BOOK SECOND - THE EMPIRE
Hear me, brother, and, with the ears of one hearing, understand what I say unto thee. Thou wilt not repent of thy willingness to spend a short portion of time snatched from idleness upon matters of business. For there are some who do not blush to say in their hearts, "he who lays up knowledge lays up also grief": to these learning is a burden, and it is a pleasure to play the fool. Therefore the truth is far removed from those who, fearing the pleasant labour of a pursuit, fall into error. They become blind of heart, therefore, and, not seeing the dangers of the way, fall headlong down a precipice. But thee, oh brother, let no day find idle; lest, perchance that condition of human infirmity which is most prone to evil subject thee, off thy guard, to certain of the worst things. But if, by chance, thou hast no affairs, nevertheless invent some honest ones, that thy mind, always exercised, may be more open to learning. Attend, therefore, a little to those matters in which thou hast involved us; not that from them thou wilt harvest great fruits of labour, but only lest thou be idle.
D. I fear lest the twilight of approaching night may put a sudden end to the matters in hand, and lest, omitting many necessary things, thou wilt so hasten that thou will'st free thyself of the importunity of an interrogator.
M. Nay, I rather feared lest, after thy long silence, a long suppressed laugh might be shaking thee on account of my rustic style; or lest, perchance, thou wert silently cogitating how, without hurting me, thou mightest pluck thyself from these matters to which thou hast forced me. Therefore I confess that I had almost put an untimely end to what I was saying: but, nevertheless, since thou art docile and the zeal of attention has not yet grown tepid in thee, I will continue on the path begun. For the purpose, therefore, of complying with the order of business laid down, we must speak, in the first place, concerning summonses: for what debts they are made out namely, and how, and for what purpose. And that these matters may be more fully clear to thee, let the last of these three things be shown before the first, -- that is, for what purpose they are made.
I. Summonses, indeed, are made in order that the Exchequer may be held.
A writ of summons, which is sealed by the image of the royal authority, having previously been sent out, those who are necessary are called together to the place named; for they are not obliged to come unless a summons is first sent. Some, moreover, come in order that they may sit and judge, some that they may pay and be judged. The barons, of whom we spoke above, sit and judge by reason of their office, or by mandate of their prince. But the sheriffs and many others in the kingdom pay and are judged; of whom some are bound to voluntary offerings, some to necessary payments; concerning which we shall speak more fully below in treating of the sheriff. Now since there is a great number of these throughout all the counties, it ought to be expressed in order in the summons sent out, in the case of each one, how much ought to be paid at the next term, the cause also being added; as if it were said, "thou shalt have, from this man, this or that sum for this or this cause." Furthermore if, when the sheriff sits rendering his account, anything is required of any debtor in his county, of which, however, no mention was made in the summons, he will not be compelled to answer; but will rather be excused because a summons of this thing has not gone before. Summonses are made, therefore, for this purpose, that the farms of the king, and the debts which are to be required for different reasons, may flow into the fisc. But there are some things which must necessarily come through the hand of the sheriff, even though no summons concerning them is made out: but these are rather casual than fixed or certain, as will appear from what follows.
How Summonses are made out.
I must first tell how, or in what order, they are made out, and lastly, for what debts. Know then, that when the exchequer of that term in which the summonses are made is dissolved, the debts due the king throughout the different counties are taken by the clerks of the treasury from the great roll of that year and are written down, together with the causes, on smaller rolls; this being done, those whom we call the greater barons go apart, and, each county being mentioned in turn, they decree, concerning its different debtors, for how much each ought to be summoned; consideration being had for the quality of the person, and for the nature of the matter and for the cause for which he is bounden to the king. The authentic yearly roll, also, from which the debts are taken, lies before the treasurer or his clerk, lest there might, perchance, in some way, have been an error in making the abstract of them. There is also another clerk who studiously puts down what they have agreed upon in the matter of the debts of which the abstract has been made; and concerning these a summons is made in these words: "H. king of the English, to that or that sheriff, greeting. See to it as thou lovest thyself and all thy possessions, that thou art at the exchequer in such or such a place, on the day after St. Michael's day, or on the day after the close of Easter, and that thou hast there with thee whatever thou owest of the farm of former years or of this year, and these debts mentioned here by name: from that man 10 marks, for that reason, and so on." Moreover, when all the debts which are contained in the greater yearly roll, with their causes, have thus been marked down there in order, the lesser rolls, those of the itinerant justices, are brought forth; from these are taken what things are, by their labour and industry, owing to the lord king in the different counties; and these being assessed by the greater barons, they are put down in the summonses; these things having been arranged in order, the summons terminates with these words: "and thou shalt have a l these with thee in money, tallies and writs and quittances, or they shall be taken from thy farm; witness, that or that person, there, at the exchequer." Some have believed that one ought to say: "in money, or (vel) tallies, or writs, or quittances"; not understanding that vel is sometimes used subdisjunctively. Moreover, a contention of this kind concerning words is superfluous, since their meaning is clear: for whether thou sayest "in money and (vel) writs, and quittances," or "in money and (et) writs and quittances," the meaning is the same; so, namely, that in all these things, or some of them, he renders satisfaction for what is contained in the summons. Moreover, since a new disease should be met by new remedies, this addition was made in the summonses by a new statute -since the time of king Henry I., namely: that "if by chance thou art summoned for the debt of any one who has not land or chattels in thy bailiwick, and thou knowest in whose bailiwick or county he has them: thou thyself shalt signify to such sheriff or bailiff this same fact by thy writ, -- some one bearing it who has been sent by thee, and who shall deliver thy writ to him in the county court if he can, or in the presence of many people." A ridiculous and dangerous enough subterfuge of certain people compelled the addition of this which we have stated. For when it became known to which addresses the summonses were sent out, before the summons concerning his debt came to the county, a man, sitting empty handed in his home, awaited with confidence the advent of the sheriff and other officials, having emptied his barns and having put his money somewhere away from him, or having transferred it to a safe place; and, by this device, for many years the authority of a royal summons seemed to be eluded, not without loss. For the other sheriff to whose district a man, fearing such summons, had gone over with his property, did not dare to lay hands on his possessions, since he had no mandate to this effect. For this reason, therefore, the clause which we have mentioned was put in the summonses for some years; nor after that did any one have any ground of subterfuge for every debtor not rendering satisfaction in every way; saving, alone, him whom the most extreme want excuses. When, moreover, it had already become clear to all sheriffs and debtors that, in \this way, their sophistical impudence could be put an end to, it became unnecessary any longer to add that clause, nor is it added now. The method described, however, of coercing debtors wherever they may have betaken themselves, continues among the sheriffs, and is kept up, being instituted, as it were, by a certain perpetual law.
D. I have heard already, being told by many, that the exchequer is called together twice in the year, namely at the Easter term and at the Michaelmas term. Thou hast also said, if I remember aright, that the exchequer was not held unless the summonses had previously been sent out. Since, therefore, summonses are made out for each term, I ask thee please to reveal whether the same rule is observed in both summonses; or, if there is a difference in the tenor of the words, what it is and why it is so.
II. How the Summonses differ according to the term.
M. It is a great proof of thy advancement that thou hast already known enough to doubt of these things. To be sure it is as certain as possible that the exchequer is convoked and held twice in the year; being preceded, nevertheless, as has been said, by summonses. Thou dost remember very well the terms of both sessions. But mark that, in the Easter term, not accounts, but certain views of accounts are made by the sheriff; wherefore almost nothing of the things that are there done at that time is committed to writing; but the whole is reserved for the other term; and then, in the great yearly roll, the separate items are marked in order; some memoranda, however, which frequently occur, are written apart by the clerk of the treasury; so that, when the exchequer of that term is dissolved, the greater barons may decide concerning them; which things, indeed, on account of the number of them, would not easily be recalled unless they were committed to writing. Furthermore there is written what part of his farm the sheriff pays into the treasury; and then, if he fulfil his obligation, in the same line: "and is quit"; if not, his debt is distinctly put down on the lower line, so that he shall know how much of the total of that term is wanting; and straightway he shall render satisfaction according to the judgment of those presiding. For each sheriff is to pay at that term the half of that farm which accrues from his county in a year. Know, moreover, that in these summonses the tenor of words is not changed unless so far as concerns the term or the place; when for instance, the greater barons have decreed that the ex- chequer of Easter is to be held in one place and the exchequer of Michaelmas in another. But although the same virtue of words is regarded in both summonses, the marking of the debts set down is different. For in the summons made out against the Easter term, since the year is said to commence then, it shall simply read: "from such a one thou shalt have 10£." And from this summons he shall not be absolved unless he pay then or render satisfaction for 10£. But when the summons is to be made out against the Michaelmas term, in which that same year is closed and terminated and the yearly roll is made up, there shall be added to the aforesaid 10£ other 10£ or more, according as it shall seem fit to those presiding; and it shall read: "from such a one thou shalt have 20£." He, however, who had at the Easter term paid 10 of this sum, but now pays 10£ in money and offers a tally for the 10 already paid, shall merit to be absolved from the summons: for it says in the summons, "thou shalt have all these in money and writs and tallies." Know moreover, that, when a summons is made out, if, when it is corrected, an error shall be found, it ought not to be cancelled by drawing a line under it, and also not to be erased, because the writing is patent: nay rather the summons in which the error was made ought to be entirely obliterated, so that what had been written will be visible to no one; the reason for which, if thou reflectest upon these things, may readily occur to thee.
D. Since, as thou sayest, that writing is patent, and is sent thus to the sheriff, and remains for a long time with him and his people, the safety of the summons is committed to his sole faith. He could, then, with impunity wipe out, change or diminish what he likes, since no copy of it remains with the barons.
M. Perhaps he could if he wished; but it would be a proof of an insane head if, of his own will, he were to subject himself to so great dangers; especially since he could not thus do away with his indebtedness to the king, and scarcely even defer it. For all the debts, for which summonses are made out, are kept diligently noted elsewhere; so that no one could by this device be freed from his debt even if the sheriff tried to bring it about. But for a greater safeguard in this affair we ourselves have seen how, by the archdean of Poictiers, now bishop of Winchester, copies of all summonses were made. Nor were at any time the originals sent out, unless copies of them had been made and diligently corrected. When, moreover, the sheriff sitting to render account, the summons was read by the clerk of the chancellor, the clerk of the archdean, looking at his copy, observed him lest he swerved from the truth. But as time went on, when the number of debts increased immensely, so that the length of one membrane did not suffice for one summons, this manifold and laborious labour was put an end to, and they were content, as formerly, with the original summons alone. Thus thou hast, I think, as well as brevity permits, an explanation as to how and for what reason summonses are made. We are now free to examine by whom they ought to be made, although, from what has been said, this, too, is already clear for the most part.
For what Debts Summonses are made out.
Henry, the illustrious king of the English, is called the second of those kings sharing in this name; but, with regard to administration, he is believed to have been second in ability of mind to no one of modern times: for, from the very beginning of his reign, he directed his whole mind to this, that by many an overthrow he should destroy malcontents and rebels, and should mark in the hearts of men in every way the benefits of peace and faith. Although now, among all people, a wide-spread fame has made commonly known the great deeds of this man, so that it may now seem superfluous to insist on expounding them, -- yet there is one thing which I cannot pass over in silence, by which alone his singular probity and unheard, of piety is established.
This was no work of man, but rather of pitying Godhead That, with a few, himself -- nay, the whole world -- he resisted.
D. How it can be called a great deed to resist himself, I do not see, unless thou make it plain.
M. Although these things do not belong to the work begun or intended, nevertheless, mindful of that highsouled king, I have not been able to pass them over and keep my peace of mind. Thou may'st see, therefore, how miraculously that man resisted himself, against the sons, indeed, of his own flesh, nay, further, the sole hope and singular glory of his soul after God. When they were young and, by reason of their age, waxen beyond measure, and prone to every emotion of the soul, the pertinacious little foxes were carried away by wicked counsels, and, at length, turned their bowels against their father as against an enemy; "and a man's enemies have become they of his own household, and those who guarded his side have taken counsel against him; saying" -- to his sons and his enemies -- "persecute him and take him for there is none to deliver him"; thou would'st say that in them the word of the prophet was fulfilled: "I have nourished and brought up children and they have rebelled against me." When, therefore, the wife was raging against the husband, the sons against their father, the servants, without cause, against their master, -- would'st thou not say with the best of reasons that a man was warring against himself? But, against the numerous multitude of his enemies, the magnitude of the Divine grace alone aided him; and, as though God were fighting for him, he so in a short time got hold of almost all the rebels, that he was by far more strongly confirmed in the kingdom than before, by means of that very thing which was to have weakened him.
For those who had conspired against him, in all his strength, came to know through this, most plainly, that the club can not be extorted from the hand of Hercules except by force. Moreover, when they were taken, an unheard-of clemency spared the enemies, the inciters of such a tremendous crime; so that few of them sustained the loss of their goods -- none, however, of their rank or their bodies. If thou should'st read the revenge which David visited on the overthrowers of his son Absalom, thou would'st say that Henry had been far more gentle than he: although it is written of him, "I have found a man after mine own heart." Although, then, the great king had an abundant number of precedents, and might have exercised against them even the most shameful revenge, -- he preferred, nevertheless, to spare rather than to punish those whom he had beaten; in order that, even against their will, they should see his kingdom grow great. May that king, therefore, long live glorious and happy, and for the grace granted may he merit grace from on High. May his noble offspring also live, subject to their father and not unlike to him: and, since they are born to rule over nations, may they learn, by their father's and by their own example, how glorious it is "to spare the subjugated and to vanquish rebels." But let us proceed with what we have undertaken. But if thou dost wish to be more fully instructed concerning these and other mighty acts of his, examine, if it please thee, the book of which we spoke above (Tricolumnis). When, therefore, after the shipwrecked condition of the kingdom, peace had been reestablished, the king strove to renew again the times of his grandfather; and, choosing discreet men, he divided the kingdom into six parts, so that the chosen justices whom we call itinerant might go through it and restore the laws which had been abandoned. His envoys, therefore, being ready with their advice in the different counties, and exhibiting the fulness of justice to those who considered themselves wronged, assuaged the labours and expenses of the poor. It came about, moreover, in the case of these people, that the different misdemeanours were, for the most part, punished in different ways according to the natnre of the matters, so that some made corporal, others, pecuniary amends. The pecuniary penalties of the delinquents, then, are carefully noted in the rolls of the itinerant justices, and when the exchequer sits they are handed over to the treasury in the presence of all. The justices, moreover, must see to it that they deliver to the treasurer correct rolls and ones arranged in order; for, having once handed them over, it will not be lawful even for the justices themselves to change one iota, even in a matter on which all the justices are of one mind.
D. In so far it is to be wondered at that, since they are the authors of their writings, and nothing is collected except by their own industry and labour, they may not, even when they consent together as to anything, change their own writing.
M. Inasmuch as the time for correction has been given them, and they knew the fixed rule, they have themselves to thank; for the total of the offerings will be required either from the debtors, if they are condemned to this, or from the justices themselves. So that if in the roll they have put any one down as condemned to pay 20, and, after the pledge has already been handed over to the treasurer, they shall remember that he may not be held but for ten: the judges themselves shall render satisfaction for the rest; for their writing, made and corrected with deliberation, may not be recalled after its surrender. The treasurer causes the debts of the rolls received to be diligently and distinctly marked by counties in the great yearly roll, together with the reasons: the names of the justices, as has been said, being first put down; so that, in this way, there may be clearness with regard to the things exacted. From these, therefore, the summonses shall be made out as follows: "according to the pleas of these or those men N. N., from this man so much," -- according as those presiding have formerly estimated the debts. Thou hast learnt from the aforesaid, as we believe, so much as is necessary as to for what debts and how, and for what purpose, summonses are made out: now let us pass on to the duties of the sheriff. It is fitting, moreover, that thou should'st give alert attention to what is to be said; for, as was said in the beginning, in these things consists the higher science of the exchequer.
III. Manifold concerning the duties of the Sheriff.
All the sheriffs, therefore, and the bailiffs, to whom summonses are directed, are bound by the same necessity of the law; that is, by the authority of the royal mandate; that, namely, on the day mentioned and at the place designated, they shall come together and render satistaction for their debts. In order that this may be clearer to thee, look more closely at the tenor of the summons itself, for it reads: "See to it, as thou dost love thyself and all thy belongings, that thou art at the exchequer of such and such a time and place; and that thou hast with thee whatever thou owest of the old farm and the new, and these debts written below." Pay attention, then, for two things are said which fit in with the two which follow; for this, "see to it as thou dost love thyself," refers to "that thou art there and there at such and such a time and place"; that expression, however, "and as thou dost love all thy belongings," seems to refer to this: "and that thou hast with thee these debts written below"; as if it were openly said, "thy absence, whoever thou art that receiveth a summons, unless it can be excused by causes necessary and defined by law, will redound to the peril of thy head; for thou wilt seem thus to have spurned the royal mandate, and to have acted irreverently in contempt of the royal majesty, if, being summoned concerning the matters for which thou art bounden to the king, thou dost neither come nor send one to excuse thee. But if thou have been the cause that the appended debts were not paid, then, from the farm which thou art about to pay, the other debts for which thou art summoned shall be taken; but the farm shall be completed from thy chattels and the revenues of thy estate; thou thyself, meanwhile, if the barons have decreed it, being placed in a safe place in liberal custody." When, therefore, the aforesaid summons shall have been received by the sheriff, on the very day named he shall come and show himself to the president, if he happen to be there, or to the treasurer if the president himself should not be present. Then, having saluted the greater barons, he shall have that day to himself, being about to return to the exchequer both on the morrow and on each day thereafter. But if, by chance, he shall neither come nor send in advance a just excuse, on the first day he shall be condemned to pay to the king one hundred shillings of silver for each county; on the next, ten £ of silver; likewise on the third, as we have heard from those who were our predecessors, whatever movable goods he possesses shall be at the disposal of the king; but on the fourth, since now from this he is convicted of contempt for the royal majesty, he shall lie at the sole mercy of the king not only as to his property, but also as to his own person. There are those, nevertheless, who think that for the whole total a pecuniary punishment alone will suffice; in such wise, namely, that on the first day those absenting themselves should be punished to the extent of a hundred shillings; on the second, likewise to a hundred shillings; and so on for each day to the extent of another hundred. I do not disagree with them; that is, however, if he against whom the wrong has been done consents to this; it is probable enough, moreover, that the king would be willing to admit this kind of punishment, since his remarkable grace is slow to punish and swift to reward.
D. It is the part of an imprudent and alike impudent hearer to interrupt the flowing pen before an end has been reached of the things which are being said; and so I have borne it, revolving in my mind what in part disturbs me: for thou hast said that if it rested with the sheriff that the debts appended were not paid, then they should be taken from the farm which he is about to pay. If, therefore, the sheriff shall have distributed by writ of the king, either in public works or otherwise, all that he was about to have paid in, -- what will be done?
M. When, by mandate of the king, he shall have expended the farm of the county either for the expenses of the court, or in works or on anything else, if he is found to be backward in paying his debts, he shall be detained, on his oath, where the greater barons shall decree, until he give satisfaction for them as he would have done for his farm.
D. Since upon a sheriff summoned, and not coming or excusing himself, there falls a heavy loss both to his movable and his immovable property and to his own person, unless he explain away his absence as not voluntary but necessary: I ask, if it please thee, that thou delay not to reveal what causes, when summoned, he can allege as sufficient for his absence.
IV. For what causes the absence of the Sheriffs is considered condoned.
M. There are many kinds of excuses by which the absence of the sheriff is considered condoned, provided, nevertheless, that, the reason or excuse having been sent in before, he shall, on the day named, send ahead through lawful men the money of the king previously collected; and they, handing to the president the letters of excuse, and alleging the necessary causes of their master's absence, shall confirm the same, even by an oath taken in their own persons, if it shall please the president. But if the sheriff or any servant who has been summoned, detained by infirmity, can not be present, he shall add in his letters of excuse which are sent to the exchequer: "and since I am unable to come, I send to you these my servants N. and N., that they may take my place and do what pertains to me; I being ready to ratify what they shall do."
He who excuses himself, moreover, shall provide that one or the other of those sent shall be a knight or other layman, joined to him by reason of blood or otherwise; that is, one to whose faith and discretion he may not hesitate to commit himself and his interests: for clergy alone should not be taken for this purpose; because, if they act wrongly, it will not be fitting to seize them for money or for the rendering of accounts. But if a sheriff who has been summoned shall happen to be absent, being hindered, not indeed through slckness, but for some other cause, he can, perhaps, even then be freed from the punishment established: but no one shall be received for him to render his account except his first-born son; not his general steward, even though he himself have sent his writ saying that he would ratify what such and such a one should do for him. But solely by the authority of a mandate of the king, or indeed of the president if the king be absent, can another be substituted to render his account. If, however, he shall be doing other business assigned to him by the lord king, he himself shall name some one present in his own person at the exchequer, who, according to what has been said above, can and ought to transact the business of the absent sheriff. That writ, moreover, of the king or the president or of the sheriff sending an excuse shall be kept in the box of the marshall, of which we spoke above, in testimony of this matter. But if the sheriff, being needed elsewhere by the king, shall have been called by him outside of the kingdom; or, having received permission for family affairs, shall have arranged to leave the country, -- he shall first go to the president, and with his own lips shall delegate his functions at the exchequer to whatever lawful man he wishes; this being done, when he is absent he is neither compelled to send a writ nor to excuse his absence. But where the sheriff excuses himself on account of infirmity, when they shall come to write his account in the yearly roll, it shall read: "William, sheriff of London; Robert, his son, for him, renders account for the farm of London." But if, by mandate of the king, another is substituted for him, or he with his own lips, as has been said, shall have designated to the president some one in his place, then in all respects it is to read as if he himself, in his own person, were sitting and rendering an account.
D. Is illness the sole sufficient excuse by which one who absents himself after having been summoned can be preserved from harm?
M. Far from it; for there are many at the exchequer; but this in trials, as well as in other ecclesiastical and judicial matters, is the most usual. Thou must, however, be mindful of the things that have been said, in order to understand that no excuse brings it about that the money of the king which has been collected from a county is detained with impunity in the sheriff's keeping, or is not, on the day named, sent to the exchequer. Having sent the money, therefore, he may be excused through illness as has been said. Likewise if his first-born son, whom he has declared to be his future heir, should be considered nigh unto death, he will be excused. Likewise if his wife have begun to be in danger with the pangs of child-birth, or for any other cause lie nigh unto death, -- since she is a portion of his flesh, he can be excused. Likewise if his lord who is commonly called liege -- that is, he to whom alone, by reason of his dominion, he is so bound that as against him he owes nothing to any one except alone the king -- shall summon him to aid him, he being proceeded against in court for his own fief or for the greater part of it, or for any other reason which seems to redound to the detriment of that lord's standing or of his body, -- he can be excused; provided, however, that that lord is not able further to do without him, or otherwise to avoid the litigation. But if that same lord have entered a suit against another in an affair of this kind, and it is in his power without great harm to postpone the day, -- if he have summoned a sheriff of the lord king in the person of his vassal, indeed, the latter shall not be bound to come, for he can not then be excused from the exchequer. Likewise if that same lord, oppressed by the weight of illness, wishes to make a will in the presence of his people, and have called him in for this purpose with his other faithful men, he shall be excused. Likewise if his lord or his wife or his son shall have paid the debt of the flesh, and he shall have seen to the necessary funeral arrangements, he shall merit to be excused. There are also many other excuses for the absence of a sheriff, necessary, indeed, and determined by rule, which we do not deny or exclude; nay, when they shall seem sufficient to the greater barons, we willingly receive them; but, for the sake of example, we have given those which at present have occurred to our mind, they being, as it were, the more frequent ones.
D. I seem to gather from the aforesaid that a knight or other discreet person may be made a sheriff or other bailiff by the king, even though he hold nothing from the king, but only from others.
M. This prerogative belongs to the dignity of a public function, that no matter whose vassal any man in the kingdom is, no matter for whom he may do military or other service, -- if he be found necessary to the king, he can be eely taken and deputed to the royal service.
D. From this, indeed, I can see that that is true which is said:
"Dost thou not know that of kings the hands are extremely lengthy?"
But now already, if it please thee, do not delay putting thy hand to the occupations of the sheriff; for on these matters, warned by thee, I have concentrated the whole zeal of my attention; knowing that in them, as has been said, the higher knowledge of the exchequer should be sought.
M. I congratulate thee on being mindful of what has been said; by which. I confess, thou hast added a stimulus to my almost languishing pen. Know, then, that the sheriff, unless a test has first been made and the debts for which he was summoned have been paid, is not allowed to take his seat for the account; but that when he shall have come and already taken his seat, the other sheriffs are excluded; and he shall sit alone with his people, about to reply to the interrogations. He shall see to it, moreover, that on the day itself, or on the day preceding, it shall have become known to the debtors of his county on what day he is going to sit and render account; and also, around the building of the exchequer and the village or the town, he shall, by the voice of a herald, make known to them that he is to sit then or there. Then when all are seated and listening, the treasurer, who, as has been said, by reason of his office sits opposed to him, asks him if he is ready to render an account; he replying, "I am ready," the treasurer goes on: "say, therefore, first, if the alms, if the tithes, if the fixed liveries, if the lands given are the same this year as they have been in the past." But if he reply that they are the same, then the scribe of the treasurer shall, in writing down these fixed payments, follow diligently the roll of the past year; the treasurer looking on the while, lest by chance the hand of the scribe should err. And since, in the chapter on the office of the scribe of the treasurer, I remember to have said enough concerning the order of writing, I pass these things over at present.
D. Speak then, if it please thee, concerning those things which thou long since did'st put off until treating of the duties of the sheriffs; how it is, namely, that some lands are given by the king blank, some by tale; for this has troubled me from the beginning.
M. It is clear enough to thee, I believe, from the foregoing, how it is that certain farms are paid blank, others by tale. A farm, indeed, is paid blank when it has been blanched by testing.
V. How it is that some estates are given blank, some by tale.
Who, indeed, was the author of this institution, and what the reason for starting it, is well enough known. We say, then, that a farm is paid by tale, when satisfaction is given for it by counting alone, and not by testing. When, therefore, the king has conferred on any one any estate, together with the hundred court and the pleas which come from this, they say that that estate was conferred on that man blank: and when, retaining for himself the hundred court through which the farm is said to have been blanched, the king has simply given the estate, not decreeing that it shall be with the hundred court, or blank, it is said to have been given by tale. Moreover, it is necessary that he on whom it has been conferred shall, at the Michaelmas term, bring to the exchequer the writ of the king, or his charter, for the estate conferred, so that it may be computed to the sheriff; otherwise it will not be written in the great yearly roll, nor will it be computed to the sheriff; it shall be written, moreover, thus: after the alms and tithes and fixed liveries of both kinds, at the head of the line: "to lands given to such a one N. 20£ blank, in such a place; and to such a one N. 20£ by tale, in such a place." Remark also, that if, perchance, among the lands given, thou findest: "to such a one or such a one 10£, blank or by tale, from a loan of the king," -- when he who rejoiced in the benefit of the accommodation or loan shall pay the debt of fate, no opportunity is given to his wife or his children or to any one of his name, of making reclamation on account of that loan, unless by favour of the king; just as if it had been said, "to such a one 10 so long as it shall please the king."
VI. What are the fixed payments that are to be computed to the Sheriff; alms, namely, and tithes, and liveries of both kinds, and lands given. D. What is what thou did'st speak of as liveries of both kinds?
M. Some of the liveries are of poor people; as when, solely from the promptings of charity, one penny a day, or two or more, are accorded to some one by the king for food and clothing. But some are of people who do service, so that they receive them as wages; such are the custodians of the palaces, the guardians of the royal temples, the pipers, the seizers of wolves, and the like. These, then, are liveries of different kinds which are paid for different reasons, but are counted among the fixed payments. And mark that, although the king is free to confer these liveries on any poor people whatever, they nevertheless, by ancient custom, are usually assigned to those who minister at court, and who, having no income, fall into bodily sickness and become unfit for labour. All of these things having been put down in order, the treasurer asks the sheriff if, in addition to the fixed payments, he have expended anything by writ of the king. Then, one by one, the sheriff hands over to the clerk of the chancellor the writs of the king which have been sent to him. He, having read them in public, delivers them to the treasurer, so that the latter, according to the form in which the writs have been drawn up, may furnish appropriate words for the writing of his roll: for he, as has been said, prescribes, and the others who write with him take down from his roll. This being done, the sheriff shows if, not through writs but through the fixed rule of the exchequer, he have expended any thing which ought to be computed to him; such are the payments of the king's approvers, and likewise those things which are spent in carrying out sentences and judgments.
VII. What things are to be computed through custom of the Exchequer alone, -- that is, without a writ. Remark, moreover, that sentences are here usually called executions of the law carried out against any men; but judgments, the ordeals of the glowing iron or of boiling water. The liveries of approvers, therefore, are made on this basis. On account of the innumerable riches of this kingdom, and likewise on account of the inclination to drunkenness inborn in the natives -- which lust always follows as a companion, -- it happens that, in it, thefts, open or secret, and also homicides and crimes of different kinds, are frequently committed; the harlots adding incentives, so that there is nothing which those who subject themselves to their counsels will not dare or attempt. When, therefore, any one one notoriously guilty of these things is taken by the royal servants who look out for the peace of the kingdom, -- on account of the great number of scoundrels and in order that, even in this way, the land may be purged from the miscreants, the judges at times agree upon this: that if any one of this kind, confessing his crime, be willing to challenge the accomplices in that crime, and be able, by engaging in a duel, to prove the crime of which he charges the other or others, -- he shall escape the death which he merited, and, with safety to his body, departing, nevertheless, beyond the boundaries of the entire kingdom, shall be dismissed and swear not to return. Some, moreover, having previously made an agreement with the judges, even though they prove their charges do not, nevertheless, go away in safety, but escaping hanging or some other disgraceful kind of death, which, by their own confession, they have merited, being punished how. ever with mutilation of their members, become a miserable spectacle among the people and restrain rash undertakings by their terrible examples. Since, therefore, the charge of that crime being brought up against him and proved, he can save his life; and likewise, since whatever seems to promote the peace of the kingdom is, without doubt, to the advantage of the king, he is called a king's approver. From the day, moreover, on which he is received for the purpose of proving, until his promise has been fulfilled, or until he fails, he shall receive from the fisc each day one penny for his support, which penny is computed to the. sheriff solely by custom of the exchequer. But if that approver shall have been ordered to be removed to another place, so that, it being easier for the judges to assemble there, he may fulfil his promise -- or perhaps, failing, may receive the condign punishment of his crimes: only the sum which he provides for taking vehicles thither and for furnishing him with victuals, shall be computed to the sheriff by custom; but the rest, not unless by writ of the king. There are, moreover, in certain counties, many who, as a privilege of their estates, lay avenging hands upon the condemned; so that they punish some by hanging, others by mutilation of the members, or in other ways, according to the measure of the crime perpetrated. There are, on the other hand, counties in which those who are thus to be condemned are only punished when cash has first been paid by the fisc. Whatever, therefore, in order to put into effect these judgments or sentences, is paid by the sheriff to men of detestable avarice who receive this for the effusion of blood, it is computed to him as by custom of the exchequer; that is, not by writ of the king. And there is another thing which ought to be computed to the sheriff by custom alone: when the treasure of the king, being about to be borne by decree of the greater barons from one place to another has need of vehicles and minor things of the kind, the sheriff, by order of the treasurer, or the chamberlains, or their servants sent for this purpose, pays from his farm what is necessary, and this is computed to the sheriff without a writ, -- the treasurer himself, however, or any one of the aforesaid who has ordered this to be done, bearing witness concerning this matter in the presence of the greater barons; and then it shall read in the roll: "for these or these necessaries of the treasury, this or that, through such and such a one." Likewise if a royal fish is taken, a turbot or a whale or another of the kind, what is paid out by the sheriff for salting it and for furnishing other necessaries is computed without a writ. Likewise what is spent in cultivating the vines on the domains of the king, and in vintaging them, or in furnishing receptacles and other necessaries, is computed without a writ, on the oath of the sheriff; concerning which oath, how it is taken, whether once or oftener, we shall speak below. These, therefore, are the things which occur to us at present which are to be placed to the account of the sheriff by custom alone. Now let us continue concerning the other things which pertain to the account from the body of the county.
VIII. In what order those things are to be computed to the sheriff which were spent in public works by a writ of the king not specifying the amount. It happens sometimes that the king gives Orders to the sheriff by his writ, that for fortifying castles or for building edifices and the like, he shall furnish from his farm what is necessary, by view of two or three men whose names are expressed in that writ; and that he adds at the end a short clause, but one necessary for those making up the accounts: "and it shall be computed to thee at the exchequer." When, therefore, the time shall have arrived for the account of the sheriff, those who were chosen as overseers of the works come together, and having taken an oath in public that, to the best of their knowledge, the sum named has been expended to the king's advantage on that public work, a writ of the king shall there be made out at the exchequer, under the witness of the president and of another whom he shall name, in which that sum concerning which they have testified, and likewise the names of the overseers, shall be expressed; and then at length it shall be computed to the sheriff. But if, through these expenditures, the work of the king shall have been completed, that first writ, concerning the furnishing of the necessary amounts, which was sent to the sheriff, and this last one which is made at the exchequer, are placed in the marshal's box for the accounts rendered. If, however, something remains to be done on that work, the sheriff shall keep by him the writ that was sent him, until that same work is completed; so that from it he may have authority to furnish the amounts necessary for completing the work; but the other one shall be closed up in the box which has been men. tioned. For when it is written in the yearly roll, "to that work 100£," there should consequently be aded: "by writ of the king and by view of these N." But if there were no writ of the king containing the amount and the names of the overseers, the writing of the roll which says "by writ of the king" might seem to be false.
D. By this discourse I have been so thoroughly satisfied that I willingly omit those things about which I had already opened my mouth to inquire. For when a writ of the king is brought to the sheriff concerning the payment of the necessary sums for this or that work, and it is added: "and it will be computed to thee at the exchequer," or this: "spend from thy farm," -- which is almost of the same authority, -- it seemed superfluous that he should be put to the trouble of another writ; but I did not, indeed, understand that in such writ the amount was to be expressed, so that thus it might correspond to the authentic yearly roll, the tenor of words being the same.
IX. That no one is absolved from a debt by a writ of the king which does not express the amount, even though it give the cause. M. Know likewise that in the affairs of the exchequer it is different than in other ones: for it is said in very many cases that what is expressed does harm, and what is not expressed does no harm: but here what is expressed helps and what is not expressed harms one. For example, if any one is bounden to the king for a hundred £, and brings to the exchequer his writ, that he is to be quit of the debt which he owes him, and even adds "the whole," and likewise expresses the reason but not the amount: he shall not be absolved on this account, but rather, through this, shall merit delay until another summons. For it should have been written in the roll: "remitted by writ of the king, to such a one N. one hundred pounds"; but since that is seen to be not altogether cancelled which is not yet expressed in the writ, he is compelled with much labour to seek the means by which he may merit to be absolved: therefore, in these matters, what is not expressed harms.
D. With all due reverence to the president and those who sit with him, it does not seem as if the mandate of the king were here fulfilled in all regards; for he is not quit whom the king, adding also the cause for which he was bounden to him, ordered to be quit.
M. Nay, a truce in these matters to the subtlety of thy scrupulous mind. Thou should'st have known, indeed, that ignorance of a law does not excuse the very men who have most to do with the law. He, therefore, who is bounden to the king, must diligently inquire how he can be fully absolved from this -- that is, according to the fixed law concerning these things; but if he have not done so, he shall lay it to the charge not of the president but of himself; for the president is not allowed to change one iota of that which he brought him in the writ: since, therefore, he is not quit through this, he shall hasten to obtain what is needful.
D. I perceive that these things are observed principally on this account, that they may not be contradictory to the writing of the roll. But now let us proceed concerning the other matters.
M. When, therefore, all those things shall have been noted down which are either fixed or are to be computed by writ of the king, or by custom of the exchequer, -- then the account is left unfinished, as it were, and they turn to other things; for "and is quit" or "and he owes," by which, indeed, the acccount is said to be finished, is not written in the yearly roll until satisfaction shall have been given for every thing that is contained in the summons; the cause of which proceeding will be clear enough from what is to follow. After the account for the body of the county -- that is, for the principal farm, which, as has been said, is left unfinished until the end, -- a moderate space being left, the account is put down of the old farm of the county; that is, whatever by any chance had remained over from the previous year: but it shall only be thus if the sheriff who then served shall have been changed. But if the same one continue also in this year, he shall make satisfaction for the old farm before beginning an account of the new; and the old one shall be distinctly and diligently written down in the beginning, and afterwards the new one. For these things, know that the changed sheriff of the old farm is to be summoned like any other of the debtors; not for a part of it but for the whole, because it is a farm the payment of which ought not to be put off. But it suffices to send a summons for a debt of the old farm, for which he is bounden who is still serving, under this form of words: "whatever thou dost owe from the old farm and the new." Concerning which enough has been said above in the chapter on summonses.
X. Concerning escheats and trespass-lands, or, as we more generally say, concerning purprestures and escheats. After these things, moreover, a space of about six lines being left, there follows the account concerning escheats and trespass-lands, or, as we more usually say, "concerning purprestures and escheats." In the middle of the line, in. deed, is made a heading in capital letters, "concerning purprestures and escheats"; but at the beginning of the lower one is written thus: "this same sheriff renders account for the farm of purprestures and escheats; namely for 40£ from this and for 20£ from that"; and then afterwards, according as, from the roll of the itinerant justices, it has previously been put down in the yearly one, "total 100£." Then, at the end of that line where the total is, is written: in the treasury 20£ in so many tallies, and owes four times 20£; or "paid in the treasury and is quit." But thou wilt learn the order of writing these things better by ocular demonstration than by a verbal description, however detailed.
D. What these escheats and trespass-lands are, and for what reason they flow into the fisc, I cannot see unless thou wilt explain it more fully.
M. It happens sometimes through the negligence of the sheriff or his servants, or also on account of a season of warfare continued for a long time, that those dwelling near the estates which are called crown-lands, usurp for themselves some portion of them and join it to their own possessions. When, therefore, the itinerant justices, through the oath of lawful men, shall have seized these, they shall be appraised separately from the farm of the county, and handed over to the sheriffs that they may answer for them separately; and these we call purprestures or trespass-lands. And when they are seized they are taken, as has been said, from their possessors, and henceforth go to the fisc. But if he from whom the trespassland is taken be the author of the deed, then, in addition, unless the king spare him, he shall be pecuniarily most severely punished; but if he be not the author, but the heir of the author, then the revocation of that estate alone suffices for punishment. From which, indeed, as from many other things, the mercy of the king is proved; inasmuch as so enormous an excess of the father is not punished on the son, who, until the inquest was made, was enriched at a loss to the public power.
Eseheats, to proceed, are commonly called what falls to the fisc when those who are tenants in chief of the king die, and there does not remain an heir by blood. Concerning these, moreover, together with the purprestures, the accounts are made under one rubric; so, however, that the names of the separate items are expressed in order. But when the father of the family, be he knight or serjeant, who holds from the king in chief, shall have paid his debt to fate, leaving children, however, of which the eldest is a minor, his revenues, indeed, revert to the fisc; but in this case it is not simply called escheat but escheat with heir. And thus neither is the heir taken from the inheritance nor the inheritance from him; but, being placed, together with his inheritance, under the guardianship of the king for the time of his pupillary age, both he and the other children shall receive from that inheritance, through the officials of the king, what is necessary. The remaining sums, however, which come from it, go to the royal uses. The accounts for them, moreover, are made separately; for not by perpetual, but by a certain temporary right, are they due to the fisc. For when the heir who is now a minor, having attained the benefits of a lawful age, shall know how to make disposition for himself and those belonging to him, he shall receive from the royal munificence what is due to him by paternal right; some, free, as it were by the sole favour of the prince; some, on promising a certain sum; concerning which, when the account shall be made, it shall read in the yearly roll: "that or that person renders account for 100£ for the relief of the land of his father; in the treasury so much, and he owes so much." Concerning this, moreover, no further account shall be made in the yearly roll; for henceforth it does not revert any more to the fisc. But so long as it is in the hand of the king, it shall be written of thus in the yearly roll: "such a sheriff renders account for the farm of such an honour" -- if it is a barony; -- "in the treasury so much, and, for the care of the children of such a one, so much by writ of the king"; -- and this shall be made out there at the exchequer by custom -- "and he owes so much," or "and he is quit." But if this be a minor holding, so that there are one or two or three estates, it shall read thus: "that sheriff" or "that person N." -he to whom the king chanced to have deputed the care of that matter -- "renders account for the farm of that land. N., which belonged to that man N., which the king holds in his hand," or, "which is in the hand of the king with the heir"; "in the treasury, so much, and owes so much"; or "and he is quit." Notice, moreover, that so long as that honour or estate shall be in the hand of the king, with the heir, all the alms and payments of the poor which were established by the former lords out of sole regard for charity, shall be paid in their entirety to those to whom they are due, and shall be computed to the administrator at the exchequer: but the wages of servants, who may have seemed necessary to the lords for the performing of any services, and have received their position for this purpose, shall be paid at will while the king has possession. When, moreover, the heritage shall have come into the hand of the heir he should inhere in the footsteps of his father; so that, indeed, as long as those shall live for whom these payments were established to be enjoyed during life, he shall satisfy them; and after this, if he wish, he shall use or not use their services.
D. Thou did'st say, if I remember aright, that if any one holding in chief from the king should die and leave a minor as heir, he who was left receives at length, after attaining his majority, what is due him from the king, some without payment, some on promising money. Moreover, what is thus paid thou dost call a relief. Say, therefore, if, from every estate which is held of the king in chief, the relief ought to be exacted to the same amount, -- or if not to the same amount, wherefore this?
M. I seem to have armed thee to my own ruin. For, conjecturing others from the things that have been said, thou dost vex me with armed questions. Know, then, that a different amount arises from the reliefs that are due to the king according to the different ranks of the possessors; for some, indeed, hold in chief from the king crown fiefs -- greater, namely, or lesser baronies. If, therefore, a father having a possession of this kind die, leaving an heir who is already adult, the latter shall give satisfaction for these things, not according to a fixed sum, but according to what he can obtain from the king. But if the heir be a minor, being placed in wardship, he shall await his majority; then, moreover, either gratis as has been said, or, like the adult, at the good pleasure of the king, he shall obtain his paternal heritage. But if any one should die, holding at the time a knight's fee from the king -- not, indeed, a crown fief, but rather one belonging to some barony which, for some reason, had lapsed into the hand of the king; such as a bishopric when the see is vacant: the heir of the dead man, if he be an adult, shall pay for a knight's fee 100 shillings; for two 10£, and so on, according to the number of knights which the heritage had owed to the lord before it had lapsed to the fisc. But if an heir is left who is a minor, what comes from his heritage shall, by reason of the wardship, fall to the fisc for the time that he is under age, as has been said; if he have been left by his father an adult already, he shall pay for each knight's fee 100 shillings, or even proportionately less; that is, 50 shillings if he possess a half of a knight's fee, and so on. Nor may it be hidden from thee that, from him whom, together with the fruit of his possession, thou dost have in custody for several years, thou wilt not be able to ask a relief when he comes to his majority.
D. In this matter the law judges for the wards, decrees as well becomes pious minds.
M. Thus it is; but let us continue concerning what we have undertaken. There is likewise also a third kind of escheats which comes to the exchequer by perpetual right. When any tenant in chief of the king, conscious to himself of a crime committed, whether he be accused of it or not, nevertheless leaving all that he has, seeks to save his life by flight: or if, being convicted of that of which he is accused, or confessing the same, he is judged unworthy at the same time of his land and of his life: all things which were his by right are straightway confiscated; and all his revenues by a yearly, nay, also by a perpetual right, are paid into the exchequer by the sheriff, and what comes from the sale of what is movable among them goes to the king. Likewise if a man of whatsoever condition, or the slave or freeman of whatsoever lord, through fear of the more rigid law which the king has established on account of criminals, shall flee from his home, and, during the terms fixed and defined by law, shall not have presented himself or excused himself, -- or also if, the neighbourhood raising a hue against him, being suspected and afterwards taken, he shall be convicted by the fixed law of the assize as guilty of the crime: all his movable goods go to the fisc, the immovable, however, to the lords. The prices, however, of his movable goods shall be handed in by the sheriff to the exchequer, and shall be marked thus in the yearly roll: "the same sheriff renders account of the chattels of fugitives and of those mutilated by the assize of such a place; namely, from this one 5, from that one 10," and so on through the separate headings, their names being expressed and the sums which arise from the chattels of the different ones. At the end, moreover, shall be put down the total of all, and near the end of that same line in which the total is shall be written: "in the treasury 40£ in so and so many tallies, and he owes 10£," or "and he is quit." These, oh brother, are the things which we mentioned above which are to be carried to the exchequer by the sheriff even though no summons shall have preceded. Such is also treasure dug out of the ground, or otherwise found. Likewise, when any one having a lay estate, or also a citizen, practises public usury, if he die intestate; -- or also if, not giving satisfaction to those whom he has defrauded, he is seen to have made a will concerning his unrighteous acquisitions, but has not distributed these, nay rather has kept them by him; -- since, thus intent on gain, the desire of possessing is not believed to have left him: his money and all his movables are straightway confiscated, and, without a summons, are carried by officials to the exchequer. The heir of the deceased, moreover, may rejoice that he still has the paternal estate and the movable property, which were all but withdrawn from him.
D. With regard to the foregoing remarks which have been made about usurers, a grave question strikes my mind, which, if it please thee, I should like to have more fully explained; for thou did'st say: "when any one having a lay estate, or also a citizen, practises public usury, etc."; from which words it seems that a certain distinction of persons can be made among those who are thus delinquent, and that the condition of clergy is one, that of laymen another, when they are equal in crime. Likewise from that which is added, "practises public usury," I presume that there can be a kind that is not public, and I am altogether ignorant whether any one who continues in it is subject to the law concerning that which is public.
M. In vain did I think to satisfy thee with short answers and commonplaces, since from such thou dost elicit a question, the explanation of which has hitherto been hidden from some of the skilled. But what thou sayest: "from thy words the condition of the clergy and of laymen who are thus delinquent seems to be unequal, when they are equal in crime," I do not approve of; for, as in their grades, so do they differ in their guilt; according to that saying: "the loftier the grade, the more grave the fall." Likewise, also, as it has seemed to some, they are unequal in good and meritorious works, for laymen, who are less bound by the restraint of a vow, seem to merit ampler grace; just as, in perverse acts, those who are under a vow of religion offend more gravely. But so much for these matters. Thou hast, indeed, from what precedes, a means of answering the first part of thy question. For inasmuch as a clerk practising usury deserves to lose the privilege of his dignity, he merits for himself a like punishment with a layman who is thus delinquent, namely, that, when he himself dies, all his movable goods are due to the fisc. In fact we have heard from prudent persons that it is so. Against a clerk or a lay Christian thus delinquent, the royal power has no claim so long as they are alive, for there remains time for repentance; but he is the rather reserved for an ecclesiastical tribunal, to be condemned according to the quality of his rank. When, moreover, he shall have fulfilled the decree of fate, all his goods, the church having no claim on them, go to the king: unless, as has been said, while life remained he have worthily repented and, his will being made, he have entirely alienated from himself what he shall have decided to will away. It remains now for us to explain what we call public usury, and what not public; then, whether those who err in either are within the scope of the same law. We call it, therefore, public and common usury when, after the manner of the. Jews, one is about to receive in kind, by convention, more than one has lent, -- as a pound for a mark, or, for a pound of silver two pence a week of gain, besides the principal: -- not public, indeed, but none the less to be condemned, when one receives any estate or church in return for a loan, and, the principal remaining intact, takes for himself the fruits of it until that principal have been paid. This kind, on account of the labour and expense which are usually bestowed upon agriculture, seems to be more allowable; but, beyond a doubt, it is sordid and rightly to be counted as usury. But if the creditor, avaricious and prone to the ruin of his soul, have seen fit to have the matter so expressed in writing that it shall read: "be it known to all, that I, N., owe N. one hundred marks of silver; and for these hundred marks I have pledged to him such a piece of land for £10, until I or my heir shall pay to him or his heir the aforesaid hundred marks": when, after the death of the creditor, the tenor of this infamous charter shall come to the notice of the king or the chief justice, -- first, the foul pursuit of usury shall be condemned, and the creditor, betrayed by his writing, shall be judged a usurer, unworthy of his movable goods. But if he, whose estate it is, shall in some way have obtained from the king that that which was thus alienated shall be restored to him, he shall be bounden to the King for the whole principal, even if the creditor shall have possessed the estate for two years or more; the munificence of the king, however, usually enters into an agreement concerning the amount of that total, chiefly on account of the gift of especial grace which imposes on him the duty of preferring those who are faithful; and, furthermore, because in the name of the public power he is about to receive all the goods of that creditor or usurer who had grown rich to the enormous detriment of a faithful subject. There are also many other things which pertain separately to the fisc, which cannot easily be brought under one rubric; for they are not fixed but casual. The accounts of the escheats of this third kind, however, are made out not above, after the farms, but below, after all the pleas and before the chattels of fugitives: so that they, by their actual position, may be seen to pertain to the fisc on account of the enormous faults of the delinquents.
D. I wonder at the things that thou hast said; for they do not seem to be able to agree with what goes before. For since it is free to the lords of bondsmen not only to transfer them but also to alienate them in every kind of way, as has been said above; and since they are rightly considered lords, not only of their chattels but also of their bodies: it is to be wondered at why, when the lord of the goods and of the guilty man has committed no offence against the law, he should be deprived of his possession. For it would seem just that the decree of the king should punish an excess in the person of the one who committed it, but that the movable goods, together with the estates themselves, should go to the use of the lords.
M. What troubles thee troubles me also; but I think it superfluous to delay long over these things, since they are foreign to the matters undertaken. But to satisfy thee: know that it is so on account of the law of the king alone; nor is there, indeed, anyone who may presume to act counter to a royal decree, which is made for the good of the peace. But if the chattels of their servants who were condemned by law came to the lords, -- perchance because the fervid thirst of human cupidity had a place in their midst, -- some would revel, on account of a small gain, in the slaughter of their servants even when innocent: therefore the king himself, to whom, even by God, the general care of his subjects is entrusted, decreed this to be so, in order that thus the guilty, satisfying the law, may be punished in the body, and that, their movable goods being retained by himself, they may not be exposed to their domestic enemies -- that is, to their lords. But, as we have said, the law of the king alone, made at the voice of necessity for the good of the peace, is the principal solution of this question.
D. I see that it does not happen without reason. Now, if it please thee, continue. But there remains something in the foregoing which I should wish, if it please thee, to have more thoroughly explained. For thou did'st say that the movable goods of fugitives and those mutilated by law, in consequence of a summons are brought to the exchequer and are written in the yearly roll in the proper place: thou hast not said, however, what ought to be done with the chattels of robbers and thieves; whether, namely, they pertain to the king, or to whom they ought by right to go.
M. The condition is different of robbers, who are also called manifest thieves, and of those who steal in secret. Furthermore, of these as well as of those there are two kinds, from each of which the chattels go to different persons in a different way. Some robbers, indeed, as well as some thieves, are lawless -- outlaws, as we more usually call them, -- some not: they become outlaws or lawless, moreover, when, being lawfully summoned, they do not appear, and are awaited and even sought for during the lawful and fixed terms, and do not present themselves before the law. Of these, therefore, the chattels and also the lives are known to be in the hands of those who seize them, nor can they for any reason pertain to the king: of robbers, however, who have not yet sunk to this depth of misery, the goods, if they are seized, go to the fisc; but of thieves, to the sheriff under whom they are seized and punished. But if the sheriff have deemed the case of a thief worthy to be brought to court, to be there judged, nothing which that thief possessed is due to him, but all to the king. But if any one have pursued the man who robbed him, and have brought him up in the first court of the lord king, or also in the county court, -and, according to the form of proof decreed by the judge, shall have proved him guilty of theft: that which was taken shall first be restored to the injured person from the chattels of the thief, if they are sufficient for that purpose; the affidavit or oath of him who claims it being first taken, if it so please the justice of the lord king. Afterwards, moreover, by the provident institution of those eager for peace, the same man is to receive, as a solace for his labour and expense, as much again as he had at first lost by the wiles of the thief. This double and prudently procured payment was called by the ancients, not without reason, "solta" and "persolta" or "prosolta": first, indeed, what had been taken is also paid, and on account of this is called "solta"; then that which is added for the charge of labour or expense is called "pro-" or "persolta." These things having been thus carried out, the remainder of the goods of the accused shall go to the fisc.
D. These things also seem necessary; but now, according to thy promise, proceed, if it please thee, concerning the rents of woods.
M. I congratulate thee since I see that thou hast held in memory as well the worth of what has been said, as the order of what is to be said. It remains, therefore, that I do not omit to satisfy thy wishes according to my powers.
XI. Concerning the Rents of woods.
After the account of the purprestures and escheats, there follows the account for wood-rents, very short and clear, under this tenor of words: "the same sheriff, or such another one N., renders account of 20£ from the rent of such a wood or forest of Northamptonshire; he has paid in the treasury and is quit." There are, however, some forests from which the tenth part of the fixed rents are paid to the head churches; so from Wiltshire and from Hampshire to Salisbury cathedral, but from Northamptonshire to Lincoln cathedral: the cause of which payment I have heard to be this, almost the whole or the greater part of what is paid for the forests comes from pleas and exactions; thus then, by giving the tenths, illicit gains seem to be to some extent redeemable. Of these, moreover, the accounts are made thus: "such or such a one renders account for 20£ from the rent of such a forest; in the treasury 18£"; and at the head of the next line below, thus: "and in fixed tithes to such a church 40s."; then at the end of that same line, a little apart from the rest of the writing, thus: "and is quit." Remark also that it has once been said to thee that all debts, and likewise those payments which shall have been made to the treasury, are to be placed apart from the rest of the writing; so that to the eye running over them and the mind assisting they may more readily occur; for summonses are made out for what is due, and quittances for what has already been paid. After the diligent account of the principal farm, the old or the new, and likewise after the account of the purprestures and escheats and of the wood-rents -- all of which, as has been said, are paid on a yearly basis -- there follows the account for the pleas and covenants; in which first, after a moderate space, a note is made in the middle of the line as to the justices to whom these belong.
XII. Concerning Pleas and Covenants: in what order the accounts for them are made when the required amounts are paid. We call pleas, indeed, the pecuniary penalties which delinquents call down upon themselves, but covenants, spontaneous offerings. When, therefore, the exaction of these is at hand, the summons is then first given over to the clerk of the chancellor; he attacks the sheriff for the separate items in order, saying: "render from such a one 10£, for such a reason"; but if what is required is paid in the treasury, it shall be written thus in the yearly roll: "N. renders account for 10£ for such a cause"; and then shall be written in order, "has paid in the treasury and is quit." But if it is by writ of the king that he is quit, provided, as we have said, that the amount is expressed in the writ, it shall read: "N. renders account for 10£," adding the cause; then, a little lower, in the same line: "by writ of the king to that same N., 10£, and he is quit." But if he be summoned for 100s., when, nevertheless, the total of the debt is, in the yearly roll, 10£, and have paid 100s. in money, or have obtained for 100s. a writ of the king, it shall read: "N. renders account for 10£., in the treasury 100 shillings and owes 100 shillings"; or "remitted by writ of the king, to N. himself 100 shillings and he owes 100 shillings." And mark that, in all accounts concerning pleas and covenants, individuals shall respond for themselves, so that each one, namely, shall receive in his own name the burden of the debt if he do not give satisfaction for it, or the absolution if he pay the whole; with the exception of common assizes, Danegeld and murder fines, -- for, concerning these, the sheriff renders account, and, with reference to them, is himself written down in the yearly roll as either quit or in debt. But if the sheriff shall have been changed, he, nevertheless, who succeeds him shall answer for the same and be summoned concerning them; and, unless he render satisfaction, shall be coerced through the farm which he is about to pay. For whoever, when the sheriff is changed, succeeds to the burden of that office, receives from him rescripts of the debts of the king in that county; so that he may be able to know by this, when he shall receive the summons brought to him, from what persons what they owe is to be demanded. To the sheriff, therefore, pertains the general account, to him alone belongs the coercion of individuals; and he who shall have been sheriff when the account was made, shall be written down in this manner as quit or in debt.
d. I retain in my memory what ought to happen when any one, summoned concerning any debt, brings a writ of the king which expresses the required amount. But if he bring to the exchequer a charter of quittance for things of the same kind, so that it reads thus: "I will, therefore, that he hold all of these free and quit of pleas and murder fines," and of this and that and the like, will he not be pardoned?
M. He will be, as a matter of fact; but it will not read: "remitted by charter of the king," or "by liberty of a charter" this or that; but rather, "by writ of the king": but if the charter, not specifying, contains this: "he shall possess the foregoing free and quit of all exaction and secular service," he is not then quit through this of those things which are required of him, nor will it be written down among the pardons: for those who sit there are not willing that a special debt should be done away with by a general absolution.
D. That subtlety is pernicious enough; for he who is free from the whole of the parts, deserves also to be absolved from the parts of the whole.
M. It is true what thou sayest, nor do we disagree; but, nevertheless, we are explaining what takes place, not what perhaps ought to take place. When, therefore, for all these things which are contained in the summons, satisfaction shall have been rendered either in cash or by writs of the king, this rule of writing which is explained above is always to be employed: but when any one has not paid the whole of what is required of him, but a part of it, or perhaps none of it, the cause is straightway to be inquired from the sheriff as to why he was not solvent. But if the sheriff shall reply that he have diligently sought the chattels of the man in question, and could not find them, the treasurer shall say: "be on thy guard, for by person- ally taking an oath thou shalt confirm the truth of this matter," -- namely, that thou have sought and not been able to find that by which the demands might be satisfied. If he replies, "I am ready to do so," the taking of the oath shall be deferred until the account is finished; when, being once given, it shall suffice for many like cases. Concerning this oath, indeed, much has already been said near the beginning, and something remains to be said in its proper place.
XIII. Concerning the different kinds of persons who are not solvent; with regard to what persons an oath is offered by the Sheriff, and under what tenor of words the oath shall be given. Here, indeed, we must first distinguish with regard to debtors and debts; so that it may be clear to thee in the case of whom the oath offered shall be allowable, and in the case of whom, not. For if a knight or other freeman, or a bondsman, or any such person of whatever condition or sex, is bound to the king for any debt -- which, indeed, must be a punishment for a misdemeanour, not a spontaneous offering, -- the treasurer shall be content with that proferred oath of the sheriff which is to be taken at the end; and the man or woman, the action against whom, by reason of their poverty, has become void, shall again be written as debtor in this yearly roll as in the last. But it is otherwise if that debtor from whom the debt is sought is a citizen or burgher; if, namely, he is a citizen by birth, or if he have subjected himself of his own will to the laws of his fellow-citizens, necessity bringing it about. For it does not suffice for the sheriff that of these, if any do not render satisfaction for the sum required, he pay in, in order to thus be quit at the exchequer, the movable goods alone, or that he offer an oath as to his having sought and not found any: he must confiscate their homes and their estates and any revenues from the cities, and place them in the hands of others; so that, even in this way, the money due to the king may be forthcoming; but if none be found who will receive them, since men of the same condition mutually spare each other, he shall fasten up their houses with bolts and shall cause their estates to be diligently cultivated. But if in the meantime they pay what is required, by the hand of the sheriff what belongs to them shall be restored to the rightful owners without damage.
D. I cannot wonder enough, when the fault does not differ,
Why more severely our law should oppress this species of mortals.
M. The greatest part of the possession of those who have estates and live by agriculture, consists in flocks, in cattle and in crops, and in like things which can not easily escape the notice of the neighbours. But to those who deal with wares, and who, sparing expense, press on with all their strength and in every way to multiply their possessions, money is the goal that they strive for. For, by means of this, commerce is more easily carried on, and this can readily be placed in safe and secret places: whence it happens that often he who is rich, when that which is hidden does not appear, will be reputed poor. For this reason, therefore, that law decrees more severely against those persons; for a superabundant well of wealth does not seem to be easily exhausted.
D. What a common assessment is, and who responds for it and in what order, is in great part plain from the foregoing. Now, if it please thee, explain about the aids or gifts of cities or burroughs; how accounts are made of them, and who chiefly are to be convened or coerced concerning them; for the manner of coercion is now plain from the foregoing.
M. I rejoice that thou art mindful of what has been said; and by this, I confess, thou dost encourage me the more. Know then that it makes a great difference whether the gift or aid of a city is fixed by the Justices according to the separate individuals dwelling in it, or if the citizens offer to the justices some amount which seems worthy of the prince, and it is accepted by them: for in these two cases the manner of coercion is different. For if the gift is fixed by the judges according to individuals, and any one of them be not solvent, the aforesaid law concerning insolvent citizens is observed; namely, that he shall be deprived of his houses and revenues until payment is made. But if it has been said by the citizens: "we will give to the king a thousand pounds," and this sum is judged worthy to be received, they themselves must provide that at the stated terms the same is paid. But if, by chance, they commence to make excuses, alleging the poverty of some of those who were bound to supply some part of such sum, -- theu diligently, that is by oath of the sheriff, inquiry is to be made if, at the time that the gift or aid was settled upon by those citizens, these persons had been incapable of paying. But if it shall be found to be thus, they shall provide others by whom the previous sum shall be paid, or the remainder shall be distributed in common. If, however, at the time it was settled upon, they were rich, but by the law of fortune, changeable by nature, they are now in want, -- patience is to be had with them until, by the grace of God, they shall grow rich again.
D. I perceive that in all things, keeping within due bounds, you always take the side of the king's advantage.
M. Thou dost retain in memory what is to be done concerning citizens or burghers who are not solvent. But if, by chance, any knight or other freeman, degenerating -which God forbid -- from the dignity of his standing, proceed to multiply his money by public trade or by the most disgraceful kind of gain -- that is, by usury, and do not voluntarily pay what is demanded of him: the sheriff shall not be absolved by an oath alone as to having found nothing, but when he shall have imparted this to the president, he shall obtain a strict mandate from him that, for the sum which is required from him, that man shall find sponsors within a fixed time; but if he will not, all his revenues shall be confiscated, since in this respect he may rightly be considered
Like to those who increase, whatever the means be, their fortunes.
D. It is indeed fitting that a degenerate knight or other freeman who loses his standing through disgraceful gain, should be punished beyond the common measure of freemen. But now, at length, if it please thee, explain what the things are which may be reckoned among the chattels of him who is bounden to the king, and whether from all, until the sum required is raised, all things are to be taken by the sheriff; when, namely, the original debtor does not of his own will pay what is required.
XIV. What chattels of debtors, when they do not pay of their own free will, are not to be sold, and what order is to be observed in selling. M. Thou dost drive me into a sea of questions; God knows, I do not, where I am about to emerge. Know then that here again a distinction of persons is necessary -- as will be clear from what follows. I should wish thee, nevertheless, to spare me in this regard, and not compel me to say what will be displeasing to many.
D. So long as thou dost not stray from the path of the established law, thou wilt not merit the just anger of the prudent man; but if that which the law has decreed shall seem burdensome to any one, let him be angry at him who made it, not at thee.
M. From the beginning, by my promise, I became thy debtor. Hence it is that I am willing and bound to obey thee when thou dost wish or ask anything. The chattels which are lawfully sold, then, of debtors who do not of their own will pay what is demanded of them, are those goods which are movable and which move themselves: such are gold, silver, and vessels composed of the same; also precious stones, and changes of vestments and the like; also both kinds of horses, the ordinary ones, namely, and the untamed ones; herds also of oxen and flocks of sheep, and other things of the kind. The nature of fruits also and of some victuals is movable, so that, namely, they may be freely sold; deducting only the necessary expenses of the debtor for his victuals -- so that, namely, he may provide for his needs, not his extravagance, and likewise may satisfy nature, not gluttony. Nor are these necessaries furnished to the debtor alone, but to his wife and children and to the household, which he was seen to have had while he was living at his own expense.
D. Why dost thou say "of some" victuals?
M. Victuals which are prepared by them for daily use, and which without essential change are suitable for eating -- such as bread and drink -- may by no means be sold. Of victuals, then, only those are lawfully sold which, aside from necessary uses, had been reserved by the masters themselves that they might be for sale, -- such as meats laid in salt, cheeses, honey, wines, and the like. And mark that if that debtor who is not solvent have once obtained the belt of knighthood, though the other things are sold, nevertheless a horse, not any one but the one he uses, shall be reserved for him; lest he who, by rank, has become a knight, may be compelled to go on foot. But if he be a knight who
Delights in the glory of arms, finds pleasure in using his weapons, and who, his merits demanding, ought to be reckoned among the brave, all the armature of his body, together with the horses necessary to carry it, shall be left entirely free by the sellers; so that, when it is necessary, equipped with arms and horses, he can be called to the service of king and kingdom.
If, however, this man whom the law has partially favoured, hearing of the need of the king or kingdom, shall conceal and absent himself, or, being summoned for this purpose, do not come -- provided he serve not at his own expense, but at the king's, -- and have not given a plain excuse for his absence, the sellers shall not refrain from these arms, etc., either; but, content with the one single horse left to him on account of the dignity of knighthood, he shall be subject to the general rule. The sheriff, moreover, shall take care to warn his sellers that, with regard to the things to be sold, they observe this order: the movable goods of any one shall first be sold, but they shall spare, as much as possible, the plough oxen, by which agriculture is wont to be carried on; lest, that failing him, the debtor be still further reduced to want in the future. But if even thus, indeed, the sum required is not raised, the plough oxen are not to be spared. When, therefore, all the saleable things that belong especially to him have been sold, if the amount is still not made up, they shall approach the estates of his bondsmen and lawfully sell their chattels, observing at the same time the aforesaid order and rule; for these are known to belong to the lord, as has been said above. This being done, whether the required sum is thus made up or not, our law orders the sellers to quit; unless, perhaps, it be scutage which is required from a lord; for if the chief lord who is bounden to the king for scutage do not pay, not only his own, but also the chattels of his knights and bondsmen everywhere are sold, for the matter of scutages regards his knights in great part; for they are not due to the king except by knights and by reason of military service. I myself, indeed, whose memory is not yet hoary, have seen how, for the personal debts of those who did not render satisfaction, not only their own, but also the chattels of their knights and bondsmen were lawfully sold. But the law of the illustrious king has decreed that this is to be observed only in the matter of scutages, the order being regarded that first their own, then the goods of others are to be sold. But if the knights have paid to the lord the produce of their fiefs, and are willing to prove this by offering a pledge, the law forbids that their chattels be sold for those payments which are required from the lords.
XV. That the Sheriff may take from the debtors of that debtor who does not pay the king, the debt due to the king. Likewise the sheriff is to be warned that he diligently and carefully investigate, as well as he can, if there is any one in his county in debt to that debtor for the payment of money lent to him or deposited with him. But if it be found that there is, the sum which is required from his creditor, the man bounden to the king, shall be exacted from that debtor, and he shall be prevented by authority of the public law from being answerable for it to that creditor.
XVI. That the Sheriff may take from the estates of him who does not pay, that which is required, even if, after the time when he commenced to be bounden to the king, he have alienated them in any way. Likewise if a debtor, from the time when he began to be bounden to the king, shall have rented his estate or revenue to another, or have given it as a pledge for money, or even -- which, perhaps, will seem absurd to thee -- have transferred his domain from himself by sale: if means can not otherwise be found to give satisfaction to the king, whoever the person be or by whatever title he may have gained possession, -- nevertheless what belongs to the king shall be taken from him; saving the proprietorship of the lord who has commenced to possess it with a just title. Unless, perchance, that debtor shall, in the beginning, of his own will pay to the king the price of the estate sold. For, in that case, the right of possession of the buyer shall remain undisputed. The cause of this, moreover, although it seems to be somewhat wrong and to serve too much the advantage of the king, thou wilt see to be evident, nevertheless, and just enough according to the laws of the country. For whoever is found to have committed an offence against the royal majesty is at the mercy of the king in one of three ways, according to the quality of his crime. For he is sentenced, for lesser faults, either to the extent of all his movable goods, or of all his immovable -- that is, his estates and revenues, -- so that he shall be deprived of his heritage; but if for greater faults, or for any very great or enormous crimes, to the extent of his life or members. When, therefore, any one is condemned to the mercy of the king as to his movable goods, and the sentence is passed upon him by the judges in these words: "such a man is at the mercy of the king as regards his money," it is the same as if they said: "all his money." For the indefinite sentences of laymen have their signification not according to the interpretation of those for whom it is more safe that they should be so interpreted -- that is, of individuals, -- but are equal for all. Since, therefore, the chattels of that estate which the debtor afterwards alienated had been condemned as at the good pleasure of the king, and he had not given satisfaction for the required sum, it is unjust that he should have alienated a thing that was not his own at a loss to the fisc.
XVII. That a sheriff is not allowed to receive money due to himself from those who do not pay the king: and what is to be done if he should happen to receive it. Likewise the sheriff is to be warned on account of the oath, concerning those who do not pay, which is required of him -- nay, which he himself is seen to have offered of his own free will, in order that thus he might be absolved from the summons made against him, -- that he do not receive from any debtor who does not pay the king, anything, in the meantime, that was justly due to himself. For it is not likely that the sheriff could not find enough to pay the sum due the king among the chattels of him who, willingly or unwillingly, has paid what is required to the sheriff himself. But if, before taking the oath, the sheriff has remembered of himself or through another that he has received something from such persons; -- or even after taking it, provided the exchequer of that day is nevertheless not yet dismissed; that is, while his account is fresh; -and if, coming in public, he be willing to prove with querulous voice -- taking an oath concerning these things -- that he had forgotten at that time having received anything: he shall be acquitted on paying in the name of the debtor the money received. But if -- which God forbid -- after giving his oath, and after the exchequer is dissolved, this should become known through another, -- he shall not then be released simply on payment of what he had received, but, being declared at the good pleasure of the king on account of his offence, he shall be pecuniarily punished. Finally, let it suffice to have warned the sheriff that after receiving the summons he shall diligently inquire in the neighbourbood if the man who was not solvent, by taking a wife, or the woman by marrying some one richer, or in any other way, has grown rich, so that he or she may give satisfaction for what is required. If this be found to be so, upon the oath of the sheriff he or she shall be obliged to pay. But if none of these things be found to be so, the sheriff can then, with a clear conscience, give an oath concerning this, and avoid the imminent loss of his possessions.
XVIII. How a husband is to be called to account for a wife or a wife for a husband, if he or she be not solvent. D. Should a husband, indeed, be called to account for a wife who was bounden to the king and who has already died, or ought a woman who survives her husband to be called to account for him?
M. Thou hast heard often enough, that "he who cleaves to a woman is made one flesh," in such way, however, that he is her head. With right, therefore, he is to be called to account for her, for the woman has not power over herself, but the man over her. But if the husband have had off. spring by her, to which offspring, by reason of the wife, the heritage is due, and, the wife being already dead, the money due to the king has not yet been paid: then that husband is to be called to account in the name of the heir, and coerced; but otherwise not. A woman, on the other hand, who survives her husband, and has offspring, and remains in widowhood with it, is to be called to account and coerced by reason of the offspring to whom the heritage is due; in such manner, however, that her dowry shall be spared, since it is the price of her virginity. But if, leaving her children, the woman cleave to another husband, the lawful heir is to be called to account for the debt of his father. If, however, a woman who has committed an offence and is bounden to the king, her former husband being dead without children, shall transfer herself and her heritage to another, her debt is to be required from the new husband. This is, then, what thou did'st ask. And in this way a man is to be summoned on account of the wife and a wife on account of the husband. Thou may'st be sure also that the lawful heir who succeeds to a debtor is to be called to account for him: so that he may succeed to the burdens as well as to the emolument. The bondsman alone, and he who dies without heritage, are, after their chattels have been sold, freed from their debt by death's last throw. They are, however, not cancelled from the yearly roll in which these debts are entered, unless by writ of the king; when, namely, it is suggested to the king concerning these by the treasurer, that it is useless to write them in the roll, since by no arrangement could it come about that the money due from them should be forthcoming.
XIX. That there is not the same mode of coercion for the king's barons and for others, in the matter of pecuniary penalties. In addition it is fitting thou should'st know that, in the matter of requiring debts due to the king and of coercing debtors, the conditions do not apply equally to the chief barons of the king and to others who here and there are punished for their offences by fines to the king. Concerning those, then, who hold nothing in chief from the king, the foregoing rule is observed. But if one who holds a barony from the king, having heard the summons, shall, either in his own person or at the hand of his general steward, whom people ordinarily call seneschal, give a pledge into the hand of the sheriff to the effect that, on the day of his account, he will give security to the barons of the exchequer for this sum and for this summons: then the sheriff may rest content.
XX. What is to be done when the steward, who has pledged himself to render satisfaction, does not appear. If, however, being summoned by the voice of the herald, he do not come on the day of the account, and do not render satisfaction of himself or through another, the sheriff shall be considered to have done what pertained to him; but the case being carefully jotted down separately, at the treasurer's dictation, in the memoranda of the exchequer, shall be reserved for the end of the session; when, counsel having been taken, he who thus offended may be more severely punished. But if, after the account of the sheriff is ended, he shall come and render satisfaction, -by the favour of those in session and by the indulgence of the law he may be absolved. But it is necessary that the sheriff receive his oath in the county court, before the eyes of all; because if, by chance, he who gave it wishes to do evil and to deny that he gave it, the recollection of the county will suffice for the whole burden of proof against him. But if the sheriff shall confess that it was given him in any other manner, he shall be considered to have done nothing. Therefore the required sum shall straightway be taken from his farm, so that he shall satisfy the summons which says in this regard: "or they shall be taken from thy farm."
XXI. What if he comes and does not give satisfaction, if he is a knight. What if he is not a knight. But if one who does not deny that he gave an oath shall come on the day named and do not render satisfaction, he shall, if he is a lord, be detained at the exchequer as long as it shall be in session, taking an oath to the marshal, as we said above, that he will not go beyond the banlieu of the town unless by permission of the barons. But when the exchequer of that term is dissolved, if he have not yet rendered satisfaction, he shall be put in a safe place, in free custody, until the king himself, if he be present, or the president with the others in session shall decree what is to be done with a man who confesses that he promised on oath to render satisfaction, and has in no wise done so. But if a knight or other person who is his steward come and do not render satisfaction, he shall be seized for breaking his oath and shall be given over to the custody of the marshal, being lawfully liable to be bound when the exchequer is dissolved, and to be put in prison whether he be a knight or no. But a knight who does not render satisfaction for his own debt, when, nevertheless, he has taken an oath that he would do so, shall be kept in liberal custody after the exchequer is dissolved -- not in a prison, but within the enclosure of the prison building, -- giving an oath personally that he will not go away from there without the king's or the president's permission. For the illustrious king of memorable nobility decreed that whoever is resplendent with the dignity of knighthood may not be sent to prison for his own debt, when he is considered a pauper by the sheriff and the neighbourhood alike; but he shall be kept apart, at large, within the enclosure of the prison building. But whoever, by order of his lord, has given an oath to the sheriff, as has been said, and comes but does not pay: the law decrees that such a one shall be seized and put in prison when the exchequer dissolves, whether he be a knight or no. And since any baron is free to set up the oath of his official for the debt that is required of himself, so that he may in the meantime be free from the importunity of the sheriff and may himself arrange his affairs more conveniently: lest thus the authority of the king's mandate be eluded to an infinite extent, it is decreed that, when he is seized who, by not rendering satisfaction, has brought judgment upon himself as being guilty of a broken oath, -- straightway servants shall be sent by the sheriff who, going through the estates of the chief lord, selling his chattels as best they can, shall bring the sum required to the exchequer of that term. And, finally, he who was seized for breaking his oath shall pay a pecuniary fine according to his means, and shall not, even though the lord order it, be any more permitted to give an oath concerning that debt.
XXII. How a lord shall be punished who has voluntarily exposed a knight so that he himself may in the meantime be free. Furthermore, lest the chief lord may presume upon this with impunity, if he should, by chance, be again summoned for that debt, he shall not again merit the benefit of delay through the oath of a substitute, but solely through his own. Some, indeed, believe that he may not any more, even through his own oath, obtain from the sheriff a delay until the exchequer meets -- which benefit or delay, indeed, they who are bounden to the exchequer consider great, for they can in the meantime dispose more favourably of their possessions and prepare what is needed for a payment that is put off for a while, -- but they say rather that, having received the summons, the sheriff may be allowed to lay hands at once upon their chattels, according to the common law regarding others. I do not altogether disagree with such people, I confess; but nevertheless there should be many evidences and proofs to make it seem probable that the lord allowed his knight to be exposed to such hazards in order that, even thus, he himself might in the meantime go free. The most valid proof, moreover, against the lord in this matter is if he is considered, by the sheriff and the neighbourhood alike, well to do, abounding in possessions, able to pay.
D. It is indeed fitting that he should cease to merit a favour granted to him who has abused the same to the detriment of him who granted it.
M. Thou hast from the foregoing to some extent a distinction as to which chattels may be sold and which not, and also with regard to what persons discretion is to be used and to what persons not; -- that is, in the case where debtors who are bounden to the king for pecuniary punishments are not solvent. It remains for us to show what ought to be done concerning voluntary oblations when they likewise do not pay them.
XXIII. What is to be done concerning those who make voluntary offerings when they too do not pay. Know then that of the oblations to the king some are offered for a present benefit, some for a prospect. We say that one offers for a present benefit, when the offering is accepted by the king, and he who offers it receives from the king in proportion to what he has offered: as when any one, for some liberty, for an estate or for a farm, or for the wardship, to be enjoyed until he is of age, of some one who is a minor, or for any thing else which seems to add to his convenience or honour, offers of his own accord to the king £100 or 100 marks, and, the king consenting, immediately after the offer receives what he wished for. Concerning those, therefore, who bind themselves of their own will, and who, after having made an agreement with the prince, have already begun to hold possession, our law decrees that, so long as they pay, they may enjoy and make use of the benefits indulged to them. But if, after having been summoned for the debt of the king, they cease to pay, they shall straightway be deprived of what they had obtained; in such manner, however, that if while the exchequer lasts they render satisfaction for the same, without damage that which was taken away shall be restored. And note that any person, of whatever condition or sex, will always be subject to this rule concerning voluntary offerings, -- that, namely, he shall satisfy the summons or do without what he had obtained; unless the king himself, out of regard for a service rendered or for his poverty, indulge him something beyond the ordinary. So it is, when, on behalf of the offerer of a large sum at any exchequer he decrees that a certain portion shall be paid by himself, and makes this known through his writ to the barons. On the other hand, offerings are said to be made for a prospect when any one, for the sake of having justice done him concerning a certain estate or revenue, offers a certain sum to the king; not, however, in order that justice be done -- do not burst out upon us and say that justice is venal with us -- but that it be done without delay. Know, however, that not every thing thus offered is accepted by the king, not even though it seem to be immeasurably great. For to some, solely out of regard for a service rendered, or out of charity, he exhibits gratis the plenitude of justice; to others, moreover, according to the law of human nature, he is willing neither for prayer nor for price to show favour, the merits of those who are meanwhile known to be in possession coming in the way. Or perchance the merits of those themselves who make the demand by no means call for this, they being accused of having committed some offence either against the state or against the king himself. Concerning such persons, moreover, the illustrious king has thus decreed: that, before they have justice -- that is, before they obtain it by a sentence, -- or if, the matter being settled altogether contrary to them, they have abandoned all hope, they shall pay nothing in the way of offerings, but it shall suffice for the sheriff to reply concerning such persons: "they have not yet had justice." The sheriff shall, nevertheless, take care lest it happen through the debtor himself that his case does not come up for action, if, namely, he be unwilling to bring the matter before the law, so that, in this way, the king shall be defrauded of the money promised to him. For when this has been found out the subterfuge shall not avail him, but he shall be coerced in all things as though he had obtained justice through a sentence. It is a sign, moreover, of such wilful delay, when, keeping by him the writ of the king, he does not use it. However, through the compassion of the prince, they usually proceed rather gently with those who, after promising the money, let the case fall; lest, frustrated in their hope, being deprived also of their possessions without having gained any thing, they be reduced to despair by a double misfortune.
XXIV. As to Reliefs not voluntarily paid.
There are likewise payments of a third kind which do not seem altogether fit to be counted under offerings, but are rather called fines to the exchequer. They are made, namely, when one holding a barony in chief from the king dies and leaves an heir, and that heir compounds with the king for what sum he can, in order that he may merit to enter upon his father's privileges; which fine we commonly call a relief. If it is a barony, indeed, it is at the good pleasure of the king what the amount of the relief ought to be; if, however, it is a question of an escheat which has fallen into the hands of the king through default of an heir or otherwise, for one knight's fee he shall pay under the name of a relief to the king only so much as he would have been about to pay to his lord; that is, one hundred shillings. Some think, moreover, that those who are bounden to the king for reliefs, and do not pay when summoned, are subject to the rules regarding free-will offerings, namely, that when they do not pay they shall be deprived of the favours obtained. But it can be more truly said that it shall be proceeded in the case of reliefs as in the case of pecuniary penalties; for the heritage due to the children by reason of their succession seems to exclude them from the rule concerning voluntary payments.
XXV. What is to be done concerning birds offered, and at what time a summons is to be sent for them. It likewise happens at times that, for some reason or other, there are promised to the king royal birds; hawks. namely, or falcons. But if he who promises says in explanation, "a hawk of the present year," or "one that has already moulted," or also expresses the origin, saying, "I will give an Irish one,""a Spanish,""a Norwegian one," he shall render satisfaction accordingly. But if neither he who promises, nor he to whom it is promised shall specify, it shall rest with the discretion of the promiser whether he shall pay one that has moulted or not. But if it shall be judged sound and healthy by the hawk-keepers of the king, it shall be received no matter what its extraction. But if, having been summoned, he shall carry to the exchequer one worthy to be received, and there be no one there to receive it, he cannot, even if, after this, the summons is put off for a year, or two years or more, be compelled to pay any other than the one he prefers: one that has moulted, namely, or one of the present year. But if, having been summoned, he shall procure in some way that the payment be deferred, he shall, according to the number of years during which the delay is granted to him -- two years, namely, or three, or so on, pay one that has moulted. Concerning these birds, moreover, a summons is not made out against the Easter term, for their use is rare in the summer time; for then they are diligently guarded, being shut up in mews, so that, their old ones being laid aside, the glory of their feathers may return, and their youth be renewed like that of the eagle. But those that are due to the king shall be called for against the Michaelmas term; so that, as the winter approaches, they may be fitted for the service of the king. In coercing those, moreover, who thus bind themselves of their own accord and who do not pay, the aforesaid rule concerning voluntary offerings shall be observed.
XXVI. Concerning the Queen's gold.
Besides this, those should know who voluntarily bind themselves to the king for a sum of ready cash, that they are likewise bounden to the queen, although it has not been expressed. Although not expressed, indeed, it is, nevertheless, comprised in the promise: so that when he shall have promised one hundred or two hundred marks to the king, he is in like manner bounden to the queen to the extent of one mark of gold for a hundred marks of silver promised to the king, two marks of gold for two hundred, and so on. In collecting these, moreover, the sheriff shall in all things observe the same rule which he observed with regard to the debts of the king, not, however, before, but after the latter have been collected. When, therefore, summonses are made out concerning debts to the king, a clerk of the queen, appointed for this, is present, and adds in the summons: "from such a one thou shalt have a hundred marks for such a cause, and one mark of gold for the queen." The amounts called for, moreover, are received separately at the exchequer by her officials constituted for this purpose. Know also that even though the king relinquish the half or the whole of the money promised to himself, or even put off sending a summons for it, -- nevertheless, as to what pertains to the queen it shall be done in all things according as it seems good to her; so that, if she be unwilling, what is due to her may neither be remitted nor put off, but the amount of the summons shall be paid, and those who do not pay shall be coerced in the aforesaid manner.
D. Is anything due to the queen from sums under one hundred marks promised to the king?
M. To some it seems right that it should hold good for as low as ten marks -- so, namely, that he who has promised 10 to the king is bounden to the queen for one ounce of gold; -- to others, not unless for a hundred or more promised in the beginning. Concerning these things, therefore, wait with modesty for the present; for, the matter not being ended yet, the clearing up of it is suspended. On the part of the queen, indeed, litigation concerning this is being carried on with the debtors, and as yet the case is in the hands of the judge. From the amercements of the Jews, moreover, and from the redemption of moneyers her portion is due to the queen in the aforesaid form, just as we have said that it is from voluntary offerings.
D. With regard to pecuniary fines, and voluntary offerings, does the same law coerce clergy and laymen without a difference?
M. With regard to voluntary offerings one law is ob-served for all: that, whether he who does not pay be clerk or layman, he shall be deprived of the benefit until he render satisfaction. The same observance is regarded likewise in the case of every thing else that is due to the king, through any agreement, from the clergy -- if, namely, they have neglected to announce the privilege of their standing and of free possession. Concerning those, moreover, who do announce it, learn what ought to be done, if it please thee, from discreet and God-fearing laymen; for I omit these things on purpose at present, lest I be said to have dictated to the men of my condition my own rules and more gentle laws.
D. Thou did'st say, if I remember aright, that baronies or estates frequently come into the king's hands; I should wish thee, therefore, please to explain in what manner the income of escheats flows into the fisc; whether in one way or in different ways.
XXVII. That farms are to be answered for in one way and wardships in another, and that the oath is to be given in different wording.
M. When a barony or any great holding falls into the hands of the king, by his or by the president's mandate there are sent to it discreet men of both orders, who going through the different localities reduce the revenues of the same to a total, and agree that for this total the sheriff or some one else shall be bounden at the exchequer. When, there. fore, he who has been appointed for this purpose renders satisfaction for this total in money, or writs and tallies, afterwards giving an oath that it is a true account, he deserves to be acquitted. And concerning it there shall be written this in the yearly roll: "such and such a one renders account for the farm of such an honour; in the treasury so much, and he is quit"; or "and he owes." But when the king has committed the custody of his escheat to the faith of some one in such wise, namely, that the latter is to pay the income from it into the exchequer, then, after the account has been made, the oath shall not be given in the aforesaid tenor of words; but rather to the effect that, as much as he has received from it in money or in any other things whatever, so much, upon his conscience, he has paid into the exchequer: excepting alone such victuals as have been brought to him, he not extorting them under the semblance of voluntary contributions.
D. Does that administrator, then, receive the necessaries of life from these revenues?
M. Although it is written: "Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treadeth out the corn," nevertheless, except by express mandate of the king, he receives nothing from them; for, whoever he be, he shall serve the king at his own expense in these matters. Concerning such a one, moreover, it shall be written thus in the yearly roll: "such and such a one renders account for the income from such an honour on his affirmation." When, therefore, satisfaction has been rendered for all the aforesaid fixed or casual payments, and the separate items have, in due form, been written down in order in the roll, all those who have seats there are called together to complete the account of the principal farm, he whose name is marked at the head of the roll returns, and the account is completed in the following order. The farm paid this term by the sheriff, concerning which a test has been made, shall first be distributed by the calculator in coin heaps in the spaces marked by the stripes; then, deducting for the combustion, as has been said, the same is blanched, and the little tally of combustion being appended to it, though not being computed to the sheriff, -- the sum which is left is put on a tally. Likewise, also, what had been paid at the Easter term, and blanched, is put on the same tally. Likewise, also, the amount of combustion for that term is placed together with the combustion of the final term; so that there may be one tally for both payments, and, in the same way, one for combustion. This having been done, the treasurer, bringing forth the exactory roll which we mentioned above, causes the total for that county to be arranged above in heaps and in order. From this, then, is deducted what was paid into the treasury and blanched; after this, whatever the king has conferred on any one blank from the farm of the county. After this, again, the amount of the other payments made by writ of the king, or otherwise, is arranged in heaps, and is reckoned as blanched by the subtraction of twelve pence from each pound, just as that which is paid in the treasury is blanched by combustion. Then, indeed, a subtraction is made of the expenses below from the total above; and, if he have deserved to be altogether absolved, there is written at the end of that account in large letters: "and he is quit"; or below, at the head of the lower line: "and he owes." Then, at length, the account being ended, the amount of the payments actually in the treasury is put down where we said some time since "in the treasury" was written -- where a blank had been left on purpose, lest the scribe might, perhaps, be obliged to erase; which, especially with regard to numbers and names and causes, is, as we said long since, to be avoided.
That an oath as to the truth of an account, being once given, suffices once and for all.
The account for the body of the county being settled, as has been said, the oath of the sheriff is taken by the marshall once, under the aforesaid form; and, after being thus absolved he is dismissed. Some, however, believed that the sheriff should give a separate oath for each separate item that needed confirmation, -- so that he should give his oath as often as he said that anything was so which could be confirmed by his oath alone. But this was seen to be a very pernicious subtlety by prudent men and ones skilled in the divine Law, because when once he had given his oath, he had, upon his conscience, made a lawful account for everything. Therefore, after a while, this opinion together with its author came to be rightly despised, and they were content with one oath -- that is, with an oath once given; for they are one body in the confession of one faith.
D. I perceive by the already languishing pen that the end of speaking is at hand. But, although the twilight of approaching night, and the more extended labour of a more lengthy task call us to other things and compel us to breathe a little, -- I should like thee, nevertheless, if it can be done, to give certainty to the mind of thy pupil which is in suspense and fluctuating at present by reason of thy words, by showing, namely, how it is, as I remember thee to have said in the beginning, that the whole description of the exchequer is a sort of hiding place for sacred truths, which are to be revealed when the books of all are opened and the gates closed.
M. It is great what thou askest and needs further investigation; nor, by my promise, did I become thy debtor to the extent of explaining these things. I pass them over, then, at present, reserving them for the disputation of another day. I fear, indeed, lest if I should impose a new burden on one who is already charged with so many, thou would'st give way under the weight; and, likewise, if to that already said and which is to be committed to memory, I should add the study of something new, I should drive thee to hate both. Be content, therefore, with the things that have already been said, and to which thou did'st drive me; for thou hast in them, as much as could offer itself to a fresh memory, an explanation, as it were from the first principles, of whatever seemed best to thee relating to the science of the exchequer. But as to explaining exactly the different things which in the course of time must necessarily come up, -- for that, neither a man's strength, nor perhaps his life would suffice. For from varied and unusual cases either no system at all can be formed, or one hitherto unknown. But for this reason I shall be rather exposed to the tongues of detractors when, as time goes on, many doubtful and hitherto unheard of points shall happen to be brought up. And when they find nothing here concerning these or similar points, they will commence to mock, saying: this man began to build and could not or did not know how to finish. I do not differ from them. I have followed, indeed, myself as the worst of masters; but have nevertheless, thou compelling me, done what I could without a leader and without a model. For I put my axe to a rude and untouched forest, cutting wood for royal edifices, to be planed by the tool of a more skilful builder. When, therefore, from this material the structure of the royal palace shall have arisen, let him who made the beginning merit the first, even though not the chief thanks.
Farewell, illustrious king.
LAWS OF RICHARD I. (COEUR DE LION)
CONCERNING CRUSADERS WHO WERE TO GO BY SEA. 1189 A.D.
( "Roger of Hoveden," III. p. 36 [Rolls Series].)
Richard by the grace of God king of England, and duke of Normandy and Aquitaine, and count of Anjou, to all his subjects who are about to go by sea to Jerusalem, greeting. Know that we, by the common counsel of upright men, have made the laws here given. Whoever slays a man on shipboard shall be bound to the dead man and thrown into the sea. But if he shall slay him on land, he shall be bound to the dead man and buried in the earth. If any one, moreover, shall be convicted through lawful witnesses of having drawn a knife to strike another, or of having struck him so as to draw blood, he shall lose his hand. But if he shall strike him with his fist without drawing blood, he shall be dipped three times in the sea. But if any one shall taunt or insult a comrade or charge him with hatred of God: as many times as he shall have insulted him, so many ounces of silver shall he pay. A robber, moreover, convicted of theft, shall be shorn like a hired fighter, and boiling tar shall be poured over his head, and feathers from a cushion shall be shaken out over his head, -- so that he may be publicly known; and at the first land where the ships put in he shall be cast on shore. Under my own witness at Chinon.
( Stubbs'; "Charters," pp. 296 ff.)
John, by the grace of God king of England, lord of Ireland, duke of Normandy and Aquitaine, count of Anjou: to the archbishops, bishops, abbots, earls, barons, justices, foresters, sheriffs, prevosts, serving men, and to all his bailiffs and faithful subjects, greeting.
Know that we, by the will of God and for the safety of our soul, and of the souls of all our predecessors and our heirs, to the honour of God and for the exalting of the holy Church and the bettering of our realm: by the counsel of our venerable fathers Stephen archbishop of Canterbury, primate of all England and cardinal of the holy Roman Church; of Henry archbishop of Dublin; of the bishops William of London, Peter of Winchester, Jocelin of Bath and Glastonbury, Hugo of Lincoln, Walter of Worcester, William of Coventry and Benedict of Rochester; of master Pandulf, subdeacon and of the household of the lord Pope; of brother Aymeric, master of the knights of the Temple in England; and of the noble men, William Marshall earl of Pembroke, William earl of Salisbury, William earl of Warren, William earl of Arundel, Alan de Galway constable of Scotland, Warin son of Gerold, Peter son of Herbert, Hubert de Burgh seneschal of Poictiers, Hugo de Neville, Matthew son of Herbert, Thomas Basset, Alan Basset, Philip d'Aubigni, Robert de Roppelay, John Marshall, John son of Hugo, and others of our faithful subjects:
1. First of all have granted to God, and, for us and for our heirs forever, have confirmed, by this our present charter, that the English church shall be free and shall have its rights intact and its liberties uninfringed upon. And thus we will that it be observed. As is apparent from the fact that we, spontaneously and of our own free will, before discord broke out between ourselves and our barons, did grant and by our charter confirm -- and did cause the lord Pope Innocent III. to confirm -- freedom of elections, which is considered most important and most necessary to the church of England. Which charter both we ourselves shall observe, and we will that it be observed with good faith by our heirs forever. We have also granted to all free men of our realm, on the part of ourselves and our heirs forever, all the subjoined liberties, to have and to hold, to them and to their heirs, from us and from our heirs:
2. If any one of our earls or barons, or of others holding from us in chief through military service, shall die; and if, at the time of his death, his heir be of full age and owe a relief: he shall have his inheritance by paying the old relief; -- the heir, namely, or the heirs of an earl, by paying one hundred pounds for the whole barony of an earl; the heir or heirs of a baron, by paying one hundred pounds for the whole barony; the heir or heirs of a knight, by paying one hundred shillings at most for a whole knight's fee; and he who shall owe less shall give less, according to the ancient custom of fees.
3. But if the heir of any of the above persons shall be under age and in wardship, -- when he comes of age he shall have his inheritance without relief and without fine.
4. The administrator of the land of such heir who shall be under age shall take none but reasonable issues from the land of the heir, and reasonable customs and services; and this without destruction and waste of men or goods. And if we shall have committed the custody of any such land to the sheriff or to any other man who ought to be responsible to us for the issues of it, and he cause destruction or waste to what is in his charge: we will fine him, and the land shall be handed over to two lawful and discreet men of that fee who shall answer to us, or to him to whom we shall have referred them, regarding those issues. And if we shall have given or sold to any one the custody of any such land, and he shall have caused destruction or waste to it, -- he shall lose that custody, and it shall be given to two lawful and discreet men of that fee, who likewise shall answer to us, as has been explained.
5. The administrator, moreover, so long as he may have the custody of the land, shall keep in order, from the issues of that land, the houses, parks, warrens, lakes, mills, and other things pertaining to it. And he shall restore to the heir when he comes to full age, his whole land stocked with ploughs and wainnages, according as the time of the wainnage requires and the issues of the land will reasonably permit. 6. Heirs may marry without disparagement; so, nevertheless, that, before the marriage is contracted, it shall be announced to the relations by blood of the heir himself.
7. A widow, after the death of her husband, shall straightway, and without difficulty, have her marriage portion and her inheritance, nor shall she give any thing in return for her dowry, her marriage portion, or the inheritance which belonged to her, and which she and her husband held on the day of the death of that husband. And she may remain in the house of her husband, after his death, for forty days; within which her dowry shall be paid over to her.
8. No widow shall be forced to marry when she prefers to live without a husband; so, however, that she gives security not to marry without our consent, if she hold from us, or the consent of the lord from whom she holds, if she hold from another.
9. Neither we nor our bailiffs shall seize any revenue for any debt, so long as the chattels of the debtor suffice to pay the debt; nor shall the sponsors of that debtor be distrained so long as that chief debtor has enough to pay the debt. But if the chief debtor fail in paying the debt, not having the wherewithal to pay it, the sponsors shall answer for the debt. And, if they shall wish, they may have the lands and revenues of the debtor until satisfaction shall have been given them for the debt previously paid for him; unless the chief debtor shall show that he is quit in that respect towards those same sponsors.
10. If any one shall have taken any sum, great or small, as a loan from the Jews, and shall die before that debt is paid, -- that debt shall not bear interest so long as the heir, from whomever he may hold, shall be under age. And if the debt fall into our hands, we shall take nothing save the chattel contained in the deed.
11. And if any one dies owing a debt to the Jews, his wife shall have her dowry, and shall restore nothing of that debt. But if there shall remain children of that dead man, and they shall be under age, the necessaries shall be provided for them according to the nature of the dead man's holding; and, from the residue, the debt shall be paid, saving the service due to the lords. In like manner shall be done concerning debts that are due to others besides Jews.
12. No scutage or aid shall be imposed in our realm unless by the common counsel of our realm; except for redeeming our body, and knighting our eldest son, and marrying once our eldest daughter. And for these purposes there shall only be given a reasonable aid. In like manner shall be done concerning the aids of the city of London.
13. And the city of London shall have all its old liberties and free customs as well by land as by water. Moreover we will and grant that all other cities and burroughs, and towns and ports, shall have all their liberties and free customs.
14. And, in order to have the common counsel of the realm in the matter of assessing an aid otherwise than in the aforesaid cases, or of assessing a scutage, -- we shall cause, under seal through our letters, the archbishops, bishops, abbots, earls, and greater barons to be summoned for a fixed day -- for a term, namely, at least forty days distant, -- and for a fixed place. And, moreover, we shall cause to be summoned in general, through our sheriffs and bailiffs, all those who hold of us in chief. And in all those letters of summons we shall express the cause of the summons. And when a summons has thus been made, the business shall be proceeded with on the day appointed according to the counsel of those who shall be present, even though not all shall come who were summoned.
15. We will not allow any one henceforth to take an aid from his freemen save for the redemption of his body, and the knighting of his eldest son, and the marrying, once, of his eldest daughter; and, for these purposes, there shall only be given a reasonable aid.
16. No one shall be forced to do more service for a knight's fee, or for another free holding, than is due from it.
17. Common pleas shall not follow our court but shall be held in a certain fixed place. 18. Assizes of novel disseisin, of mort d'ancestor, and of darrein presentment shall not be held save in their own counties, and in this way: we, or our chief justice, if we shall be absent from the kingdom, shall send two justices through each county four times a year; they, with four knights from each county, chosen by the county, shall hold the aforesaid assizes in the county, and on the day and at the place of the county court.
19. And if on the day of the county court the aforesaid assizes can not be held, a sufficient number of knights and free tenants, from those who were present at the county court on that day, shall remain, so that through them the judgments may be suitably given, according as the matter may have been great or small.
20. A freeman shall only be amerced for a small offence according to the measure of that offence. And for a great offence he shall be amerced according to the magnitude of the offence, saving his contenement; and a merchant, in the same way, saving his merchandize. And a villein, in the same way, if he fall under our mercy, shall be amerced saving his wainnage. And none of the aforesaid fines shall be imposed save upon oath of upright men from the neighbourhood.
21. Earls and barons shall not be amerced save through their peers, and only according to the measure of the offence.
22. No clerk shall be amerced for his lay tenement except according to the manner of the other persons aforesaid; and not according to the amount of his ecclesiastical benefice. 23. Neither a town nor a man shall be forced to make bridges over the rivers, with the exception of those who, from of old and of right ought to do it.
24. No sheriff, constable, coroners, or other bailiffs of ours shall hold the pleas of our crown. 25. All counties, hundreds, wapentakes, and trithings -our demesne manors being excepted -- shall continue according to the old farms, without any increase at all.
26. If any one holding from us a lay fee shall die, and our sheriff or bailiff can show our letters patent containing our summons for the debt which the dead man owed to us, -- our sheriff or bailiff may be allowed to attach and enroll the chattels of the dead man to the value of that debt, through view of lawful men; in such way, however, that nothing shall be removed thence until the debt is paid which was plainly owed to us. And the residue shall be left to the executors that they may carry out the will of the dead man. And if nothing is owed to us by him, all the chattels shall go to the use prescribed by the deceased, saving their reasonable portions to his wife and children.
27. If any freeman shall have died intestate his chattels shall be distributed through the hands of his near relatives and friends, by view of the church; saving to any one the debts which the dead man owed him.
28. No constable or other bailiff of ours shall take the corn or other chattels of any one except he straightway give money for them, or can be allowed a respite in that regard by the will of the seller. 29. No constable shall force any knight to pay money for castle-ward if he be willing to perform that ward in person, or -- he for a reasonable cause not being able to perform it himself -- through another proper man. And if we shall have led or sent him on a military expedition, he shall be quit of ward according to the amount of time during which, through us, he shall have been in military service. 30. No sheriff nor bailiff of ours, nor any one else, shall take the horses or carts of any freeman for transport, unless by the will of that freeman.
31. Neither we nor our bailiffs shall take another's wood for castles or for other private uses, unless by the will of him to whom the wood belongs.
32. We shall not hold the lands of those convicted of felony longer than a year and a day; and then the lands shall be restored to the lords of the fiefs.
33. Henceforth all the weirs in the Thames and Medway, and throughout all England, save on the sea-coast, shall be done away with entirely.
34. Henceforth the writ which is called Praecipe shall not be served on any one for any holding so as to cause a free man to lose his court.
35. There shall be one measure of wine throughout our whole realm, and one measure of ale and one measure of corn -- namely, the London quart; -- and one width of dyed and russet and hauberk cloths -- namely, two ells below the selvage. And with weights, moreover, it shall be as with measures.
36. Henceforth nothing shall be given or taken for a writ of inquest in a matter concerning life or limb; but it shall be conceded gratis, and shall not be denied.
37. If any one hold of us in fee-farm, or in socage, or in burkage, and hold land of another by military service, we shall not, by reason of that fee-farm, or socage, or burkage, have the wardship of his heir or of his land which is held in fee from another. Nor shall we have the wardship of that fee-farm, or socage, or burkage unless that fee-farm owe military service. We shall not, by reason of some petit-serjeanty which some one holds of us through the service of giving us knives or arrows or the like, have the wardship of his heir or of the land which he holds of another by military service. 38. No bailiff, on his own simple assertion, shall henceforth put any one to his law, without producing faithful witnesses in evidence.
39. No freeman shall be taken, or imprisoned, or disseized, or outlawed, or exiled, or in any way harmed -- nor will we go upon or send upon him -- save by the lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land.
40. To none will we sell, to none deny or delay, right or justice.
41. All merchants may safely and securely go out of England, and come into England, and delay and pass through England, as well by land as by water, for the purpose of buying and selling, free from all evil taxes, subject to the ancient and right customs -- save in time of war, and if they are of the land at war against us. And if such be found in our land at the beginning of the war, they shall be held, without harm to their bodies and goods, until it shall be known to us or our chief justice how the merchants of our land are to be treated who shall, at that time, be found in the land at war against us. And if ours shall be safe there, the others shall be safe in our land.
42. Henceforth any person, saving fealty to us, may go out of our realm and return to it, safely and securely, by land and by water, except perhaps for a brief period in time of war, for the common good of the realm. But prisoners and outlaws are excepted according to the law of the realm; also people of a land at war against us, and the merchants, with regard to whom shall be done as we have said.
43. If any one hold from any escheat -- as from the houour of Wallingford, Nottingham, Boloin, Lancaster, or the other escheats which are in our hands and are baronies -- and shall die, his heir shall not give another relief, nor shall he perform for us other service than he would perform for a baron if that barony were in the hand of a baron; and we shall hold it in the same way in which the baron has held it.
44. Persons dwelling without the forest shall not henceforth come before the forest justices, through common summonses, unless they are impleaded or are the sponsors of some person or persons attached for matters concerning the forest.
45. We will not make men justices, constables, sheriffs, or bailiffs, unless they are such as know the law of the realm, and are minded to observe it rightly.
46. All barons who have founded abbeys for which they have charters of the kings of England, or ancient right of tenure, shall have, as they ought to have, their custody when vacant. 47. All forests constituted as such in our time shall straightway be annulled; and the same shall be done for river banks made into places of defence by us in our time.
48. All evil customs concerning forests and warrens, and concerning foresters and warreners, sheriffs and their servants, river banks and their guardians, shall straightway be inquired into in each county, through twelve sworn knights from that county, and shall be eradicated by them, entirely, so that they shall never be renewed, within forty days after the inquest has been made; in such manner that we shall first know about them, or our justice if we be not in England.
49. We shall straightway return all hostages and charters which were delivered to us by Englishmen as a surety for peace or faithful service.
50. We shall entirely remove from their bailiwicks the relatives of Gerard de Athyes, so that they shall henceforth have no bailiwick in England: Engelard de Cygnes, Andrew Peter and Gyon de Chanceles, Gyon de Cygnes, Geoffrey de Martin and his brothers, Philip Mark and his brothers, and Geoffrey his nephew, and the whole following of them.
51. And straightway after peace is restored we shall rcmove from the realm all the foreign soldiers, crossbowmen, servants, hirelings, who may have come with horses and arms to the harm of the realm. 52. If any one shall have been disseized by us, or removed, without a legal sentence of his peers, from his lands, castles, liberties or lawful right, we shall straightway restore them to him. And if a dispute shall arise concerning this matter it shall be settled according to the judgment of the twenty five barons who are mentioned below as sureties for the peace. But with regard to all those things of which any one was, by king Henry our father or king Richard our brother, disseized or dispossessed without legal judgment of his peers, which we have in our hand or which others hold, and for which we ought to give a guarantee: we shall have respite until the common term for crusaders. Except with regard to those concerning which a plea was moved, or an inquest made by our order, before we took the cross. But when we return from our pilgrimage, or if, by chance, we desist from our pilgrimage, we shall straightway then show full justice regarding them.
53. We shall have the same respite, moreover, and in the same manner, in the matter of showing justice with regard to forests to be annulled and forests to remain, which Henry our father or Richard our brother constituted; and in the matter of wardships of lands which belong to the fee of another -- wardships of which kind we have hitherto enjoyed by reason of the fee which some one held from us in military service; -- and in the matter of abbeys founded in the fee of another than ourselves -- in which the lord of the fee may say that he has jurisdiction. And when we return, or if we desist from our pilgrimage, we shall straightway exhibit full justice to those complaining with regard to these matters. 54. No one shall be taken or imprisoned on account of the appeal of a woman concerning the death of another than her husband. 55. All fines imposed by us unjustly and contrary to the law of the land, and all amerciaments made unjustly and contrary to the law of the land, shall be altogether remitted, or it shall be done with regard to them according to the judgment of the twenty five barons mentioned below as sureties for the peace, or according to the judgment of the majority of them together with the aforesaid Stephen archbishop of Canterbury, if he can be present, and with others whom he may wish to associate with himself for this purpose. And if he can not be present, the affair shall nevertheless proceed without him; in such way that, if one or more of the said twenty five barons shall be concerned in a similar complaint, they shall be removed as to this particular decision, and, in their place, for this purpose alone, others shall be substituted who shall be chosen and sworn by the remainder of those twenty five.
56. If we have disseized or dispossessed Welshmen of their lands or liberties or other things without legal judgment of their peers, in England or in Wales, -- they shall straightway be restored to them. And if a dispute shall arise concerning this, then action shall be taken upon it in the March through judgment of their peers -- concerning English holdings according to the law of England, concerning Welsh holdings according to the law of Wales, concerning holdings in the March according to the law of the March. The Welsh shall do likewise with regard to us and our subjects.
57. But with regard to all those things of which any one of the Welsh was, by king Henry our father or king Richard our brother, disseized or dispossessed without legal judgment of his peers, which we have in our hand or which others hold, and for which we ought to give a guarantee: we shall have respite until the common term for crusaders. Except with regard to those concerning which a plea was moved, or an inquest made by our order, before we took the cross. But when we return from our pilgrimage, or if, by chance, we desist from our pilgrimage, we shall straightway then show full justice regarding them, according to the laws of Wales and the aforesaid districts.
58. We shall straightway return the son of Llewelin and all the Welsh hostages, and the charters delivered to us as surety for the peace.
59. We shall act towards Alexander king of the Scots regarding the restoration of his sisters, and his hostages, and his liberties and his lawful right, as we shall act towards our other barons of England; unless it ought to be otherwise according to the charters which we hold from William, his father, the former king of the Scots. And this shall be done through judgment of his peers in our court.
60. Moreover all the subjects of our realm, clergy as well as laity, shall, as far as pertains to them, observe, with regard to their vassals, all these aforesaid customs and liberties which we have decreed shall, as far as pertains to us, be observed in our realm with regard to our own.
61. Inasmuch as, for the sake of God, and for the bettering of our realm, and for the more ready healing of the discord which has arisen between us and our barons, we have made all these aforesaid concessions,
-- wishing them to enjoy for ever entire and firm stability, we make and grant to them the following security: that the barons, namely, may elect at their pleasure twenty five barons from the realm, who ought, with all their strength, to observe, maintain and cause to be observed, the peace and privileges which we have granted to them and confirmed by this our present charter. In such wise, namely, that if we, or our justice, or our bailiffs, or any one of our servants shall have transgressed against any one in any respect, or shall have broken some one of the articles of peace or security, and our transgression shall have been shown to four barons of the aforesaid twenty five: those four barons shall come to us, or, if we are abroad, to our justice, showing to us our error; and they shall ask us to cause that error to be amended without delay. And if we do not amend that error, or, we being abroad, if our justice do not amend it within a term of forty days from the time when it was shown to us or, we being abroad, to our justice: the aforesaid four barons shall refer the matter to the remainder of the twenty five barons, and those twenty five barons, with the whole land in common, shall distrain and oppress us in every way in their power,
-- namely, by taking our castles, lands and possessions, and in every other way that they can, until amends shall have been made according to their judgment. Saving the persons of ourselves, our queen and our children. And when amends shall have been made they shall be in accord with us as they had been previously. And whoever of the land wishes to do so, shall swear that in carrying out all the aforesaid measures he will obey the mandates of the aforesaid twenty five barons, and that, with them, he will oppress us to the extent of his power. And, to any one who wishes to do so, we publicly and freely give permission to swear; and we will never prevent any one from swearing. Moreover, all those in the land who shall be unwilling, themselves and of their own accord, to swear to the twenty five barons as to distraining and oppressing us with then: such ones we shall make to swear by our mandate, as has been said. And if any one of the twenty five barons shall die, or leave the country, or in any other way be prevented from carrying out the aforesaid measures,
-- the remainder of the aforesaid twenty five barons shall choose another in his place, according to their judgment, who shall be sworn in the same way as the others. Moreover, in all things entrusted to those twenty five barons to be carried out, if those twenty five shall be present and chance to disagree among themselves with regard to some matter, or if some of them, having been summoned, shall be unwilling or unable to be present: that which the majority of those present shall decide or decree shall be considered binding and valid, just as if all the twenty five had consented to it. And the aforesaid twenty five shall swear that they will faithfully observe all the foregoing, and will cause them to be observed to the extent of their power. And we shall obtain nothing from any one, either through ourselves or through another, by which any of those concessions and liberties may be revoked or diminished. And if any such thing shall have been obtained, it shall be vain and invalid, and we shall never make use of it either through ourselves or through another.
62. And we have fully remitted to all, and pardoned, all the ill-will, anger and rancour which have arisen between us and our subjects, clergy and laity, from the time of the struggle. Moreover we have fully remitted to all, clergy and laity, and -- as far as pertains to us -- have pardoned fully all the transgressions committed, on the occasion of that same struggle, from Easter of the sixteenth year of our reign until the re-establishment of peace. In witness of which, moreover, we have caused to be drawn up for them letters patent of lord Stephen, archbishop of Canterbury, lord Henry, archbishop of Dublin, and the aforesaid bishops and master Pandulf, regarding that surety and the aforesaid concessions.
63. Wherefore we will and firmly decree that the English church shall be free, and that the subjects of our realm shall have and hold all the aforesaid liberties, rights and concessions, duly and in peace, freely and quietly, fully and entirely, for themselves and their heirs, from us and our heirs, in all matters and in all places, forever, as has been said. Moreover it has been sworn, on our part as well as on the part of the barons, that all these above mentioned provisions shall be observed with good faith and without evil intent. The witnesses being the above mentioned and many others. Given through our hand, in the plain called Runnimede between Windsor and Stanes, on the fifteenth day of June, in the seventeenth year of our reign.
STATUTE OF MORTMAIN (1279).
( Stubbs' "Charters," p. 457.)
The king to his Justices of the Bench, greeting.
Whereas of late it was provided that religious men should not enter into the fees of any without the will and licence of the lords in chief of whom these fees are held immediately; and such religious men have, notwithstanding, later entered as well into their own fees as into those of others, appropriating them to themselves, and buying them, and sometimes receiving them from the gift of others, whereby the services which are due of such fees, and which at the beginning, were provided for the defence of the realm, are unduly withdrawn, and the lords in chief do lose their escheats of the same; we, therefore, to the profit of our realm, wishing to provide a fit remedy in this matter, by advice of our prelates, counts and other subjects of our realm who are of our council, have provided, established, and ordained, that no person, religious or other, whatsoever he be, shall presume to buy or sell any lands or tenements, or under colour of gift or lease, or of any other term or title whatever to receive them from any one, or in any other way, by craft or by wile to appropriate them to himself, whereby such lands and tenements may come into mortmain; under pain of forfeiture of the same. We have provided also that if any person, religious or other, do presume either by craft or wile to offend against this statute, it shall be lawful for us and for other immediate lords in chief of the fee so alienated, to enter it within a year from the time of such alienation and to hold it in fee as an inheritance. And if the immediate lord in chief shall be negligent and be not willing to enter into such fee within the year, then it shall be lawful for the next mediate lord in chief, within the half year following, to enter that fee and to hold it, as has been said; and thus each mediate lord may do if the next lord be negligent in entering such fee, as has been said. And if all such chief lords of such fee, who shall be of full age and within the four seas and out of prison, shall be for one year negligent or remiss in this matter, we, straightway after the year is completed from the time when such purchases, gifts, or appropriations of another kind happen to have been made, shall take such lands and tenements into our hand, and shall enfief others therein by certain services to be rendered thence to us for the defence of our kingdom; saving to the lords in chief of the same fees their wards, escheats and other things which pertain to them, and the services therefrom due and accustomed. And therefore we command you to cause the aforesaid statute to be read before you, and from henceforth to be firmly kept and observed.
Witness myself at Westminster, the 15th day of November, the 7th year of our reign.
STATUTE OF 1290 CONCERNING THE BUYING AND SELLING OF LAND (Quia emptores)
Forasmuch as purchasers of lands and tenements of the fees of magnates and others, have many times previously entered into their fees to the prejudice of the same (lords), since to them (the purchasers) the free tenants of these same magnates and others have sold their lands and tenements to be held in fee for themselves and their heirs from the subinfeudators and not from the lords in chief of the fees, whereby the same lords in chief have often lost the escheats, marriages and wardships of lands and tenements belonging to their fees, which thing indeed seemed very hard and extreme to the magnates and other lords, and moreover, in this case, manifest disinheritance; the lord king in his parliament at Westminster after Easter in the 18th year of his reign, viz., in the Quinzime of St. John the Baptist, at the instance of his magnates, did grant, provide and decree that henceforth it shall be lawful for any free man to sell at will his lands or tenements or a part of them; in such manner, however, that the infeudated person shall hold that land or tenement from the same lord in chief and by the same services and customs by which his infeudator previously held them. And if he shall have sold to any one any part of those his lands or tenements, the infeudated person shall hold that (part) directly of the lord in chief, and shall straightway be charged with as much service as pertains or ought to pertain to that lord for that parcel, according to the quantity of the land or tenement sold; and so in this case there shall fall away from the lord in chief that part of the service which is to be performed by the hand of the infeudator, from the time when the infeudated person ought to be attendant and answerable to that same lord in chief, according to the quantity of the land or tenement sold, for that parcel of service thus due. And it must be known that by the said sales or purchases of lands or tenements, or any part of them, those lands or tenements in part or in whole, may not come into mortmain, by art or by wile, contrary to the statute recently issued on this point. And it is to be known that that statute concerning lands sold holds good only for those holding in fee simple, etc.; and that it extends to future time; and it shall begin to take effect at the feast of St. Andrew next coming.
THE MANNER OF HOLDING PARLIAMENT
( Stubbs' "Charters," p. 502.)
Here is described the manner in which the parliament of the king of England and of his English was held in the time of king Edward, son of king Ethelred. Which manner, indeed, was expounded by the more discreet men of the kingdom in the presence of William, duke of Normandy, and Conqueror and king of England, the Conqueror himself commanding this; and was approved by him, and was customary in his times and also in the times of his successors, the kings of England.
The Summoning of Parliament.
The summoning of parliament ought to precede the first day of parliament by forty days.
To the parliament ought to be summoned and to come, by reason of their tenure, each and all the archbishops, bishops, abbots, priors, and, by reason of such tenure, the other greater clergy who are holders of a county or a barony; and none of the lesser, unless their presence and coming is required otherwise than on account of their tenures: that is, if they belong to the king's council, or if their presence is thought useful or necessary to the parliament. And the king is required to furnish their outlays and expenses in coming to and remaining at the parliament. Nor should such lesser clergy receive a summons to parliament; but the king usually sent his writs at the proper time, requesting that they might be present at his parliament.
Likewise the king used to send his summons separately to the archbishops, bishops and other exempt persons -such as the abbots, priors, deans and other ecclesiastical persons who have jurisdictions through such exemptions and privileges -- to the effect that they, for each deanery and archdeanery of England, should, through the deaneries and archdeaneries themselves, cause to be elected two skilled and suitable representatives for their own archdeanery, who should come to and be present at the parliament in order to submit to, to assert and to do, the same thing as every one and all the persons of those deaneries and archdeaneries would have done, had they there been personally present.
And such representatives should come with their warrants duplicated, signed with the seals of their superiors, to the effect that they, as members of the clergy, are sent to be such representatives; of which letters one shall be given over to the clerks of parliament to be enrolled, and the other shall remain with the representatives themselves. And thus, under these two forms, the whole clergy ought to be summoned to parliament.
Concerning Lay Members.
Likewise each and all the earls and barons and their peers ought to be summoned and to come; that is, those who have lands and revenues of the value of a county -twenty knights' fees, namely, each fee being computed at yearly twenty pounds' worth, which makes, four hundred pounds worth in all: or of the value of one whole barony -- thirteen fees, namely, and the third part of one knight's fee; each fee being computed at twenty pounds' worth, which makes in all four hundred marks. And no lesser laymen ought to be summoned, or to come to parliament by reason of their tenure, unless their presence be useful or necessary to the parliament from other causes; and then it should be done concerning them as has been said is done concerning the lesser clergy, who are not at all bound by reason of their tenure to come to parliament.
Concerning the Barons of the Ports.
Likewise the king is bound to send his writs to the warden of the Cinque Ports, to the effect that he shall cause to be elected from each port, through the port itself, two suitable and skilled barons to come and be present at his (the king's) parliament; in order to answer, to submit to, to assert and to do the same thing as their baronies; just as if, from those baronies, each and every man were there in person. And such barons shall come with their warrants duplicated, signed with the common seals of their ports, to the effect that they were duly elected for this purpose, and were given their powers and were sent for those baronies. Of which warrants one shall be given to the clerks of the parliament, and the other shall remain with the barons themselves. And when such barons of the ports, having obtained permission, had made their retreat from the parliament, then they were accustomed to have a writ under the great seal of the warden of the Cinque Ports, to the effect that he would cause to be paid the reasonable outlays and expenses of such barons, by the community of the port in question, from the first day on which they started towards the parliament, until the day when they returned to their home; express mention, moreover, being made, in that writ, of the stay which they had made at parliament, of the day on which they arrived, and that on which they had been given permission to return. And, sometimes, they used to make mention in the writ of how much such barons ought to receive daily from those communities; some, namely, more, some less, according to the capacities, distinction, and reputation of the persons. Nor was there usually expended for the two barons daily more than twenty shillings -- consideration being had for their habits, labours and expenses. Nor are such expenses usually paid for certain by the court, without regard to whom the persons thus elected and sent by the communities may be; unless the persons themselves have been honest and of good conduct in parliament.
Concerning the Knights.
Likewise the king was accustomed to send his writs to all the sheriffs of England, to the effect that they should each cause to be elected from their county, by the county itself, two suitable honest and skilled knights to come to his parliament; in the same manner as has been described with regard to the barons of the ports. And it shall be the same concerning their warrants. But for the expenses of two knights from one county, it is not usual to pay more than one mark a day.
Concerning Citizens. In the same way he was accustomed to send an order to the mayor and sheriffs of London, and to the mayor and bailiffs, or the mayor and citizens, of York and the other cities: to the effect that they, for their cities as a whole, should elect two suitable, honest and skilled citizens, to come to, and be present at parliament; in the same manner as has been described concerning the barons of the Cinque Ports and the knights of the shires. And the citizens were accustomed to be on the same footing, and equal, with the knights of the shires, as regards the expenses of coming, remaining, and returning.
Likewise, in the same manner, there used to be, and should be, an order sent to the bailiffs and trustworthy men of the burroughs, to the effect that they, from themselves and for themselves, shall elect two suitable, honest and skilled burgesses to come and be present at parliament; in the same manner as has been described concerning the citizens. But two burgesses did not usually receive for their expenses for one day more than ten shillings, and sometimes more than half a mark; and this was usually estimated, by the court, according to the magnitude and power of the burrough, and according to the distinction of the persons sent.
Concerning the principal Clerks of Parliament.
Likewise two principal clerks of parliament shall sit in the midst of the justices, and shall enroll all the pleas and transactions of parliament.
And be it known that those two clerks are not subject to any justices whatever; nor is there any justice of England in parliament. Nor have justices of themselves the right of recording in parliament, unless a new power has been assigned or given. them in parliament through the king or the peers of parliament: as when they are assigned, with other members of parliament, to hear and dispose of different petitions and complaints put forth in parliament. And those two clerks are directly subject to the king and to his parliament in common, unless it happens that one or two justices are assigned to them to examine and correct their enrollments. And when peers of parliament have been assigned to hear and examine, apart by themselves, any petitions: then, when they shall have become united and concordant in rendering judgment concerning such petitions, they shall both explain the proceedings that have taken place concerning them, and shall render their judgments in full parliament; -- chiefly so that those two clerks may enroll all pleas and all judgments in the principal roll of parliament, and may surrender those same rolls to the treasurer of the king before parliament shall be dismissed; so that those rolls shall, by all means, be in the treasury before the breaking up of parliament; excepting however a transcript therefrom, or a counter-roll, belonging to those same clerks if they wish to have it. Those two clerks, unless they have another office under the king, and hold fiefs from him so that they can live respectably therefrom, shall receive from the king daily one mark, in equal portions, for their expenses. Unless they are at the table of the lord king; in which case they shall receive, besides their meals, a half a mark in equal portions daily, throughout the whole of parliament.
Concerning the Five Clerks.
Likewise the king shall assign five skilled and approved clerks; of whom the first shall minister to, and serve, the bishops; the second, the representatives of the clergy; the third, the counts and barons; the fourth, the knights of the shires; the fifth, the citizens and burgesses. And each of them, unless he be with the king and receive from him such a fee, or such wages, that he can honestly live from them, shall receive from the king daily two shillings. Unless they are at the table of the lord king; in which case they shall receive daily ten pence. And these clerks shall write down the objections and responses which they (the bishops, clergy, etc.) make to the king and the parliament; and shall be present at their councils whenever they wish to have them. And, when they (the clerks) are at leisure, they shall aid the principal clerks with their enrollments.
Concerning difficult Cases and Judgments.
When a dispute, a doubt, or a difficult case, whether of peace or war, comes up in the kingdom or out of it, -- that case shall be drawn up in writing and read in full parliament; and shall be treated of and disputed there among the peers of parliament; and, if it be necessary, it shall be enjoined -- through the king, or on the part of the king if he be not present -- on each of the grades of peers, that each grade shall go apart by itself; and that that case shall be delivered to their clerk in writing; and that they, in a fixed place, shall cause that case to be read before them, so that they may ordain and consider among themselves how, in that case, they shall best and most justly proceed; according as they themselves are willing to answer before God for the person of the king, and for their own persons, and also for the persons of those whose persons they represent. And they shall draw up in writing their replies and views; so that when all their responses, plans and views, on this side and on that, have been heard, it may be proceeded according to the better and more healthful plan, and according as, at length, the majority of the parliament shall agree. And if, through discord between them and the king and some magnates -- or, perhaps, between the magnates themselves -- the peace of the kingdom is endangered, or the people or the country troubled; so that it seems to the king and his council to be expedient that that matter shall be treated of and emended through the attention of all the peers of his kingdom; or if, through war, the king or the kingdom are in trouble; or if a difficult case come up before the chancellor of England; or a difficult judgment be about to be rendered before the justices, and so on: and if perchance, in such delibera- tions, all, or at least the majority, can not come to an agreement; -- then the earl seneschal, the earl constable, the earl marshall, or two of them, shall elect twenty five persons from all the peers of the realm -- two bishops, namely, and three representatives for the whole clergy; two counts, and three barons; five knights of the shires; five citizens, and five burgesses; -- which make twenty five. And those twenty five can elect from themselves twelve and resolve themselves into that number; and those twelve, six, and resolve themselves into that number; and those who were hitherto six, three, and resolve themselves into that number. And those three can not resolve themselves into fewer, unless by obtaining permission from our lord the king. And, if the king consent, those three can resolve into two; and of those two, one into the other; and so at length that man's decision shall stand above the whole parliament. And thus, by resolving from twenty five persons into one single person, -- if a greater number cannot be concordant and make a decision, -- at last one person alone, as has been said, who cannot disagree with himself, shall decide for all; it being allowed to our master the king, and to his council, to examine and amend such decisions after they have been written out -- if they can and will do this. In such manner that this same shall then be done in full parliament, and with the consent of the parliament, and not behind the parliament.
Concerning the Business of Parliament.
The matters for which parliament has been summoned ought to be deliberated upon according to the calendar of parliament, and according to the order of the petitions delivered and filed; no respect being had for the persons of any one; but he who first made a proposition shall act first. In the calendar of parliament all the business of parliament should be called up in this order: first what concerns war, if there is war, and what concerns other matters relating to the persons of the king, the queen and their children; secondly, what concerns the common affairs of the kingdom, such as the making of laws against defects of original laws, judicial and executive, after the judg- ments have been rendered -- which things, most of all, are common affairs; thirdly, there should be called the separate matters, and this according to the order of the petitions filed, as has been said.
Concerning the Days and Hours for Parliament.
Parliament ought not to be held on Sundays, but it can be held on all other days; that day always being excepted, and three others, viz.: All Saints', and Souls', and the nativity of John the Baptist. And it ought to begin each day in the middle of the first hour; at which hour the king is bound to be present in parliament, together with all the peers of the kingdom. And parliament ought to be held in a public place, and not in a private nor in a secret place. On feast days parliament ought to begin at the first hour, on account of the Divine Service.
Concerning the Grades of Peers.
The king is the head, beginning and end of parliament; and thus he has no peer in his grade, and the first grade consists of the king alone. The second grade consists of the archbishops, bishops, abbots, priors, who hold by barony. The third grade consists of the representatives of the clergy. The fourth, of earls, barons, and other magnates and chiefs, whose holding is of the value of a county and barony -- as has been explained in the clause concerning laymen. The fifth is of knights of the shires. The sixth, of citizens and burgesses. And thus parliament consists of six grades. But it must be known that even though any one of the said grades except the king be absent -provided, however, that all have been forewarned by reasonable summonses of parliament -- nevertheless, it shall be considered as a full parliament.
Concerning the Manner of Parliament.
Having first shown under what form and at what time the summons of parliament ought to be made to each one; and who ought to come by summons and who not; we must, in the second place, tell who they are who ought to come by reason of their offices, and who are bound to be present through the whole parliament, without summons. Wherefore it is to be noted that these officials, the two principal clerks of parliament elected by the king and his council, and the other secondary clerks -- of whom and whose offices we shall speak more especially hereafter, -- and the chief crier of England with his sub-criers, and the chief usher of England -- which two offices, that is, the office of the crier and of the usher, used to belong to one and the same person: -- are bound to be present on the first day. The chancellor of England, the treasurer, the chamberlain, and the barons of the exchequer, the justices, all the clerks and knights of the king, together with those who serve the king with regard to the pleas, and who are of the king's council: are bound to be present on the second day, unless they have reasonable excuses for not being present; and then they ought to send good excuses.
Concerning the Opening of Parliament.
The lord king shall sit in the middle of the greater bench, and shall be bound to be present on the first and sixth day of parliament. And the chancellor, the treasurer, the barons of the exchequer, and the justices, were accustomed to record the defaults made in parliament, in the following order. On the first day the burgesses and citizens of all England shall be called; on which day if they do not come the burrough shall be fined a hundred marks and the city a hundred pounds. On the second day, the knights of the shires of all England shall be called; on which day if they do not appear, the county whence they are shall be fined a hundred pounds. On the third day of parliament shall be called the barons of the Cinque Ports, and after that the barons, and after that the earls; whereupon if the barons of the Cinque Ports do not appear, that barony whence they are shall be fined a hundred marks. In like manner an ordinary baron shall be fined a hundred marks, and an earl a hundred pounds. And in like manner shall be done in the case of those who are the peers of earls and barons; that is, who have lands and revenues to the value of one county or one barony; as has been explained before in the chapter concerning the summoning. On the fourth day shall be called the representatives of the clergy; on which day, if they do not come, their bishops shall be fined a hundred marks for each archdeanery that has made default. On the fifth day shall be called the deans, priors, abbots, bishops, and, at length, the archbishops. And if they do not come, each archbishop shall be fined a hundred pounds; a bishop holding a whole barony a hundred marks; and it shall be done likewise with regard to the abbots, priors, and others. On the first day a proclamation should be made -- first in the hall, or monastery, or in any public place where the parliament is held, and afterwards publicly in the city or town, -- to the effect that all those who wish to deliver petitions and complaints to the parliament, should deliver them within the five days immediately following the first day of parliament.
Concerning the Preaching to the Parliament.
An archbishop, or bishop, or one of the greater clergy who is discreet and eloquent, and who is chosen by the archbishop in whose province the parliament is held, should preach, on one of those first five days of parliament; in full parliament and in the presence of the king; and this, when parliament shall have been for the most part united and assembled together. And, in his discourse, he shall suitably enjoin on the whole parliament with him, humbly to supplicate God, and adore Him, for the peace and tranquillity of the king and kingdom; as will be more specially explained in the following chapter on the announcement to the parliament.
Concerning the Announcement in Parliament. After the preaching, the chancellor of England or the chief justice of England -- that is, he who holds the pleas before the king, -- or another suitable honest and eloquent justice or clerk, chosen by the chancellor and chief justice themselves; should announce the cases of parliament, first in general and afterwards in particular, standing. And here be it made known that each of the members of parliament, whoever he be, excepting the king, shall stand when speaking, so that all the members of parliament may be able to hear him; and if he speak obscurely, or too low, he shall repeat what he is saying and shall speak more loudly, or another shall speak for him.
Concerning the Address of the King after the Announcement.
The king, after the announcement, ought, on behalf of the parliament, to ask the clergy and laity, naming all their grades -- namely the archbishops, bishops, abbots, priors, archdeacons, representatives and others of the clergy, counts, barons, knights, citizens, burgesses, and other laymen -- that they diligently, studiously and heartily labour to treat of and deliberate upon the business of parliament: according as they shall learn and feel, in the first place that this is principally and chiefly, according to the will of God; and secondly, that such things will be of advantage to his (the king's) and their own honour.
Concerning the Absence of the King from Parliament.
The king is in every way bound to be personally present in parliament, unless he be detained by bodily sickness; and then he can keep his room, provided it do not lie beyond the manor, or at least the town, where the parliament is held; in which case he ought to send for twelve of the greater and more illustrious men who have been summoned to parliament: two bishops, namely, two earls, two barons, two knights of the shires, two citizens and two burgesses, -- to view his person and testify about his condition. And, in their presence, he ought to enjoin upon the archbishop of the place, the seneschal, and his chief justice, that they together and separately shall begin and continue the parliament in his name; express mention being made then, in that commission, of the cause of his absence: which proceedings ought to suffice and, together with the clear testimony of the said twelve men their peers, to convince the other nobles and magnates of par- liament. The reason for all this is, that there used to be a clamour and a murmur in parliament on account of the absence of the king; for it is hurtful and dangerous to the whole community of the parliament, and even of the kingdom, when the king is absent from parliament; nor should he nor may he absent himself, unless only in the aforesaid case.
Concerning the Position and Seatings in Parliament.
First, as has been said, the king shall sit in the middle place of the chief bench; and on his right side shall sit the archbishop of Canterbury, and on his left side the archbishop of York; and directly after them the bishops abbots and priors in a line: always in such manner, with regard to the aforesaid grades and their positions, that no one shall be seated except among his peers. And the seneschal of England shall be bound to see to this, unless the king appoint another. At the foot of the king, on the right, shall sit the chancellor of England and the chief justice of England; and their companions and their clerks who belong to the parliament.
Concerning the Usher of Parliament.
The principal usher of parliament shall stand within the great door of the monastery, hall or other place where the parliament is held, and shall guard the door; so that no one shall enter parliament unless he whose duty it is to be present at and attend the parliament, or he who shall have been summoned on account of some matter which is going on in parliament. And it ought to be so that that usher has knowledge of the persons who ought to enter; so that to no one at all shall ingress be denied, who is bound to be present at the parliament. And that usher may, and ought to, if it be necessary, have several ushers under him.
Concerning the Crier of Parliament.
The crier of parliament shall stand without the door of the parliament, and the usher shall announce to him what he is to cry. The king usually sent his men-at-arms to stand in the great space before the door of parliament, to guard the door, so that no one should make attacks against the door or disturbances before it, through which the parliament might be impeded, under penalty of bodily capture. For according to law the door of parliament may not be closed, but shall be guarded by the usher and the men-at-arms of the king.
Concerning the Standing of those who speak.
All the peers of parliament shall sit, and no one shall stand except when he speaks; and he shall so speak that every one in parliament may hear him. No one shall enter the parliament, or go out from parliament, unless through the one door; and whenever any one says something that is to be deliberated upon by the parliament, he shall always stand when he speaks; the reason is that he may be heard by his peers, for all his peers are judges and justices.
Concerning Aid to the King.
The king does not usually ask aid from his kingdom unless for imminent war, or for knighting his sons, or for marrying his daughters; and then such aids ought to be sought in full parliament; and to be delivered in writing to each grade of the peers of parliament; and to be replied to in writing. And be it known that if such aids are to be granted, all the peers of parliament ought to consent. And be it known that the two knights who come to parliament for the shire, have a greater voice in parliament, in granting and refusing, than a greater earl of England; and, likewise, the representatives of the clergy of one bishopric have a greater voice in parliament, if they are all of one mind, than the bishop himself. And this is the case in all matters which ought to be granted, refused or done through the parliament. And this is evident, that the king can hold parliament with the commonality of his kingdom, without the bishops earls and barons, provided they have been summoned to parliament, even though no bishop, earl or baron, answer to his summons. For, formerly, kings held their parliaments when no bishop, earl or baron was present. But it is another matter, on the contrary, if the commonality -- the clergy and laity -have been summoned to parliament, as they have a right to be, and are not willing to come for certain causes; as if they were to maintain that the lord king did not rule them as he ought to, and were to signify in what especial respect he did not do so; then it would not be a parliament at all, even though the archbishops, bishops, counts and barons and all their peers, were present with the king. And so it is necessary that all things which are to be affirmed or cancelled, granted or denied, or done by the parliament, should be granted by the commonality of the parliament, which consists of the three grades or divisions of parliament: viz. of the representatives of the clergy, the knights of the shires, the citizens and burgesses, who represent the whole commonality of England; and not by the magnates. For each of them is in parliament for his own person alone, and not for any one else.
Concerning the Dismissal of Parliament.
Parliament ought not to be dismissed so long as any petition remains undiscussed; or, at least, any to which the reply has not been determined on. And, if the king permits the contrary, he is perjured. No single one of the peers of parliament can or may retire from parliament, unless permission to that effect has been obtained from the king, and from all his peers; and this in full parliament. And of such permission a memorandum shall be made in the roll of parliament. And if any one of the peers, while parliament is in session, shall become ill, so that he can not come to parliament, then for three days he shall send excusers to the parliament. And if he do not then come there shall be sent to him two of his peers, to view and testify to such infirmity; and if there be suspicion, those two peers shall swear that in this matter they tell the truth. And if it shall be found that he has been feigning, he shall be fined as if for default. And if he have not been feigning, then he shall, in their presence, empower some suitable person to be present in parliament for him; nor can a healthy man be excused if he be of sound mind.
The dismissal of parliament is, by custom, managed thus: -- First it should be asked and publicly proclaimed in parliament, and within the confines of parliament, if there is any one who has handed in a petition to the parliament, and has not yet received a reply. But, if no one calls out, it is to be supposed that every one has been satisfied, or at least a reply given as far as there lawfully can. And then at length, indeed, when no one who has handed in his petition this term calls out, we shall dismiss our Parliament.
Concerning Copies of Records in Parliament.
The clerks of parliament shall not deny to any one a copy of his process, but shall deliver it to whoever seeks it; and they shall receive always for ten lines one penny; unless, indeed, an oath is made of insolvency; in which case they shall receive nothing. Rolls of parliament shall measure in width ten inches. Parliament shall be held in whatever place of the kingdom it pleases the king.
Here ends the Manner of holding Parliament.
THE STATUTE OF LABORERS
( "Statutes of the Realm," vol. i. p. 307.)
Edward by the grace of God etc. to the reverend father in Christ William, by the same grace archbishop of Canterbury, Primate of all England, greeting. Because a great part of the people and especially of the workmen and servants has now died in that pestilence, some, seeing the straights of the masters and the scarcity of servants, are not willing to serve unless they receive excessive wages, and others, rather than through labour to gain their living, prefer to beg in idleness: We, considering the grave inconveniences which might come from the lack especially of ploughmen and such labourers, have held deliberation and treaty concerning this with the prelates and nobles and other learned men sitting by us; by whose consentient counsel we have seen fit to ordain: that every man and woman of our kingdom of England, of whatever condition, whether bond or free, who is able bodied and below the age of sixty years, not living from trade nor carrying on a fixed craft, nor having of his own the means of living, or land of his own with regard to the cultivation of which he might occupy himself, and not serving another, -- if he, considering his station, be sought after to serve in a suitable service, he shall be bound to serve him who has seen fit so to seek after him; and he shall take only the wages, liveries, meed or salary which, in the places where he sought to serve, were accustomed to be paid in the twentieth year of our reign of England, or the five or six common years next preceding. Provided, that in thus retaining their service, the lords are preferred before others of their bondsmen or their land tenants: so, nevertheless that such lords thus retain as many as shall be necessary and not more; and if any man or woman, being thus sought after in service, will not do this, the fact being proven by two faithful men before the sheriffs or the bailiffs of our lord the king, or the constables of the town where this happens to be done, -- straightway through them, or some one of them, he shall be taken and sent to the next jail, and there he shall remain in strict custody until he shall find surety for serving in the aforesaid form.
And if a reaper or mower, or other workman or servant, of whatever standing or condition he be, who is retained in the service of any one, do depart from the said service before the end of the term agreed, without permission or reasonable cause, he shall undergo the penalty of imprisonment, and let no one, under the same penalty, presume to receive or retain such a one in his service. Let no one, moreover, pay or permit to be paid to any one more wages, livery, meed or salary than was customary as has been said; nor let any one in any other manner exact or receive them, under penalty of paying to him who feels himself aggrieved from this, double the sum that has thus been paid or promised, exacted or received; and if such person be not willing to prosecute, then it (the sum) is to be given to any one of the people who shall prosecute in this matter; and such prosecution shall take place in the court of the lord of the place where such case shall happen. And if the lords of the towns or manors presume of themselves or through their servants in any way to act contrary to this our present ordinance, then in the Counties, Wapentakes and Trithings suit shall be brought against them in the aforesaid form for the triple penalty (of the sum) thus promised or paid by them or their servants; and if perchance, prior to the present ordinance any one shall have covenanted with any one thus to serve for more wages, he shall not be bound by reason of the said covenant to pay more than at another time was wont to be paid to such person; nay, under the aforesaid penalty he shall not presume to pay more.
Likewise saddlers, skinners, white-tawers, cordwainers, tailors, smiths, carpenters, masons, tilers, shipwrights, carters and all other artisans and labourers shall not take for their labour and handiwork more than what, in the places where they happen to labour, was customarily paid to such persons in the said twentieth year and in the other common years preceding, as has been said; and if any man take more, he shall be committed to the nearest jail in the manner aforesaid.
Likewise let butchers, fishmongers, hostlers, brewers, bakers, pulters and all other vendors of any victuals, be bound to sell such victuals for a reasonable price, having regard for the price at which such victuals are sold in the adjoining places: so that such vendors may have moderate gains, not excessive, according as the distance of the places from which such victuals are carried may seem reasonably to require; and if any one sell such victuals in another manner, and be convicted of it in the aforesaid way, he shall pay the double of that which he received to the party injured, or in default of him, to another who shall be willing to prosecute in this behalf; and the mayor and bailiffs of the cities and burroughs, merchant towns and others, and of the maritime ports and places shall have power to enquire concerning each and every one who shall in any way err against this, and to levy the aforesaid penalty for the benefit of those at whose suit such 168 delin- quents shall have been convicted; and in case that the same mayor and bailiffs shall neglect to carry out the aforesaid, and shall be convicted of this before justices to be assigned by us, then the same mayor and bailiffs shall be compelled through the same justices, to pay to such wronged person or to another prosecuting in his place, the treble of the thing thus sold, and nevertheless, on our part too, they shall be grievously punished.
And because many sound beggars do refuse to labour so long as they can live from begging alms, giving themselves up to idleness and sins, and, at times, to robbery and other crimes -- let no one, under the aforesaid pain of imprisonment presume, under colour of piety or alms to give anything to such as can very well labour, or to cherish them in their sloth, -- so that thus they may be compelled to labour for the necessaries of life.
BOOK II. THE EMPIRE.
OF all the German stem-tribes that descended upon the Roman provinces and took possession of them either by treaty or by conquest, none was destined to play a lasting rôle in European history except the Franks. Eastern and Western Goths, Vandals and Burgundians were to lose their power after a brief space and to vanish from their new settlements. But the Franks were to become the leading people in Europe, the patrons of the church, the founders of an almost universal monarchy.
In nothing is the civilizing effect of the conquered Romans on the conquering Germans so clearly to be seen as in the fact that, within half a century after the Franks had settled in Gaul, they proceeded to draw up a code of written laws. Not that the laws themselves contain much that is Roman -- the conditions of life were too dissimilar -- but it is easy to see in them the Roman desire for order and discipline. There is an effort to assimilate the old institution with the new, to adopt a new modus vivendi under completely changed circumstances. Tribes that remained on purely German soil -- take the Saxons for instance -- needed no such rules and regulations; they managed for centuries to live without them.
No. I. of our documents -- the Salic Law -- is particularly interesting from the fact that it illustrates a period con- cerning which we have almost no other contemporary information. A few charters, the scanty notes for this time of Gregory of Tours and the Roman writers, the contents of a few graves -- the most important that of Childerich, father of Clovis ( 481-511), found at Tournay in 1653 -- are all that we would otherwise have had to show the extent of civilization under the earliest Merovingian kings.
The Salic Law was composed under Clovis. It concerns itself, as will be seen from the extracts here given, with the most manifold branches of administration. The system of landholding, the nature of the early village community, the relations of the Germans to the Romans, the position of the king, the classes of the population, family life, the disposal of property, judicial procedure, the ethical views of the time, are all illustrated in its sixty-five articles. Directly and indirectly we can gather from it a great mass of information. How clearly, for instance, does the title on insults (p. 181 ) show the regard paid for personal bravery and for female chastity! The false charge of having thrown away one's shield was punished as severely as assault and battery -- and the person who groundlessly called a woman unclean paid a fine second only in severity to that imposed for attempted murder!
No. II., the Capitulary of 802, is, in reality, nothing more nor less than the foundation charter of that long. lived institution, the Holy Roman Empire. The latter, as will be remembered, began its existence on Cbristmas-day, 800, and ended it on August 6th, 1806. Already in Voltaire's time it had ceased to be "either holy, or Roman, or an empire," but its pretensions were kept up until all Germany fell asunder before the wars and the wiles of Napoleon.
This capitulary of Charlemagne is the programme, so to speak, of the young empire. It is the ideal -- an ideal never once to be fulfilled -- of what that empire should have been. At the head of all things stands the emperor, whose greatest duty it is to provide for the welfare of his subjects. Every male being in his realm who is over twelve years of age has to plight his troth to him. In his hands are justice, morality, and religion. His realm is to be a haven of rest where all discords are to cease and no one to infringe on the rights of another. In his care are all the churches of God, all widows, orphans, and strangers, "for the emperor himself, after God and His saints, has been constituted their protector and defender."
Quite new, in the present document, is the introduction of the "missi dominici" -- regular envoys who were to radiate from the emperor as a centre, and bring peace and justice to all parts of the realm. They were to overlook all the different officials, and to listen to complaints against them. So excellent was the institution that one similar to it was adopted in England, where in the time of Henry II. the itinerant justices formed an important feature of the administration.
It is worth while to notice how completely, at this time, the clergy were under the rule of the emperor. The new empire was to be as much of a theocracy as the kingdom of that David whose name Charlemagne bore in the intimate circle of his learned friends. But too soon, alas, the elements of disruption were to make themselves felt. The clergy were to assert their allegiance to a King higher than any earthly monarch, whose commands, as issued and tampered with by His representative on earth, were to be at variance with all the best interests of the emperor. Nationality was to war with universalism, the accepted principles of heredity with the desire for the necessary unity; and with the death of the last Carolingian emperor the empire itself was irretrievably to be cleft and riven.
No. III. is the document by which Louis the Pious decreed the division of the empire among his three sons, one of whom, however, was to bear the title of emperor and exercise a supervision over the other two. This was a compromise between the unity of the indivisible imperial power and the received principles of heredity.
The greatest advocates of unity had been the clergy, who looked upon the original establishment of the empire as the work of their head, the pope. It was, therefore, from them that the greatest opposition came when, twelve years later, a new son having in the meantime been born to him, Louis tried to nullify the document here given and to undo his own work. Again and again did the luckless emperor have to suffer for trying to disregard an agreement, drawn up and sanctioned, as this had been, by the nobles, the higher clergy and the pope. It is scarcely necessary to remind the reader of how the latter used his personal influence in favour of the elder sons, and of how on the Field of Lies, he successfully exercised his powers of seduction on the troops of the emperor.
After Louis's death the principles of heredity conquered at last the spirit of unity. By the treaty of Verdun ( 843) -of which unfortunately no authentic document remains -the three separate kingdoms were called into being which afterwards developed into France, Italy and Germany. The empire waned away, but did not die, although for a time the emperors were little more than petty local potentates. It was reserved for Otto the Great to restore it to its pristine glory.
No. IV. is a treaty, entered into in 870, regarding the subdivision of the central one of the three kingdoms founded by the treaty of Verdun. It is given here as showing the beginning of the thousand years' struggle between France and Germany for the possession of the border provinces. It was preliminary to the treaty of Mersen.
No. V. is the so-called Truce of God (Treuga Dei) published by the emperor Henry IV. in 1085 to put bounds to the numerous feuds which were looked upon -- much as the duel is still looked upon by the German nobility -- as the only possible means for wiping away the shame of certain real or fancied wrongs. To forbid such feuds absolutely was not feasible; no attempt was made to do so until the year 1495. The present effort to restrict them met with no success -- certainly not in the reign of the unfortunate monarch who made it, and who was finally deposed, ostensibly because he was unable to restore peace and quiet to his land.
No. VI. is a similar document issued eighty years later by Frederick Barbarossa. It will be seen from § 10 that knights of good family might still engage in wager of battle against their equals, although, in other respects a breach of the peace was to be severely punished.
No. VII. concerns the establishment of the Duchy of Austria in 1156. Austria had hitherto been simply a margravate and been comprised in the duchy of Bavaria. The act was performed by Fred. Barbarossa as a compromise. There were two claimants for Bavaria -- one the son of that Henry the Proud who had expected to be made king in 1137, and who had been rejected for the apparently paradoxical reason that he already was the most powerful noble in Germany. Conrad III. had been made king in his stead and had soon found cause to quarrel with his powerful rival, conferring Bavaria on his own half brother the margrave Liutpold. After the death of Henry the Proud there had been concessions and reconciliations with regard to Bavaria -- but at the end of Conrad's reign the young Henry the Lion still considered himself the heir, while the duchy was actually held by the king's brother Henry of Austria. Frederick Barbarossa in 1156, intent on the Italian expedition which was to gain him the imperial crown, hastened to heal the discord between his two powerful subjects. Henry the Lion received Bavaria, and, in order to appease Henry Jasomirgott, a new duchy was carved out for him. As will be seen from the charter it was enriched with almost unheard of privileges. But great as these were they did not satisfy one of the later dukes of Austria; and some of the most successful of mediæval forgeries distorted in the 14th century the original terms of Frederick's grant.
No. VIII. is the charter issued by Frederick Barbarossa at Gelnhausen in 1180. It commemorates a most important event in German constitutional history. The partition of Saxony was a death blow to the old ducal influence in Germany. There was, henceforth to be a new nobility, basing its claims on its services to the crown and not on its hereditary territorial power.
No. IX. is an interesting decision of a Nuremburg diet rendered in the year 1274. The election of Rudolf of Hapsburg after the long interregnum signified a renewal of the empire even though Rudolf never bore any title but king of the Romans. But how curtailed were his prerogatives compared to those of his predecessors! Future candidates were to be bound more and more by engagements and promises, to submit more and more to the arrogant assumptions of the electoral college. And in certain questions the Count Palatine of the Rhine, and not the King of the Romans was to speak the decisive word.
No. X., the Golden Bull of 1356, was issued for the purpose of determining the form for the election and coronation of the emperor, and also of regulating the duties, rights and privileges of the elector princes. It distinctly defines to whom the electoral rights belong. There had been no doubt about the three archbishoprics or about Bohemia, but disputes had arisen between rival lines both in Saxony and Brandenburg, and the seventh vote was claimed alike by Bavaria and by the Palatinate.
To the electors the Golden Bull gave sovereign rights within their districts. No one could appeal from their decisions; tolls, coinage and treasure trove were to be their perquisites, and offences against their persons were to be punished as high treason. They were to have an important share in the government of the empire.
The Golden Bull is not a law which introduced new features into the constitution. It determined, however, a number of questions that had long been wavering and became an unquestioned authority that was appealed to for centuries. The election of an emperor took place according to its articles so long as the empire lasted. It is important to note that nothing is said concerning the right of the pope, which had been recognized by Louis of Bavaria, to confirm the election.
The Golden Bull was oppressive to the lesser nobility as well as to the cities. The princes who were not electors were now only of secondary rank, and it was probably at this time that one of them, Rudolf IVth, Duke of Austria, took the opportunity of forging privileges to raise his sinking prestige (see above, No. VII.). The regulations concerning Pfalburgers and confederations were a severe blow to civic pride -- however expedient they may have been, -and the cities were driven into permanent opposition to the crown. Thus the Golden Bull served to further a process of disintegration which was to lead almost to anarchy and to deaden all feeling of loyalty for the empire.
No. VI. is the formal charter which commemorates the founding of Heidelberg. The Elector of the Palatinate, Ruprecht I., had sent large sums of money to Rome to induce the Pope to confirm the foundation. This papal confirmation was not received until 1385 although the actual work of founding the university had long been in progress. It was the pope who commanded that the arrangement should be that of the Paris university, also that the chancellor should regularly be the prevost of the cathedral at Worms.Ruprecht was unwearying in his care for his new creation and often spoke of it as his "beloved daughter." The university was consecrated on the 18th of October 1386, and, on the 19th, Marsilius began to lecture on logic, Reginald on the epistle to Titus, Heilmann on the natural philosophy of Aristotle.Up to the year 1390, when Ruprecht died, 1050 students had attended the university.
THE SALIC LAW.
( Gengler, Germanische Rechtsdenkmaeler, p. 267.)
Title I. Concerning Summonses.
1. If any one be summoned before the "Thing" by the king's law, and do not come, he shall be sentenced to 600 denars, which make 15 shillings (solidi). 2. But he who summons another, and does not come himself, shall, if a lawful impediment have not delayed him, be sentenced to 15 shillings, to be paid to him whom he summoned. 3. And he who summons another shall walk with witnesses to the home of that man, and, if he be not at home, shall bid the wife or any one of the family to make known to him that he has been summoned to court. 4. But if he be occupied in the king's service he can not summon him.
5. But if he shall be inside the hundred seeing about his own affairs, he can summon him in the manner explained above.
Title II. Concerning Thefts of Pigs, etc.
1. If any one steal a sucking pig, and it be proved against him, he shall be sentenced to 120 denars, which make three shillings. 2. If any one steal a pig that can live without its mother, and it be proved on him, he shall be sentenced to 40 denars -- that is, 1 shilling. 3. If any one steal 25 sheep where there were no more in that flock, and it be proved on him, he shall be sentenced to 2500 denars -- that is, 62 shillings.
Title III. Concerning Thefts of Cattle.
4. If any one steal that bull which rules the herd and never has been yoked, he shall be sentenced to 1800 denars, which make 45 shillings. 5. But if that bull is used for the cows of three villages in common, he who stole him shall be sentenced to three times 45 shillings. 6. If any one steal a bull belonging to the king he shall be sentenced to 3600 denars, which make 90 shillings.
Title IV. Concerning Damage done among Crops or in any Enclosure.
1. If any one finds cattle, or a horse, or flocks of any kind in his crops, he shall not at all mutilate them. 2. If he do this and confess it, he shall restore the worth of the animal in place of it, and shall himself keep the mutilated one. 3. But if he have not confessed it, and it have been proved on him, he shall be sentenced, besides the value of the animal and the fines for delay, to 600 denars, which make 15 shillings.
Title XI. Concerning Thefts or Housebreakings of Freemen.
1. If any freeman steal, outside of the house, something worth 2 denars, he shall be sentenced to 600 denars, which make 15 shillings. But if he steal, outside of the house, something worth 40 denars, and it be proved on him, he shall be sentenced, besides the amount and the fines for delay, to 1400 denars, which make 35 shillings. If a freeman break into a house and steal something worth 2 denars, and it be proved on him, he shall be sentenced to 15 shillings. But if he shall have stolen something worth more than 5 denars, and it have been proved on him, he shall be sentenced, besides the worth of the object and the fines for delay, to 1400 denars, which make 35 shillings. But if he have broken, or tampered with, the lock, and thus have entered the house and stolen anything from it, he shall be sentenced, besides the worth of the object and the fines for delay, to 1800 denars, which make 45 shillings. And if he have taken nothing, or have escaped by flight, he shall, for the housebreaking alone, be sentenced to 1200 denars, which make 30 shillings.
Title XII. Concerning Thefts or Housebreakings on the Part of Slaves.
1. If a slave steal, outside of the house, something worth two denars, he shall, besides paying the worth of the object and the fines for delay, be stretched out and receive 120 blows. 2. But if he steal something worth 40 denars, he shall either be castrated or pay 6 shillings. But the lord of the slave who committed the theft shall restore to the plaintiff the worth of the object and the fines for delay.
Title XIII. Concerning Rape committed by Freemen.
1. If three men carry off a free born girl, they shall be compelled to pay 30 shillings.
2. If there are more than three, each one shall pay 5 shillings.
3. Those who shall have been present with boats shall be sentenced to three shillings.
But those who commit rape shall be compelled to pay 2500 denars, which make 63 shillings.
But if they have carried off that girl from behind lock and key, or from the spinning room, they shall be sentenced to the above price and penalty.
But if the girl who is carried off be under the king's protection, then the "frith" (peace-money) shall be 2500 denars, which make 63 shillings.
But if a bondsman of the king, or a leet, should carry off a free woman, he shall be sentenced to death.
But if a free woman have followed a slave of her own will, she shall lose her freedom.
If a freeborn man shall have taken an alien bondswoman, he shall suffer similarly.
If any body take an alien spouse and join her to himself in matrimony, he shall be sentenced to 2500 denars, which make 63 shillings.
Title XIV. Concerning Assault and Robbery.
1. If any one have assaulted and plundered a free man, and it be proved on him, he shall be sentenced to 2500 denars, which make 63 shillings. 2. If a Roman have plundered a Salian Frank, the above law shall be observed.
3. But if a Frank have plundered a Roman, he shall be sentenced to 35 shillings. 4. If any man should wish to migrate, and has permission from the king, and shall have shown this in the public "Thing:" whoever, contrary to the decree of the king, shall presume to oppose him, shall be sentenced to 8000 denars, which make 200 shillings.
Title XV. Concerning Arson.
1. If any one shall set fire to a house in which men. were sleeping, as many freemen as were in it can make complaint before the "Thing;" and if any one shall have been burned in it, the incendiary shall be sentenced to 2500 denars, which make 63 shillings.
Title XVII. Concerning Wounds.
1. If any one have wished to kill another person, and the blow have missed, he on whom it was proved shall be sentenced to 2500 denars, which make 63 shillings. 2. If any person have wished to strike another with a poisoned arrow, and the arrow have glanced aside, and it shall be proved on him: he shall be sentenced to 2500 denars, which make 63 shillings. 3. If any person strike another on the head so that the brain appears, and the three bones which lie above the brain shall project, he shall be sentenced to 1200 denars, which make 30 shillings. 4. But if it shall have been between the ribs or in the stomach, so that the wound appears and reaches to the entrails, he shall be sentenced to 1200 denars -- which make 30 shillings -- besides five shillings for the physician's pay. 5. If any one shall have struck a man so that blood falls to the floor, and it be proved on him, he shall be sentenced to 600 denars, which make 15 shillings. 6. But if a freeman strike a freeman with his fist so that blood does not flow, be shall be sentenced for each blow -- up to 3 blows -- to 120 denars, which make 3 shillings.
Title XVIII. Concerning him who, before the King, accuses an innocent Man.
If any one, before the king, accuse an innocent man who is absent, he shall be sentenced to 2500 denars, which make 63 shillings.
Title XIX. Concerning Magicians.
1. If any one have given herbs to another so that no die, he shall be sentenced to 200 shillings (or shall surely be given over to fire). 2. If any person have bewitched another, and he who was thus treated shall escape, the author of the crime, who is proved to have committed it, shall be sentenced to 2500 denars, which make 63 shillings.
Title XXIV. Concerning the Killing of little children and women.
1. If any one have slain a boy under 10 years -- up to the end of the tenth -- and it shall have been proved on him, he shall be sentenced to 24000 denars, which make 600 shillings. 2. If any one have hit a free woman who is pregnant, and she dies, he shall be sentenced to 28000 denars, which make 700 shillings. 3. If any one have killed a free woman after she has begun bearing children, he shall be sentenced to 24000 denars, which make 600 shillings. 4. After she can have no more children, he who kills her shall be sentenced to 8000 denars, which make 200 shillings.
Title XXX. Concerning Insults.
3. If any one, man or woman, shall have called a woman harlot, and shall not have been able to prove it, he shall be sentenced to 1800 denars, which make 45 shillings. 4. If any person shall have called another "fox," he shall be sentenced to 3 shillings. 5. If any man shall have called another "hare," he shall be sentenced to 3 shillings. 6. If any man shall have brought it up against another that he have thrown away his shield, and shall not have been able to prove it, he shall be sentenced to 120 denars, which make 3 shillings. 7. If any man shall have called another "spy" or "perjurer," and shall not have been able to prove it, he shall be sentenced to 600 denars, which make 15 shillings.
Title XXXIII. Concerning the Theft of hunting animals.
2. If any one have stolen a tame marked stag (-hound?), trained to hunting, and it shall have been proved through witnesses that his master had him for hunting, or had killed with him two or three beasts, he shall be sentenced to 1800 denars, which make 45 shillings.
Title XXXIV. Concerning the Stealing of Fences.
1. If any man shall have cut 3 staves by which a fence is bound or held together, or have stolen or cut the heads of 3 stakes, he shall be sentenced to 600 denars, which make 15 shillings. 2. If any one shall have drawn a harrow through another's harvest after it has sprouted, or shall have gone through it with a waggon where there was no road, he shall be sentenced to 120 denars, which make 3 shillings. 3. If any one shall have gone, where there is no way or path, through another's harvest which has already become thick, he shall be sentenced to 600 denars, which make 15 shillings.
Title XLI. Concerning the Murder of Free Men.
1. If any one shall have killed a free Frank, or a barbarian living under the Salic law, and it have been proved on him, he shall be sentenced to 8000 denars. 2. But if he shall have thrown him into a well or into the water, or shall have covered him with branches or anything else, to conceal him, he shall be sentenced to 24000 denars, which make 600 shillings. 3. But if any one has slain a man who is in the service of the king, he shall be sentenced to 24000 denars, which make 600 shillings. 4. But if he have put him in the water or in a well, and covered him with anything to conceal him, he shall be sentenced to 72000 denars, which make 1800 shillings. 5. If any one have slain a Roman who eats in the king's palace, and it have been proved on him, he shall be sentenced to 12000 denars, which make 300 shillings. 6. But if the Roman shall not have been a landed proprietor and table companion of the king, he who killed him shall be sentenced to 4000 denars, which make 100 shillings. 7. But if he shall have killed a Roman who was obliged to pay tribute, he shall be sentenced to 63 shillings. If any one have thrown a free man into a well, and he have escaped alive, he (the criminal) shall be sentenced to 4000 denars, which make 100 shillings.
Title XLV. Concerning Migrators.
1. If any one wish to migrate to another village and if one or more who live in that village do not wish to receive him, -- if there be only one who objects, he shall not have leave to move there. 2. But if he shall have presumed to settle in that village in spite of his rejection by one or two men, then some one shall give him warning. And if he be unwilling to go away, he who gives him warning shall give him warning, with witnesses, as follows: I warn thee that thou mayapos;st remain here this next night as the Salic law demands, and. I warn thee that within 10 nights thou shalt go forth from this village. After another 10 nights he shall again come to him and warn him again within 10 nights to go away. If he still refuse to go, again 10 nights shall be added to the command, that the number of 30 nights may be full. If he will not go away even then, then he shall summon him to the "Thing," and present his witnesses as to the separate commands to leave. If he who has been warned will not then move away, and no valid reason detains him, and all the above warnings which we have mentioned have been given according to law: then he who gave him warning shall take the matter into his own hands and request the "comes" to go to that place and expel him. And because he would not listen to the law, that man shall relinquish all that he has earned there, and, besides, shall be sentenced to 1200 denars, which make 30 shillings. 3. But if anyone have moved there, and within 12 months no one have given him warning, he shall remain as secure as the other neighbours.
Title XLVI. Concerning Transfers of Property.
1. The observance shall be that the Thunginus or Centenarius shall call together a "Thing," and shall have his shield in the "Thing," and shall demand three men as witnesses for each of the three transactions. He (the owner of the land to be transferred) shall seek a man who has no connection with himself, and shall throw a stalk into his lap. And to him into whose lap he has thrown the stalk he shall tell, concerning his property, how much of it -- or whether the whole or a half -- he wishes to give. He in whose lap he threw the stalk shall remain in his (the ownerapos;s) house, and shall collect three or more guests, and shall have the property -- as much as is given him -- in his power. And, afterwards, he to whom that property is entrusted shall discuss all these things with the witnesses collected afterwards, either before the king or in the regular "Thing," he shall give the property up to him for whom it was intended. He shall take the stalk in the "Thing," and, before 12 months are over, shall throw it into the lap of him whom the owner has named heir; and he shall restore not more nor less, but exactly as much as was entrusted to him. And if any one shall wish to say anything against this, three sworn witnesses shall say that they were in the "Thing" which the "Thunginus" or "Centenarius" called together, and that they saw that man who wished to give his property throw a stalk into the lap of him whom he had selected. They shall name by name him who threw his property into the lap of the other, and, likewise, shall name him whom he named his heir. And three other sworn witnesses shall say that he in whose lap the stalk was thrown had remained in the house of him who gave his property, and had there collected three or more guests, and that they had eaten porridge at table, and that he had collected those who were bearing witness, and that those guests had thanked him for their entertainment. All this those other sworn witnesses shall say, and that he who received that property in his lap in the "Thing" held before the king, or in the regular public "Thing," did publicly, before the people, either in the presence of the king or in public "Thing" -- namely on the Mallberg, before the "Thanginus" -- throw the stalk into the lap of him whom the owner had named as heir. And thus 9 witnesses shall confirm all this. Title L. Concerning Promises to Pay. 1. If any freeman or leet have made to another a promise to pay, then he to whom the promise was made shall, within 40 days or within such term as was agreed when he made the promise, go to the house of that man with witnesses, or with appraisers. And if he (the debtor) be unwilling to make the promised payment, he shall be sentenced to 15 shillings above the debt which he had promised. 2. If he then be unwilling to pay, he (the creditor) shall summon him before the "Thing" and thus accuse him: "I ask thee, 'Thunginus,' to bann my opponent who made me a promise to pay and owes me a debt." And he shall state how much he owes and promised to pay. Then the "Thunginus" shall say: "I bann thy opponent to what the Salic law decrees." Then he to whom the promise was made shall warn him (the debtor) to make no payment or pledge of payment to any body else until he have fulfilled his promise to him (the creditor). And straightway on that same day, before the sun sets, he shall go to the house of that man with witnesses, and shall ask if he will pay that debt. If he will not, he (the creditor) shall wait until after sunset; then, if he have waited until after sunset, 120 denars, which make 3 shillings shall be added on to the debt. And this shall be done up to 3 times in 3 weeks. And if at the third time he will not pay all this, it (the sum) shall increase to 360 denars, or 9 shillings: so, namely, that, after each admonition or waiting until after sunset, 3 shillings shall be added to the debt. 3. If any one be unwilling to fulfil his promise in the regular assembly, -- then he to whom the promise was made shall go the count of that place, in whose district he lives, and shall take the stalk and shall say: oh count, that man made me a promise to pay, and I have lawfully summoned him before the court according to the Salic law on this matter; I pledge thee myself and my fortune that thou mayapos;st safely seize his property. And he shall state the case to him, and shall tell how much he (the debtor) had agreed to pay. Then the count shall collect 7 suitable bailiffs, and shall go with them to the house of him who made the promise and shall say: thou who art here present pay voluntarily to that man what thou didst promise, and choose any two of those bailiffs who shall appraise that from which thou shalt pay; and make good what thou dost owe, according to a just appraisal. But if he will not hear, or be absent, then the bailiffs shall take from his property the value of the debt which he owes. And, according to the law, the accuser shall take two thirds of that which the debtor owes, and the count shall collect for himself the other third as peace money; unless the peace money shall have been paid to him before in this same matter. If the count have been appealed to, and no sufficient reason, and no duty of the king, have detained him -- and if he have put off going, and have sent no substitute to demand law and justice: he shall answer for it with his life, or shall redeem himself with his "wergeld."
Title LIV. Concerning the Slaying of a Count.
1. If any one slay a count, he shall be sentenced to 2400 denars, which make 600 shillings. Title LV. Concerning the Plundering of Corpses.
2. If any one shall have dug up and plundered a corpse already buried, and it shall have been proved on him, he shall be outlawed until the day when he comes to an agreement with the relatives of the dead man, and they ask for him that he be allowed to come among men. And whoever, before he come to an arrangement with the relative, shall give him bread or shelter -- even if they are his relations or his own wife -- shall be sentenced to 600 denars which make xv shillings. 3. But he who is proved to have committed the crime shall be sentenced to 8000 denars, which make 200 shillings. Title LVI. Concerning him who shall have scorned to come to Court. 1. If any man shall have scorned to come to court, and shall have put off fulfilling the injunction of the bailiffs, and shall not have been willing to consent to undergo the fine, or the kettle ordeal, or anything prescribed by law: then he (the plaintiff) shall summon him to the presence of the king. And there shall be 12 witnesses who -- 3 at a time being sworn -- shall testify that they were present when the bailiff enjoined him (the accused) either to go to the kettle ordeal, or to agree concerning the fine; and that he had scorned the injunction. Then 3 others shall swear that they were there on the day when the bailiffs enjoined that he should free himself by the kettle ordeal or by composition; and that 40 days after that, in the "mallberg," he (the accuser) had again waited until after sunset, and that he (the accused) would not obey the law. Then he (the accuser) shall summon him before the king for a fortnight thence; and three witnesses shall swear that they were there when he summoned him and when he waited for sunset. If he does not then come, those 9, being sworn, shall give testimony as we have above explained. On that day likewise, if he do not come, he (the accuser) shall let the sun go down on him, and shall have 3 witnesses who shall be there when he waits till sunset. But if the accuser shall have fulfilled all this, and the accused shall not have been willing to come to any court, then the king, before whom he has been summoned, shall withdraw his protection from him. Then he shall be guilty, and all his goods shall belong to the fisc, or to him to whom the fisc may wish to give them. And whoever shall have fed or housed him -- even if it were his own wife -- shall be sentenced to 600 denars, which make 15 shillings; until he (the debtor) shall have made good all that has been laid to his charge. Title LVII. Concerning the "Chrenecruda." 1. If any one have killed a man, and, having given up all his property, has not enough to comply with the full terms of the law, he shall present 12 sworn witnesses to the effect that, neither above the earth nor under it, has he any more property than he has already given. And he shall afterwards go into his house, and shall collect in his hand dust from the four corners of it, and shall afterwards stand upon the threshold, looking inwards into the house. And then, with his left hand, he shall throw over his shoulder some of that dust on the nearest relative that he has. But if his father and (his fatherapos;s) brothers have already paid, he shall then throw that dust on their (the brothers') children -- that is, over three (relatives) who are nearest on the father's and three on the mother's side. And after that, in his shirt, without girdle and without shoes, a staff in his hand, he shall spring over the hedge. And then those three shall pay half of what is lacking of the compounding money or the legal fine; that is, those others who are descended in the paternal line shall do this. But if there be one of those relatives who has not enough to pay his whole indebtedness, he, the poorer one, shall in turn throw tile "chrenecruda" on him of them who has the most, so that he shall pay the whole fine. But if he also have not enough to pay the whole, then he who has charge of the murderer shall bring him before the "Thing," and afterwards to 4 Things, in order that they (his friends) may take him under their protection. And if no one have taken him under his protection -- that is, so as to redeem him for what he can not pay -then he shall have to atone with his life.
Title LIX. Concerning private Property.
1. If any man die and leave no sons, if the father and mother survive, they shall inherit. 2. If the father and mother do not survive, and he leave brothers or sisters, they shall inherit. 3. But if there are none, the sisters of the father shall inherit.
4. But if there are no sisters of the father, the sisters of the mother shall claim that inheritance. If there are none of these, the nearest relatives on the father's side shall succeed to that inheritance. But of Salic land no portion of the inheritance shall come to a woman: but the whole inheritance of the land shall come to the male sex.
Title LXII. Concerning Wergeld.
1. If any one's father have been killed, the sons shall have half the compounding money (wergeld); and the other half the nearest relatives, as well on the mother's as on the father's side, shall divide among themselves. 2. But if there are no relatives, paternal or maternal, that portion shall go to the fisc.
CAPITULARY OF CHARLEMAGNE ISSUED IN THE YEAR 802.
(From "Mon. Germ. hist." [Quarto Series] LL. II., p. 9199; also to be found in "Altmann u. Bernheim," p. 4.)
CHAPTER I. CONCERNING THE EMBASSY SENT OUT BY THE LORD EMPEROR.
The most serene and most Christian emperor Charles did choose from among his nobles the most prudent and the wisest men -- archbishops as well as other bishops, and venerable abbots, and pious laymen -- and did send them over his whole kingdom; and did grant through them, by means of all the following provisions, that men should live according to law and right. He did order them, moreover, that, where anything is contained in the law that is otherwise than according to right and justice, they should inquire into this most diligently, and make it known to him: and he, God granting, hopes to better it. And let no one, through his cleverness or astuteness -- as many are accustomed to do -- dare to oppose the written law, or the sentence
passed upon him, or to prevail against the churches of God, or the poor, or widows, or minors, or any Christian man. But all should live together according to the precept of God, in a just manner and under just judgment; and each one should be admonished to live in unity with the others in his occupation or calling. The monastic clergy should altogether observe in their actions a canonical mode of living, far removed from turpid gains; nuns should keep diligent guard over their lives; laymen and secular clergy should make proper use of their privileges without malicious fraud; all should live together in mutual charity and perfect peace. And let the messengers diligently investigate all cases where any man claims that injustice has been done to him by any one, according as they themselves hope to retain for themselves the grace of omnipotent God, and to preserve the fidelity promised to Him. And thus, altogether and everywhere and in all cases, whether the matter concerns the holy churches of God, or the poor, or wards and widows, or the whole people, let them fully administer law and justice according to the will and to the fear of God. And if there should be any matter such that they themselves, with the counts of the province, could not better it and render justice with regard to it: without any ambiguity they shall refer it, together with their reports, to the emperor's court. Nor should anyone be kept back from the right path of justice by the adulation or the reward of any man, by the obstacle of any relationship, or by the fear of powerful persons.
2. CONCERNING THE FEALTY TO BE PROMISED TO THE LORD EMPEROR.
And he ordained that every man in his whole kingdom -- ecclesiastic or layman, each according to his vow and calling -- who had previously promised fealty to him as king should now make this promise to him as emperor; and that those who had hitherto not made this promise should all, down to those under 12 years of age, do likewise. And he ordained that it should be publicly told to all -- so that each one should understand it -- what important things and how many things are comprehended in that oath: not alone, as many have hitherto believed, fidelity to the emperor as regards his life, or the not introducing an enemy into his kingdom for a hostile purpose, or the not consenting to the infidelity of another, or the not keeping silent about it. But all should know that the oath comprises in itself the following meaning:
3. Firstly, that every one of his own accord should strive, according to his intelligence and strength, wholly to keep himself in the holy service of God according to the precept of God and to his own promise -- inasmuch as the emperor can not exhibit the necessary care and discipline to each man singly.
4. Secondly, that no one, either through perjury or through any other wile or fraud, or on account of the flattery or gift of any one, shall refuse to give back, or dare to abstract or conceal a slave of the emperor, or a district or territory or anything that belongs to his proprietary right; and that no one shall presume to conceal or abstract, through perjury or any other wile, fugitive fiscaline slaves who unjustly and fraudulently call themselves free.
5. That no one shall presume through fraud to plunder or do any injury to the holy churches of God, or to widows, orphans or strangers; for the emperor himself, after God and his saints, has been constituted their protector and defender.
6. That no one shall dare to devastate a fief of the emperor or to take possession of it.
7. That no one shall presume to neglect a summons to arms of the emperor; and that no count be so presumptuous as to dare to release -- out of regard for any relationship, or on account of flattery or of any one's gift -- any one of those who owe military service.
8. That no one at all shall dare in any way to impede a bann or precept of the emperor, or delay or oppose or damage any undertaking of his, or in any way act contrary to his will and precepts. And that no one shall dare to interfere with his taxes and with what is due to him.
9. That no man shall make a practice of unjustly carrying on the defence of another in court, whether from any cupidity, being not a very great pleader; or in order, by the cleverness of his defence, to impede a just judgment; or, his case being a weak one, by a desire of oppressing. But each man, with regard to his own case, or tax, or debt, must carry on his own defence; unless he be infirm or ignorant of pleading -- for which sort of persons the "missi" or those who preside in that court, or a judge who knows the case for the defendant, shall plead before the court. Or, if necessary, such a person may be granted for the defence as shall be approved by all, and well versed in that case. This, however, shall be done altogether according to the pleasure of those who preside, or of the "missi" who are present. And all this shall be done in every way according to law, so that justice shall be in no way impeded by any gift, payment, or by any wile of evil adulation, or out of regard for any relationship. And that no man shall make any unjust agreement with another, but that all shall be prepared, with all zeal and good will to carry out justice.
For all these things here mentioned should be observed as being comprised in the oath to the emperor.
10. That bishops and priests should live according to the canons and should teach others to do likewise.
11. That bishops, abbots and abbesses, who are placed in power over others, should strive to surpass in veneration and diligence those subject to them; that they should not oppress them with severe and tyrannous rule, but should carefully guard the flock committed to them, with simple love, with mercy and charity, and by the example of good works.
12. That abbots should live where the monks are, and wholly with the monks, according to the rule; and that they should diligently teach and observe the canons; and that abbesses shall do the same.
13. That bishops, abbots and abbesses, shall have bailiffs and sheriffs and judges skilled in the law, lovers of justice, peaceful and merciful: so that, through them, more profit and gain may accrue to the holy church of God. For on no account do we wish to have harmful or greedy prevosts or bailiffs in a monastery; for, from them, the greatest blasphemies or evils may arise for us. But let them be such as the decree of the canons or of the rule bids them to be, -- submissive to the will of God, and always ready to do justice in every way, wholly observing the law without malice or fraud, always exercising a just judgment in all things: such prevosts, in short, as the holy rule recommends. And they shall altogether observe this, that they shall on no account 1.... depart from the model of the canons or the rule, but shall practise humility in all things. If they presume to act otherwise they shall feel the discipline prescribed in the rule; and, if they be unwilling to amend their ways, they shall be removed from their prevostship, and others who are worthy shall be chosen in their stead.
14. That bishops, abbots and abbesses, and counts shall be mutually in accord, agreeing, with all charity and unity of peace, in wielding the law and in finding a right judgment; and that they shall faithfully live according to the will of God, so that everywhere and always, through them and among them, just judgments may be carried out. The poor, widows, orphans and pilgrims shall have consolation and protection from them; so that we, through their good will, may merit, rather than punishment, the rewards of eternal life.
15. We will, moreover, and decree, that abbots and all monks shall be subject in all obedience to their bishops, as the canonical institutions require. And all churches and chapels shall remain in the protection and power of the church. And no one shall presume to divide or cast lots for the property of the church. And what is once offered (for sale?) shall go no further, but shall be sanctified and reclaimed. And if any one presume to act counter to this, he shall pay and make good our royal fine. And the monks of that province shall be admonished by the bishop; and, if they do not amend their ways, then the archbishop shall call them before the synod; and, if they do not thus better themselves, then they, together with the bishop, shall come to our presence.
16. In the matter of choosing candidates for ordination, the emperor has confirmed this now to the bishops and abbots just as he formerly conceded it to them under the Frankish law. With this restriction, however, that a bishop or abbot shall not prefer the more worthless men in a monastery to the better ones; nor endeavour, on account of relationship, or through any flattery, to advance them over the better ones; nor bring such a one before us to be ordained, when he has a better man whom he conceals and oppresses. We absolutely will not allow this, for it seems to be done out of derision and deceitfulness towards us. But let there be prepared for ordination in the monasteries men of such kind that, through them, gain and profit will accrue to us and to those who recommend them.
17. That the monks, moreover, shall live firmly and strictly according to the rule; since we know that whoever is lukewarm in carrying out His will, is displeasing to God. As John, in the Apocalypse, bears witness: "I would that thou wert cold or hot. So then, because thou art lukewarm, I will spue thee out of my mouth." They shall on no account take upon themselves secular occupations. They shall not be permitted to go outside of the monastery unless great necessity compels them; and the bishop in whose diocese they are shall take great care that they do not gain the habit of wandering round outside of the monastery. But if it be necessary for any one, as an act of obedience, to go outside, this shall be done by the advice and with the consent of the bishop; and such persons shall be sent out, provided with a certificate of character, who are not evil-minded, and about whom no evil opinion is held. As to the outlying estates or property of the monastery, the abbot, by the advice and with the permission of the bishop, shall decree who shall look after them; not a monk, unless subject to another monastery. They shall in every way avoid earthly pursuit of gain, or a desire for worldly things. For avarice and concupiscence are to be avoided by all Christians in this world, but chiefly by those who have renounced the world and its desires. Let no one presume to start a quarrel or dissension either within or without the monastery. Whoever shall have presumed to do so, shall be punished by the most severe discipline of the rule, so that others shall have fear of doing likewise. Let them altogether avoid drunkenness and feasting; for it is known to all that chiefly through them one comes to be polluted by lust. For the very pernicious rumour has come to our ears that many, in the monasteries, have been taken in fornication, in abomination and uncleanness. And most of all it sad. dens and disturbs us that it can be said without error that from those things whence the greatest hope of salvation for all Christians is believed to arise -- namely, the manner of living and the chastity of the monks -- the evil has arisen that some of the monks are found to be sodomites.
18. Monasteries for women shall be firmly ruled, and the nuns shall by no means be permitted to wander about, but shall be kept with all diligence. Nor shall they be permitted to quarrel or contend among themselves, or in any way to be disobedient and refractory towards their masters and abbesses. Where they live under the rule, they shall observe all things altogether according to the rule. They shall not be given to fornication, drunkenness, or cupidity; but in all ways they shall live justly and soberly. And let no man enter into their cloister or monastery, unless a priest, with testimonials, enter it for the sake of visiting the sick, or for the mass alone; and straightway thereafter he shall go out again. And let no one enroll his daughter among the congregation of the nuns without the knowledge and consideration of the bishop to whose diocese that place pertains; and let the latter himself diligently ascertain that she is desirous of remaining in the holy service of God, and there confirm the stability of her vow. Moreover, the handmaids of other men, and such women as are not willing to live according to the manner of life in the holy congregation, shall all be altogether ejected from the congregation.
19. That no bishops, abbots, priests, deacons -- no one, in short, belonging to the clergy -- shall presume to have hunting dogs or hawks, falcons or sparrow-hawks; but each one shall keep himself wholly in his proper sphere, according to the canons, or according to the rule. Any one who presumes to do this (have hunting dogs, etc.) shall know that he loses his standing. Furthermore he shall suffer such punishment for this, that others shall fear to wrongfully do likewise.
20. That abbesses and their nuns shall, with one mind and diligently, keep themselves within their cloister-walls, and by no means presume to go outside of their cloisterwalls. But the abbesses, when they propose to send out any of the nuns, shall by no means do this without the permission and advice of their bishop. Likewise when any ordinations are to take place in the monasteries, or any persons to be received into the monasteries, this also they shall first fully talk over with their bishops. And the bishops shall announce to the archbishop what they consider the best and most advantageous course of proceeding; and with his advice they shall carry out what is to be done.
21. That priests and the other lesser clergy, whom they have to help them in their ministry, shall altogether show themselves subject to their bishops, as the canons demand. As they desire our favour and their own advancement, let them consent fully to be taught in sacred subjects by these their bishops.
22. The secular clergy, moreover, ought to lead a completely canonical life, and be educated in the episcopal palace, or also in a monastery, with all diligence according to the discipline of the canons. They shall by no means be permitted to wander at large, but shall live altogether apart, not given to disgraceful gain, not fornicators, not thieves, not homicides, not rapers, not quarrelsome, not wrathful, not proud, not drunken; but chaste in heart and body, humble, modest, sober, merciful, peaceful; that, as sons of God they may be worthy to be promoted to sacred orders: not, like those who are called sarabaites, living in towns and villages near or adjoining the church, without master and without discipline, revelling and fornicating, and also doing other wicked deeds the consenting to which is unheard of.
23. Priests shall carefully pay heed to the clergy whom they have with them, that they live according to the canons; that they be not given to vain sports or worldly feastings, or songs or luxuries, but that they live chastely and healthfully.
24. Moreover, any priest or deacon who after this shall presume to have women in his house without permission of the canons, shall be deprived at once of his position and of his inheritance until he shall be brought into our presence.
25. That counts and centenars shall see to it that justice is done in full; and they shall have younger men in their service in whom they can securely trust, who will faithfully observe law and justice, and by no means oppress the poor; who will not, under any pretext, induced by reward or flattery, dare to conceal thieves, robbers, or murderers, adulterers, magicians and wizards or witches, or any godless men, -- but will rather give them up that they may be bettered and chastised by the law: so that, God permitting, all these evils may be removed from the Christian people.
26. That judges shall judge justly, according to the written law and not according to their own judgment.
27. We decree that throughout our whole realm no one shall dare to deny hospitality to the rich, or to the poor, or to pilgrims: that is, no one shall refuse shelter and fire and water to pilgrims going through the land in God's service, or to any one travelling for the love of God and the safety of his soul. If any one shall wish to do further kindness to them, he shall know that his best reward will be from God, who said Himself: "And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name, receiveth me." And again: "I was a stranger and ye took me in."
28. Concerning embassies coming from the lord emperor. -- That the counts and centenars, as they desire to obtain the emperor's favour, shall provide with all care for the envoys sent, so that they may go through their districts without delay. And he altogether recommends to all to arrange all that shall be required, in such manner that there shall nowhere be delay; but they shall speed them on their way with all haste, and shall provide for them as they, our envoys, may arrange.
29. That our judges, counts, or envoys shall not have a right to extort payment of the remitted fine, on their own behalf, from those destitute persons to whom the emperor has, in his mercy, forgiven what they ought to pay by reason of his bann.
30. As to those whom the emperor wishes by Christ's favour to have peace and defenee in his kingdom -- that is, those who, whether Christians or pagans, hasten to his presence desiring to announce something, or those who seek alms on account of indigence or hunger, -- let no none dare to constrain them to do him service, or take possession of them, or alienate or sell them: but where they remain of their own will, there they, under the protection of the emperor, shall have alms from his bounty. If any one shall presume to transgress this, he shall know that he shall atone for it with his life, for having so presumptuously despised the commands of the emperor.
31. And let no one presume to contrive injuries or insults against those who announce a judgment of the emperor, or to show hostility to them in any way. Whoever shall have presumed to do this shall pay the king's bann; or, if he deserve a greater punishment, it is ordered that he be brought into the king's presence.
32. With every kind of protestation we command that men leave off and shun murders, through which many of the Christian people perish. If God forbids hatred and enmity to his followers, much more does he forbid murders. For how can any one hope to be pleasing to God who has slain His son who is nearest to Him? Or how can any one believe that Christ will be gracious to him who has slain his brother. It is a great and inevitable risk to arouse the hatred of men besides incurring that of God the Father and of Christ the ruler of Heaven. By hiding, one can escape them for a time; but, nevertheless, one falls by some chance into the hands of his enemies. And where can one flee God to whom all secrets are manifest? by what rashness can any one hope to evade His wrath? Therefore we have taken care to avoid, by every possible regulation, that the people committed to us to be ruled over perish by this evil. For he who has not feared that God will be angry with him, will by no means find us gentle and gracious; we wish rather to punish with the greatest severity him who dares to commit the crime of murder. Lest, then, crime increase, and in order that very great discord may not arise among men, -- wherever under the devil's suasion, a murder has occurred, the guilty one shall straightway hasten to make his amends, and shall, with all celerity, compound worthily with the relatives of the dead man for the evil done. And this we firmly decree under our bann, that the relatives of the dead man shall by no means dare to carry further their enmity on account of the evil inflicted, or refuse to make peace with him who seeks it; but, pledging their faith, they shall make a lasting peace, and the guilty man shall make no delay in paying the wergeld. When, moreover, through the influence of sin, this shall have happened, that any one shall have slain his brothers or his relative, he shall straightway submit himself to the penance imposed, according as his bishop decides, and without any circumvention. But by the help of God he shall strive to work out his atonement; and he shall pay the fine for the slain man according to the law, and shall fully be reconciled to his relatives. And, having pledged their faith, let no one thenceforth dare to start hostilities. And whoever shall scorn to make proper amends shall be deprived of his inheritance until we shall have rendered our judgment.
33. We altogether prohibit the crime of incest. If any one be contaminated by sinful adultery, he shall not be released without grave severity, but shall so be punished for this that others may have fear of doing the same: so that uncleanness may be altogether removed from the Christian people, and that the guilty man may fully atone by such penance as shall be imposed on him by his bishop. And that woman shall be placed in the hands of her relatives until we pass sentence. But if the man be unwilling to submit to the sentence of the bishop concerning what amends he shall make, then let him be brought before our presence, mindful of the example which was made in the case of the incest committed by Fricco in the temple.
34. That all shall be fully and well prepared whenever our order or announcement shall come. If any one then say that he be not prepared, and avoid our mandate let him be brought to the palace; and not only he, but likewise all who presume to transgress our bann or command.
35. That all men shall at all times, in the service and will of God, venerate with all honour their bishops and priests. Let them not dare to pollute themselves and others by incestuous nuptials; let them not presume to be wedded until the bishops and priests, together with the elders of the people, shall diligently inquire into the degree of blood-relationship between those being joined together. And then, with a benediction, let them be wedded. Let them avoid drunkenness, shun greed, commit no theft. Let strife and contentions and blasphemy, whether at feasts or assemblies, be altogether avoided; but let them live in charity and concord.
36. Also that, in carrying out every sentence, all shall be altogether of one mind with our envoys. And they shall not at all permit the practice of perjury, which most evil crime must be removed from Christian people. If any one henceforth shall be proved a perjurer, he shall know that he shall lose his right hand; and he shall, in addition, be deprived of his inheritance until we have judged his ease.
37. As to patricides or fratricides, or those who have slain their mother's or their father's brother, or any relation, -- if they have been unwilling to obey and agree to the sentence of the bishops and other priests: for the safety of their souls and that they may pay a just penalty, let our envoys and counts keep them in such custody until they are brought into our presence, that they may be safe and may not infect other people. And they shall, in the meantime, be deprived of their property.
38. And let the like be done to those who have been reprimanded and corrected for unlawful and incestuous unions, and who art not willing to obey their bishops and priests, and who presume to despise our bann.
39. Let no one in our forests dare to rob our game, which we have already many times forbidden to be done. And now again we firmly decree that no one shall do this any more. Each one shall keep guard on himself as he hopes to keep the fealty sworn to us. But if any count or centenar or lower official of ours, or any one of our serving-men, shall have stolen our game, he shall without fail be brought to our presence and called to account. Any other common man who may have stolen our game, shall compound for it to the full extent of the law; and by no means shall any allowance be made for such persons in this matter. If any one knows that this evil deed has been perpe- trated by another, let him not, by the fealty which he has promised and must now promise to us, dare to conceal it.
40. Lastly, then, we wish our decrees to be known, through the envoys whom we now send, by everyone in our whole realm -- by ecclesiastics, viz.: bishops, abbots, priests, deacons, canons, all monks and nuns; -- so that they, each one in his office or calling, may keep our bann and decree either in cases where it shall be necessary to thank those subject to them for their good will, or to lend them aid, or in cases where there may be need of applying a remedy. Likewise we wish our decrees to be known by laymen and in all places -- whether they concern the protection of churches or widows, or orphans or the weak; or the plundering of them; or the fixing of the assembling of the army, or any other matters: in order that they may be obedient to our command to our will, and that each one may strive in all things to keep himself in the sacred service of God. And thus may all these things be good and to the praise of omnipotent God, and may we give thanks where they are due; but when we think that any thing needs vengeance, may we strive with all our will and all our zeal to better it, -- so that, with God's aid, we may succeed in bettering it, to the eternal gain of ourselves and all our followers. Likewise we wish that all the above decrees be made known to our counts and centenars and officials.
III DIVISION OF THE EMPIRE OF THE YEAR 817. ( Altmann und Bernheim, "Ausgewählte Urkunden", p. 12. Berlin, 1891.) In the name of the Lord God and of our Saviour Jesus Christ. Louis, the divine power ordaining, august em peror. While we in the name of God, in the year 817 of the incarnation of the Lord, in the tenth indiction, and in the fourth year of our reign, in the month of July, had assembled in our palace at Aix in our accustomed manner a sacred synod and the generality of our people to treat of ecclesiastical needs and the needs of our whole empire, and were intent upon these, -- suddenly, by divine inspiration, it came about that our faithful ones warned us that, while we still remained safe and peace on all sides was granted by God, we should, after the manner of our forefathers, treat of the condition of the whole kingdom and of the case of our sons. But although this admonition was devoutly and faithfully given, nevertheless it seems good neither to us nor to those who know what is salutary, that for the love or for the sake of our sons the unity of the empire preserved to us by God should be rent by human division; lest by chance from this cause a scandal should arise in the holy church and we should incur the offending of Him in whose power are the laws of all kingdoms. Therefore we thought it necessary that by fastings and prayers and the giving of alms we should obtain from Him that which our infirmity did not presume. Which being duly performed for three days, by the will of Almighty God, as we believe, it was brought about that both our own wishes and those of our whole people concurred in the election of our beloved first-born Lothar. And so it pleased both us and all our people that he, thus manifested by the divine dispensation, being crowned in solemn manner with the imperial diadem, should, by common wish, be made our consort and successor to the empire if God should so wish. But as to his other brothers, Pippin, namely, and Louis our namesake, it seemed good by common counsel to distinguish them by the name of kings, and to fix upon the places named below, in which after our decease they may hold sway with regal power under their elder brother according to the clauses mentioned below, in which are contained the conditions which we have established among them. Which clauses, on account of the advantage of the empire, and of preserving perpetual peace among them, and for the safety of the whole church, it pleased us to deliberate upon with all our faithful ones; and having deliberated, to write down; and having written down, to confirm with our own hands: so that, God lending His aid, as they had been passed by all with common consent, so by common devotion they should be inviolably observed by all, to the perpetual peace of themselves and of the whole Christian people; saving in all things our imperial power over our sons and our people, with all the subjection which is exhibited by a father to his sons and to an emperor and king by his people. 1. We will that Pippin shall have Aquitania and Gascony, and all the March of Toulouse, and moreover four counties: namely, in Septimania Carcassone, and in Burgundy Autun, l'Avalonnais and Nevers. 2. Likewise we will that Louis shall have Bavaria and Carinthia, and the Bohemians, Avars, and Slavs, who are on the eastern side of Bavaria; and furthermore, two demesne towns to do service to him, in the county of Nortgau, Lauterburg and Ingolstadt. 3. We will that these two brothers, who are called by the name of king, shall possess power of themselves to distribute all honours within the range of their jurisdiction; provided that in the bishoprics and abbeys the ecclesiastical order shall be held to, and in giving other honours, honesty and utility shall be observed. 4. Likewise we will, that once a year, at a fitting time, either together or individually, according as the condition of things allows, they shall come to their elder brother with their gifts, for the sake of visiting him, and seeing him, and treating with mutual fraternal love of those things which are necessary, and which pertain to the common utility and to perpetual peace. And if by chance one of them, impeded by some inevitable necessity, is unable to come at the accustomed and fitting time, he shall signify this to his elder brother by sending legates and gifts; so, nevertheless, that at whatever suitable time it may be possible for him, he shall not avoid coming through any feigned excuse. 5. We will and order that the elder brother, when one or both of his brothers shall come to him, as has been said, with gifts, shall, according as to him, by God's will, greater power has been attributed, likewise himself remunerate them with pious and fraternal love, and a more ample gift. 6. We will and order that the elder brother shall, either in person, or through his faithful envoys and his armies, according as reason dictates and time and occasion permit, send help to his younger brothers when they shall rea- sonably ask him to come to their aid against external nations.
7. We likewise will that without the counsel and consent of their elder brother they by no means presume to make peace with, or engage in war against, foreign nations, and those that are hostile to this empire, which is in the care of God. 8. But as to envoys, if such are sent by external nations either for the sake of making peace, or engaging in war, or surrendering castles, or of arranging any other important matters, they, the younger brothers, shall by no means give them an answer without the knowledge of the elder brother, nor shall they send them away. But if envoys shall be sent to him from any place, he of the younger brothers to whom they shall first come, shall receive them with honour, and shall cause them, accompanied by faithful envoys, to come into his (the older brother's) presence. But in minor matters, according to the nature of the embassy, they may answer of themselves. But we add this warning, that in whatever condition affairs within their confines may be, they shall not neglect to keep their elder brother always informed, that he may be found always interested and ready to give his attention to whatever things the necessity and utility of the kingdom shall demand. 9. It seems best for us also to require that after our decease the vassal of each one of the brothers, for the sake of avoiding discord, shall have a benefice only in the domain of his ruler, and not in that of one of the others. But his own property and heritage, wherever it be, each one may possess according to his law, and without unjust interference, justice being observed, with honour and security; and each free man who has not a lord shall be allowed to commend himself to whichever of the three brothers he may wish. 10. But if, what God avert and what we least of all wish, it should happen that any one of the brothers, on account of desire for earthly goods, which is the root of all evils, shall be either a divider or oppressor of the churches or the poor, or shall exercise tyranny, in which all cruelty consists: first, in secret, according to the precept of God he shall be warned once, twice, and thrice, through faithful envoys, to amend; and if he refuse them, being summoned by one brother before the other he shall be admonished and punished with fraternal and paternal love. And if he shall altogether spurn this healthful admonition, by the common sentence of all it shall be decreed what is to be done concerning him; so that him whom a healthful admonition could not recall from his wicked ways, the imperial power and the common sentence of all may coerce. 11. But the rulers of the churches of Francia shall have such power over the possessions of the same, whether in Aquitania or in Italy, or in other regions and provinces subject to this empire, as they had in the time of our father, or are known to have in our own. 12. Whatever of tribute, moreover, and rents and precious metals can be exacted or obtained within their confines, they shall possess; so that from these they may provide for their necessities, and may the better be able to prepare the gifts to be brought to their elder brother. 13. We will, also, that if to any one of them, after our decease, the time for marrying shall come, he shall take a wife with the counsel and consent of his elder brother. This, moreover, we decree shall be guarded against, for the sake of avoiding discords and removing harmful opportunities: that any one of them shall presume to take a wife from external nations. But the vassals of all of them, in order that the bonds of peace may be drawn more closely, may take their wives from whatever places they wish. 14. But if any one of them, dying, shall leave lawful children, his power shall not be divided among them; but rather the people, coming together in common, shall elect one of them who shall be pleasing to God; and this one the elder brother shall receive as a brother and a son, and, himself being treated with paternal honour, shall observe this constitution towards him in every way. But in the matter of the other children they shall, with pious love, discuss how they may keep them and give them advice, after the manner of our parents. 15. But if any one of them shall die without lawful children, his power shall revert to the elder brother. And if he shall happen to have children from concubines, we exhort the elder brother to act mercifully towards them. 16. But if at our death either of them shall happen not yet to be of lawful age according to Ripuarian law, we will that, until he arrive at the established term of years, just as now by us, so by his elder brother, both himself and his kingdom shall be cared for and governed. And when he shall come to be of lawful age, he shall in all things possess his power according to the manner laid down. 17. But to our son, if God will that he be our successor, the kingdom of Italy shall in the aforesaid manner be subject in all things, just as it was subject to our father, and remains subject in the present time to us, by the will of God. 18. We exhort also the devotion of our whole people, and that firmness of a most sincere faith, the fame of which has spread among almost all nations, that if our son, who by the divine will shall succeed to us, shall depart from this life without legitimate heirs, they shall, for the sake of the salvation of all, and the tranquillity of the church and the unity of the empire, follow the conditions that we have made in the matter of his election, and elect one of our sons, if they shall survive their brother; so that in choosing him they shall seek to fulfil, not a human will, but the will of God.
TREATY AT AIX BETWEEN LOUIS II. AND CHARLES THE BALD CONCERNING
THE DIVISION OF THE KINGDOM OF LOTHAR II. A.D. 870.
( Altmann u. Bernheim, Ausgewählte Urkunden, p. 16. Berlin, 1891.)
In the year of the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ 870, on the day before the Nones of March, in the 32nd year of the most glorious king Charles, in the palace at
Aix, this agreement was made between him and his brother king Louis.
Count Ingelram on the part of king Charles:
I promise this on the part of my lord, that my lord king Charles consents that his brother, king Louis, shall have such portion of the kingdom of king Lothar, as either they themselves, or their faithful followers among themselves, shall find to be most just and most equable. Neither with regard to that portion nor with regard to the kingdom which he ( Louis) before held will he ( Charles) deceive or ill-advise him through any fraud or wile, provided that his brother Louis will on his part inviolably observe, as long as he lives, the same steadfastness and fidelity to my lord which I have promised to him on the part of that lord. Likewise Liutfried on the part of king Louis: I promise this on the part of my lord, that my lord king Louis consents that his brother, king Charles, shall have such portion of the kingdom of king Lothar, as either they themselves, or their faithful followers among themselves, shall find to be most just or most equable. Neither with regard to that portion nor with regard to the kingdom which he ( Charles) before held, will he ( Louis) deceive or ill-advise him through any fraud or wile, provided that his brother Charles will on his part inviolably observe, as long as he lives, the same steadfastness and fidelity to my lord which I have promised to him on the part of that lord. In like manner count Theoderic as a third swore to these things on the part of the glorious king Charles, and as a. fourth count Ralph on the part of king Louis. There were present there: archbishop Liutbert, bishop Altfrid, bishop Odo, count Adalelm, count Ingleram, count Liutfried, count Theoderic, likewise a count Adalelm.
V. . DECREE OF THE EMPEROR HENRY IV. CONCERNING A TRUCE OF GOD (1085 A.D.) ( Doeberl, "Monumenta Germaniae Selecta," Bd. 3, p. 49). Whereas in our times the holy church has been afflicted beyond measure by tribulations through having to join in suffering so many oppressions and dangers, we have so striven to aid it, with God's help, that the peace which we could not make lasting by reason of our sins, we should to some extent make binding by at least exempting certain days. In the year of the Lord's incarnation, 1085, in the 8th indiction, it was decreed by God's mediation, the clergy and people unanimously agreeing: that from the first day of the Advent of our Lord until the end of the day of the Epiphany, and from the beginning of Septuagesima until the 8th day after Pentecost, and throughout that whole day, and on every Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, until sunrise on Monday, and on the day of the fast of the four seasons, and on the eve and the day itself of each of the apostles -- moreover on every day canonically set apart, or in future to be set apart, for fasting, or for celebrating, -- this decree of peace shall be observed. The purpose of it is that those who travel and those who remain at home may enjoy the greatest possible security, so that no one shall commit murder or arson, robbery or assault, no man shall injure another with a whip or a sword or any kind of weapon, and that no one, no matter on account of what wrong he shall be at feud, shall, from the Advent of our Lord to the 8th day after Epiphany, and from Septuagesima until the 8th day after Pentecost, presume to bear as weapons a shield, sword, or lance -- or, in fact, the burden of any armour. Likewise on the other days -- namely, on Sundays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and on the eve and day of each of the apostles, and on every day canonically fixed, or to be fixed, for fasting or celebrating, -- it is unlawful, except for those going a long distance, to carry arms; and even then under the condition that they injure no one in any way. If, during the space for which the peace has been declared, it shall be necessary for any one to go to another place where that peace is not observed, he may bear arms; provided, nevertheless, that he harm no one unless he is attacked and has to defend himself. Moreover, when he returns, he shall lay aside his weapons again. If it shall happen that a castle is being besieged, the besiegers shall cease from the attack during the days included in the peace, unless they are attacked by the besieged, and are obliged to beat them back. And lest this statute of peace be violated with impunity by any person, the following sentence was decreed by all present: If a freeman or a noble shall have violated it -that is, if he shall have committed murder, or shall have transgressed it in any other way, -- he shall, without any payments or any friends being allowed to intervene, be expelled from within his boundaries, and his heirs may take his whole estate; and if he hold a fief, the lord to whom it belongs shall take it. But if, after his expulsion, his heirs shall be found to have given him any aid or support, and shall be convicted of it, the estate shall be taken from them and shall fall to the portion of the king. But if he wish to clear himself of the charges against him, he shall swear with 12 who are equally noble and free. If a slave kill a man he shall be beheaded; if he wound him he shall have his right hand cut off; if he have transgressed in any other way -- by striking with his fist, or a stone, or a whip, or any thing else -- he shall be floaged and shorn. But if the accused (slave) wish to prove his innocence, he shall purge himself by the ordeal of cold water: in such wise, however, that he himself, and no one in his place, be sent to the water. But if, fearing the sentence that has been passed against him, he shall have fled, -- he shall be forever under the bann. And wherever he is heard to be, letters shall be sent there announcing that he is under the bann, and that no one may hold intercourse with him. The hands may not be cut off of boys who have not yet completed their 12th year; if boys, then, shall transgress this peace, they shall be punished with whipping only. It is not an infringement of the peace if any one order a delinquent slave, or a scholar, or any one who is subject to him in any way, to be beaten with rods or with whips. It is an exception also to this statute of peace, if the emperor shall publicly order an expedition to be made to seek the enemies of the realm, or shall be pleased to hold a council to judge the enemies of justice. The peace is not violated. if, while it continues, the duke, or other counts, or bailiffs, or their substitutes hold courts, and lawfully exercise judgment over thieves and robbers, and other harmful persons. This imperial peace has been decreed chiefly for the security of all those who are at feud; but not to the end that, after the peace is over, they may dare to rob and plunder throughout the villages and homes. For the law and judgment that was in force against them before this peace was decreed shall be most diligently observed, so that they be restrained from iniquity; -- for robbers and plunderers are excepted from this divine peace, and, in fact, from every peace. If any one strive to oppose this pious decree, so that he will neither promise the peace to God nor observe it, no priest shall presume to sing a mass for him or to give heed to his salvation; if he be ill, no Christian shall presume to visit him, and, unless he come to his senses, he shall do without the Eucharist even at the end. If any one, either at the present time or among our posterity forever, shall presume to violate it, he is banned by us irrevocably. We decree that it rests not more in the power of the counts or centenars, or any official, than in that of the whole people in common, to inflict the above mentioned punishments on the violators of the holy peace. And let them most diligently be on their guard lest, in punishing, they show friendship or hatred, or do anything contrary to justice; let them not conceal the crimes of any one, but rather make them public. No one shall accept money for the redemption of those who shall have been found transgressing. Merchants on the road where they do business, rustics while labouring at rustic work -- at ploughing, digging, reaping, and other similar occupations, -- shall have peace every day. Women, moreover, and all those ordained to sacred orders, shall enjoy continual peace. In the churches, moreover, and in the cemeteries of the churches, let honour and reverence be paid to God; so that if a robber or thief flee thither he shall not at all be siezed, but shall be besieged there until, induced by hunger, he shall be compelled to surrender. If any one shall presume to furnish the culprit with means of defence, arms, victuals, or opportunity for flight, he shall be punished with the same penalty as the guilty man. We forbid under our bann, moreover, that any one in sacred orders, convicted of transgressing this peace, be punished with the punishments of laymen -- he shall, instead, be handed over to the bishop. Where laymen are decapitated, clerks shall be degraded; where laymen are. mutilated, clerks shall be suspended from their positions; and, by the consent of the laity, they shall be afflicted with frequent fasts and flagellations until they shall have atoned. Amen.
VI. PEACE OF THE LAND ESTABLISHED BY FREDERICK BARBAROSSA BETWEEN 1152 AND 1157 A.D. ( Altmann u. Bernheim, Ausgewählte Urkunden, p. 150. Berlin, 1891.)
Frederick by the grace of God emperor of the Romans, always august, to the bishops, dukes, counts, margraves and all to whom these letters shall come: sends his favour, peace, and love.
Inasmuch as by the ordination of the divine mercy we ascend the throne of the royal majesty, it is right that in our works we altogether obey Him by whose gift we are exalted. Therefore we, desiring the divine as well as the human laws to remain in vigour, and endeavouring to exalt the churches and ecclesiastical persons, and to defend them from the incursions and invasions of every one, do wish to preserve to all persons whatever their rights, and do by the royal authority indicate a peace, long desired and hitherto necessary to the whole earth, to be observed throughout all parts of our kingdom. In what manner, moreover, this same peace is to be kept and observed, will be clearly shown from what follows.
1. If any one, within the term fixed for the peace, shall slay a man, he shall be sentenced to death, unless by wager of battle he can prove this, that he slew him in defending his own life. But if this shall be manifest to all, that he slew him not of necessity but voluntarily, then neither through wager of battle nor in any other manner shall he keep himself from being condemned to death. But if a violator of the peace shall flee the face of the judge, his movable possessions shall be confiscated by the judge and dispensed among the people; but his heirs shall receive the heritage which he held; this condition being imposed, that a promise shall be given under oath to the effect that that violator of the peace shall never, henceforth, by their will or consent receive any emolument from it. But if later the heirs, neglecting the rigour of the law, shall allow him to have his heritage, the count shall hand over that same heritage to the rule of the king and shall receive it from the king under the name of a benefice.
2. If any one wound another after the proclamation of the peace, unless he prove by wager of battle that he did this while defending his life, his hand shall be amputated and he shall be sentenced as has been explained above: the judge shall most strictly prosecute him and his possessions according to the rigour of justice.
3. If any one take another and without shedding blood beat him with rods, or pull out his hair or beard, he shall pay by way of composition 10 pounds to him on whom the injury is seen to have been inflicted, and 30 pounds to the judge. But if without striking him he shall boldly attack him "asteros hant," as it is vulgarly called, viz., with hot hand, and shall maltreat him with contumelious words, he shall compound with 10 pounds for such excess and shall pay 10 to the judge. And whoever, for an excess, shall engage to pay 20 pounds to his judge, shall hand over his estate to him as a pledge, and within four weeks shall pay the money required; and if within four weeks he neglect to hand over his estate, his heirs, if they wish, may receive his heritage, and shall pay to the count the 20 pounds within six weeks; but if not, the count shall assign that heritage to the power of the king, shall restore the claims of those who proclaim them, and shall receive the estate from the king under the title of a benefice.
If a clerk be charged with violating the peace and be openly known and published as doing so, or if he keep companionship with a violator of the peace, and be convicted of these things in the presence of his bishop and by sufficient testimony: to the count in whose county this same clerk has perpetrated this he shall pay 20 pounds, and for so great an excess he shall make satisfaction to the bishop according to the statutes of the canons. If, moreover, that same clerk shall be disobedient, he shall not only be deprived of his office and ecclesiastical benefice, but also he shall be considered an outlaw.
If a judge through clamour of the people shall have followed any violator of the peace to the city of any lord, that same lord whose city it is known to be shall produce him to render justice; but if he shall mistrust his own innocence and shall fear to come before the face of the judge, -- if he have a dwelling in the city, his lord shall, under oath, place all his movable goods at the disposition of the judge, and in future, as an outlaw, not receive him in his house; but if he have not a dwelling in his city, his lord shall cause him to be placed in security, and afterwards the judge, with the people, shall not desist from prosecuting him as a violator of the peace. If two men contend for the possession of one benefice, and one of them produces the man who invested him with that benefice, his testimony, if the investor acknowledge having given the investiture, shall be received first by the count; and if the man can prove by suitable witnesses that he obtained this same benefice without plunder, the occasion for controversy being removed, he shall hold it; but if in the presence of the judge he be convicted of plunder, he shall doubly pay the plunder, and shall be deprived of the benefice, unless, justice and judgment dictating, he may in the future seek to obtain it again. If three or more contend for the same benefice, each one producing different investors, the judge in whose presence the case is carried on shall require of two men of good testimony dwelling in the province of these same litigants, that they swear by an oath which of them, without plunder, has been the possessor of that benefice; and, the truth of the matter being known from their testimony, the possessor shall quietly obtain his benefice, unless, justice and judgment dictating, another shall snatch it from his hand.
If a rustic charge a knight with violating the peace, he shall swear by his hand that he does this not willingly but of necessity; the knight shall clear himself by the hand of four. If a knight charge a rustic with violating the peace, the rustic shall swear by his hand that he has done this not willingly but of necessity; the rustic shall choose one of two things: whether he shall show his innocence by a divine or a human judgment, or whether he shall expurgate himself by six suitable witnesses whom the judge shall choose.
If for violation of the peace, or in any capital matter, a knight wishes to engage in wager of battle against a knight, permission to fight shall not be granted to him unless he can prove that from of old he himself, and his parents as well, have by birth been lawful knights.
After the nativity of St. Mary each count shall choose for himself seven men of good testimony, and shall wisely make arrangements for each province, and shall usefully provide for what price, according to the quality, the grain is to be sold at different times; but whoever, contrary to his ruling, within the term of the year, shall presume to sell a measure for a higher price, shall be considered a violator of the peace, and shall pay as many times thirty pounds to the count as the number of measures he shall have been convicted of selling.
If any rustic shall carry as weapons either a lance or a sword, the judge within whose jurisdiction he shall be found to belong shall either take away the weapons, or shall receive 20 shillings for them from the rustic.
A merchant passing through the province on business may tie his sword to his saddle, or place it above his vehicle, not in order to injure the innocent, but to defend himself from the robber. No one shall spread his nets or his nooses, or any other instruments for taking game, except for taking bears, boars and wolves.
In going to the palace of the count no knight shall bear arms unless invited by the count. Public robbers and convicts shall be condemned to the old sentence.
Whoever shall treat his advowson or any other benefice unbecomingly, and shall have been warned by his lord and do not amend, continuing in his insolence, -- he shall be deprived by a judicial order as well of his advowson as of his benefice; and if he afterwards, with bold daring, shall invade his advowson or benefice, he shall be considered a violator of the peace.
If any one shall have stolen 5 shillings, or its equivalent, -- he shall be hung with a rope; if less he shall be flayed with whips, and his hair pulled out with a pincers.
If the ministeriales of any lord have a conflict among themselves, the count or judge in whose district they do this shall carry on the law and the judgments in the matter.
Whoever, in passing through the land, wishes to feed his horse, may with impunity take, for the refection and refreshment of his horse, as much as he can reach when he stands in a place directly adjoining the road. It is lawful for any one to take, for his convenience and necessary use, grass and green wood; but without any devastation.
THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE DUCHY OF AUSTRIA, SEPT. 17,1156.
( Doeberl, iv. p. 88.)
In the name of the holy and indivisible Trinity. Frederick, by favour of the divine mercy, august emperor of the Romans. Although a transfer of property may remain valid from the actual act of performing such transfer, and those things which are lawfully possessed can not be wrested away by any act of force: it is, however, the duty of our imperial authority to intervene lest there can be any doubt of the transaction. Be it known, therefore, to the present age and to future generations of our subjects, that we, aided by the grace of Him who sent peace for men from Heaven to earth, have, in the general court of Regensburg which was held on the nativity of St. Mary the Virgin, in the presence of many of the clergy and the catholic princes, terminated the struggle and controversy concerning the duchy of Bavaria, which has long been carried on between our most beloved uncle, Henry duke of Austria, and our most dear nephew, Henry duke of Saxony. And it has been done in this way: that the duke of Austria has resigned to us the duchy of Bavaria, which we have straightway granted as a fief to the duke of Saxony. But the duke of Bavaria has resigned to us the march of Austria, with all its jurisdictions and with all the fiefs which the former margrave Leopold held from the duchy of Bavaria. Moreover, lest by this act the honour and glory of our most beloved uncle may seem in any way to be diminished, -- by the counsel and judgment of the princes, Vladislav, the illustrious duke of Bohemia, proclaiming the decision, and all the princes approving, -- we have changed the march of Austria into a duchy, and have granted that duchy with all its jurisdictions to our aforesaid uncle Henry and his most noble wife Theodora as a fief; decreeing by a perpetual law that they and their children alike, whether sons or daughters, shall, by hereditary right, hold and possess that same duchy of Austria from the empire. But if the aforesaid duke of Austria, our uncle, and his wife should die without children, they shall have the privilege of leaving that duchy to whomever they wish. We decree, further, that no person, small or great, may presume to exercise any jurisdiction in the governing of that duchy without the consent or permission of the duke. The duke of Austria, moreover, shall not owe any other service to the empire from his duchy, except that, when he is summoned, he shall come to the courts which the emperor shall announce in Bavaria. And he shall be bound to go on no military expedition, unless the emperor ordain one against the countries or provinces adjoining Austria. For the rest, in order that this our imperial decree may, for all ages, remain valid and unshaken, we have ordered the present charter to be written and to be sealed with the impress of our seal, suitable witnesses to be called in whose names are as follows: Pilgrim, patriarch of Aquileija, etc. etc.
THE GELNHAUSEN CHARTER. APRIL 13 1180 A.D.
( Doeberl, iv. p. 264.)
In the name of the holy and indivisible Trinity. Frederick, by favour of the divine mercy, august emperor of the Romans. Since human memory is short and does not suffice for a crowd of things, the authority of those who preceded our age, the divine emperors and kings, has decreed that those things were to be written down which the progress of fleeting time generally removes from the knowledge of men.
A. Wherefore let the generality of the present as well as the future subjects of our empire know, that Henry the former duke of Bavaria and Westphalia, for the reason that he gravely oppressed the liberty of the churches of God and of the nobles of the empire, occupying their possessions and diminishing their rights, -- on account of the urgent complaints of the princes and of very many nobles, inasmuch as being summoned he scorned to present himself before our majesty: did, both for this contumacy and for scorning the Swabian princes of his rank, incur the sentence of our proscription. Then, as he did not desist from raging against the churches of God and the rights and liberties of the princes and nobles, being cited by a lawful triple edict, according to feudal law, before our presence, as well to answer for the injury to the princes as for the repeated contempt shown to us, and, chiefly, for the evident crime of high treason: -- for the reason that he absented himself and sent no one to respond for him he was judged contumacious; and, for the future, as well the duchy of Bavaria as that of Westphalia and Angaria, and also all the benefices which he has held from the empire were, in the solemn court held at Wurzburg, by unanimous sentence of the princes declared forfeited by him and adjudged to our jurisdiction and power.
B. We, therefore, after deliberating with the princes and by their common counsel, did divide in two the duchy which is called Westphalia and Angaria, and, through consideration of the merits through which our beloved prince Philip the archbishop of Cologne has deserved the privilege of the imperial favour by promoting and upholding the honour of the imperial crown, fearing neither expense nor personal danger, -- we have lawfully donated to the church of Cologne, and, from the imperial bounty, have conferred on it one portion, namely, the one that extended to the Cologne bishopric and over the whole bishopric of Paderborn. We have donated it with every right and jurisdiction, namely, with the county courts, with the advowsons, escort-monies, manors, vills, benefices, serving-men, bondsmen, and all things that pertain to that duchy. And, asking an opinion from the princes as to whether this could be done, when an affirmative one had been given and approved by the common consent of the princes and of the whole court, the consent, also, of our beloved relative duke Bernard, to whom we had given the other portion of the duchy, being given publicly, -- we did solemnly invest, through an imperial standard, the aforesaid archbishop Philip with that portion of the duchy conferred on his church.
We do confirm, therefore, this lawful donation and investiture of our royal majesty to the Cologne church and to our oft-mentioned prince the archbishop Philip, and to all his successors. And wishing this to remain valid for them unto all their posterity, we forbid by an imperial edict that any one, with rash daring, infringe it or in any way attempt to violate it; and we validly corroborate this our decree by the present privilege, signed by the golden seal of our Highness, the witnesses being written down who were present at this deed. They are as follows: etc. etc.
THE COUNT PALATINE AS JUDGE OVER THE KING.
Decree of the Nuremberg Diet, Nov. 19, 1274.
( Altmann u. Bernheim, p. 23.)
In public consistory, at the time of the solemn and royal court held at Nuremberg, the princes and a brilliant assembly of counts and barons being in session, and a very great multitude of nobles and commoners standing before the most serene lord Rudolph king of the Romans for the purpose of exhibiting the fulness of justice to each person, -- the king first asked that it be defined by a decree who ought to be judge if the king of the Romans should have to bring any charge against any prince of the empire in the matter of imperial possessions and those belonging to the fisc, and concerning other injuries inflicted on the realm or on the king. And it was defined by all the princes and barons who were present, that the count Palatine of the Rhine has held of old, and does hold, the right of judging in processes which the emperor or king wishes to bring against a prince of the empire.
The said count Palatine, therefore, presiding over the tribunal, the king asked that it be first established by a decree what he, the king, might and should, according to law, do with the possessions which the former emperor Frederick had and held, peacefully and quietly, before the sentence of deposition was passed upon him by the princes; and also concerning possessions otherwise falling to the empire, which possessions others hold, occupying them through violence. And it was decreed that the king himself, in the matter of all such possessions, ought to assert his own claim, and bring back those same possessions into his power; and if any one should presume to oppose himself to the king in the recovering of such possessions, the king should repel with the royal power such hurtful violence. and to preserve the rights of the empire....
THE GOLDEN BULL OF THE EMPEROR CHARLES IV. 1356 A.D.
( Altmann u. Bernheim, p. 39.)
Eternal, omnipotent God, in whom the sole hope of the world is, Of Heaven the Maker Thou, of earth, too, the lofty Creator: Consider, we pray Thee, Thy people, and gently, from out Thy high dwelling, Look down lest they turn their steps to the place where Erinis is ruler; There where Allecto commands, Megaera dictating the measures. But rather by virtue of him, this emperor Charles whom Thou lovest, O most beneficent God, may'st Thou graciously please to ordain it, That, through the pleasant glades of forests ever in flower, And through the realms of the bless'd, their pious leader may bring them Into the holy shades, where the heavenly waters will quicken The seeds that were sown in the life, and where the ripe crops are made glorious, Cleansed in supernal founts from all of the thorns they have gathered. Thus may the harvest be God's, and great may its worth be in future, Heaping a hundred fold the corn in the barns overflowing.
In the name of the holy and indivisible Trinity felicitously amen. Charles the Fourth, by favour of the divine mercy emperor of the Romans, always august, and king of Bohemia; as a perpetual memorial of this matter. Every kingdom divided against itself shall be desolated. For its princes have become the companions of thieves. Wherefore God has mingled among them the spirit of dizziness, that they may grope in midday as if in darkness; and He has removed their candlestick from out of His place, that they may be blind and leaders of the blind. And those who walk in darkness stumble; and the blind commit crimes in their hearts which come to pass in time of discord. Tell us, pride, how would'st thou have reigned over Lucifer if thou had'st not had discord to aid thee? Tell us, hateful Satan, how would'st thou have cast Adam out of Paradise if thou had'st not divided him from his obedience? Tell us, luxury, how would'st thou have destroyed Troy, if thou had'st not divided Helen from her husband? Tell us, wrath, how would'st thou have destroyed the Roman republic had'st thou not, by means of discord, spurred on Pompey and Caesar with raging swords to internal conflict? Thou, indeed, oh envy, hast, with impious wickedness, spued with the ancient poison against the Christian empire which is fortified by God, like to the holy and indivisible Trinity, with the theological virtues of faith, hope, and charity; whose foundation is happily established above in the very kingdom of Christ. Thou hast done this, like a serpent, against the branches of the empire and its nearer members; so that, the columns being shaken, thou mightest subject the whole edifice to ruin. Thou hast often spread discord among the seven electors of the holy empire, through whom, as through seven candlesticks throwing light in the unity of a septiform spirit, the holy empire ought to be illumined.
Inasmuch as we, through the office by which we possess the imperial dignity, are doubly -- both as emperor and by the electoral right which we enjoy -- bound to put an end to future danger of discords among the electors themselves, to whose number we, as king of Bohemia are known to belong: we have promulgated, decreed and recommended for ratification, the subjoined laws for the purpose of cherishing unity among the electors, and of bringing about a unanimous election, and of closing all approach to the aforesaid detestable discord and to the various dangers which arise from it. This we have done in our solemn court at Nuremberg, in session with all the electoral princes, ecclesiastical and secular, and amid a numerous multitude of other princes, counts, barons, magnates, nobles and citizens; after mature deliberation, from the fulness of our imperial power; sitting on the throne of our imperial majesty, adorned with the imperial bands, insignia and diadem; in the year of our Lord 1356, in the 9th Indiction, on the 4th day before the Ides of January, in the 10th year of our reign as king, the 1st as emperor.
1. What sort of escort the electors should have, and by whom furnished.
1. We decree, and, by the present imperial and ever valid edict, do sanction of certain knowledge and from the plenitude of the imperial power: that whenever, and so often as in future, necessity or occasion shall arise for the election of a king of the Romans and prospective emperor, and the prince electors, according to ancient and laudable custom, are obliged to journey to such election, -- each prince elector, if, and whenever, he is called upon to do this, shall be bound to escort any of his fellow prince electors or the envoys whom they shall send to this election, through his lands, territories and districts, and even as much beyond them as he shall be able; and to lend them escort without guile on their way to the city in which such election is to be held, and also in returning from it. This he shall do under pain of perjury and the loss, for that time only, of the vote which he was about to have in such election; which penalty, indeed, we decree that he or they who shall prove rebellious or negligent in furnishing the aforesaid escort shall, by the very act, incur.
2. We furthermore decree, and we command all other princes holding fiefs from the Holy Roman Empire, whatever the service they have to perform, -- also all counts, barons, knights, noble and common followers, citizens and communities of castles, cities and districts of the holy empire: that at this same time -- when, namely, an election is to take place of king of the Romans and prospective emperor -- they shall, without guile, in the manner aforesaid, escort through their territories and as far beyond as they can, any prince elector demanding from them, or any one of them, help of this kind, or the envoys whom, as has been explained before, he shall have sent to that election. But if any persons shall presume to run counter to this our decree they shall, by the act itself, incur the following penalties: all princes and counts, barons, noble knights and followers, and all nobles acting counter to it, shall be considered guilty of perjury and deprived of all the fiefs which they hold of the holy Roman empire and of any lords whatever, and also of all their possessions no matter from whom they hold them. All cities and guilds, moreover, presuming to act counter to the foregoing, shall similarly be considered guilty of perjury, and likewise shall be altogether deprived of all their rights, liberties, privileges and favours obtained from the holy empire, and both in their persons and in all their possessions shall incur the imperial bann and proscription. And any man, on his own authority and without trial or the calling in of any magistrate, may henceforth with impunity attack those whom we, by the act itself, deprive, from now or from a past time on, of all their rights. And, in attacking them, he need fear no punishment on this account from the empire or any one else; inasmuch as they, rashly negligent in so great a matter, are convicted of acting faithlessly and perversely, as disobedient and perfidious persons and rebels against the state, and against the majesty and dignity of the holy empire, and even against their own honour and safety.
3. We decree, moreover, and command, that the citizens and guilds of all cities shall be compelled to sell or cause to be Sold to the aforesaid prince electors, or to any one of them who demands it, and to their envoys, when they are going to said city for the sake of holding said election, and even when they are returning from it: victuals at the common and current price for the needs of themselves or the said envoys and their followers. And in no way shall they act fraudulently with regard to the foregoing. We will that those who do otherwise shall, by the act itself, incur those penalties which we, in the foregoing, have seen fit to decree against citizens and guilds. Whoever, moreover, of the princes, counts, barons, knights, noble or common followers, citizens or guilds of cities shall presume to erect hostile barriers or to prepare ambushes for a prince elector going to hold the election of a king of the Romans or returning from it, -- or to attack or disturb them or any one of them in their persons or in their property, or in the persons of said envoys sent by them or any one of them, whether they have sought escort or have not considered it worth while to demand it: we decree that he, together with all the accomplices of his iniquity, shall, by the act itself, have incurred the above penalties; in such wise, namely, that each person shall incur the penalty or penalties which, according to what precedes, we have thought best, relatively to the rank of those persons, to inflict.
4. But if any prince elector should be at enmity with any one of his co-electors, and any contention, controversy, or dissension should be going on between them; -- notwithstanding this, one shall be bound, under penalty of perjury and loss, for this one time, of his vote in the election, as has been stated above, to escort in said manner the other, or the envoys of the other who shall be sent in said manner to such election.
5. But if any princes, counts, barons, knights, noble or common followers, citizens, or guilds of cities, should bear ill-will to one or more of the prince electors, or any mutual discord, or war, or dissension should be going on between them: nevertheless, all opposition and fraud being laid aside, they ought to furnish such escort to this or to these prince electors, or to his or their envoys dispatched to or returning from such election, according as they each and all desire to avoid the said punishments declared by us against them; punishments which those who act counter shall, we decree, by the act itself incur. Moreover, for the ampler security and certitude of all the above, we command and we will that all the prince electors and other princes, also the counts, barons, nobles, cities or guilds of the same, shall confirm all the aforesaid through their writings and through their oaths, and shall efficaciously bind themselves to fulfil them with good faith and without guile. But whoever shall refuse to give writings of this kind, shall, by the act itself, incur such punishment as we, by the above, have seen fit to inflict on each person according to his rank.
6. But if any prince elector or other prince of whatever condition or standing, or any count, baron, or noble, or the successors or heirs of such, holding a fief or fiefs from the holy empire, be not willing to fulfill our imperial constitutions and laws above and below laid down, or shall presume to act counter to them: if such a one, indeed, be an elector prince, his co-electors shall, from that time on, exclude him from association with themselves, and he shall lose both his vote in the election and the position, dignity and privileges possessed by the other electors; nor shall he be invested with the fiefs which he shall have obtained from the holy empire. But any other prince or nobleman infringing, as we have said, these our laws, shall likewise not be invested with fiefs which he shall obtain from the holy empire or from any one otherwise, and shall, in addition, incur by the act itself all the aforesaid penalties concerning his person.
7. Although, indeed, we have willed and decreed in general terms that all princes, counts, barons, nobles, knights, followers, and also cities and guilds of the same, are bound, as has been said, to furnish the aforesaid escort to any prince elector or his envoys: nevertheless we have thought best to designate for each one of them special escorts and conductors who will be best suited for them according to the nearness of their lands and districts, as will directly be made clearer from what follows.
8. For first the king of Bohemia, the arch-cupbearer of the holy empire, shall be escorted by the archbishop of Mainz, the bishops of Bamberg and Wurzburg, the burgraves of Nuremberg; likewise by those of Hohenlohe, of Wertheim, of Bruneck and of Hohenau; likewise by the cities of Nuremberg, Rothenburg, and Windesheim.
9. Then the archbishop of Cologne, the arch-chancellor of the holy empire for Italy, shall be escorted -- they being bound to furnish such escort -- by the archbishops of Mainz and Treves, the count palatine of the Rhine, the landgrave of Hesse; likewise by the counts of Katzenellen. bogen, of Nassau, of Dietz; likewise of Ysenburg, of Westerburg, of Runkel, of Limburg and Falkenstein; likewise by the cities of Wetzlar, Gelnhausen and Friedberg.
10. In like manner the archbishop of Treves, archchancellor of the holy empire for the Gallic provinces and for the kingdom of Arles, shall be escorted by the archbishop of Mainz, the count palatine of the Rhine; likewise the counts of Sponheim, of Veldenz; likewise the Raugraves and Wiltgraves of Nassau, of Ysenburg, of Westerburg, of Runkel, of Dietz, of Katzenellenbogen, of Eppenstein, of Falkenstein; likewise the city of Mainz.
11. Then the count palatine of the Rhine, arch-steward of the holy empire, ought to be escorted by the archbishop of Mainz.
12. But the duke of Saxony, the arch-marshall of the holy empire, shall, by right, be escorted by the king of Bohemia, the archbishops of Mainz and Madgeburg; likewise by the bishops of Bamberg and Wurzburg, the margrave of Meissen, the landgrave of Hesse; likewise the abbots of Fulda and Hersfeld, the burgraves of Nuremberg; likewise those of Hohenlohe, of Wertheim, of Bruneck, of Hohenau, of Falkenstein; likewise the cities of Erfurt, Mülhausen, Nuremberg, Rothenburg and Windesheim. And all of these last named shall likewise be bound to escort the margrave of Brandenburg, arch-chamberlain of the holy Empire.
13. We will, moreover, and do expressly decree that each prince elector who shall wish to have such escort shall make known this fact and the way by which he is to pass, and shall demand this escort in such good time that those who have been deputed to furnish such escort, and from whom it shall thus have been demanded, may be able to prepare themselves for this in good time and conveniently. 14. We declare, moreover, that the foregoing decrees promulgated concerning the matter of escort shall, indeed, be so understood that each person named above -- or perhaps not expressed -- from whom, in the aforesaid case, escort may happen to be demanded, shall be bound to furnish it at least through his lands and territories, and as far beyond as he can, without fraud, under the penalties contained above.
15. Moreover we decree, and also ordain, that he who shall be archbishop of Mainz at the time shall intimate this same election to the different princes, ecclesiastical and secular, his co-electors, by letters patent, through his envoys. In which letters, indeed, the day and the term shall be expressed within which those letters may probably reach each of those princes. And letters of this sort shall state that, within three successive months from the day expressed in the letters themselves, each and all of the prince electors ought to be settled at Frankfort on the Main, or to send their lawful envoys, at that time and to that place, with full and diverse power, and with their letters patent, signed with the great seal of each of them, to elect a king of the Romans and prospective emperor. How, moreover, and under what form such letters ought to be drawn up, and what formality ought to be immutably observed with regard to them, and in what form and manner the prince electors should arrange what envoys are to be sent to such election, and the power, mandate, or right of procuration that they are to have: all this will be found clearly and expressly written at the end of the present document. And we command and decree, through the plentitude of the imperial power, that the form there established be preserved unto all time.
16. Moreover we ordain and decree that when the death of the emperor or king of the Romans shall come to be known for certain in the diocese of Mainz, -- within one month of that time, counting continuously from the day of the notice of such death, the death itself and the summons of which we have spoken shall be announced by the arch. bishop of Mainz through his letters patent. But if this same archbishop should chance to be negligent or remiss in carrying out this and in sending the summons, -- thereupon those same princes of their own accord shall, even without summons, by virtue of the fealty which they owe to the holy empire, come together in the oft-mentioned city of Frankfort within three months after this, as is contained in the decree immediately preceding, being about to elect a king of the Romans and future emperor.
17. Moreover any one prince elector or his envoys should, at the time of the aforesaid election, enter the said city of Frankfort with not more than two hundred mounted followers, among which number he may be allowed to bring in with himself only fifty armed men or fewer, but not more. 18. But a prince elector, called and summoned to such election, and neither coming to it nor sending lawful envoys with letters patent, sealed with his greater seal and containing empowerment, full, free and of every kind, for the election of king of the Romans and prospective emperor; or one who comes, or perchance sends envoys, to the same, but who, afterwards, himself -- or the aforesaid embassy -goes away from the place of election before a king of the Romans and prospective emperor has been elected, and does not formally substitute a lawful procurator and leave him there: shall forfeit for that time the vote or right which he had in that election and which he abandoned in such a manner.
19. We command, moreover, and enjoin on the citizens of Frankfort, that they, by virtue of the oath which we decree they shall swear on the gospel concerning this, shall, with faithful zeal and anxious diligence, protect and defend all the prince electors in general and each one of them in particular from the invasion of the other, if any quarrel shall arise between them; and also from the invasion of any other person. And the same with regard to all the followers whom they or any one of them shall have brought into the said city among the said number of two hundred horsemen. Otherwise they shall incur the guilt of perjury, and shall also lose all their rights, liberties, privileges, favours and grants which they are known to hold from the holy empire, and shall, by the act itself, fall under the bann of the empire as to their persons and all their goods. And, from that time on, every man on his own authority and without judicial sentence may, with impunity, invade as traitors and as disloyal persons and as rebels against the empire, those citizens whom we, in such a case, from now or from a former time on, deprive of all their rights. And such invaders need in no way fear any punishment from the holy empire or from any one else.
20. The said citizens of Frankfort, moreover, through. out all that time when the oft-mentioned election is being treated of and carried on, shall not admit, or in any way permit any one, of whatever dignity, condition or standing he may be, to enter the aforesaid city: the prince electors and their envoys and the aforesaid procurators alone being excepted; each of whom shall be admitted, as has been said, with two hundred horsemen. But if, after the entry of these same prince electors, or while they are present, any one shall chance to be found in the said city, the citizens themselves shall, effectually and without delay, straightway bring about his exit, under penalty of all that has above been promulgated against them, and also by virtue of the oath concerning this that those same citizens of Frankfort must, by the terms of this present decree, swear upon the gospel, as has been explained in the foregoing.
2. Concerning the election of a king of the Romans.
1. After, moreover, the oft-mentioned electors or their envoys shall have entered the city of Frankfort, they shall, straightway on the following day at dawn, in the church of St. Bartholomew the apostle, in the presence of all of them, cause a mass to be sung to the Holy Spirit, that the Holy Spirit himself may illumine their hearts and infuse the light of his virtue into their senses; so that they, armed with his protection, may be able to elect a just, good and useful man as king of the Romans and future emperor, and as a safeguard for the people of Christ. After such mass has been performed all those electors or their envoys shall approach the altar on which that mass has been celebrated, and there the ecclesiastical prince electors, before the gospel of St. John: "In the beginning was the word," which must there be placed before them, shall place their hands with reverence upon their breasts. But the secular prince electors shall actually touch the said gospel with their hands. And all of them, with all their followers, shall stand there unarmed. And the archbishop of Mainz shall give to them the form of the oath, and he together with them, and they, or the envoys of the absent ones, together with him, shall take the oath in common as follows:
2. "I, archbishop of Mainz, arch-chancellor of the holy empire throughout Germany, and prince elector, do swear on this holy gospel of God here actually placed before me, that I, through the faith which binds me to God and to the holy Roman empire, do intend by the help of God, to the utmost extent of my discretion and intelligence, and in accordance with the said faith, to elect one who will be suitable, as far as my discretion and discernment can tell, for a temporal head of the Christian people, -- that is, a king of the Romans and prospective emperor. And my voice and vote, or said election, I will give without any pact, payment, price, or promise, or whatever such things may be called. So help me God and all the saints."
3. Such oath having been taken by the electors or their envoys in the aforesaid form and manner, they shall then proceed to the election. And from now on they shall not disperse from the said city of Frankfort until the majority of them shall have elected a temporal head for the world and for the Christian people; a king, namely, of the Romans and prospective emperor. But if they shall fail to do this within thirty days, counting continuously from the day when they took the aforesaid oath: when those thirty days are over, from that time on they shall live on bread and water, and by no means leave the aforesaid city unless first through them, or the majority of them, a ruler or temporal head of the faithful shall have been elected, as was said before.
4. Moreover after they, or the majority of them, shall have made their choice in that place, such election shall in future be considered and looked upon as if it had been unanimously carried through by all of them, no one dissenting. And if any one of the electors or their aforesaid envoys should happen for a time to be detained and to be absent or late, provided he arrive before the said election has been consummated, we decree that he shall be admitted to the election in the stage at which it was at the actual time of his coming. And since by ancient approved and laudable custom what follows has always been observed inviolately, therefore we also do establish and decree by the plenitude of the imperial power that he who shall have, in the aforesaid manner, been elected king of the Romans, shall, directly after such election shall have been held, and before he shall attend to any other cases or matters by virtue of his imperial office, without delay or contradiction, confirm and approve, by his letters and seals, to each and all of the elector princes, ecclesiastical and secular, who are known to be the nearer members of the holy empire, all their privileges, charters, rights, liberties, ancient customs, and also their dignities and whatever they shall have obtained and possessed from the empire before the day of the election. And he shall renew to them all the above after he shall have been crowned with the imperial adornments. Moreover, the elected king shall make such confirmation to each prince elector in particular, first as king, then, renewing it, under his title as emperor; and, in these matters, he shall be bound by no means to impede either those same princes in general or any one of them in particular, but rather to promote them with his favour and without guile.
5. In a case, finally, where three prince electors in person, or the envoys of the absent ones, shall elect as. king of the Romans a fourth from among themselves or from among their whole number -- an elector prince, namely, who is either present or absent: -- we decree that the vote of that person who has been elected, if he shall be present, or of his envoys if he shall chance to be absent, shall have full vigour and shall increase the number of those electing, and shall constitute a majority like that of the other prince electors.
3. Concerning the seating of the bishops of Treves, Cologne and Mainz.
In the name of the holy and indivisible Trinity felicitously amen. Charles the Fourth, by favour of the divine mercy emperor of the Romans, always august, and king of Bohemia. As a perpetual memorial of this matter. The splendour and glory of the holy Roman empire, and the imperial honour, and the cherished advantage of the state are fostered by the concordant will of the venerable and illustrious prince electors, who, being the chief columns as it were, sustain the holy edifice by the vigilant piety of circumspect prudence; by whose protection the right hand of the imperial power is strengthened. And the more they are bound together by an ampler benignity of mutual favour, so much more abundantly will the blessings of peace and tranquillity happily flow for the people of Christ. In order, therefore, that between the venerable archbishops of Mainz, Cologne and Treves, prince electors of the holy empire, all causes of strife and suspicion which might arise in future concerning the priority or dignity of their seats in the imperial and royal courts may be for all time removed, and that they, remaining in a quiet state of heart and soul, may be able, with concordant favour and the zeal of virtuous love, to meditate more conveniently concerning the affairs of the holy empire, to the consolation of the Christian people: we, having deliberated with all the prince electors, ecclesiastical as well as secular, do decree from the plenitude of the imperial power, by this law, in the form of an edict, to be forever valid, -- that the aforesaid venerable archbishops can, may, and ought to sit as follows in all public transactions pertaining to the empire; namely, in courts, while conferring fiefs, when regaling themselves at table, and also in councils and in all other business on account of which they happen or shall happen to come together to treat of the honour or utility of the empire. He of Treves, namely, shall sit directly opposite and facing the emperor. But at the right hand of the emperor of the Romans shall sit he of Mainz when in his own diocese and province; and also, outside of his province, throughout his whole arch-chancellorship of Germany, excepting alone the province of Cologne. And he of Cologne, finally, shall sit there when in his own diocese and province, and, outside of his province, throughout all Italy and Gaul. And we will that this form of seating, in the same order as is above expressed, be extended forever to the successors of the aforesaid archbishops of Cologne, Treves and Mainz; so that at no time shall any doubt whatever arise concerning these matters.
4. Concerning the prince electors in common.
We decree, moreover, that, as often as an imperial court shall henceforth chance to be held, in every assembly, -- in council, namely, at table or in any place whatsoever where the emperor or king of the Romans shall happen to sit with the prince electors, on the right side of the emperor or king of the Romans there shall sit immediately after the archbishop of Mainz or the archbishop of Cologne -- which. ever, namely, shall happen at that time, according to the place or province, following the tenor of his privilege, to sit at the right hand of the emperor -- first, the king of Bohemia, as he is a crowned and anointed prince, and secondly, the count palatine of the Rhine. But on the left side, immediately after whichever of the aforesaid archbishops shall happen to sit on the left, the duke of Saxony shall have the first, and, after him, the margrave of Brandenburg the second place. But so often and whenever the holy empire shall hereafter happen to be vacant, the archbishop of Mainz shall then have the right, which he is known from of old to have had, of convoking the other princes, his aforesaid companions in the said election. And when all of them, or those who can and will be present, are assembled together at the term of the election, it shall pertain to the said archbishop of Mainz and to no other to call for the votes of these his co-electors, one by one in the following order. First, indeed, he shall interrogate the archbishop of Treves, to whom we declare that the first vote belongs, and to whom, as we find, it hitherto has belonged. Secondly, the archbishop of Cologne, to whom belongs the dignity and also the duty of first imposing the royal diadem on the king of the Romans. Thirdly, the king of Bohemia, who, rightly and duly, on account of the prestige of his royal dignity, has the first place among the lay electors. Fourthly, the count palatine of the Rhine. Fifthly, the duke of Saxony. Sixthly, the margrave of Brandenburg. Of all these the said archbishop of Mainz shall call for the votes in the aforesaid order. This being done, the aforesaid princes his companions, shall, in their turn, call on him to express his own intention and to make known to them his vote. Moreover, when an imperial court is held, the margrave of Brandenburg shall present the water for washing the hands of the emperor or king of the Romans. And the king of Bohemia shall be the first to offer drink; but, according to the tenor of the privileges of his kingdom, he shall not be bound to offer it with his royal crown on, except of his own free will. The count palatine of the Rhine, moreover, shall be obliged to offer food, and the duke of Saxony shall perform the office of marshal, as has been the custom from of old.
5. Concerning the right of the count palatine and also of the duke of Saxony.
Whenever, moreover, as has been said before, the throne of the holy empire shall happen to be vacant, the illustrious count palatine of the Rhine, arch-steward of the holy empire, the right hand of the future king of the Romans in the districts of the Rhine and of Swabia and in the limits of Franconia, ought, by reason of his principality or by privilege of the county palatine, to be the administrator of the empire itself, with the power of passing judgments, of presenting to ecclesiastical benefices, of collecting returns and revenues and investing with fiefs, of receiving oaths of fealty for and in the name of the holy empire. All of these acts, however, shall, in due time, be renewed by the king of the Romans who is afterwards elected, and the oaths shall be sworn to him anew. The fiefs of princes are alone excepted, and those which are commonly called banner-fiefs: the conferring of which, and the investing, we reserve especially for the emperor or king of the Romans alone. The count palatine must know, nevertheless, that every kind of alienation or obligation of imperial possessions, in the time of such administration, is expressly forbidden to him. And we will that the illustrious king of Saxony, arch-marshal of the holy empire, shall enjoy the same right of administration in those places where the Saxon jurisdiction prevails, under all the modes and conditions that have been expressed above. And although the emperor or king of the Romans, in matters concerning which he is called to account, has to answer before the count palatine of the Rhine and prince elector -- as is is said to have been introduced by custom: -nevertheless the count palatine shall not be able to exercise that right of judging otherwise than in the imperial court, where the emperor or king of the Romans shall be present.
6. Concerning the comparison of prince electors with other, ordinary princes.
We decree that, in holding an imperial court, whenever in future one shall chance to be held, the aforesaid prince electors, ecclesiastical and secular, shall immutably hold their positions on the right and on the left -- according to the prescribed order and manner. And no other prince, of whatever standing, dignity, pre-eminence or condition he may be, shall in any way be preferred to them or anyone of them, in any acts relating to that court; in going there, while sitting or while standing. And it is distinctly declared that especially the king of Bohemia shall, in the holding of such courts, in each and every place and act aforesaid, immutably precede any other king, with whatsoever special prerogative of dignity he may be adorned, no matter what the occasion or cause for which he may happen to come or to be present.
7. Concerning the successors of the princes.
Among those innumerable cares for the well-being of the holy empire over which we, by God's grace, do happily reign -- cares which daily try our heart, -- our thoughts are chiefly directed to this: that union, desirable and always healthful, may continually flourish among the prince electors of the holy empire, and that the hearts of those men may be preserved in the concord of sincere charity, by whose timely care the disturbances of the world are the more easily and quickly allayed, the less error creeps in among them, and the more purely charity is observed, obscurity being removed and the rights of each one being clearly defined. It is, indeed, commonly known far and wide, and clearly manifest, as it were, throughout the whole world, that those illustrious men the king of Bohemia and the count palatine of the Rhine, the duke of Saxony and the margrave of Brandenburg, have -- the one by reason of his kingdom, the others of their principalities, -- together with the ecclesiastical princes their co-electors, their right, vote and place in the election of the king of the Romans and prospective emperor. And, together with the spiritual princes, they are considered and are the true and lawful prince electors of the holy empire. Lest, in future, among the sons of these same secular prince electors, matter for scandal and dissension should arise concerning the above right, vote and power, and the common welfare be thus jeopardized by dangerous delays, we, wishing by God's help to wholesomely obviate future dangers, do establish with imperial authority and decree, by the present ever-to-be-valid law, that when these same secular prince electors, or any of them, shall die, the right, vote and power of thus electing shall, freely and without the contradiction of any one, devolve on his first born, legitimate, lay son; but, if he be not living, on the son of this same first born son, if he be a layman. If, however, such first born son shall have departed from this world without leaving male legitimate lay heirs, -- by virtue of the present imperial edict, the right, vote and aforesaid power of electing shall devolve upon the elder lay brother descended by the true paternal line, and thence upon his first born lay son. And such succession of the first born sons, and of the heirs of these same princes, to their right, vote and power, shall be observed in all future time; under such rule and condition, however, that if a prince elector, or his first born or eldest lay son, should happen to die leaving male, legitimate, lay heirs who are minors, then the eldest of the brothers of that elector, or of his first born son, shall be their tutor and administrator until the eldest of them shall have attained legitimate age. Which age we wish to have considered, and we decree that it shall be considered, eighteen full years in the case of prince electors; and, when they shall have attained this, the guardian shall straightway be obliged to resign to them completely, together with his office, the right, vote and power, and all that these involve. But if any such principality should happen to revert to the holy empire, the then emperor or king of the Romans should and may so dispose of it as of a possession which has lawfully devolved upon himself and the empire. Saving always the privileges, rights and customs of our kingdom of Bohemia concerning the election, through its subjects, of a king in case of a vacancy. For they have the right of electing the king of Bohemia; such election to be made according to the contents of those privileges obtained from the illustrious emperors or kings of the Romans, and according to long observed custom; to which privileges we wish to do no violence by an imperial edict of this kind. On the contrary we decree that, now and in all future time, they shall have undoubted power and validity as to all their import and as to their form.
8. Concerning the immunity of the king of Bohemia and his subjects.
Inasmuch as, through our predecessors the divine emperors and kings of the Romans, it was formerly graciously conceded and allowed to our progenitors and predecessors the illustrious kings of Bohemia, also to the kingdom of Bohemia and to the crown of that same kingdom; and was introduced, without hindrance of contradiction or interruption, into that kingdom at a time to which memory does not reach back, by a laudable custom preserved unshaken by length of time, and called for by the character of those who enjoy it; that no prince, baron, noble, knight, follower, burgher, citizen -- in a word no person belonging to that kingdom and its dependencies wherever they may be, no matter what his standing, dignity, pre-eminence, or condition -- might, or in all future time may, be cited, or dragged or summoned, at the instance of any plaintiff whatsoever, before any tribunal beyond that kingdom itself other than that of the king of Bohemia and of the judges of his royal court: therefore of certain knowledge, by the imperial authority and from the plenitude of imperial power, we renew and also confirm such privilege, custom and favour; and by this our imperial forever-to. be-valid edict do decree that if, contrary to the said privilege, custom, or favour, any one of the foregoing -- namely, any prince, baron, noble, knight, follower, citizen, burgher, or rustic, or any afore-mentioned person whatever -- at any time be cited in any civil, criminal, or mixed case, or concerning any matter, before the tribunal of any one outside the said kingdom of Bohemia, he shall not at all be bound to appear when summoned, or to answer before the court. But if it shall chance that, against any such person or persons not appearing, by any judge outside of that kingdom of Bohemia, no matter what his authority, judicial proceedings are instituted, a trial is carried on, or one or more intermediate or final sentences are passed and promulgated: by the aforesaid anthority, and also from the plentitude of the aforesaid imperial power, we declare utterly vain, and do annul such citations, commands, proceedings and sentences, also the carrying out of them and everything which may in any way be attempted or done in consequence of them or any one of them. And we expressly add and, by the same authority and from the fulness of the aforesaid power, do decree by an ever-to-be-valid imperial edict that, just as it has been continually observed from time immemorial in the aforesaid kingdom of Bohemia, so, henceforth, no prince, baron, noble, knight, follower, citizen, burgher, or rustic -- in short no person or inhabitant of the oft-mentioned kingdom of Bohemia, whatever be his standing, pre-eminence, dignity, or condition -- may be allowed to appeal to any other tribunal from any proceedings, provisional or final sentences, or ordinances of the king of Bohemia or of his judges, instituted or promulgated, or henceforth to be instituted or promulgated against him, in the royal court or before tribunals of the king, the kingdom or the aforesaid judges. Nor may he appeal against the putting into execution of the same Provocations or appeals of this kind, moreover, if any, contrary to this edict, should chance to be brought, shall of their own accord be invalid; and those appealing shall know that, by the act itself, they have incurred the penalty of loss of their case.
9. Concerning mines of gold, silver and other specie. We establish by this ever-to-be-valid decree, and of certain knowledge do declare that our successors the kings of Bohemia, also each and all future prince electors, ecclesiastical and secular, may justly hold and lawfully possess -with all their rights without exception, according as such things can be, or usually have been possessed -- all the gold and silver mines and mines of tin, copper, lead, iron and any other kind of metal, and also of salt: the king, those which have been found, and which shall at any future time be found, in the aforesaid kingdom and the lands and dependencies of that kingdom, -- and the aforesaid electors in their principalities, lands, domains and dependencies. And they may also have the Jew taxes and enjoy the tolls which have been decreed and assigned to them in the past, and whatever our progenitors the kings of Bohemia of blessed memory, and these same prince electors and their progenitors and predecessors shall have legally possessed until now; as is known to have been observed by ancient custom, laudable and approved, and sanctioned by the lapse of a very long period of time.
10. Concerning money.
(1) We decree, moreover, that our successor, the king for the time being of Bohemia, shall have the same right which our predecessors the kings of Bohemia of blessed memory are known to have had, and in the continuous peaceful possession of which they remained: the right, namely, in every place and part of their kingdom, and of the lands subject to them, and of all their dependencies -wherever the king himself may have decreed and shall please -- of coining gold and silver money and of circulating it in every way and manner observed up to this time in this same kingdom of Bohemia in such matters. (2) And, by this our imperial ever-to-be-valid decree and favour we establish, that all future kings of Bohemia forever shall have the right of buying or purchasing, or of receiving in gift or donation for any reason, or in bond, from any princes, magnates, counts or other persons, any lands, castles, possessions, estates or goods, under the usual conditions with regard to such lands, castles, possessions, estates or goods: that, namely, alods shall be bought or received as alods, freeholds as freeholds; that holdings in feudal dependency shall be bought as fiefs, and shall be held as such when bought. In such wise, however, that the kings of Bohemia shall themselves be bound to regard and to render to the holy empire its pristine and customary rights over these things (lands, etc.) which they shall, in this way, have bought or received, and have seen fit to add to the kingdom of Bohemia. (3) We will, moreover, that the present decree and favour, by virtue of this our present imperial law, be fully extended to all the elector princes, ecclesiastical as well as secular, and to their successors and lawful heirs, under all the foregoing forms and conditions.
11. Concerning the immunity of the prince electors.
We also decree that no counts, barons, nobles, feudal vassals, knights of castles, followers, citizens, burghers -indeed, no male or female subjects at all of the Cologne, Mainz and Treves churches, whatever their standing, condition or dignity -- could in past times, or may or can in future be summoned at the instance of any plaintiff whatsoever, beyond the territory and boundaries and limits of these same churches and their dependencies, to any other tribunal or the court of any other person than the archbishops of Mainz, Treves and Cologne and their judges. And this we find was the observance in the past. But if, contrary to our present edict, one or more of the aforesaid subjects of the Treves, Mainz or Cologne churches should chance to be summoned, at the instance of any one whatever, to the tribunal of any one beyond the territory, limits or bounds of the said churches or of any one of them, for any criminal, civil or mixed case, or in any matter at all: they shall not in the least be compelled to appear or respond. And we decree that the summons, and the proceedings, and the provisional and final sentences already sent or passed, or in future to be sent or passed against those not appearing, by such extraneous judges, -- furthermore their ordinances, and the carrying out of the above measures, and all things which might come to pass, be attempted or be done through them or any one of them, shall be void of their own accord. And we expressly add that no count, baron, noble, feudal vassal, knight of a castle, citizen, peasant -- no person, in short, subject to such churches or inhabiting the lands of the same, whatever be his standing, dignity or condition -- shall be allowed to appeal to any other tribunal from the proceedings, the provisional and final sentences, or the ordi- nances -- or the putting into effect of the same -- of such archbishops and their churches, or of their temporal officials, when such proceedings, sentences or ordinances shall have been, or shall in future be held, passed or made against him in the court of the archbishops or of the aforesaid officials. Provided that justice has not been denied to those bringing plaint in the courts' of the aforesaid arch. bishops and their officials. But appeals against this statute shall not, we decree, be received; we declare them null and void. In case of defect of justice, however, it is allowed to all the aforementioned persons to appeal, but only to the imperial court and tribunal or directly to the presence of the judge presiding at the time in the imperial court. And, even in case of such defect, those to whom justice has been denied may not appeal to any other judge, whether ordinary or delegated. And whatever shall have been done contrary to the above shall be void of its own accord. And, by virtue of this our present imperial law, we will that this statute be fully extended, under all the preceding forms and conditions, to those illustrious men the count palatine of the Rhine, the duke of Saxony, the margrave of Bran. denburg, -- the secular or lay prince electors, their heirs, successors and subjects.
12. Concerning the coming together of the princes.
In view of the manifold cares of state with which our mind is constantly distracted, after much consideration our sublimity has found that it will be necessary for the prince electors of the holy empire to come together more frequently than has been their custom, to treat of the safety of that same empire and of the world. For they, the solid bases and immovable columns of the empire, according as they reside at long distances from each other, just so are able to report and confer concerning the impending defects of the districts known to them, and are not ignorant how, by the wise counsels of their providence, they may aid in the necessary reformation of the same. Hence it is that, in the solemn court held by our highness at Nuremberg together with the venerable ecclesiastical and illustrious secular prince electors, and many other princes and nobles, we, having deliberated with those same prince electors and followed their advice, have seen fit to ordain, together with the said prince electors, ecclesiastical as well as secular, for the common good and safety: that these same prince electors, once every year, when four weeks, counting continuously from the Easter feast of the Lord's resurrection, are past, shall personally congregate in some city of the holy empire; and that when next that date shall come round, namely, in the present year, a colloquium, or court, or assembly of this kind, shall be held by us and these same princes in our imperial city of Metz. And then, and henceforth on any day of an assembly of this kind, the place where they shall meet the following year shall be fixed upon by us with their counsel. And this our ordinance is to endure just so long as it may be our and their good pleasure. And, so long as it shall endure, we take them under our imperial safe conduct when going to, remaining at, and also returning from said court. Moreover, lest the transactions for the common safety and peace be retarded, as is sometimes the case, by the delay and hinderance of diversion or the excessive frequenting of feasts, we have thought best to ordain, by concordant desire, that henceforth, while the said court or congregation shall last, no one may be allowed to give general entertainments for all the princes. Special ones, however, which do no impede the transaction of business, may be permitted in moderation.
13. Concerning the revocation of privileges.
Moreover we establish, and by this perpetual imperial edict do decree, that no privileges or charters concerning any rights, favours, immunities, customs or other things, conceded, of our own accord or otherwise, under any form of words, by us or our predecessors of blessed memory the divine emperors or kings of the Romans, or about to be conceded in future by us or our successors the Roman emperors and kings, to any persons of whatever standing, pre-eminence or dignity, or to the corporation of cities, towns, or any places: shall or may, in any way at all, derogate from the liberties, jurisdictions, rights, honours or dominions of the ecclesiastical and secular prince electors; even if in such privileges and charters of any persons, whatever their pre-eminence, dignity or standing, as has been said, or of corporations of this kind, it shall have been, or shall be in future, expressly cautioned that they shall not be revokable unless, concerning these very points and the whole tenor included in them, special mention word for word and in due order shall be made in such revocation. For such privileges and charters, if, and in as far as, they are considered to derogate in any way from the liberties, jurisdictions, rights, honours or dominions of the said prince electors, or any one of them, in so far we revoke them of certain knowledge and cancel them, and decree, from the plenitude of our imperial power, that they shall be considered and held to be revoked.
14. Concerning those from whom, as being unworthy, their feudal possessions are taken away.
In very many places the vassals and feudatories of lords unseasonably renounce or resign, verbally and fraudulently, fiefs or benefices which they hold from those same lords. And, having made such resignation, they maliciously challenge those same lords, and declare enmity against them, subsequently inflicting grave harm upon them. And, under pretext of war or hostility, they again invade and occupy benefices and fiefs which they had thus renounced, and hold possession of them. Therefore we establish, by the present ever-to-be-valid decree, that such renunciation or resignation shall be considered as not having taken place, unless it shall have been freely and actually made by them in such way that possession of such benefices and fiefs shall be personally and actually given over to those same lords so fully that, at no future time, shall they, either through themselves or through others, by sending challenges, trouble those same lords as to the goods, fiefs or benefices resigned; nor shall they lend counsel, aid or favour to this end. He who acts otherwise, and in any way invades his lords as to benefices and fiefs, resigned or not resigned, or disturbs them, or brings harm upon them, or furnishes counsel, aid or favour to those doing this: shall, by the act itself, lose such fiefs and benefices, shall be dishonoured and shall underlie the bann of the empire; and no approach or return to such fiefs or benefices shall be open to him at any time in future, nor may the same be granted to him anew under any conditions; and a concession of them, or an investiture which takes place contrary to this, shall have no force. Finally, by virtue of this present edict, we decree that he or they who, not having made such resignation as we have described, acting fraudulently against his or their lords, shall knowingly invade them -- whether a challenge has previously been sent or has been omitted, -- shall, by the act itself, incur all the aforesaid punishments.
15. Concerning conspiracies.
Furthermore we reprobate, condemn, and of certain knowledge declare void, all conspiracies, detestable and frowned upon by the sacred laws and conventicles, or unlawful assemblies in the cities and out of them, and associations between city and city, between person and person or between a person and a city, under pretext of clientship, or reception among the citizens, or of any other reason; furthermore the confederations and pacts -- and the usage which has been introduced with regard to such things, which we consider to be corruption rather than any thing else -- which cities or persons, of whatever dignity, condition or standing, shall have thus far made and shall presume to make in future, whether among themselves or with others, without the authority of the lords whose subjects or serving-men they are, those same lords being expressly excluded. And it is clear that such are prohibited and declared void by the sacred laws of the divine emperors our predecessors. Excepting alone those confederations and leagues which princes, cities and others are known to have formed among themselves for the sake of the general peace of the provinces and lands. Reserving these for our special declaration, we ordain that they shall remain in full vigour until we shall decide to ordain otherwise concerning them. And we decree that, henceforth, each individual person who, contrary to the tenor of the present decree, and of the ancient law issued regarding this, shall presume to enter into such confederations, leagues, conspiracies and pacts, shall incur, besides the penalty of that law, a mark of infamy and a penalty of ten pounds of gold. But a city or community similarly breaking this our law shall, we decree, by the act itself incur the penalty of a hundred pounds of gold, and also the loss and privation of the imperial liberties and privileges; one half of such pecuniary penalty to go to the imperial fisc, the other to the territorial lord to whose detriment the conspiracies, etc., were formed.
16. Concerning pfalburgers.
Moreover since some citizens and subjects of princes, barons and other men -- as frequent complaint has shown us, -- seeking to cast off the yoke of their original subjection, nay, with bold daring despising it, manage, and frequently in the past have managed to be received among the citizens of other cities; and, nevertheless, actually residing in the lands, cities, towns and estates of the former lords whom they so fraudulently presume or have presumed to desert, succeed in enjoying the liberties of the cities to which they thus transfer themselves and in being protected by them -- being what is usually called in common language in Germany "pfalburgers": therefore, since fraud and deceit ought not to shelter any one, from the plenitude of the imperial power and by the wholesome advice of all the ecclesiastical and secular prince electors, we establish of certain knowledge, and, by the present ever-to-be-valid law do decree, that in all territories, places, and provinces of the holy empire, from the present day on, the aforesaid citizens and subjects thus eluding those under whom they are, shall in no way possess the rights and liberties of those cities among whose citizens they contrive, or have contrived, by such fraudulent means to be received; unless, bodily and actually going over to such cities and there taking up their domicile, making a continued, true and not fictitious stay, they submit to their due burdens and municipal functions in the same. But if any, contrary to the tenor of our present law, have been, or shall in future be received as citizens, their reception shall lack all validity, and the persons received, of whatever condition, dignity or standing they may be, shall, in no case or matter whatever, in any way exercise or enjoy the rights and liberties of the cities into which they contrive to be received. Any rights, privileges, or observed customs, at whatever time obtained, to the contrary notwithstanding; all of which, in so far as they are contrary to our present law, we, by these presents, revoke of certain knowledge, decreeing from the plenitude of the aforesaid imperial power that they lack all force and validity. For in all the aforesaid respects, the rights of the princes, lords and other men who chance, and shall in future chance, to be thus deserted, over the persons and goods of any subjects deserting them in the oft-mentioned manner, shall always be regarded. We decree, moreover, that those who, against the ordering of our present law, shall presume, or shall in the past have presumed, to receive the oft-mentioned citizens and subjects of other men, if they do not altogether dismiss them within a month after the present intimation has been made to them, shall, for such transgression, as often as they shall hereafter commit it, incur a fine of a hundred marks of pure gold, of which one half shall be applied without fail to our imperial fisc, and the rest to the lords of those who have been received as citizens.
17. Concerning challenges of defiance.
We declare that those who, in future, feigning to have just cause of defiance against any persons, unseasonably challenge them in places where they do not have their domicile, or which they do not inhabit in common, cannot with honour inflict any harm through fire, spoliation or rapine, on the challenged ones. And, since fraud and deceit should not shelter any one, we establish by the present ever-to-be-valid decree that challenges of this kind, thus made, or in future to be made by any one against any lords or persons to whom they were previously bound by companionship, familiarity or any honest friendship, shall not be valid; nor is it lawful, under pretext of any kind of challenge, to invade any one through fire, spoliation or rapine, unless the challenge, three natural days before, shall have been intimated personally to the challenged man himself, or publicly in the place where he has been accustomed to reside, where full credibility can be given, through suitable witnesses, to such an intimation. Whoever shall presume otherwise to challenge any one and to invade him in the aforesaid manner, shall incur, by the very act, the same infamy as if no challenge had been made; and we decree that he be punished as a traitor by his judges, whoever they are, with the lawful punishments.
We prohibit also each and every unjust war and feud, and all unjust burnings, spoliations and rapines, unlawful and unusual tolls and escorts, and the exactions usually extorted for such escorts, under the penalties by which the sacred laws prescribe that the foregoing offences, and any one of them, are to be punished.
18. Letter of intimation.
To you, illustrious and magnificent prince, lord margrave of Brandenburg, arch-chamberlain of the holy empire, our co-elector and most dear friend, we intimate by these presents the election of the king of the Romans, which is about to take place on account of rational causes. And, as a duty of our office, we duly summon you to said election, bidding you within three months, counting continuously, from such and such a day, yourself, or in the person of one or more envoys or procurators having sufficient mandates, to be careful and come to the rightful place, according to the form of the holy laws issued concerning this, ready to deliberate, negotiate and come to an agreement with the other princes, yours and our co-electors, concerning the election of a future king of the Romans and, by God's favour, future emperor. And be ready to remain there until the full consummation of such election, and otherwise to act and proceed as is found expressed in the sacred laws carefully promulgated concerning this. Otherwise, notwithstanding your or your envoys' absence, we, together with our other co-princes and co-electors, shall take final measures in the aforesaid matters, according as the authority of those same laws has sanctioned.
19. Formula of representation sent by that prince elector who shall decide to send his envoys to carry on an election. We...such a one by the grace of God, etc., of the holy empire, etc., do make known to all men by the tenor of these presents, that since, from rational causes, an election of a king of the Romans is about to be made, we, desiring to watch with due care over the honour and condition of the holy empire, lest it be dangerously subjected to so grave harm, inasmuch as we have the great confidence, as it were of an undoubted presumption, in the faith and circumspect zeal of our beloved...and..., faithful subjects of ours: do make, constitute and ordain them and each one of them, completely, in every right, manner and form in which we can or may do it most efficaciously and effectually, our true and lawful procurators and special envoys -- so fully that the condition of him who is acting at the time shall not be better than that of the other, but that what has been begun by one may be finished and lawfully terminated by the other. And we empower them to treat wherever they please with the others, our co-princes and co-electors, ecclesiastical as well as secular, and to agree, decide and settle upon some person fit and suitable to be elected king of the Romans, and to be present, treat and deliberate in the transactions to be carried on concerning the election of such a person, for us and in our place and name; also, in our stead and name, to nominate such a person, and to consent to him, and also to raise him to be king of the Romans, to elect him to the holy empire, and to take, upon our soul, with regard to the foregoing or any one of the foregoing, whatever oath shall be necessary, requisite or customary. And we empower them to substitute altogether, as well as to recall, one or more other procurators who shall perform each and every act, included in and concerning the foregoing matters, that may be needful, useful, or even in any way convenient, even to the consummation of such negotiations, nomination, deliberation and impending election. Even if the said matters, or any one of them, shall require a special mandate; even if they shall turn out to be greater or more especial than the above mentioned; provided that we could have performed them ourselves had we been present personally at the carrying on of such negotiations, deliberation, nomination and eventual election. And we consider, and wish to consider, and firmly promise that we always will consider satisfactory and valid any thing done, transacted or accomplished, or in any way ordained, in the aforesaid matters or in any one of them, by our aforesaid procurators or envoys, or their substitutes, or by those whom the latter shall substitute.
20. Concerning the unity of the electoral principalities and of the rights connected with them. Since each and all the principalities, by virtue of which the secular prince electors are known to hold their right and vote in the election of the king of the Romans and prospective emperor, are so joined and inseparably united with such right of election, also with the offices, dignities and other rights connected with each and every such principality and dependent from it, that the right, vote, office and dignity, and all other privileges belonging to each of these same principalities may not devolve upon any other than upon him who is recognized as possessing that principality itself, with all its lands, vassalages, fiefs and domains, and all its appurtenances: we decree, by the present ever-to-bevalid imperial edict, that each of the said principalities, with the right and vote and duty of election, and with all other dignities, rights and appurtenances concerning the same, ought so to continue and to be, indivisibly and for all time, united and joined together, that the possessor of any principality ought also to rejoice in the quiet and free possession of its right, vote and office, and dignity, and all the appurtenances that go with it, and to be considered prince elector by all. And he himself, and no one else, ought at all times to be called in and admitted by the other prince electors, without any contradiction whatever, to the election and to all other transactions to be carried on for the honour or welfare of the holy empire. Nor, since they are and ought to be inseparable, may any one of the said rights, etc., be divided from the other, or at any time be separated, or be separately demanded back, in court or out of it, or distrained, or, even by a decision of the courts, be separated; nor shall any one obtain a hearing who claims one without the other. But if, through error or otherwise, any one shall have obtained a hearing, or proceedings, judgment, sentence or any thing of the kind shall have taken place, or shall chance in any way to have been attempted, contrary to this our present decree: all this, and all consequences of such proceedings, etc., and of any one of them, shall be void of their own accord.
21. Concerning the order of marching, as regards the archbishops.
Inasmuch as we saw fit above, at the beginning of our present decrees, fully to provide for the order of seating of the ecclesiastical prince electors in council, and at table and elsewhere, whenever, in future, an imperial court should chance to be held, or the prince electors to assemble together with the emperor or king of the Romans -- as to which order of seating we have heard that in former times discussions often arose: so, also, do we find it expedient to fix, with regard to them, the order of marching and walking. Therefore, by this perpetual imperial edict, we decree that, as often as, in an assembly of the emperor or king of the Romans and of the aforesaid princes, the emperor or king of the Romans shall be walking, and it shall happen that the insignia are carried in front of him, the archbishop of Treves shall walk in a direct diametrical line in front of the emperor or king, and those alone shall walk in the middle space between them, who shall happen to carry the imperial or royal insignia. When, however, the emperor or king shall advance without those same insignia, then that same archbishop shall precede the emperor or king in the aforesaid manner, but so that no one at all shall be in the middle between them; the other two archiepiscopal electors always keeping their places -- as with regard to the seating above explained, so with regard to walking -- according to the privilege of their provinces.
22. Concerning the order of proceeding of the prince electors, and by whom the insignia shall be carried. In order to fix the order of proceeding, which we mentioned above, of the prince electors in the presence of the emperor or king of the Romans when he is walking, we decree that, so often as, while holding an imperial court, the prince electors shall, in the performance of any functions or solemnities, chance to walk in procession with the emperor or king of the Romans, and the imperial or royal insignia are to be carried: the duke of Saxony, carrying the imperial or royal sword, shall directly precede the emperor or king, and shall place himself in the middle, between him and the archbishop of Treves. But the count palatine, carrying the imperial orb, shall march in the same line on the right side, and the margrave of Brandenburg, bearing the sceptre, on the left side of the same duke of Saxony. But the king of Bohemia shall directly follow the emperor or king himself, no one intervening.
23. Concerning the benedictions of the archbishops in the presence of the emperor.
Furthermore, so often as it shall come to pass that the ceremony of the mass is celebrated in the presence of the emperor or king of the Romans and that the archbishops of Mainz, Treves and Cologne, or two of them, are present, -- in the confession which is usually said before the mass, and in the presenting of the gospel to be kissed, and in the blessing to be said after the "Agnus Dei," also in the benedictions to be said after the end of the mass, and also in those said before meals, and in the thanks to be offered after the food has been partaken of, the following order shall be observed among them, as we have seen fit to ordain by their own advice: namely, on the first day each and all of these shall be done by the first of the archbishops, on the second, by the second, on the third, by the third. But we will that first, second and third shall be understood in this case, according as each one of them was consecrated at an earlier or later date. And, in order that they may mutually make advances to each other with worthy and becoming honour, and may give an example to others of mutual respect, he whose turn it is according to the aforesaid, shall, without regard to that fact, and with charitable intent, invite the other to officiate; and, not till he has done this, shall he proceed to perform the above, or any of the above functions.
24. (1) If any one, together with princes, knights or privates, or also any plebeian persons, shall enter into an unhallowed conspiracy, or shall take the oath of such conspiracy, concerning the death of our and the holy Roman empire's venerable and illustrious prince electors, ecclesiastical as well as secular, or of any one of them -- for they also are part of our body; and the laws have decided that the intention of a crime is to be punished with the same severity as the carrying out of it: -- he, indeed, shall die by the sword as a traitor, all his goods being handed over to our fisc. (2) But his sons, to whom, by special imperial lenity, we grant their life -- for those ought to perish by the same punishment as their father, whose portion is the example of a paternal, that is of a hereditary crime -- shall be without share in any inheritance or succession from the mother or grandparents, or even from relatives; they shall receive nothing from other people's wills, and shall be always poor and in want; the infamy of their father shall always follow them, and they shall never achieve any honour or be allowed to take any oath at all; in a word they shall be such that to them, grovelling in perpetual misery, death shall be a solace and life a punishment. (3) Finally we command that those shall be made notorious, and shall be without pardon, who shall ever try to intervene with us for such persons. (4) But to the daughters, as many of them as there are, of such conspirators, we will that there shall go only the "falcidia" -- the fourth part of the property of the mother if she die intestate; so that they may rather have the moderate alimony of a daughter, than the entire emolu- ment or name of an heir; -- for the sentence ought to be milder in the case of those who, as we trust, on account of the infirmity of their sex, are less likely to make daring attempts. (5) Deeds of gift, moreover, made out to either sons or daughters by the aforesaid persons, after the passing of this law, shall not be valid. (6) Dotations and donations of any possessions; likewise, in a word, all transfers which shall prove to have been made, by any fraud or by right, after the time when first the aforesaid people conceived the idea of entering into a conspiracy or union, shall, we decree, be of no account. (7) But the wives of the aforesaid conspirators, having recovered their dowry -- if they shall be in a condition to reserve for their children that which they shall have received from their husbands under the name of a gift, -- shall know that, from the time when their usufruct ceases, they are to leave to our fisc all that which, according to the usual law, was due to their children. (8) And the fourth part of such property shall be put aside for the daughters alone, not also for the sons. (9) That which we have provided concerning the aforesaid conspirators and their children, we also decree, with like severity, concerning their followers, accomplices and aiders, and the children of these. (10) But if any one of these, at the beginning of the formation of a conspiracy, inflamed by zeal for the right kind of glory, shall himself betray the conspiracy, he shall be enriched by us with reward and honour; he, moreover, who shall have been active in the conspiracy, if, even late, he disclose secret plans which were, indeed, hitherto unknown, -shall nevertheless be deemed worthy of absolution and pardon. (11) We decree, moreover, that if anything be said to have been committed against the aforesaid prince electors, ecclesiastical or secular, -- even after the death of the accused that charge can be instituted. 1 (12) Likewise in such a charge, which regards high treason against his prince electors, slaves shall be tortured even in a case concerning the life of their master. (13) We will, furthermore, and do decree by the present imperial edict, that even after the death of the guilty persons this charge can
1 "Etiam post mortem rei id crimen instaurari posse."
be instituted, 1 and, if some one already convicted die, his memory shall be condemned and his goods taken away from his heirs. (14) For from the time when any one conceived so wicked a plot, from then on he has to some extent been punished mentally; but from the time when any one drew down upon himself such a charge, we decree that he may neither alienate nor release, nor may any debtor lawfully make payment to him. (15) For in this case we decree that slaves may be tortured in a matter involving the life of their master; that is, in the case of a damnable conspiracy against the prince electors, ecclesiastical and secular, as has been said before. (16) And if any one should die, on account of the uncertain person of his successor his goods shall be held, if he be proved to have died in a case of this kind.
25. If it is fitting that other principalities be preserved in their entirety, in order that justice may be enforced and faithful subjects rejoice in peace and quiet: much more ought the magnificent principalities, dominions, honours and rights of the elector princes to be kept intact -- for where greater danger is imminent a stronger remedy should be applied, -- lest, if the columns fall, the support of the whole edifice be destroyed. We decree, therefore, and sanction, by this edict to be perpetually valid, that from now on unto all future time the distinguished and magnificent principalities, viz.: the kingdom of Bohemia, the county palatine of the Rhine, the duchy of Saxony and the margravate of Brandenburg, their lands, territories. homages or vassalages, and any other things pertaining to them, may not be cut, divided, or under any condition dismembered, but shall remain forever in their perfect entirety. The first born son shall succeed to them, and to him alone shall jurisdiction and dominion belong; unless he chance to be of unsound mind, or idiotic, or have some other marked and known defect on account of which he
1 "Ut etiam post mortem nocencium hoc crimen inchoari possit." (13) and (15) are an awkward repetition, an explanatory one, it is true, of (11) and (12).
could not or should not rule over men. In which case, he being prevented from succeeding, we will that the second born, if there should be one in that family, or another elder brother or lay relative, the nearest on the father's side in a straight line of descent, shall have the succession. He, however, shall always show himself clement and gracious to the others, his brothers and sisters, according to the favour shown him by God, and according to his best judgment and the amount of his patrimony, -- division, partition or dismemberment of the principality and its appurtenances being in every way forbidden to him.
26. On the day upon which a solemn imperial or royal court is to be held, the ecclesiastical and secular prince electors shall, about the first hour, come to the imperial or royal place of abode, and there the emperor or king shall be clothed in all the imperial insignia; and, mounting their horses, all shall go with the emperor or king to the place fitted up for the session, and each one of them shall go in the order and manner fully defined above in the law concerning the order of marching of those same prince electors. The arch-chancellor, moreover, in whose arch-chancellorship this takes place, shall carry, besides the silver staff, all the imperial or royal seals and signets. But the secular prince electors, according to what has above been explained, shall carry the sceptre, orb and sword. And immediately before the archbishop of Treves, marching in his proper place, shall be carried first the crown of Aix and second that of Milan: and this directly in front of the emperor already resplendent with the imperial adornments; and these crowns shall be carried by some lesser princes, to be chosen for this by the emperor according to his will. The empress, moreover, or queen of the Romans, clad in her imperial insignia, joined by her nobles and escorted by her maids of honour, shall proceed to the place of session after the king or emperor of the Romans, and also, at a sufficient interval of space, after the king of Bohemia, who immediately follows the emperor.
27. Concerning the offices of the prince electors in the solemn courts of the emperors or kings of the Romans. We decree that whenever the emperor or king of the Romans shall hold his solemn courts, in which the prince electors ought to serve or to perform their offices, the following order shall be observed in these matters. First, then, the emperor or king having placed himself on the royal seat or imperial throne, the duke of Saxony shall fulfil his office in this manner: before the building where the imperial or royal session is being held, shall be placed a heap of oats so high that it shall reach to the breast or girth of the horse on which the duke himself shall sit; and he shall have in his hand a silver staff and a silver measure, which, together, shall weigh 12 marks of silver; and, sitting upon his horse, he shall first fill that measure with oats, and shall offer it to the first slave who appears. This being done, fixing his staff in the oats, he shall retire; and his vice-marshal, namely, he of Pappenheim, approaching -- or, in his absence, the marshall of the court, -shall further distribute the oats. But when the emperor or king shall have gone into table, the ecclesiastical prince electors -- namely the archbishops, -- standing before the table with the other prelates, shall bless the same according to the order above prescribed; and, the benediction over, all those same archbishops if they are present, otherwise two or one, shall receive from the chancellor of the court the imperial or royal seals and signets, and he in whose arch-chancellorship this court happens to be held advancing in the middle, and the other two joining him on either side, shall carry those seals and signets -- all touching with their hands the staff on which they have been suspended -- and shall reverently place them on the table before the emperor or king. The emperor or king, however, shall straightway restore the same to them, and he in whose arch-chancellorate this takes place, as has been said, shall carry the great seal appended to his neck until the end of the meal, and after that until, riding from the imperial or royal court, he shall come to his dwelling place. The staff, moreover, that we spoke of shall be of silver, equal in weight to twelve marks of silver; of which silver, and of which price, each of those same archbishops shall pay one third; and that staff afterwards, together with the seals and signets, shall be assigned to the chancellor of the imperial court to be put to what use he pleases. But after he whose turn it has been, carrying the great seal, shall, as described, have returned from the imperial court to his dwelling place, he shall straightway send that seal to the said chancellor of the imperial court. This he shall do through one of his servants riding on such a horse as, according to what is becoming to his own dignity, and according to the love which he shall bear to the chancellor of the court, he shall be bound to present to that chancellor.
Then the margrave of Brandenburg, the arch-chamberlain, shall approach on horseback, having in his hands silver basins with water, of the weight of twelve marks of silver, and a beautiful towel; and, descending from his horse, he shall present the water to the lord emperor or king of the Romans to wash his hands.
The count palatine of the Rhine shall likewise enter on horseback, having in his hands four silver dishes filled with food, of which each one shall be worth three marks; and, descending from his horse, he shall carry them and place them on the table before the emperor or king.
After this, likewise on horseback, shall come the king of Bohemia, the arch-cupbearer, carrying in his hands a silver cup or goblet of the weight of twelve marks, covered, filled with a mixture of wine and water; and, descending from his horse, he shall offer that cup to the emperor or king of the Romans to drink from.
Moreover, as we learn it to have hitherto been observed, so we decree, that, after their aforesaid offices have been performed by the secular prince electors, he of Falkenstein, the sub-chamberlain, shall receive for himself the horse and basins of the margrave of Brandenburg; he of Northemburg, master of the kitchen, the horse and dishes of the count palatine; he of Limburg, the vice-cupbearer, the horse and cup of the king of Bohemia; he of Pappenheim, the vice-marshal, the horse, staff and aforesaid measure of the duke of Saxony. That is, if these be pre- sent at such imperial or royal court, and if each one of them minister in his proper office. But if they, or any one of them, should see fit to absent themselves from the said court, then those who daily minister at the imperial or royal court shall, in place of the absent ones, -- each one, namely, in place of that absent one with whom he has his name and office in common, -- enjoy the fruits with regard to the aforesaid functions, inasmuch as they perform the duties.
28. Moreover the imperial or royal table ought so to be arranged that it shall be elevated above the other tables in the hall by a height of six feet. And at it, on the day of a solemn court, shall sit no one at all except alone the emperor or king of the Romans.
But the seat and table of the empress or queen shall be prepared to one side in the hall, so that that table shall be three feet lower than the imperial or royal table, and as many feet higher than the seats of the prince electors; which princes shall have their seats and tables at one and the same altitude among themselves.
Within the imperial place of session tables shall be prepared for the seven prince electors, ecclesiastical and secular, -- three, namely, on the right, and three others on the left, and the seventh directly opposite the face of the emperor or king, as has above been more clearly defined by us in the chapter concerning the seating and precedence of the prince electors; in such wise, also, that no one else, of whatever dignity or standing he may be, shall sit among them or at their table.
Moreover it shall not be allowed to any one of the aforesaid secular prince electors, when the duty of his office has been performed, to place himself at the table prepared for him so long as any one of his fellow prince electors has still to perform his office. But when one or more of them shall have finished their ministry, they shall pass to the tables prepared for them, and, standing before them, shall wait until the others have fulfilled the aforesaid duties; and then, at length, one and all shall place themselves at the same time before the tables prepared for them.
29. We find, moreover, from the most renowned accounts and traditions of the ancients that, from time immemorial, it has been continuously observed, by those who have felicitously preceded us, that the election of the king of the Romans and future emperor should be held in the city of Frankfort, and the first coronation in Aix, and that his first imperial court should be celebrated in the town of Nuremberg. Wherefore, on sure grounds, we declare that the said usages should also be observed in future, unless a lawful impediment should stand in the way of them or any one of them. Whenever, furthermore, any prince elector, ecclesiastical or secular, detained by a just impediment, and not able to come when summoned to the imperial court, shall send an envoy or procurator, of whatever dignity or standing, -- that envoy, although, according to the mandate given him by his master, he ought to be admitted in the place of him who sends him, shall, nevertheless, not sit at the table or in the seat intended for him who sent him.
Moreover when those matters shall have been settled which were at that time to be disposed of in any imperial or royal court, the master of the court shall receive for himself the whole structure or wooden apparatus of the imperial or royal place of session, where the emperor or king of the Romans shall have sat with the prince electors to hold his solemn court, or, as has been said, to confer fiefs on the princes.
30. Concerning the rights of the officials when princes receive their fiefs from the emperor or king of the Romans. We decree by this imperial edict that the prince electors, ecclesiastical and secular, when they receive their fiefs or regalia from the emperor or king, shall not at all be bound to give or pay anything to anybody. For the money which is paid under such a pretext is due to the officials; but since, indeed, the prince electors themselves are at the head of all the offices of the imperial court, having also their substitutes in such offices, furnished for this by the Roman princes, and paid, -- it would seem absurd if substituted officials, under cover of any excuse whatever, should demand presents from their superiors; unless, perchance, those same prince electors, freely and of their own will, should give them something.
On the other hand, the other princes of the empire, ecclesiastical or secular, -- when, in the aforesaid manner, any one of them receives his fiefs from the emperor or king of the Romans, -- shall give to the officials of the imperial or royal court 63 marks of silver and a quarter, unless any one of them can protect himself by an imperial or royal privilege or grant, and can prove that he has paid or is exempt from such, or also from any other, payments usually made when receiving such fiefs. Moreover the master of the imperial or royal court shall make division of the 63¼ marks as follows: first reserving, indeed, 10 marks for himself, he shall give to the chancellor of the imperial or royal court 10 marks; to the masters, notaries, copyists, 3 marks; and to the sealer, for wax and parchment, one quarter. This with the understanding that the chancellor and notaries shall not be bound to do more than to give the prince receiving the fief a testimonial to the effect that he has received it, or a simple charter of investiture.
Likewise, from the aforesaid money, the master of the court shall give to the cupbearer, him of Limburg, 10 marks; to the master of the kitchen, him of Northemburg, 10 marks; to the vice-marshall, him of Pappenheim, 10 marks; and to the chamberlain, him of Falkenstein, 10 marks: under the condition, however, that they and each one of them are present and perform their offices in solemn courts of this kind. But if they or any one of them shall have been absent, then the officials of the imperial or royal court who perform these same offices, shall carry off the reward and the perquisites of those whose absence they make good, individual for individual, according as they fill their place, and bear their name, and perform their task.
When, moreover, any prince, sitting on a horse or other beast, shall receive his fiefs from the emperor or king, that horse or beast, of whatever kind he be, shall be the due of the highest marshal -- that is, of the duke of Saxony if he shall be present; otherwise of him of Pappenheim, his vice-marshall; or, in his absence, of the marshall of the imperial or royal court.
31. Inasmuch as the majesty of the holy Roman empire has to wield the laws and the government of diverse nations distinct in customs, manner of life, and in language, it is considered fitting, and, in the judgment of all wise men, expedient, that the prince electors, the columns and sides of that empire, should be instructed in the varieties of the different dialects and languages: so that they who assist the imperial sublimity in relieving the wants of very many people, and who are constituted for the sake of keeping watch, should understand, and be understood by, as many as possible. Wherefore we decree that the sons, or heirs and successors of the illustrious prince electors, namely of the king of Bohemia, the count palatine of the Rhine, the duke of Saxony and the margrave of Brandenburg -- since they are expected in all likelihood to have naturally acquired the German language, and to have been taught it from their infancy, -- shall be instructed in the grammar of the Italian and Slavic tongues, beginning with the seventh year of their age; so that, before the fourteenth year of their age, they may be learned in the same according to the grace granted them by God. For this is considered not only useful, but also, from the afore-mentioned causes, highly necessary, since those languages are wont to be very much employed in the service and for the needs of the holy empire, and in them the more arduous affairs of the empire are discussed. And, with regard to the above, we lay down the following mode of procedure to be observed: it shall be left to the option of the parents to send their sons, if they have any -- or their relatives whom they consider as likely to succeed themselves in their principalities, -- to places where they can be taught such languages, or, in their own homes, to give them teachers, instructors, and fellow youths skilled in the same, by whose conversation and teaching alike they may become versed in those languages.
THE FOUNDATION OF THE UNIVERSITY OF HEIDELBERG, A.D. 1386.
( Emminghaus: "Corpus Juris Germanici" ( 1844-6), p. 73 ).
a. We, Rupert the elder, by the grace of God Count Palatine of the Rhine, elector of the Holy Empire and duke of Bavaria -- lest we seem to abuse the privilege conceded to us by the apostolic see of founding a place of study at Heidelberg like to that at Paris, and lest, for this reason, being subjected to the divine judgment, we should merit to be deprived of the privilege granted, -- do decree with provident counsel, which decree is to be observed there unto all time, that the university of Heidelberg shall be ruled, disposed and regulated according to the modes and matters accustomed to be observed in the university of Paris. Also that, as a handmaid of the Parisian institution -- a worthy one, let us hope, -- the latter's steps shall be imitated in every way possible; so that, namely, there shall be four faculties in it: the first, of sacred theology or divinity; the second, of canon and civil law, which, by reason of their similarity, we think best to comprise under one faculty; the third, of medicine; the fourth, of liberal arts -- of the threefold philosophy, namely, primal, natural and moral, three mutually subservient daughters. We wish this institution to be divided and marked out into four nations, as it is at Paris; and that all these faculties shall make one university, and that to it the individual students, in whichever of the said faculties they are, shall indivisibly belong like lawful sons of one mother. Likewise that that university shall be governed by one rector, and that the different masters and teachers, before they are admitted to the common pursuits of our institution, shall swear to observe the statutes, laws, privileges, liberties and franchises of the same, and not reveal its secrets, to whatever grade they may rise. Also that they will Uphold the honour of the rector and the rectorship of our univer- sity, and will obey the rector in all things lawful and honest, whatever be the grade to which they may afterwards happen to be promoted. Moreover that the different masters and bachelors shall read their lectures and exercise their scholastic functions and go about in caps and gowns of a uniform and similar nature, according as that has been observed at Paris up to this time in the different faculties. And we will that if any faculty, nation or person shall oppose the aforesaid regulations, or pertinaciously refuse to obey them or any one of them -- which God forbid, -- from that time forward that same faculty, nation or person, if it do not desist upon being warned, shall be deprived of all connection with our aforesaid institution, and shall not have the benefit of our defence or protection. Moreover we will and ordain that as the university as a whole may do for those assembled here and subject to it, so each faculty, nation or province of it may found lawful statutes and ones suitable to its needs, provided that through them or any one of them no prejudice is done to the above regulations and to our institution, and that no kind of impediment arise from them. And we will that when the separate bodies shall have passed the statutes for their own observance, they may make them perpetually binding on those subject to them and on their successors. And as in the university of Paris the different servants of the institution have the benefit of the different privileges which its masters and scholars enjoy, so in starting our institution in Heidelberg, we grant, with even greater liberality, through these presents, that all the servants, viz.: its Pedells, librarians, lower officials, preparers of parchment, scribes, illuminators and others who serve it, may each and all, without fraud, enjoy in it the same privileges, franchises, immunities and liberties with which its masters or scholars are now or shall hereafter be endowed.
b. Lest in the new community of the city of Heidelberg, their faults being unpunished, there be an incentive to the scholars of doing wrong, we ordain with provident counsel by these presents, that the bishop of Worms, as judge ordinary of the clerks of our institution, shall have and possess, now and hereafter while our institution shall last, prisons, and an office in our town of Heidelberg for the detention of criminal clerks. These things we have seen fit to grant to him and his successors, adding these conditions: that he shall permit no clerk to be arrested unless for a misdemeanour; that he shall restore any one detained for such fault or for any light offence to his master or to the rector if he asks for him, a promise having been given that the culprit will appear in court and that the rector or master will answer for him if the injured parties should go to law about the matter. Furthermore that, on being requested, he will restore a clerk arrested for a crime on slight evidence, upon receiving a sufficient pledge -- sponsors if the prisoner can obtain them, otherwise an oath if he can not obtain sponsors -- to the effect that he will answer in court the charges against him; and in all these things there shall be no pecuniary exactions, except that the clerk shall give satisfaction, reasonably and according to the rule of the aforementioned town, for the expenses which he incurred while in prison. And that he will detain honestly and without serious injury a criminal clerk thus arrested for a crime where the suspicion is grave and strong, until the truth can be found out concerning the deed of which he is suspected. And he shall not for any cause, moreover, take away any clerk from our aforesaid town, or permit him to be taken away, unless the proper observances have been followed, and he has been condemned by judicial sentence to perpetual imprisonment for a crime. We command our advocate and bailiff and their servants in our aforesaid town, under pain of losing their office and our favour, not to put a detaining hand on any master or scholar of our said institution, nor to arrest him nor allow him to be arrested, unless the deed be such a one that that master or scholar ought rightly to be detained. He shall be restored to his rector or master, if he is held for a slight cause, provided he will swear and promise to appear in court concerning the matter; and we decree that a slight fault is one for which a layman, if he had committed it, ought to have been condemned to a light pecuniary fine. Likewise, if the master or scholar detained be found gravely or strongly suspected of the crime, we command that he be handed over by, our officials to the bishop or to his representative in our said town, to be kept in custody.
c. By the tenor of these presents we grant to each and all the masters and scholars that, when they come to said institution, while they remain there, and also when they return from it to their homes, they may freely carry with them both coming and going, throughout all the lands subject to us, all their things which they need while pursuing their studies, and all the goods necessary for their support, without any duty, levy, imposts, tailles, gabelles, or other exactions whatever. And we wish them and each one of them, to be free from all the aforesaid imposts when purchasing corn, wines, meat, fish, clothes and all things necessary for their living and for their rank. And we decree that the scholars from their stock in hand of provisions, if there remain over one or two waggonloads of wine without their having practised deception, may after the feast of Easter of that year sell it en gros without paying impost. We grant to them, moreover, that each day the scholars, of themselves or through their servants, may be allowed to buy in the town of Heidelberg, at the accustomed hour, freely and without impediment or hurtful delay, any eatables or other necessaries of life.
d. Lest the masters and scholars of our institution of Heidelberg may be oppressed by the citizens, avarice inducing them, through the extortionate price of lodgings, we have seen fit to decree that henceforth each year, after Christmas, one expert from the university on the part of the scholars, and one prudent, pious and circumspect citizen on the part of the citizens, shall be deputed to fix on the price for the students' lodgings. Moreover we will and decree that the different masters and scholars shall, through our bailiff, our judge and the officials subject to us, be defended and maintained in the quiet possession of the lodgings given to them free or of those for which they pay rent. Moreover, by the tenor of these presents, we grant to the rector and the university, or to those deputed by them, entire and total jurisdiction concerning the paying of rents for the lodgings occupied by the students, concerning the making and buying of codices, and the borrowing of money for other purposes by the scholars of our institution; also concerning the payment of assessments, together with everything that arises from, depends on and is connected with these.
--. In addition we command our officials that, when the rector requires our and their aid and assistance for carry. ing out his sentences against scholars who try to rebel, they shall assist our clients and servants in this matter; first, however, obtaining lawful permission to proceed against clerks from the lord bishop of Worms, or from one deputed by him for this purpose.
[ Previous | Next ]