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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

8. Writ concerning Lands at Stanton

(Date uncertain.


Latin text, Chronicon Monasterii de Abingdon, ii. 84.
Translation by Editors.)

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

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

Witness: Roger the chancellor. By

Basset; at Cambridge.

9. Writ concerning Lands at Caversham

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

HENRY, King of England, to Walter Giffard and Agnes his

mother, greeting.

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


First Charter of Stephen

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

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

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

ing any obstacle, or impediment, or diminution upon them in these matters on pain of forfeiture to me.

Witness William Martel, at London.


Second Charter of Stephen

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


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

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

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


(c. 1154. Latin text, Bigelow's Placita, 175. Translation by Editors.) HE king grants his writ at the instance of Walter, abbot of Saint Martin, to John, earl of Eu, commanding him to do justice by the abbot against Gilbert de Baillol as to certain lands. The defendant evades the trial in various ways. Leave is finally obtained to bring the suit into the King's Court, but the king's presence cannot be obtained. The cause, though much litigated before the justiciars, comes to no satisfactory conclusion. The king's presence is at last obtained, and the trial proceeds." -BIGELOW.]

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

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

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