60. EDWARD III: WRITS OF SUMMONS
(A) Parliament of 1337
The king to the venerable father in Christ, J[ohn], by the same grace
archbishop of Canterbury and primate of all England, greeting. Whereas, on
account of divers arduous matters especially affecting us and the state of our
kingdom, we propose to hold our parliament at York on Monday next after the
feast of St. Hilary and to have a conference with you and the other prelates,
magnates, and nobles of the said kingdom; we command and enjoin you that, in
the fealty and love by which you are bound to us, avoiding all excuse, you be
personally present on the said day at the said place, in order with us and with
the other prelates, magnates, and nobles aforesaid to discuss the said matters
and thereupon give your counsel. And as you cherish us and our honour, as well
as the peace and tranquillity of our kingdom, by no means fail to do this;
first summoning (premunientes) the prior and chapter of your church of
Christ at Canterbury and the archdeacons and all the clergy of your diocese,
the said prior and archdeacons to be present in person, the said chapter [to be
represented] by one fit proctor and the said clergy by two — which
proctors are to have full and sufficient authority from the said chapter and
clergy — on the said day and at the said place to determine and agree upon
those measures which then and there, by the favour of divine clemency, may
happen to be ordained through common counsel. By witness of the king of
Bothwell, November 29. By the king himself.
(Latin) Report Touching the Dignity of a Peer, IV,
(B) Great Council of 1353
The king to the venerable father in Christ, S[imon], by the same grace
archbishop of Canterbury, greeting. Whereas, on account of great and urgent
matters recently come upon us, which intimately concern us as well as the
condition and rights of our kingdom of England, and for which it behooves us to
find a speedy and provident solution, we desire to have a conference and
deliberation with you, with the rest of the prelates, magnates, and nobles, and
with our other faithful men of the said kingdom, at Westminster on the morrow
of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin next to come: we firmly enjoin and
command that, in the fealty, love, and allegiance by which you are bound to us,
putting aside all other affairs, you be personally present at the said place on
the said day in order, with us, with the rest of the prelates, magnates, and
nobles, and with the other men aforesaid, to discuss the said business and
thereupon give your counsel. And as you cherish us, our honour, and the
salvation, defence, and best interest of our said kingdom, and as you wish to
avoid its subversion, by no means fail to do this, then and there notifying us
of the day on which you received these present letters and by whom they were
brought to you. By witness of the king at Westminster, July 20.
By the king himself and his council.
(Latin) Ibid., IV, 593 f.
 Similar mandates were sent to the archbishop of York,
eighteen bishops, and the custodian of one vacant see; without the
premunientes clause, to twenty-seven abbots and four priors; and with
different forms of address, to fifty-eight lay peers and fifteen justices and
councillors. Furthermore, by the usual form (see the writs of 1295, no. 49F)
the sheriff of each county was ordered to cause the election of two knights of
the shire, two citizens from each city, and two burgesses from each borough.
The warden of the Cinque Ports was commanded to have two barons elected from
each of the ports.
 Cf. no. 62G, h.
 Similar mandates were sent to nineteen bishops, the abbot
of Westminster, the prior of the Hospital of St. John, thirty-seven lay peers,
and sixteen justices and councillors. The sheriff of each county was ordered to
have only one knight of the shire elected, so as to avoid disturbing the men
engaged in their autumn work. Two citizens were to be elected from London, but
only one — on account of the same autumn work! — from York and from
each of nine other towns. Two barons were to be elected from the Cinque Ports
as a whole.