- - - Chapter 7 - - -

- The Times 1215-1272 -

Baron landholders' semi-fortified stone manor houses were improved and extended. Many had been licensed to be embattled or crenellated [wall indented at top with shooting spaces]. They were usually quadrangular around a central courtyard. The central and largest room was the hall, where people ate and slept. If the hall was on the first floor, the fire might be at a hearth in the middle of the floor. Sometimes the lord had his own chamber, with a sleeping loft above it. Having a second floor necessitated a fireplace in the wall so the smoke could go up two floors to the roof. Other rooms each had a fireplace. Often the hall was on the second floor and took up two stories. There was a fireplace on one wall of the bottom story. There were small windows around the top story and on the inside of the courtyard. Windows of large houses were of opaque glass supplied by a glass-making craft. The glass was thick, uneven, distorted, and greenish in color. The walls were plastered. The floor was wood with some carpets. Roofs were timbered with horizontal beams. Many roofs had tiles supplied by the tile craft, which baked the tiles in kilns or over an open fire. Because of the hazard of fire, the kitchen was often a separate building, with a covered way connecting it to the hall. It had one or two open fires in fireplaces, and ovens. Sometimes there was a separate room for a dairy.

Furniture included heavy wood armchairs for the lord and lady, stools, benches, trestle tables, chests, and cupboards. Outside was an enclosed garden with cabbages, peas, beans, beetroots, onions, garlic, leeks, lettuce, watercress, hops, herbs, nut trees for oil, some flowers, and a fish pond and well. Bees were kept for their honey.

Nobles, doctors, and attorneys wore tunics to the ankle and an over-tunic almost as long, which was lined with fur and had long sleeves. A hood was attached to it. A man's hair was short and curled, with bangs on the forehead. The tunic of merchants and middle class men reached to the calf. The laborer wore a tunic that reached to the knee, cloth stockings, and shoes of heavy felt, cloth, or perhaps leather. Ladies wore a full-length tunic with moderate fullness in the skirt, and a low belt, and tight sleeves. A lady's hair was concealed by a round hat tied on the top of her head. Over her tunic, she wore a cloak. Monks and nuns wore long black robes with hoods.

The barons now managed and developed their estates to be as productive as possible, often using the successful management techniques of church estates. They kept records of their fields, tenants, and services owed by each tenant, and duties of the manor officers, such as supervision of the ploughing and harrowing. Annually, the manor's profit or loss for the year was calculated. Most manors were self-supporting except that iron for tools and horseshoes and salt for curing usually had to be obtained elsewhere. Wine, tar, canvas and millstones were imports from other countries and bought at fairs, as was fish, furs, spices, and silks. Sheep were kept in such large numbers that they were susceptible to a new disease "scab". Every great household was bound to give alms.

As feudalism became less military and less rough, daughters were permitted to inherit fiefs. It became customary to divide the property of a deceased man without a son equally among his daughters. Lords were receiving homage from all the daughters and thereby acquiring marriage rights over all of them. Also, if a son predeceased his father but left a child, that child would succeed to the father's land in the same way that the deceased would have.

Manors averaged about ten miles distance between each other, the land in between being unused and called "wasteland". Statutes after a period of civil war proscribing the retaking of land discouraged the enclosure of waste land.

Some villeins bought out their servitude by paying a substitute to do his service or paying his lord a firm (from hence, the words farm and farmer) sum to hire an agricultural laborer in his place. This made it possible for a farm laborer to till one continuous piece of land instead of scattered strips.

Looms were now mounted with two bars. Women did embroidery. The clothing of most people was made at home, even sandals. The village tanner and bootmaker supplied long pieces of soft leather for more protection than sandals. Tanning mills replaced some hand labor. The professional hunter of wolves, lynx, or otters supplied head coverings. Every village had a smith and possibly a carpenter for construction of ploughs and carts. The smith obtained coal from coal fields for heating the metal he worked. Horse harnesses were home-made from hair and hemp. There were water mills and/or wind mills for grinding grain, for malt, and/or for fulling cloth. The position of the sails of the wind mills was changed by manual labor when the direction of the wind changed.

Most men wore a knife because of the prevalence of murder and robbery. It was an every day event for a murderer to flee to sanctuary in a church, which would then be surrounded by his pursuers while the coroner was summoned. Usually, the fugitive would confess, pay compensation, and agree to leave the nation permanently.

It had been long customary for the groom to endow his bride in public at the church door. This was to keep her and her children if he died first. If dower was not specified, it was understood to be one-third of all lands and tenements. From 1246, priests taught that betrothal and consummation constituted irrevocable marriage.

County courts were the center of decision-making regarding judicial, fiscal, military, and general administrative matters. The writs for the conservation of the peace, directing the taking of the oath, the pursuit of malefactors, and the observance of watch and ward, were proclaimed in full county court; attachments were made in obedience to them in the county court. The county offices were: sheriff, coroner, escheator, and constable or bailiff. There were 28 sheriffs for 38 counties. The sheriff was usually a substantial landholder and a knight who had been prominent in the local court. He usually had a castle in which he kept persons he arrested. He no longer bought his office and collected certain rents for himself, but was a salaried political appointee of the King. He employed a deputy or undersheriff, who was an attorney, and clerks. If there was civil commotion or contempt of royal authority, the sheriff had power to raise a posse of armed men to restore order [posse comitatus: power of the county]. The coroner watched the interests of the crown and had duties in sudden deaths, treasure trove, and shipwreck cases. There were about five coroners per county and they served for a number of years. They were chosen by the county court. The escheator was appointed annually by the Treasurer to administer the Crown's rights in feudal land, which until 1242 had been the responsibility of the sheriff. He was usually chosen from the local gentry. The constable and bailiff operated at the hundred and parish level to detect crime and keep the peace. They assisted sheriffs and Justices of the Peace, organized watches for criminals and vagrants at the village level, and raised the hue and cry along the highway and from village to village in pursuit of offenders who had committed felony or robbery. The constables also kept the royal castles; they recruited, fed, and commanded the castle garrison.

County knights served sheriffs, coroners, escheators, and justices on special royal commissions of gaol-delivery. They sat in judgment in the county court at its monthly meetings, attended the two great annual assemblies when the lord, knights and freeholders of the county gathered to meet the itinerant justices who came escorted by the sheriff and weapon bearers. They served on the committees which reviewed the presentments of the hundreds and village, and carried the record of the county court to Westminster when summoned there by the kings' justices. They served on the grand assize. As elected representatives of their fellow knights of the county, they assessed any taxes due from each hundred. Election might be by nomination by the sheriff from a fixed list, by choice, or in rotation. They investigated and reported on local abuses and grievances. The King's justices and council often called on them to answer questions put to them on oath. In the villages, humbler freeholders and sokemen were elected to assess the village taxes. Six villeins answered for the village's offenses before the royal itinerant justice.

Reading and writing in the English language was taught. The use of English ceased to be a mark of vulgarity. In 1258 the first governmental document was issued in English as well as in Latin and French. Latin started falling into disuse. Boys of noblemen were taught reading, writing, Latin, a musical instrument, athletics, riding, and gentlemanly conduct. Girls were taught reading, writing, music, dancing, and perhaps household nursing and first aid, spinning, embroidery, and gardening. Girls of high social position were also taught riding and hawking. Grammar schools taught, in Latin, grammar, dialectic (ascertaining word meaning by looking at its origin, its sound (e.g. soft or harsh), its power (e.g. robust and strong sound), its inflection, and its order; and avoiding obscurity and ambiguity in statements), and rhetoric [art of public speaking, oratory, and debate]. The teacher possessed the only complete copy of the Latin text, and most of the school work was done orally. Though books were few and precious, the students read several Latin works. Girls and boys of high social position usually had private teachers for grammar school, while boys of lower classes were sponsored at grammar schools such as those at Oxford. Discipline was maintained by the birch or rod.

There was no examination for admission as an undergraduate to Oxford, but a knowledge of Latin with some skill in speaking Latin was a necessary background. The students came from all backgrounds. Some had their expenses paid by their parents, while others had the patronage of a churchman, a religious house, or a wealthy layman. They studied the "liberal arts", which derived its name from "liber" or free, because they were for the free men of Rome rather than for the economic purposes of those who had to work. The works of Greek authors such as Aristotle were now available; the European monk Thomas Aquinas had edited Aristotle's works to reconcile them to church doctrine. He opined that man's intellectual use of reason did not conflict with the religious belief that revelation came only from God, because reason was given to man by God. He shared Aristotle's belief that the earth was a sphere, and that the celestial bodies moved around it in perfect circles. Latin learning had already been absorbed without detriment to the church.

A student at Oxford would become a master after graduating from a seven year course of study of the seven liberal arts: [grammar, rhetoric (the source of law), Aristotelian logic (which differentiates the true from the false), arithmetic, including fractions and ratios, (the foundation of order), geometry, including methods of finding the length of lines, the area of surfaces, and the volume of solids, (the science of measurement), astronomy (the most noble of the sciences because it is connected with divinity and theology), music and also Aristotle's philosophy of physics, metaphysics, and ethics; and then lecturing and leading disputations for two years. He also had to write a thesis on some chosen subject and defend it against the faculty. A Master's degree gave one the right to teach. Further study for four years led to a doctorate in one of the professions: theology and canon or civil law.

There were about 1,500 students in Oxford. They drank, played dice, quarreled a lot and begged at street corners. There were mob fights between students from the north and students from the south and between students and townsmen. But when the mayor of Oxford hanged two students accused of being involved in the killing of a townswoman, many masters and students left for Cambridge. In 1214, a charter created the office of Chancellor of the university at Oxford. He was responsible for law and order and, through his court, could fine, imprison, and excommunicate offenders and expel undesirables such as prostitutes from the town. He had authority over all crimes involving scholars, except murder and mayhem. The Chancellor summoned and presided over meetings of the masters and came to be elected by indirect vote by the masters who had schools, usually no more than a room or hall with a central hearth which was hired for lectures. Students paid for meals there. Corners of the room were often partitioned off for private study. At night, some students slept on the straw on the floor. Six hours of sleep were considered sufficient. In 1231, the king ordered that every student must have his name on the roll of a master and the masters had to keep a list of those attending his lectures.

In 1221 the friars established their chief school at Oxford. They were bound by oaths of poverty, obedience, and chastity, but were not confined within the walls of a monastery. They walked barefoot from place to lace preaching. They begged for their food and lodgings. They replaced monks, who had become self-indulgent, as the most vital spiritual force among the people.

The first college was founded in 1264 by Walter de Merton, former Chancellor to the King, at Oxford. A college had the living arrangements of a Hall, with the addition of monastic-type rules. A warden and about 30 scholars lived and ate meals together in the college buildings. Merton College's founding documents provided that: "The house shall be called the House of the Scholars of Merton, and it shall be the residence of the Scholars forever. . . There shall be a constant succession of scholars devoted to the study of letters, who shall be bound to employ themselves in the study of Arts or Philosophy, the Canons or Theology. Let there also be one member of the collegiate body, who shall be a grammarian, and must entirely devote himself to the study of grammar; let him have the care of the students in grammar, and to him also let the more advanced have recourse without a blush, when doubts arise in their faculty. . . There is to be one person in every chamber, where Scholars are resident, of more mature age than the others, who is to make his report of their morals and advancement in learning to the Warden. . . The Scholars who are appointed to the duty of studying in the House are to have a common table, and a dress as nearly alike as possible. . . The members of the College must all be present together, as far as their leisure serves, at the canonical hours and celebration of masses on holy and other days. . . The Scholars are to have a reader at meals, and in eating together they are to observe silence, and to listen to what is read. In their chambers, they must abstain from noise and interruption of their fellows; and when they speak they must use the Latin language. . . A Scrutiny shall be held in the House by the Warden and the Seniors, and all the Scholars there present, three times a year; a diligent enquiry is to be instituted into the life, conduct, morals, and progress in learning, of each and all; and what requires correction then is to be corrected, and excesses are to be visited with condign punishment. . ."

Educated men (and those of the 1200s through the 1500s), believed that the earth was the center of the universe and that it was surrounded by a giant spherical dome on which the stars were placed. The sun and moon and planets were each on a sphere around the earth that was responsible for their movements. The origin of the word "planet" meant "wanderer" because the motion of the planets were variable in direction and speed. Astrology explained how the position of the stars and planets influenced man and other earthly things. For instance, the position of the stars at a person's birth determined his character. The angle and therefore potency of the sun's rays influenced climate, temperament, and changes of mortal life such as disease and revolutions. Unusual events such as the proximity of two planets, a comet, an eclipse, a meteor, or a nova were of great significance. A star often was thought to presage the birth of a great man or a hero. There was a propitious time to have a marriage, go on a journey, make war, and take herbal medicine or be bled by leeches, the latter of which was accompanied by religious ceremony. Cure was by God, with medical practitioners only relieving suffering. But there were medical interventions such as pressure and binding were applied to bleeding. Arrow and sword wounds to the skin or to any protruding intestine were washed with warm water and sewn up with needle and silk thread. Ribs were spread apart by a wedge to remove arrow heads. Fractured bones were splinted or encased in plaster. Dislocations were remedied. Hernias were trussed. Bladder stones blocking urination were pushed back into the bladder or removed through an artificial opening in the bladder. Surgery was performed by butchers, blacksmiths, and barbers.

Roger Bacon, an Oxford master, began the science of physics. He read Arab writers and studied the radiation of light and heat. He studied angles of reflection in plane, spherical, cylindrical, and conical mirrors, in both their concave and convex aspects. He did experiments in refraction in different media, e.g. air, water, and glass, and knew that the human cornea refracted light and that the human eye lens was doubly convex. He comprehended the magnifying power of convex lenses and conceptualized the combination of lenses which would increase the power of vision by magnification. He realized that rays of light pass so much faster than those of sound or smell that the time is imperceptible to humans. He knew that rays of heat and sound penetrate all matter without our awareness and that opaque bodies offered resistance to passage of light rays. He knew the power of parabolic concave mirrors to cause parallel rays to converge after reflection to a focus and knew that a mirror could be produced that would induce combustion at a fixed distance. These insights made it possible for jewellers and weavers to use lenses to view their work instead of glass globes full of water, which distorted all but the center of the image: "spherical aberration". The lens, whose opposite surfaces were sections of spheres, took the place of the the central parts of the globe over the image.

He knew about magnetic poles attracting if different and repelling if the same and the relation of magnets' poles to those of the heavens and earth. He calculated the circumference of the world and the latitude and longitude of terrestrial positions. He foresaw sailing around the world.

Bacon began the science of chemistry when he took the empirical knowledge as to a few metals and their oxides and some of the principal alkalis, acids, and salts to the abstract level of metals as compound bodies the elements of which might be separated and recomposed and changed among the states of solid, liquid, and gas. When he studied man's physical nature, health, and disease, he opined that the usefulness of a talisman was not to bring about a physical change, but to bring the patient into a frame of mind more conducive to physical healing. He urged that there be experiments in chemistry to develop medicinal drugs.

He studied different kinds of plants and the differences between arable land, forest land, pasture land, and garden land.

He studied the planetary motions and astronomical tables to forecast future events. He did calculations on days in a month and days in a year which later contributed to the legal definition of a leap year.

Bacon was an extreme proponent of the inductive method of finding truths, e.g. by categorizing all available facts on a certain subject to ascertain the natural laws governing it. His contribution to the development of science was abstracting the method of experiment from the concrete problem to see its bearing and importance as a universal method of research. He advocated changing education to include studies of the natural world using observation, exact measurement, and experiments.

His explanation of a rainbow as a result of natural laws was contrary to theological opinion that a rainbow was placed in the heavens to assure mankind that there was not to be another universal deluge.

The making and selling of goods diverged e.g. as the cloth merchant severed from the tailor and the leather merchant severed from the butcher. These craftsmen formed themselves into guilds, which sought charters to require all craftsmen to belong to the guild of their craft, to have legal control of the craft work, and be able to expel any craftsman for disobedience. These guilds were composed of master craftsmen, their journeymen, and apprentices. These guilds determined the wages and working conditions of the craftsmen and petitioned the borough authorities for ordinances restraining trade, for instance by controlling the admission of outsiders to the craft, preventing foreigners from selling in the town except at fairs, limiting purchases of raw materials to suppliers within the town, forbidding night work, restricting the number of apprentices to each master craftsmen, and requiring a minimum number of years for apprenticeships. In return, these guilds assured quality control. In some boroughs, they did work for the town, such as maintaining certain defensive towers or walls of the town near their respective wards. In some boroughs, fines for infractions of these regulations were split between the guild and the government.

In some towns, the merchant guilds attempted to directly regulate the craft guilds. Crafts fought each other. There was a street battle with much bloodshed between the goldsmiths and the parmenters and between the tailors and the cordwainers in 1267 in London. There was also a major fight between the goldsmiths and the tailors in 1268. The Parish Clerks' Company was chartered in 1233.

The citizens of London had a common seal for the city. London merchants traveled throughout the nation with goods to sell exempt from tolls. Most of the London aldermen were woolmongers, vintners, skinners, and grocers by turns or carried on all these branches of commerce at once. Jews were allowed to make loans with interest up to 2d. a week for 20s. lent. There are three inns in London. Inns typically had narrow facades, large courtyards, lodging and refreshment for the well-off, warehousing and marketing facilities for merchants, and stabling and repairs for wagons. Care-giving infirmaries such as "Bethlehem Hospital" were established in London. One was a lunatic infirmary founded by the sheriff of London. Only tiles were used for roofing in London, because wood shingles were fire hazards and fires in London had been frequent. Some areas near London are disclaimed by the king to be royal forest land, so all citizens could hunt there and till their land there without interference by the royal foresters. The Sheriff's court in London lost its old importance and handled mainly trespass and debt cases, while important cases went to the Hustings, which was presided over by the Mayor with the sheriffs and aldermen in attendance. From the early 1200s, the Mayor's Court took on the work which the weekly Husting could not manage. This consisted mostly of assault and robbery cases. Murder and manslaughter cases were left to the royal courts.

London aldermen were elected by the citizens of their respective wards in ward moots, in which was also arranged the watch, protection against fire, and probably also assessment of the taxes within the ward. There was much effort by the commoners to influence the governance of the city. In 1261 they forced their way into the town-moot and by this brute show of strength, which threatened riot, they made their own candidate mayor. Subsequent elections were tumultuous.

The Tower of London now had outer walls of fortress buildings surrounded by a wide and deep moat, over which was one stone causeway and wooden drawbridge. Within this was an inner curtain wall with twelve towers and an inner moat. The palace within was a principal residence of English monarchs, whose retinue was extensive, including the chief officers of state: Lord High Steward, Lord High Chancellor, Lord High Treasurer, Lord Great Chamberlain, Lord High Constable, Keeper of the Seals, and the King's Marshall; lesser officials such as the Chamberlain of the Candles, Keeper of the Tents, Master Steward of the Larder, Usher of the Spithouse, Marshall of the Trumpets, Keeper of the Books, Keeper of the Dishes and of the Cups, and Steward of the Buttery; and numbers of cat hunters, wolf catchers, clerks and limners, carters, water carriers, washerwomen and laundresses, chaplains, lawyers, archers, huntsmen, hornblowers, barbers, minstrels, guards and servitors, and bakers and confectioners. The fortress also contained a garrison, armory, chapels, stables, forge, wardrobe for a tailor's workroom and secure storage of valuable clothes, silver plate, and expensive imports such as sugar, rice, almonds, dried fruits, cinnamon, saffron, ginger, galingale, zedoary, pepper, nutmeg, and mace. There was a kitchen with courtyard for cattle, poultry, and pigs; dairy, pigeon loft, brewery, beehives, fruit stores, gardens for vegetables and herbs; and sheds for gardeners. There was also a mint, which minted a gold penny worth 2s. of silver, a jewel house, and a menagerie (with leopards, lions, a bear, and an elephant). The fortress also served as a state prison. Most prisoners there had opposed the royal will; they were usually permitted to live in quarters in the same style they were used to, including servants and visits by family and friends. But occasionally prisoners were confined in irons in dark and damp dungeons.

The King's family, immediate circle, and most distinguished guests dined elegantly in the Great Hall at mid-day. They would first wash their hands in hot water poured by servants over bowls. The table had silver plate, silver spoons, and cups of horn, crystal, maple wood, or silver laid on a white cloth. Each guest brought his own knife in a leather sheath attached to a belt or girdle. A procession of servitors brought the many dishes to which the gentlemen helped the ladies and the young their seniors by placing the food in scooped-out half loaves of bread that were afterwards distributed to the poor. A wine cup was handed around the table. In the winter after dinner, there would often be games of chess or dice or songs of minstrels, and sometimes dancing, juggler or acrobat displays, or story-telling by a minstrel. In the summer there were outdoor games and tournaments. Hunting with hounds or hawks was popular with both ladies and gentlemen. The King would go to bed on a feather mattress with fur coverlet that was surrounded by linen hangings. His grooms would sleep on trundle beds in the same room. The queen likewise shared her bedchamber with several of her ladies sleeping on trundle beds. Breakfast was comprised of a piece of bread and a cup of wine taken after the daily morning mass in one of the chapels. Sometimes a round and deep tub was brought into the bedchamber by servants who poured hot water onto the bather in the tub. Baths were often taken in the times of Henry III, who believed in cleanliness and sanitation. Henry III was also noted for his luxurious tastes. He had a linen table cloth, goblets of mounted cocoa-nut, a glass cup set in crystal, and silk and velvet mattresses, cushions, and bolster. He had many rooms painted with gold stars, green and red lions, and painted flowers. To his sister on her marriage, he gave goldsmith's work, a chess table, chessmen in an ivory box, silver pans and cooking vessels, robes of cloth of gold, embroidered robes, robes of scarlet, blue, and green fine linen, Genoese cloth of gold, two napkins, and thirteen towels.

In the King's 1235 grant to Oxford, the Mayor and good men were authorized to take weekly for three years 1/2 d. on every cart entering the town loaded with goods, if it was from the county, or 1d. if it came from outside the county; 1/4 d. for every horse load, except for brushwood; 1/2 d. on every horse, mare, ox, or cow brought to sell; and 1/2 d. for every five sheep, goats, or pigs.

English ships had one mast with a square sail. The hulls were made of planks overlapping each other. There was a high fore castle [tower] on the bow, a top castle on the mast, and a high stern castle from which to shoot arrows down on other ships. There were no rowing oars, but steering was still by an oar on the starboard side of the ship. The usual carrying capacity was 30 tuns [big casks of wine each with about 250 gallons]. On the coasts there were lights and beacons. Harbors at river mouths were kept from silting up. Ships were loaded from piers. The construction of London Bridge had just been finished. Bricks began to be imported for building. About 10% of the population lived in towns.

Churches had stained glass windows.

Newcastle-on-Tyne received these new rights:

1. And that they shall justly have their lands and tenures and mortgages and debts, whoever owes them to them.

2. Concerning their lands and tenures within the town,
    right shall be done to them according to the custom of the
    city Winton.

3. And of all their debts which are lent in
    Newcastle-on-Tyne and of mortgages there made, pleas shall
    be held at Newcastle-on-Tyne.

4. None of them shall plead outside the walls of the City of
    Newcastle-on-Tyne on any plea, except pleas of tenures
    outside the city and except the minters and my ministers.

5. That none of them be distrained by any without the said
    city for the repayment of any debt to any person for which
    he is not capital debtor or surety.

6. That the burgesses shall be quit of toll and lastage
    [duty on a ship's cargo] and pontage [tax for repairing
    bridges] and have passage back and forth.

7. Moreover, for the improvement of the city, I have granted
    them that they shall be quit of year's gift and of scotale
    [pressure to buy ale at the sheriff's tavern], so that my
    sheriff of Newcastle- on-Tyne or any other minister shall
    not make a scotale.

8. And whosoever shall seek that city with his merchandise,
    whether foreigners or others, of whatever place they may be,
    they may come sojourn and depart in my safe peace, on paying
    the due customs and debts, and any impediment to these
    rights is prohibited.

9. We have granted them also a merchant guild.

10. And that none of them [in the merchant guild] shall fight by combat.

The king no longer lives on his own from income from his own lands, but takes money from the treasury. A tax of a percentage of 1/15th of personal property was levied in 1225 for a war, in return for which the king signed the Magna Carta. It was to be paid by all tenants-in-chief, men of the royal domain, burgesses of the boroughs and cities, clerical tenants-in-chief, and religious houses. The percentage tax came to be used frequently and ranged from about 1/40th to 1/5th. In 1294, this tax was bifurcated into one percentage amount for the rural districts and a higher one for urban districts, because the burgesses had greater wealth and much of it was hard to uncover because it was in the possession of customers and debtors. It was usually 1/10th for towns and royal domains and 1/15th in the country. This amount of money collected by this tax increased with the wealth of the country.

The king takes custody of lands of lunatics and idiots, as well as escheats of land falling by descent to aliens. Henry III took 20s. from his tenants-in-chief for the marriage of his daughter, and two pounds for the knighting of his son.

By 1250, the king was hiring soldiers at 2s. per day for knights, and 9d. a day for less heavily armed soldiers, and 6d. a day for cross-bowmen. Some castle-guard was done by watchmen hired at 2d. a day. Ships were impressed when needed. Sometimes private ships were authorized to ravage the French coasts and take what spoil they could.

While King Henry III was underage, there was much controversy as to who should be his ministers of state, such as justiciar, chancellor, and treasurer. This led to the concept that they should not be chosen by the king alone. After he came of age, elected men from the baronage fought to have meetings and his small council in several conferences called great councils or parliaments (from French "to speak the mind") to discuss the levying of taxes and the solution of difficult legal cases, the implementation of the Magna Carta, the appointment of the king's ministers and sheriffs, and the receipt and consideration of petitions. The barons paid 1/30th tax on their moveable property to have three barons of their choice added to the council. Statutes were enacted. Landholders were given the duty of electing four of their members in every county to ensure that the sheriff observed the law and to report his misdemeanors to the justiciar. They were also given the duty of electing four men from the county from whom the exchequer was to choose the sheriff of the year. Earl Montfort and certain barons forced King Henry III to summon a great council or parliament in 1265 in which the common people were represented officially by two knights from every county, two burgesses from every borough, and two representatives from each major port. So the King's permanent small council became a separate body from parliament and its members took a specific councilor's oath in 1257 to give faithful counsel, to keep secrecy, to prevent alienation of ancient demesne, to procure justice for the rich and poor, to allow justice to be done on themselves and their friends, to abstain from gifts and misuse of patronage and influence, and to be faithful to the queen and to the heir.

- The Law -

The barons forced successive Kings to sign the Magna Carta until it became the law of the land. It became the first statute of the official statute book. Its provisions express the principle that a king is bound by the law and is not above it. However, there is no redress if the king breaches the law.

The Magna Carta was issued by John in 1215. A revised version was issued by Henry III in 1225 with the forest clauses separated out into a forest charter. The two versions are replicated together, with the formatting of each indicated in the titles below.

    {Magna Carta - 1215}
     Magna Carta - 1215 & 1225
     MAGNA CARTA - 1225

{John, by the grace of God, King of England, Lord of Ireland, Duke of Normandy and Aquitaine, and Count of Anjou: To the Archbishops, Bishops, Abbots, Earls, Barons, Justiciaries, Foresters, Sheriffs, Reeves, Ministers, and all Bailiffs and others, his faithful subjects, Greeting. Know ye that in the presence of God, and for the health of our soul, and the souls of our ancestors and heirs, to the honor of God, and the exaltation of Holy Church, and amendment of our realm, by the advice of our reverend Fathers, Stephen, Archbishop of Canterbury, Primate of all England, and Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church; Henry, Archbishop of Dublin; William of London, Peter of Winchester, Jocelin of Bath and Glastonbury, Hugh of Lincoln, Walter of Worcester, William of Coventry, and Benedict of Rochester, Bishops; Master Pandulph, the pope's subdeacon and familiar; Brother Aymeric, Master of the Knights of the Temple in England; and the noble persons, William Marshall, Earl of Pembroke; William, Earl of Salisbury; William, Earl of Warren; William, Earl of Arundel; Alan de Galloway, Constable of Scotland; Warin Fitz-Gerald, Peter Fitz-Herbert, Hubert de Burgh, Seneshal of Poitou, Hugh de Neville, Matthew Fitz-Herbert, Thomas Basset, Alan Basset, Philip Daubeny, Robert de Roppelay, John Marshall, John Fitz-Hugh, and others, our liegemen:}

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook