I. King Edward's commands to all his reeves: that you deem such right dooms as you know to be most right and as stand in the doombook.[1] Nor for any cause shall you fail to declare the customary law; and [you shall see to it] that a day is set for every cause, when that which you decide concerning it shall be carried out.

1. And I will that every man shall have his warrantor;[2] and that no one shall trade outside a port,[3] but shall have the witness of the portreeve or of other trustworthy men whose word can be relied on. And if any one trades outside a port, he shall be liable for the king's oferhyrnesse.[4] ... A man who wishes to prove lawful title shall bring forward trustworthy witnesses to it, or he shall, if he can, provide an undetermined[5] oath such as shall satisfy the complainant. If, however, he cannot do this, he shall be assigned six men from the same geburhscipe[6] in which he has his home. From these six he shall name [as oath-helper] one for each cow, or the equivalent in lesser beasts; and the number [of oath-helpers] shall be increased, as they are needed, in proportion to the property [in dispute]....

3. Concerning perjurers we further declare that, if their guilt has been proved, whether oaths have failed for them or they have been oversworn [by better oaths], they shall no longer be oath-worthy, but must rely upon the ordeal [for clearing themselves of charges].

II. King Edward admonished his witan, when they were at Exeter, that all should consider how the peace of their country could be better kept than it had been; for it seemed to him that what he had previously ordained had not been enforced as it should have been.

1.... No man shall refuse justice to another. If he does so, let him pay compensation as has been earlier provided: the first time 30s., the second time the same amount, the third time 120s. to the king.

2. And if it is not exacted by the reeve lawfully, with the witness of such men as have been assigned to him for that purpose,[7] he shall pay 120s. as my oferhyrnesse....

4. It is also my will that every one shall always have on his land men ready to guide those who wish to track their own [cattle], and that such guides shall in no way obstruct the search for the sake of bribes; nor shall they anywhere wilfully or wittingly protect or foster guilt....

6. If, through conviction for theft, any one, deserted by his kindred and knowing no one who will pay compensation in his place, loses his freedom and places himself under the hand of another, then let him be liable for as much slave labour as may be due; and his kindred shall forfeit all claim to his wergeld [should he be slain]....

8. It is my will that each reeve shall hold a court (gemot) every four weeks,[8] and that the reeves shall see that every man obtains folkright, and that every case shall have a day set when it is to be decided. And if any one [of my reeves] neglects this [duty], he shall be liable for the compensation already prescribed.

(Anglo-Saxon) Ibid., I, 138 f.

[1] Presumably, as Liebermann suggests, Alfred's collection.

[2] Geteaman; see above, p. 4, n. 3.

[3] Ceapige butan porte. This is the first appearance in the dooms of the word port. Subsequently it is often used as the equivalent of burh, and the reeve of a borough was always styled portreeve; see below, p. 14, n. 7. A review of the literature in this connection will be found in C. Stephenson, Borough and Town, pp. 65 f.; cf. Tait, The Medieval English Borough, pp. 5 f.

[4] A special fine of 120s. for violation of a royal command.

[5] Ungecorenne — the term used when the defendant chose his own oath-helpers, as distinguished from the procedure required below.

[6] Presumably a district with a borough as its administrative centre; in any case, the region in which the accused dwelt.

[7] Probably by the court.

[8] This is the first definite mention of the monthly court which later dooms call the hundred; see below, p. 17, n. 5.