- - - Chapter 8 - - -

- The Times: 1272-1348 -

King Edward I was respected by the people for his good government, practical wisdom, and genuine concern for justice for everyone. He loved his people and wanted them to love him. He came to the throne with twenty years experience governing lesser lands on the continent which were given to him by his father Henry III. He spoke Latin, English, and French. He gained a reputation as a lawgiver and as a peacemaker in disputes on the continent. His reputation was so high and agreement on him as the next king so strong that England was peaceful in the almost two years that it took him to arrive there from continental business. He was truthful, law-abiding, and kept his word. He had close and solid family relationships, especially with his father and with his wife Eleanor, to whom he was faithful. He was loyal to his close circle of good friends. He valued honor and adhered reasonably well to the terms of the treaties he made. He was generous in carrying out the royal custom of subsidizing the feeding of paupers. He visited the sick. He was frugal and dressed in plain, ordinary clothes rather than extravagant or ostentatious ones. He disliked ceremony and display.

At his accession, there was a firm foundation of a national law administered by a centralized judicial system, a centralized executive, and an organized system of local government in close touch with both the judicial and the executive system. To gain knowledge of his nation, he sent royal commissioners into every county to ask about any encroachments on the King's rights and about misdeeds by any of the King's officials: sheriffs, bailiffs, or coroners. The results were compiled as the "Hundred Rolls". They were the basis of reforms which improved justice at the local as well as the national level. They also rationalized the array of jurisdictions that had grown up with feudal government. Statutes were passed by a parliament of two houses, that of peers (lords) and that of an elected [rather than appointed] commons, and the final form of the constitution was fixed.

Wardships of children and widows were sought because they were very profitable. A guardian could get one tenth of the income of the property during the wardship and a substantial marriage amount when the ward married. Parents often made contracts to marry for their young children. This avoided a forced marriage by a ward should the parents die.

Most earldoms and many baronages came into the royal house by escheat or marriage. The royal house employed many people. The barons developed a class consciousness of aristocracy and became leaders of society. Many men, no matter of whom they held land, sought knighthood. The king granted knighthood by placing his sword on the head of able-bodied and moral candidates who swore an oath of loyalty to the king and to defend "all ladies, gentlewomen, widows and orphans" and to "shun no adventure of your person in any war wherein you should happen to be". A code of knightly chivalry became recognized, such as telling the truth and setting wrongs right. About half of the knights were literate. In 1278, the king issued a writ ordering all free-holders who held land of the value of at least 400s. to receive knighthood at the King's hands.

At the royal house and other great houses gentlemanly jousting competitions, with well-refined and specific rules, took the place of violent tournaments with general rules. Edward forbade tournaments at which there was danger of a "melee". At these knights competed for the affection of ladies by jousting with each other while the ladies watched. Courtly romances were common. If a man convinced a lady to marry him, the marriage ceremony took place in church, with feasting and dancing afterwards. Romantic stories were at the height of their popularity. A usual theme was the lonely quest of a knight engaged in adventures which would impress his lady.

Riddles include: 1. I will make you a cross, and a thing will not touch you, and you will not be able to leave the house without breaking that cross. Answer: Stand before a post in your house, with your arms extended. 2. What you do not know, and I do not know, and no one can know after I have told you. Answer: I will take a straw from the floor of the room, measure its inches, tell you the length, and break the straw. 3. A pear tree bears all the fruit a pear tree can bear and did not bear pears. Answer: It bore only one pear.

The dress of the higher classes was very changeable and subject to fashion as well as function. Ladies no longer braided their hair in long tails, but rolled it up in a net under a veil, often topped with an elaborate and fanciful headdress. They wore non- functional long trains on their tunics and dainty shoes. Men wore a long gown, sometimes clasped around the waist. Overtunics were often lined or trimmed with native fur such as squirrel. People often wore solid red, blue, or green clothes. Only monks and friars wore brown. The introduction of buttons and buttonholes to replace pins and laces made clothing warmer, and it could be made tighter. After Edward I established the standard inch as three continuous dried barleycorns, shoes came in standard sizes and with a right one different from a left one. The spinning wheel came into existence to replace the hand-held spindle. Now one hand could be used to form the thread while the other hand turned a large upright wheel that caused the thread to wind around the spindle, which did not have to be held by hand. This resulted in an uninterrupted spinning motion which was not interrupted by alternately forming the thread and winding it on the spindle.

Lords surrounded themselves with people of the next lower rank, usually from nearby families, and had large households. For instance, the king had a circle of noblemen and ladies about him. A peer or great prelate had a household of about 100-200 people, among which were his inner circle, companions, administrators, secretaries, bodyguards and armed escort, chaplain, singing priests and choirboys, and servants. All officers of the household were gentlemen. The secretary was usually a clerk, who was literate because he had taken minor clerical orders. Since the feudal obligation of the tenants was disappearing, a lord sometimes hired retainers to supplement his escort of fighting men. They proudly wore his livery of cloth or hat, which was in the nature of a uniform or badge of service. A nobleman and his lady had a circle of knights and gentlemen and their ladies. A knight had a circle of gentlemen and their ladies.

The great barons lived in houses built within the walls of their castles. Lesser barons lived in semi-fortified manors, many of which had been licensed to be embattled or crenellated. Their halls were two stories high, and usually built on the first rather than on the second floor. Windows came down almost to the floor. The hall had a raised floor at one end where the lord and lady and a few others sat at a high table. The hearth was in the middle of the room or on a wall. Sometimes a cat was used to open and shut the louvers of the smoke outlet in the roof. The lord's bedroom was next to the hall on the second floor and could have windows into the hall and a spiral staircase connecting the two rooms. There was a chapel, in which the lord attended mass every morning. The many knights usually lived in unfortified houses with two rooms.

In the great houses, there were more wall hangings, and ornaments for the tables. The tables were lit with candles or torches made of wax. Plates were gold and silver. The lord, his lady, and their family and guests sat at the head table, which was raised on a dais. On this high table was a large and elaborate salt cellar. One's place in relationship to the salt cellar indicated one's status: above or below the salt. Also, those of higher status at the table ate a superior bread. The almoner [alms giver] said grace. Gentlemen poured the lord's drink [cupbearer], served his meat [carver], and supervised the serving of the food [sewer]. A yeoman ewery washed the hands of the lord and his guests and supplied the napkins, ewers [pitchers], and basins. A yeoman cellarer or butler served the wine and beer. The yeoman of the pantry served the bread, salt, and cutlery. The steward presided over the table of household officers of gentle birth. The marshall of the hall, clerk of the kitchen, or other yeomen officers supervised other tables. Salt and spices were available at all tables. Most people ate with their fingers, although there were knives and some spoons. Drinking vessels were usually metal, horn, or wood. A marshall and ushers kept order. Minstrels played musical instruments or recited histories of noble deeds or amusing anecdotes. Reading aloud was a favorite pastime. The almoner collected the left-overs to distribute to the poor.

In lesser houses people ate off trenchers [a four day old slab of coarse bread or a piece of wood with the middle scooped out like a bowl], or plates of wood or pewter [made from tin, copper, and lead]. They often shared plates and drinking vessels at the table.

Queen Eleanor, a cultivated, intelligent, and educated lady from the continent, fostered culture and rewarded individual literary efforts, such as translations from Latin, with grants of her own money. She patronized Oxford and Cambridge Universities and left bequests to poor scholars there. She herself had read Aristotle and commentaries thereon, and she especially patronized literature which would give cross-cultural perspectives on subjects. She was kind and thoughtful towards those about her and was also sympathetic to the afflicted and generous to the poor. She shared Edward's career to a remarkable extent, even accompanying him on a crusade. She had an intimate knowledge of the people in Edward's official circle and relied on the advice of two of them in managing her lands. She mediated disputes between earls and other nobility, as well as softened her husband's temper towards people. Edward granted her many wardships and marriages and she arranged marriages with political advantages. She dealt with envoys coming to the court. Her intellectual vitality and organized mentality allowed her to deal with arising situations well. Edward held her in great esteem. She introduced to England the merino sheep, which, when bred with the English sheep, gave them a better quality of wool. She and Edward often played games of chess and backgammon.

Farm efficiency was increased by the use of windmills in the fields to pump water and by allowing villeins their freedom and hiring them as laborers only when needed. Customary service was virtually extinct. A man could earn 5d. for reaping, binding, and shocking into a pile, an acre of wheat. A strong man with a wife to do the binding could do this in a long harvest day. Harvests were usually plentiful, with the exception of two periods of famine over the country due to weather conditions. Then the price of wheat went way up and drove up the prices of all other goods correspondingly. The story of outlaw Robin Hood, who made a living by robbing, was passed around. This Robin Hood did not give to the poor. But generally, there was enough grain to store so that the population was no longer periodically devastated by famine. The population grew and all arable land in the nation came under the plough. The acre was standardized. About 1300, the price of an ox was 9s., a heifer or cow 7s., a hide 2s.6d., a cart horse 2 or 3 pounds. Farm women went to nearby towns to sell eggs and dairy products, usually to town women.

Although manors needed the ploughmen, the carters and drivers, the herdsmen, and the dairymaid on a full-time basis, other tenants spent increasing time in crafts and became village carpenters, smiths, weavers or millers' assistants. Trade and the towns grew. Smiths used coal in their furnaces.

Money rents often replaced service due to a lord, such as fish silver, malt silver, or barley silver. The lord's rights are being limited to the rights declared on the extents [records showing service due from each tenant] and the rolls of the manor. Sometimes land is granted to strangers because none of the kindred of the deceased will take it. Often a manor court limited a fee in land to certain issue instead of being inheritable by all heirs. Surveyors' poles marked boundaries declared by court in boundary disputes. This resulted in survey maps showing villages and cow pastures.

The revival of trade and the appearance of a money economy was undermining the long-established relationship between the lord of the manor and his villeins. As a result, money payments were supplementing or replacing payments in service and produce as in Martham, where Thomas Knight held twelve acres in villeinage, paid 16d. for it and 14d. in special aids. "He shall do sixteen working days in August and for every day he shall have one repast - viz. Bread and fish. He shall hoe ten days without the lord's food - price of a day 1/2 d. He shall cart to Norwich six cartings or shall give 9d., and he shall have for every carting one leaf and one lagena - or gallon - of ale. Also for ditching 1d. He shall make malt 3 1/2 seams of barley or shall give 6d. Also he shall flail for twelve days or give 12d. He shall plough if he has his own plough, and for every ploughing he shall have three loaves and nine herrings … For carting manure he shall give 2."

Another example is this manor's holdings, when 3d. would buy food for a day: "Extent of the manor of Bernehorne, made on Wednesday following the feast of St. Gregory the Pope, in the thirty-fifth year of the reign of King Edward, in the presence of Brother Thomas, keeper of Marley, John de la More, and Adam de Thruhlegh, clerks, on the oath of William de Gocecoumbe, Walter le Parker, Richard le Knyst, Richard the son of the latter, Andrew of Estone, Stephen Morsprich, Thomas Brembel, William of Swynham, John Pollard, Roger le Glide, John Syward, and John de Lillingewist, who say that there are all the following holdings:… John Pollard holds a half acre in Aldithewisse and owes 18d. at the four terms, and owes for it relief and heriot. John Suthinton holds a house and 40 acres of land and owes 3s.6d. at Easter and Michaelmas. William of Swynham holds one acre of meadow in the thicket of Swynham and owes 1d. at the feast of Michaelmas. Ralph of Leybourne holds a cottage and one acre of land in Pinden and owes 3s. at Easter and Michaelmas, and attendance at the court in the manor every three weeks, also relief and heriot. Richard Knyst of Swynham holds two acres and a half of land and owes yearly 4s. William of Knelle holds two acres of land in Aldithewisse and owes yearly 4s. Roger le Glede holds a cottage and three roods of land and owes 2s.6d. Easter and Michaelmas. Alexander Hamound holds a little piece of land near Aldewisse and owes one goose of the value of 2d. The sum of the whole rent of the free tenants, with the value of the goose, is 18s.9d. They say, moreover, that John of Cayworth holds a house and 30 acres of land, and owes yearly 2s. at Easter and Michaelmas; and he owes a cock and two hens at Christmas of the value of 4d. And he ought to harrow for two days at the Lenten sowing with one man and his own horse and his own harrow, the value of the work being 4d.; and he is to receive from the lord on each day three meals, of the value of 5d., and then the lord will be at a loss of 1d. Thus his harrowing is of no value to the service of the lord. And he ought to carry the manure of the lord for two days with one cart, with his own two oxen, the value of the work being 8d.; and he is to receive from the lord each day three meals at the value as above. And thus the service is worth 3d. clear. And he shall find one man for two days, for mowing the meadow of the lord, who can mow, by estimation, one acre and a half, the value of the mowing of an acre being 6d.: the sum is therefore 9d. And he is to receive each day three meals of the value given above. And thus that mowing is worth 4d. clear. And he ought to gather and carry that same hay which he has cut, the price of the work being 3d. And he shall have from the lord two meals for one man, of the value of 1 1/2 d. Thus the work will be worth 1 1/2 d. clear. And he ought to carry the hay of the lord for one day with a cart and three animals of his own, the price of the work being 6d. And he shall have from the lord three meals of the value of 2 1/2 d. And thus the work is worth 3 1/2 d. clear. And he ought to carry in autumn beans or oats for two days with a cart and three animals of his own, the value of the work being 12d. And he shall receive from the lord each day three meals of the value given above. And thus the work is worth 7d. clear. And he ought to carry wood from the woods of the lord as far as the manor, for two days in summer, with a cart and three animals of his own, the value of the work being 9d. And he shall receive from the lord each day three meals of the price given above. And thus the work is worth 4d. clear. And he ought to find one man for two days to cut heath, the value of the work being 4d., and he shall have three meals each day of the value given above: and thus the lord will lose, if he receives the service, 3d. Thus that mowing is worth nothing to the service of the lord. And he ought to carry the heath which he has cut, the value of the work being 5d. And he shall receive from the lord three meals at the price of 2 1/2 d. And thus the work will be worth 2 1/2 d. clear. And he ought to carry to Battle, twice in the summer season, each time half a load of grain, the value of the service being 4d. And he shall receive in the manor each time one meal of the value of 2d. And thus the work is worth 2d. clear. The totals of the rents, with the value of the hens, is 2s.4d. The total of the value of the works is 2s.3 1/2 d., being owed from the said John yearly. William of Cayworth holds a house and 30 acres of land and owes at Easter and Michaelmas 2s. rent. And he shall do all customs just as the aforesaid John of Cayworth. William atte Grene holds a house and 30 acres of land and owes in all things the same as the said John. Alan atte Felde holds a house and 16 acres of land (for which the sergeant pays to the court of Bixley 2s.), and he owes at Easter and Michaelmas 4s., attendance at the manor court, relief, and heriot. John Lyllingwyst holds a house and four acres of land and owes at the two terms 2s., attendance at the manor court, relief, and heriot. The same John holds one acre of land in the fields of Hoo and owes at the two periods 2s., attendance, relief, and heriot. Reginald atte Denne holds a house and 18 acres of land and owes at the said periods 18d., attendance, relief, and heriot. Robert of Northehou holds three acres of land at Saltcote and owes at the said periods attendance, relief, and heriot. Total of the rents of the villeins, with the value of the hens, 20s. Total of all the works of these villeins, 6s.10 1/2 d. And it is to be noted that none of the above-mentioned villeins can give their daughters in marriage, nor cause their sons to be tonsured, nor can they cut down timber growing on the lands they hold, without licence of the bailiff or sergeant of the lord, and then for building purposes and not otherwise. And after the death of any one of the aforesaid villeins, the lord shall have as a heriot his best animal, if he had any; if, however, he have no living beast, the lord shall have no heriot, as they say. The sons or daughters of the aforesaid villeins shall give, for entrance into the holding after the death of their predecessors, as much as they give of rent per year. Sylvester, the priest, holds one acre of meadow adjacent to his house and owes yearly 3s. Total of the rent of tenants for life, 3s. Petronilla atte Holme holds a cottage and a piece of land and owes at Easter and Michaelmas - ; also, attendance, relief, and heriot. Walter Herying holds a cottage and a piece of land and owes at Easter and Michaelmas 18d., attendance, relief, and heriot. Isabella Mariner holds a cottage and owes at the feast of St. Michael 12d., attendance, relief, and heriot. Jordan atte Melle holds a cottage and 1 1/2 acres of land and owes at Easter and Michaelmas 2s., attendance, relief, and heriot. William of Batelesmere holds one acre of land with a cottage and owes at the feast of St. Michael 3d., and one cock and one hen at Christmas of the value of 3d., attendance, relief, and heriot. John le Man holds half an acre of land with a cottage and owes at the feast of St. Michael 2s., attendance, relief, and heriot. Hohn Werthe holds one rood of land with a cottage and owes at the said term 18d., attendance, relief, and heriot. Geoffrey Caumbreis holds half an acre and a cottage and owes at the said term 18d., attendance, relief, and heriot. William Hassok holds one rood of land and a cottage and owes at the said term 18d., attendance, relief, and heriot. The same man holds 3 1/2 acres of land and owes yearly at the feast of St. Michael 3s. for all. Roger Doget holds half an acre of land and a cottage, which were those of R. the miller, and owes at the feast of St. Michael 18d., attendance, relief, and heriot. Thomas le Brod holds one acre and a cottage and owes at the said term 3s., attendance, relief, and heriot. Agnes of Cayworth holds half an acre and a cottage and owes at the said term 18d., attendance, relief, and heriot. Total of the rents of the said cottagers, with the value of the hens, 34s.6d. And it is to be noted that all the said cottagers shall do as regards giving their daughters in marriage, having their sons tonsured, cutting down timber, paying heriot, and giving fines for entrance, just as John of Cayworth and the rest of the villeins above mentioned." The above fines and penalties, with heriots and reliefs, are worth 5s. yearly.

Often one village was divided up among two or more manors, so different manorial customs made living conditions different among the villagers. Villages usually had carpenters, smiths, saddlers, thatchers, carters, fullers, dyers, soapmakers, tanners, needlers, and brassworkers. Each villein had his own garden in which to grow fruit and vegetables next to his house, a pig (which fattened more quickly than other animals), strips in the common field, and sometimes an assart [a few acres of his own to cultivate as he pleased on originally rough uncultivated waste land beyond the common fields and the enclosed common pastures and meadows]. Most villeins did not venture beyond their village except for about ten miles to a local shrine or great fair a couple times a year. At the fair might be fish, honey, spices, salt, garlic, oil, furs, silks, canvas, soap, pans, pots, grindstones, coal, nails, tar, iron, shovels, brushes, pails, horses, and pack-saddles. Early apothecaries might sell potions there. Men and women looking for other employment might attend to indicate their availability.

Under Edward I, villages were required to mount watches to protect life and property and were called upon to provide one man for the army and to pay his wages.

People told time by counting the number of rings of the church bell, which rang on the hour. Every Sunday, the villagers went to church, which was typically the most elaborate and centrally located building in the village. The parishioners elected churchwardens, who might be women. This religion brought comfort and hope of going to heaven after judgment by God at death if sin was avoided. On festival days, Bible stories, legends, and lives of saints were read or performed as miracle dramas. They learned to avoid the devil, who was influential in lonely places like forests and high mountains. At death, the corpse was washed, shrouded, and put into a rectangular coffin with a cross on its lid. Priests sang prayers amid burning incense for the deliverance of the soul to God while interring the coffin into the ground. Men who did not make a will risked the danger of an intestate and unconfessed death. The personal property of a man dying intestate now went to the church as a trust for the dead man's immperiled soul instead of to the man's lord.

Unqualified persons entered holy orders thereby obtaining "benefit of clergy", and then returned to secular employments retaining this protection.

A villein could be forever set free from servitude by his lord as in this example:

"To all the faithful of Christ to whom the present writing shall come, Richard, by the divine permission, abbot of Peterborough and of the Convent of the same place, eternal greeting in the Lord: Let all know that we have manumitted and liberated from all yoke of servitude William, the son of Richard of Wythington, whom previously we have held as our born bondman, with his whole progeny and all his chattels, so that neither we nor our successors shall be able to require or exact any right or claim in the said William, his progeny, or his chattels. But the same William, with his whole progeny and all his chattels, shall remain free and quit and without disturbance, exaction, or any claim on the part of us or our successors by reason of any servitude forever.

We will, moreover, and concede that he and his heirs shall hold the messuages, land, rents, and meadows in Wythington which his ancestors held from us and our predecessors, by giving and performing the fine which is called merchet for giving his daughter in marriage, and tallage from year to year according to our will, - that he shall have and hold these for the future from us and our successors freely, quietly, peacefully, and hereditarily, by paying to us and our successors yearly 40s. sterling, at the four terms of the year, namely: at St. John the Baptist's day 10s., at Michaelmas 10s., at Christmas 10s., and at Easter 10s., for all service, exaction, custom, and secular demand; saving to us, nevertheless, attendance at our court of Castre every three weeks, wardship, and relief, and outside service of our lord the King, when they shall happen. And if it shall happen that the said William or his heirs shall die at any time without an heir, the said messuage, land rents, and meadows with their appurtenances shall return fully and completely to us and our successors. Nor will it be allowed to the said William or his heirs to give, sell, alienate, mortgage, or encumber in any way, the said messuage, land, rents, and meadows, or any part of them, by which the said messuage, land, rents, and meadows should not return to us and our successors in the form declared above. And if this should occur later, their deed shall be declared null, and what is thus alienated shall come to us and our successors…

Given at Borough, for the love of Lord Robert of good memory, once abbot, our predecessor and maternal uncle of the said William, and at the instance of the good man, Brother Hugh of Mutton, relative of the said abbot Robert, A.D. 1278, on the eve of Pentecost."

Villeins who were released from the manorial organization by commutation of their service for a money payment took the name of their craft as part of their name, such as, for the manufacture of textiles, Weaver, Draper, Comber, Fuller, Napper, Cissor, Tailor, Textor; for metal-work, Faber, Ironmonger; for leatherwork, Tanner; for woodwork, building and carpentry, Carpenter, Cooper, Mason, Pictor; for food-production, Baker, Pistor. Iron, tin, lead, salt, and even coal were providing increasing numbers of people with a livelihood.

Many new boroughs were founded as grants of market rights by the king grew in number. These grants implied the advantage of the King's protection. In fact, one flooded town was replaced with a new town planned with square blocks. It was the charter which distinguished the borough community from the other communities existing in the country. It invested each borough with a distinct character. The privileges which the charter conferred were different in different places. It might give trading privileges: freedom from toll, a guild merchant, a right to hold a fair. It might give jurisdictional privileges: a right to hold court with greater or less franchises. It might give governmental privileges: freedom from the burden of attending the hundred and county courts, the return of writs, which meant the right to exclude the royal officials, the right to take the profits of the borough, paying for them a fixed sum to the Crown or other lord of the borough, the right to elect their own officials rather than them being appointed by the king or a lord, and the right to provide for the government of the borough. It might give tenurial privileges: the power to make a will of lands, or freedom from the right of a lord to control his tenants' marriages. It might give procedural privileges: trial by combat is excluded, and trial by compurgation is secured and regulated. These medieval borough charters are very varied, and represent all stages of development and all grades of franchise. Boroughs bought increasing rights and freedoms from their lord, who was usually the King.

In the larger towns, where cathedrals and public building were built, there arose a system for teaching these technical skills and elaborate handicraft, wood, metal, stained glass, and stone work. A boy from the town would be bound over in apprenticeship to a particular craftsman, who supplied him with board and clothing. The craftsman might also employ men for just a day. These journeymen were not part of the craftsman's household as was the apprentice. After a few years of an apprenticeship, one became a journeyman and perfected his knowledge of his craft and its standards by seeing different methods and results in various towns. He was admitted as a master of his trade to a guild upon presenting an article of his work worthy of that guild's standard of workmanship: his "masterpiece". Women, usually wives of brethren only, could be admitted. The tailors' guild and the skinners' guild are extant now.

When guilds performed morality plays based on Bible stories at town festivals, there was usually a tie between the Bible story and the guild's craft. For instance, the story of the loaves and fishes would be performed by the Bakers' or Fishmongers' Guild. The theme of the morality play was the fight of the Seven Cardinal Virtues against the Seven Deadly Sins for the human soul, a life- long battle. The number seven was thought to have sacred power; there were seven sacraments, seven churches in the Biblical Apocalypse, seven liberal arts and seven devilish arts. The seven sacraments were: baptism, confirmation, Lord's Supper, penance, orders, matrimony, and extreme unction.

A borough was run by a mayor elected usually for life. By being members of a guild, merchant-traders and craftsmen acquired the legal status of burgesses and had the freedom of the borough. Each guild occupied a certain ward of the town headed by an alderman. The town aldermen, who were unpaid, made up the town council, which advised the mayor. The Mayor of London received 40 pounds for hospitality, but in small towns, 20s. sufficed. Often there were town police, bailiffs, beadles [messengers], a town crier, and a town clerk. London offices included recorder, prosecutor, common sergeant, and attorneys. In the center of town were the fine stone houses, a guildhall with a belfry-tower, and the marketplace - a square or broad street, where the town crier made public announcements with bell or horn. Here too was the ducking stool for scandalmongers and the stocks which held offenders by their legs and perhaps their hands to be scorned and pelted by bystanders with, for instance, rotten fruit and filth. No longer were towns dominated by the local landholders.

In London there were 4 royal princes, 6 great earls, 17 barons, 26 knights, and 11 female representatives of the peerage (counted in 1319). There was a wall with four towers surrounding the White Tower, and this castle was known as the Tower of London. Another wall and a moat were built around it and it has reached its final form. Hovels, shops, and waste patches alternated with high walls and imposing gateways protecting mansions. The mansions had orchards, gardens, stables, brewhouses, bakeries, guardrooms, and chapels. London streets were paved with cobbles and sand. Each citizen was to keep the street in front of his tenement in good repair. Later, each alderman appointed four reputable men to repair and clean the streets for wages. The repair of Bishopsgate was the responsibility of the Bishop because he received one stick from every cart of firewood passing through it. Rules as to tiled roofs were enforced. A 1297 ordinance required all taverns to close at curfew, an hour that fluctuated. Prostitutes were expelled from the city because the street with their bawdy houses had become very noisy. Women huckster-retailers, nurses, servants, and loose women were limited to wearing hoods furred with lambskin or rabbitskin and forbidden to wear hoods furred with vair or miniver [grey or white squirrel] in the guise of good ladies. An infirmary for the blind was founded by a mercer, who became its first prior.

The London mayoral elections were hotly fought over until in 1285, when the aldermen began to act with the aid of an elected council in each of the twenty-four wards, which decentralized the government of the city. Each ward chose certain of its inhabitants to be councilors to the aldermen. This council was to be consulted by him and its advice to be followed. In 1291, the aldermen for the first time included a fishmonger. The Fishmongers were the only guild at this time, besides the Weavers, which had acquired independent jurisdiction by the transfer of control of their weekly hall-mote from a public official to themselves. Craftsmen began to take other public offices too. By the reign of Edward II, all the citizens were obliged to be enrolled among the trade- guilds. A great quarrel between the weaver's guild and the magistracy began the control of the city by the craft guilds or city companies. Admission to freedom of the city [citizenship] was controlled by the citizens, who decided that no man of English birth, and especially no English merchant, who followed any specific mistery [French word for a calling or trade] or craft, was to be admitted to the freedom of the city except on the security of six reputable men of that mistery or craft. No longer could one simply purchase citizenship. Apprentices had to finish their terms before such admission, and often could not afford the citizenship fee imposed on them. Only freemen could sell wares in the city, a custom of at least two hundred years.

As economic activity in London became more complex and on a larger scale in the 1200s, some craftsmen were brought under the control of other crafts or merchants. The bakers fell under the control of the wholesale grain dealers; the weavers became pieceworkers for rich cloth merchants; the blade-makers and shearers were employed by cutlers; coppersmiths were controlled by girdlers; fullers were controlled by entrepreneurial dyers; and the painters, joiners, and lorimers were controlled by the saddlers. Guilds moved their meeting places from churches, which were now too small, to guild halls. The controlling officers of the large guilds met at the Guildhall, which became the seat of mayoral authority. London streets in existence by this time include Cordwainer, Silver, Cannon (Candlewick), and Roper. Lanes included Ironmonger, Soper, Spurrier, Lad (ladles), Distaff, Needles, Mede, Limeburner, and Hosier. Fighting among groups was common in London. There was a street fight on a large scale in 1327 between the saddlers and a coalition of joiners, painters, and lorimers (makers of metal work of saddles). Much blood was shed in the street battle between the skinners and the fishmongers in 1340. There was a city ordinance that no one except royal attendants, baronial valets, and city officials were to go about armed. Disputes among neighbors that were brought to court included the use and upkeep of party walls, blocked and overflowing gutters, cesspits too close to a neighbor's property, noisy tenants, loss of light, and dangerous or overhanging structures.

In 1275, a goldsmith was chief assay-master of the King's mint and keeper of the exchange at London. The king gave the Goldsmiths' Company the right of assay [determination of the quantity of gold or silver in an object] and required that no vessels of gold or silver should leave the maker's hands until they had been tested by the wardens and stamped appropriately. In 1279, goldsmith William Farrington bought the soke of the ward containing the goldsmiths' shops. It remained in his family for 80 years. A patent of 1327 empowered the guild to elect a properly qualified governing body to superintend its affairs, and reform subjects of just complaint. It also prescribed, as a safeguard against a prevailing fraud and abuse, that all members of the trade should have their standing in Cheapside or in the King's exchange, and that no gold or silver should be manufactured for export, except that which had been bought at the exchange or of the trade openly.

Some prices in London were: large wooden bedstead 18s., a small bedstead 2s., a large chest for household items 2s., feather beds 2-3s., a table 1s., a chair 4-6d., cloth gown lined with fur 13- 20s., plain coats and overcoats 2-8s., caps 2-8d., a pair of pen- cases with inkhorn 4d., a skin of parchment 1d., 24 sheets of paper 6d, a carcass of beef 15s., a pig 4s., a swan 5s., and a pheasant 4s. There was a problem with malefactors committing offenses in London and avoiding its jurisdiction by escaping to Southwark across the Thames. So Southwark was given a royal charter which put it under the jurisdiction of London for peace and order matters and allowed London to appoint its tax collector. London forbade games being played because they had replaced practice in archery, which was necessary for defense.

A royal inquiry into the state of the currency indicated much falsification and coin-clipping by the Jews and others. About 280 Jews and many Englishmen were found guilty and hanged. The rest of the Jews, about 16,000, were expelled in 1290. This was popular with the public because of the abuses of usury. There had been outbreaks of violence directed at the Jews since about 1140. The king used Italian bankers instead because he thought them more equitable in their dealings. The lepers were driven out of London in 1276. Exports and imports were no longer a tiny margin in an economy just above the subsistence level. Exports were primarily raw wool and cloth, but also grain, butter, eggs, herring, hides, leather goods such as bottles and boots, embroideries, metalware, horseshoes, daggers, tin, coal, and lead. Imported were wine, silk, timber, furs, rubies, emeralds, fruits, raisins, currents, pepper, ginger, cloves, rice, cordovan leather, pitch, hemp, spars, fine iron, short rods of steel, bow-staves of yew, tar, oil, salt, cotton (for candle-wicks), and alum (makes dyes hold). Ships which transported them had one or two masts upon which sails could be furled, the recently invented rudder, and a carrying capacity of up to 200 tuns [about one ton]. Many duties of sheriffs and coroners were transferred to county landholders by commissions. In coastal counties, there were such commissions for supervising coastal defense and maintaining the beacons. Each maritime county maintained a coast guard, which was under the command of a knight. Ports had well-maintained harbors, quays, and streets. By 1306 there was an office of admiral of the fleet of the ships of the southern ports.

Women could inherit land in certain circumstances. Some tenants holding land in chief of the king were women.

Regulation of trade became national instead of local. Trade was relatively free; almost the only internal transportation tolls were petty portages and viages levied to recoup the expense of a bridge or road which had been built by private enterprise. Responsibility for the coinage was transferred from the individual moneyers working in different boroughs to a central official who was to become Master of the Mint. The round half penny and farthing [1/4 penny] were created so that the penny needn't be cut into halves and quarters anymore.

Edward I called meetings of representatives from all social and geographic sectors of the nation at one Parliament to determine taxes due to the Crown. He declared that "what touches all, should be approved by all". He wanted taxes from the burgesses in the towns and the clergy's ecclesiastical property as well as from landholders. He argued to the clergy that if barons had to both fight and pay, they who could do no fighting must at least pay. When the clergy refused to pay, he put them outside the royal protection and threatened outlawry and confiscation of their lands. Then they agreed to pay and to renounce all papal orders contrary to the King's authority.

The Model Parliament of 1295 was composed of the three communities. The first were the lords, which included seven earls and forty-one barons. Because of the increase of lesser barons due to a long national peace and prosperity, the lords attending were reduced in numbers and peerage became dependent not on land tenure, but on royal writ of summons. The great barons were chosen by the king and received a special summons in their own names to the council or Parliament. Others were called by a general summons. The second community was the clergy, represented by the two archbishops, bishops from each of eighteen dioceses, and sixty-seven abbots. The third community was the commons. It was composed of two knights elected by the suitors who were then present at the county court, two burgesses elected by principal burgesses of each borough, and two representatives from each city. The country knights had a natural affinity with the towns in part because their younger sons sought their occupation, wife, and estate there. Also, great lords recruited younger brothers of yeoman families for servants and fighting men, who ultimately settled down as tradesmen in the towns. The country people and the town people also had a community of interest by both being encompassed by the county courts. The peasants were not represented in the county courts nor in Parliament. One had to have land to be entitled to vote because the landowner had a stake in the country, a material security for his good behavior.

Parliaments without knights and burgesses still met with the king. But it was understood that no extraordinary tax could be levied without the knights and burgesses present. Ordinary taxes could be arranged with individuals, estates, or communities. The lower clergy ceased to attend Parliament and instead considered taxes to pay to the king during their national church convocations, which were held at the same time as Parliament. For collection purposes, their diocesan synod was analogous to the count court. The higher clergy remained in Parliament because they were feudal vassals of the king.

Edward's council was the highest tribunal. It comprised the chancellor, treasurer and other great officers of state, the justices of the three courts, the master or chief clerks of the chancery, and certain selected prelates and barons. The council assisted the king in considering petitions. Most petitions to the King were private grievances of individuals, including people of no social rank, such as prisoners. Other petitions were from communities and groups, such as religious houses, the two universities, boroughs, and counties. These groups sometimes formed alliances in a common cause. Women sometimes petitioned. From 1293, the petitions were placed in four stacks for examination by the King and council, by the Chancery, by the Exchequer, or by the justices. Many hours were spent hearing and answering petitions. From 1305, the petitions were presented to the king in full Parliament.

The king still exercised the power of legislation without a full Parliament. He might in his council issue proclamations. The Chief Justices still had, as members of the king's council, a real voice in the making of laws. The king and his justices might, after a statute has been made, put an authoritative interpretation upon it. Royal proclamations had the same force as statutes while the king lived; sometimes there were demands that certain proclamations be made perpetual by being embodied in statutes, e.g. fixing wages. There was no convention that agreement or even the presence of representatives was required for legislation. The idea that the present can bind the absent and that the majority of those present may outvote the minority was beginning to take hold. Edward I's councilors and justices took an oath to give, expedite, and execute faithful counsel; to maintain, recover, increase, and prevent the diminution of, royal rights; to do justice, honestly and unsparingly; to join in no engagements which may present the councilor from fulfilling his promise; and to take no gifts in the administration of justice, save meat and drink for the day. These were in addition to other matters sworn to by the councilors.

Parliament soon was required to meet at least once a year at the Great Hall at Westminster beside the royal palace. London paid its representatives 10s. per day for their attendance at Parliament. From the time of Edward II, the counties paid their knight- representatives 4s. daily, and the boroughs paid their burgess- representatives 2s. daily. When it convened, the Chancellor sat on the left and the Archbishop of Canterbury on the right of the king. Just below and in front of the king his council sits on wool sacks brought in for their comfort from wool stored nearby. It answers questions. Behind them on the wool sacks sit the justices, who may be called upon to give legal advice, e.g. in framing statutes. Then come the spiritual and lay barons, then the knights, and lastly the elected burgesses and citizens. Lawmaking is now a function of Parliament, of which the King's council is a part, instead of a function of the king with his council and justices. The common people now had a voice in law-making, though legislation could be passed without their consent. The first legislation proposed by the commons was alteration of the forest laws governing the royal pleasure parks. Such a statute was passed in a bargain for taxes of a percentage of all movables, which were mostly foodstuffs and animals. The king offered to give up the royal right to tax merchandise for a new tax: customs on exports. The barons and knights of the county agreed to pay an 11th, the burgesses, a 7th, and the clergy a 10th on their other movables. In time, several boroughs sought to be included in the county representation so they could pay the lower rate. This new system of taxation began the decline of the imposition of feudal aids, knights' fees, scutages, carucage, and tallage, which had been negotiated by the Exchequer with the reeves of each town, the sheriff and county courts of each county, and the bishops of each diocese.

The staple [depot or mart, from the French "estaple"] system began when the export of wool had increased and Parliament initiated customs duties of 6s.8d. on every sack of wool, woolfells [sheepskin with wool still on it], or skins exported in 1275. These goods had to be assessed and collected at certain designated ports. Certain large wool merchants, the merchants of the staple, were allowed to have a monopoly on the purchase and export of wool. Imports of wine were taxed as tunnage as before, that is there was a royal right to take from each wine ship one cask for every ten at the price of 20s. per cask.

In 1297, Edward I confirmed the Magna Carta and other items. Judgments contrary to Magna Carta were nullified. The documents were to be read in cathedral churches as grants of Edward and all violators were to be excommunicated. He also agreed not to impose taxes without the consent of Parliament after baronial pressure had forced him to retreat from trying to increase, for a war in France, the customs tax on every exported sack of wool to 40s. from the 6s. 8d. per sack it had been since 1275. The customs tax was finally fixed at 10s. for every sack of wool, 2s. for each tun [casket] of wine, and 6d. for every pound's worth of other goods. The "tenths and fifteenths" tax levied on income from movables or chattels became regular every year. Edward also confirmed the Forest Charter, which called for its earlier boundaries. And he agreed not to impound any grain or wool or and like against the will of the owners, as had been done before to collect taxes. Also, the special prises or requisitions of goods for national emergency were not to be a precedent. Lastly, he agreed not to impose penalties on two earls and their supporters for refusing to serve in the war in France when the king did not go.

From 1299, statutes were recorded in a Statute Roll as they were enacted.

By the end of the 1200s, the King's wardrobe, where confidential matters such as military affairs were discussed in his bedroom, became a department of state with the King's privy seal. The keeper of the privy seal was established as a new office by Edward I in 1318. The wardrobe paid and provisioned the knights, squires, and sergeants of the king and was composed mostly of civil servants. It traveled with the King. The Crown's treasure, plate, tents, hangings, beds, cooking-utensils, wine, and legal and financial rolls were carried on pack horses or in two-wheeled carts drawn by oxen, donkeys, or dogs. The people in the entourage rode horses or walked. The other two specialized administrative bodies were the Exchequer, which received most of the royal revenue and kept accounts at Westminster, and the Chancery, which wrote royal writs, charters, and letters, and kept records.

The chief functions of administration in the 1300s were performed by the council, chancery, wardrobe, chamber [room off wardrobe for dressing and for storage], and exchequer. Many of the chancellors had come from the wardrobe and chamber. In time, the chancellor ceased to be a part of the king's personal retinue and to follow the court. The chancery became primarily a department of central administration rather than a secretarieat and record-keeping part of the royal household. The king used a privy seal to issue directives to the chancery. Edward III made some merchants earls and appointed them to be his ministers. He did not summon anyone to his council who did not have the confidence of the magnates [barons, earls, bishops, and abbots].

There was a recoinage due to debasement of the old coinage. This increased the number of coins in circulation. The price of wheat went from about 7s. in 1270 to about 5s. per quarter in 1280. Also the price of an ox went from 14s. to 10s. Then there were broad movements of prices, within which there were wide fluctuations, largely due to the state of the harvest. From 1280 to 1290, there was runaway inflation. In some places, both grain and livestock prices almost doubled between 1305 and 1310. Wheat prices peaked at 15s.5d. a quarter in the famine year of 1316. In 1338, prices dropped and remained low for twenty years. The poor were hurt by high prices and the lords of the manors were hurt by low prices.

As before, inadequate care and ignorance of nutrition caused many infant deaths. Accidents and disease were so prevalent that death was always near and life insecure. Many women died in childbirth.

In the 1300s, there were extremes of fashion in men's and women's clothing including tight garments, pendant sleeves down to the ground, coats so short they didn't reach the hips or so long they reached the heels, hoods so small they couldn't cover the head, and shoes with long curved peaks like claws at the toes. Both men and women wore belts low on the hips. The skirt of a lady's tunic was fuller and the bodice more closely fitted than before. Her hair was usually elaborately done up, e.g. with long curls or curled braids on either side of the face. A jeweled circlet was often worn around her head. Ladies wore on their arms or belts, cloth handbags, which usually contained toiletries, such as combs made of ivory, horn, bone, or wood, and perhaps a little book of devotions. A man wore a knife and a bag on his belt. Some women painted their faces and/or colored their hair. There were hand- held glass mirrors. Some people kept dogs purely as pets.

There was a great development of heraldic splendor with for instance, crests, coat-armor, badges, pennons [long, triangular flag], and helmets. They descended through families. Not only was it a mark of service to wear the badge of a lord, but lords wore each other's badges by way of compliment.

Edward I always sought the agreement of Parliament before assembling an army or taking actions of war, and Parliamentary consent came to be expected for such. He completed the conquest and annexation of Wales in 1284. The feudal army was summoned for the last time in the 100 year war with France, which began in 1337. In it the English longbow was used to pierce French knights' armor. There had been much competition between the strength of arrows to pierce and the heaviness of armor to resist. Guns and cannon with gunpowder were introduced in 1338. A system to raise an army by contract was developed. Contracts were made with nobles, knights, or esquires who undertook to enlist an agreed number of armored men-at-arms and archers, who were paid wages. The King provided transport for each contractor and his retinue, baggage, and horses. The title of "knight" now resumed its military character as well as being a social rank.

After Edward I died in 1307, there was a period of general lawlessness and contests for power between earls and barons and the irresponsible King Edward II, who was not a warrior king. He eventually was assassinated. Also in 1307, Parliament required the king to obtain its consent for any exchange or alteration of the currency.

By 1319, the guilds of London had become so powerful that they extracted a charter from the king that to be a citizen of London one had to be a member of a guild.

By 1326, scholars, the nobility, and the clergy had reading eyeglasses, which had been invented in Italy, probably by the glass blowers. Italy was famous for its glasswork. The first eyeglasses were fabricated by pouring molten glass into curved molds. The actual shape was difficult to control because thermal expansion and contraction resulted in bubbles and other optical imperfections.

As of 1336, importing foreign cloth or fur, except for use by the
King's family, was prohibited, as was the export of unwoven wool.
Later, this was relaxed and a customs tax of 33% was imposed on
wool exported.

Foreign cloth-workers were allowed by statute to come to live in the nation, be granted franchises, and be in the King's protection. But no cloth was to be exported until it was fulled. During the reign of Edward III, Flanders weavers were encouraged to come to England to teach the English how to weave and finish fine cloth. A cloth industry grew with all the manufacturing processes under the supervision of one capitalist manufacturer, who set up his enterprise in the country to avoid the regulations of the towns. The best places were hilly areas where there were many streams and good pasture for flocks of sheep. He hired shearers to cut the nap as short as possible to give a smooth surface, then spinsters to card and spin the wool in their country cottages, then weavers, and then fullers and dyers to come to fulling mills established near streams for their waterpower. Fulling became mechanized as heavy wooden hammers run by water- power replaced feet trampling the cloth covered with soap or fuller's clay. The shaft loom was a technological advance in weaving. This loom was horizontal and its frames, which controlled the lifting of the warp threads, could each be raised by a foot treadle. This left both hands free to throw and catch the shuttle attached to the weft thread from side to side through the warp. Also many more weaving patterns became possible through the use of different thread configurations on the frames.

In 1341, the commons forced King Edward III and council to approve their petition when Parliament was still in session so that they would draft the legislation in true accordance with the petition. This had not been done when drafting had been done after Parliament ended, when the phrase "saving the prerogatives of the king" was often added. Also the lords and commons consulted each other and joined in petitions. But they usually stated their conclusions to the king separately. It was considered a burden rather than a privilege to attend Parliament and elections for such were not often contested. They were conducted according to local custom until 1600.

In 1348, the Commons voted a tax of 1/15th on moveables for three years with the proviso that it be spent only on the war against Scotland. This began the practice of appropriation of funds. In 1381, began the practice of appointing treasurers of the subsidies to account to Parliament for both receipts and disbursements.

Alien merchants wree under the king's special protection. In return for paying extra import and export duties, Edward III gave alien merchants full rights of trade, travel, and residence in England free of all local tolls and restrictions, and guaranteed a fair hearing of their commercial and criminal cases in special pie powder (after French "pie poudrous" or dusty feet) courts at fairs.

- The Law -

Edward I remodeled the law in response to grievances and to problems which came up in the courts. The changes improved the efficiency of justice and served to accommodate it to the changing circumstances of the social system. These statutes were:

"No man by force of arms, malice or menacing shall disturb anyone in making free election [of sheriffs, coroners, conservators of the peace by freeholders of the county]."

"No city, borough, town, nor man shall be amerced without reasonable cause and according to the severity of his trespass. That is, every freeman saving his freehold, a merchant saving his merchandise, a villein saving his waynage [implements of agriculture], and that by his peers."

No distress shall be taken of ploughing-cattle or sheep.

Young salmon shall not be taken from waters in the spring.

No loan shall be made for interest.

If an heir who is a minor is married off without the consent of the guardian, the value of the marriage will be lost and the wrongdoer imprisoned. If anyone marries off an heir over 14 years of age without the consent of the guardian, the guardian shall have double the value of the marriage. Moreover, anyone who has withdrawn a marriage shall pay the full value thereof to the guardian for the trespass and make amends to the King. And if a lord refuses to marry off a female heir of full age and keep her unmarried because he covets the land, then he shall not have her lands more than two years after she reaches full age, at which time she can recover her inheritance without giving anything for the wardship or her marriage. However, if she maliciously refuses to be married by her lord, he may hold her land and inheritance until she is the age of a male heir, that is, 21 years old and further until he has taken the value of the marriage.

Aid to make one's son a knight or marry off his daughter of a whole knight's fee shall be taken 20s., and 400s.[yearly income from] land held in socage 20s. [5%], and of more, more; and of less, less; after the rate. And none shall levy such aid to make his son a knight until his son is 15 years old, nor to marry his daughter until she is seven year old.

A conveyance of land which is the inheritance of a minor child by his guardian or lord to another is void.

Dower shall not abate because the widow has received dower of another man unless part of the first dower received was of the same tenant and in the same town. But a woman who leaves her husband for another man is barred from dower.

A tenant for a term of years who has let land from a landlord shall not let it lie waste, nor shall a landlord attempt to oust a tenant for a term of years by fictitious recoveries.

When two or more hold wood, turfland, or fishing or other such thing in common, wherein none knows his several, and one does waste against the minds of the others, he may be sued.

Lands which are given to a man and his wife upon condition that if they die without heirs, the land shall revert to the donor or his heir, may not be alienated to defeat this condition.

If a man takes land in marriage with a wife, and she dies before him, the land will revert to the donor or his heir, unless the couple has a child, in which case the husband will have the land by the courtesy of the nation for his life before it reverts to the donor or his heir.

The ecclesiastical law had a doctrine for women-covert, i.e. women under the protection or coverture of a husband. It held that chattels of a woman who married vested in her husband, but he could not dispose of them by will. Her jewelry, but not her apparel, could go to his creditors if his assets didn't cover his debts. If she was a merchant when she married, she could still sell her goods in the open market. The husband also had the right to the rents and profits from his wife's real estate, but not the real estate itself, unless by the birth of a child he became tenant for life by courtesy. Only the father, but not the mother had authority over their children. A father had a right to his child's services, and could sue a third party for abducting, enticing away, or injuring the child, just as he could for his servants. A husband was liable for the debts of his wife, even if incurred before the marriage. He was answerable for her torts and trespasses, except for battery. For this reason, he was allowed to chastise her, restrain her liberty for gross misbehavior, and punish her by beating for some misdemeanors. But the courts would protect her from death, serious bodily harm, or his failure to supply her the necessities of life. Promises under oath were not recognized for married women. A conveyance or agreement of a married woman was void. These principles held only if she was under the protection of her husband, i.e. a woman-covert, and not if they lived separately, for instance if he went to sea. If separated, she had a right to alimony from him to maintain herself.

A free tenant may alienate his land freely, but if the alienation was for an estate in fee simple [to a man and his heirs], the person acquiring the land would hold of the land's lord and not of the person alienating the land. (This halted the growth of subinfeudation and caused services as well as incidents of aids, relief, escheat, wardship, and marriage to go directly to the Chief Lord. It also advantaged the Crown as overlord, which then acquired more direct tenants.)

One may create an estate which will descend in unbroken succession down the line of inheritance prescribed in the original gift as long as that line should last, instead of descending to all heirs. This was called a fee simple conditional holding of land. The successive occupants might draw the rents and cut the wood, but on the death of each, his heir would take possession of an unencumbered interest, unfettered by any liability for the debt of his ancestor or by any disposition made by him during his lifetime e.g. a wife's estate in dower or a husband's estate in courtesy. If there was no issue, it reverted to the original donor. (This curtailed the advantage of tenants of the greater barons who profited by increased wardships and reliefs from subinfeudation from subdivision and better cultivation of their land while still paying the greater barons fixed sums. This statute that protected reversionary estates incidentally established a system of entails. This new manner of holding land: "fee tail", is in addition to the concepts of land held in fee simple (i.e. with no subdivisions) and land held for life. No grantee or his heirs could alienate the land held in fee tail. The donor could give directions that the land could remain to another person rather than reverting to himself. (Interests in remainder or reversion of estates in land replace the lord's tenurial right to succeed to land by escheat if his tenant dies without heirs.)

In Kent, all men are free and may give or sell their lands without permission of their lords, as before the Conquest. (Since Kent was nearest the continent, money flowed between England and the continent through Kent. So Kent never developed a manorial system of land holding, but evolved from a system of clans and independent villages directly into a commercial system.

Anyone disseising another whereby he also robs him or uses force and arms in the disseisin shall be imprisoned and fined. The plaintiff shall recover seisin and damages.

"All must be ready at the command and summons of sheriffs, and at the cry of the country, to sue and arrest felons as necessary as well within franchise as without." Otherwise, he shall be fined. A Lord defaulting shall lose his franchise to the King. A Bailiff defaulting shall be imprisoned a year as well as fined, or be imprisoned two years if he cannot pay the fine. A sheriff, coroner, or any other bailiff who conceals a felony will be imprisoned for a year and pay a fine, or be imprisoned for three years if he cannot pay the fine.

Villeins must report felons, pursue felons, serve in the watch, and clear growth of concealing underwood from roads. They must join the military to fight on the borders when called. Desertion from the army is punishable.

Accessories to a crime shall not be declared outlaw before the principal is proven guilty. (This made uniform the practice of the various counties.)

Only those imprisoned for the smaller offenses of a single incidence of petty larceny, receipt of felons, or accessory to a felony, or some other trespass not punishable by life or limb shall be let out by sufficient surety. Prisoners who were outlawed or escaped from prison or are notorious thieves or were imprisoned for felonious house burning, passing false money, counterfeiting the King's seal, treason touching the king himself, or other major offenses or have been excommunicated by the church may not be released.

Killing in self-defense and by mischance shall be pardoned from the King's indictment. Killing by a child or a person of unsound mind shall be pardoned from the King's indictment. (But a private accuser can still sue.)

Any man who ravishes [abducts] any woman without her consent or by force shall have the criminal penalty of loss of life or limb. (The criminal penalty used to be just two years in prison.)

Trespasses in parks or ponds shall be punished by imprisonment for three years and a fine as well as paying damages to the wronged person. After his imprisonment, he shall find a surety or leave the nation.

"Forasmuch as there have been often times found in the country devisors of tales, where discord, or occasion of discord, has many times arisen between the King and his people, or great men of this realm; For the damage that has and may thereof ensue, it is commanded, that from henceforth none be so hardy to tell or publish any false news or tales, whereby discord or occasion of discord or slander may grow between the King and his people, or the great men of the realm." Anyone doing so shall be imprisoned until he brings into the court the first author of the tale.

A system of registration and enforcement of commercial agreements was established by statute. Merchants could obtain a writing of a debt sealed by the debtor and authenticated by royal seal or a seal of a mayor of certain towns, and kept by the creditor. Failure to pay a such a debt was punishable by imprisonment and, after three months, the selling of borough tenements and chattels and of county lands. During the three months, the merchant held this property in a new tenure of "statute merchant". (Prior to this, it was difficult for a foreign merchant to collect a debt because he could not appear in court which did not recognize him as one of its proper "suitors" or constituents, so he had to trust a local attorney. Also, the remedy was inadequate because the history of the law of debt was based on debt as a substitute for the blood feud, so that failure to pay meant slavery or death. Also a debtor's land was protected by feudal custom, which was contrary to the idea of imposing a new tenant on a lord.)

"In no city, borough, town, market, or fair shall a person of the realm be distrained for a debt for which he is not the debtor or pledge."

Anyone making those passing with goods through their jurisdiction answer to them in excess of their jurisdiction shall be grievously amerced to the King.

No market town shall take an outrageous toll contrary to the common custom of the nation.

Since good sterling money has been counterfeited with base and false metal outside the nation and then brought in, foreigners found in the nation's ports with this false money shall forfeit their lives. Anyone bringing money into the nation must have it examined at his port of entry. Payments of money shall be made only by coin of the appropriate weight delivered by the Warden of the Exchange and marked with the King's mark. (A currency exchange was established at Dover for the exchange of foreign currency for English sterling.)

The silver in craftwork must be sterling and marked with the Leopard's Head. The gold in craftwork must meet the standard of the Touch of Paris.

The assize of bread and ale had been and was enforced locally by local inspectors. Now, the Crown appointed royal officers for the gauge of wines and measurement of cloths. Edicts disallowed middlemen from raising prices against consumers by such practices as forestalling [intercepting goods before they reached the market and then reselling them] or engrossing [buying a large supply of a commodity to drive up the price] and price regulation was attempted. For instance, prices were set for poultry and lamb, in a period of plenty. Maximum prices were set for cattle, pigs, sheep, poultry, and eggs in 1314, but these prices were hard to enforce. In London examples of prices set are: best hen 3d.2q., best wild goose 4d., best hare 4d., best kid 10d., best lamb 4d., best fresh herrings 12 for 1d., best pickled herrings 20 for 1d., best haddock 2d., best fresh salmon 3s.

Freemen may drive their swine through the King's demesne Forest to feed in their own woods or elsewhere. No man shall lose his life or limb for killing deer in the Forest, but instead shall be grievously fined or imprisoned for a year.

The Forest Charter allowed a man to cut down and take wood from his own woods in the King's forest to repair his house, fences, and hedges. He may also enclose his woods in the King's forest with fences and hedges to grow new trees and keep cattle and beasts therefrom. After seven years growth of these new trees, he may cut them down for sale with the King's permission.

Each borough has its own civil and criminal ordinances and police jurisdiction. Borough courts tended to deal with more laws than other local courts because of the borough's denser populations, which were composed of merchants, manufacturers, and traders, as well as those engaged in agriculture. Only borough courts have jurisdiction over fairs. In some boroughs the villein who resides for a year and a day becomes free. There are special ordinances relating to apprentices. There are sometimes ordinances against enticing away servants bound by agreement to serve another. The wife who is a trader is regarded in many places as a feme sole [single woman rather than a feme covert [woman-covert], who was under the protection of a husband]. There may be special ordinances as to the liability of masters for the acts of their apprentices and agents, or as to brokers, debt, or earnest money binding a bargain. The criminal and police jurisdiction in the borough was organized upon the same model as in the country at large, and was controlled by the King's courts upon similar principles, though there are some survivals of old rules, such as mention of the bot and the wer. The crimes committed are similar to those of the country, such as violence, breaches of the assize of bread and beer, stirring up suits before the ecclesiastical courts, digging up or obstructing the highway, not being enrolled in a tithing, encroachments upon or obstructions of rights of common. The most striking difference with the country at large are the ordinances on the repair or demolition of buildings, encroachments on another's building, fires, and nuisances. Specimens of other characteristic urban disputes are: selling bad food, using bad materials, unskillful or careless workmanship, fraudulent weights and measures, fraud in buying and selling, forestalling or regrating [buying in one market to resell in another market], acting in a way likely to endanger the liberties of the borough, usury, trading without being a citizen, assisting other unlicensed persons to trade, unlawfully forming a guild, complaints against various guilds in which trade might be organized. Since the ordinances were always liable to be called in question before the King's courts, they tended to become uniform and in harmony with the principles of the common law. Also, trading between boroughs kept them knowledgeable about each other's customs and conditions for trade, which then tended to standardize. Boroughs often had seals to prove communal consent and tended to act as a corporate body.

Borough ordinances often include arson such as this one: "And if a street be set on fire by any one, his body shall be attached and cast into the midst of the fire." Robbery by the miller was specially treated by an ordinance that "And if the miller be attainted [found guilty] of robbery of the grain or of the flour to the amount of 4d., he shall be hanged from the beam in his mill."

In London, an ordinance prescribed for bakers for the first offense of making false bread a forfeiture of that bread. For the second offense was prescribed imprisonment, and for the third offense placement in the pillory. A London ordinance for millers who caused bread to be false prescribed for them to be carried in a tumbrel cart through certain streets, exposed to the derision of the people.

By statute, no one may make a gift or alienation of land to the church. An attempt to do so will cause the land to escheat to the lord, or in his default, to the King. Religious houses may not alienate land given to them by the king or other patrons because such gifts were for the sake of someone's soul. An attempt to do so will cause the land to revert to the donor or his heir. If the church did not say the prayers or do the other actions for which land was given to it, the land will revert to the donor or his heir. Land may not be alienated to religious bodies in such a way that it would cease to render its due service to the King. (The church never died, never married, and never had children.) The church shall send no money out of the nation. (This statute of mortmain was neutralized by collusive lawsuits in which the intended grantor would sue the intended grantee claiming superior title and then would default, surrendering the land to the intended grantee by court judgment.)

"Concerning wrecks of the sea, where a man, a dog, or a cat escape alive out of the ship, that such ship nor barge nor anything within them shall be deemed wreck, but the goods shall be saved and kept by view of the Sheriff, Coroner, or the King's Bailiff". If anyone proves the goods were his within a year and a day, they shall be restored to him without delay. Otherwise, they shall be kept by the King. "And where wreck belongs to one other than the King, he shall have it in like manner". If he does otherwise, he shall be imprisoned and pay damages and fine.

Some statutes applied only to Kent County, which had a unique position between London and the continent. One could sell or give away his land without the consent of one's lord. The services of the land, however, could only be sold to the chief lord. Inheritance of land was to all sons by equal portions, and if there were no sons, then to all daughters in equal portions. The eldest brother has his choice of portion, then the next oldest, etc. The goods of a deceased person were divided into three parts after his funeral expenses and debts were paid. One third went to the surviving spouse. One third went to the deceased's sons and daughters. One third could be disposed by will of the decedent. If there were no children, one half went to the spouse and one half went according to will. If an heir was under 15 years old, his next of kin to whom inheritance could not descend was to be his guardian. A wife who remarried or bore a child lost her dower land. A husband lost his dower if he remarried. If a tenant withheld rent or services, his lord could seek award of court to find distress on his tenement and if he could find none, he could take the tenement for a year and a day in his hands without manuring it. It the tenant paid up in this time, he got the tenement back. If he didn't within a year and a day, however, the lord could manure the land. A felon forfeited his life and his goods, but not his lands or tenements. A wife of a felon had the dower of one half or her husband's lands and tenements.

The common law recognized the tort of false imprisonment if a man arrested as a felon, a person who was not a felon.

- Judicial Procedure -

The writ of Quo Warranto [by what right] is created, by which all landholders exercising jurisdictions must bring their ancestors' charters before a traveling justice for the Common Pleas for examination and interpretation as to whether they were going beyond their charters and infringing upon the jurisdiction of the Royal Court. As a result, many manor courts were confined to manorial matters and could no longer view frankpledge or hear criminal cases, which were reserved for the royal courts. In the manor courts which retained criminal jurisdiction, there was a reassertion of the obligation to have present a royal coroner, whose duty it was to see that royal rights were not infringed and that the goods of felons were given to the Crown and not kept by the lords.

The supreme court was the king and his council in Parliament. It heard the most important causes, important because they concern the king, or because they concern very great men (e.g.treason), or because they involve grave questions of public law, or because they are unprecedented. It has large, indefinite powers and provides new remedies for new wrongs. The office of great justiciar disappears and the chancellor becomes the head of the council. After the council were the royal courts of the King's Bench, Common Pleas, and the Exchequer, which had become separate, each with its own justices and records. The Court of Common Pleas had its own Chief Justice and usually met at Westminster. This disadvantaged the small farmer, who would have to travel to Westminster to present a case. The King's Council maintained a close connection with the Court of the King's Bench, which heard criminal cases and appeals from the Court of Common Pleas. It traveled with the King. There were many trespass cases so heard by it in the reign of Edward I. The King's Council did a great deal of justice, for the more part criminal justice. It was supported by the populace because it dealt promptly and summarily with rebellion or some scandalous acquittal of a notorious criminal by bribed or partial jurors, and thereby prevented anarchy. Its procedure was to send for the accused and compel him to answer upon oath written interrogatories. Affidavits were then sworn upon both sides. With written depositions before them, the Lords of the council, without any jury, acquit or convict. Fines and imprisonments were meted out to rioters, conspirators, bribers, and perjured jurors. No loss of life or limb occurred because there had been no jury.

In criminal cases, witnesses acquainted with particular facts were added to the general assize of twelve men from each hundred and four men from each town. The assize then bifurcated into the grand jury of twelve to twenty-four men and the petty jury or jury of verdict of twelve men, which replaced ordeal, compurgation, and trial by combat as the method of finding the truth. The men of the petty jury as well as those of the grand jury were expected to know or to acquaint themselves with the facts of the cases. The men of the petty jury tended to be the same men who were on the grand jury.

Felony included such crimes as homicide, arson, rape, robbery, burglary, and larceny. Murder still meant secret homicide. Burglary was an offense committed in times of peace and consisted of breaking into churches, houses, and into the walls and gates of villages and boroughs. These six offenses could be prosecuted by indictment or private accusation by an individual. The penalties involved loss of life or limb or outlawry; a felon's goods were confiscated by the crown and his land was forfeited to the crown for a year and a day, after which it escheated to the felon's lord. The peace of the king now did not die with the king, but renewed automatically without an interval before the inauguration of a new king.

Notorious felons who would not consent or put themselves on inquests for felonies with which they were charged at royal courts were put in strong and hard imprisonment to persuade them to accept trial by assize. This inducement progressed into being loaded with heavy chains and placed on the ground in the worst part of the prison and being fed a only little water one day and a little bread the next. Sometimes pieces of iron or stones were placed one another onto their prone bodies to persuade them to plead. This then developed into being loaded with as much iron as could be borne, and finally into being pressed to death ["peine forte et dure"]. Many of these men chose to die by this pressing so that their families could inherit their property, which would have been forfeited if they had been convicted of serious crimes.

The most common cases in the Court of Common Pleas were "detinue" [wrongful detention of a good or chattel which had been loaned, rented, or left for safe-keeping with a "bailee", but belonged to the plaintiff], "debt" [for money due from a sale, for money loaned, for rent upon a lease for years, from a surety, promised in a sealed document, or due to arbitrators to whom a dispute had been submitted] and "account" [e.g. against bailiffs of manors, a guardian in socage, and partners]. It also heard estovers of wood, profit by gathering nuts, acorns, and other fruits in wood, corody [allowance of food], yearly delivery of grain, toll, tunnage, passage, keeping of parks, woods, forests, chases, warrens, gates, and other bailiwicks, and offices in fee.

The itinerant justices gradually ceased to perform administrative duties on their journeys because landed society had objected to their intrusiveness. Edward I substituted regular visitations of justices of assize for the irregular journeys of the itinerant justices. Each one of four circuits had two justices of assize. From about 1299, these justices of assize heard cases of gaol delivery. Their jurisdiction expanded to include serious criminal cases and breach of the king's peace.

Breaches of the forest charter laws were determined by justices of the King's forest, parks, and chases, along with men of assize.

Coroners' inquest procedures were delineated by statute and included describing in detail in the coroner's rolls every wound of a dead body, how many may be culpable, and people claiming to have found treasure who might be suspects.

The precedent for punishment for treason was established by the conviction of a knight, David ab Gruffydd, who had turned traitor to the Welsh enemy, after fighting with Edward and being rewarded with land, during the conquest of Wales. He had plotted to kill the King. He was found guilty of treason by Parliament and condemned to be dragged at the heels of horses for being a traitor to his knightly vows, hanged by the neck for his murders, cut down before consciousness left him to have his entrails cut out for committing his crimes during the holy week of Easter, and his head cut off and his body divided into four parts for plotting against the King's life. The head was placed on the Tower of London and his body sections were placed in public view at various other locations in England. This came to be known as "hanging, drawing, and quartering". Prior to this the penalty had been imprisonment, usually followed by ransom.

Trial by combat is now limited to certain claims of enfeoffment of large land holding and is barred for land held in socage, burgage, or by marriage. Assize is the usual manner of trial, but compurgation remains in the borough court long after it becomes obsolete in the royal courts. Defendants no longer request assizes but are automatically put to them.

Numerous statutes protect the integrity of the courts and King's offices by double and treble damages and imprisonment for offenses such as bribery, false informers, conspiracy to falsely move or maintain pleas, champerty [covenant between a litigant and another for the other to have a part or profit in the award in return for maintaining the suit], conflict of interest by court officers taking part in a quarrel pending in court or working any fraud whereby common right may be delayed or disturbed. There had been many abuses, the most common of which was extortion by sheriffs, who gaoled people without cause to make them pay to be released. The 1275 prohibition of maintenance of a quarrel of a party in court by a non-party was extended in 1327 to all persons, including the king's councilors and ministers, and great men, e.g. by sending letters. In 1346, this prohibition specifically included prelates, earls, barons taking in hand quarrels other than their own, or maintaining them for gift, promise, amity, favor, doubt, or fear, in disturbance of law and hindrance of right. The reason given was that there had been persons disinherited, delayed or disturbed in their rights, and not guilty persons convicted or otherwise oppressed. All great men were required to put out of their service all maintainers who had been retained, and void their fees and robes, without giving them aid, favor, or comfort. This law was not obeyed.

The king reserved to himself and his council in its judicial capacity the correction of all breaches of the law which the lower courts had failed to remedy, whether from weakness, partiality, corruption, or jury timidity, and especially when the powerful barons defied the courts. The Chancery also sought to address causes which were impeded in their regular course, which often involved assaults, batteries, and forcible dispossessions.

Disputes within the royal household were administered by the King's steward. He received and determined complaints about acts or breaches of the peace within twelve miles around the King's person or "verge". He was assisted by the marshall in the "court of the hall" and by the clerk of the market when imposing fines for trading regulation violations in the "court of the market".

Ecclesiastical courts were successful in their competition with the secular courts for jurisdiction over testamentary matters [concerning wills] and succession [no will] to chattels.

There were local courts of the vill, borough, manor, hundred, county, sheriff, escheator, and royal bailiff, with overlapping jurisdictions. The county court in its full session, that is, as it attended the itinerant justices on their visitation, contained the archbishops, bishops, priors, earls, barons, knights, and freeholders, and from each township four men and the reeve, and from each borough twelve burgesses. It was still the folkmote, the general assembly of the people. In 1293, suitors who could not spend 40s. a year within their county were not required to attend their county court.

The most common plea in the hundred court was trespass. It also heard issues concerning services arising out of land, detention of chattels, small debts, wounding or maiming of animals, and personal assaults and brawls not amounting to felony. It met every three weeks. The sheriff held his turn twice a year and viewed frankpledge once a year.

When Edward I came to the throne, over half of the approximately 600 hundred courts had gone under the jurisdiction of a private lord owing to royal charter, prescriptive right, and usurpation. The sheriff's powers in these hundreds varied. In some, the sheriff had no right of entry.

In the manor courts, actions of debt, detinue, and covenant were frequent. Sometimes there are questions of a breach of warranty of title in agreements of sale of land. Accusations of defamation were frequent; this offense could not be taken to the King's court, but it had been recognized as an offense in the Anglo-Saxon laws. In some cases, the damages caused are specifically stated. For instance, defamation of a lord's grain would cause other purchasers to forbear buying it. There are frequent cases of ordinary thefts, trespasses, and assaults. The courts did rough but substantial justice without distinction between concepts such as tort and contract. In fact, the action of covenant was the only form of agreement enforceable at common law. It required a writing under seal and awarded damages. Their law was not technical, but elastic, and remedies could include injunctions, salary attachment, and performance of acts. The steward holding the manor court was often a lawyer.

Some pleas in the manors of the abbey of Bec were:

1. Hugh le Pee in mercy (fine, 12d.) for concealing a sheep
    for half a year. Pledges, Simon of Newmere, John of Senholt

2. William Ketelburn in mercy (fine, 13s.4d.) for divers
    trespasses. Pledge, Henry Ketelburn.

3. Hugh Derwin for pasture, 6d. Richard Hulle for divers
    trespasses, 12d. Henry Stanhard for pasture, 6d.

4. William Derwin for a trespass, 6d.; pledge, William

5. Hugh Hall gives the lord 12d. that he may have the judgment of the court as to a tenement and two acres of land, which he demands as of right, so he says. And it being asserted that the said land is not free[hold] let the court say its say. And the court says that the tenement and one of the two acres are of servile condition and that the other acre is of free condition. The case is reserved for the lord's presence. Pledge, John Brian.

6. John Palmer is put in seisin of his father's tenement and
    gives the lord 53s.4d. as entry money.

7. William Ketelburn gives the lord 6s.8d. that he may be
    removed from the office of reeve. Pledge, Robert Serjeant.

8. William Frith for subtraction of work, 6d. John Reginald for the same, 6d. John of Senholt, 12d. William Ketelburn, 12d.

9. For the common fine to be paid on S. Andrew's day, 100s.

10. It is presented by the chief pledges that Godfrey Serjeant has made default; also that John le Pee has unlawfully thrown up a bank; therefore let it be set to rights.

11. Robert Smith is put in seisin of his father's tenement and gives the lord four pounds for entry money. Pledge, Robert Serjeant.

12. William Ketelburn for a trespass, 13s.4d.

13. William Fleming gives four pounds for leave to contract [marriage] with widow Susan. Pledge, Richard Serjeant.

14. John Mabely gives the lord 3s. to have the judgment of twelve men as to certain land whereof Noah deforces him; pledges, Richard Smith, Ralph Bernard. The said jurors say that Noah the Fat has right; therefore etc.

15. Agnes Stampelove gives the lord 2s. for leave to come and go in the vill but to dwell outside the lord's land. Pledge, Richard Smith.

16. Godfrey Tailor the younger for a trespass, 2s.

17. Whereas Godfrey Tailor the younger has demanded against Noah a farthing land, now the action is compromised in manner following:- -Godfrey for himself and his heirs remises to the said Noah and his heirs all right and claim which he has or can have in the said farthing land by reason of the gift made by his grandfather John Tailor.

18. Agnes Mabely is put in seisin of a farthing land which her mother held, and gives the lord 33s.4d. for entry money. Pledges, Noah, William Askil.

19. The full court declares that in case any woman shall
    have altogether quitted the lord's domain and shall marry a
    freeman, she may return and recover whatever right and claim
    she has in any land; but if she shall be joined to a serf,
    then she cannot do this during the serf's lifetime, but
    after his death she may.

20. William Alice's son is put in seisin of a bakehouse in
    the King's Street, and shall keep up the house at his own
    cost and gives 12d. for entry money, and 10s. annual rent
    payable at three terms, viz. 3s.4d. at Martinmas, 3s.4d. at
    Lady Day, 3s.4d. at Christmas. Pledges, Adam Clerk, John

20. John son of Alma demands a cottage which Henry Fleming holds and gives the lord 12d. for the oath and recognition of 12 men; pledge, Richard Jordan. The jurors say that Henry Fleming has the better right.

21. Baldwin Cobbler's son finds [as pledges] Walter Cobbler, Roger of Broadwater, Robert Linene, William Frances, that notwithstanding his stay in London he will always make suit with his tithing and will at no time claim any liberty contrary to the lord's will and will come to the lord whenever the lord wills.

22. Simon Patrick gives the lord 12d. to have the judgment of the court as to a cottage of which the widow of Geoffrey Dogers deforces him; pledge, Simon of Strode. The said jurors say that the said Simon has the better right. And the said Simon remises and quit-claims all his right to his sister Maud and her husband John Horin, [who] gives the lord 10s. for entry money; pledges, Simon Patrick, John Talk.

23. Hugh Wiking for not making suit at the lord's mill, 12d.

24. It was presented that William Derwin and John Derwin (fine, 12d.) committed a trespass against Agnes Dene, and the cry was raised, therefore etc.

25. Hugh Churchyard contracted [marriage] without the lord's
    leave; [fine] 12d.

26. Let Juliana Forester be distrained for her default, also
    William Moor.

27. John Kulbel in mercy (fine, 12d.) for not producing Gregory Miller, and he is commanded to produce him at the next court.

28. Hugh Andrew's son gives the lord 4s. for leave to marry; pledge, Robert Serjeant.

29. Juliana Forester gives the lord 12d. in order that for the future no occasion may be taken against her for neglect of suit of court.

30. John Franklain is put in seisin of his father's tenement
    and gives the lord 20s. for entry; pledge, Robert Serjeant.

31. Henry Cross gives the lord 4s. for license to marry;
    pledge, Robert Serjeant.

32. Isabella Warin gives the lord 4s. for leave to give her
    daughter Mary in marriage; pledge, John Serjeant.

33. It is presented by the whole township that Ralph le War has disseised the lord of a moiety of a hedge, whereas it had often been adjudged by award of the court that the said hedge belongs as to one moiety to the lord and as to the other to Ralph, and the said Ralph claims and takes to his use the whole to the lord's damage etc. Also they say that the said Ralph holds Overcolkescroft, which land by right is the lord's.

34. It is presented by unanimous verdict of the whole court that if anyone marries a woman who has right in any land according to the custom of the manor and is seised thereof by the will of the lord, and the said woman surrenders her right and her seisin into the hands of the lord and her husband receives that right and seisin from the hands of the lord, in such case the heirs of the woman are for ever barred from the said land and the said right remains to the husband and his heirs. Therefore let William Wood, whose case falls under this rule, hold his land in manner aforesaid. And for the making of this inquest the said William gives the lord 6s.8d.

35. The tenements of Lucy Mill are to be seized into the lord's hands because of the adultery which she has committed and the bailiff is to answer for them.

The chief pledges present that Cristina daughter of Richard Maleville has married at London without the lord's licence; therefore let the said Richard be distrained. He has made fine with 12d. Also that Alice Berde has done the same; therefore let her be distrained. Also that Robert Fountain has committed a trespass against William Gery; therefore the said Robert is in mercy; pledge, Humfrey; fine, 6d. Also that Richard Maleville has drawn blood from Stephen Gust; therefore he is in mercy; fine, 2s.

36. Geoffrey Coterel in mercy for a battery; fine, 12d.;
    pledge, Adam Serjeant. 37. Geoffrey Coterel for trespass in
    the hay; fine, 6d.; pledge, Alan Reaper. 38. Hugh of Senholt
    in mercy for trespass in the green wood; fine, 6d.

37. Hugh Wiking in mercy for delay in doing his works; fine,
    6d. Hugh Churchyard for trespass in [cutting] thorns; fine,
    6d. Thomas Gold in mercy for trespass in the wood; fine,
    3d.; pledge, Robert Grinder.

38. William Dun in mercy for subtraction of his works due in
    autumn; fine, 2s. Avice Isaac for the same, 6d.; Hugh Wiking
    for the same, 6d.; Agnes Rede in mercy for her daughter's
    trespass in the corn [grain], 6d.

39. Walter Ash in mercy for not making suit to the lord's
    mill; fine, 6d. Hugh Pinel in mercy for diverting a
    watercourse to the nuisance of the neighbours; fine, 6d.;
    pledge, Robert Fresel.

40. John Dun in mercy for carrying off corn [grain] in the autumn; pledge, Adam White. Alan Reaper gives the lord 12d. on account of a sheep which was lost while in his custody.

41. Adam White in mercy for bad mowing; fine, 6d. Hugh Harding in mercy for the same; fine, 6d.

42. The chief pledges present that Henry Blackstone (fine, 6d.), Hugh Churchyard (fine, 18d.), Walter Ash (fine, 6d.), Henry of Locksbarow (fine, 12d.), Avice Isaac (fine, 6d.), Richard Matthew (fine, 6d.), Hugh Wiking (fine,—), Ralph Dene (fine, 6d.), John Palmer (fine, 12d.), John Coterel (fine, 6d.), John Moor (fine, 6d.), John Cubbel (fine, 12d.), Hugh Andrew (fine, 6d.), Philip Chapman (fine, 6d.), John Fellow (fine, 12d.), Robert Bailiff (fine, 6d.), Alice Squire (fine, 12d.), John Grately (fine,—), Richard Hull (fine, 6d.), Osbert Reaper (fine, 6d.), and Robert Cross (fine, 6d.), have broken the assize of beer. Also that Henry of Senholt, Henry Brown, Hugh Hayward, Richard Moor, Juliana Woodward, Alice Harding, Peronel Street, Eleanor Mead make default. Also that Walter Ash (fine,—), John Wiking (fine,—), John Smart (fine,—), and Henry Coterel have married themselves without the lord's licence; therefore let them be distrained to do the will of the lord.

43. Alan Reaper for the trespass of his foal; fine, 6d.

44. Philip Chapman in mercy for refusing his gage to the
    lord's bailiff; fine, 3d.

45. William Ash in mercy for trespass in the growing crop;
    fine, 6d.

46. John Iremonger in mercy for contempt; fine, 6d.

47. The chief pledges present that William of Ripley (fine, 6d.), Walter Smith (no goods), Maud of Pasmere (fine, 6d.), have received [strangers] contrary to the assize; therefore they are in mercy.

48. Maud widow of Reginald of Challow has sufficiently proved that a certain sheep valued at 8d. is hers, and binds herself to restore it or its price in case it shall be demanded from her within year and day; pledges, John Iremonger and John Robertd; and she gives the lord 3d. for [his] custody [of it].

The Court of Hustings in London is empowered to award landlords their tenements for which rent or services are in arrears if the landlord could not distrain enough tenant possessions to cover the arrearages.

Wills are proven in the Court of Husting, the oldest court in London, which went back to the times of Edward the Confessor. One such proven will is:

"Tour (John de La) - To Robert his eldest son his capital messuage and wharf in the parish of Berchingechurch near the land called 'Berewardesland`. To Agnes his wife his house called 'Wyvelattestone', together with rents, reversions, etc. in the parish of S. Dunstan towards the Tower, for life; remainder to Stephen his son. To Peter and Edmund his sons lands and rents in the parish of All Hallows de Berhyngechurch; remainders over in default of heirs. To Agnes, wife of John le Keu, fishmonger, a house situate in the same parish of Berhyng, at a peppercorn [nominal] rent."

The Court of the Mayor of London heard diverse cases, including disputes over goods, faulty or substandard goods, adulteration, selling food unfit for human consumption, enhancing the price of goods, using unlawful weighing beams, debts, theft, distraints, forgery, tavern brawling, bullying, and gambling. Insulting or assaulting a city dignitary was a very serious crime; an attack on the mayor was once capitally punished. Sacrilege, rape, and burglary were punished by death. Apart from the death penalty, the punishment meted out the most was public exposure in the pillory, with some mark of ignominy slung round the neck. If the crime was selling bad food, it was burnt under the offender's nose. If it was sour wine, the offender was drenched in it. Standing in the pillory for even one hour was very humiliating, and by the end of the day, it was known throughout the city. The offender's reputation was ruined. Some men died in the pillory of shame and distress. A variation of the pillory was being dragged through the streets on a hurdle. Prostitutes were carted through the streets in coarse rough cloth hoods, with penitential crosses in their hands. Scolds were exposed in a "thewe" for women. In more serious cases, imprisonment for up to a year was added to the pillory. Mutilation was rare, but there are cases of men losing their right hands for rescuing prisoners. The death penalty was usually by hanging. The following four London cases pertain to customs, bad grain, surgery, and apprenticeship, respectively.

"John le Paumer was summoned to answer Richer de Refham, Sheriff, in a plea that, whereas the defendant and his Society of Bermen [carriers] in the City were sworn not to carry any wine, by land or water, for the use of citizens or others, without the Sheriff's mark, nor lead nor cause it to be led, whereby the Sheriff might be defrauded of his customs, nevertheless he caused four casks of wine belonging to Ralph le Mazun of Westminster to be carried from the City of Westminster without the Sheriff's mark, thus defrauding the latter of his customs in contempt of the king etc. The defendant acknowledged the trespass. Judgment that he remain in the custody of the Sheriff till he satisfy the King and the Court for offense."

"Walter atte Belhaus, William atte Belhous, Robert le Barber dwelling at Ewelleshalle, John de Lewes, Gilbert le Gras, John his son, Roger le Mortimer, William Ballard atte Hole, Peter de Sheperton, John Brun and the wife of Thomas the pelterer, Stephen de Haddeham, William de Goryngg, Margery de Frydaiestrate, Mariot, who dwells in the house of William de Harwe, and William de Hendone were attached to answer for forestalling all kinds of grain and exposing it, together with putrid grain, on the pavement, for sale by the bushel, through their men and women servants; and for buying their own grain from their own servants in deception of the people. The defendants denied that they were guilty and put themselves on their country. A jury of Richard de Hockeleye and others brought in a verdict of guilty, and the defendants were committed to prison til the next Parliament."

"Peter the Surgeon acknowledged himself bound to Ralph de Mortimer, by Richard atte Hill his attorney, in the sum of 20s., payable at certain terms, the said Ralph undertaking to give Peter a letter of acquittance [release from a debt]. This Recognizance arose out of a covenant between them with regard to the effecting of a cure. Both were amerced for coming to an agreement out of Court. A precept was issued to summon all the surgeons of the City for Friday, that an enquiry might be made as to whether the above Peter was fitted to enjoy the profession of a surgeon."

"Thomas de Kydemenstre, shoemaker, was summoned to answer William de Beverlee, because he did not clothe, feed and instruct his apprentice Thomas, William's son, but drove him away. The defendant said that the apprentice lent his master's goods to others and promised to restore them or their value, but went away against his wish; and he demanded a jury. Subsequently, a jury of William de Upton and others said the apprentice lent two pairs of shoes belonging to his master and was told to restore them, but, frightened by the beating which he received, ran away; further that the master did not feed and clothe his apprentice as he ought, being unable to do so, to the apprentice's damage 40d., but that he was now in a position to look after his apprentice. Thereupon Thomas de Kydemenstre said he was willing to have the apprentice back and provide for him, and the father agreed. Judgment that the master take back the apprentice and feed and instruct him, or that he repay to the father, the money paid to the latter, and that he pay the father the 40d. and be in mercy."

A professional class of temporal attorneys whose business it is to appear on behalf of litigants is prominent in the nation. Attorneys are now drawn from the knightly class of landed gentlemen, instead of ecclesiastical orders. Since it was forbidden for ecclesiastics to act as advocates in the secular courts, those who left the clergy to become advocates adopted a close-fitting cap to hide their tonsures, which came to be called a "coif". The great litigation of the nation is conducted by a small group of men, as is indicated by the earliest Year Books of case decisions. They sit in court and will sometimes intervene as amicus curiae [friends of the court]. Parliament refers difficult points of law to them as well as to the justices. These reports became so authoritative that they could be cited in the courts as precedent. Groups of attorneys from the countryside who are appearing in London courts during term-time and living in temporary lodgings start to form guild-like fellowships and buy property where they dine and reside together, called the Inns of Court. They begin to think of themselves as belonging to a profession, with a feeling of responsibility for training the novices who sat in court to learn court procedures and attorney techniques. They invited these students to supper at the Inns of Court for the purpose of arguing about the day's cases. The Inns of Court evolved a scheme of legal education, which was oral and used disputations. Thus they became educational institutions as well as clubs for practicing attorneys. The call to the bar of an Inn was in effect a degree. To be an attorney one had to be educated and certified at the Inns of Court. They practice law full time. Some are employed by the King. Justices come to be recruited from among those who had passed their lives practicing law in court, instead of from the ecclesiastical orders. All attorneys were brought under the control of the justices.

There are two types of attorney: one attorney appears in the place of his principal, who does not appear. The appointment of this attorney is an unusual and a solemn thing, only to be allowed on special grounds and with the proper formalities. For instance, a poor person may not be able to afford to travel to attend the royal court in person. The other one is the pleader-attorney, who accompanies his client to court and advocates his position with his knowledge of the law and his persuasiveness.

In 1280, the city of London made regulations for the admission of both types of attorneys to practice before the civic courts, and for their due control. In 1292 the king directed the justices to provide a certain number of attorneys and apprentices to follow the court, who should have the exclusive right of practicing before it. This begins the process which will make the attorney for legal business an "officer of the court" which has appointed him.

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