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Sect. 12. The proposals and articles of agreement, with the pledges given to the barons, on the behalf of the people, by the king, were confirmed in Henry the Third's time, his son and successor ; when the abused, Nighted, and disregarded law by his father, was thought fit to be reduced to record, that the people of England might not for ever after be to seek for a written recorded law, to their defence and security: for Mifera fervitus est ubi jus est vagum aut incognitum. And so we enter upon the grand charter of liberty and privilege, in the cause, reason, and end of it.
Sect. 13. We shall first rehearse it, so far as we are concerned, (with the formalities of grant and curse) and shall then say something as to the cause, reason, and end of it.
A rehearsal of the material parts of the GREAT
CHARTER of ENGLAND. UJENRY, by the grace of God, king of Eng
1 land, &c. to all archbishops, or earls, barons, Theriffs, provosts, officers, and to all bailiffs, and our faithful subjects who shall see this present charter, greeting. KNOW ye, That we, unto the honour of Almighty God, and for the salvation of the souls of our progenitors, and our successors, kings of England, to the advancement of holy church; and amendment of our realm, of our mere and free will, have given and granted to all archbishops, &c. and to all freemen of this our realm, those liberties underwritten, to be holden and kept in this our realm of England for everinore.
We have granted and given to all freemen of our realm, for us and our heirs, for evermore, those liberties underwritten, to have and to hold to them and to their heirs, of us and our heirs fore-named. :
A freeman shall not be amerced for a small fault, but after the quantity of the fault : and for a great fault, after the manner thereof; saving to him his contenements or freehold. And a merchant likewise
shall be amerced, saving to him his merchandize: and none of the said amercements shall be assessed, but by the oath of good and honest men of the vicinage.
No freeman Thall be taken, or imprisoned, nor be disfeised of his freehold, or liberties, or free customs, or be outlawed or exiled, or any other ways destroyed; nor we ihall not pass upon him, nor condemn him, but by lawful judgment of his peers, or by the law of the land: we shall sell to no inan, we shall deny nor defer to no man, either justice or right.
And all these customs and liberties aforesaid, which we have granted to be holden within this our realm, as much as appertaineth to us, and our heirs, we shall observe; and all men of this our realm, as well spiritual as temporal, as much as in them is, shall observe the same against all persons in like wise. And for this our gift and grant of those liberties, and for other contained in our charter of liberties of our forest, the archbishops, bishops, abbots, priors, earls, barons, knights, freeholders, and others our subjects, have given unto us the fifteenth part of their moveables : and we have granted unto them, on the other part, that neither we, nor our heirs, shall procure or do any thing whereby the liberties in this charter contained shall be infringed or broken: and if any thing be procured by any person contrary to the premises, it shall be held of no force or effect. These being witnesses, Boniface archbishop of Canterbury, &c. we ratifying and approving those gifts and grants aforefaid, confirm and make strong all the same, for us and our heirs perpetually, and by the tenor of these presents do renew the fare willingly; and granting for us and our heirs, that this charter, in all and singular its articles, for evermore shall be stedfastly, firmly, and inviolably observed. And if any article in the same charter contained, yet hitherto peradventure hath not been observed, nor kept, we will, and by our authority royal command, henceforth firmly they be observed. Witness, &c. S 2
The Sentence of the Curse given by the bishops, wiin
the king's consent, against the breakers of the great charter.
IN the year of our Lord 1-253, the third day of
May, in the Great Hall of the king at Westminfter, in the presence, and by the consent, of the lord Henry, by the grace of God king of England, and the lord Richard, earl of Cornwall, his brother ; Roger Bigot, earl of Norfolk, marshal of England; Humphry, earl of Hereford; Henry, earl of Oxford ; John, earl Warren ; and other, estates of the realm of England: We Boniface, by the mercy of God, archbishop of Canterbury, primate of England; F. of London ; H. of Ely; S. of Worcester; E. of Lincoln; W. of Norwich; P. of Hereford; W. of Salisbury; W. of Durham; R. of Exeter; M. of Carlille ; W. of Bath; E. of Rochester; T. of St. Davids, bishops, apparelled in pontificals, with taper burning, against the breakers of the church's liberties, and of the liberties and other customs of this realm of England; and namely, those that are contained in the charter of the common liberties of England, and char. ter of the forest, have denounced sentence of excommunication in this form: By the authority of Almighty God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, &c. of the blessed apostles Peter and Paul, and of all apostles, and of all martyrs, of blessed Edward, king of England, and of all the saints of heaven, we excommunicate and accurse, and from the benefit of our holy mother the church we sequester, all those that hereafter willingly and maliciously deprive or spoil the church of her right; and all those that by any craft, or willingness, do violate, break, or diminish, or change the church's liberties, and free customs contained in the charter of the common liberties, and of the forest, granted by our lord the king to archbishops, bishops, and other prelates of England, and likewise to the earls, barons, knights, and other free
holders of the realm; and all that secretly and openly, by deed, word, or counsel, do make statutes, or observe them being made, and that bring in customs, or keep them when they be brought in, against the said liberties, or any of them; and all those that shall presume to judge against them; and all and every such person, before-mentioned, that wittingly shall commit any thing of the premises, let them well know that they incur the aforesaid fentence, ipfo facto.
A Confirmation of the Charters and Liberties of Eng.
land, and of the forest, made the twenty-fifth year of Edward the First.
TDWARD, by the grace of God, king of Eng
land, lord of Ireland, duke of Guyan, to all those that these present letters shall hear or fee, greeting. Know ye, That we, to the honour of God, and to the profit of our realm, have granted, for us and our heirs, that the charter of liberties, and the charter of the forest, which were made by common assent of all the realm in the time of king Henry our father, shall be kept in every point, without breach: and we will that the same charter shall be sent under our seal, as well to our justices of the forest, as to others, and to all sheriffs of shires, and to all our other officers, and to all our cities throughout the realm, together with our writs, in the which it shall be contained, that they cause the aforesaid charters to be published, and to declare to the people that we have confirmed them in all points; and that our justices, sheriffs, mayors, and other ministers, which under us have laws of our land to guide, shall allow the saine charters pleaded before them in all their points; that is to wit, the great charter, as the common law, and the charter of our forest, for the wealth of our realm,
And we will, that if any judgment be given from henceforth contrary to the points of the charter aforeS 3
said, said, by the justices, or by any other of our ministers that hold plea before them, against the points of the charter, it shall be undone, and holden for nought.
And we will that the same charter shall be sent under our seal to cathedral churches throughout our realm, there to remain ; and shall be read before the people two times by the year. .
And that all archbishops and bishops shall pronounce the sentence of excommunication against all those, that by word, deed, or counsel, do contrary to the aforesaid charters, or that in any point do break or ụndo them; and that the said curses bé twice a year denounced and published by the prelates aforesaid: and if the same prelates, or any of them be remiss in the denunciation of the said sentences, the archbishops of Canterbury and York for the time being shall compel and distrain them to the execution of their duties in form aforesaid.
The Sentence of the CLERGY, against the breakers of
the articles above-mentioned.
TN the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy
Ghost, Amen. Whereas our sovereign lord the king, to the honour of God, and of holy church, and for the common profit of the realm, hath granted, for him and his heirs for ever, these articles above written, Robert, archbishop of Canterbury, primate of all England, admonished all his province once, twice, and thrice, because that shortness will not suffer so much delay, as to give knowledge to all the people of England of these presents in writing: we therefore enjoin all persons, of what estate foever they be, that they, and every of them, as much as in them is, shall uphold and maintain these articles, granted by our sovereign lord the king, in all points: and all those that in any point do resist or break, or in any manner hereafter procure, counsel, or in any wise assent to refist or break those ordinances, or go about it, by word or deed, openly or privily, by any manner of pre