33. FORMS OF ORIGINAL WRITS IN GLANVILLE

(A) Assize of Mort d'Ancestor

The king to the sheriff, greeting. If G., son of O., will give you security for prosecuting his claim, then summon through good summoners twelve free and lawful men from the neighbourhood of ———— , to be before me or my justices on ———— , prepared to recognize by oath whether O., father of the aforesaid G., was seised in demesne, as of his fee,[1] of one virgate of land in that vill on the day that he died, if he died after my first coronation, and whether the said G. is his nearest heir. And in the meantime they shall view that land, and you shall have their names written down. And summon through good summoners R., who holds that land, to be there in order to hear that recognition. And you are to have there the summoners and this writ.

(Latin) Glanville, Tractatus de Legibus, xiii, 3.

(B) Assize of Novel Disseisin[2]

The king to the sheriff, greeting. Complaint has been made to me by N. that R. has unlawfully and without judgment disseised him of his free tenement in ———— since my last crossing to Normandy; and so I command you, if the aforesaid N. will give you security for prosecuting his claim, to have restored to that tenement the chattels taken from it and [to let] the said tenement with its chattels remain in peace until ———— . And in the meantime you shall have twelve free and lawful men of the neighbourhood view that land, and you shall have their names written down. And summon them through good summoners to be before me or my justices, prepared to make recognition concerning it. And place under gage and good pledges the aforesaid R., or his bailiff if he himself cannot be found, to be there in order to hear that recognition. And you are to have there the summoners and this writ.

(Latin) Ibid., xiii, 33.

(C) Assize Utrum[3]

The king to the sheriff, greeting. Summon through good summoners twelve free and lawful men from the neighbourhood of ———— , to be before me or my justices on ———— , prepared to recognize by oath whether the one hide of land, which N., parson of the church in that vill, claims against R. in that vill as free alms of his said church, is lay fee of the said R. or church fee. And in the meantime let them view that land and have their names written down. And summon through good summoners the aforesaid R., who holds that land, to be there in order to hear that recognition. And you are to have there the summoners and this writ.

(Latin) Ibid., xiii, 24.

(D) Assize of Darrein Presentment[4]

The king to the sheriff, greeting. Summon through good summoners twelve free and lawful men from the neighbourhood of ———— , to be before me or my justices on ———— , prepared to recognize by oath what patron presented the last parson, now dead, to the church of that vill, which is thus said to be vacant, and of which N. claims the advowson. And have their names written down. And summon through good summoners R., who is deforcing that claim, to be there in order to hear that recognition. And you are to have there the summoners and this writ.

(Latin) Ibid., xiii, 19.

(E) Writ of Right

The king to Earl W., greeting. I command you without delay to give full right to N. with regard to the ten carucates of land in Middleton, which he claims to hold of you by the free service of one knight's fee for all service.[5] And unless you act in this matter so that I hear no further complaint as to default of justice, the sheriff of Nottingham will do so.

(Latin) Ibid., xii, 3.

(F) Praecipe[6]

The king to the sheriff, greeting. Command N. lawfully and without delay to restore to R. one hide of land in ———— , of which the same R. complains that the aforesaid N. is deforcing him. And unless he does so, summon him through good summoners to be before me or my justices on ———— at ———— , in order to show good cause for not having done so. And you are to have there the summoners and this writ.

(Latin) Ibid., i, 6.

(G) De Nativo

The king to the sheriff, greeting. Complaint has been made to me by R. that N. is drawing him into villeinage, despite the fact that, according to his statement, he is a freeman. And so I command you that, if the said R. will give you security for prosecuting his claim, you shall then bring that suit before me or my justices on ———— , and in the meantime see that he enjoys peace in this matter. And summon the aforesaid N. through good summoners to be there in order to show cause for drawing him into villeinage. And you are to have there the summoners and this writ.

(Latin) Ibid., v, 2.

(H) Pone

The king to the sheriff, greeting. Bring before me or my justices on ———— that suit which is in your county [court] between M. and N. concerning one hide of land in ———— , which the same M. claims against the aforesaid N. as her legitimate marriage portion.[7] And summon through good summoners the aforesaid N., who holds that land, to be there with his suit. And you are to have there the summoners and this writ.

(Latin) Ibid., vi, 7.

(I) Prohibe

The king to the sheriff, greeting. Prohibit R. from proceeding in the court Christian with the plea begun between him and N. concerning the lay fee of the aforesaid R. in ———— , in which connection he complains that the aforesaid N. is impleading him in the court Christian before ———— . And if the aforesaid R. will give you security for prosecuting his claim, then place the aforesaid N. under gage and good pledges to be before me or my justices on ———— , to show cause for impleading him in the court Christian concerning his lay fee in ———— , although that plea pertains to my crown and dignity.[8]

(Latin) Ibid., xii, 22.


[1] See no. 32, art. 4. This assize gave redress only when the land was held in fee, rather than, for example, in villeinage or by lease.

[2] I.e., recent dispossession; see above, p. 81, n. 4.

[3] See no. 30, art. 9.

[4] I.e., last nomination to a benefice; see no. 30, art. I.

[5] Glanville here gives various examples of specific tenures. On the significance of the action, see Pollock and Maitland, I, 385.

[6] In full, Praecipe quod reddat; see art. 34 of Magna Carta, below, p. 120.

[7] See above, p. 47, n. 3.

[8] See no. 30, art. 9.




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