the Mirror interpret it.11 And Castellanus est qui custodit castellum, aut est Dominus castelli;12 And so doth Bracton; Debet, &c. ostendere castellano, sicut constabulario turris, &c.13 And therewith agreeth Fleta,14 Item nullae prisae capiantur de aliquo per aliquem constabularium, castellanum, praeterquam de villa, in qua situm est castrum.15

And the Statute of W. 1.16 agreeth herewith, Des prises, des constables, ou castelleins, faits des autres, &c.17

And Castellani were men in those dayes of account, and authority, and for pleas of the Crown, &c. had the like authority within their precincts, as the Sheriffe had within his Bailiwick before this Act, and they commonly sealed (which I have often seen in many, and have cause to know, that some of the auncient family of de Sperham in Norff. did) with their portraiture on horseback.

Now for the number of Castles, in ancient time, within this Realme, Certum est Regis Henrici secundi temporibus Castella 1115. in Anglia extitisse.18

And it is to be observed, That regularly every Castle containeth a Mannor, so as every Constable of a Castle is Constable of a Mannor, and by the name of the Castle the Mannor shall passe, and by the name of the Mannor the Castle shall passe.19

For this word, Constabularius, his office, and antiquity, see the first part of the Institutes. sect. 379.

And albeit the franchises of Infangthiefe, and Outfangthiefe, to be heard and determined within Court Barons belonging to Mannors, were within the said mischiefe, yet we finde, but not without great inconvenience, that the Edition: current; Page: [821] same had some continuance after this Act. But either by this Act, or per desuetudinem,20 for inconvenience, these franchises within Mannors are antiquated and gone.21


His name is derived à Corona, so called, because he is an Officer of the Crown, and hath Conusance of some pleas, which are called Placita coronae.22

For his antiquity, see the Mirror,23 who (treating of Articles established by the ancient Kings, Alfred, &c.) saith, Auxi ordains suer Coronours in chescun County, & Viscounts a garder le peace, quant les Countees soy demisterent del gard, & Bayliffes in lieu de centeners,24 (that is) Coroners in every County, and Sheriffes were ordained to keep the peace, when the Earles dismist themselves of the custody of the Counties, and Bayliffes in place of Hundreders.

For his dignity and authority, Britton saith in the person of the King,25 Purceo que nous volons, que Coroners sont in chescun Country principals gardens de |Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [32] nostre peace, a porter Record des pleas de nostre Corone, & de lour views, & abjurations, & de utlagaries, volons que ilz sont eslieus solonque ceo, que est contein in nous Statutes de lour election, &c.26

And a Common Merchant being chosen a Coroner, was removed, for that he was Communis Mercator.27,28

29* By the auncient Law, he ought to be a Knight, honest, loyall, and sage, Et qui melius sciat, & possit officio illi intendere.30 For this was the policy of Edition: current; Page: [822] prudent antiquity, that Officers did ever give a grace to the place, and not the place only to grace the Officer.

But what authority had the Sheriffe in pleas of the Crown before this Statute?31 This appeareth by Glanvill, that the Sheriffe in the Tourn, (for that is to be intended) held plea of theft, for he saith; Excipitur crimen furti, quod ad Vice-comitem pertinet, & in Comitatibus placitatur;32 But he may enquire of all felonies by the Common Law, except the death of man.

And what authority had the Coroner? the same authority he now hath, in case when any man come to violent, or untimely death, super visum corporis, &c.33 Abjurations, and out-lawries, &c. appeales of deaths by bill, &c. This authority of the Coroner, viz. the Coroner solely to take an indictment, super visum corporis; and to take an appeale, and to enter the appeale, and the Count remaineth to this day. But he can proceed no further, either upon the indictment, or appeale, but to deliver them over to the Justices. And this is saved to them by the Statute of W. 1. cap. 10. And this appeareth by all our old Books, Book cases, and continuall experience.34

And for the further authority of the Coroner in case of high treason, see the Book of 19. Hen. 6. fol. 47.35 and consider well thereof.

But the authority of the Sheriffe to heare and determine theft, or other felonies by the Common Law, (except the death of man) in the Tourn, is wholly taken away by this Statute, howbeit his power to take indictments of felonies, and other mis-deeds within his jurisdiction, is not taken away by this Act.36

Chapter 18

If any that holdeth of Us Lay-Fee do die, and our Sheriff or Bailiff do shew our Letters Patents of our Summon for Debt, which the dead man did owe to Us, it shall be lawful to our Sheriff or Bailiff to attach and inroll all the Goods and Edition: current; Page: [823] Chattels of the Dead being found in the said Fee, to the value of the same Debt, by the sight and testimony of lawful men: So that nothing thereof shall be taken away, until we be clearly paid off the Debt; and the Residue shall remain to the Executors, to perform the Testament of the Dead; and if nothing be owing unto Us, all the Chattels shall go to the use of the Dead; saving to his Wife, and Children, their reasonable parts.1

By this Chapter three things are to be observed; First, that the King by his prerogative shall be preferred in satisfaction of his debt by the Executors, before any other; Secondly, that if the Executors have sufficient to pay the Kings debt, |Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [33] the heire that is to beare the countenance, and sit in the seate of his ancester, or any purchaser of his lands shall not be charged. Thirdly, if nothing be owing to the King, or any other, all the Chattells shall goe to the use of the dead, that is, to his Executors, or Administrators, saving to his Wife and Children their reasonable parts, which is consilium,2 and not praeceptum;3 and the nature of a saving regularly is, to save a former right, and not to give, or create a new, and therefore, where such a Custome is, that the Wife and Children shall have the Writ de rationabili parte bonorum,4 this Statute saveth it. And this Writ doth not lye without a particular Custome, for that the Writ in the Register is grounded upon a Custome, which (as hath been said) is saved by this Act.

5* But that it was never the Common law (though there be great variety in books) heare what Bracton saith, who wrote soone after this Act. Neq; uxorem, neq; liberos amplius capere de bonis defuncti patris vel viri mobilibus, quam fuerit eis specialiter relictum, nisi hoc sit de speciali gratia testatoris, utpote si bene meriti in ejus vita fuerint, &c. vix enim inveniretur aliquis civis, qui in vita magnum quaestum faceret, si in morte sua cogeretur invitus bona sua relinquere pueris indoctis, vel luxuriosis, & uxoribus male meritisi & ideo necessarium est valde, quod illis in hac parte libera facultas tribuatur. Per hoc enim tollet maleficium, Edition: current; Page: [824] animabit ad virtutem & tam uxoribus, quam liberis bene faciendi dabit occasionem, quod quidem non fieret, si se scirent indubitanter certam partem obtinere etiam sine testatoris voluntate.6

Note the reason hereof maketh against perpetuities.But the administrators of a man, that die intestate, or executor of any, that make no disposition of his whole personall estate, goods, debts, and chattells, the administrators, or executors after the debts paid and Will performed, ought not to take any thing to his or their owne use, but ought, though there be no particular Custome, to divide them, according to this Statute: and the said ancient, and latter authorities (then which there can be no better direction) may guide them therein: and this right doth this Statute of Magna Charta save by these words, salvis uxori, & liberis suis, rationabilibus partibus suis.7 So as though the Statute doth give no Action, yet their parts are saved hereby, which by Glanvile, and other ancient Authors appeare to belong to them; and the executor, or administrator shall be allowed of this distribution, according to this Statute, upon his account before the Ordinary.

Chapter 19

No Constable, nor his Bailiff, shall take Corn or other Chattels of any man, if the man be not of the town where the Castle is, but he shall forthwith pay for the same, unless that the will of the seller was to respite the Payment: And if he be of the same town, the Price shall be paid unto him within forty days.

Here also it appeareth, that in this Chapter Constabularius1 is taken for Castellanus:2,3 and this taking by Castelleins, though the Castell was kept for the defence of the Realme, was an unjust oppression of the Subject, and this Edition: current; Page: [825] expresly appeareth by the Mirror,4 Ceo que est defendu a Constables a prender le autre, defend droit a touts gents de cy que nul difference parenter prise dautrui maugre soen, et robbery, lequel cel prise soit de chivalls, de vitaille, de merchandise, de carriage, de ostiels, ou des autres manners de biens.5 And this appeareth also by Fleta, l. 2. cap.43. Quia multa gravamina multis inferuntur per diversas districtiones, quae quidem sub colore prisarum advocantur, &c. inhibetur in Magna charta de liberta-|Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [34]-tibus &c.6 no purveyance shall be taken, but only for the houses of the King, and Queene, and for no other person: so as the grievance before this, and other like Acts, is wholly taken away.7

Chapter 20

No Constable shall distrain any Knight for to give Money for keeping of his Castle, if he himself will do it in his proper person, or cause it to be done by another sufficient man, if he may not do it himself, for a reasonable cause. And if we do lead or send him in an army, he shall be free from Castle Guard for the time that he shall be with us in fee in our host, for the which he hath done service in our wars.

Here Constabularius1 is taken in the former sense: see the first parte of the Institutes Sect. 96.

See this Act in Fleta:2 And note, this Act (consisting upon two branches) is declaratory of the Common Law, for first, that he, that held by Castle gard, that is, to keepe a tower, or a gate, or such like of a Castle in time of warre might doe if, either by himself, or by any other sufficient person for him, and in his place.3 And some hold by such service, as cannot doe it in person, as Major, and Comminalty Deane, and Chapter, Bishops, Abbots, etc. Infants being purchasers, women, and the like, and therefore they might make a deputy Edition: current; Page: [826] by order of the Common Law. If two joyn-tenants hold by such service, if one of them performe, it is sufficient.

For the second; if such a tenant be by the King led, or sent to his host, in time of warre, the tenant is excused and quit of his service for keeping of the Castle, either by himself, or by another during the time, that he so serve the King in his host, for that when the King commandeth his service in his host, he dispenceth with his service, by reason of his tenure, for that one man cannot serve in person in two places, and when he serves the King in person in one place, he is not bound to finde a deputy in the other, for he is not bound to make a deputy, but at his pleasure, and this is also declaratory of the ancient Common Law. See the first part of the Institutes 111. 121.

Chapter 21

No Sheriff nor Bailiff of ours, or any other, shall take the Horses or Carts of any man to make carriage, except he pay the old price limited; that is to say, for carriage with two horse, x d. a day, for three horse, xiv d. a day. No Demesne Cart of any Spiritual Person or Knight, or any Lord, shall be taken by our Bailiffs. Nor We, nor our Bailiffs, nor any other, shall take any man’s Wood for our Castles, or other our necessaries to be done, but by the Licence of him whose the Wood is.1

|Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [35] This Chapter consisteth of three branches, the first setteth down the auncient hire or allowance for the carriage for the King; the second setteth down, who are exempted from that carriage; the third, concerning purveyance of wood.

For the first, the carriage must be taken for the King, and Queen only, and for no other, implied in these words, Nullus Vicecomes vel balivus noster,2 and this is explained by divers other Statutes, and by our Books.3

The hire or allowance is certainly expressed, as aunciently due, Reddat liberationem antiquitus statutam;4 So as this also is declaratory of the auncient Law, and the hire or allowance ought to be paid in hand, for the Statute saith, Nullus capiat, &c. nisi reddat, &c.5

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And this liberatio antiquitus statuta,6 is, (as it appeareth by this Act) per diem, by the day.

Aver-penny,7 and averagium,8 are words common in auncient Charters, and signifie to be free from the Kings carriages, cum averiis,9 and this is meant where it is said, Aver-penny, hoc est, quietum esse de diversis denariispro * averagiis Domini Regis.10

For the second branch: No demean, or proper Cart for the necessary use of any Ecclesiasticall person, or of any Knight, or of any Lord, for or about the demean Lands of any of them, ought to be taken for the Kings carriage, but they are exempted by the auncient Law of England from any such carriage.11

This Statute extendeth not to any person Ecclesiasticall, of what estate, order, or degree soever: and this was an auncient priviledge belonging to holy Church.

Also it extendeth to all degrees, and orders of the lesser, and greater Nobility, or dignity, as of Knighthood, Dukes, Marquesses, Earles, Viscounts, and Barons, for albeit there were no Dukes, Marquesses, or Viscounts within England at the making of the Statute, yet this Statute doth extend to them, for they are all Domini,12 Lords of Parliament, and of the Barony of England; and this also was an ancient priviledge belonging to these orders and dignities: And all this concerning the Ecclesiasticall and temporall State was (amongst other things for the advancement and maintenance of that great peace-maker, and love-holder, hospitality) one of the auncient ornaments, and commendations of the Kingdome of England.

The third branch is, That neither the King, nor any of his Baylies, or Ministers, shall take the wood of any other, for the Kings Castles, or other necessaties to be done, but by the license of him whose wood it is.13 And all Edition: current; Page: [828] Statutes made against this branch (amongst others) before the Parliament of 42 E. 3. are repealed: And this branch, amongst others, hath (as hath been said) béen confirmed, and commanded to bee put in execution at 32. Sessions of Parliament. And so it was resolved by all the Judges of England, and Barons of the Exchequer, Mich. 2. Jac. Reg. upon mature deliberation; and that the Kings Purveyor could take no Timber, growing upon the inheritance of the Subject, because it was parcell of the inheritance, no more then the inheritance it selfe.14 Whereof the King, and Counsell being informed, the King by his Proclamation, by advice of his Counsell, under the great Seale, 23. Aprilis, anno 4. declared the Law to be in these words: First, when We were informed, that some inferiour Ministers had presumed to goe so farre beyond their commission, as they have adventured, not onely to take timber trees growing, which being |Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [36] parcell of Our Subjects inheritance, was never intended by Us to be taken without the good will, and full consent of the owners, but have accustomed also to take greater quantities of provisions for Our house, and Stable, then ever came, or were needfull, to Our use, &c. As by the said proclamation bearing date 23. Aprilis anno 4. Jac. Reg. appeareth. And divers Purveyors were according to the said resolution of the Judges punished in the Starchamber, for purveying of Timber growing, without the consent of the Dooners.

Boscus is an ancient word used in the Law of England, for all manner of wood, and the Italian useth the word bosco in the same sense, and the French, boys, accordingly. Boscus is divided into two sorts, viz. high-wood, haut-boys, or timber, and Coppice wood (so called, because it is usually cut) or underwood. High-wood is properly called Saltus, Quia arbores ibi exiliunt in altum.15 It is called in Fleta,16 maeremium.

The Common Law hath so admeasured the Prerogative of the King, as he cannot take, nor prejudice the inheritance of any, and (as hath been said) a man hath an inheritance in his woods.17

And see the Statute of Marlebridge.18 Anno 52. H. 3. Magna Charta in Edition: current; Page: [829] singulis teneatur, tam in hiis, quae ad regem pertinent, quam ad alios,19 and 31 other Statutes. So as all pretence of prerogative against Magna Charta is taken away.

See hereafter the exposition of the Statute De tallagio. Anno 34. E. 1. & de prisis, Anno 18 E. 2. vet. Magna Charta. fol. 125. 1 part.20

Chapter 22

We will not hold the Lands of them that be convict of Felony but one year and one day, and then those Lands shall be delivered to the Lords of the Fee.

This appeareth by Glanvill,1 to be due to the King by his auncient Prerogative, for he saith, Sin autem de alio, quam de Rege tenuerit is, qui utlagatus est, vel de felonia convict. tunc quoque omnes res suae mobiles Regis erunt, terra quoq; per unum annum remanebit in manu Domini Regis, elapso autem anno, terra eadem ad rectum Dominum, scilicet ad ipsum, de cujus feod. est, revertetur, veruntamen cum domorum subversione, & arborum extirpatione.2

This Chapter of Magna Charta doth expresse that, which doth belong to the King, viz. the yeare, and the day, and omit the Waste, as not belonging to him, and this is notably explained by our auncient Books with an uniforme consent: Bracton treating of the yeare, and the day in this case due to the King, saith,3 Sed quae sit causa, quare terra remanebit in manibus Domini Regis? Videtur quod talis est, quia revera, cum quis convictus fuerit de aliqua felonia, in potestate Domini Regis erit, prosternendi aedificia, extirpandi gardina, & arandi prata, & quoniam hujusmodi verterentur in grave damnum dominorum, pro communi utilitate provisum fuit,4 quod hujusmodi aedificia, gardina, & prata remanerent, & quod Dominus Rex propter hoc haberet commoditatem totiusterrae Edition: current; Page: [830] illius per unum annum, & unum diem, & sic omnia cum integritate reverterentur in manus Dominorum capitalium, nunc autem petitur utrumque, s. finis pro termino, & similiter pro vasto, & non video rationem quare, &c.5

And Britton treating of this very matter, saith,6 Lour biens mobles sont les nous, et lour heires disherit et voilons aver lour tenements de qui que unques sont tenus, le an, et le jour, issint que lour heritages, demourgent un an & un jour in nostre maine, |Edition: Sheppard2003; Page: [37] si que nous ne saisons estre perie les tenements, ne gaster les boys, ne arer les prees, sicome lensoloit saire in remembrance des selons attaints, &c.7

Fleta saith,8 Si autem utlagati, vel alii convicti terram liberam habuerint, illa statim capienda est in manus Regis, & per unum annum, & unum diem tenend’, ad capitales Dominos post illum terminum reversura, & hoc habetur ex Statuto Magnae Chartae, quod tale est, nos non tenebimus terras illorum, qui convicti fuerint de felonia, nisi per unũ annũ, & unum diem, & tunc reddantur terrae illae Dominis feodorũ, causa verò talis termini Regis, quia in signum feloniae olim provisum fuit, quod aedificia talium prosternentur in terram, extirpentur gardina, ararentur prata, truncarentur bosci, & quoniam hujusmodi verterentur in grave damnum dominorum feodorum, pro communi utilitae provisum fuit, quod hujusmodi dura, & gravia cessarent & quod Rex propterea per annum & diem totius terrae commoditatem perciperet, secus autem, si terra non esset eschaeta Dominorum, post quem terminum Dominis proprietariis integre absque vasto vel destructione reverterentur.9

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The Mirror speaking of this Chapter saith,10 Le joint des terres aux selons tener per un an, est desusie, car p la ou le Roy ne duist aver que le gast de droit, ou sine, pur salver le sief de lestripment, preignont les Ministers le roy ambideux.11 Upon all which it appeareth, that the King originally was to have no benefit in this case, upon the attainder of felony, where the frée-land was holden of a Subject, but onely in detestation of the crime, Ut poena ad paucos, metus ad omnes perveniat,12 to prostrate the houses, to extirpe the gardens, to eradicate his woods, and to plow up the medows of the felon, for saving whereof, et pro bono publico,13 the Lords, of whom the Lands were holden, were contented to yeeld the lands to the King for a year, and a day, and therefore not only the Wast was justly omitted out of this Chapter of Magna Charta, but thereby it is enacted, that after the year and day, the land shall be rendred to the Lord of the fee, after which no Waste can be done.

And where the treatise of Prerogativa Regis, made in 17. Edw. 2. saith Et postquam Dominus Rex habuerit annum, diem, & vastum, tunc reddatur tenementum illud capitali Domino feodi illius, Nisi prius faciat finem pro anno, die, et vasto.14 Which is so to be expounded, that forasmuch, as it appeareth in the said old books, that the Officers, and Ministers, did demaund both for the Waste, and for the year, and day, that came in lieu thereof, therefore this Treatise names both, not that both were due, but that a reasonable fine might be paid for all that, which the King might lawfully claim. But if this act of 17. Edw. 2. be against this branch of Magna Charta, then is it repealed by the said Act of 42. Edw. 3. cap. 1.

Hereby it also appeareth, how necessary the reading of auncient Authors Edition: current; Page: [832] is for understanding of auncient Statutes. And out of these old Books, you may observe, that when any thing is given to the King in lieu, or satisfaction of an auncient right of his Crown, when once he is in possessi