The Project Gutenberg EBook of Our Legal Heritage, 5th Ed., by S. A. Reilly

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Title: Our Legal Heritage, 5th Ed.

Author: S. A. Reilly

Release Date: September 5, 2004 [EBook #13376]

Date Last Updated: June 18, 2007

Language: English

Character set encoding: ASCII


Copyright (C) 2004 S. A. Reilly


King AEthelbert - King George III, 1776

600 A.D. - 1776


S. A. Reilly, Attorney

175 E. Delaware Place
Chicago, Illinois 60611-7715

5th Edition

Copyright (C) 2004


This was written to appreciate what laws have been in existence for a long time and therefore have proven their success in maintaining a stable society. Its purpose is also to see the historical context in which our legal doctrines developed. It includes the inception of the common law system, which was praised because it made law which was not handed down by an absolutist king; the origin of the jury system; the meaning of the Magna Carta provisions in their historical context; and the emergence of attorneys.

This book is a primer. One may read it without prior knowledge of history or law, although it will be more meaningful to attorneys than to others. It can serve as an introduction on which to base further reading in English legal history. It defines terms unique to English legal history. However, the meaning of some terms in King Aethelbert's code in Chapter 1 are unknown or inexact.

In the Table of Contents, the title of each chapter denotes an important legal development in the given time period for that chapter. Each chapter is divided into three sections: The Times, The Law, and Judicial Procedure.

The Times section sets a background and context in which to better understand the law of that period. The usual subject matter of history such as battles, wars, royal intrigues, periods of corruption, and international relations are omitted as not helping to understand the process of civilization and development of the law. Standard practices are described, but there are often variations with locality. Also, change did not come abruptly, but with vacillations, e.g. the change from pagan to Christian belief and the change to allowance of loans for interest. The scientific revolution was accepted only slowly. There were often many attempts made for change before it actually occurred, e.g. gaining Parliamentary power over the king's privileges, such as taxation.

The Law section describes the law governing the behavior and conduct of the populace. It includes law of that time which is the same, similar, or a building block to the law of today. In earlier times this is both statutory law and the common law of the courts. The Magna Carta, which is quoted in Chapter 7, is the first statute of England and is listed first in the "Statutes of the Realm" and the "Statutes at Large". The law sections of Chapters 7 - 18 mainly quote or paraphrase most of these statutes. Excluded are statutes which do not help us understand the development of our law, such as statutes governing Wales after its conquest and statutes on succession rights to the throne.

The Judicial Procedure section describes the process of applying the law and trying cases, and jurisdictions. It also contains some examples of cases.

For easy comparison, amounts of money expressed in pounds or marks [Danish denomination] have often been converted to the smaller denominations of shillings and pence. There are twenty shillings in a pound. A mark in silver is two-thirds of a pound. Shillings are abbreviated: "s." There are twelve pennies or pence in a Norman shilling. Pence are abbreviated "d." Six shillings and two pence is denoted 6s.2d. A scaett was a coin of silver and copper of lesser denomination than a shilling. There were no coins of the denomination of shilling during Anglo-Saxon times.

The sources and reference books from which information was obtained are listed in a bibliography instead of being contained in tedious footnotes. There is no index to pages because the electronic text will print out its pages differently on different computers with different computer settings. Instead, a word search may be done on the electronic text.

Dedication and Acknowledgements

A Vassar College faculty member once dedicated her book to her students, but for whom it would have been written much earlier. This book "Our Legal Heritage" is dedicated to the faculty of Vassar College, without whom it would never have been written. Much appreciation goes to Professor Lacey Baldwin Smith of Northwestern University's History Department and to Professor James Curtin of Loyola Law School for their review and comments on this book: The Tudor and Stuart periods: Chapters 11-17, and the medieval period: Chapters 4-10, respectively. Thanks also go to fellow Mensan William Wedgeworth for proof-reading.

Table of Contents


1. Tort law as the first written law: to 600
2. Oaths and perjury: 600-900
3. Marriage law: 900-1066
4. Martial "law": 1066-1100
5. Criminal law and prosecution: 1100-1154
6. Common Law for all freemen: 1154-1215
7. Magna Carta: the first statute: 1215-1272
8. Land law: 1272-1348
9. Legislating the economy: 1348-1399
10. Equity from Chancery Court: 1399-1485
11. Use-trust of land: 1485-1509
12. Wills and testaments of lands and goods: 1509-1558
13. Consideration and contract Law: 1558-1601
14. Welfare for the poor: 1601-1625
15. Independence of the courts: 1625-1642
16. Freedom of religion: 1642-1660
17. Habeas Corpus: 1660-1702
18. Service of Process instead of arrest: 1702-1776
19. Epilogue: 1776-2000

Appendix: Sovereigns of England


Index / Find / Search Words

Chapter 1

The Times: before 600 A.D.

The settlement of England goes back thousands of years. At first, people hunted and gathered their food. They wore animal skins over their bodies for warmth and around their feet for protection when walking. These skins were sewn together with bone needles and threads made from animal sinews. They carried small items by hooking them onto their belts. They used bone and stone tools, e.g. for preparing skins. Their uncombed hair was held by thistlethorns, animal spines, or straight bone hair pins. They wore conical hats of bound rush and lived in rush shelters.

Early clans, headed by kings, lived in huts on top of hills or other high places and fortified by circular or contour earth ditches and banks behind which they could gather for protection. They were probably dug with antler picks and wood spades. The people lived in rectangular huts with four wood posts supporting a roof. The walls were made of saplings, and a mixture of mud and straw. Cooking was in a clay oven inside or over an open fire on the outside. Water was carried in animal skins or leather pouches from springs lower on the hill up to the settlement. Forests abounded with wolves, bears, deer, wild boars, and wild cattle. They could more easily be seen from the hill tops. Pathways extended through this camp of huts and for many miles beyond.

For wives, men married women of their clan or bought or captured other women, perhaps with the help of a best man. They carried their unwilling wives over the thresholds of their huts, which were sometimes in places kept secret from her family. The first month of marriage was called the honeymoon because the couple was given mead, a drink with fermented honey and herbs, for the first month of their marriage. A wife wore a gold wedding band on the ring finger of her left hand to show that she was married.

Women usually stayed at home caring for children, preparing meals, and making baskets. They also made wool felt and spun and wove wool into a coarse cloth. Flax was grown and woven into a coarse linen cloth. Spinning the strands into one continuous thread was done on a stick, which the woman could carry about and spin at anytime when her hands were free. The weaving was done on an upright or warp-weighted loom. People of means draped the cloth around their bodies and fastened it with a metal brooch inlayed with gold, gems, and shell, which were glued on with glue that was obtained from melting animal hooves. People drank from hollowed-out animal horns, which they could carry from belts. They could tie things with rawhide strips or rope braids they made. Kings drank from animal horns decorated with gold or from cups of amber, shale, or pure gold. Men and women wore pendants and necklaces of colorful stones, shells, amber beads, bones, and deer teeth. They skinned and cut animals with hand-axes and knives made of flint dug up from pits and formed by hitting flakes off. The speared fish with barbed bone prongs or wrapped bait around a flint, bone, or shell fish hook. On the coast, they made bone harpoons for deep-sea fish. The flint ax was used to shape wood and bone and was just strong enough to fell a tree, although the process was very slow.

The king, who was tall and strong, led his men in hunting groups to kill deer and other wild animals in the forests and to fish in the streams. Some men brought their hunting dogs on leashes to follow scent trails to the animal. The men threw stones and spears with flint points at the animals. They used wood clubs to beat them, at the same time using wood shields to protect their bodies. They watched the phases of the moon and learned to predict when it would be full and give the most light for night hunting. This began the concept of a month. Circles of stone like Stonehenge were built with alignments to paths of the moon.

If hunting groups from two clans tried to follow the same deer, there might be a fight between the clans or a blood feud. After the battle, the clan would bring back its dead and wounded. A priest officiated over a funeral for a dead man. His wife would often also go on the funeral pyre with him.

The priest also officiated over sacrifices of humans, who were usually offenders found guilty of transgressions. Sacrifices were usually made in time of war or pestilence, and usually before the winter made food scarce.

The clan ate deer that had been cooked on a spit over a fire, and fruits and vegetables which had been gathered by the women. They drank water from springs. In the spring, food was plentiful. There were eggs of different colors in nests and many hare to eat. The goddess Easter was celebrated at this time.

After this hunting and gathering era, there was farming and domestication of animals such as horses, pigs, sheep, goats, chicken, and cattle. Of these, the pig was the most important meat supply, being killed and salted for winter use. Next in importance were the cattle. Sheep were kept primarily for their wool. Flocks and herds were taken to pastures. The male cattle, with wood yokes, pulled ploughs in the fields of barley and wheat. The female goat and cow provided milk, butter, and cheese. The chickens provided eggs. The hoe, spade, and grinding stone were used. Thread was spun with a hand-held spindle which one hand held while the other hand alternately formed the thread from a mass and then wound it around the spindle. A coarse cloth was woven and worn as a tunic which had been cut from the cloth. Kings wore tunics decorated with sheet gold. Decorated pottery was made from clay and used to hold liquids and for food preparation and consumption. During the period of "lent" [from the word "lencten", which means spring], it was forbidden to eat any meat or fish. This was the season in which many animals were born and grew to maturity. Wood carts with four wheels were used to transport produce and manure. Horses were used for transportation of people or goods. Wood dug-out boats and paddles were used to fish on rivers or on the seacoast.

Clans had settlements near rivers. Each settlement had a meadow, for the mowing of hay, and a simple mill, with round timber huts, covered with branches or thatch or turf supported by a ring of posts. Inside was a hearth with smoke going up through a hole in the roof, and a cauldron for cooking food. There was an upright loom in the darkness. The floor was swept clean. At the door were spears or bags of slingstones ready for immediate use. The King lived in the largest hut. Gullies outside carried off excess water. Each hut had a garden for fruit and vegetables. A goat or cow might be tied out of reach of the garden. There was a fence or hedge surrounding and protecting the garden area and dwelling. Buckets and cauldrons which had originated from the Mediterranean were used. Querns with the top circular stone turned by hand over the bottom stone were used for grinding grain. There were ovens to dry and roast grain. Grain was first eaten as a porridge or cereal. There were square wood granaries on stilts and wood racks on which to dry hay. Grain was stored in concealed pits in the earth which were lined with drystone or basket work or clay and made airtight by sealing with clay or dung. Old pits were converted into waste dumps, burials, or latrines. Outside the fence were an acre or two of fields of wheat and barley, and sometimes oats and rye. Wheat and rye were sown in the fall, and oats and barley in the spring. Sowing was by men or two oxen drawing a simple scratch plow. The crops were all harvested in the summer. In this two-field system, land was held by peasants in units designed to support a single extended family. These fields were usually enclosed with a hedge to keep animals from eating the crop and to define the territory of the settlement from that of its neighbors. Flax was grown and made into linen cloth. Beyond the fields were pastures for cattle and sheep grazing. There was often an area for beehives. This was subsistence level farming.

Pottery was given symmetry when formed with use of a wheel and heated in increasingly hot kilns. From kilns used for pottery, it was noticed that lumps of gold or copper ore within would melt and assume the shape of what they had been resting on. These were the first metals, and could be beaten into various shapes, such as ornaments. Then the liquid ore was poured into moulds carved out of stones to make axes and daggers, which were reheated and hammered to become strong. Copper-tipped drills, chisels, punches and awls were also made.

The bodies of deceased were buried far away from any village in wood coffins, except for kings, who were placed in large stone coffins after being wrapped in linen. Buried with them were a few personal items, such as copper daggers, flat copper axes, and awls [small pointed tool for piercing holes in leather, wood, or other soft materials.]. The deceased was buried in a coffin with a stone on top deep in the earth to keep the spirit of the dead from coming out to haunt the living.

It was learned that tin added to the copper made a stronger metal: bronze. Stone hammers, and bronze and iron tools, were used to make cooking pots, weapons, breast plates, and horse bits, which were formed from moulds and/or forged by bronze smiths and blacksmiths from iron extracted from iron ore heated in bowl-shaped hearths. Typically one man operated the bellows to keep the fire hot while another did the hammering. Bronze was made into sickles for harvesting, razors for shaving, tweezers, straight hair pins, safety pins for clothes, armlets, neck-rings, and mirrors. Weapons included bows and arrows, flint and copper daggers, bronze swords and spears, stone axes, and shields of wood with bronze mountings. The bows and arrows probably evolved from spear throwing rods. Kings in body armor fought with chariots drawn by two horses. The horse harnesses had bronze fittings. The chariots had wood wheels, later with iron rims. When bronze came into use, there was a demand for its constituent parts: copper and tin, which were traded by rafts on waterways and the sea. When iron came into use, there were wrought iron axes, saws, adzes [ax with curved blade used to dress wood], files, ploughshares, harrows [set of spikes to break clods of earth on plowed land and also to cover seed when sewn], scythes, billhooks [thick knife with hooked point used to prune shrubs], and spits for hearths. Lead was mined. There was some glassmaking of beads. Wrought iron bars were used as currency.

Hillforts now had wooden palisades on top of their banks to protect the enclosed farmsteads and villages from stock wandering off or being taken by rustlers, and from attacks by wild animals or other people. Later a rampart was added from which sentries could patrol. These were supported by timber and/or stone structures. Timbers were probably transported by carts or dragged by oxen. At the entrances were several openings only one of which really allowed entry. The others went between banks into dead ends and served as traps in which to kill the enemy from above. Gates were of wood, some hung from hinges on posts which could be locked. Later guard chambers were added, some with space for hearths and beds. Sometimes further concentric circles of banks and ditches, and perhaps a second rampart, were added around these forts. They could reach to 14 acres. The ramparts are sufficiently widely spaced to make sling-shotting out from them highly effective, but to minimize the dangers from sling-shotting from without. The additional banks and ditches could be used to create cattle corridors or to protect against spear-thrown firebrands. However, few forts had springs of water within them, indicating that attacks on them were probably expected to be short. Attacks usually began with warriors bristling with weapons and blowing war trumpets shouting insults to the foe, while their kings dashed about in chariots. Sometimes champions from each side fought in single combat. They took the heads of those they killed to hang from their belts or place on wood spikes at the gates. Prisoners, including women and children, might become slaves. Kings sometimes lived in separate palisades where they kept their horses and chariots.

Circles of big stones like Stonehenge were rebuilt so that the sun's position with respect to the stones would indicate the day of longest sunlight and the day of shortest sunlight. Between these days there was an optimum time to harvest the crops before fall, when plants dried up and leaves fell from the trees. The winter solstice, when the days began to get longer was cause for celebration. In the next season, there was an optimum time to plant seeds so they could spring up from the ground as new growth. So farming gave rise to the concept of a year. Certain changes of the year were celebrated, such as Easter, named for the Goddess of the Dawn, which occurred in the east (after lent); May Day celebrating the revival of life; Lammas around July, when the wheat crop was ready for harvesting; and on October 31 the Celtic eve of Samhain, when the spirits of the dead came back to visit homes and demand food or else cast an evil spell on the refusing homes; and at which masked and costumed inhabitants representing the souls of the dead paraded to the outskirts of the settlements to lead the ghosts away from their homes; and at which animals and humans, who might be deemed to be possessed by spirits, were sacrificed or killed perhaps as examples, in huge bonfires [bonefires] as those assembled looked out for spirits and evil beings.

There was an agricultural revolution from the two-field to the three-field system, in which there were three large fields for the heavy and fertile land. Each field was divided into long and narrow strips. Each strip represented a day's work with the plough. One field had wheat, or perhaps rye, another had barley, oats, beans, or peas, and the third was fallow. These were rotated yearly. There was a newly invented plough that was heavy and made of wood and later had an attached iron blade. The plough had a mould-board which caught the soil stirred by the plough blade and threw it into a ridge alongside the furrow dug by the plough blade. This plough was too heavy for two oxen and was pulled by a team of about eight to ten oxen. Each ox was owned by a different man as was the plough, because no one peasant could afford the complete set. Each freeman was allotted certain strips in each field to bear crops. His strips were far from each other, which insured some very fertile and some only fair soil, and some land near his village dwelling and some far away. These strips he cultivated, sowed with seed, and harvested for himself and his family. After the harvest, they reverted to common ownership for grazing by pigs, sheep, and geese. As soon as haymaking was over, the meadows became common grazing land for horses, cows, and oxen. Not just any inhabitant, but usually only those who owned a piece of land in the parish were entitled to graze their animals on the common land, and each owner had this right of pasture for a definite number of animals. The faster horse replaced the ox as the primary work animal. Other farm implements were: coulters, which gave free passage to the plough by cutting weeds and turf, picks, spades and shovels, reaping hooks and scythes, and sledge hammers and anvils. Strips of land for agriculture were added from waste land as the community grew. Waste lands were moors bristling with brushwood, or gorse, heather and wanton weeds, reed-coated marshes, quaking peat-bogs, or woods grown haphazard on sand or rock. With iron axes, forests could be cleared to provide more arable land.

Some villages had a smith, a wheelwright, and a cooper. There were villages which had one or two market days in each week. Cattle, sheep, pigs, poultry, calves, and hare were sold there. London was a town on the Thames River under the protection of the Celtic river god Lud: Lud's town. It's huts were probably built over the water, as was Celtic custom. It was a port for foreign trade. Near the town was Ludhill. Each Celtic tribe in England made its own coinage. Silver and bronze were first used, and then gold. The metal was put into a round form and then placed between two engraved dies, which were hit.

Flint workers mined with deer antler picks and ox shoulder blade shovels for flint to grind into axes, spearheads, and arrowheads. Mine shafts were up to thirty feet deep and necessitated the use of chalk lamps fueled by animal fat with wicks of moss. The flint was hauled up in baskets.

Common men and women were now buried in tombs within memorial burial mounds of earth with stone entrances and interior chambers. A man's weapons and shield were buried with him and a woman's spindle and weaving baton, and perhaps beads or pottery with her. At times, mounds of earth would simply be covered over piles of corpses and ashes in urns. In these mass graves, some corpses had spear holes or sword cuts, indicating death by violence. The Druid priests, the learned class of the Celts, taught the Celts to believe in reincarnation of the soul after death of one body into another body. They also threw prized possessions into lakes and rivers as sacrifices to water gods. They placed images of gods and goddesses in shrines, which were sometimes large enough to be temples. They thought of their gods as supernatural magicians.

With the ability to grow food and the acquisition of land by conquest by invading groups, the population grew. There were different classes of men. The freemen were eorls [noble freemen] or ceorls [ordinary free farmers]. Slaves were not free. Freemen had long hair and beards. Slaves' hair was shorn from their heads so that they were bald. Slaves were chained and often traded. Prisoners taken in battle, especially native Britons taken by invading groups, became slaves. A slave who was captured or purchased was a "theow". An "esne" was a slave who worked for hire. A "weallas" was a Welsh slave. Criminals became slaves of the person wronged or of the king. Sometimes a father pressed by need sold his children or his wife into bondage. Debtors, who increased in number during famine, which occurred regularly, became slaves by giving up the freeman's sword and spear, picking up a slave's mattock [pick ax for the soils], and placing their head within a lord's or lady's hands. They were called wite-theows. The original meaning of the word lord was "loaf-giver". Children with a slave parent were slaves. The slaves lived in huts around the homes of big landholders, which were made of logs and consisted on one large room or hall. An open hearth was in the middle of the earthen floor of the hall, which was strewn with rushes. There was a hole in the roof to let out the smoke. Here the landholder and his men would eat meat, bread, salt, hot spiced ale, and mead while listening to minstrels sing about the heroic deeds of their ancestors. Richer men drank wine. There were festivals which lasted several days, in which warriors feasted, drank, gambled, boasted, and slept where they fell. Physical strength and endurance in adversity were admired traits.

Slaves often were used as grain grinders, ploughmen, sowers, haywards, woodwards, shepherds, goatherds, swineherds, oxherds, cowherds, dairymaids, and barnmen. Slaves had no legal rights. A lord could kill his slave at will. A wrong done to a slave was regarded as done to his owner. If a person killed another man's slave, he had to compensate him with the slave's purchase price. The slave owner had to answer for the offenses of his slaves against others, as for the mischief done by his cattle. Since a slave had no property, he could not be fined for crimes, but was whipped, mutilated, or killed.

During famine, acorns, beans, peas, and even bark were ground down to supplement flour when grain stocks grew low. People scoured the hedgerows for herbs, roots, nettles, and wild grasses, which were usually left for the pigs. Sometimes people were driven to infanticide or group suicide by jumping together off a cliff or into the water.

Several large kingdoms came to replace the many small ones. The people were worshipping pagan gods when St. Augustine came to England in 596 A.D. to Christianize them. King AEthelbert of Kent [much later a county] and his wife, who had been raised Christian on the continent, met him when he arrived. The King gave him land where there were ruins of an old city. Augustine used stones from the ruins to build a church which was later called Canterbury. He also built the first St. Paul's church in London. Aethelbert and his men who fought with him and ate and lived in his household [gesiths] became Christian. A succession of princesses went out from Kent to marry other Saxon kings and convert them to Christianity.

Augustine knew how to write, but King AEthelbert did not. The King announced his laws at meetings of his people and his eorls would decide the punishments. There was a fine of 120s. for disregarding a command of the King. He and Augustine decided to write down some of these laws, which now included the King's new law concerning the church.

These laws concern personal injury, killing, theft, burglary, marriage, adultery, and inheritance. The blood feud's private revenge for killing had been replaced by payment of compensation to the dead man's kindred. One paid a man's "wergeld" [worth] to his kindred for causing his wrongful death. The wergeld [wer] of a king was an unpayable amount of about 7000s., of an aetheling [a king-worthy man of the extended royal family] was 1500s., of an eorl, 300s., of a ceorl, 100s., of a laet [agricultural worker in Kent, which class was between free and slave], 40-80s., and of a slave nothing. At this time a shilling could buy a cow in Kent or a sheep elsewhere. If a ceorl killed an eorl, he paid three times as much as an eorl would have paid as murderer. The penalty for slander was tearing out of the tongue. If an aetheling was guilty of this offense, his tongue was worth five times that of a coerl, so he had to pay proportionately more to ransom it. The crimes of murder, treachery to one's own lord, arson, house breaking, and open theft, were punishable by death and forfeiture of all property.

The Law


  1. [Theft of] the property of God and of the church [shall be compensated], twelve fold; a bishop's property, eleven fold; a priest's property, nine fold; a deacon's property, six fold; a cleric's property, three fold; church frith [breach of the peace of the church; right of sanctuary and protection given to those within its precincts], two fold [that of ordinary breach of the public peace]; m....frith [breach of the peace of a meeting place], two fold.
  2. If the King calls his leod [his people] to him, and any one there do them evil, [let him compensate with] a twofold bot [damages for the injury], and 50 shillings to the King.
  3. If the King drink at any one's home, and any one there do any lyswe [evil deed], let him make twofold bot.
  4. If a freeman steal from the King, let him repay nine fold.
  5. If a man slay another in the King's tun [enclosed dwelling premises], let him make bot with 50 shillings.
  6. If any one slay a freeman, 50 shillings to the King, as drihtin beah [payment to a lord in compensation for killing his freeman].
  7. If the King's ambiht smith [smith or carpenter] or laad rine [man who walks before the King or guide or escort], slay a man, let him pay a half leod geld.
  8. [Offenses against anyone or anyplace under] the King's mund byrd [protection or patronage], 50 shillings.
  9. If a freeman steal from a freeman, let him make threefold bot; and let the King have the wite [fine] and all the chattels [necessary to pay the fine]. (Chattels was a variant of "cattle".)
  10. If a man lie with the King's maiden [female servant], let him pay a bot of 50 shillings.
  11. If she be a grinding slave, let him pay a bot of 25 shillings. The third [class of servant] 12 shillings.
  12. Let the King's fed esl [woman who serves him food or nurse] be paid for with 20 shillings.
  13. If a man slay another in an eorl's tun [premises], let [him] make bot with 12 shillings.
  14. If a man lie with an eorl's birele [female cupbearer], let him make bot with 12 shillings.
  15. [Offenses against a person or place under] a ceorl's mund byrd [protection], 6 shillings.
  16. If a man lie with a ceorl's birele [female cupbearer], let him make bot with 6 shillings; with a slave of the second [class], 50 scaetts; with one of the third, 30 scaetts.
  17. If any one be the first to invade a man's tun [premises], let him make bot with 6 shillings; let him who follows, with 3 shillings; after, each, a shilling.
  18. If a man furnish weapons to another where there is a quarrel, though no injury results, let him make bot with 6 shillings.
  19. If a weg reaf [highway robbery] be done [with weapons furnished by another], let him [the man who provided the weapons] make bot with 6 shillings.
  20. If the man be slain, let him [the man who provided the weapons] make bot with 20 shillings.
  21. If a [free] man slay another, let him make bot with a half leod geld [wergeld for manslaughter] of 100 shillings.
  22. If a man slay another, at the open grave let him pay 20 shillings, and pay the whole leod within 40 days.
  23. If the slayer departs from the land, let his kindred pay a half leod.
  24. If any one bind a freeman, let him make bot with 20 shillings.
  25. If any one slay a ceorl's hlaf aeta [loaf or bread eater; domestic or menial servant], let him make bot with 6 shillings.
  26. If [anyone] slay a laet of the highest class, let him pay 80 shillings; of the second class, let him pay 60 shillings; of the third class, let him pay 40 shillings.
  27. If a freeman commit edor breach [breaking through the fenced enclosure and forcibly entering a ceorl's dwelling], let him make bot with 6 shillings.
  28. If any one take property from a dwelling, let him pay a three-fold bot.
  29. If a freeman goes with hostile intent through an edor [the fence enclosing a dwelling], let him make bot with 4 shillings.
  30. If [in so doing] a man slay another, let him pay with his own money, and with any sound property whatever.
  31. If a freeman lie with a freeman's wife, let him pay for it with his wer geld, and obtain another wife with his own money, and bring her to the other [man's dwelling].
  32. If any one thrusts through the riht ham scyld [legal means of protecting one's home], let him adequately compensate.
  33. If there be feax fang [seizing someone by the hair], let there be 50 sceatts for bot.
  34. If there be an exposure of the bone, let bot be made with 3 shillings.
  35. If there be an injury to the bone, let bot be made with 4 shillings.
  36. If the outer hion [outer membrane covering the brain] be broken, let bot be made with 10 shillings.
  37. If it be both [outer and inner membranes covering the brain], let bot be made with 20 shillings.
  38. If a shoulder be lamed, let bot be made with 30 shillings.
  39. If an ear be struck off, let bot be made with 12 shillings.
  40. If the other ear hear not, let bot be made with 25 shillings.
  41. If an ear be pierced, let bot be made with 3 shillings.
  42. If an ear be mutilated, let bot be made with 6 shillings.
  43. If an eye be [struck] out, let bot be made with 50 shillings.
  44. If the mouth or an eye be injured, let bot be made with 12 shillings.
  45. If the nose be pierced, let bot be made with 9 shillings.
  46. If it be one ala, let bot be made with 3 shillings.
  47. If both be pierced, let bot be made with 6 shillings.
  48. If the nose be otherwise mutilated, for each [cut, let] bot be made with 6 shillings.
  49. If it be pierced, let bot be made with 6 shillings.
  50. Let him who breaks the jaw bone pay for it with 20 shillings.
  51. For each of the four front teeth, 6 shillings; for the tooth which stands next to them 4 shillings; for that which stands next to that, 3 shillings; and then afterwards, for each a shilling.
  52. If the speech be injured, 12 shillings. If the collar bone be broken, let bot be made with 6 shillings.
  53. Let him who stabs [another] through an arm, make bot with 6 shillings. If an arm be broken, let him make bot with 6 shillings.
  54. If a thumb be struck off, 20 shillings. If a thumb nail be off, let bot be made with 3 shillings. If the shooting [fore] finger be struck off, let bot be made with 8 shillings. If the middle finger be struck off, let bot be made with 4 shillings. If the gold [ring] finger be struck off, let bot be made with 6 shillings. If the little finger be struck off, let bot be made with 11 shillings.
  55. For every nail, a shilling.
  56. For the smallest disfigurement of the face, 3 shillings; and for the greater, 6 shillings.
  57. If any one strike another with his fist on the nose, 3 shillings.
  58. If there be a bruise [on the nose], a shilling; if he receive a right hand bruise [from protecting his face with his arm], let him [the striker] pay a shilling.
  59. If the bruise [on the arm] be black in a part not covered by the clothes, let bot be made with 30 scaetts.
  60. If it be covered by the clothes, let bot for each be made with 20 scaetts.
  61. If the belly be wounded, let bot be made with 12 shillings; if it be pierced through, let bot be made with 20 shillings.
  62. If any one be gegemed [pregnant], let bot be made with 30 shillings.
  63. If any one be cear wund [badly wounded], let bot be made with 3 shillings.
  64. If any one destroy [another's] organ of generation [penis], let him pay him with 3 leod gelds: if he pierce it through, let him make bot with 6 shillings; if it be pierced within, let him make bot with 6 shillings.
  65. If a thigh be broken, let bot be made with 12 shillings; if the man become halt [lame], then friends must arbitrate.
  66. If a rib be broken, let bot be made with 3 shillings.
  67. If [the skin of] a thigh be pierced through, for each stab 6 shillings; if [the wound be] above an inch [deep], a shilling; for two inches, 2; above three, 3 shillings.
  68. If a sinew be wounded, let bot be made with 3 shillings.
  69. If a foot be cut off, let 50 shillings be paid.
  70. If a great toe be cut off, let 10 shillings be paid.
  71. For each of the other toes, let one half that for the corresponding finger be paid.
  72. If the nail of a great toe be cut off, 30 scaetts for bot; for each of the others, make bot with 10 scaetts.
  73. If a freewoman loc bore [with long hair] commit any leswe [evil deed], let her make a bot of 30 shillings.
  74. Let maiden bot [compensation for injury to an unmarried woman] be as that of a freeman.
  75. For [breach of] the mund [protection] of a widow of the best class, of an eorl's degree, let the bot be 50 shillings; of the second, 20 shillings; of the third, 12 shillings; of the fourth, 6 shillings.
  76. If a man carry off a widow not under his own protection by right, let the mund be twofold.
  77. If a man buy a maiden with cattle, let the bargain stand, if it be without fraud; but if there be fraud, let him bring her home again, and let his property be restored to him.
  78. If she bear a live child, she shall have half the property, if the husband die first.
  79. If she wish to go away with her children, she shall have half the property.
  80. If the husband wish to keep them [the children], [she shall have the same portion] as one child.
  81. If she bear no child, her paternal kindred shall have the fioh [her money and chattels] and the morgen gyfe [morning gift: a gift made to the bride by her husband on the morning following the consummation of the marriage].
  82. If a man carry off a maiden by force, let him pay 50 shillings to the owner, and afterwards buy [the object of] his will from the owner.
  83. If she be betrothed to another man in money [at a bride price], let him [who carried her off] make bot with 20 shillings.
  84. If she become gaengang [pregnant], 35 shillings; and 15 shillings to the King.
  85. If a man lie with an esne's wife, her husband still living, let him make twofold bot.
  86. If one esne slay another unoffending, let him pay for him at his full worth.
  87. If an esne's eye and foot be struck out or off, let him be paid for at his full worth.
  88. If any one bind another man's esne, let him make bot with 6 shillings.
  89. Let [compensation for] weg reaf [highway robbery] of a theow [slave] be 3 shillings.
  90. If a theow steal, let him make twofold bot [twice the value of the stolen goods]."

Judicial Procedure

The King and his freemen would hear and decide cases of wrongful behavior such as breach of the peace. Punishment would be given to the offender by the community.

There were occasional meetings of "hundreds", which were 100 households, to settle widespread disputes. The chief officer was "hundreder" or "constable". He was responsible for keeping the peace of the hundred.

The Druid priests decided all disputes of the Celts.

Chapter 2

The Times: 600-900

The country was inhabited by Anglo-Saxons. The French called it "Angleterre", which means the angle or end of the earth. It was called "Angle land", which later became "England".

A community was usually an extended family. Its members lived a village in which a stone church was the most prominent building. They lived in one-room huts with walls and roofs made of wood, mud, and straw. Hangings covered the cracks in the walls to keep the wind out. Smoke from a fire in the middle of the room filtered out of cracks in the roof. Grain was ground at home by rotating by hand one stone disk on another stone disk. Some villages had a mill powered by the flow of water or by horses. All freeholders had the duty of watch [at night] and ward [during the day], of following the hue and cry to chase an offender, and of taking the oath of peace. These three duties were constant until 1195.

Farmland surrounded the villages and was farmed by the community as a whole under the direction of a lord. There was silver, copper, iron, tin, gold, and various types of stones from remote lead mines and quarries in the nation. Silver pennies replaced the smaller scaetts. Freemen paid "scot" and bore "lot" according to their means for local purposes.

Offa, the strongest of the Saxon kings, minted high-quality silver pennies. He traded woolen coats for lava grindstones with Emperor Charlemagne, who used a silver denarius coin. There were 12 denarii to the solidus and 20 soldi to the pound of silver. These denominations were taken by England as 12 pennies to the shilling and 20 shillings to the pound. The pound sign, an "L" with a hash mark derived from the word Libra, which meant weighing scales.

Everyone in the village went to church on Sunday and brought gifts such as grain to the priest. Later, contributions in the form of money became customary, and then expected. They were called "tithes" and were spent for church repair, the clergy, and poor and needy laborers. Local custom determined the amount. There was also church-scot: a payment to the clergy in lieu of the first fruits of the land. The priest was the chaplain of a landlord and his parish was coextensive with that landlord's holding and could include one to several villages. The priest and other men who helped him, lived in the church building. Some churches had lead roofs and iron hinges, latches, and locks on their doors. The land underneath had been given to the church by former kings and persons who wanted the church to say prayers to help their souls go from purgatory to heaven and who also selected the first priest. The priest conducted Christianized Easter ceremonies in the spring and (Christ's mass) ceremonies in winter in place of the pagan Yuletide festivities. Burning incense took the place of pagan burnt animal offerings, which were accompanied by incense to disguise the odor of burning flesh. Holy water replaced haunted wells and streams. Christian incantations replaced sorcerer's spells. Nuns assisted priests in celebrating mass and administering the sacraments. They alone consecrated new nuns. Vestry meetings were community meetings held for church purposes. The people said their prayers in English, and the priest conducted the services in English. A person joined his hands in prayer as if to offer them for binding together in submission.

The church baptized babies and officiated or gave blessings at marriage ceremonies. It also said prayers for the dying, gave them funerals, and buried them. There were burial service fees, candle dues, and plough alms. A piece of stone with the dead person's name marked his grave. It was thought that putting the name on the grave would assist identification of that person for being taken to heaven. The church heard the last wish or will of the person dying concerning who he wanted to have his property. The church taught that it was not necessary to bury possessions with the deceased. The church taught boys and girls.

Every man carried a horn slung on his shoulder as he went about his work so that he could at once send out a warning to his fellow villagers or call them in chasing a thief or other offender. The forests were full of outlaws, so strangers who did not blow a horn to announce themselves were presumed to be fugitive offenders who could be shot on sight. An eorl could call upon the ceorl farmers for about forty days to fight off an invading group.

There were several kingdoms, whose boundaries kept changing due to warfare, which was a sin according to the church. They were each governed by a king and witan of wise men who met at a witanegemot, which was usually held three times a year, mostly on great church festivals and at the end of the harvest. The king and witan chose the witan's members of bishops, eorldormen, and thegns [landholding farmers]. The king and hereditary claims played a major part in the selection of the eorldormen, who were the highest military leaders and often of the royal family. They were also chief magistrates of large jurisdictional areas of land. The witan included officers of the king's household and perhaps other of his retinue. There was little distinction then between his gesith, fighting men, guards, household companions, dependents, and servants. The king was sometimes accompanied by his wife and sons at the witanagemot. A king was selected by the witan according to his worthiness, usually from among the royal family, and could be deposed by it. The witan and king decided on laws, taxes, and transfers of land. They made determinations of war and peace and directed the army and the fleet. The king wore a crown or royal helmet. He extended certain protections by the king's peace. He could erect castles and bridges and could provide a special protection to strangers.

A king had not only a wergeld to be paid to his family if he were killed, but a "cynebot" of equal amount that would be paid to his kingdom's people. A king's household had a chamberlain for the royal bedchamber, a marshall to oversee the horses and military equipment, a steward as head of household, and a cupbearer. The king had income from fines for breach of his peace; fines and forfeitures from courts dealing with criminal and civil cases; salvage from ship wrecks; treasure trove [assets hidden or buried in times of war]; treasures of the earth such as gold and silver; mines; saltworks; tolls and other dues of markets, ports, and the routes by land and by river generally; heriot from heirs of his special dependents for possession of land (usually in kind, principally in horses and weapons). He also had rights of purveyance [hospitality and maintenance when traveling]. The king had private lands, which he could dispose of by his will. He also had crown lands, which belonged to his office and could not be alienated without consent of the witan. Crown lands often included palaces and their appendant farms, and burhs. It was a queen's duty to run the royal estate. Also, a queen could possess, manage, and dispose of lands in her name. Violent queens waged wars. Kingdoms were often allied by marriage between their royal families. There were also royal marriages to royalty on the continent.

The houses of the wealthy had ornamented silk hangings on the walls. Some had fine white ox horn shaved so thin they were transparent for windows. Brightly colored drapery, often purple, and fly nets surrounded their beds, which were covered with the fur of animals. They slept in bed clothes on pillows stuffed with straw. Tables plated with silver and gems held silver candlesticks, gold and silver goblets and cups, and lamps of gold, silver, or glass. They used silver mirrors and silver writing pens. There were covered seats, benches, and footstools with the head and feet of animals at their extremities. They ate from a table covered with a cloth. Servants brought in food on spits, from which they ate. Food was boiled, broiled, or baked. The wealthy ate wheat bread and others ate barley bread. Ale made from barley was passed around in a cup. Mead made from honey was also drunk.

Men wore long-sleeved wool and linen garments reaching almost to the knee, around which they wore a belt tied in a knot. Men often wore a gold ring on the fourth finger of the right hand. Leather shoes were fastened with leather thongs around the ankle. Their hair was parted in the middle and combed down each side in waving ringlets. The beard was parted in the middle of the chin, so that it ended in two points. The clergy did not wear beards. Great men wore gold-embroidered clothes, gilt buckles and brooches, and drank from drinking horns mounted in silver gilt or in gold. Well-to-do women wore brightly colored robes with waist bands, headbands, necklaces, gem bracelets, and rings. Their long hair was in ringlets and they put rouge on their cheeks. They had beads, pins, needles, tweezers of bronze, and workboxes of bronze, some highly ornamented. They were often doing needlework. Silk was affordable only by the wealthy.

Most families kept a pig and pork was the primary meat. There were also sheep, goats, cows, deer, hare, and fowl. Fowl was obtained by fowlers who trapped them. The inland waters yielded eels, salmon, and trout. In the fall, meat was salted to preserve it for winter meals. There were orchards growing figs, nuts, grapes, almonds, pears, and apples. Also produced were beans, lentils, onions, eggs, cheese, and butter. Pepper and cinnamon were imported.

Fishing from the sea yielded herrings, sturgeon, porpoise, oysters, crabs, and other fish. Sometimes a whale was driven into an inlet by a group of boats. Whale skins were used to make ropes.

The roads were not much more than trails. They were often so narrow that two pack horses could hardly pass each other. The pack horses each carried two bales or two baskets slung over their backs, which balanced each other. The soft soil was compacted into a deep ditch which rains, floods, and tides, if near the sea, soon turned into a river. Traveling a far distance was unsafe as there were robbers on the roads. Traveling strangers were distrusted. It was usual to wash one's feet in a hot tub after traveling and to dry them with a rough wool cloth.

There were superstitions about the content of dreams, the events of the moon, and the flights and voices of birds were often seen as signs or omens of future events. Herbal mixtures were drunk for sickness and maladies. From the witch hazel plant was made a mild alcoholic astringent, which was probably used to clean cuts and sooth abrasions.

In the peaceful latter part of the 600s, Theodore, who had been a monk in Rome, was appointed archbishop and visited all the island speaking about the right rule of life and ordaining bishops to oversee the priests. Each kingdom was split up into dioceses each with one bishop. Thereafter, bishops were selected by the king and his witan, usually after consulting the clergy and even the people of the diocese. The bishops came to be the most permanent element of society. They had their sees in villages or rural monasteries. The bishops came to have the same wergeld as an eorldorman: 1200s., which was the price of about 500 oxen. A priest had the wergeld as a landholding farmer [thegn], or 300s. The bishops spoke Latin, but the priests of the local parishes spoke English. Theodore was the first archbishop whom all the English church obeyed. He taught sacred and secular literature, the books of holy writ, ecclesiastical poetry, astronomy, arithmetic, and sacred music. Theodore discouraged slavery by denying Christian burial to the kidnapper and forbidding the sale of children over the age of seven. A slave became entitled to two loaves a day and to his holydays. A slave was allowed to buy his or his children's freedom. In 673, Theodore started annual national ecclesiastical assemblies, for instance for the witnessing of important actions. The bishops, some abbots, the king, and the eorldormen were usually present. From them the people learned the benefit of common national action. There were two archbishops: one of Canterbury in the south and one of York in the north. They governed the bishops and could meet with them to issue canons that would be equally valid all over the land. A bishop's house contained some clerks, priests, monks, and nun and was a retreat for the weary missionary and a school for the young. The bishop had a deacon who acted as a secretary and companion in travel, and sometimes as an interpreter. Ink was made from the outer husks of walnuts steeped in vinegar.

The learned ecclesiastical life flourished in monastic communities, in which both monks and nuns lived. Hilda, a noble's daughter, became the first nun in Northumbria and abbess of one of its monasteries. There she taught justice, piety, chastity, peace, and charity. Several monks taught there later became bishops. Kings and princes often asked her advice. Many abbesses came to run monastic communities; they were from royal families. Women, especially from royal families, fled to monasteries to obtain shelter from unwanted marriage or to avoid their husbands. Kings and eorldormen retired to them.

Danish Vikings made several invasions in the 800s for which a danegeld tax on land was assessed on everyone every ten to twenty years. The amount was determined by the witan and was typically 2s. per hide of land. (A hide was probably the amount of land which could support a family or household for a year or as much land as could be tilled annually by a single plow.) It was stored in a strong box under the King's bed. King Alfred the Great, who had lived for awhile in Rome, unified the country to defeat the invaders. He established fortifications called "burhs", usually on hill tops or other strategic locations on the borders to control the main road and river routes into his realm. The burhs were seminal towns. They were typically walled enclosures with towers and an outer ditch and mound, instead of the hedge or fence enclosure of a tun. Inside were several wooden thatched huts and a couple of churches, which were lit by earthen oil lamps. The populace met at burhgemotes. The land area protected by each burh became known as a "shire", which means a share of a larger whole. The shire or local landowners were responsible for repairing the burh fortifications. There were about thirty shires.

Alfred gathered together fighting men who were at his disposal, which included eorldormen with their hearthbands (retinues of men each of whom had chosen to swear to fight to the death for their eorldorman, and some of whom were of high rank), the King's thegns, shire thegns (local landholding farmers, who were required to bring fighting equipment such as swords, helmets, chain mail, and horses), and ordinary freemen, i.e. ceorls (who carried food, dug fortifications, and sometimes fought). Since the King was compelled to call out the whole population to arms, the distinction between the king's thegns from other landholders disappeared. Some great lords organized men under them, whom they provisioned. These vassals took a personal oath to their lord "on condition that he keep me as I am willing to deserve, and fulfill all that was agreed on when I became his man, and chose his will as mine." Alfred had a small navy of longships with 60 oars to fight the Viking longships.

Alfred divided his army into two parts so that one half of the men were fighting while the other half was at home sowing and harvesting for those fighting. Thus, any small-scale independent farming was supplanted by the open-field system, cultivation of common land, more large private estates headed by a lord, and a more stratified society in which the king and important families more powerful and the peasants more curtailed. The witan became mere witnesses. Many free coerls of the older days became bonded. The village community tended to become a large private estate headed by a lord. But the lord does not have the power to encroach upon the rights of common that exist within the community.

In 886, a treaty between Alfred and the Vikings divided the country along the war front and made the wergeld of every free farmer, whether English or Viking, 200s. Men of higher rank were given a wergeld of 4 1/2 marks of pure gold. A mark was probably a Viking denomination and a mark of gold was equal to nine marks of silver in later times and probably in this time. The word "earl" replaced the word "eorldormen" and the word "thegn" replaced the word "aetheling" after the Danish settlement. The ironed pleats of Viking clothing indicated a high status of the wearer. The Vikings brought combs and the practice of regular hair-combing to England.

King Alfred gave land with jurisdictional powers within its boundaries such as the following:

"This is the bequest which King Alfred make unequivocally to Shaftesbury, to the praise of God and St. Mary and all the saints of God, for the benefit of my soul, namely a hundred hides as they stand with their produce and their men, and my daughter AEthelgifu to the convent along with the inheritance, since she took the veil on account of bad health; and the jurisdiction to the convent, which I myself possessed, namely obstruction and attacks on a man's house and breach of protection. And the estates which I have granted to the foundation are 40 hides at Donhead and Compton, 20 hides at Handley and Gussage 10 hides at Tarrant, 15 hides at Iwerve and 15 hides at Fontmell.

The witnesses of this are Edward my son and Archbishop AEthelred and Bishop Ealhferth and Bishop AEthelhead and Earl Wulfhere and Earl Eadwulf and Earl Cuthred and Abbot Tunberht and Milred my thegn and AEthelwulf and Osric and Brihtulf and Cyma. If anyone alters this, he shall have the curse of God and St. Mary and all the saints of God forever to all eternity. Amen."

Sons usually succeeded their fathers on the same land as shown by this lifetime lease:

"Bishop Denewulf and the community at Winchester lease to Alfred for his lifetime 40 hides of land at Alresford, in accordance with the lease which Bishop Tunbriht had granted to his parents and which had run out, on condition that he renders every year at the autumnal equinox three pounds as rent, and church dues, and the work connected with church dues; and when the need arises, his men shall be ready both for harvesting and hunting; and after his death the property shall pass undisputed to St. Peter's.

These are the signatures of the councilors and of the members of the community who gave their consent, namely ..."

Alfred invented a graduated candle with spaces indicating one hour of burning, which could be used as a clock. He used a ventilated cow's horn to put around the top of the candle to prevent its blowing out, and then devised a wooden lantern with a horn window. He described the world as like a yolk in the middle of an egg whose shell moves around it. This agreed with the position of Ptolemy Claudius of Alexandria, who showed the curvature of the earth from north to south by observing that the Polar Star was higher in the north and lower in the south. That it was curved from east to west followed from the observation that two clocks placed one west and one east would record a different time for the same eclipse of the moon.

Alfred wrote poems on the worthiness of wisdom and knowledge in preference to material pleasures, pride, and fame, in dealing with life's sorrow and strife. His observations on human nature and his proverbs include:

  1. As one sows, so will he mow.
  2. Every man's doom [judgment] returns to his door.
  3. He who will not learn while young, will repent of it when old.
  4. Weal [prosperity] without wisdom is worthless.
  5. Though a man had 70 acres sown with red gold, and the gold grew like grass, yet he is not a whit the worthier unless he gain friends for himself.
  6. Gold is but a stone unless a wise man has it.
  7. It's hard to row against the sea flood; so it is against misfortune.
  8. He who toils in his youth to win wealth, so that he may enjoy ease in his old age, has well bestowed his toil.
  9. Many a man loses his soul through silver.
  10. Wealth may pass away, but wisdom will remain, and no man may perish who has it for his comrade.
  11. Don't choose a wife for her beauty nor for wealth, but study her disposition.
  12. Many an apple is bright without and bitter within.
  13. Don't believe the man of many words.
  14. With a few words a wise man can compass much.
  15. Make friends at market, and at church, with poor and with rich.
  16. Though one man wielded all the world, and all the joy that dwells therein, he could not therewith keep his life.
  17. Don't chide with a fool.
  18. A fool's bolt is soon shot.
  19. If you have a child, teach it men's manners while it is little. If you let him have his own will, he will cause you much sorrow when he comes of age.
  20. He who spares the rod and lets a young child rule, shall rue it when the child grows old.
  21. Either drinking or not drinking is, with wisdom, good.
  22. Be not so mad as to tell your friend all your thoughts.
  23. Relatives often quarrel together.
  24. The barkless dog bites ill.
  25. Be wise of word and wary of speech, then all shall love you.
  26. We may outride, but not outwit, the old man.
  27. If you and your friend fall out, then your enemy will know what your friend knew before.
  28. Don't choose a deceitful man as a friend, for he will do you harm.
  29. The false one will betray you when you least expect it.
  30. Don't choose a scornful false friend, for he will steal your goods and deny the theft.
  31. Take to yourself a steadfast man who is wise in word and deed; he will prove a true friend in need.

To restore education and religion, Alfred disseminated the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles; the Venerable Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English Nation; the "Consolidation of Philosophy" by Roman philosopher Boethius, which related the use of adversity to develop the soul, and described the goodness of God and how the highest happiness comes from spiritual values and the soul, which are eternal, rather than from material or earthly pursuits, which are temporal; and Pope Gregory's Pastoral Care, which he had translated into English and was the fundamental book on the duty of a bishop, which included a duty to teach laymen; and Orosius' History of the World, which he had translated into English. Alfred's advice to pastors was to live as they had been taught from books and to teach this manner of life to others. To be avoided was pride, the mind's deception of seeking glory in the name of doing good works, and the corruption of high office. Bede was England's first scholar, first theologian, and first historian. He wrote poetry, theological books, homilies, and textbooks on grammar, rhetoric [public speaking and debating], arithmetic, and astronomy. He adhered to the doctrine that death entered the world by the sin of Adam, the first man. He began the practice of dating years from the birth of Christ and believed that the earth was round. Over the earth was a fiery spherical firmament. Above this were the waters of the heavens. Above this were the upper heavens, which contained the angels and was tempered with ice. He declared that comets portend downfalls of kingdoms, pestilence, war, winds, or heat. This reflected the church's view that a comet was a ball of fire flung from the right hand of an angry God as a warning to mankind, usually for disbelief. Storms were begun by the devil.

A famous poem, the oral legend of Beowulf, a hero who led his men into adventures and performed great feats and fought monsters and dragons, was put into writing with a Christian theme. In it, loyalty to one's lord is a paramount virtue. Also available in writing was the story of King Arthur's twelve victorious battles against the pagan Saxons, authored by Nennius.

There were professional story tellers attached to great men. Others wandered from court to court, receiving gifts for their story telling. Men usually told oral legends of their own feats and those of their ancestors after supper.

Alfred had monasteries rebuilt with learned and moral men heading them. He built a nunnery which was headed by his daughter as prioress. He built a strong wall with four gates around London, which he had taken into his control. He appointed his son-in-law, who was one of his eorldormen, to be alderman [older man] to govern London and to be the shire's earl. A later king built a palace in London, although Winchester was still the royal capital town. When the king traveled, he and his retinue were fed by the local people at their expense.

After Alfred's death, his daughter Aethelflared ruled the country for seven years. She had more fortified burhs built and led soldiers to victories.

Under the royalty were the nobles. An earl headed each shire as representative of the King. The term "earl" came to denote an office instead of a nobleman. He led the array of his shire to do battle if the shire was attacked. He executed all royal commands. An earl received grants of land and could claim hospitality and maintenance for himself, his officers, and his servants. He presided over the shire court. He received one-third of the fines from the profits of justice and collected as well a third of the revenues derived from tolls and duties levied in the boroughs of his shire. The office tended to be hereditary. Royal representatives called "reeves" started to assist them. The reeve took security from every person for the maintenance of the public peace. He also tracked cattle thieves, brought suspects to court, gave judgments according to the doom books, and delivered offenders to punishment.

Under the earls were the thegns. By service to the King, it was possible for a coerl to rise to become a thegn and to be given land by the King. Other thegns performed functions of magistrates. A thegn was later identified as a person with five hides of land, a kitchen, a church, a bell house, a judicial place at the burhgemote [a right of magistracy], and an appointment in the King's hall. He was bound to service in war by virtue of his landholding instead of by his relationship to the king. Nobility was now a territorial attribute, rather than one of birth. The wergeld of a thegn was 1200s. when that of a ceorl or ordinary freeman was 200s. The wergeld of an earl or bishop was four times that of a thegn: 5800s. The wergeld of a king or archbishop was six times that of a thegn: 7200s. The higher a man's wergeld, the higher was his legal status in the scale of punishment, giving credible evidence, and participation in legal proceedings. The sokemen were freemen who had inherited their own land, chose their own lord, and attended and were subject to their lord's court. That is, their lord has soke [soc] jurisdiction over them. A ceorl typically had a single hide of land. A smallholder rented land of about 30 acres from a landlord, which he paid by doing work on the lord's demesne [household or messuage] land, paying money rent, or paying a food rent such as in eggs or chickens. Smallholders made up about two fifths of the population. A cottager had one to five acres of land and depended on others for his living. Among these were shepherds, ploughmen, swineherds, and blacksmiths. They also participated in the agricultural work, especially at harvest time.

It was possible for a thegn to become an earl, probably by the possession of forty hides. He might even acquire enough land to qualify him for the witan. Women could be present at the witanagemot and shiregemote [meeting of the people of the shire]. They could sue and be sued in the courts. They could independently inherit, possess, and dispose of property. A wife's inheritance was her own and under no control of her husband.

Marriage required the consent of the lady and her friends. The man also had to arrange for the foster lean, that is, remuneration for rearing and support of expected children. He also declared the amount of money or land he would give the lady for her consent, that is, the morgengift, and what he would bequeath her in case of his death. It was given to her on the morning after the wedding night. The family of the bride was paid a "mund" for transferring the rightful protection they possessed over her to the family of the husband. If the husband died and his kindred did not accept the terms sanctioned by law, her kindred could repurchase the rightful protection. If she remarried within a year of his death, she had to forfeit the morgengift and his nearest kin received the lands and possessions she had. The word for man was "waepnedmenn" or weaponed person. A woman was "wifmenn" or wife person, with "wif" being derived from the word for weaving.

Great men and monasteries had millers, smiths, carpenters, architects, agriculturists, fishermen, weavers, embroiders, dyers, and illuminators.

For entertainment, minstrels sang ballads about heroes or Bible stories, harpers played, jesters joked, and tumblers threw and caught balls and knives. There was gambling, dice games, and chasing deer with hounds.

Fraternal guilds were established for mutual advantage and protection. A guild imposed fines for any injury of one member by another member. It assisted in paying any murder fine imposed on a member. It avenged the murder of a member and abided by the consequences. It buried its members and purchased masses for his soul.

Mercantile guilds in seaports carried out commercial speculations not possible by the capital of only one person.

There were some ale houses, probably part of certain dwellings.

The Law

Alfred issued a set of laws to cover the whole country, which were drawn from the best laws of each region. There was no real distinction between the concepts of law, morals, and religion.

The importance of telling the truth and keeping one's word are expressed by this law: "1. At the first we teach that it is most needful that every man warily keep his oath and his wed. If any one be constrained to either of these wrongfully, either to treason against his lord, or to any unlawful aid; then it is juster to belie than to fulfill. But if he pledge himself to that which is lawful to fulfill, and in that belie himself, let him submissively deliver up his weapon and his goods to the keeping of his friends, and be in prison forty days in a King's tun: let him there suffer whatever the bishop may prescribe to him..." Let his kinsmen feed him, if he has no food. If he escapes, let him be held a fugitive and be excommunicate of the church.

The word of a bishop and of the king were incontrovertible without an oath.

The Ten Commandments were written down as this law:

"The Lord spake these words to Moses, and thus said: I am the Lord thy God. I led thee out of the land of the Egyptians, and of their bondage.

  1. Love thou not other strange gods above me.
  2. Utter thou not my name idly, for thou shalt not be guiltless towards me if thou utter my name idly.
  3. Remember that thou hallow the rest day. Work for yourselves six days, and on the seventh rest. For in six days, Christ wrought the heavens and the earth, the seas, and all creatures that are in them, and rested on the seventh day: and therefore the Lord hallowed it.
  4. Honor thy father and thy mother whom the Lord hath given thee, that thou mayst be the longer living on earth.
  5. Slay thou not.
  6. Commit thou not adultery.
  7. Steal thou not.
  8. Say thou not false witness.
  9. Covet thou not thy neighbor's goods unjustly.
  10. Make thou not to thyself golden or silver gods."

If any one fights in the king's hall, or draws his weapon, and he be taken; be it in the king's doom, either death, or life, as he may be willing to grant him. If he escape, and be taken again, let him pay for himself according to his wergeld, and make bot for the offense, as well wer as wite, according as he may have wrought.

If a man fights before a king's ealdorman in the gemot, let him make bot with wer and wite as it may be right; and before this 120s. to the ealdorman as wite. If he disturbs the folkmote by drawing his weapon, 120s. to the ealdorman as wite. If any of this happens before a king's ealdorman's junior, or a king's priest, 30s. as wite.

If any one fights in a ceorlish man's dwelling, let him make bot of 6s. to the ceorl. If he draws his weapon but doesn't fight, let it be half of that. If, however, either of these happens to a man with a wergeld of 600s., let it increase threefold of the ceorlish bot; and if to a man with a wergeld of 1200s., let it increase twofold of the bot of the man with a wergeld of 600s. Breach of the king's dwelling [breaking and entering] shall be 120s.; an archbishop's, 90s.; any other bishop's, and an ealdorman's, 60s.;. a 1200s. wergeld man's, 30s.; a 600s. wergeld man's, 15s.; and a ceorl's 5s.

If any one plot against the king's life, of himself, or by harboring of exiles, or of his men; let him be liable with his life and in all that he has; or let him prove himself according to his lord's wer.

If any one with a band or gang of men slays an unoffending man, let him who acknowledges the deathblow pay wer and wite. If the slain man had a wergeld of 200s, let every one who was of the gang pay 30s. as gangbot. If he had a wergeld of 600s., let every one pay 60s. as gangbot. If he had a wergeld of 1200s., let every one pay 120s. If a gang does this, and afterwards denies it on oath, let them all be accused, and let them then all pay the wer in common; and all, one wite, such as shall belong to the wer.

If any one lends his weapon to another so he may kill some one with it, they may join together if they will in the wer. If they will not join together, let him who lent the weapon pay of the wer a third part, and of the wite a third part.

With his lord a man may fight free of liability for homicide, if any one attack the lord: thus may the lord fight for his man. Likewise, a man may fight with his born kinsman, if a man attack him wrongfully, except against his lord. And a man may fight free of liability for homicide, if he finds another with his lawful wife, within closed doors, or under one covering, or with his lawfully born daughter, or with his lawfully born sister, or with his mother, who was given to his father as his lawful wife. If a man knows his foe is sitting at his home, he may not fight with him before he demands justice of him. If he has such power that he can beset his foe, and besiege him within, let him keep him within for seven days, and not attack him if he will remains within. And, then, after seven days, if he surrenders, and gives up his weapons, let him be kept safe for thirty days, and let notice of him be given to his kinsmen and his friends. But if he does not have sufficient power to besiege him within, let him ride to the ealdorman, and beg aid of him. If he will not aid him, let him ride to the king before he fights. In like manner also, if a man come upon his foe, and he did not know beforehand that he was staying at his home; if he is willing to give up his weapons, let him be kept for thirty days, and let notice of him be given to his friends; if he will not give up his weapons, then he may attack him. If he is willing to surrender, and to give up his weapons, and any one after that attack him, let him pay as well wer as wound, as he may do, and wite, and let him have forfeited his compensation to his kin. Every church shall have this peace: if a fugitive flee to one for sanctuary, no one may drag him out for seven days. If he is willing to give up his weapons to his foes, let him stay thirty days, and then let notice of him be given to his kinsmen. If any man confess in church any offenses which had not been before revealed, let him be half forgiven.

If a man from one holdgetael wishes to seek a lord in another holdgetael, let him do it with the knowledge of the ealdorman whom he before followed in his shire. If he does it without his knowledge, let him who treats him as his man pay 120s. as wite, one-half to the king in the shire where he before followed and one-half in that into which he comes. If he has done anything wrong where he was before, let him make bot for it who has there received him as his man; and to the king 120s. as wite.

"If any one steals so that his wife and children don't know it, he shall pay 60 shillings as wite. But if he steals with the knowledge of all his household, they shall all go into slavery. A boy of ten years may be privy to a theft."

"If one who takes a thief, or holds him for the person who took him, lets the thief go, or conceals the theft, he shall pay for the thief according to his wer. If he is an eorldormen, he shall forfeit his shire, unless the king is willing to be merciful to him."

If any one steal in a church, let him pay the lawful penalty and the wite, and let the hand be struck off with which he did it. If he will redeem the hand, and that be allowed him, let him pay as may belong to his wer.

If a man slanders another, the penalty is no lighter thing than that his tongue be cut out; which must not be redeemed at any cheaper rate than it is estimated at according to his wer.

If one deceives an unbetrothed woman and sleep with her, he must pay for her and have her afterwards to wife. But if her father not approve, he should pay money according to her dowry.

"If a man seize hold of the breast of a ceorlish woman, let him make bot to her with 5 shillings. If he throw her down and do not lie with her, let him make bot with 10 shillings. If he lie with her, let him make bot with 60 shillings. If another man had before lain with her, then let the bot be half that. ... If this befall a woman more nobly born, let the bot increase according to the wer."

"If any one, with libidinous intent, seize a nun either by her raiment or by her breast without her leave, let the bot be twofold, as we have before ordained concerning a laywoman."

"If a man commit a rape upon a ceorl's female slave, he must pay bot to the ceorl of 5 shillings and a wite [fine to the King] of 60 shillings. If a male theow rape a female theow, let him make bot with his testicles."

For the first dog bite, the owner pays 6 shillings, for the second, 12 shillings, for the third, 30 shillings.

An ox which gores someone to death shall be stoned.

If one steals or slays another's ox, he must give two oxen for it.

The man who has land left to him by his kindred must not give it away from his kindred, if there is a writing or witness that such was forbidden by those men who at first acquired it, and by those who gave it to him; and then let that be declared in the presence of the king and of the bishop, before his kinsmen.

Judicial Procedure

Cases were held at monthly meetings of the hundred court. The king or one of his reeves, conducted the trial by compurgation.

In compurgation, the one complaining, called the "plaintiff", and the one defending, called the "defendant", each told their story and put his hand on the Bible and swore "By God this oath is clean and true". A slip or a stammer would mean he lost the case. Otherwise, community members would stand up to swear on behalf of the plaintiff or the defendant as to their reputation for veracity. The value of a man's oath was commensurate with his value or wergeld. A man's brothers were usually his compurgators. If these "compurgators" were too few, usually twelve in number, or recited poorly, their party lost. If this process was inconclusive, the parties could bring witnesses to declare such knowledge as they had as neighbors. These witnesses, male and female, swore to particular points determined by the court.

If the witnesses failed, the defendant was told to go to church and to take the sacrament only if he or she were innocent. If he or she took the sacrament, he or she was tried by the process of "ordeal", which was administered by the church. In the ordeal by cold water, he was given a drink of holy water and then bound hand and foot and thrown into water. If he floated, he was guilty. If he sank, he was innocent. It was not necessary to drown to be deemed innocent. In the ordeal by hot water, he had to pick up a stone from inside a boiling cauldron. If his hand was healing in three days, he was innocent. If it was festering, he was guilty. A similar ordeal was that of hot iron, in which one had to carry in his hands a hot iron for a certain distance. The results of the ordeal were taken to indicate the will of God. Presumably a person convicted of murder, i.e. killing by stealth, or robbery [taking from a person's robe, that is, his person or breaking into his home to steal] would be hung and his possessions confiscated. A bishop's oath was incontrovertible. Accused archbishops and bishops could clear themselves with an oath that they were guiltless. Lesser ranks could clear themselves with the oaths of three compurgators of their rank or, for more serious offenses, undergo the ordeal of the consecrated morsel. For this, one would swallow a morsel; if he choked on it, he was guilty.

Any inanimate or animate object or personal chattel which was found by a court to be the immediate cause of death was forfeited as "deodand", for instance, a tree from which a man fell to his death, a beast which killed a man, a sword of a third party not the slayer that was used to kill a man. The deodand was to go to the dead man's kin so they could wreak their vengeance on it, which in turn would cause the dead man to lie in peace.

This is a lawsuit regarding rights to feed pigs in a certain woodland:

"In the year 825 which had passed since the birth of Christ, and in the course of the second Indiction, and during the reign of Beornwulf, King of Mercia, a council meeting was held in the famous place called Clofesho, and there the said King Beornwulf and his bishops and his earls and all the councilors of this nation were assembled. Then there was a very noteworthy suit about wood pasture at Sinton, towards the west in Scirhylte. The reeves in charge of the pigherds wished to extend the pasture farther, and take in more of the wood than the ancient rights permitted. Then the bishop and the advisors of the community said that they would not admit liability for more than had been appointed in AEthelbald's day, namely mast for 300 swine, and that the bishop and the community should have two thirds of the wood and of the mast. The Archbishop Wulfred and all the councilors determined that the bishop and the community might declare on oath that it was so appointed in AEthelbald's time and that they were not trying to obtain more, and the bishop immediately gave security to Earl Eadwulf to furnish the oath before all the councilors, and it was produced in 30 days at the bishop's see at Worcester. At that time Hama was the reeve in charge of the pigherds at Sinton, and he rode until he reached Worcester, and watched and observed the oath, as Earl Eadwulf bade him, but did not challenge it. Here are the names and designations of those who were assembled at the council meeting ..."

Chapter 3

The Times: 900-1066

There were many large landholders such as the King, earls, and bishops. Earls were noblemen by birth, and often relatives of the King. They were his army commanders and the highest civil officials, each responsible for a shire. A breach of the public peace of an earl would occasion a fine. Lower in social status were freemen: sokemen, and then, in decreasing order, villani [villeins], bordarii, and cottarii. The servi were the slaves. Probably all who were not slaves were freemen.

Kings typically granted land in exchange for services of military duties, maintaining fortresses, and repairing bridges. Less common services required by landlords include equipping a guard ship and guarding the coast, guarding the lord, military watch, maintaining the deer fence at the King's residence, alms giving, and church dues. Since this land was granted in return for service, there were limitations on its heritability and often an heir had to pay a heriot to the landlord to obtain the land. A heriot was originally the armor of a man killed, which went to the King. The heriot of a thegn who had soken came to be about 80s.; of a kings' thegn about four lances, two coats of mail, two swords, and 125s.; of an earl about eight horses, four saddled and four unsaddled, eight lances, four coats of mail, four swords, and 500s.

There were several thousand thegns, rich and poor, who held land directly of the King. Some thegns had soken or jurisdiction over their own lands and others did not. Free farmers who had sought protection from thegns in time of war now took them as their lords. A freeman could chose his lord, following him in war and working his land in peace. All able-bodied freemen were liable to military service in the fyrd [national militia], but not in a lord's private wars. In return, the lord would protect him against encroaching neighbors, back him in the courts of law, and feed him in times of famine. But often, lords raided each other's farmers, who fled into the hills or woods for safety. Often a lord's fighting men stayed with him at his large house, but later were given land with inhabitants on it, who became his tenants. The lords were the ruling class and the greatest of them sat in the King's council along with bishops, abbots, and officers of the King's household. The lesser lords were local magnates, who officiated at the shire and hundred courts.

Staghunting, foxhunting, and hawking were reserved for lords who did not work with their hands. Every free born person had the right to hunt other game.

There was a great expansion of arable land. Some land had been specifically allocated to certain individuals. Some was common land, held by communities. If a family came to pay the dues and fines on certain common land, it could become personal to that family and was then known as heirland. Most land came to be privately held from community-witnessed allotments or inheritance. Bookland was those holdings written down in books. This land was usually land that had been given to the church or monasteries because church clerics could write. So many thegns gave land to the church, usually a hide, that the church held 1/3 of the land of the realm. Folkland was that land that was left over after allotments had been made to the freemen and which was not common land. It was public land and a national asset and could be converted to heirland or bookland only by action of the king and witan. It could also be rented by services to the state via charter. A holder of folkland might express a wish, e.g. by testamentary action, for a certain disposition of it, such as an estate for life or lives for a certain individual. But a distinct act by the king and witan was necessary for this wish to take effect. Small private transactions of land could be done by "livery of seisin" in the presence of neighbors. All estates in land could be let, lent, or leased by its holders, and was then known as "loenland".

Ploughs and wagons could be drawn by four or more oxen or horses in sets of two behind each other. Oxenshoes and horseshoes prevented lameness due to cracked hooves. Horse collars especially fitted for horses, replaced oxen yoke that had been used on horses.

A free holder's house was wood, perhaps with a stone foundation, and roofed with thatch or tiles. There was a main room or hall, with bed chambers around it. Beyond was the kitchen, perhaps outside under a lean-to. These buildings were surrounded by a bank or stiff hedge.

Simple people lived in huts made from wood and mud, with one door and no windows. They slept around a wood-burning fire in the middle of the earthen floor. They wore shapeless clothes of goat hair and unprocessed wool from their sheep. They ate rough brown bread, vegetable and grain broth, ale from barley, bacon, beans, milk, cabbage, onion, apples, plums, cherries, and honey for sweetening or mead. Vegetables grown in the country included onions, leeks, celery, lettuce, radish, carrots, garlic, shallots, parsnip, dill, chervil, marigold, coriander, and poppy. In the summer, they ate boiled or raw veal and wild fowl such as ducks, geese, or pigeons, and game snared in the forest. Poultry was a luxury food, but recognized as therapeutic for invalids, especially in broth form [chicken soup]. Venison was highly prized. There were still some wild boar, which were hunted with long spears, a greyhound dog, and hunting horns. They sometimes mated with the domestic pigs which roamed the woodlands. In September, the old and infirm pigs were slaughtered and their sides of bacon smoked in the rafters for about a month. Their intestines provided skin for sausages. In the fall, cattle were slaughtered and salted for food during the winter because there was no more pasture for them. However, some cows and breed animals were kept through the winter.

For their meals, people used wooden platters, sometimes earthenware plates, drinking horns, drinking cups from ash or alderwood turned on a foot-peddled pole lathe, and bottles made of leather. Their bowls, pans, and pitchers were made by the potter's wheel. Water could be boiled in pots made of iron, brass, lead, or clay. Water could be carried in leather bags because leather working preservative techniques improved so that tanning prevented stretching or decaying. At the back of each hut was a hole in the ground used as a latrine, which flies frequented. Moss was used for toilet paper. Parasitical worms in the stool were ubiquitous.

Most of the simple people lived in villages of about 20 homes circling a village green or lining a single winding lane. There were only first names, and these were usually passed down family lines. To grind their grain, the villagers used hand mills with crank and gear, or a communal mill, usually built of oak, driven by power transmitted through a solid oak shaft, banded with iron as reinforcement, to internal gear wheels of elm. Almost every village had a watermill. It might be run by water shooting over or flowing under the wheel.

Clothing for men and women was made from coarse wool, silk, and linen and was usually brown in color. Only the wealthy could afford to wear linen or silk. Men also wore leather clothing, such as neckpieces, breeches, ankle leathers, shoes, and boots. Boots were worn when fighting. They carried knives or axes under metal belts. They could carry items by tying leather pouches onto their belts with their drawstrings. They wore leather gloves for warmth and for heavy working with their hands.

People were as tall, strong and healthy as in the late 1900s, not having yet endured the later malnourishment and overcrowding that was its worst in the 1700s and 1800s. Their teeth were very healthy. Most adults died in their 40s, after becoming arthritic from hard labor. People in their 50s were deemed venerable. Boys of twelve were considered old enough to swear an oath of allegiance to the king. Girls married in their early teens, often to men significantly older.

The lands of the large landholding lords were administered by freemen. They had wheat, barley, oats, and rye fields, orchards, vineyards for wine, and beekeeping areas for honey. On this land lived not only farm laborers, cattle herders, shepherds, goatherds, and pigherds, but craftsmen such as goldsmiths, hawkkeepers, dogkeepers, horsekeepers, huntsmen, foresters, builders, weaponsmiths, embroiders, bronze smiths, blacksmiths, watermill wrights, wheelwrights, wagon wrights, iron nail makers, potters, soap makers (made from wood ashes reacting chemically with fats or oils), tailors, shoemakers, salters (made salt at the "wyches", which later became towns ending with '-wich'), bakers, cooks, and gardeners. Most men did carpentry work. Master carpenters worked with ax, hammer, and saw to make houses, doors, bridges, milk buckets, washtubs, and trunks. Blacksmiths made gates, huge door hinges, locks, latches, bolts, and horseshoes. The lord loaned these people land on which to live for their life, called a "life estate", in return for their services. The loan could continue to their widows or children who took up the craft. Mills were usually powered by water. Candles were made from beeswax, which exuded a bright and steady light and pleasant smell, or from mutton fat, which had an unpleasant odor. The wheeled plough and iron-bladed plough made the furrows. One man held the plough and another walked with the oxen, coaxing them forward with a stick and shouts. Seeds were held in an apron for seeding. Farm implements included spades, shovels, rakes, hoes, buckets, barrels, flails, and sieves. Plants were pruned to direct their growth and to increase their yield. Everyone got together for feasts at key stages of the farming, such as the harvest. Easter was the biggest feast. When the lord was in the field, his lady held their estate. There were common lands of these estates as well as of communities. Any proposed new settler had to be admitted at the court of this estate.

The land of some lords included fishing villages along the coasts. From the sea were caught herrings, salmon, porpoises, sturgeon, oysters, crabs, mussels, cockles, winkles, plaice, flounder, and lobsters. Sometimes whales were driven into an inlet by many boats. River fish included eels, pike, minnows, burbot, trout, and lampreys. They were caught by brushwood weirs, net, bait, hooks, and baskets. Oysters were so numerous that they were eaten by the poor. The king's peace extended over the waterways. If mills, fisheries, weirs, or other structures were set up to block them, they were to be destroyed and a penalty paid to the king.

Other lords had land with iron mining industries. Ore was dug from the ground and combined with wood charcoal in a shaft furnace to be smelted into liquid form. Wood charcoal was derived from controlled charring of the wood at high temperatures without using oxygen. This burned impurities from it and left a purer carbon, which burned better than wood. The pure iron was extracted from this liquid and formed into bars. To keep the fire hot, the furnaces were frequently placed at windswept crossings of valleys or on the tops of hills.

Some lords had markets on their land, for which they charged a toll [like a sales tax] for participation. There were about fifty markets in the nation. Cattle and slaves (from the word "slav") were the usual medium of exchange. An ox still was worth about 30d. Shaking hands was symbolic of an agreement for a sale, which had to be carried out in front of witnesses at the market for any property worth over 20d. The higher the value of the property, the more witnesses were required. Witnesses were also required for the exchange of property and to vouch for cattle having being born on the property of a person claiming them. People traveled to markets on deep, sunken roads and narrow bridges kept in repair by certain men who did this work as their service to the King. The king's peace extended to a couple of high roads, i.e. highways, running the length of the country and a couple running its width.

Salt was used throughout the nation to preserve meat over the winter. Inland saltworks had an elaborate and specialized organization. The chief one used saltpans and furnaces to extract salt from natural brine springs. They formed little manufacturing enclaves in the midst of agricultural land, and they were considered to be neither large private estates headed by a lord nor appurtenant to such. They belonged jointly to the king and the local earl, who shared, at a proportion of two to one, the proceeds of the tolls upon the sale of salt and methods of carriage on the ancient salt ways according to cartload, horse load, or man load. Sometimes there were investors in a portion of the works who lived quite at distance away. The sales of salt were mostly retail, but some bought to resell. Peddlers carried salt to sell from village to village.

Some smiths traveled for their work, for instance, stonewrights building arches and windows in churches, and lead workers putting lead roofs on churches.

An example of a grant of hides of land is: "[God has endowed King Edred with England], wherefore he enriches and honors men, both ecclesiastic and lay, who can justly deserve it. The truth of this can be acknowledged by the thegn AElfsige Hunlafing through his acquisition of the estate of 5 hides at Alwalton for himself and his heirs, free from every burden except the repair of fortifications, the building of bridges and military service; a prudent landowner church dues, burial fees and tithes. [This land] is to be held for all time and granted along with the things both great and small belonging to it."

A Bishop gave land to a faithful attendant for his life and two other lives as follows: "In 904 A.D., I, Bishop Werfrith, with the permission and leave of my honorable community in Worcester, grant to Wulfsige, my reeve, for his loyal efficiency and humble obedience, one hide of land at Aston as Herred held it, that is, surrounded by a dyke, for three lives and then after three lives the estate shall be given back without any controversy to Worcester."

At seaports on the coast, goods were loaded onto vessels owned by English merchants to be transported to other English seaports. London was a market town on the north side of the Thames River and the primary port and trading center for foreign merchants. Streets that probably date from this time include Milk, Bread, and Wood Streets, and Honey Lane. There were open air markets such as Billingsgate. There were wooden quays over much of the river front. Houses were made of wood, with one sunken floor, or a ground floor with a cellar beneath. Some had central stone hearths and earth latrines. There were crude pottery cooking pots, beakers and lamps, wool cloth, a little silk, simple leather shoes, pewter jewelry, looms, and quernstones (for grinding flour). Wool, skins, hides, wheat, meal, beer, lead, cheese, salt, and honey were exported. Wine (mostly for the church), fish, timber, pitch, pepper, garlic, spices, copper, gems, gold, silk, dyes, oil, brass, sulphur, glass, slaves, and elephant and walrus ivory were imported. Goods from the continent were sold at open stalls in certain streets. Furs and slaves were traded. There was a royal levy on exports by foreigners merchants. Southwark was reachable by a bridge. It contained sleazy docks, prisons, gaming houses, and brothels.

Guilds in London were first associations of neighbors for the purposes of mutual assistance. They were fraternities of persons by voluntary compact to assist each other in poverty, including their widows or orphans and the portioning of poor maids, and to protect each other from injury. Their essential features are and continue to be in the future: 1) oath of initiation, 2) entrance fee in money or in kind and a common fund, 3) annual feast and mass, 4) meetings at least three times yearly for guild business, 5), obligation to attend all funerals of members, to bear the body if need be from a distance, and to provide masses for the dead, 6) the duty of friendly help in cases of sickness, imprisonment, house burning, shipwreck, or robbery, 7) rules for decent behavior at meetings, and 8) provisions for settling disputes without recourse to the law. Both the masses and the feast were attended by the women. Frequently the guilds also had a religious ceremonial to affirm their bonds of fidelity. They readily became connected with the exercise of trades and with the training of apprentices. They promoted and took on public purposes such as the repairing of roads and bridges, the relief of pilgrims, the maintenance of schools and almshouses, and the periodic performance of pageants and miracle plays telling scriptural history, which could last for several days. The devil often was prominent in miracle plays.

Many of these London guilds were known by the name of their founding member. There were also Frith Guilds (peace guilds) and a Knights' Guild. The Frith Guild's main object was to enforce the King's laws, especially the prevalent problem of theft. They were especially established by bishops and reeves. Members met monthly and contributed about 4d. to a common fund, which paid a compensation for items stolen. They each paid 1s. towards the pursuit of the thief. The members were grouped in tens. Members with horses were to track the thief. Members without horses worked in the place of the absent horse owners until their return. When caught, the thief was tried and executed. Overwhelming force was used if his kindred tried to protect him. His property was used to compensate the victim for his loss and then divided between the thief's wife, if she was innocent, the King, and the guild. Owners of slaves paid into a fund to give one half compensation to those who lost slaves by theft or escape, and recaptured slaves were to be stoned to death or hanged. The members of the peace guild also feasted and drank together. When one died, the others each sang a song or paid for the singing of fifty psalms for his soul and gave a loaf.

The Knights' Guild was composed of thirteen military persons to whom King Edgar granted certain waste land in the east of London, toward Aldgate, and also Portsoken, which ran outside the eastern wall of the city to the Thames, for prescribed services performed, probably defense of the vulnerable east side of the city. This concession was confirmed by King Edward the Confessor in a charter at the suit of certain citizens of London, the successors of these knights. Edward granted them sac and soke [cause and suit] jurisdiction over their men.

Edward the Confessor made these rules for London:

  1. Be it known that within the space of three miles from all parts outside of the city a man ought not to hold or hinder another, and also should not do business with him if he wish to come to the city under its peace. But when he arrives in the city, then let the market be the same to the rich man as to the poor.
  2. Be it also known that a man who is from the court of the king or the barons ought not to lodge in the house of any citizen of London for three nights, either by privilege or by custom, except by consent of the host. For if he force the host to lodge him in his house and there be killed by the host, let the host choose six from his relatives and let him as the seventh swear that he killed him for the said cause. And thus he will remain quit of the murder of the deceased towards the king and relatives and lords of the deceased.
  3. And after he has entered the city, let a foreign merchant be lodged wherever it please him. But if he bring dyed cloth, let him see to it that he does not sell his merchandise at retail, but that he sell not less than a dozen pieces at a time. And if he bring pepper, or cumin, or ginger, or alum, or brasil wood, or resin, or incense, let him sell not less than fifteen pounds at a time. But if he bring belts, let him sell not less than a thousand at a time. And if he bring cloths of silk, or wool or linen, let him see that he cut them not, but sell them whole. But if he bring wax, let him sell not less than one quartanum. Also a foreign merchant may not buy dyed cloth, nor make the dye in the city, nor do any work which belongs by right to the citizens.
  4. Also no foreign merchant with his partner may set up any market within the city for reselling goods in the city, nor may he approach a citizen for making a bargain, nor may he stop longer in the City.

Every week in London there was a folkmote at St. Paul's churchyard, where majority decision was a tradition. By 1032, it had lost much of its power to the husting [household assembly in Danish] court. The folkmote then had responsibility for order and was the sole authority for proclaiming outlaws. It met three times a year at St. Paul's churchyard and there acclaimed the sheriff and justiciar, or if the king had chosen his officer, heard who was chosen and listened to his charge. It also yearly arranged the watch and dealt with risks of fire. It was divided into wards, each governed by an alderman who presided over the wardmote, and represented his ward at the folkmote. Each guild became a ward. The chief alderman was the portreeve. London paid one-eighth of all the taxes of England.

Later in the towns, merchant guilds grew out of charity associations whose members were bound by oath to each other and got together for a guild feast every month. Some traders of these merchant guilds became so prosperous that they became landholders. Many market places were dominated by a merchant guild, which had a monopoly of the local trade. In the great mercantile towns all the land and houses would be held by merchants and their dependents, all freeholders were connected with a trade, and everyone who had a claim on public office or magistry would be a member of the guild. The merchant guild could admit into their guild country villeins, who became freemen if unclaimed by their lords for a year and a day. Every merchant who had made three long voyages on his own behalf and at his own cost ranked as a thegn. There were also some craft guilds composed of handicraftsmen or artisans. Escaped bonded agricultural workers, poor people, and traders without land migrated to towns to live, but were not citizens.

Towns were largely self-sufficient, but salt and iron came from a distance. The King's established in every shire at least one town with a market place where purchases would be witnessed and a mint where reliable money was coined by a moneyer, who put his name on his coins. There were eight moneyers in London. Coins were issued to be of value for only a couple of years. Then one had to exchange them for newly issued ones at a rate of about 10 old for 8 or 9 new. The difference constituted a tax. Roughly 10% of the people lived in towns. Some took surnames such as Tanner, Weaver, or Carpenter. Some had affectionate or derisive nicknames such as clear-hand, fresh friend, soft bread, foul beard, money taker, or penny purse. Craftsmen in the 1000s included goldsmiths, embroiderers, illuminators of manuscripts, and armorers.

Edward the Confessor, named such for his piety, was a king of 24 years who was widely respected for his intelligence, resourcefulness, good judgment, and wisdom. His educated Queen Edith, whom he relied on for advice and cheerful courage, was a stabilizing influence on him. They were served by a number of thegns, who had duties in the household, which was composed of the hall, the courtyard, and the bedchamber. They were important men—thegns by rank. They were landholders, often in several areas, and held leading positions in the shires. They were also priests and clerics, who maintained the religious services and performed tasks for which literacy was necessary. Edward was the first king to have a "Chancellor". He kept a royal seal and was the chief royal chaplain. He did all the secretarial work of the household and court, drew up and sealed the royal writs, conducted the king's correspondence, and kept all the royal accounts. The word "chancellor" signified a screen behind which the secretarial work of the household was done. He had the special duty of securing and administering the royal revenue from vacant benefices. The most important royal officers were the chamberlains, who took care of the royal bedchamber and adjoining wardrobe used for dressing and storage of valuables, and the priests. These royal officers had at first been responsible only for domestic duties, but gradually came to assume public administrative tasks.

Edward wanted to avoid the pressures and dangers of living in the rich and powerful City of London. So he rebuilt a monastic church, an abbey, and a palace at Westminster about two miles upstream. He started the growth of Westminster as a center of royal and political power; kings' councils met there. Royal coronations took place at the abbey. Since Edward traveled a lot, he established a storehouse-treasury at Winchester to supplement his traveling wardrobe. At this time, Spanish stallions were imported to improve English horses. London came to have the largest and best trained army in England.

The court invited many of the greatest magnates and prelates [highest ecclesiastical officials, such as bishops] of the land to the great ecclesiastical festivals, when the king held more solemn courts and feasted with his vassals for several days. These included all the great earls, the majority of bishops, some abbots, and a number of thegns and clerics. Edward had a witan of wise men to advise him, but sometimes the King would speak in the hall after dinner and listen to what comments were made from the mead-benches. As the court moved about the country, many men came to pay their respects and attend to local business. Edward started the practice of King's touching people to cure them of scrofula, a disease which affected the glands, especially in the head and neck. It was done in the context of a religious ceremony.

The main governmental activities were: war, collection of revenue, religious education, and administration of justice. For war, the shires had to provide a certain number of men and the ports quotas of ships with crews. The king was the patron of the English church. He gave the church peace and protection. He presided over church councils and appointed bishops. As for the administration of justice, the public courts were almost all under members of Edward's court, bishops, earls, and reeves. Edward's mind was often troubled and disturbed by the threat that law and justice would be overthrown, by the pervasiveness of disputes and discord, by the raging of wicked presumption, by money interfering with right and justice, and by avarice kindling all of these. He saw it as his duty to courageously oppose the wicked by taking good men as models, by enriching the churches of God, by relieving those oppressed by wicked judges, and by judging equitably between the powerful and the humble. He was so greatly revered that a comet was thought to accompany his death.

The king established the office of the Chancery to draft documents and keep records. It created the writ, which was a small piece of parchment [sheep skin] addressed to a royal official or dependent commanding him to perform some task for the King. By the 1000s A.D., the writ contained a seal: a lump of wax with the impress of the Great Seal of England which hung from the bottom of the document. Writing was done with a sharpened goose-wing quill. Ink was obtained from mixing fluid from the galls made by wasps for their eggs on oak trees, rainwater or vinegar, gum arabic, and iron salts for color.

A King's grant of land entailed two documents: a charter giving boundaries and conditions and a writ, usually addressed to the shire court, listing the judicial and financial privileges conveyed with the land. These were usually sac and soke [possession of jurisdiction of a private court of a noble or institution to execute the laws and administer justice over inhabitants and tenants of the estate], toll [right to have a market and to collect a payment on the sale of cattle and other property on the estate] and team [probably the right to hold a court to determine the honesty of a man accused of illegal possession of cattle or of buying stolen cattle by inquiring of the alleged seller or a warrantor, even if an outsider], and infangenetheof [the authority to hang and take the chattels of a thief caught on the estate].

The town of Coventry consisted of a large monastery estate and a large private estate headed by a lord. The monastery was granted by Edward the Confessor full freedom and these jurisdictions: sac and soke, toll and team, hamsocne [the authority to fine a person for breaking into and making entry by force into the dwelling of another], forestall [the authority to fine a person for robbing others on the road], bloodwite [the authority to impose a forfeiture for assault involving bloodshed], fightwite [the authority to fine for fighting], weordwite [the authority to fine for manslaughter, but not for willful murder], and mundbryce [the authority to fine for any breach of the peace, such as trespass on lands].

Every man was expected to have a lord to whom he gave fealty. He swore by this fealty oath: "By the Lord, before whom this relic is holy, I will be to ------ faithful and true, and love all that he loves, and shun all that he shuns, according to God's law, and according to the world's principle, and never, by will nor by force, by word nor by work, do ought of what is loathful to him; on condition that he keep me as I am willing to deserve, and all that fulfill that our agreement was, when I to him submitted and chose his will." If a man was homeless or lordless, his brothers were expected to find him such, e.g. in the folkmote. Otherwise, he as to be treated as a fugitive, and could be slain as for a thief, and anyone who had harbored him would pay a penalty. Brothers were also expected to protect their minor kinsmen.

Marriages were determined by men asking women to marry them. If a woman said yes, he paid a sum to her kin for her "mund" [jurisdiction or protection over her] and gave his oath to them to maintain and support the woman and any children born. As security for this oath, he gave a valuable object or "wed". The couple were then betrothed. Marriage ceremonies were performed by priests in churches. The groom had to bring friends to his wedding as sureties to guarantee his oath to maintain and support his wife and children. Those who swore to take care of the children were called their "godfathers". The marriage was written into church records. After witnessing the wedding, friends ate the great loaf, or first bread made by the bride. This was the forerunner of the wedding cake. They drank special ale, the "bride ale" (from hence the work "bridal"), to the health of the couple.

Women could own land, houses, and furniture and other property. They could even make wills that disinherited their sons. This marriage agreement with an Archbishop's sister provides her with land, money, and horsemen:

"Here in this document is stated the agreement which Wulfric and the archbishop made when he obtained the archbishop's sister as his wife, namely he promised her the estates at Orleton and Ribbesford for her lifetime, and promised her that he would obtain the estate at Knightwick for her for three lives from the community at Winchcombe, and gave her the estate at Alton to grant and bestow upon whomsoever she pleased during her lifetime or at her death, as she preferred, and promised her 50 mancuses of gold and 30 men and 30 horses.

The witnesses that this agreement was made as stated were Archbishop Wulfstan and Earl Leofwine and Bishop AEthelstan and Abbot AElfweard and the monk Brihtheah and many good men in addition to them, both ecclesiastics and laymen. There are two copies of this agreement, one in the possession of the archbishop at Worcester and the other in the possession of Bishop AEthelstan at Hereford."

This marriage agreement provided the wife with money, land, farm animals and farm laborers; it also names sureties, the survivor of whom would receive all this property:

"Here is declared in this document the agreement which Godwine made with Brihtric when he wooed his daughter. In the first place he gave her a pound's weight of gold, to induce her to accept his suit, and he granted her the estate at Street with all that belongs to it, and 150 acres at Burmarsh and in addition 30 oxen and 20 cows and 10 horses and 10 slaves.

This agreement was made at Kingston before King Cnut, with the cognizance of Archbishop Lyfing and the community at Christchurch, and Abbot AElfmaer and the community at St. Augustine's, and the sheriff AEthelwine and Sired the old and Godwine, Wulfheah's son, and AElfsige cild and Eadmaer of Burham and Godwine, Wulfstan's son, and Carl, the King's cniht. And when the maiden was brought from Brightling AElfgar, Sired's son, and Frerth, the priest of Forlstone, and the priests Leofwine and Wulfsige from Dover, and Edred, Eadhelm's son, and Leofwine, Waerhelm's son, and Cenwold rust and Leofwine, son of Godwine of Horton, and Leofwine the Red and Godwine, Eadgifu's son, and Leofsunu his brother acted as security for all this. And whichever of them lives the longer shall succeed to all the property both in land and everything else which I have given them. Every trustworthy man in Kent and Sussex, whether thegn or commoner, is cognizant of these terms.

There are three of these documents; one is at Christchurch, another at St. Augustine's, and Brihtric himself has the third."

Nuns and monks lived in segregated nunneries and monasteries on church land and grew their own food. The local bishop usually was also an abbot of a monastery. The priests and nuns wore long robes with loose belts and did not carry weapons. Their life was ordered by the ringing of the bell to start certain activities, such as prayer; meals; meetings; work in the fields, gardens, or workshops; and copying and illuminating books. They chanted to pay homage and to communicate with God or his saints. They taught justice, piety, chastity, peace, and charity; and cared for the sick. Caring for the sick entailed mostly praying to God as it was thought that only God could cure. They bathed a few times a year. They got their drinking water from upstream of where they had located their latrines over running water. The large monasteries had libraries, dormitories, guesthouses, kitchens, butteries to store wine, bakehouses, breweries, dairies, granaries, barns, fishponds, orchards, vineyards, gardens, workshops, laundries, lavatories with long stone or marble washing troughs, and towels. Slavery was diminished by the church by excommunication for the sale of a child over seven. The clergy taught that manumission of slaves was good for the soul of the dead, so it became frequent in wills. The clergy were to abstain from red meat and wine and were to be celibate. But there were periods of laxity. Punishment was by the cane or scourge.

The Archbishop of Canterbury began anointing new kings at the time of coronation to emphasize that the king was ruler by the grace of God. As God's minister, the king could only do right. From 973, the new king swore to protect the Christian church, to prevent inequities to all subjects, and to render good justice, which became a standard oath.

There was a celestial hierarchy, with heavenly hosts in specific places. The heavenly bodies revolved in circles around the earthly world on crystal spheres of their own, which were serene, harmonious, and eternal. This contrasted with the change, death, and decay that occurred in the earthly world. Also in this world, Aristotle's four elements of earth, air, fire, and water sought their natural places, e.g. bubbles of air rising through water. The planets were called wanderers because their motion did not fit the circular scheme.

God intervened in daily life, especially if worshipped. Saints such as Bede and Hilda performed miracles, especially ones of curing. Their spirits could be contacted through their relics, which rested at the altars of churches. When someone was said to have the devil in him, people took it quite literally. A real Jack Frost nipped noses and fingers and made the ground too hard to work. Little people, elves, trolls, and fairies inhabited the fears and imaginings of people. The forest was the mysterious home of spirits. People prayed to God to help them in their troubles and from the work of the devil. Since natural causes of events were unknown, people attributed events to wills like their own. Illness was thought to be caused by demons. People hung charms around their neck for cure and treatments of magic and herbs were given. Some had hallucinogenic effects, which were probably useful for pain. For instance, the remedy for "mental vacancy and folly" was a drink of "fennel, agrimony, cockle, and marche". Blood-letting by leeches and cautery were used for most maladies, which were thought to be caused by imbalance of the four bodily humors: sanguine, phlegmatic, choleric, and melancholic. These four humors reflected the four basic elements air, water, fire, and earth. Blood was hot and moist like air; phlegm was cold and moist like water; choler or yellow bile was hot and dry like fire; and melancholy or black bile was cold and dry like earth. Bede had explained that when blood predominates, it makes people joyful, glad, sociable, laughing, and talking a great deal. Phlegm renders them slow, sleepy, and forgetful. Red cholic makes them thin, though eating much, swift, bold, wrathful, and agile. Black cholic makes them serious of settled disposition, even sad. To relieve brain pressure and/or maybe to exorcise evil spirits, holes were made in skulls by a drill with a metal tip that was caused to turn back and forth by a strap wrapped around a wooden handle. A king's daughter Edith inspired a cult of holy wells, whose waters were thought to alleviate eye conditions. Warmth and rest were also used for illness. Agrimony boiled in milk was thought to relieve impotence in men.

It was known that the liver casted out impurities in the blood. The stages of fetal growth were known. The soul was not thought to enter a fetus until after the third month, so presumably abortions within three months were allowable.

The days of the week were Sun day, Moon day, Tiw's day (Viking god of war), Woden's day (Viking god of victory, master magician, calmer of storms, and raiser of the dead), Thor's day (Viking god of thunder), Frig's day (Viking goddess of fertility and growing things), and Saturn's day (Roman god). Special days of the year were celebrated: Christmas, the birthday of Jesus Christ; the twelve days of Yuletide (a Viking tradition) when candles were lit and houses decorated with evergreen and there were festivities around the burning of the biggest log available; Plough Monday for resumption of work after Yuletide; February 14th with a feast celebrating Saint Valentinus, a Roman bishop martyr who had married young lovers in secret when marriage was forbidden to encourage men to fight in war; New Year's Day on March 25th when seed was sown and people banged on drums and blew horns to banish spirits who destroy crops with disease; Easter, the day of the resurrection of Jesus Christ; Whitsunday, celebrating the descent of the Holy Spirit on the apostles of Jesus and named for the white worn by baptismal candidates; May Day when flowers and greenery was gathered from the woods to decorate houses and churches, Morris dancers leapt through their villages with bells, hobby horses, and waving scarves, and people danced around a May pole holding colorful ribbons tied at the top so they became entwined around the pole; Lammas on August 1st, when the first bread baked from the wheat harvest was consecrated; Harvest Home when the last harvest load was brought home while an effigy of a goddess was carried with reapers singing and piping behind, and October 31st, the eve of the Christian designated All Hallow Day, which then became known as All Hallow Even, or Halloween. People dressed as demons, hobgoblins, and witches to keep spirits away from possessing them. Trick or treating began with Christian beggars asking for "soul cake" biscuits in return for praying for dead relatives. Ticktacktoe and backgammon were played. There were riddles such as:

I am a strange creature, for I satisfy women ...
I grow very tall, erect in a bed.
I'm hairy underneath. From time to time
A beautiful girl, the brave daughter
Of some fellow dares to hold me
Grips my reddish skin, robs me of my head
And puts me in the pantry. At once that girl
With plaited hair who has confined me
Remembers our meeting. Her eye moistens.
What am I?
An onion.

A man came walking where he knew
She stood in a corner, stepped forwards;
The bold fellow plucked up his own
Skirt by hand, stuck something stiff
Beneath her belt as she stood,
Worked his will. They both wiggled.
The man hurried; his trusty helper
Plied a handy task, but tired
At length, less strong than she,
Weary of the work. Thick beneath
Her belt swelled the thing good men
Praise with their hearts and purses.
What am I?
A milk churn.

The languages of invaders had produced a hybrid language that was roughly understood throughout the country. The existence of Europe, Africa, Asia, and India were known. Jerusalem was thought to be at the center of the world. There was an annual tax of a penny on every hearth, Peter's pence, to be collected and sent to the pope in Rome. Ecclesiastical benefices were to pay church-scot, a payment in lieu of first fruits of the land, to the pope.

The Law

The king and witan deliberated on the making of new laws, both secular and spiritual, at the regularly held witanagemot. There was a standard legal requirement of holding every man accountable, though expressed in different ways, such as the following three:

  1. Every freeman who does not hold land must find a lord to answer for him. The act of homage was symbolized by holding his hands together between those of his lord. Every lord shall be personally responsible as surety for the men of his household. [This included female lords.] (King Athelstan)
  2. "And every man shall see that he has a surety, and this surety shall bring and keep him to [the performance of] every lawful duty.
    1. And if anyone does wrong and escapes, his surety shall incur what the other should have incurred.
    2. If the case be that of a thief and his surety can lay hold of him within twelve months, he shall deliver him up to justice, and what he has paid shall be returned to him." (King Edgar)
  3. Every freeman who holds land, except lords with considerable landed property, must be in a local tithing, usually ten to twelve men, in which they serve as personal sureties for each other's peaceful behavior. If one of the ten landholders in a tithing is accused of an offense, the others have to produce him in court or pay a fine plus pay the injured party for the offense, unless they could prove that they had no complicity in it. If the man is found guilty but can not pay, his tithing must pay his fine. The chief officer is the "tithing man" or "capital pledge". There were probably ten tithings in a hundred. (King Edward the Confessor).

Everyone was to take an oath not to steal, which one's surety would compel one to keep.

No one may receive another lord's man without the permission of this lord and only if the man is blameless towards every hand. The penalty is the bot for disobedience. No lord was to dismiss any of his men who had been accused, until he had made compensation and done right.

"No woman or maiden shall be forced to marry a man she dislikes or given for money."

"Violence to a widow or maiden is punishable by payment of one's wergeld."

No man may have more wives than one.

No man may marry among his own kin within six degrees of relationship or with the widow of a man as nearly related to him as that, or with a near relative of his first wife's, or his god-mother, or a divorced woman. Incest is punishable by payment of one's wergeld or a fine or forfeiture of all his possessions.

Grounds for divorce were mutual consent or adultery or desertion. Adultery was prohibited for men as well as for women. The penalty was payment of a bot or denial of burial in consecrated ground. A law of Canute provided that if a wife was guilty of adultery, she forfeited all her property to her husband and her nose and ears, but this law did not survive him.

Laymen may marry a second time, and a young widow may again take a husband, but they will not receive a blessing and must do penance for their incontinence.

Prostitutes were to be driven out of the land or destroyed in the land, unless they cease from their wickedness and make amends to the utmost of their ability.

Neither husband nor wife could sell family property without the other's consent.

If there was a marriage agreement, it determined the wife's "dower", which would be hers upon his death. Otherwise, if a man who held his land in socage [owned it freely and not subject to a larger landholder] died before his wife, she got half this property. If there were minor children, she received all this property.

Inheritance of land to adult children was by the custom of the land held. In some places, the custom was for the oldest son to take it and in other places, the custom was for the youngest son to take it. Usually, the sons each took an equal portion by partition, but the eldest son had the right to buy out the others as to the chief messuage [manor; dwelling and supporting land and buildings] as long as he compensated them with property of equal value. If there were no legitimate sons, then each daughter took an equal share when she married.

In London, one-third of the personal property of a decedent went to his wife, one-third went to his children in equal shares, and one-third he could bequeath as he wished.

"If a man dies intestate [without a will], his lord shall have heriot [horses, weapons, shields, and helmets] of his property according to the deceased's rank and [the rest of] the property shall be divided among his wife, children, and near kinsmen."

A man could justifiably kill an adulterer in the act with the man's wife, daughter, sister, or mother. In Kent, a lord could fine any bondswoman of his who had become pregnant without his permission [childwyte].

A man could kill in defense of his own life, the life of his kinsmen, his lord, or a man whose lord he was. The offender was "caught red-handed" if the blood of his victim was still on him. Self-help was available for hamsocne [breaking into a man's house to assault him].

Murder is punished by death as follows: "If any man break the King's peace given by hand or seal, so that he slay the man to whom the peace was given, both his life and lands shall be in the King's power if he be taken, and if he cannot be taken he shall be held an outlaw by all, and if anyone shall be able to slay him he shall have his spoils by law." The king's peace usually extended to important designated individuals, churches, assemblies, those traveling to courts or assemblies, and particular times and places. Often a king would extend his peace to fugitives from violent feuds if they asked the king, earls, and bishops for time to pay compensation for their misdeeds. From this came the practice of giving a portion of the "profits of justice" to such men who tried the fugitive. The king's peace came to be extended to those most vulnerable to violence: foreigners, strangers, and kinless persons.

"If anyone by force break or enter any man's court or house to slay or wound or assault a man, he shall pay 100s. to the King as fine."

"If anyone slay a man within his court or his house, himself and all his substance are at the King's will, save the dower of his wife if he have endowed her."

If a person fights and wounds anyone, he is liable for his wer. If he fells a man to death, he is then an outlaw and is to be seized by raising the hue and cry. And if anyone kills him for resisting God's law or the king's, there will be no compensation for his death.

A man could kill a thief over twelve years in the act of carrying off his property over 8d., e.g. the thief hand-habbende [a thief found with the stolen goods in his hand] or the thief back-berend [a thief found carrying stolen goods on his back].

Cattle theft could be dealt with only by speedy pursuit. A person who had involuntarily lost possession of cattle is to at once raise the hue and cry. He was to inform the hundredman, who then called the tithingmen. All these neighbors had to then follow the trail of the cow to its taker, or pay 30d. to the hundred for the first offense, and 60d. for the second offense, half to the hundred and half to the lord, and half a pound [10s.] for the third offense, and forfeiture of all his property and declared outlaw for the fourth offense. If the hundred pursued a track into another hundred, notice was to be given to that hundredman. If he did not go with them, he had to pay 30s. to the king.

If a thief was brought into prison, he was to be released after 40 days if he paid his fine of 120s. His kindred could become his sureties, to pay according to his wer if he stole again. If a thief forfeited his freedom and gave himself up, but his kindred forsook him, and he does not know of anyone who will make bot for him; let him then do theow-work, and let the wer abate for the kindred.

Measures and weights of goods for sale shall be correct.

Every man shall have a warrantor to his market transactions and no one shall buy and sell except in a market town; but he shall have the witness of the portreeve or of other men of credit, who can be trusted.

Moneyers accused of minting money outside a designated market were to go to the ordeal of the hot iron with the hand that was accused of doing the fraud. If he was found guilty, his hand that did the offense was to be struck off and be set up on the money-smithy.

No marketing, business, or hunting may be done on Sundays.

No one may bind a freeman, shave his head in derision, or shave off his beard. Shaving was a sign of enslavement, which could be incurred by not paying one's fines for offenses committed.

No clergy may gamble or participate in games of chance.

The Laws for London were:

1. "The gates called Aldersgate and Cripplegate were in charge of guards.

2. If a small ship came to Billingsgate, one halfpenny was paid as toll; if a larger ship with sails, one penny was paid.

1) If a hulk or merchantman arrives and lies there, four pence is paid as toll.

2) From a ship with a cargo of planks, one plank is given as toll.

3) On three days of the week toll for cloth [is paid] on Sunday and Tuesday and Thursday.

4) A merchant who came to the bridge with a boat containing fish paid one halfpenny as toll, and for a larger ship one penny."

5 - 8) Foreigners with wine or blubber fish or other goods and their tolls.

Foreigners were allowed to buy wool, melted sheep fat [tallow], and three live pigs for their ships.

3. "If the town reeve or the village reeve or any other official accuses anyone of having withheld toll, and the man replies that he has kept back no toll which it was his legal duty to pay, he shall swear to this with six others and shall be quit of the charge.

1) If he declares that he has paid toll, he shall produce the man to whom he paid it, and shall be quit of the charge.

2) If, however, he cannot produce the man to whom he paid it, he shall pay the actual toll and as much again and five pounds to the King.

3) If he vouches the taxgatherer to warranty [asserting] that he paid toll to him, and the latter denies it, he shall clear himself by the ordeal and by no other means of proof.

4. And we [the king and his counselors] have decreed that a man who, within the town, makes forcible entry into another man's house without permission and commits a breach of the peace of the worst kind ... and he who assaults an innocent person on the King's highway, if he is slain, shall lie in an unhonored grave.

1) If, before demanding justice, he has recourse to violence, but does not lose his life thereby, he shall pay five pounds for breach of the King's peace.

2) If he values the goodwill of the town itself, he shall pay us thirty shillings as compensation, if the King will grant us this concession."

5. No base coin or coin defective in quality or weight, foreign or English, may be used by a foreigner or an Englishman. (In 956, a person found guilty of illicit coining was punished by loss of a hand.)

Judicial Procedure

There were courts for different geographical communities. The arrangement of the whole kingdom into shires was completed by 975 after being united under King Edgar.

A shire was a larger area of land, headed by an earl. A shire reeve or "sheriff" represented the royal interests in the shires and in the shire courts. This officer came to be selected by the king and earl of the shire to be a judicial and financial deputy of the earl and to execute the law. The office of sheriff, which was not hereditary, was also responsible for the administration of royal lands and royal accounts. The sheriff summoned the freemen holding land in the shire, four men selected by each community or township, and all public officers to meet twice a year at their "shiremote". Actually only the great lords - the bishops, earls, and thegns - attended. The shire court was primarily concerned with issues of the larger landholders. Here the freemen interpreted the customary law of the locality. The earl declared the secular law and the bishop declared the spiritual law. They also declared the sentence of the judges. The earl usually took a third of the profits, such as fines and forfeits, of the shire court, and the bishop took a share. In time, the earls each came to supervise several shires and the sheriff became head of the shire and assumed the earl's duties there, such as heading the county fyrd. The shire court also heard cases which had been refused justice at the hundredmote and cases of keeping the peace of the shire.

The hundred was a division of the shire, having come to refer to a geographical area rather than a number of households. The monthly hundredmote could be attended by any freeman holding land (or a lord's steward), but was usually attended only by reeve, thegns, parish priest, and four representatives selected by each agrarian community or village - usually villeins. Here transfers of land were witnessed. A reeve, sometimes the sheriff, presided over local criminal and peace and order issues ["leet jurisdiction", which derived from sac and soc jurisdiction] and civil cases at the hundred court. All residents were expected to attend the leet court. The sheriff usually held each hundred court in turn. The suitors to these courts were the same as those of the shire courts. They were the judges who declared the law and ordered the form of proof, such as compurgatory oath and ordeal. They were customarily thegns, often twelve in number. They, as well as the king and the earl, received part of the profits of justice. Summary procedure was followed when a criminal was caught in the act or seized after a hue and cry. Every freeman over age twelve had to be in a hundred and had to follow the hue and cry.

"No one shall make distraint [seizure of personal property out of the possession of an alleged wrongdoer into the custody of the party injured, to procure a satisfaction for a wrong committed] of property until he has appealed for justice in the hundred court and shire court".

In 997, King Ethelred in a law code ordered the sheriff and twelve leading magnates of each shire to swear to accuse no innocent man, nor conceal any guilty one. This was the germ of the later assize, and later still the jury.

The integrity of the judicial system was protected by certain penalties: for swearing a false oath, bot as determined by a cleric who has heard his confession, or, if he has not confessed, denial of burial in consecrated ground. Also a perjurer lost his oath-worthiness. Swearing a false oath or perjury was also punishable by loss of one's hand or half one's wergeld. A lord denying justice, as by upholding an evildoing thegn of his, had to pay 120s. to the king for his disobedience. Furthermore, if a lord protected a theow of his who had stolen, he had to forfeit the theow and pay his wer, for the first offense, and he was liable for all he property, for subsequent offenses. There was a bot for anyone harboring a convicted offender. If anyone failed to attend the gemot thrice after being summoned, he was to pay the king a fine for his disobedience. If he did not pay this fine or do right, the chief men of the burh were to ride to him, and take all his property to put into surety. If he did not know of a person who would be his surety, he was to be imprisoned. Failing that, he was to be killed. But if he escaped, anyone who harbored him, knowing him to be a fugitive, would be liable pay his wer. Anyone who avenged a thief without wounding anyone, had to pay the king 120s. as wite for the assault.

"And if anyone is so rich or belongs to so powerful a kindred, that he cannot be restrained from crime or from protecting and harboring criminals, he shall be led out of his native district with his wife and children, and all his goods, to any part of the kingdom which the King chooses, be he noble or commoner, whoever he may be - with the provision that he shall never return to his native district. And henceforth, let him never be encountered by anyone in that district; otherwise he shall be treated as a thief caught in the act."

This lawsuit between a son and his mother over land was heard at a shire meeting: "Here it is declared in this document that a shire meeting sat at Aylton in King Cnut's time. There were present Bishop AEthelstan and Earl Ranig and Edwin, the Earl's son, and Leofwine, Wulfsige's son, and Thurkil the White; and Tofi the Proud came there on the King's business, and Bryning the sheriff was present, and AEthelweard of Frome and Leofwine of Frome and Godric of Stoke and all the thegns of Herefordshire. Then Edwin, Enneawnes son, came traveling to the meeting and sued his own mother for a certain piece of land, namely Wellington and Cradley. Then the bishop asked whose business it was to answer for his mother, and Thurkil the White replied that it was his business to do so, if he knew the claim. As he did not know the claim, three thegns were chosen from the meeting [to ride] to the place where she was, namely at Fawley, and these were Leofwine of Frome and AEthelsige the Red and Winsige the seaman, and when they came to her they asked her what claim she had to the lands for which her son was suing her. Then she said that she had no land that in any way belonged to him, and was strongly incensed against her son, and summoned to her kinswoman, Leofflaed, Thurkil's wife, and in front of them said to her as follows: 'Here sits Leofflaed, my kinswoman, to whom, after my death, I grant my land and my gold, my clothing and my raiment and all that I possess.' And then she said to the thegns: 'Act like thegns, and duly announce my message to the meeting before all the worthy men, and tell them to whom I have granted my land and all my property, and not a thing to my own son, and ask them to be witnesses of this.' And they did so; they rode to the meeting and informed all the worthy men of the charge that she had laid upon them. Then Thurkil the White stood up in the meeting and asked all the thegns to give his wife the lands unreservedly which her kinswoman had granted her, and they did so. Then Thurkil rode to St. AEthelbert's minister, with the consent and cognizance of the whole assembly, and had it recorded in a gospel book."

Courts controlled by lords of large private estates had various kinds of jurisdiction recognized by the King: sac and soke [possession of legal powers of execution and profits of justice held by a noble or institution over inhabitants and tenants of the estate, exercised through a private court], toll [right to collect a payment on the sale of cattle and property] and team [right to hold a court to determine the honesty of a man accused of illegal possession of cattle], infangenetheof [the authority to judge and to hang and take the chattels of a thief caught on the property], and utfangenetheof [the authority to judge and to hand and take the chattels of a thief dwelling out of his liberty, and committing theft without the same, if he were caught within the lord's property]. Some lords were even given jurisdiction over breach of the royal peace, ambush and treacherous manslaughter, harboring of outlaws, forced entry into a residence, and failure to answer a military summons. Often this court's jurisdiction overlapped that of the hundred court and sometimes a whole hundred had passed under the jurisdiction of an abbot, bishop, or earl.

A lord and his noble lady, or his steward, presided at this court. The law was administered here on the same principles as at the hundred court. Judges of the leet of the court of a large private estate were chosen from the constables and four representatives selected from each community, village, or town.

Before a dispute went to the hundred court, it might be taken care of by the head tithing man, e.g. cases between vills, between neighbors, and some compensations and settlements, namely concerning pastures, meadows, harvests, and contests between neighbors.

The vill [similar to village] was the smallest community for judicial purposes. There were several vills in a hundred.

In London, the Hustings Court met weekly and decided such issues as wills and bequests and commerce matters. The folkmote of all citizens met three times a year. Each ward had a leet court [for minor criminal matters].

The king and his witan decided the complaints and issues of the nobility and those cases which had not received justice in the hundred or shire court. The witan had a criminal jurisdiction and could imprison or outlaw a person. The witan could even compel the king to return any land he might have unjustly taken. Specially punishable by the king was "oferhyrnesse": contempt of the king's law. It covered refusal of justice, neglect of summons to gemot or pursuit of thieves, disobedience to the king's officers, sounding the king's coin, accepting another man's dependent without his leave, buying outside markets, and refusing to pay Peter's pence.

The forests were peculiarly subject to the absolute will of the king. They were outside the common law. Their unique customs and laws protected the peace of the animals rather than the king's subjects. Only special officials on special commissions heard their cases.

The form of oaths for compurgation were specified for theft of cattle, unsoundness of property bought, and money owed for a sale. The defendant denied the accusation by sweating that "By the Lord, I am guiltless, both in deed and counsel, and of the charge of which ... accuses me." A compurgator swore that "By the Lord, the oath is clean and unperjured which ... has sworn.". A witness swore that "In the name of Almighty God, as I here for ... in true witness stand, unbidden and unbought, so I with my eyes oversaw, and with my ears overheard, that which I with him say."

If a theow man was guilty at the ordeal, he was not only to give compensation, but was to be scourged thrice, or a second geld be given; and be the wite of half value for theows.

Chapter 4

The Times: 1066-1100

William came from Normandy to conquer England. He claimed that the former King, Edward, the Confessor, had promised the throne to him when they were growing up together in Normandy, if Edward became King of England and had no children. The Conquerer's men and horses came in boats powered by oars and sails. The conquest did not take long because of the superiority of his military expertise to that of the English. He organized his army into three groups: archers with bows and arrows, horsemen with swords and stirrups, and footmen with hand weapons. Each group played a specific role in a strategy planned in advance. The English army was only composed of footmen with hand weapons such as spears and shields. They fought in a line holding up their shields to overlap each other and form a shieldwall. The defeat of the English was thought to have been presaged by a comet.

At Westminster, he made an oath to defend God's holy churches and their rulers, to rule the whole people subject to him with righteousness and royal providence, to enact and hold fast right law, and to utterly forbid rapine and unrighteous judgments. This was in keeping with the traditional oath of a new king.

Declaring the English who fought against him to be traitors, the Conquerer declared their land confiscated. But he allowed those who were willing to acknowledge him to redeem their land by a payment of money. As William conquered the land of the realm, he parceled it out among the barons who fought with him so that each baron was given the holdings of an Anglo-Saxon predecessor, scattered though they were. The barons again made oaths of personal loyalty to him [fealty]. They agreed to hold the land as his vassals with future military services to him and receipt of his protection. They gave him homage by placing their hands within his and saying "I become your man for the tenement I hold of you, and I will bear you faith in life and member [limb] and earthly honor against all men". They held their land "of their lord", the King, by knight's service. The king had "enfeoffed" them [given them a fief: a source of income] with land. The theory that by right all land was the King's and that land was held by others only at his gift and in return for specified service was new to English thought. The original duration of a knight's fee until about 1100 was for his life; thereafter it was heritable. The word "knight" came to replace the word "thegn" as a person who received his position and land by fighting for the King. The exact obligation of knight's service was to furnish a fully armed horseman to serve at his own expense for forty days in the year. This service was not limited to defense of the country, but included fighting abroad. The baron led his own knights under his banner. The foot soldiers were from the fyrd or were mercenaries. Every free man was sworn to join in the defense of the king, his lands and his honor, within England and without.

The Saxon governing class was destroyed. The independent power of earls, who had been drawn from three great family houses, was curtailed. Most died or fled the country. Some men were allowed to redeem their land by money payment if they showed loyalty to the Conquerer. Well-born women crowded into nunneries to escape Norman violence. The people were deprived of their most popular leaders, who were excluded from all positions of trust and profit, especially all the clergy. The earldoms became fiefs instead of magistracies.

The Conquerer was a stern and fierce man and ruled as an autocrat by terror. Whenever the people revolted or resisted his mandates, he seized their lands or destroyed the crops and laid waste the countryside and so that they starved to death. His rule was strong, resolute, wise, and wary because he had learned to command himself as well as other men. He was not arbitrary or oppressive. The Conquerer had a strict system of policing the nation. Instead of the Anglo-Saxon self-government throughout the districts and hundreds of resident authorities in local courts, he aimed at substituting for it the absolute rule of the barons under military rule so favorable to the centralizing power of the Crown. He used secret police and spies and the terrorism this system involved. This especially curbed the minor barons and preserved the public peace.

The English people, who outnumbered the Normans by 300 to 1, were disarmed. Curfew bells were rung at 7:00 PM when everyone had to remain in their own dwellings on pain of death and all fires and candles were to be put out. This prevented any nightly gatherings, assassinations, or seditions. Order was brought to the kingdom so that no man dare kill another, no matter how great the injury he had received. The Conquerer extended the King's peace on the highways, i.e. roads on high ground, to include the whole nation. Any individual of any rank could travel from end to end of the land unharmed. Before, prudent travelers would travel only in groups of twenty.

The barons subjugated the English who were on their newly acquired land. There began a hierarchy of seisin [rightful occupation] of land so that there could be no land without its lord. Also, every lord had a superior lord with the king as the overlord or supreme landlord. One piece of land may be held by several tenures. For instance, A, holding by barons' service of the King, may enfeoff B, a church, to hold of him on the terms of praying for the souls of his ancestors, and B may enfeoff a freeman C to hold of the church by giving it a certain percentage of his crops every year. There were about 200 barons who held land directly of the King. Other fighting men were the knights, who were tenants or subtenants of a baron. Knighthood began as a reward for valor on the field of battle by the king or a noble. The value of a knight's fee was 400s. [20 pounds] per year. Altogether there were about 5000 fighting men holding land.

The essence of Norman feudalism was that the land remained under the lord, whatever the vassal might do. The lord had the duty to defend the vassals on his land. The vassal owed military service to the lord and also the service of attending the courts of the hundred and the county [formerly "shire"], which were courts of the King, administering old customary law. They were the King's courts on the principle that a crime anywhere was a breach of the King's peace. The King's peace that had covered his residence and household had extended to places where he might travel, such as highways, rivers, bridges, churches, monasteries, markets, and towns, and then encompassed every place, replacing the general public peace. Infraction of the King's peace incurred fines to the King.

This feudal bond based on occupancy of land rather than on personal ties was uniform throughout the realm. No longer could a man choose his lord and transfer his land with him to a new lord. He held his land at the will of his lord, to be terminated anytime the lord decided to do so. A tenant could not alienate his land without permission of his lord. In later eras, tenancies would be held for the life of the tenant, and even later, for his life and those of his heirs.

This uniformity of land organization plus the new requirement that every freeman take an oath of loyalty directly to the king to assist him in preserving his lands and honor and defending him against his enemies, which oath would supersede any oath to any other man, gave the nation a new unity. The king could call men directly to the fyrd, summon them to his court, and tax them without intervention of their lords. And the people learned to look to the king for protection from abuse by their lords.

English villani, bordarii, cottarii, and servi on the land of the barons were subjugated into a condition of "villeinage" servitude and became "tied to the land" so that they could not leave the land without their lord's permission, except to go on a pilgrimage. The villeins formed a new bottom class as the population's percentage of slaves declined dramatically. They held their land of their lord, the baron. To guard against uprisings of the conquered people, the barons used villein labor to build about a hundred great stone castles, with moats and walls with towers around them, at easily defensible positions such as hilltops all over the nation.

A castle could be built only with permission of the King. A typical castle had a stone building of about four floors [a keep] on a small, steep hill. Later it also had an open area surrounded by a stone curtain-wall with towers at the corners. Around the outside of the wall were ditches and banks and perhaps a moat. One traveled over these via a drawbridge let down at the gatehouse of the enclosing wall. On either side of the gatehouse were chambers for the guards. Arrows could be shot through slits in the enclosing walls. Inside the enclosed area might be stables, a granary, barracks for the soldiers, and workshops. The only winter feed was hay, for which the horses, breeding animals, milkcow, and workoxen had a priority over other animals. The bulk of the cattle were usually slaughtered and salted.

The castle building typically was entered by an outer wood staircase to the guard room on the second floor. The first [ground] floor had a well and was used as a storehouse and/or dungeons for prisoners. The second floor had a two-storied great hall, with small rooms and aisles around it within the thick walls. There was also a chapel area on the second floor. There were small areas of the third floor which could be used for sleeping. The floors were wood and were reached by a spiral stone staircase in one corner of the building. Sometimes there was a reservoir of water on an upper level with pipes carrying the water to floors below. Each floor had a fireplace with a slanted flue going through the wall to the outside. There were latrines in the corner walls with a pit or shaft down the exterior of the wall, sometimes to the moat. Furs and wool clothes were hung on the walls there in the summer to deter the moths. The first floor had only arrow slits in the walls, but the higher floors had small windows.

Some curtain-wall castles did not have a central building. In these, the hall was built along the inside of the walls, as were other continuous buildings. The kitchens and chapels were in the towers. Lodgings were in buildings along the curtain-walls, or on several floors of the towers.

The great hall was the main room of the castle. The hall was used for meals and meetings at which the lord received homages, recovered fees, and held the view of frankpledge [free pledge in Latin], in which freemen agreed to be sureties for each other. At the main table, the lord and his lady sat on benches with backs or chairs. The table was covered first with a wool cloth that reached to the floor, and then by a smaller white linen cloth. Everyone else sat on benches at trestle tables, which could be folded up, e.g. at night. Over the main door were the family arms. On the walls were swords ready for instant use. On the upper parts of the walls could be fox skins and perhaps a polecat skin, and keepers' and huntsmen's poles. There were often hawk perches overhead. At the midday dinner, courses were ceremonially brought in to music, and ritual bows were made to the lord. The food at the head table was often tasted first by a servant as a precaution against poison. Hounds, spaniels, and terriers lay near the hearth and cats, often with litters, nestled nearby. They might share in dinner, but the lord may keep a short stick near him to defend morsels he meant for himself. Hunting, dove cotes, and carp pools provided fresh meat. Fish was compulsory eating on Fridays, on fast days, and during Lent. Cooking was done outside on an open fire, roasting on spits and boiling in pots. Some spits were mechanized with a cogged wheel and a weight at the end of a string. Other spits were turned by a long handle, or a small boy shielded from the heat by a wet blanket, or by dogs on a treadmill. Underneath the spit was a dripping pan to hold the falling juices and fat. Mutton fat was used for candles. Bread, pies, and pastry dishes were baked in an oven: a hole in a fireproof stone wall fitted with an iron door, in which wood was first burnt to heat the oven walls. It could also be used for drying fruit or melting tallow. Fruits were also preserved in honey. Salt was stored in a niche in the wall near the hearth and put on the table in a salt cellar which became more elaborate over the years. Salt was very valuable and gave rise to the praise of a man as the salt of the earth. Costly imported spices such as cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, pepper, and a small quantity of sugar were kept in chests. Pepper was always on the table to disguise the taste of tainted meat. Drinks included wine, ale, cider from apples, perry from pears, and mead. People carried and used their own knives. There were no forks. Spoons were of silver or wood. People also ate with their fingers and washed their hands before and after meals. It was impolite to dig into the salt bowl with a knife not previously wiped on bread or napkin, which was linen. It was unmannerly to wipe one's knife or one's greasy fingers on the tablecloth or, to use the tablecloth to blow one's nose. Feasts were stately occasions with costly tables and splendid apparel. There were practical jokes, innocent frolics, and witty verbal debating with repartee. They played chess, checkers, and various games with cards and dice. Most people could sing and some could play the lute.

Lighting of the hall at night was by oil lamps or candles on stands or on wall fixtures. For outside activities, a lantern [a candle shielded by a metal cage with panels of finely shaved horn: lant horn] was used. The residence of the lord's family and guests was at a screened off area at the extreme end of the hall or on a higher floor. Chests stored garments and jewels. Iron keys and locks were used for chests and doors. The great bed had a wooden frame and springs made of interlaced rope or strips of leather. It was covered with a feather mattress, sheets, quilts, fur covers, and pillows. Drapery around the bed kept out cold drafts and provided privacy. There was a water bowl for washing in the morning. A chamber pot was kept under the bed for nighttime use. Hay was used as toilet paper. The lord's personal servants slept nearby on benches or trundle beds. Most of the gentlemen servants slept communally in a "knight's chamber". The floor of the hall was strewn with straw, on which common folk could sleep at night. There were stools on which to sit. Cup boards (boards on which to store cups) and chests stored spices and plate. One-piece iron shears were available to cut cloth. Handheld spindles were used for weaving; one hand held the spindle [a small stick weighted at one end] while the other hand alternately formed the thread and wound it around the spindle. On the roofs there were rampart walks for sentry patrols and parapets from which to shoot arrows or throw things at besiegers. Each tenant of the demesne of the king where he had a castle had to perform a certain amount of castle guard duty for its continuing defense. These knights performing castle-guard duty slept at their posts. Bathing was done in a wooden tub located in the garden in the summer and indoors near the fire in winter. The great bed and tub for bathing were taken on trips with the lord. The entire household was of men, except for the lord's lady with a few lady companions; otherwise the entire household was of men. The ladies rode pillion [on a cushion behind the saddle] or in litters suspended between two horses.

Markets grew up outside castle walls. Any trade on a lord's land was subject to "passage", a payment on goods passing through, "stallage", a payment for setting up a stall or booth in a market, and "pontage", a payment for taking goods across a bridge.

The Norman man was clean shaven on his face and around his ears and at the nape of the neck. His hair was short. He wore a long-sleeved under-tunic of linen or wool that reached to his ankles. Over this the Norman noble wore a tunic without sleeves, open at the sides, and fastened with a belt. Over one shoulder was his cloak, which was fastened on the opposite shoulder by being drawn through a ring brooch and knotted. He wore tight thick cloth stockings to protect him from the mud and leather shoes. Common men wore durable, but drab, wool tunics to the knee so as not to impede them in their work. They could roll up their stockings when working in the fields. A lady also wore a high-necked, long-sleeved linen or wool tunic fitted at the waist and laced at the side, but full in the skirt, which reached to her toes. She wore a jeweled belt, passed twice around her waist and knotted in front. Her hair was often in two long braids, and her head and ears covered with a white round cloth held in place by a metal circlet like a small crown. Its ends were wound around her neck. In winter, she wore over her tunic a cloak edged or lined with fur and fastened at the front with a cord. Clothes of both men and ladies were brightly colored by dyes or embroidery. The Norman knight wore an over-tunic of leather or heavy linen on which were sewn flat rings of iron and a conical iron helmet with nose cover. He wore a sword at his waist and a metal shield on his back, or he wore his sword and his accompanying retainers carried spear and shield.

Norman customs were adopted by the nation. As a whole, Anglo-Saxon men shaved their beards and whiskers from their faces, but they kept their custom of long hair flowing from their heads. But a few kept their whiskers and beards in protest of the Normans. Everyone had a permanent surname indicating parentage, place of birth, or residence, such as Field, Pitt, Lane, Bridge, Ford, Stone, Burn, Church, Hill, Brook, Green. Other names came from occupations such as Shepherd, Carter, Parker, Fowler, Hunter, Forester, Smith. Still other came from personal characteristics such as Black, Brown, and White, Short, Round, and Long. Some took their names from animals such as Wolf, Fox, Lamb, Bull, Hogg, Sparrow, Crow, and Swan. Others were called after the men they served, such as King, Bishop, Abbot, Prior, Knight. A man's surname was passed on to his son.

Those few coerls whose land was not taken by a baron remained free and held their land "in socage" and became known as sokemen. They were not fighting men, and did not give homage, but might give fealty, i.e. fidelity. Many free sokemen were caught up in the subjugation by baron landlords and were reduced almost to the condition of the unfree villein. The services they performed for their lords were often indistinguishable. They might also hold their land by villein tenure, although free as a person with the legal rights of a freeman. The freeman still had a place in court proceedings which the unfree villein did not.

Great stone cathedrals were built in fortified towns for the Conquerer's Norman bishops, who replaced the English bishops. Most of the existing and new monasteries functioned as training grounds for scholars, bishops, and statesmen rather than as retreats from the world's problems to the security of religious observance. The number of monks grew as the best minds were recruited into the monasteries.

The Conquerer made the church subordinate to him. Bishops were elected only subject to the King's consent. The bishops had to accept the status of barons. Homage was exacted from them before they were consecrated, and fealty and an oath afterward. The Conquerer imposed knight's service on bishoprics, abbeys, and monasteries, which was usually commuted to a monetary amount. Bishops had to attend the King's court. Bishops could not leave the realm without the King's consent. No royal tenant or royal servant could be excommunicated, nor his lands be placed under interdict, without the King's consent. Interdict could demand, for instance, that the church be closed and the dead buried in unconsecrated ground. No church rules could be made without his agreement to their terms. No letters from the pope could be received without the King's permission. The Archbishop of Canterbury was still recognized as a primary advisor to the king. Over the years, the selection for this office frequently became a source of contention among king, pope, and clergy.

Men continued to give land to the church for their souls, such as this grant which started the town of Sandwich: "William, King of the English, to Lanfranc the Archbishop and Hugoni de Montfort and Richard son of Earl Gilbert and Haimo the sheriff and all the thegns of Kent, French and English, greeting. Know ye that the Bishop of Bayeux my brother for the love of God and for the salvation of my soul and his own, has given to St. Trinity all houses with their appurtenances which he has at Sandwich and that he has given what he has given by my license." Many private owners of churches gave them to cathedrals or monastic communities, partly to ensure their long term survival, and partly because of church pressure.

When the land was all divided out, the barons had about 3/7 of it and the church about 2/7. Most of the barons had been royal servants. The king retained about 2/7, including forests for hunting, for himself and his family and household, on which he built many royal castles and hundreds of manor [large private estate headed by a lord] houses throughout the nation. He built the massive White Tower in London. It was tall with four turrets on top, and commanded a view of the river and bridge, the city and the surrounding countryside. The only windows were slits from which arrows could be shot. On the fourth and top floor was the council chamber and the gallery of the chapel. On the third floor was the banqueting hall, the sword room, and the chapel. The king and his household slept in apartments on these upper floors. Stairs went up to the gateway entrance on the second floor, which were hidden by a wall. The garrison's barracks were on the first floor (ground floor). Any prisoners were kept in cells at a level below the first floor. The other castles were often built at the old fortification burhs of Alfred. Each had a constable in charge, who was a baron. Barons and earls had castle-guard duty in the king's castles. The Conquerer was constantly moving about the land among his and his barons' castles, where he met with his magnates and conducted public business, such as deciding disputes about holding of land. Near his own castles and other of his property, he designated many areas as royal hunting forests. Anyone who killed a deer in these forests was mutilated, for instance by blinding. People living within the boundaries of the designated forestland could no longer go into nearby woods to get meat or honey, dead wood for firing, or live wood for building. Swineherds could no longer drive pigs into these woods to eat acorns they beat down from oak trees. Making clearings and grazing livestock in the designated forestland were prohibited. Most of the nation was either wooded or bog at this time.

London was a walled town of one and two story houses made of mud, twigs, and straw, with thatched roofs. It included a bundle of communities, townships, parishes, and lordships. There were churches, a goods market, a fish market, quays on the river, and a bridge over the river. Streets probably named by this time include Bread Street, Milk Street, Honey Lane, Wood Street, and Ironmonger Lane. Fairs and games were held outside the town walls in a field called "Smithfield". The great citizens had the land qualifications of knights and ranked as barons on the Conquerer's council. The freemen were a small percentage of London's population. There was a butchers' guild, a pepperers' guild, a goldsmiths' guild, the guild of St. Lazarus, which was probably a leper charity (of which there were many in the 1000s and 1100s), the Pilgrims' guild, which helped people going on pilgrimages, and four bridge guilds, probably for keeping the wooden London Bridge in repair. Men told the time by sundials, some of which were portable and could be carried in one's pocket. London could defend itself, and a ringing of the bell of St. Paul's Church could shut every shop and fill the streets with armed horsemen and soldiers led by a soldier portreeve. Across the Thames from London on its south side was Southwark, a small trading and fishing settlement.

The Conquerer did not interfere with landholding in London, but recognized its independence as a borough in this writ: "William the King greets William, Bishop of London, and Gosfrith the portreeve, and all the burgesses [citizens] of London friendly. Know that I will that you be worthy of all the laws you were worthy of in the time of King Edward. And I will that every child shall be his father's heir after his father's day. And I will not suffer any man to do you wrong. God preserve you." The Norman word "mayor" replaced "portreeve".

So London was not subjected to the Norman feudal system. It had neither villeins nor slaves. Whenever Kings asserted authority over it, the citizens reacted until the king "granted" a charter reaffirming the freedoms of the city and its independence.

Under pressure from the ecclesiastical judges, the Conquerer replaced the death penalty by that of the mutilation of blinding, chopping off hands, and castrating offenders. Castration was the punishment for rape. But these mutilations usually led to a slow death by gangrene.

The Normans used the Anglo-Saxon concepts of jurisdictional powers. Thus when the Conquerer confirmed "customs" to the abbot of Ely, these were understood to include the following: 1) sac and soke - the right to hold a court of private jurisdiction and enjoy its profits, 2) toll - a payment in towns, markets, and fairs for goods and chattel bought and sold, 3) team - persons might be vouched to warranty in the court, the grant of which made a court capable of hearing suits arising from the transfer of land, 4) infangenthef - right of trying and executing thieves on one's land, 4) hamsocne, 5) grithbrice - violation of the grantees' special peace, for instance that of the sheriff, 6) fightwite—fine for a general breach of the peace, 7) fyrdwite - fine for failure to appear in the fyrd.

Every shire, now called "county", had at least one burh, or defensible town. Kings had appointed a royal moneyer in each burh to mint silver coins such as pennies for local use. On one side was the King's head in profile and on the other side was the name of the moneyer. When a new coinage was issued, all moneyers had to go to London to get the new dies. The Conquerer's head faced frontally on his dies, instead of the usual profile used by former Kings.

The Conquerer held and presided over his council three times a year, as was the custom, at Easter, Christmas, and Whitsuntide, which coincided with the great Christian festivals. This was an advisory council and consisted of the Conquerer's wife and sons, earls, barons, knights, officers of the King's household, archbishops, and bishops. It replaced the witan of wise men. It dealt with fundamental matters of law, state, war, and church. Its functions were largely ceremonial. Earldoms and knighthoods were conferred and homages to the king were witnessed. Bishops were nominated. Attendance at the council, like attendance at courts, was regarded as a burden rather than a privilege. The Conquerer's will was the motive force which under lay all the council's action. When it was administering royal justice, it was called the Royal Court..

The Justiciar was the head of all legal matters and he or the Conquerer's wife represented the King at the Royal Court in his absence from the realm. The chamberlain was a financial officer of the household; his work was rather that of auditor or accountant. The Chancellor headed the Chancery and the chapel. Other household offices were steward, butler, constable, and marshall. The Treasurer was responsible for the collection and distribution of revenue and was the keeper of the royal treasure at the palace at Winchester. He was also an important member of the household and sat in the Exchequer at Westminster, where he received the accounts of the sheriffs. The Exchequer was composed of the justiciar as head, the chancellor, the constable, two chamberlains, the marshall and other experienced councilors. The word "Exchequer" came from the chequered cloth on the table used to calculate in Roman numerals the amount due and the amount paid. The word "calculate" derives from the word "calculi", meaning pebbles. It was a kind of abacus. The Exchequer received yearly from the sheriffs of the counties taxes, fines, treasure trove, goods from wrecks, deodands, and movable property of felons, of persons executed, of fugitives, and of outlaws due to the Crown. The Conqueror presided yearly over feasts involving several thousand guests at Westminster Hall, which was 250 feet by 70 feet with a high ceiling, the largest hall in England.

The Conquerer's reign was a time of tentative expedients and simple solutions. He administered by issuing writs with commands or prohibitions. These were read aloud by the sheriffs in the county courts and other locations. Administration was by the personal servants of his royal household, such as the chancellor, chamberlain, constable, marshals, steward, and butler. The language of government changed to Latin. The chancellor was from the clergy and supervised the writers and clerks, who were literate, and appended the great seal before witnesses to documents. He also headed the staff of the royal chapel. The chamberlain was a financial officer who audited and accounted. The constable was responsible for supplies for the knights of the royal household. He also supervised the care of horses, hounds, hawks, and huntsmen, houndsmen, and foresters. The marshals came from less important families than the constable and they preserved order in the king's hall and recorded expenditures of the household officers on tallies. The steward was a great baron whose duties were chiefly ceremonial, such as placing the dishes before the king at banquets.

Sheriffs became powerful figures as the primary agents for enforcing royal edicts. There was no longer supervision of them by earls nor influence on them by bishops. They were customarily prominent barons. They collected the royal taxes, executed royal justice, and presided over and controlled the hundred and county courts. They were responsible for remitting a certain sum annually. If a sheriff received more than necessary, he retained the difference as his lawful profit of office. If he received less than necessary, he had to make up the difference from his own pocket. Before rendering this account, he paid the royal benefactions to religious houses, provided for the maintenance of stock on crown lands, paid for the costs of provisions supplied to the court, and paid for traveling expenses of the king and his visitors. The payments were initially paid in kind: e.g. grain, cattle, horses, hounds, and hawks. Sheriffs also took part in the keeping of castles and often managed the estates of the King. Most royal writs were addressed to the sheriff and county courts. They also led the county militia in time of war or rebellion. At times, a sheriff usurped royal rights, used royal estates for his own purposes, encroached on private land and rights, extorted money, and collected revenues only for his own pockets. Over the centuries, there was much competition for the authority to select the king, e.g. by the king, the county court, the barons, and the Exchequer. There was also much pressure to limit his term to one year. Also, the powers of the sheriffs slowly declined.

Royal income came from customary dues, profits of coinage and of justice, and revenues from the King's own estates. For war, there was no change in the custom that a man with five hides of land was required to furnish one heavy armed horseman for forty days service in a year. The fyrd was retained. A threat of a Viking invasion caused the Conquerer to reinstate the danegeld tax at 6s. per hide, which was three times its old rate. (The price of an ox was still about 30d.) To impose this tax uniformly, he sent commissioners to conduct surveys by sworn verdicts of appointed groups of local men. A detailed survey of land holdings and the productive worth of each was made in 1086. The English called it the "Doomsday Book" because there was no appeal from it.

The survey revealed, for instance, that one estate had "on the home farm five plough teams: there are also 25 villeins and 6 cotters with 14 teams among them. There is a mill worth 2s. a year and one fishery, a church and four acres of meadow, wood for 150 pigs and two stone quarries, each worth 2s. a year, and two nests of hawks in the wood and 10 slaves." This estate was deemed to be worth 480s. a year.

Laxton "had 2 carucates of land [assessed] to the geld. [There is] land for 6 ploughs. There Walter, a man of [the lord] Geoffrey Alselin's has 1 plough and 22 villeins and 7 bordars [a bordar had a cottage and a small amount land in return for supplying small provisions to his lord] having 5 ploughs and 5 serfs and 1 female serf and 40 acres of meadow. Wood [land] for pannage [foraging by pigs] 1 league in length and half a league in breadth. In King Edward's time it was worth 9 pounds; now [it is worth] 6 pounds."

Ilbert de Laci has now this land, where he has twelve ploughs in the demesne; and forty-eight villani, and twelve bordars with fifteen ploughs, and three churches and three priests, and three mills of ten shillings. Wood pastures two miles long, and one broad. The whole manor five miles long and two broad. Value in King Edward's time sixteen pounds, the same now.

That manor of the town of Coventry which was individually held was that of the Countess of Coventry, who was the wife of the earl of Mercia. "The Countess held in Coventry. There are 5 hides. The arable land employs 20 ploughs. In the demesne lands there are 3 ploughs and 7 bondmen. There are 50 villeins and 12 bordars with 20 ploughs. The mill there pay[s] 3 shillings. The woodlands are 2 miles long and the same broad. In King Edward's time and afterwards, it was worth 22 pounds [440 s.], now only 11 pounds by weight. These lands of the Countess Godiva Nicholas holds to farm of the King."

The survey shows a few manors and monasteries owned a salthouse or saltpit in the local saltworks, from which they were entitled to obtain salt.

In total there were about 110,000 villani [former coerls regarded as customary, irremovable cultivator tenants]; 82,000 bordarii; 7,000 cotarii and cotseti [held land by service of labor or rent paid in produce], and 25,000 servi [landless laborers]. There are no more theows.

In the nation, there was a total of about 25,000 servi [landless laborers], over 82,000 borderii, nearly 7,000 coatarii and cotseti [held land or houses by service of labor or rent paid in produce], and nearly 110,000 villani. This survey resulted in the first national tax system of about 6s. per hide of land.

The survey also provided the Conquerer with a summary of customs of areas. For instance, in Oxfordshire, "Anyone breaking the King's peace given under his hand and seal to the extent of committing homicide shall be at the King's mercy in respect of his life and members. That is if he be captured. And if he cannot be captured, he shall be considered as an outlaw, and anyone who kills him shall have all his possessions. The king shall take the possessions of any stranger who has elected to live in Oxford and who dies in possession of a house in that town, and without any kinfolk. The king shall be entitled to the body and the possessions of any man who kills another within his own court or house excepting always the dower of his wife, if he has a wife who has received dower.

The courts of the king and barons became schools of chivalry wherein seven year old noble boys became as pages or valets, wore a dagger and waited upon the ladies of the household. At age fourteen, they were advanced to squires and admitted into more familiar association with the knights and ladies of the court. They perfected their skills in dancing, riding, fencing, hawking, hunting, jousting, and engaged in team sports in which the goal was to put the other side to rout. They learned the knightly art of war. Enemy fighters were to be taken and held for ransom rather than killed. Those engaging in rebellion were to be pardoned and restored to some or all of their lands and titles. Lords' sons could be mutually exchanged with an enemy's as security for peace. After achieving knighthood, a man usually selected a wife from the court at which he grew up. Parents tried to send their daughters to a household superior in social status not only to learn manners, but to make a good marriage. A girl who did not marry was often sent to a nunnery; a dowry was necessary before her acceptance.

The following incidents of land tenure began (but were not firmly established until the reign of Henry II). Each tenant, whether baron or subtenant, was to pay an "aid" in money for ransom if his lord was captured in war, for the knighthood of his lord's eldest son, and for the marriage of his lord's eldest daughter. The aid was theoretically voluntary. Land could be held by an heir only if he could fight. The eldest son began to succeed to the whole of the lands in all military tenures. Younger sons of great houses became bishops. An heir of a tenant had to pay a heavy "relief" on succession to his estate. The relief replaced the heriot. If there was a delay in proving heirship or paying relief, the lord would hold the land and receive its income in the meantime, often a year. If an heir was still a minor or female, he or she passed into his lord's wardship, in which the lord had guardianship of the heir and possession of the estate, with all its profits. The mother was not made a minor's guardian. No longer was the estate protected by the minor's kin as his birthright. A female heir was expected to marry a man acceptable to the lord. The estate of an heiress and her land was generally sold to the highest bidder. If there were no heirs, the land escheated to the lord. If a tenant committed felony, his land escheated to his lord. The word "felony" came from the Latin word meaning "to deceive" and referred to the feudal crime of betraying or committing treachery against one's lord.

Astrologers resided with the families of the barons. People went to fortune tellers' shops. There was horse racing, steeple races, and chess for recreation. Girls had dolls; boys had toy soldiers, spinning tops, toy horses, ships, and wooden models.

The state of medicine is indicated by this medical advice brought to the nation by William's son after treatment on the continent:

"If thou would have health and vigor Shun cares and avoid anger. Be temperate in eating And in the use of wine. After a heavy meal Rise and take the air Sleep not with an overloaded stomach And above all thou must Respond to Nature when she calls."

The Conquerer allowed Jewish traders to follow him from Normandy and settle in separate sections of the main towns. Then engaged in long distance trade, money changing, and money lending. They loaned money for interest for the building of castles and cathedrals. Christians were not allowed by the church to engage in this usury. The Jews could not become citizens nor could they have standing in the local courts. Instead, a royal justiciar secured justice for them. They could practice their own religion.

William the Conquerer was succeeded as king by his son William II (Rufus), who transgressed many of the customs of the nation to get more money for himself. He was killed by an arrow of a fellow hunter while they and William's younger brother Henry were hunting together in a crown forest. Henry then became king.

The Law

The Norman conquerors brought no written law, but affirmed the laws of the nation. Two they especially enforced were:

The Conquerer proclaimed that:

Judicial Procedure

"Ecclesiastical" courts were created for bishops to preside over cases concerning the cure of souls and criminal cases, in which the ordeal was used. When the Conquerer did not preside over this court, an appeal could be made to him.

The hundred and county courts now sat without clergy and handled only "civil" cases. They were conducted by the King's own appointed sheriff. Only freemen and not bound villeins had standing in this court. They continued to transact their business in the English language.

The local jurisdictions of thegns who had grants of sac and soke or who exercised judicial functions among their free neighbors were now called "manors" under their new owners, who conducted a manor court.

The Conquerer's Royal Court was called the "Curia Regis". When the Conquerer wished to determine the national laws, he summoned twelve elected representatives of each county to declare on oath the ancient lawful customs and law as they existed in the time of the popular King Edward the Confessor. The recording of this law was begun. A person could spend months trying to catch up with the Royal Court to present a case. Sometimes the Conquerer sent the justiciar or commissioners to hold his Royal Court in the various districts. The commissioner appointed groups of local men to give a collective verdict upon oath for each trial he conducted. The Conquerer allowed, on an ad hoc basis, certain high-level people such as bishops and abbots and those who made a large payment, to have land disputes decided by an inquiry of recognitors. Besides royal issues, the Curia Regis heard appeals from lower court decisions. It used English, Norman, feudal, Roman, and canon law legal principles to reach a decision, and was flexible and expeditious.

A dispute between a Norman and an English man over land or a criminal act could be decided by trial by combat [battle]. Each combatant first swore to the truth of his cause and undertook to prove by his body the truth of his cause by making the other surrender by crying "craven" [craving forgiveness]. The combatants used weapons like pickaxes and shields. Presumably the man in the wrong would not fight as well because he was burdened with a guilty conscience. Although this trial was thought to reflect God's will, it favored the physically fit and adept person. After losing the trial by combat, the guilty person would be punished appropriately.

London had its own traditions. All London citizens met at its folkmote, which was held three times a year to determine its public officers, to raise matters of public concern, and to make ordinances. Its criminal court had the power of outlawry as did the county courts. Trade, land, and other civil issues were dealt with by the Hustings Court, which met every Monday in the Guildhall. The city was divided into wards, each of which was under the charge of an elected alderman [elder man]. (The election was by a small governing body and the most wealthy and reputable men and not a popular election.) The aldermen had special knowledge of the law and a duty to declare it at the Hustings Court. Each alderman also conducted wardmotes in his ward and decided criminal and civil issues between its residents. Within the wards were the guilds of the city.

The Normans, as foreigners, were protected by the king's peace. The entire hundred was the ultimate surety for murder and would have to pay a "murdrum" fine of 31 pounds [46 marks] for the murder of any Norman, if the murderer was not apprehended by his lord within a few days. The reaction to this was that the murderer mutilated the corpse to make identification of ethnicity impossible. So the Conquerer ordered that every murder victim was assumed to be Norman unless proven English. This began a court custom in murder cases of first proving the victim to be English.

The Royal Court decided this case: "At length both parties were summoned before the King's court, in which there sat many of the nobles of the land of whom Geoffrey, bishop of Coutances, was delegated by the King's authority as judge of the dispute, with Ranulf the Vicomte, Neel, son of Neel, Robert de Usepont, and many other capable judges who diligently and fully examined the origin of the dispute, and delivered judgment that the mill ought to belong to St. Michael and his monks forever. The most victorious King William approved and confirmed this decision."

Chapter 5

The Times: 1100-1154

King Henry I, son of William the Conquerer, furthered peace between the Normans and native English by his marriage to a niece of King Edward the Confessor called Matilda. She married him on condition that he grant a charter of rights undoing some practices of the past reigns of William I and William II. Peace was also furthered by the fact that Henry I had been born in England and English was his native tongue. The private wars of lords were now replaced by less serious mock battles.

Henry was a shrewd judge of character and of the course of events, cautious before taking action, but decisive in carrying out his plans. He was faithful and generous to his friends. He showed a strong practical element of calculation and foresight. Although illiterate, he was intelligent and a good administrator. He had an efficient intelligence gathering network and an uncanny knack of detecting hidden plans before they became conspiratorial action. He made many able men of inferior social position nobles, thus creating a class of career judges and administrators in opposition to the extant hereditary aristocracy. He loved books and built a palace at Oxford to which he invited scholars for lively discussion. Euclid's "Elements" was introduced into England by a translation into Latin from Arabic by Adelhard of Bath.

Queen Matilda served as regent of the kingdom in Henry's absence, as William's queen had for him. Both queens received special coronation apart from their husbands; they held considerable estates which they administered through their own officers, and were frequently composed of escheated honors. Matilda was learned and a literary patron. She founded an important literary and scholastic center. Her compassion was great and her charities extensive. In London she founded several almshouses and a caregiving infirmary for lepers. These were next to small monastic communities. She also had new roads and bridges built.

Henry issued charters restoring customs which had been subordinated to royal impositions by previous Kings, which set a precedent for later Kings. His coronation charter describes certain property rights he restored after the oppressive reign of his brother.

"Henry, King of the English, to Samson the bishop, and Urse of Abbetot, and to all his barons and faithful vassals, both French and English, in Worcestershire, greeting.

[1.] Know that by the mercy of God and by the common counsel of the barons of the whole kingdom of England I have been crowned king of this realm. And because the kingdom has been oppressed by unjust exactions, I now, being moved by reverence towards God and by the love I bear you all, make free the Church of God; so that I will neither sell nor lease its property; nor on the death of an archbishop or a bishop or an abbot will I take anything from the demesne of the Church or from its vassals during the period which elapses before a successor is installed. I abolish all the evil customs by which the kingdom of England has been unjustly oppressed. Some of those evil customs are here set forth.

[2.] If any of my barons or of my earls or of any other of my tenants shall die his heir shall not redeem his land as he was wont to do in the time of my brother [William II (Rufus)], but he shall henceforth redeem it by means of a just and lawful 'relief`. Similarly the men of my barons shall redeem their lands from their lords by means of a just and lawful 'relief`.

[3.] If any of my barons or of my tenants shall wish to give in marriage his daughter or his sister or his niece or his cousin, he shall consult me about the matter; but I will neither seek payment for my consent, nor will I refuse my permission, unless he wishes to give her in marriage to one of my enemies. And if, on the death of one of my barons or of one of my tenants, a daughter should be his heir, I will dispose of her in marriage and of her lands according to the counsel given me by my barons. And if the wife of one of my tenants shall survive her husband and be without children, she shall have her dower and her marriage portion [that given to her by her father], and I will not give her in marriage unless she herself consents.

[4.] If a widow survives with children under age, she shall have her dower and her marriage portion, so long as she keeps her body chaste; and I will not give her in marriage except with her consent. And the guardian of the land, and of the children, shall be either the widow or another of their relations, as may seem more proper. And I order that my barons shall act likewise towards the sons and daughters and widows of their men.

[5.] I utterly forbid that the common mintage [a forced levy to prevent loss to the King from depreciation of the coinage], which has been taken from the towns and counties, shall henceforth be levied, since it was not so levied in the time of King Edward [the Confessor]. If any moneyer or other person be taken with false money in his possession, let true justice be visited upon him.

[6.] I forgive all pleas and all debts which were owing to my brother [William II], except my own proper dues, and except those things which were agreed to belong to the inheritance of others, or to concern the property which justly belonged to others. And if anyone had promised anything for his heritage, I remit it, and I also remit all 'reliefs' which were promised for direct inheritance.

[7.] If any of my barons or of my men, being ill, shall give away or bequeath his movable property, I will allow that it shall be bestowed according to his desires. But if, prevented either by violence or through sickness, he shall die intestate as far as concerns his movable property, his widow or his children, or his relatives or one his true men shall make such division for the sake of his soul, as may seem best to them.

[8.] If any of my barons or of my men shall incur a forfeit, he shall not be compelled to pledge his movable property to an unlimited amount, as was done in the time of my father [William I] and my brother; but he shall only make payment according to the extent of his legal forfeiture, as was done before the time of my father and in the time of my earlier predecessors. Nevertheless, if he be convicted of breach of faith or of crime, he shall suffer such penalty as is just.

[9.] I remit all murder fines which were incurred before the day on which I was crowned King; and such murder fines as shall now be incurred shall be paid justly according to the law of King Edward [by sureties].

[10.] By the common counsel of my barons I have retained the forests in my own hands as my father did before me.

[11.] The knights, who in return for their estates perform military service equipped with a hauberk [long coat] of mail, shall hold their demesne lands quit of all gelds [money payments] and all work; I make this concession as my own free gift in order that, being thus relieved of so great a burden, they may furnish themselves so well with horses and arms that they may be properly equipped to discharge my service and to defend my kingdom.

[12.] I establish a firm peace in all my kingdom, and I order that this peace shall henceforth be kept.

[13.] I restore to you the law of King Edward together with such emendations to it as my father [William I] made with the counsel of his barons.

[14.] If since the death of my brother, King William [II], anyone shall have seized any of my property, or the property of any other man, let him speedily return the whole of it. If he does this no penalty will be exacted, but if he retains any part of it he shall, when discovered, pay a heavy penalty to me.

Witness: Maurice, bishop of London; William, bishop-elect of Winchester; Gerard, bishop of Herefore; Henry the earl; Simon the earl; Walter Giffard; Robert of Montfort-sur-Risle; Roger Bigot; Eudo the steward; Robert, son of Haimo; and Robert Malet.

At London when I was crowned. Farewell."

Henry took these promises seriously, which resulted in peace and justice. Royal justice became a force to be reckoned with by the multiplication of justices. Henry had a great respect for legality and the forms of judicial action. He became known as the "Lion of Justice".

The payment of queen's gold, that is of a mark of gold to the queen out of every hundred marks of silver paid, in the way of fine or other feudal incident, to the king, probably dates from Henry I's reign.

A woman could inherit a fief if she married. The primary way for a man to acquire control of land was to marry an heiress. If a man were in a lower station than she was, he had to pay for his new social status as well as have royal permission. A man could also be awarded land which had escheated to the King. If a noble woman wanted to hold land in her own right, she had to make a payment to the King. Many widows bought their freedom from guardianship or remarriage from the King. Women whose husbands were at war also ran the land of their husbands.

Barons were lords of large holdings of farmland called "manors". Many of the lesser barons left their dark castles to live in semi-fortified stone houses, which usually were of two rooms with rug hangings for drafts, as well as the sparse furniture that had been common to the castle. There were shuttered windows to allow in light, but which also let in the wind and rain when open. The roof was of thatch or narrow overlapping wood shingles. The stone floor was strewn with hay and there was a hearth near the center of the floor, with a louvered smoke hole in the timber roof for escape of smoke. There were barns for grain and animals. Beyond this area was a garden, orchard, and sometimes a vineyard. The area was circumscribed by a moat over which there was a drawbridge to a gatehouse.

The smaller room was the lord and lady's bedroom. It had a canopied bed, chests for clothing, and wood frames on which clothes could be hung. Life on the manor revolved around the larger room, or hall, where the public life of the household was passed. There, meals were served. The daily diet typically consisted of milk, soup, porridge, fish, vegetables, and bread. Open hospitality accompanied this communal living. There was little privacy. Manor household villeins carried the lord's sheaves of grain to the manor barn, shore his sheep, malted his grain, and chopped wood for his fire. At night some slept on the floor of the hall. Others, who were cottars and bordars, had their own dwellings nearby.

The manor house of lesser lords or knights was still built of wood, although it often had a stone foundation.

About 35% of the land was arable land, about 25% was common pasture land (for grazing only) or meadow land (near a stream or river and used for hay or grazing), and about 15% was woodland. There were these types of land and wasteland on each manor. The arable land was allotted to the villeins in strips to equalize the best and worst land and their distance from the village where the villeins lived. There was three-way rotation of wheat or rye, oats or barley, and fallow land. Cows, pigs, sheep, and fowl were kept. The meadow was allocated for hay for the lord's household and each villein's. The villeins held land of their lord for various services such as agricultural labor or raising domestic animals. The villeins worked about half of their time on their lord's fields [his demesne land], which was about a third of the farmland. This work was primarily to gather the harvest and to plough with oxen, using a yoke over their shoulders, and to sow in autumn and Lent. They threshed grain on barn floors with flails cut from holly or thorn, and removed the kernels from the shafts by hand. Work lasted from sunrise to sunset and included women and children. The older children could herd geese and pigs, and set snares for rabbits. The young children could gather nuts and berries in season and other wild edibles, and could pick up little tufts of wool shed by sheep. The old could stay in the hut and mind the children, keep the fire going and the black pot boiling, sew, spin, patch clothes, and cobble shoes. The old often suffered from rheumatism. Many people had bronchitis. Many children died of croup [inflammation of the respiratory passages]. Life expectancy was probably below thirty-five.

The villein retained his customary rights, his house and land and rights of wood and hay, and his right in the common land of his township. Customary ways were maintained. The villeins of a manor elected a reeve to communicate their interests to their lord, usually through a bailiff, who directed the labor. Sometimes there was a steward in charge of several of a lord's manors, who also held the manorial court for the lord. The steward held his land of the lord by serjeanty, which was a specific service to the lord. Other serjeanty services were carrying the lord's shield and arms, finding attendants and esquires for knights, helping in the lord's hunting expeditions, looking after his hounds, bringing fuel, doing carpentry, and forging irons for ploughs. The Woodward preserved the timber. The Messer supervised the harvesting. The Hayward removed any fences from the fields after harvest to allow grazing by cattle and sheep. The Coward, Bullard, and Calvert tended the cows, bulls, and calves; the Shepherd, the sheep; and the Swineherds the pigs. The Ponder impounded stray stock. There were varieties of horses: war horses, riding horses, courier horses, pack horses, and plough horses.

The majority of manors were coextensive with a single village. The villeins lived in the village in one-room huts enclosed by a wood fence, hedge, or stone wall. In this yard was a garden of onions, leeks, mustard, peas, beans, parsley, garlic, herbs, and cabbage and apple, pear, cherry, quince, and plum trees, and beehives. The hut had a high-pitched roof thatched with reeds or straw and low eaves reaching almost to the ground. The walls are built of wood-framing overlaid with mud or plaster. Narrow slits in the walls serve as windows, which have shutters and are sometimes covered with coarse cloth. The floor is dirt and may be covered with straw or rushes for warmth, but usually no hearth. In the middle is a wood fire burning on a hearthstone, which was lit by making a spark by striking flint and iron together. The smoke rose through a hole in the roof. At one end of the hut was the family living area, where the family ate on a collapsible trestle table with stools or benches. Their usual food was beans and peas, oatmeal gruel, butter, cheese, vegetables, honey, rough bread made from a mixture of wheat, barley, and rye flour, herrings or other salt fish, and some salted or smoked bacon. Butter had first been used for cooking and as a medicine to cure constipation and for puny children it could be salted down for the winter. The bread had been roasted on the stones of the fire; later there were communal ovens set up in villages. Cooking was done over the fire by boiling in iron pots hung from an iron tripod, or sitting on the hot stones of the fire. They ate from wood bowls using a wood spoon. When they had fresh meat, it could be roasted on a spit. Liquids were heated in a kettle. With drinking horns, they drank water, milk, buttermilk, apple cider, mead, ale made from barley malt, and bean and vegetable broth. They used jars and other earthenware, e.g. for storage of salt. They slept on straw mattresses or sacks on the floor or on benches. The villein regarded his bed area as the safest place in the house, as did people of all ranks, and kept his treasures there, which included his farm implements, as well as hens on the beams, roaming pigs, and stalled oxen, cattle, and horses, which were at the other end of the hut. Fires were put out at night to guard against fire burning down the huts. The warmth of the animals then helped make the hut warm. Around the room are a couple of chests to store salt, meal, flour, a broom made of birch twigs, some woven baskets, the distaff and spindle for spinning, and a simple loom for weaving. All clothes were homemade. They were often coarse, greasy wool and leather made from their own animals. The man wore a tunic of coarse linen embroidered on the sleeves and breast, around with he wore a girdle of rope, leather, or folded cloth. Sometimes he also wore breeches reaching below the knee. The woman wore a loose short-sleeved gown, under which was a tight fitting garment with long loose sleeves, and which was short enough to be clear of the mud. If they wore shoes, they were clumsy and patched. Some wore a hood-like cap. For really bad weather, a man wore on his head a hood with a very elongated point which could be wrapped around his neck. Sometimes a short cape over the shoulders was attached. Linen was too expensive for commoners.

The absence of fresh food during the winter made scurvy prevalent; in the spring, people eagerly sought "scurvy grass" to eat. Occasionally there would be an outbreak of a nervous disorder due to the ergot fungus growing in the rye used for bread. This manifested itself in apparent madness, frightening hallucinations, incoherent shouting, hysterical laughing, and constant scratching of itching and burning sensations.

The villein and his wife and children worked from daybreak to dusk in the fields, except for Sundays and holydays. He had certain land to farm for his own family, but had to have his grain milled at his lord's mill at the lord's price. He had to retrieve his wandering cattle from his lord's pound at the lord's price. He was expected to give a certain portion of his own produce, whether grain or livestock, to his lord. However, if he fell short, he was not put off his land. The villein, who worked the farm land as his ancestor ceorl had, now was so bound to the land that he could not leave or marry or sell an ox without his lord's consent. If the manor was sold, the villein was sold as a part of the manor. When his daughter or son married, he had to pay a "merchet" to his lord. He could not have a son educated without the lord's permission, and this usually involved a fee to the lord. His best beast at his death, or "heriot", went to his lord. If he wanted permission to live outside the manor, he paid "chevage" yearly. Woodpenny was a yearly payment for gathering dead wood. Sometimes a "tallage" payment was taken at the lord's will. The villein's oldest son usually took his place on his land and followed the same customs with respect to the lord. For an heir to take his dead ancestor's land, the lord demanded payment of a "relief", which was usually the amount of a year's income but sometimes as much as the heir was willing to pay to have the land. The usual aids were also expected to be paid.

A large village also had a smith, a wheelwright, a millwright, a tiler and thatcher, a shoemaker and tanner, a carpenter wainwright and carter.

Markets were about twenty miles apart because a farmer from the outlying area could then carry his produce to the nearest town and walk back again in the daylight hours of one day. In this local market he could buy foodstuffs, livestock, household goods, fuels, skins, and certain varieties of cloth.

The cloth was crafted by local weavers, dyers, and fullers. The weaver lived in a cottage with few and narrow windows with little furniture. He worked in the main, and sometimes the only, room. First the raw wool was washed with water at the front door to remove the grease. Then its fibers were disentangled and made fine with hand cards with thistle teeth, usually by the children. Then it was spun by a spinning wheel into thread, usually by the wife. On a double frame loom, a set of parallel threads was strung lengthwise. A device worked by a pedal lifted half of these threads --every other thread--while the other half remained in place. Between the lifted threads and the stationary threads a shuttle was thrown by the weaver from one hand to another. Then the threads which had remained stationary were raised by a second pedal and the shuttle thrown back. The shuttle carried a spool so that, as it moved, it left a thread behind it running crosswise or at right angles to the lengthwise threads and in and out between them. The lengthwise threads were called the "warp"; the shuttle thread was the "woof" or the "weft".

In making cloth, it was the warp which, as the loom moved, took the worst beating. With the constant raising and lowering, these treads would wear and break, whereas the weft on which there was little strain remained intact. None of the cotton yarn which the old-fashioned wheels had spun was strong enough for warp. So it was necessary to use linen thread for the warp.

Since one loom could provide work for about six spinners, the weaver had his wool spun by other spinners in their cottages. Sometimes the master weaver had an apprentice or workman working and living with him, who had free board and lodging and an annual wage. Then a fuller made the cloth thick and dense by washing, soaping, beating, and agitating it, with the use of a community watermill which could be used by anyone for a fixed payment. The cloth dried through the night on a rack outside the cottage. The weaver then took his cloth, usually only one piece, to the weekly market to sell. The weavers stood at the market holding up their cloth. The cloth merchant who bought the cloth then had it dyed or dressed according to his requirements. Its surface could be raised with teazleheads and cropped or sheared to make a nap. Some cloth was sold to tailors to make into clothes. Often a weaver had a horse for travel, a cow for milk, chickens for eggs, perhaps a few cattle, and some grazing land. Butchers bought, slaughtered, and cut up animals to sell as meat. Some was sold to cooks, who sold prepared foods. The hide was bought by the tanner to make into leather. The leather was sold to shoemakers and glovemakers. Millers bought harvested grain to make into flour. Flour was sold to bakers to make into breads. Wood was bought by carpenters and by coopers, who made barrels, buckets, tubs, and pails. Tilers, oilmakers and rope makers also bought raw material to make into finished goods for sale. Wheelwrights made ploughs, harrows, carts, and later wagons. Smiths and locksmiths worked over their hot fires.

Games with dice were sometimes played. In winter, youths ice-skated with bones fastened to their shoes. They propelled themselves by striking the ice with staves shod with iron. On summer holydays, they exercised in leaping, shooting with the bow, wrestling, throwing stones, and darting a thrown spear. The maidens danced with timbrels. Since at least 1133, children's toys included dolls, drums, hobby horses, pop guns, trumpets, and kites.

The cold, indoors as well as outdoors, necessitated that people wear ample and warm garments. Men and women of position dressed in long full cloaks reaching to their feet, sometimes having short full sleeves. The cloak generally had a hood and was fastened at the neck with a brooch. Underneath the cloak was a simple gown with sleeves tight at the wrist but full at the armhole, as if cut from the same piece of cloth. A girdle or belt was worn at the waist. When the men were hunting or working, they wore gown and cloak of knee length. Men wore stockings to the knee and shoes. The fashion of long hair on men returned.

The nation grew with the increase of population, the development of towns, and the growing mechanization of craft industries. There were watermills for crafts and for supplying and draining water in all parts of the nation. In flat areas, slow rivers could be supplemented by creating artificial waterfalls, for which water was raised to the level of reservoirs. There were also some iron-smelting furnaces. Coal mining underground began as a family enterprise. Stone bridges over rivers could accommodate one person traveling by foot or by horseback and were steep and narrow. The wheelbarrow came into use to cart materials for building castles and cathedrals.

Merchants, who had come from the low end of the knightly class or high end of the villein class, settled around the open market areas, where main roads joined. They had plots narrow in frontage along the road and deep. Their shops faced the road, with living space behind or above their stores. Town buildings were typically part stone and part timber as a compromise between fire precautions and expense.

Towns, as distinct from villages, had permanent markets. As towns grew, they paid a fee to obtain a charter for self-government from the king giving the town judicial and commercial freedom. They were literate enough to do accounts. So they did their own valuation of the sum due to the crown so as not to pay the sheriff any more than that. These various rights were typically expanded in future times, and the towns received authority to collect the sum due to the crown rather than the sheriff. This they did by obtaining a charter renting the town to the burghers at a fee farm rent equal to the sum thus deducted from the amount due from the county. Such a town was called a "borough" and its citizens or landholding freemen "burgesses". To be free of something meant to have exclusive rights and privileges with respect to it. Selling wholesale could take place only in a borough. Burgesses were free to marry. They were not subject to defense except of the borough. They were exempt from attendance at county and hundred courts. The king assessed a tallage [ad hoc tax] usually at ten per cent of property or income. In the boroughs, merchant and manufacturing guilds controlled prices and assured quality. The head officer of the guild usually controlled the borough, which excluded rival merchant guilds. A man might belong to more than one guild, e.g. one for his trade and another for religion.

Craft guilds grew up in the towns, such as the tanners at Oxford, which later merged with the shoemakers into a cordwainers' guild. There were weavers' guilds in several towns, including London, which were given royal sanction and protection for annual payments (twelve pounds of silver for London. They paid an annual tribute and were given a monopoly of weaving cloth within a radius of several miles. Guild rules covered attendance of the members at church services, the promotion of pilgrimages, celebration of masses for the dead, common meals, relief of poor brethren and sisters, the hours of labor, the process of manufacture, the wages of workmen, and technical education. Henry standardized the yard as the length of his own arm.

Trades and crafts, each of which had to be licensed, grouped together by specialty in the town. Cloth makers, dyers, tanners, and fullers were near an accessible supply of running water, upon which their trade depended. Streets were often named by the trade located there, such as Butcher Row, Pot Row, Cordwainer Row, Ironmonger Row, Wheeler Row, and Fish Row. Hirers of labor and sellers of wheat, hay, livestock, dairy products, apples and wine, meat, poultry, fish and pies, timber and cloth all had a distinct location. Some young men were apprenticed to craftsmen to assist them and learn their craft.

London had at least twenty wards, each governed by its own alderman. Most of them were named after people. London was ruled by sixteen families linked by business and marriage ties. These businesses supplied luxury goods to the rich and included the goldsmiths [sold cups, dishes, girdles, mirrors, purses knives, and metal wine containers with handle and spout], vintners [wine merchants], mercers [sold textiles, haberdashery, combs, mirrors, knives, toys, spices, ointments, and potions], drapers, and pepperers, which later merged with the spicers to become the "grocers", skinners, tanners, shoemakers, woolmen, weavers, fishmongers, armorers, and swordsmiths. There were bakehouses at which one could leave raw joints of meat to be cooked and picked up later. These businesses had in common four fears: royal interference, foreign competition, displacement by new crafts, and violence by the poor and escaped villeins who found their way to the city. When a non-freeholder stayed in London he had to find for frankpledge, three sureties for good behavior. Failure to do so was a felony and the ward would eject him to avoid the charge of harboring him with its heavy fine. The arrival of ships with cargoes from continental ports and their departure with English exports was the regular waterside life below London Bridge. Many foreign merchants lived in London. Imports included timber, hemp, fish, and furs. There was a fraternal organization of citizens who had possessed their own lands with sac and soke and other customs in the days of King Edward. There were public bathhouses, but they were disreputable. A lady would take an occasional bath in a half cask in her home. The church warned of evils of exposing the flesh, even to bathe.

Middlesex County was London's territory for hunting and farming. All London craft work was suspended for one month at harvest time. London received this charter for self-government and freedom from the financial and judicial organization of the county:

"Henry, by the grace of God, King of England, to the Archbishop of Canterbury and the bishops, abbots, earls, barons, justiciars, sheriffs and all his loyal subjects, both French and English, throughout the whole of England - greeting.

  1. Be it known to you that I have granted Middlesex to my citizens of London to be held on lease by them and their heirs of me and my heirs for 300 pounds paid by tale [yearly], upon these terms: that the citizens themselves [may] appoint a sheriff, such as they desire, from among themselves, and a justiciar, such as they desire, from among themselves, to safeguard the pleas of my Crown [criminal cases] and to conduct such pleas. And there shall be no other justiciar over the men of London.
  2. And the citizens shall not take part in any [civil] case whatsoever outside the City walls.
    1. And they shall be exempt from the payment of scot and danegeld and the murder fine.
    2. And none of them shall take part in trial by combat.
    3. And if any of the citizens has become involved in a plea of the Crown, he shall clear himself, as a citizen of London, by an oath which has been decreed in the city.
    4. And no one shall be billeted [lodged in a person's house by order of the King] within the walls of the city nor shall hospitality be forcibly exacted for anyone belonging to my household or to any other.
    5. And all the citizens of London and all their effects [goods] shall be exempt and free, both throughout England and in the seaports, from toll and fees for transit and market fees and all other dues.
    6. And the churches and barons and citizens shall have and hold in peace and security their rights of jurisdiction [in civil and criminal matters] along with all their dues, in such a way that lessees who occupy property in districts under private jurisdiction shall pay dues to no one except the man to whom the jurisdiction belongs, or to the official whom he has placed there.
    7. And a citizen of London shall not be amerced [fined by a court when the penalty for an offense is not designated by statute] to forfeiture of a sum greater than his wergeld, [hereby assessed as] 100 shillings, in a case involving money.
    8. And further there shall be no miskenning [false plea causing a person to be summoned to court] in a husting [weekly court] or in a folkmote [meeting of the community], or in any other court within the City.
    9. And the Hustings [court] shall sit once a week on Monday.
    10. And I assure to my citizens their lands and the property mortgaged to them and the debts due to them both within the City and without.
    11. And with regard to lands about which they have pled in suit before me, I shall maintain justice on their behalf, according to the law of the City.
    12. And if anyone has exacted toll or tax from citizens of London, the citizens of London within the city shall [have the right to] seize [by process of law] from the town or village where the toll or tax was exacted a sum equivalent to that which the citizen of London gave as toll and hence sustained as loss.
    13. And all those who owe debts to citizens shall pay them or shall clear themselves in London from the charge of being in debt to them.
    14. But if they have refused to pay or to come to clear themselves, then the citizens to whom they are in debt shall [have the right to] seize [by process of law] their goods [including those in the hands of a third party, and bring them] into the city from the [town, village or] county in which the debtor lives [as pledges to compel appearance in court].
    15. And the citizens shall enjoy as good and full hunting rights as their ancestors ever did, namely, in the Chilterns, in Middlesex, and in Surrey.

Witnessed at Westminster."

The above right not to take part in any case outside the city relieved London citizens from the burden of traveling to wherever the King's court happened to be, the disadvantage of not knowing local customs, and the difficulty of speaking in the language of the King's court rather than in English. The right of redress for tolls exacted was new because the state of the law was that the property of the inhabitants was liable to the king or superior lord for the common debt.

Newcastle-on-Tyne was recognized by the king as having certain customs, so the following was not called a grant:

"These are the laws and customs which the burgesses of Newcastle upon Tyne had in the time of Henry King of England and ought to have.

    [1] Burgesses can distrain [take property of another until the other performs his obligation] upon foreigners within, or without their own market, within or without their own houses, and within or without their own borough without the leave of the reeve, unless the county court is being held in the borough, and unless [the foreigners are] on military service or guarding the castle.

    [2] A burgess cannot distrain upon a burgess without the leave of the reeve.

    [3] If a burgess have lent anything of his to a foreigner, let the debtor restore it in the borough if he admits the debt, if he denies it, let him justify himself in the borough.

    [4] Pleas which arise in the borough shall be held and concluded there, except pleas of the Crown.

    [5] If any burgess be appealed [sued] of any plaint, he shall not plead without the borough, unless for default of [the borough] court.

    [6] Nor ought he to answer without day and term, unless he have fallen into 'miskenning' [error in pleading], except in matters which pertain to the Crown.

    [7] If a ship have put in at Tynemouth and wishes to depart, the burgesses may buy what they will [from it].

    [8] If a plea arise between a burgess and a merchant, it shall be concluded before the third ebb of the tide.

    [9] Whatever merchandise a ship has brought by sea must be landed, except salt; and herring ought to be sold in the ship.

    [10] If any man have held land in burgage for a year and a day, lawfully and without claim, he shall not answer a claimant, unless the claimant have been without the realm of England, or a child not of age to plead.

    [11] If a burgess have a son, he shall be included in his father's freedom if he be with his father.

    [12] If a villein come to dwell in the borough, and dwell there a year and a day as a burgess, he shall abide altogether, unless notice has been given by him or by his master that he is dwelling for a term.

    [13] If any man appeal [sue] a burgess of any thing, he cannot do [trial by] battle with the burgess, but the burgess shall defend himself by his law, unless it be of treason, whereof he is bound to defend himself by [trial by] battle.

    [14] Neither can a burgess do [trial by] battle against a foreigner, unless he first go out of the borough.

    [15] No merchant, unless he be a burgess, may buy [outside] the town either wool or leather or other merchandise, nor within the borough except [from] burgesses.

    [16] If a burgess incur forfeit, he shall give six ounces [10s.] to the reeve.

    [17] In the borough there is no merchet [payment for marrying off a daughter] nor heriot nor bloodwite [fine for drawing blood] nor stengesdint [fine for striking with a stick].

    [18] Every burgess may have his own oven and handmill if he will, saving the right of the King's oven.

    [19] If a woman be in forfeit for bread or beer, no one ought to interfere but the reeve. If she forfeit twice, she shall be chastised by her forfeit. If three times, let justice be done on her.

    [20] No one but a burgess may buy webs [woven fabrics just taken off the loom] to dye, nor make nor cut them.

    [21] A burgess may give and sell his land and go whither he will freely and quietly unless there be a claim against him."

The nation produced sufficient iron, but a primitive steel [iron with carbon added] was imported. It was scarce and expensive. Steel was used for tools, instruments, weapons and armor. Ships could carry about 300 people. Navigation was by simple charts that included wind direction for different seasons and the direction of north. The direction of the ship could be generally determined when the sky was clear by the position of the sun during the day or the north star during the night.

Plays about miracles wrought by holy men or saints or the sufferings and fortitude of martyrs were performed, usually at the great church festivals. Most nobles could read, though writing was still a specialized craft. There were books on animals, plants, and stones. The lives of the saints as told in the book "The Golden Legend" were popular. The story of the early King Arthur was told in the book "The History of the Kings of England". The story at this time stressed Arthur as a hero and went as follows: Arthur became king at age 15. He had an inborn goodness and generosity as well as courage. He and his knights won battles against foreign settlers and neighboring clans. Once, he and his men surrounded a camp of foreigners until they gave up their gold and silver rather than starve. Arthur married Guenevere and established a court and retinue. Leaving Britain in the charge of his nephew Modred, he fought battles on the continent for land to give to his noblemen who did him service in his household and fought with him. When Arthur returned to Britain, he made battle with his nephew Modred who had crowned himself King. Arthur's knight Gawain, the son of his sister, and the enemy Modred were killed and Arthur was severely wounded. Arthur told his kinsman Constantine to rule Britain as king in his place.

The intellectual world included art, secular literature, law, and medicine. There were about 90 physicians.

The center of government was a collection of tenants-in-chief, whose feudal duty included attendance when summoned, and certain selected household servants of the King. The Exchequer became a separate body. The payments in kind, such as grain or manual services, from the royal demesnes had been turned into money payments. The great barons made their payments directly to the Exchequer. The income from royal estates was received by the Exchequer and then commingled with the other funds. Each payment was indicated by notches on a stick, which was then split so that the payer and the receiver each had a half showing the notches. The Exchequer was the great school for training statesmen, justices, and bishops. The Chancellor managed the domestic matters of the Crown's castles and lands. The great offices of state were sold for thousands of pounds, which caused their holders to be on their best behavior for fear of losing their money by being discharged from office. One chancellor paid Henry about 3000 pounds for the office. Henry brought sheriffs under his strict control, free from influence by the barons. He maintained order with a strong hand, but was no more severe than his security demanded.

Forests were still retained by Kings for their hunting of boars and stags. A master forester maintained them. The boundaries of the Royal Forests were enlarged. They comprised almost one-third of the kingdom. Certain inhabitants thereof supplied the royal foresters with meat and drink and received certain easements and rights of common therein. The forest law reached the extreme of severity and cruelty under Henry I. Punishments given included blinding, emasculation, and execution. Offenders were rarely allowed to substitute a money payment. When fines were imposed they were heavy.

A substantial number of barons and monasteries were heavily in debt to the Jews. The interest rate was 43% (2d. per pound per week). The king taxed the Jews at will.

The Law

Henry restored the death penalty (by hanging) for theft and robbery, but maintained William I's punishment of mutilation by blinding and severing of limbs for other offenses, for example, bad money. He decreed in 1108 that false and bad money should be amended, so that he who was caught passing bad denarii should not escape by redeeming himself but should lose his eyes and members. And since denarii were often picked out, bent, broken, and refused, he decreed that no denarius or obol, which he said were to be round, or even a quadrans, if it were whole, should be refused. (Money then reached a higher level of perfection, which was maintained for the next century.)

The forest law stated that: "he that doth hunt a wild beast and doth make him pant, shall pay 10 shillings: If he be a freeman, then he shall pay double. If he be a bound man, he shall lose his skin." A "verderer" was responsible for enforcing this law, which also stated that: "If anyone does offer force to a Verderer, if he be a freeman, he shall lose his freedom, and all that he hath. And if he be a villein, he shall lose his right hand." Further, "If such an offender does offend so again, he shall lose his life."

A wife's dower is one-third of all her husband's freehold land, unless his endowment of her at their marriage was less than one-third.

Counterfeiting law required that "If any one be caught carrying false coin, the reeve shall give the bad money to the King however much there is, and it shall be charged in the render of his farm [payment] as good, and the body of the offender shall be handed over to the King for judgment, and the serjeants who took him shall have his clothes."

Debts to townsmen were recoverable by this law: "If a burgess has a gage [a valuable object held as security for carrying out an agreement] for money lent and holds this for a whole year and a day, and the debtor will not deny the debt or deliver the gage, and this is proved, the burgess may sell the gage before good witnesses for as much as he can, and deduct his money from the sum. If any money is over he shall return it to the debtor. But if there is not enough to pay him, he shall take distress again for the amount that is lacking."

Past due rent in a borough was punishable by payment of 10s. as fine.

Judicial activity encouraged the recording of royal legislation in writing which both looked to the past and attempted to set down law current in Henry's own day. The "Liberi Quadripartitus" aimed to include all English law of the time. This showed an awareness of the ideal of written law as a statement of judicial principles as well as of the practice of kingship. In this way, concepts of Roman law used by the Normans found their way into English law.

Church law provided that only consent between a man and woman was necessary for marriage. There needn't be witnesses, ceremony, nor consummation. Consent could not be coerced. Penalties in marriage agreements for not going through with the marriage were deemed invalid. Villeins and slaves could marry without their lords' or owners' permission. A couple living together could be deemed married. Persons related by blood within certain degrees, which changed over time, of consanguinity were forbidden to marry. This was the only ground for annulment of a marriage. A legal separation could be given for adultery, cruelty, or heresy. Annulment, but not separation, could result in remarriage. Fathers were usually ordered to provide some sustenance and support for their illegitimate children. The court punished infanticide and abortion. Counterfeiters of money, arsonists, and robbers of pilgrims and merchants were to be excommunicated. Church sanctuary was to be given to fugitives of violent feuds until they could be given a fair trial.

Judicial Procedure

Courts extant now are the Royal Court, the King's Court of the Exchequer, county courts, and hundred courts, which were under the control of the King. His appointed justices administered justice in these courts on regular circuits. The sheriff now only produced the proper people and preserved order at the county courts and presided over the nonroyal pleas and hundred courts. He impaneled recognitors, made arrests, and enforced the decisions of the royal courts. Also there are manor courts, borough courts, and ecclesiastical courts. In the manor courts, the lord's reeve generally presided. The court consisted of the lord's vassals and declared the customs and law concerning such offenses as failure to perform services and trespass on manorial woods, meadow, and pasture.

The King's Royal Court heard issues concerning the Crown and breaches of the King's peace, which included almost all criminal matters. The most serious offenses: murder, robbery, rape, abduction, arson, treason, and breach of fealty, were now called felonies. Other offenses were: housebreaking, ambush, certain kinds of theft, premeditated assault, and harboring outlaws or excommunicants. Henry personally presided over hearings of important legal cases. He punished crime severely. Offenders were brought to justice not only by the complaint of an individual or local community action, but by official prosecutors. A prosecutor was now at trials as well as a justice. Trial is still by compurgation. Trial by combat was relatively common.

These offenses against the king placed merely personal property and sometimes land at the king's mercy. Thus the Crown increased the range of offenses subject to its jurisdiction and arrogated to itself profits from the penalties imposed. A murderer could be given royal pardon from the death penalty so that he could pay compensation to the relatives.

The Royal Court also heard these offenses against the king: fighting in his dwelling, contempt of his writs or commands, encompassing the death or injury of his servants, contempt or slander of the King, and violation of his protection or his law. It heard these offenses against royal authority: complaints of default of justice or unjust judgment, pleas of shipwrecks, coinage, treasure trove [money buried when danger approached], forest prerogatives, and control of castle building.

Slander of the king, the government, or high officials was punishable as treason, felony, misprision of treason, or contempt, depending on the rank and office of the person slandered and the degree of guilt.

Henry began the use of writs to intervene in civil matters, such as inquiry by oath and recognition of rights as to land, the obligations of tenure, the legitimacy of heirs, and the enforcement of local justice. The Crown used its superior coercive power to enforce the legal decisions of other courts. These writs allowed people to come to the Royal Court on certain issues. There was a vigorous interventionism in the land law subsequent to appeals to the king in landlord-tenant relations, brought by a lord or by an undertenant. Assizes [those who sit together] of local people who knew relevant facts were put together to assist the court. Henry appointed some locally based justices, called justiciars. Also, he sent justices out on eyres [journeys] to hold assizes. This was done at special sessions of the county courts, hundred courts, and manor courts. Records of the verdicts of the Royal Court were sent with these itinerant justices for use as precedent in these courts. Thus royal authority was brought into the localities and served to check baronial power over the common people. These itinerant justices also transacted the local business of the Exchequer in each county. Henry created the office of chief justiciar, which carried out judicial and administrative functions.

The Royal Court retained cases of gaol delivery [arrested person who had been held in gaol was delivered to the court] and amercements. It also decided cases in which the powers of the popular courts had been exhausted or had failed to do justice. The Royal Court also decided land disputes between barons who were too strong to submit to the county courts.

The King's Court of the Exchequer reviewed the accounts of sheriffs, including receipts and expenditures on the Crown's behalf as well as sums due to the Treasury, located still at Winchester. These sums included rent from royal estates, the Danegeld land tax, the fines from local courts, and aid from baronial estates. Its records were the "Pipe Rolls", so named because sheets of parchment were fastened at the top, each of which dropped into a roll at the bottom and so assumed the shape of a pipe.

The county and hundred courts assessed the personal property of individuals and their taxes due to the King. The county court decided land disputes between people who had different barons as their respective lords.

The free landholders were expected to attend county, hundred, and manor courts. They owed "suit" to it. The suitors found the dooms [laws] by which the presiding officer pronounced the sentence.

The county courts heard cases of theft, brawling, beating, and wounding, for which the penalties could be exposure in the pillory or stocks. The pillory held an offender's head and hands in holes in boards, and the stocks held one's hands and feet. Here the public could scorn and hit the offender or throw fruit, mud, and dead cats at him. For sex offenders and informers, stones were usually thrown. Sometimes a person was stoned to death. The county courts met twice yearly. If an accused failed to appear after four successive county courts, he was declared outlaw at the fifth and forfeited his civil rights and all his property. He could be slain by anyone at will.

The hundred court met once a month to hear neighborhood disputes, for instance concerning pastures, meadows and harvests. Usually present was a priest, the reeve, four representative men, and sometimes the lord or his steward in his place. Sometimes the chief pledges were present to represent all the men in their respective frankpledges. The bailiff presided over all these sessions except two, in which the sheriff presided over the full hundred court to take the view of frankpledge, which was required for those who did not have a lord to answer for him.

The barons held court on their manors at a "hallmote" for issues arising between people living on the manor, such as bad ploughing on the lord's land or letting a cow get loose on the lord's land, and land disputes. This court also made the decision of whether a certain person was a villein or freeman. The manor court took over issues which had once been heard in the vill or hundred court. The baron charged a fee for hearing a case and received any fines he imposed, which amounted to significant "profits of justice".

Boroughs held court on trading and marketing issues in their towns such as measures and weights, as well as issues between people who lived in the borough. The borough court was presided over by a reeve who was a burgess as well as a royal official.

Wealthy men could employ professional pleader-attorneys to advise them and to speak for them in a court.

The ecclesiastical courts dealt, until the time of Henry VIII, with family matters such as marriage, annulments, marriage portions, legitimacy, undue wifebeating, child abuse, orphans, bigamy, adultery, incest, fornication, personal possessions, defamation, slander which did not cause material loss (and therefore had no remedy in the temporal courts), libel, perjury, usury, mortuaries, sacrilege, blasphemy, heresy, tithe payments, church fees, certain offenses on consecrated ground, and breaches of promises under oath, e.g. to pay a debt, provide services, or deliver goods. They decided inheritance and will issues which did not concern land, but only personal property. This developed from the practice of a priest usually hearing a dying person's will as to the disposition of his goods and chattel when he made his last confession. It provided guardianship of infants during probate of their personal property. Trial was basically by compurgation, with oath-helpers swearing to or against the veracity of the alleged offender's oath. An alleged offender could be required to answer questions under oath, thus giving evidence against himself. The ecclesiastical court's penalties were intended to reform and determined on a case-by-case basis. The canon law of Christendom was followed, without much change by the English church or nation. Penalties could include confession and public repentance of the sin before the parish, making apologies and reparation to persons affected, public embarrassment such as being dunked in water (e.g. for women scolds), walking a route barefoot and clad only in one's underwear, whippings, extra work, fines, and imprisonment in a "penitentiary" to do penance. The ultimate punishment was excommunication with social ostracism. Then no one could give the person drink, food, or shelter and he could speak only to his spouse and servants. Excommunication included denial of the sacraments of baptism, penance, mass, and extreme unction [prayers for spiritual healing] at death; which were necessary for salvation of the soul; and the sacrament of confirmation of one's belief in the tenets of Christianity. A person could also be denied a Christian burial in consecrated ground. However, the person could still marry and make a will. The king's court could order a recalcitrant excommunicant imprisoned until he satisfied the claims of the church. Excommunication was usually imposed for failure to obey an order or showing contempt of the law or of the courts. It required a hearing and a written reason. If this measure failed, it was possible to turn the offender over to the state for punishment, e.g. for blasphemy or heresy. Blasphemy [speaking ill of God] was thought to cause God's wrath expressed in famine, pestilence, and earthquake and was usually punished by a fine or corporal punishment, e.g. perforation or amputation of the tongue. It was tacitly understood that the punishment for heresy was death by burning. There were no heresy cases up to 1400 and few after that. The state usually assured itself the sentence was just before imposing it. The court of the rural dean was the ecclesiastical parallel of the hundred court of secular jurisdiction and usually had the same land boundaries. The archdeacons, who had been ministers of the bishop in all parts of his diocese alike, were now each assigned to one district, which usually had the same boundaries as the county. Henry acknowledged occasional appellate authority of the pope, but expected his clergy to elect bishops of his choice.

There was a separate judicial system for the laws of the forest. There were itinerant justices of the forests and four verderers of each forest county, who were elected by the votes of the full county court, twelve knights appointed to keep vert [everything bearing green leaves] and venison, and foresters of the king and of the lords who had lands within the limits of the forests. Every three years, the officers visited the forests in preparation for the courts of the forest held by the itinerant justices. The inferior courts were the woodmote, held every forty days, and the swein [freeman or freeholder within the forest] mote, held three times yearly before the verderers as justices, in which all who were obliged to attend as suitors of the county court to serve on juries and inquests were to be present.

Chapter 6

The Times: 1154-1215

King Henry II and Queen Eleanor, who was twelve years older, were both intelligent, educated, energetic, well-traveled, and experienced in affairs of state. Henry was the first Norman king to be fully literate and he learned Latin. He had many books and maintained a school. Eleanor often served as regent during Henry's reign and the reigns of their two sons: Richard I, the Lion-Hearted, and John. She herself headed armies. Henry II was a modest, courteous, and patient man with an astonishing memory and strong personality. He was indifferent to rank and impatient of pomp to the point of being careless about his appearance. He usually dressed in riding clothes and was often unkempt. He was thrifty, but generous to the poor. He was an outstanding legislator and administrator.

Henry II took the same coronation oath as Edward the Confessor regarding the church, laws, and justice. Not only did he confirm the charter of his grandfather Henry I, but he revived and augmented the laws and institutions of his grandfather and developed them to a new perfection. Almost all legal and fiscal institutions appear in their first effective form during his reign. For instance, he institutionalized the assize for a specific function in judicial proceedings, whereas before it had been an ad hoc body used for various purposes. The term "assize" here means the sitting of a court or council. It came to denote the decisions, enactments, or instructions made at such.

Henry's government practiced a strict economy and he never exploited the growing wealth of the nation. He abhorred bloodshed and the sacrifice of men's lives. So he strove diligently to keep the peace, when possible by gifts of money, but otherwise with armed force. Robbers were hanged and any man who raped a woman was castrated. Foreign merchants with precious goods could journey safely through the land from fair to fair. These fairs were usually held in the early fall, after harvesting and sheep shearing. Foreign merchants bought wool cloth and hides. Frankpledge was revived, now applying to the unfree and villeins. No stranger could stay overnight (except for one night in a borough), unless sureties were given for his good behavior. A list of such strangers was to be given to itinerant justices.

Henry had character and the foresight to build up a centralized system of government that would survive him. He learned about the counties' and villages' varying laws and customs. Then, using the model of Roman law, he gave to English institutions that unity and system which in their casual patchwork development had been lacking. Henry's government and courts forged permanent direct links between the king and his subjects which cut through the feudal structure of lords and vassals.

He developed the methods and structure of government so that there was a great increase in the scope of administrative activity without a concurrent increase of personal power of the officials who discharged it. The government was self-regulating, with methods of accounting and control which meant that no official, however exalted, could entirely escape the surveillance of his colleagues and the King. At the same time, administrative and judicial procedures were perfected so that much which had previously required the King's personal attention was reduced to routine.

The royal household translated the royal will into action. In the early 1100s, there had been very little machinery of central government that was not closely associated with the royal household. There was a Chief Justiciar for legal matters and a Treasurer. Royal government was largely built upon what had once been purely domestic offices. Kings had called upon their chaplains to pen letters for them. By Henry II's reign, the Chancery was a highly efficient writing office through which the King's will was expressed in a flow of writs, and the Chancellor an important and highly rewarded official, but he was still responsible for organizing the services in the royal chapel. Similarly, the chamberlains ran the household's financial departments. They arranged to have money brought in from a convenient castle treasury, collected money from sheriffs or the King's debtors, arranged loans with the usurers, and supervised the spending of it. It was spent for daily domestic needs, the King's almsgiving, and the mounting of a military campaign. But they were still responsible for personal attendance upon the king in his privy chamber, taking care of his valuable furs, jewels, and documents, and changing his bed linens. There were four other departments of the household. The steward presided over the hall and kitchens and was responsible for supplying the household and guests with food supplies. The butler had duties in the hall and cellars and was responsible for the supply of wine and ale. The marshall arranged lodgings for the King's court as it moved about from palaces to hunting lodges, arranged the pay of the household servants, and supervised the work of ushers, watchmen, fire tenders, messengers and huntsmen. The constable organized the bodyguard and escorts, arranged for the supply of castles, and mustered the royal army. The offices of steward, constable, chamberlain, butler were becoming confined to the household and hereditary. The Justiciar, Chancellor, and Treasurer are becoming purely state offices and are simply sold or rented, until public pressure resulted in a requirement of ability.

Henry's council included all his tenants-in-chief, which included archbishops, bishops, abbots, priors, earls, barons, knights and socage tenants of the crown, whether they made payments directly to him or through a sheriff. The higher ones were served with a writ addressed to them personally. Knights and below were summoned by a general writ to the sheriff.

Henry brought order and unity by making the King's Royal Court the common court of the land. Its purpose was to guard the King's peace by protecting all people of free status throughout the nation and correct the disparity in punishments given by local courts. Heretofore, the scope of the King's peace had varied to cover as little as the King's presence, his land, and his highway. The royal demesne had shrunk to about 5% of the land. The Common Law for all the nation was established by example of the King's Royal Court. Henry erected a basic, rational framework for legal processes which drew from tradition but lent itself to continuous expansion and adaptation.

A system of writs originated well-defined actions in the royal courts. Each court writ had to satisfy specific conditions for this court to have jurisdiction over an action or event. This system determined the Royal Court's jurisdiction over the church, lords, and sheriffs. It limited the jurisdiction of all other courts and subordinated them to the Royal Court. Inquests into any misdeeds of sheriffs were held, which could result in their dismissal.

Henry and Eleanor spoke many languages and liked discussing law, philosophy, and history. So they gathered wise and learned men about them, who became known as courtiers, rather than people of social rank. They lived in the great and strong Tower of London, which had been extended beyond the original White Tower, as had other castles, so that the whole castle and grounds were defended instead of just the main building. The Tower of London was in the custody of one of the two justiciars. On the west were two strongly fortified castles surrounded by a high and deeply entrenched wall, which had seven double gates. Towers were spaced along the north wall and the Thames River flowed below the south wall. To the west was the city, where royal friends had residences with adjoining gardens near the royal palace at Westminster. The court was a center of culture as well as of government. The game of backgammon was played. People wore belts with buckles, usually brass, instead of knotting their belts.

London extended about a mile along the Thames and about half a mile inland. It had narrow twisting lanes, some with a ditch down the middle for water runoff. Most of its houses were two stories, the ground floor having booths and workshops, and the upper floor living space. Most of the houses were wooden structures. The richer merchants' and knights' houses were built of stone. Walls between houses had to be stone to a height of 16 feet and thatched roofs were banned because there had been many fires. There was poor compliance, but some roofs were tiled with red brick tiles. The population was about 40,000. There were over 126 churches for public worship, thirteen monasteries (including nunneries), and St. Paul's Cathedral. All were built of stone. The churches gave a place of worship for every 300 inhabitants and celebrated feast days, gave alms and hospitality to strangers, confirmed betrothals or agreements of marriage, celebrated weddings, conducted funerals, and buried the dead. The synod of Westminster of 1175 prescribed that all marriages were to be performed by the church. Church law required a warning prior to suspension or excommunication. Monastic, cathedral, and parish schools taught young boys grammar so they could sing and read in church services. Nuns taught girls. Fish but no meat was eaten on Fridays. There was dark rye bread and expensive white wheat bread. Vegetables included onions, leeks, and cabbage. Fruits included apples, pears, plums, cherries, and strawberries. Water was obtained from streams running through the town to the Thames and from springs. Only the rich, palaces, and churches could afford beeswax candles; others had homemade tallow [cow or sheep fat] candles which smelled and gave off smoke. Most people washed their bodies. Even the poor had beds and bed clothes. Few babies survived childhood. If a man reached 30, he could expect to live until age 50. Thousands of Londoners died during a hot summer from fevers, plague and the like.

In London, bells heralded the start and finish of all organized business. The sellers of merchandise and hirers of labor were distributed every morning into their several localities according to their trade. Vendors, craftsmen, and laborers had their customary places. Some vendors walked the streets announcing their wares for sale. There were craft guilds of bakers, butchers, cloth workers, and saddlers, as well as of weavers. Vendors on the Thames River bank sold cooked fish caught from the river and wine from ships and wine cellars. Cook shops sold roasted meats covered with hotly spiced sauces.

London Bridge was built of stone for the first time. It was supported by a series of stone arches standing on small man-made islands. It had such a width that a row of wood houses and a chapel was built on top of it. In the spring it was impassable by ships because the flow of water under it varied in height on either side of the bridge by several feet at half tide. The bridge had the effect of slowing down the flow upstream, which invited wherries and rowboats and stately barges of the nobility. In winters in which it froze over, there was ice skating, ice boating, and fishing through holes in the ice.

Outside each city gate were clusters of ragged buildings, small monasteries and hostelries, groups of huntsmen's kennels, and fencing schools. Outside one of the gates, a horse market was held every week. Horses wore horseshoes made of iron or of a crude steel. From the southwest gate of the city along the north river bank toward Westminster, there was a gradually extending line of rich men's mansions and bishops' palaces. On the southern bank of the Thames River was growing the disorderly suburb of Southwark, with fishermen's and boatmens' hovels, and taverns and brothels that were frequented by drunkards, rakes, and whores. On the north side of the city was a great forest with fields and wells where students and other young men from the city took walks in the fresh evening air. In some fields, country folk sold pigs, cows, oxen and sheep. Mill wheels turned at various streams. Near London in the country was a glass factory. At sunset, the gates of London were closed for the night. All taverns had to be closed, all lights put out, and all fires banked or covered when the bell of the church of St. Martin le Grand rang at 9:00 p.m. Anyone found on the streets after this curfew could be arrested. Gangs of young nobles or gangs of thieves, cutpurses, and looters roamed the streets after dark and sometimes rioted. Offenders were often beheaded and their heads placed on spikes on London Bridge.

Men in London had begun weaving cloth, which formerly had been done by women. Some of the cloth was exported. The weavers guild of London received a charter by the King in 1155, the first granted to any London craft: "Know that I have conceded to the Weavers of London to hold their guild in London with all the liberties and customs which they had in the time of King Henry [I], my grandfather; and that none may intermeddle with the craft within the city, nor in Southwark, nor in other places pertaining to London except through them and except he be in their guild, otherwise than was accustomed to be done in the time of King Henry, my grandfather ...So that each year they render thence to me two marks [26s.8d.] of gold at the feast of St. Michael. And I forbid that any shall do injury or contumely to them on this account under penalty of 10 pounds [200s.]. Witness T[homas], Chancellor, and Warinus, son of Gerard, Chamberlain, at Winchester." The liberties obtained were: 1) The weavers may elect bailiffs to supervise the work of the craft, to punish defaulters, and to collect the ferm [amount owed to the King]. The bailiffs were chosen from year to year and swore before the mayor of London to do and keep their office well and truly. 2) The bailiffs may hold court from week to week on pleas of debt, agreements, covenants [promises for certain performance], and minor trespasses. 3) If any of the guild members are sued in any other court on any of the above pleas, the guild may challenge that plea to bring it to the guild court. 4) If any member is behind in his share of the payment to the King, the bailiffs may distrain his loom until he has paid this.

Paying an annual payment freed the weavers from liability to inconsequent royal fines. Failure to make this payment promptly might have led to loss of the right, hence the rigorous penalty of distraint upon the looms of individual weavers who fell into arrears.

The weavers' guild punished members who used bad thread in their weaving or did defective weaving by showing the default to the mayor, with opportunity for the workman to make entreaty, and the mayor and twelve members of the guild then made a verdict of amercement of 1/2 mark [6s.8d.] and the workman of the cloth was also punished by the guild bailiffs according to guild custom.

The weavers' guild tradition of brotherliness among members meant that injury to a fellow weaver incurred a severe penalty. If a weaver stole or eloigned [removed them to a distance where they were unreachable] any other weaver's goods falsely and maliciously, then he was dismissed from the guild and his loom was taken by the guild to fulfill his portion of the annual payment to the King. The weavers were allowed to buy and to sell in London freely and quietly. They had all the rights of other freemen of the city.

Thus from the middle of the 1100s, the weavers enjoyed the monopoly of their craft, rights of supervision which ensured a high standard of workmanship, power to punish infractions of their privileges, and full control of their members. In this they stand as the prototype of English medieval guilds. These rights represented the standard which all bodies of craftsmen desired to attain. The right of independent jurisdiction was exceptional.

In Henry II's charter to London, London did not retain its right to appoint its own sheriff and justice given by Henry I. London's chief magistrate was the mayor, who was appointed by the King, until 1191. Then the mayor was elected yearly by the aldermen of the city wards and approved by the king. He was typically a rich prince chosen by the barons and chief merchants of London. The commoners had no voice in his selection, but they could still approve or disapprove of the actions of the city government at ward and folk motes. At certain periods, a king asserted royal power over the selection of mayor and governance of the city. There were three ways to become a citizen of London: being the son of a citizen, apprenticeship in a craft for seven years, and purchase of citizenship. London and Westminster growth led to their replacing Winchester as the capital.

St. Barthomew infirmary was established in London for the care of sick pilgrims traveling to the shrine of Becket in Canterbury. It had been inspired by a monk who saw a vision of St. Barthomew telling him to build a church and an infirmary.

Trading was facilitated by the stabilization of the amount of silver metallic content of the English coinage, which was called "sterling" [strong] silver. The compass, a magnetic lodestone [leading stone] needle mounted on a cork and floated in a bowl of water, assisted the navigation of ships. With it, one could tell the general direction of a ship when the skies were cloudy as well as clear. And one could generally track one's route by using the direction and speed of travel to calculate one's new position. London became a major trading center for foreign goods from many lands.

About 5% of the knights were literate. Wealthy men sent their sons to school in monasteries to prepare them for a livelihood in a profession or in trade or to the town of Oxford, whose individual scholars had migrated from Paris and had attracted disciples for a long time. These schools grew up around St. Mary's Church, but had not been started by the church as there was no cathedral school in Oxford. Oxford had started as a burh and had a royal residence and many tradesmen. It was given its basic charter in 1155 by the King. This confirmed to it all the customs, laws and liberties [rights] as those enjoyed by London. It became a model charter for other towns.

Bachelors at Oxford studied the arts of grammar, rhetoric, and logic, and then music, arithmetic, geometry, and astronomy, until they mastered their discipline and therefore were authorized to teach it. Teaching would then provide an income sufficient to support a wife. The master of arts was analogous to the master craftsman of a guild. From 1190, the civil law was studied, and shortly thereafter, canon law. Later came the study of medicine. The use of paper supplemented the use of parchment for writing. Irregular edged paper was made from linen, cotton, straw, and/or wood beaten to a pulp and then spread out over a wire mesh to dry.

Theologicians taught that the universe was made for the sake and service of man, so man was placed at the center of the universe. Man was made for the sake and service of God.

Every freeman holding land of a lord gave homage and fealty to him, swearing to bear him faith of the tenement held and to preserve his earthly honor in all things, saving the faith owed to the king. Homage was done for lands, for free tenements, for services, and for rents precisely fixed in money or in kind. Homage could be done to any free person, male or female, adult or minor, cleric or layman. A man could do several homages to different lords for different fees, but there had to be a chief homage to that lord of whom he held his chief tenement. Homage was not due for dower, from the husband of a woman to whom a tenement was given as a marriage portion, for a fee given in free alms, or until the third heir, either for free maritagium [a marriage portion which is given with a daughter in marriage, that is not bound to service] or for the fee of younger sisters holding of the eldest. All fiefs to be inherited by the eldest son had to be intact. Every lord could exact fealty from his servants.

In this era, the English national race and character was formed. Only a few barons still had lands in Normandy. Stories of good King Arthur were popular and set ideals for behavior and justice in an otherwise barbaric age where force was supreme. His last battle in which he lay wounded and told a kinsman to rule in his place and uphold his laws was written in poem ("Layamon's Brut"). Romantic stories were written and read in English. The custom of "bundling" was started by ladies with their knights, who would lie together in bed without undressing and with one in a sack the top of which was tied around his neck, as part of a romantic courtship. Wealthy men often gave their daughters dowries in case they were widowed. This might be matched by a marriage settlement by a prospective husband.

Intermarriage had destroyed any distinction of Normans by look or speech alone, except for the Anglo-Saxon manor villeins, who worked the farm land and composed about two-thirds of the population. Villeins were bound to the land and could, on flight, be brought back to it. They could not give homage, but could give fealty. A villein had the equipment to farm, fish, make cheese, keep poultry, brew beer, hedge, and cut wood. Although the villeins could not buy their freedom or be freed by their lord, they became less numerous because of the preference of landholders for tenants motivated to perform work by potential loss of tenure. Also, the Crown's protection of all its subjects in criminal matters blurred the distinction between free and unfree men.

The boroughs were dominated by lords of local manors, who usually had a house in the borough. Similarly, burgesses usually had farmland outside the borough. Many boroughs were granted, by the king or manor lord, the right to have a common seal for the common business of the town. Some boroughs were given the authority to confer freedom on the villein by enrolling him in their guild or allowing him to stay in the borough for a year and a day. The guilds met frequently in their drinking halls and drew up regulations for the management of their trade. Each borough was represented by twelve reputable burgesses. Each vill was represented by a reeve and four reputable men. Certain towns sponsored great seasonal fairs for special goods, such as cloth. About 5% of the population lived in towns.

In the early 1180s, the horizontal-axle windmill was invented, probably in eastern England, on the analogy of the horizontal-axle watermill. It was very useful in flat areas where streams were too slow for a watermill unless a dam were built. But a dam often flooded agricultural land. Some watermill wheels were moved by tidal currents.

London guilds of craftsmen such as weavers, fullers, bakers, loriners (makers of bits, spurs, and metal mountings of bridles and saddles), cordwainers (makers of leather goods such as shoes), pepperers, and goldsmiths were licensed by the King, for which they paid him a yearly fee. There were also five Bridge Guilds (probably raising money for the future construction of London Bridge in stone) and St. Lazarus' Guild. The wealthy guilds, which included the goldsmiths, the pepperers, and three bridge guilds had landholding members who had been thegns or knights and now became a class of royal officials: the King's minters, his chamberlain, his takers of wines, his collectors of taxes. The weavers of Oxford paid 27s. [two marks] to have a guild. The shoemakers paid 67s. [five marks].

In 1212, master carpenters, masons, and tilers made 3d. per day, their servers (the journeymen of a later time) made 11/2 d., free stone carvers 21/2 d., plasterers and daubers, diggers and sievers less. All received food in addition or 11/2 d. in its stead.

Sandwich was confirmed in its port rights by this charter: "Henry II to his sheriff and bailiffs of Kent, greeting. I will and order that the monks of the Holy Trinity of Canterbury shall have fully all those liberties and customs in Sandwich which they had in the time of King Henry my grandfather, as it was adjudged in pursuance of his command by the oath of twelve men of Dover and twelve men of Sandwich, to wit, that the aforesaid monks ought to have the port and the toll and all maritime customs in the same port, on either side of the water from Eadburge gate as far as markesfliete and a ferryboat for passage. And no man has there any right except they and their ministers. Wherefore I will and firmly command you and the men of Sandwich that ye cause the aforesaid monks to have all their customs both in the port and in the town of Sandwich, and I forbid any from vexing them on this account." "And they shall have my firm peace."

Henry gave this charter to the town of Bristol in 1164: "Know ye, that I have granted to my burgesses of Bristol, that they shall be quit both of toll [a reasonable sum of money or portion of the thing sold, due to the owner of the fair or market on the sale of things tollable therein. It was claimed by the lord of the fee where the fair or market was held, by virtue of a grant from the Crown either ostensible or presumed] and passage [money paid for crossing a river or for crossing the sea as might be due to the Crown] and all custom [customary payments] throughout my whole land of England, Normandy, and Wales, wherever they shall come, they and their goods. Wherefore I will and strictly command, that they shall have all their liberties and acquittances and free customs fully and honorable, as my free and faithful men, and that they shall be quit of toll and passage and of every other customs: and I forbid any one to disturb them on this account contrary to this my charter, on forfeiture of ten pounds [200s.]."

John, when he was an earl and before he became King, granted these liberties to Bristol about 1188:

  1. No burgess may sue or be sued out of Bristol.
  2. The burgesses are excused from the murder fine (imposed by the king or lord from the hundred or town where the murder was committed when the murderer had not been apprehended).
  3. No burgess may wage duel [trial by combat], unless sued for death of a stranger.
  4. No one may take possession of a lodging house by assignment or by livery of the Marshall of the Earl of Gloucester against the will of the burgesses (so that the town would not be responsible for the good behavior of a stranger lodging in the town without first accepting the possessor of the lodging house).
  5. No one shall be condemned in a matter of money, unless according to the law of the hundred, that is, forfeiture of 40s.
  6. The hundred court shall be held only once a week.
  7. No one in any plea may argue his cause in miskenning.
  8. They may lawfully have their lands and tenures and mortgages and debts throughout my whole land, [from] whoever owes them [anything].
  9. With regard to debts which have been lent in Bristol, and mortgages there made, pleas shall be held in the town according to the custom of the town.
  10. If any one in any other place in my land shall take toll of the men of Bristol, if he does not restore it after he is required to, the Prepositor of Bristol may take from him a distress at Bristol, and force him to restore it.
  11. No stranger tradesman may buy within the town from a man who is a stranger, leather, grain, or wool, but only from a burgess.
  12. No stranger may have a shop, including one for selling wine, unless in a ship, nor shall sell cloth for cutting except at the fair.
  13. No stranger may remain in the town with his goods for the purpose of selling his goods, but for forty days.
  14. No burgess may be confined or distrained any where else within my land or power for any debt, unless he is a debtor or surety (to avoid a person owed a debt from distraining another person of the town of the debtor).
  15. They shall be able to marry themselves, their sons, their daughters and their widows, without the license of their lords. (A lord had the right of preventing his tenants and their families from marrying without his consent.)
  16. No one of their lords shall have the wardship or the disposal of their sons or daughters on account of their lands out of the town, but only the wardship of their tenements which belong to their own fee, until they become of age.
  17. There shall be no recognition [acknowledgment that something done by another person in one's name had one's authority] in the town.
  18. No one shall take tyne [wooden barrel with a certain quantity of ale, payable by the townsmen to the constable for the use of the castle] unless for the use of the lord Earl, and that according to the custom of the town.
  19. They may grind their grain wherever they may choose.
  20. They may have their reasonable guilds, as well or better than they had them in the time of Robert and his son William [John's wife's grandfather and father, who were earls of Gloucester when the town and castle of Bristol were part of the honor of Gloucester].
  21. No burgess may be compelled to bail any man, unless he himself chooses it, although he may be dwelling on his land.

We have also granted to them all their tenures, messuages [dwelling house with adjoining land and adjacent buildings], in copses [thicket from which wood was cut], in buildings on the water or elsewhere to be held in free burgage [tenant to pay only certain fixed services or payments to his lord, but not military service (like free socage)]. We have granted also that any of them may make improvements as much as he can in erecting buildings anywhere on the bank and elsewhere, as long as the borough and town are not damaged thereby. Also, they shall have and possess all waste land and void grounds and places, to be built on at their pleasure.

Newcastle-on-Tyne's taxes were simplified in 1175 as follows:

"Know ye that I have granted and by this present charter have confirmed to my burgesses of Newcastle upon Tyne, and to all their things which they can assure to be their own, acquittance from toll and passage and pontage and from the Hanse and from all other customs throughout all my land. And I prohibit all persons from vexing or disturbing them therein upon forfeiture to me."

We grant to our upright men on Newcastle-on-Tyne and their heirs our town of Newcastle-on-Tyne with all its appurtenances at fee farm for 100 pounds to be rendered yearly to us and our heirs at our Exchequer by their own hand at the two terms, to wit, at Easter 50 pounds and at Michaelmas 50 pounds, saving to us our rents and prizes and assizes in the port of the same town.

Ranulph, earl of Chester, made grants to his burgesses of Coventry by this charter: "That the aforesaid burgesses and their heirs may well and honorably quietly and in free burgage hold of me and my heirs as ever in the time of my father and others of my ancestors they have held better more firmly and freer. In the second place I grant to them all the free and good laws which the burgesses of Lincoln have better and freer. I prohibit and forbid my constables to draw them into the castle to plead for any cause, but they may freely have their portimote [leet court] in which all pleas belonging to me and them may be justly treated of. Moreover they may choose from themselves one to act for me whom I approve, who a justice under me and over them may know the laws and customs, and keep them to my counsel in all things reasonable, every excuse put away, and may faithfully perform to me my rights. If any one happen to fall into my amercement he may be reasonably fined by my bailiff and the faithful burgesses of the court. Furthermore, whatever merchants they have brought with them for the improvement of the town, I command that they have peace, and that none do them injury or unjustly send them into court. But if any foreign merchant shall have done anything improper in the town that same may be regulated in the portimote before the aforesaid justice without a suit at law."

Henry confirmed this charter of the earl's by 1189 as follows: I have confirmed all the liberties and free customs the earl of Chester granted to them, namely, that the same burgesses may well and honorably hold in free burgage, as ever in the time of the father of the beforesaid earl, or other of his ancestors, they may have better or more firmly held; and they may have all the laws and customs which the citizens of Lincoln have better and freer [e.g. their merchant guilds; all men brought to trade may be subject to the guild customs and assize of the town; those who lawfully hold land in the town for a year and a day without question and are able to prove that an accuser has been in the kingdom within the year without finding fault with them, from thence may hold the land well and in peace without pleading; those who have remained in the town a year and a day without question, and have submitted to the customs of the town and the citizens of the town are able to show through the laws and customs of the town that the accuser stood forth in the kingdom, and not a fault is found of them, then they may remain in peace in the town without question]; and that the constable of the aforesaid earl shall not bring them into the castle to plead in any case. But they may freely have their own portmanmote in which all pleas appertaining to the earl and to them may be justly treated of. Moreover they may choose one from themselves to act for the earl, whom I approve, who may be a justice under the earl and over them, and who to the earl may faithfully perform his rights, and if anyone happen to fall into the earl's forfeiture he shall be acquit for 12 pence. If by the testimony of his neighbors he cannot pay 12 pence coins, by their advice it shall be so settled as he is able to pay, and besides, with other acquittances, that the burgesses shall not provide anything in corody [allowance in food] or otherwise whether for the said earl or his men, unless upon condition that their chattels shall be safe, and so rendered to them. Furthermore, whatever merchants they have brought with them for the improvement of the town they may have peace, and none shall do them injury or unjustly send them into suit at law. But if any foreign merchant has done anything improper in the town that shall be amended [or tried] in the portmanmote before the aforesaid justice without a suit. And they who may be newcomers into the town, from the day on which they began to build in the town for the space of two years shall be acquit of all charges.

Mercantile privileges were granted to the shoemakers in Oxford thus: "Know ye that I have granted and confirmed to the corvesars of Oxford all the liberties and customs which they had in the time of King Henry my grandfather, and that they have their guild, so that none carry on their trade in the town of Oxford, except he be of that guild. I grant also that the cordwainers who afterwards may come into the town of Oxford shall be of the same guild and shall have the same liberties and customs which the corvesars have and ought to have. For this grant and confirmation, however, the corvesars and cordwainers ought to pay me every year an ounce of gold."

A guild merchant for wool dominated and regulated the wool trade in many boroughs. In Leicester, only guildsmen were permitted to buy and sell wool wholesale to whom they pleased or to wash their fells in borough waters. Certain properties, such as those near running water, essential to the manufacture of wool were maintained for the use of guild members. The waterwheel was a technological advance replacing human labor whereby the cloth was fulled. The waterwheel turned a shaft which lifted hammers to pound the wet cloth in a trough. Wool packers and washers could work only for guild members. The guild fixed wages, for instance to wool wrappers and flock pullers. Strangers who brought wool to the town for sale could sell only to guild members. A guildsman could not sell wool retail to strangers nor go into partnership with a man outside the guild. Each guild member had to swear the guildsman's oath, pay an entrance fee, and subject himself to the judgment of the guild in the guild court, which could fine or suspend a man from practicing his trade for a year. The advantages of guild membership extended beyond profit in the wool trade. Members were free from the tolls that strangers paid. They alone were free to sell certain goods retail. They had the right to share in any bargain made in the presence of a guildsman, whether the transaction took place in Leicester or in a distant market. In the general interest, the guild forbade the use of false weights and measures and the production of shoddy goods. It maintained a wool beam for weighing wool. It also forbade middlemen from profiting at the expense of the public. For instance, butchers' wives were forbidden from buying meat to sell again in the same market unless they cooked it. The moneys due to the king from the guilds of a town were collected by the town reeve.

When the king wanted to raise an army, he summoned his major baron tenants-in-chief, who commanded their own armed dependent vassals, and he directed the sheriffs to command the minor tenants-in-chief and supply them with equipment. A baron could assemble an army in a day, but might use it to resist any perceived misgovernment by a king. Armed conflict did not interfere much with daily life because the national wealth was still composed mostly of flocks and herds and simple buildings. Machinery, furniture, and the stock of shops were still sparse. Life would be back to normal within a week.

Henry wanted to check this power of the barons. So he took over or demolished their adulterine castles and restored the older obligation of every freeman to serve in defense of the realm, the fyrd, which was a military draft. At the King's call, barons were to appear in mail suit and helmet with sword and horse, knights and freeholders with 213s.[16 marks] of rent or chattels in coat of mail with shield and lance, freeholders of 133s.[10 marks] with lance and hauberk [coat of armor] and iron headpiece, burgesses and poorer freemen with lance and headpiece and wambais, and such as millers with pike and leather shirt. The spiritual and other baronies paid a commutation for personal service, called "scutage", at the rate of 27s. per knight's fee. Barons and knights paid according to their knight's fee a scutage ranging from 10s. to 27s. As of 1181, the military obligations of villeins were defined. The master of a household was responsible for every villein in his household. Others had to form groups of ten and swear obedience to the chief of the group. The sheriff was responsible for maintaining lists of men liable for military service and procuring supplies. This national militia could be used to maintain the peace. The sheriff could call upon the military array of the county as a posse comitatus to take a band of thieves into custody or to quell disorder. For foreign wars, Henry decided to use a mercenary army and a mercenary fleet.

However, the nobility who were on the borders of the realm had to maintain their private armies for frequent border clashes. The other nobility now tended towards tournaments with mock foot battles between two sides. Although subject to knightly rules, serious injury and death often resulted. For this reason, the church opposed them, but unsuccessfully.

New taxes replaced the Danegeld tax. Freeholders of land paid taxes according to their plowable land ("hidage", by the hide, and later "carucage", by the smaller Norman carucate). The smaller measure curtailed estates and increased taxation. It was assessed from 2-5s. per carcuate [100 acres] and collected for the king by knights with little or no remuneration, and later by inquest of neighbors. The towns and demesne lands of the crown paid a tax based on their produce that was collected by the itinerant justices. Merchants were taxed on their personal property, which was determined by an inquest of neighbors. Clergy were also taxed. This new system of taxation increased the royal income about threefold. There was a standard for reliefs paid of 100s. [5 pounds] for a knight's fee and 2,000s. [100 pounds] for a barony. At the end of Henry's reign, his treasure was over 900,000 pounds. Every hide of land paid the sheriff 2s. annually for his services in the administration and defense of the county. This was probably the old Danegeld.

Barons and their tenants and subtenants were offered an alternative of paying shield money ["scutage"] of 26s.8d. per fee in commutation for and instead of military service for their fiefs. This enabled Henry to hire soldiers who would be more directly under his own control and to organize a more efficient army.

Henry II restored the silver coinage to its standard of purity. The first great inflation in England occurred between 1180 and 1220. Most goods and services increased threefold over these forty years.

Great households, whether of baron, prelate, monastery, or college gave their officers and servants allowances of provisions and clothing called "liveries". The officer of such departments as the buttery [cellar storing butts of wine], the kitchen, the napery [for linen cloth], and the chandlery had his fixed allowances for every day and his livery of clothing at fixed times of the year or intervals of years.

The administration of a great estate is indicated by the Pipe Roll of the Bishopric of Winchester, 1208-1209, as follows:

"Downton: William FitzGilbert, and Joselyn the reeve, and Aylward the cellarer render account of 7 pounds 12s.11d. for arrears of the previous year. They paid and are quit. And of 3 pounds 2s.2d. for landgafol. And of 12d. by increment of tax for a park which William of Witherington held for nothing. And of 2s.6d. by increment of tax for half a virgate of land which James Oisel held without service. And of 19s. for 19 assize pleas in the new market. And of 10s. by increment of tax for 10 other assize pleas in the market this year. Sum of the whole tax 36 pounds 14s.8d. In quittance of one reeve, 5s. In quittance for repairing the bridge, 5s.; of one forester, 4s.; of two haywards from Downton and Wick, 4s.; of one hayward from Witherington, 20d.; of fourteen drivers from Downton, Wick, and Nunton, for the year, 28s.; of two drivers from Witherington for the year, 4s.4d.; of two drivers for half the year, 2s.; of one swineherd, of one neaterd, of one cowherd, for the year, 6s.; of three shepherds from Wick, Barford, and Nunton, for the year, 6s.; of one shepherd from Witherington, for the year, 20d.; of four customary tenants, for the year, 8s. Sum of the quittances, 74s.8d. Remainder 33 pounds.

Livery: For livery to John the dean, for Christmas tax, 7 pounds 10s. by one tally. To the same for Easter tax, 8 pounds by one tally. To the same for St. John's tax, 8 pounds by one tally. To the same for St. Michael's tax, 8 pounds 10s. by one tally. To the same for corn [grain] sold in the field 26 pounds by two tallies. To the same for standing corn [growing crops of grain], purchases, and cheeses, 20 pounds 16s.10d. To the same for wool, 6 pounds 13s.4d. by one tally. To the same for tallage 39 pounds by one tally. Sum: 134 pounds 10s.2d.

Expenses: For ironwork of 8 carts for year and one cart for half the year, 32s.10d. For shoeing of 2 plough horses for the year, 2s.8d. For wheels for carts, 2s.9d. For 6 carts made over, 12d. before the arrival of the carpenter. For wages of the smith for the year, 8s.6d. For one cart bound in iron bought new, 5s.7d. For wheels purchased for one cart to haul dung, 12d. For leather harness and trappings, iron links, plates, halters, 14d. For purchase of 2 ropes, 3d. For purchase of 2 sacks, 8d. For purchase of 5 locks for the granary, 11d. For making 2 gates for the sheepfold, 2s. For one gate for the farm yard, 12d. For an ax and tallow purchased and for repairing the spindles of the mill for the year, 6s.10d. For one millstone purchased for the mill 24s. For making one gate near the mill, 12d. For meat prepared in the larder, 3s. For beer bought for cleaning carcasses, 2s.1d. For digging 158 perches of land around the pasture in the marsh, 32s.11d.; for each perch 2d.1ob. For the dovecote newly made, 22s.11d.1ob. For cutting 100 thick planks for flooring both dispensary and butlery, 6s.3d. For nails or pegs bought for planking beyond the cellar, 16d. For enclosing the garden by making 2 gates, 6s.7d.1ob. For digging in the gardens, 8s.5d. For the winter work of 55 carts, 9s.2d. For the Lent work of 49 carts, 8s.6d. For spreading 6 acres with dung, 6d. For threshing 24 quarters of wheat at Mardon for seed, 5s. For winnowing the same, 7d. For winnowing 36 quarters of grain for seed, 3s.9d. For threshing 192 quarters of grain 32s.; for each quarter 2d. For threshing 20 quarters of mixed corn [grain], 2s.6d. For threshing 42 quarters of barley, 3s.6d. For threshing 53 quarters of oats, 2s.2d.1ob. For hauling gravel to the bridge and causeway, 4d. For cost of dairy, viz., 3 tines of salt, cloth, and pots, 6s.10d. For purchase of 17 oxen, 5 pounds 13s. For hoeing 140 acres, 5s.10d. For wages of two carters, one neatherd, for the year, 9s. For wages of one carpenter for the year, 6s.8d. For wages of one dairy woman, 2s.6d. For payment of mowers of the meadow at Nunton, 6d. For 8 sheep purchased, 8s. For wages of one neatherd from Nunton, 12d. For carrying 2 casks of wine by Walter Locard, in the time of Martinmas, 8s.2d. For the carrying of 2 casks of wine from Southampton to Downton by the seneschal, 3s.6d. at the feast of St. Lawrence. For digging 22 perches in the farmyard, 6s.5d.; for each perch 3d.1ob. For allowance of food of Robert of Lurdon, who was sick for 21 days, with his man, 5s.3d. For allowance of food to Sewal who was caring for 2 horses of the lord bishop for 3 weeks, 21d. For allowance of food for Roger Walselin, for the two times he made gifts to the lord king at Clarendon, 4s.9d. by two tallies. For allowance of food of Master Robert Basset, for 3 journeys, 9s.3d.1ob. For livery of William FitzGilbert, 60s.10d. For 30 ells of canvas purchased for laying over the wool, and 2 cushions prepared for the court, 5s. For 8 sheep purchased, with lambs, 8s. Sum: 2 pounds.23d. Sum of livery and expenses: 159 pounds 12s.1d. And there is owing: 5 pounds 9s.4d.1ob.

Produce of Granary: The same render account of 221 and a half quarters and 1 strike from all the produce of grain; and of 24 quarters brought from Mardon. Sum: 245 and a half quarters and 1 strike. For sowing 351 acres, 127 quarters. For bread for the lord bishop, 18 and a half quarters delivered to John de Dispensa by three tallies. For the balance sold, 110 quarters and 1 strike. The same render account of 38 and a half quarters from all the produce of small corn [grain]. For the balance sold, all. The same render account of 29 quarters and 1 strike from all the produce of mixed corn [grain]. For seeding 156 acres, 53 quarters and 1 strike. For bread for 3 autumnal works, 9 quarters. For the balance sold, 27 quarters. The same render account of 178 and a half quarters from all the produce of barley. For sowing 102 and a half acres, 49 and a half quarters. For payment for carts, 1 quarter. For payment for hauling dung, 2 quarters. For allowance of food of two carters, one carpenter, one neatherd, one dairy woman, for the year, 32 and a half quarters. For feeding hogs in the winter, 2 quarters. For the balance sold, 91 and a half quarters. It is quit.

The same render account of 311 quarters and 2 bushels from all the produce of oats. In sowing 221 and a half acres, 110 and a half quarters. For prebends [revenues paid for a clergyman's salary] of the lord bishop and lord king, on many occasions, 131 and a half quarters and 2 bushels, by five tallies. For prebends of Roger Wakelin, 2 and a half quarters and 3 bushels. For prebends of Master Robert Basset, 3 and a half quarters and 1 bushel. For provender [dry food for livestock] of 2 horses of the lord bishop and 1 horse of Richard Marsh, for 5 weeks, 5 and a half quarters and 2 bushels. For provender of 2 horses of the lord bishop who stayed 16 nights at Downton, 4 quarters. For that sent to Knoyle, 18 quarters. For provender of 1 horse of Robert of Lurdon for 3 weeks, 1 and a half quarters. For prebends of two carters 7 quarters and 2 bushels. For the balance sold, 12 quarters. And there remains 14 quarters and 1 strike. The same render account of 6 and a half quarters from the whole produce of beans. For planting in the garden half a quarter. For the balance sold, 6 quarters. It is quit.

The same render account of 4 quarters and 1 strike from all the produce of peas. For sowing 6 acres, 1 and a half quarters. For the balance sold 2 and a half quarters and 1 strike. It is quit. The same render account of 4 quarters from all the produce of vetches [pea plants used for animal fodder]. For feeding pigs in the winter, all. It is quit.

Beasts of Burden: The same render account of 104 oxen remaining from the previous year. And of 2 yoked from useless animals. And of 1 from the will of Robert Copp. And of 17 purchased. Sum: 124. Of living ones sold, 12. Of dead, 21. Sum: 33. And there remain 91 oxen. The same render account of 2 goats remaining from the previous year. All remain.

The same render account of 19 cows remaining from the previous year. And of 7 yoked from useless animals, and of 1 found. Sum: 27. By death, 1. By killing, brought for the need of the lord bishop at Cranbourne, 2. Sum: 3. And there remain 24 cows. The same render account of 7 heifers and 2 steers remaining from the previous year. In yoked cows, 7 heifers. In yoked oxen, 2 bulls. Sum: 9.

The same render account of 12 yearlings remaining from the previous year. By death, 1. There remain 11, of which 5 are female, 6 male.

The same render account of 13 calves born this year from cows, because the rest were sterile. In tithes, 1. There remain 12. The same render account of 858 sheep remaining from the previous year. And of 47 sheep for the payment of herbage, after birth, and before clipping. And of 8 bought before birth. And of 137 young ewes mixed with two-year-olds. Sum: 1050. In live ones sold at the time of Martinmas, 46. In those dead before birth, 20. In those dead after birth and before shearing, 12. Sum: 78. And there remain 972 sheep.

The same render account of 584 wethers [castrated rams] remaining from the previous year. And of 163 wethers mixed with two-year-olds. And of 16 rams from Lindsey, which came by brother Walter before shearing. Sum: 763. In living ones sold at the time of Martinmas, 27 wethers, 10 rams. Paid to the men of Bishopton before shearing by writ of the seneschal, 20. By death, before shearing, 14. Sum: 71. And there remain 692 sheep. The same render account of 322 old sheep remaining, with lambs from the previous year. By death before shearing, 22. And there remain 300; whence 137 are young ewes, mixed with sheep, and 163 males, mixed with wethers.

The same render account of 750 lambs born from sheep this year because 20 were sterile, and 30 aborted. In payment of the smith, 2; of shepherds, 3. In tithes, 73. In those dead before shearing, 105. Sum: 181. And there remain 569 lambs.

The same render account of 1664 large sheepskins whence 16 were from the rams of Lindsey. In tithes, 164. In payment of three shepherds, 3. In the balance sold 1497 skins with 16 skins from Lindsey which made 11 pondera.

The same render account of 569 lamb skins. In the balance sold, all, which made 1 and a half pondera.

The same render account of 138 cheeses from arrears of the previous year. And of 19 small cheeses. And of 5 larger ones from the arrears of the previous year. And of 273 cheeses which were begun the 6th of April and finished on the feast of St. Michael, both days being counted. And they made cheeses two by two for 96 days, viz. from the 27th April to the vigil of the feast of St. Peter in Chains, both days being counted. Sum: 435 cheeses. In tithes 27. In payment of a shepherd, and mowers of the meadow from Nunton, 2. In duty of a carter, 3. In autumnal work, 10. In expenses of the bishop in the kitchen, 2 by one tally. In the balance sold, 133 cheeses, which made 10 heads, from arrears of the previous year. In the balance sold, 177 cheeses, which made 18 heads in this year. In expenses of the lord king and lord bishop on the feasts of St. Leonard and St. Martin, 19 small cheeses, and 5 larger ones from the arrears of the previous year. And there remain 52 small cheeses which make one head.

The same render account of 124 hogs remaining from the previous year. And of 29 that were born of sows. Sum: 153 pigs. In tithes, 2. By death, 9. In those killed for the larder, 83. Sum: 95 pigs. And there remain 58 pigs. Also 19 suckling pigs. Sum of the whole: 77 pigs.

The same render account of 48 chickens from arrears of the previous year. And of 258 chickens for cheriset. Sum: 306. In expenses of the lord bishop on the feast of St. Martin, 36 by one tally. In expenses of the same on the feast of St. Leonard, 106, by one tally. In expenses of the lord king and bishop on the feast of the Apostles Peter and Paul, 131 chickens, by two tallies. In allowance for food for Roger Wakelin, 8. In allowance of food for Master Robert Basset, 4. By death, 21. Sum: 306 chickens. It is quit.

The same render account of 273 chickens, 27 sticae of eels, 4 suckling pigs, freed for the expenses of the lord king and bishop. From the Larder: The same freed for the expenses of the lord bishop meat of 2 cows taken to Cranbourne.

The same render account of 13 sides of bacon, arrears of the previous year. And of 5 oxen and 1 quarter of old beef from arrears of the previous year. And of 84 hogs from Downton. And of 71 hogs from Mardon. And of 10 hogs from Overton. And of 9 hogs from High-Clere. And of 14 hogs from Harwell. And of 7 hogs from Knoyle. Sum: 203 hogs, and meat of 5 oxen and one quarter. In expenses of the lord bishop at the feast of St. Martin, 8 sides of bacon. In expenses of the same at the feast of St. Leonard, 17 sides of bacon, the meat of 5 oxen, and 1 quarter of an ox. In expenses of the same on the morrow of the feast of the Holy Cross, delivered to Nicolas the cook, 27 sides of bacon. In expenses of the lord bishop delivered to the same cook at Knoyle on the Saturday before the feast of St. Michael, 15 sides of bacon. In expenses of the same and of the lord king on the feast of the Apostles Peter and Paul, 50 sides of bacon. In allowance of food to Master Robert Basset on the feast of All Saints, half a side of bacon. In allowance of food to the same on Wednesday and Thursday before Pentecost, 1 side of bacon. In those sent to Knoyle for autumnal work, 6 sides of bacon. In three autumnal festivals at Downton, 9 and a half sides of bacon. Sum: 134 sides of bacon. And there remain 74 sides of bacon.

The same render account of skins, sausages, and offal of the said hogs. In expenses of the lord king and lord bishop at the feast of St. Leonard, all. Nothing remains."

King Richard the Lion-hearted, unlike his father, was interested in warfare. He spent most of his term on crusade to recover Jerusalem. For his expenses, he imposed a tax of one-tenth of rents and income from moveable goods. He also sold town charters, heiresses and heirs, widows, sheriffdoms, justiceships, earldoms, and licenses for tournaments. The crusades' contact with Arabs brought to England an expansion of trade, Arab horses, and arabic numerals, which included "zero" and greatly facilitated arithmetic, which was very difficult with Roman numerals. The church decreed that those who went on these crusades would be remitted of their sins.

At the end of this period was the reign of King John, a short man. After his mother Eleanor's death in 1204, John ruled without her influence. He had no conscience and his oaths were no good. He trusted and was trusted by no one. He had a huge appetite for money. He imposed 2,000 pounds [3,000 marks] on London for confirmation of its charter. He imposed levies on the capital value of all personal and moveable goods. It began the occasional subsidies called "tenths and fifteenths" from all people on incomes from movables: one-tenth from boroughs and royal demesne land, and one-fifteenth elsewhere. He sold the wardships of minors and the marriages of heiresses to the highest bidder, no matter how base. He appointed unprincipled men to be both sheriff and justice, enabling them to blackmail property holders with vexatious writs and false accusations. Writs were withheld or sold at exorbitant prices. Crushing penalties were imposed to increase the profits of justice. He asserted over fowls of the air the same exclusive right as over beasts of the forest. The story of Robin Hood portrays John's attempt to gain the crown prematurely while Richard was on the Crusades to recover Jerusalem for Christendom. (In 1198, the bishop barons had refused to pay for a campaign of Richard's war in Normandy arguing that military service was only due within the kingdom of England. When Richard was captured, every person in the realm was required to pay a part of his ransom of 100,000 pounds, which was double the whole revenue of the crown. Aids, tallages, and carucage were imposed. The heaviest impost was one-fourth of revenue or of goods from every person.) In 1213, strong northern barons refused a royal demand for service in France or scutage, arguing that the amount was not within custom or otherwise justified. John had private and public enemies. No one trusted him and he trusted no one. His heavy handed and arbitrary rule quickly alienated all sectors of the population: other barons, bishops, London, and the commons. They joined the barons to pressure him to sign the Magna Carta correcting his abuses. For instance, since John had extracted many heavy fines from barons by personally adjudging them blameworthy in disputes with others, the barons wanted judgment by their peers under the established law of the courts. In arms, the barons forced John to sign the Magna Carta correcting his abuses.

The Law

No one, including the lord of a manor, may take land from anyone else, for instance, by the customary process of distress, without a judgment from the Royal Court. This did not apply to London, where a landlord leasing or renting land could take distress in his fee.

No one, including the lord of a manor, shall deprive an heir of the land possessed by his father, i.e. his birthright.

A tenant may marry off a daughter unless his lord shows some just cause for refusing to consent to the marriage. A tenant had to pay an "aid" to his lord when the lord's daughter married, when the lord's son was knighted, or when the lord's person was ransomed.

A man [or woman] may not will away his land, but he may sell it during his lifetime.

The land of a knight or other tenant of a military fee is inherited by his eldest son. The socage land of a free sokeman goes by its ancient custom before the Norman Conquest.

If a man purchased land after his marriage, his wife's dower is still one-third of the land he had when they married, or less if he had endowed her with less. But he could then enlarge her dower to one-third of all of his lands. The same rule applied if the man had no land, but endowed his wife with chattel or money instead.

Dower law prevented a woman from selling her dower during the life of her husband. But he could sell it or give it away. On his death, its possessor had to give the widow the equivalent worth of the property.

A widower had all his wife's lands by curtesy of the nation for his lifetime to the exclusion of her heirs.

The Capital Messuage [Chief Manor] could not be given in dower or divided, but went in its entirety to its heir.

Heirs were firstly sons, then daughters, then grandsons per stirpes, then granddaughters per stirpes, then brothers, and then sisters of the decedent. [By taking "per stirpes" instead of "per capita", a person's share goes to that person's heirs if that person predeceases the ancestor-decedent.] Male heirs of land held by military service or sons of knights who were under the age of twenty-one were considered to be in custody of their lords. The lord had wardship over the heir's land, excluding the third that was the widow's dower for her life. He had to maintain the heir in a manner suitable to his dignity and restore to him when he came of age his inheritance in good condition discharged from debts. Male heirs of sokemen who were under the age of fifteen were in the custody of their nearest kindred. The son of a burgess came of age when he could count money, measure cloth, and manage his father's concerns.

Female heirs remained in the custody of their lords until they married. The lord was bound to find a marriage for his ward when she became fourteen years of age and then deliver her inheritance to her. She could not marry without her lord's consent, because her husband was expected to be the lord's ally and to do homage to him. But if a female heir lost her virginity, her inheritance escheated to her lord. A woman with property could not do homage because she could not perform military service, but she generally swore fealty. She could receive homage from men.

Bastards were not heirs, even if their father married their mother after birth.

Any adult inheriting land had to pay a "relief" to the lord of the land. For a knight's fee, this was 100s. For socage land, this was one year's value. The amount for a barony depended upon the King's pleasure.

Heirs (but not widows) were bound to pay the debts of their fathers and ancestors. A man who married a woman who had inherited land could not sell this land without the consent of its heirs.

When a man dies, his wife shall take one-third and his heirs shall take one-third of his chattels [movables or personal property]. The other third he may dispose of by will. If he had no heirs and no will [intestate], all his chattels would escheat to his lord. Any distribution of chattels would take place after all the decedent's debts were paid from the property.

A will required two witnesses. The testator could name an executor, but if he did not, the next of kin was the executor. A will could not be made by a man on his death bed because he may well have lost his memory and reason. Also, he could not give to a younger son if in so doing, he would deprive his lawful heir. But he could give a marriage gift to a daughter regardless of the lawful heir.

Usury was receiving back more than what was lent, such as interest on a loan of money. When a usurer died, all his movables went to the King.

A villein may not buy his own freedom (because all that he has is his lord's), but may be set free by his lord or by someone else who buys his freedom for him. He shall also be freed if the lord seduced his wife, drew his blood, or refused to bail him either in a civil or criminal action in which he was afterwards cleared. But a freed villein did not have status to plead in court, even if he had been knighted. If his free status were tried in court, only a freeman who was a witness to his being set free could avail himself of trial by combat to decide the issue. However, if the villein remained peacefully in a privileged town a year and a day and was received into its guild as a citizen, then he was freed from villeinage in every way.

A freeman who married a villein lost his freedom. If any parent of a child was a villein, then the child was also a villein.

All shipwrecked persons shall be treated with kindness and none of their goods or merchandise shall be taken from them.

If one kills another on a vessel, he shall be fastened to the dead body and thrown with it into the sea.

If one steals from another on a vessel, he shall be shaven, tarred and feathered, and turned ashore at the first land.

Passage on the Thames River may not be obstructed by damming up the river on each side leaving a narrow outlet to net fish. All such weirs shall be removed.

Judicial Procedure

Henry II wanted all freemen to be equally protected by one system of law and government. So he opened his court, the Royal Court, to all people of free tenure. A court of five justices professionally expert in the law, traveled with the King, and on points of difficulty consulted with him. Justices began to be more than presiding officers; they, instead of those attending, rendered the judgments. The chief court was in Westminster, where the weightiest decisions were made. Other professional itinerant justices appeared periodically in all counties of the nation to hear certain criminal and civil cases and to hear citizens' private civil suits [common pleas]. They came to perform many other tasks, including promulgating and enforcing new legislation, seeking out encroachments on royal rights, reviewing the local communities' and officials' performance of their public duties, imposing penalties for failure to do them or for corruption, gathering information about outlaws and nonperformance of homage, and assessing feudal escheats to the crown, wardships to which the king was entitled, royal advowsons, feudal aids owed to the King, tallages of the burgesses, and debts owed to the Jews. The decision-making of itinerant justices on circuits begins the process which makes the custom of the Royal Court the common law of the nation. The county courts, where the traveling justices heard all manner of business in the counties, adopted the doctrines of the Royal Court, which then acquired an appellate jurisdiction. The itinerant justices came from the same small group of royal justices who were on the Royal Court and the Exchequer, which was headed by the justiciar. Difficult cases were decided by the king and wise men of his council.

Tenants of manors and of escheats in royal hands, who had been excused from the monthly county court, were required to appear. Side by side with the reeve and four men of the rural townships appeared the twelve legal men of each of the chartered boroughs which owed no suit to the ordinary county court. In the formation of the jury of presentment for criminal cases, each hundred sent twelve legal men and each township four to make report to the justices. Women did not serve on juries. Compurgation was not used; accused persons were sent directly to the ordeal. In 1194, twelve knights or legal men from each hundred answer before any itinerant justice for their hundred in all criminal, civil, and fiscal cases. All who are bound to attend before the itinerant justices are, in the forest counties, compelled to attend the forest courts.

The Royal Court was chiefly concerned with 1) the due regulation and supervision of the conduct of local government, 2) the ownership and possession of land held by free tenure ("free tenement" was decided by justices to be one held for life or one held heritably [a fee]), 3) the repression of serious crime, and 4) the relations between the lay and the ecclesiastical courts.

The doctrine of tenure applied universally to the land law formed the basis for judicial procedure in determining land rights. Those who held lands "in fee" from the king in turn subinfeudated their land to men of lesser rank. The concept of tenure covered the earl, the knight (knight's service), the church (frank-almoin [free alms]), the tenant who performed labor services, and the tenant who paid a rent (socage). Other tenures were: serjeanty [providing an implement of war or performing a nonmilitary office] and burgage. All hold the land of some lord and ultimately of the King.

Henry was determined to protect lawful seisin of land and issued assizes giving the Royal Court authority to decide land law issues which had not been given justice in the county or lord's court. But he did not ordain that all litigation respecting free tenements, e.g. right of seisin, should take place in the king's court. Rather he gave protection to mere possession of land, which could be justified because possession was intimately associated with the maintenance of the king's peace. These assizes included issues of novel disseisin [recent ejectment] of a person's free tenement or of his common of pasture which belonged to his freehold. Though the petty assize of disseisin only provided a swift preliminary action to protect possession pending the lengthy and involved grand assize on the issue of which party had the more just claim or ultimate right of seisin, the latter action was only infrequently invoked. The temptation of a strong man to seize a neighbor's land to reap its profits for a long time until the neighbor could prove and enforce his right was deterred. Any such claim of recent dispossession [novel disseisin] had to be made within three years of the disseisin.

An example of a writ of novel disseisin is: The king to the sheriff, greeting. N has complained to me that R unjustly and without a judgment has disseised him of his free tenement in [Houndsditch] since my last voyage to Normandy. Therefore I command you that, if N gives you security for prosecuting his claim, you are to see that the chattels which were taken from the tenement are restored to it, and that the tenement and the chattels remain in peace until Sunday after Easter. And meanwhile you are to see that the tenement is viewed by twelve free and lawful men of the neighborhood, and their names endorsed on this writ. And summon them by good summoners to be before me or my justices on the Sunday after Easter, ready to make the recognition. And summon R. or his bailiff if he himself cannot be found, on the security of gage and reliable securities to be there then to hear the recognition. And have there the summoners, and this writ and the names of the sureties. Witness etc.

Then an assize panel of recognition summoned concurrently with the defendant and before he had pleaded, viewed the land in question and answered, from their knowledge, these questions of fact: 1) Was the plaintiff disseised of the freehold in question, unjustly and without judgment? 2) Did the defendant commit the disseisin? Testimony of a warrantor (or an attorney sent by him in his place) or a charter of warranty served to prove seisin by gift, sale, or exchange. No pleadings were necessary and the action could proceed and judgment given even without the presence of the defendant. The justices amerced the losing party with a monetary penalty. A successful plaintiff might be awarded damages to compensate for the loss of revenue.

There was also a writ for issues of inheritance of land called "mort d'ancestor". By law the tenure of a person who died seised of a tenure in a lord's demesne which was hereditary [seisin of fee] returned to the lord, who had to give it to the heir of the decedent. If the lord refused and kept it for himself or gave it to someone else, the heir could sue in the Royal Court, which used an similar assize panel of twelve men to decide whether the ancestor was seised as of fee in his demesne, if the plaintiff was the nearest heir, and whether the ancestor had died, gone on a crusade but not returned, or had become a monk. Then it could give possession to the heir. Since about 1150, heiresses divided the land of their father if there was no son. The widow, of course, retained her dower rights. As of 1176, the widow held her dower from the heir instead of from the husband's lord. If the heir was a minor, the guardian lord would be in actual control of the land. A national policy was implemented that in the case of the death of a freeholder, the rights of the family, his will, and his debts were to be provided for before relief was paid to his lord.

Eventually royal justices acquired authority to decide the ultimate question of right to land using the grand assize as an alternative to the traditional procedures which ended in trial by combat. Issues of the ultimate right of seisin were brought to the Royal Court by a contestant in a local court who "put himself [or herself] upon the King's grand assize". The assize consisted of twelve knights from the county or neighborhood who were elected by four knights of the same county or neighborhood (selected by the sheriff or the suitors) and who were known as truthful men and were likely to possess knowledge of the facts, either from personal seeing or hearing, or from statements which their fathers had made to them from their personal knowledge. The avenue by which a person who felt he had not had justice in the manor court on his claim for certain freehold land appealed to the king was by writ of right after the manor court's decision or by a writ praecipe during the manor court's proceeding. An example of a writ praecipe is: "The king to the sheriff greeting. Command [praecipe] N. to render to R. justly and without delay one hide of land in a certain vill, which the said R. complains that the aforesaid N. is withholding from him. If he does not do so, summon him by good summoners to be before me or my justices on the day after the octaves of Easter, to show why he has not done so. And have the summoners and this writ. Witness." When the parties appeared in court, the claimant states his suit such as: "I claim against this N. the fee of half a knight and two carucates of land in a certain vill as my right and my inheritance, of which my father (or grandfather) was seized in his demesne as of fee in the time of King Henry the First, and from which he took the profits to the value of five shillings at least, in grain and hay and other profits; and this I am ready to prove by this freeman of mine, H., and if any evil befalls him them by this other man or by this third man, who saw and heard it". Then the defendant chose to deny the claim word for word with proof by combat or to put himself upon the grand assize of the king. If he chose trial by combat, the parties or their champions fought. The party losing, usually by crying craven, had to pay a fine of 60s. If the grand assize was chosen, the action was removed to the Royal Court. A writ of grand assize was issued as follows: "The king to the sheriff, greeting. Summon by good summoners the following twelve, namely, A. B. ..., to be before me or my justices at a certain place on a certain day, ready to declare on oath whether N. or R. has the greater right in one hide of land (or other things claimed) which the aforesaid R. claims against the aforesaid N., who is tenant, and in respect of which the aforesaid N., who is tenant, has put himself upon my assize and has sought a recognition to determine which of them has the greater right in the things claimed. And meanwhile the twelve shall view the land (or tenements from which the services are demanded). And summon by good summoners N., who is tenant, to be there to hear the recognition. Witness..." The claimant could object to any of the twelve knights for just cause as determined by the court. Each of the twelve gave an oath as to whether the plaintiff's or the defendant's position was correct. This oath was not to speak falsehood nor conceal truth according to knowledge gained by eyewitness or "by the words of their fathers and by such words as they are bound to have such confidence in as if they were their own". If any did not know the truth of the matter, others were found until twelve agreed [the recognitors] on which party had the greater right. Perjury was punished by forfeiture of all one's goods and chattels to the king and at least one year's imprisonment. If the tenant in court vouched another to warranty, such as the lord to whom he paid homage, that warrantor would stand in his place in the proceedings. If the warrantor lost, he would have to give to his vassal equivalent land in exchange. Burgage tenure was not usually decided by assize. Also, if the parties were relatives, neither the assize nor the combat was available to them, but the matter had to be decided by the law of inheritance.

Itinerant justices could conduct these assizes: petty and grand. In 1198, the hundred is empowered to act on all the business of the session, including all recognitions and petty assizes ordered by the king's writ, where the property in dispute was worth no more than 200s. [ten pounds] a year. The four knights came to be selected by the suitors of the county court rather than by the sheriff.

This assize procedure extended in time to all other types of civil actions.

Also removable to the Royal Court from the county courts were issues of a lord's claim to a person as his villein (combat not available), service or relief due to a lord, dower rights, a creditor's refusal to restore a gage [something given as security] to a debtor who offered payment or a deposit, money due to a lender, a seller, or a person to whom one had an obligation under a charter, fish or harvest or cattle taken from lands unjustly occupied, cattle taken from pasture, rights to enjoy a common, to stop troubling someone's transport, to make restitution of land wrongfully occupied, to make a lord's bailiff account to him for the profits of the manor.

The Royal Court also decided disputes regarding baronies, nuisance or encroachments on royal land or public ways or public waterways, such as diverting waters from their right course and issues of nuisance by the making or destroying of a ditch or the destruction of a pond by a mill to the injury of a person's freehold. Other pleas of the Crown were: insult to the royal dignity, treason, breaches of safe-conducts, and injury to the King's servants.

Henry involved the Royal Court in many criminal issues, using the agencies of the county and hundred courts. To detect crimes, he required royal justices to routinely ask selected representatives: knights or other landholders, of every neighborhood if any person were suspected of any murder, robbery, theft, etc. A traveling royal justice or a sheriff would then hold an inquest, in which the representatives answered by oath what people were reputed to have done certain crimes. They made such inquiries through assizes of presentment, usually composed of twelve men from each hundred and the four best men of each township. (These later evolved into grand juries). These assizes were an ancient institution in many parts of the country. They consisted of representatives of the hundreds, usually knights, and villages who testified under oath to all crimes committed in their neighborhood, and indicted those they suspected as responsible and those harboring them. What Henry's assize did was to insist upon the adoption of a standard procedure everywhere systematically. The procedure was made more regular instead of depending on crime waves. If indicted, the suspected persons were then sent to the ordeal. There was no trial by compurgation in the Royal Courts, which was abolished by Henry. If determined guilty, he forfeited his chattels to the king and his land reverted to his landlord. If he passed the ordeal but was ill-famed in the community, he could be banished from the community. The ordeal was abolished by the Lateran Council of 1215.

As before, a person could also be brought to trial by the accusation of the person wronged. If the accused still denied the charge after the accuser testified and the matter investigated by inquiries and interrogation and then analyzed, trial by combat was held, unless the accuser was over the age of sixty or maimed, in which case the accused went to the ordeal.

If a man failed at the ordeal, the penalty prescribed by the assize of Clarendon of 1166 was loss of a foot and abjuring the realm. The assize of Northhampton of 1176 added loss of the right hand. Under the former assize, a man who had a bad reputation had to abjure the realm even if he had successfully undergone the ordeal.

Criminal matters such as killing the king or sedition or betraying the nation or the army, fraudulent concealment of treasure trove [finding a hoard of coins which had been buried when danger approached], breach of the King's peace, homicide, murder (homicide for which there were no eyewitnesses), burning (a town, house, men, animals or other chattel for hatred or revenge), robbery, rape and falsifying (e.g. false charters or false measures or false money) were punishable by death or loss of limb. All murders were now punished alike because the applicability of the murdrum couldn't be determined since it was impossible to prove that the slain man had been English.

Trespass was a serious and forcible breach of the peace onto land that developed from the criminal law of felony. One found guilty of it could be fined and imprisoned as well as amerced.

Housebreaking, harboring outlaws, and interference with the royal perquisites of shipwreck and the beasts of the sea which were stranded on the coast [such as whales and sturgeon] were also punishable in the Royal Court.

The Royal Court had grown substantially and was not always presided over by the King. To avoid court agents from having too much discretionary power, there was a systematic procedure for bringing cases to the Royal Court. First, a plaintiff had to apply to the King's Chancery for a standardized writ into which the cause had to fit. The plaintiff had to pay a fee and provide a surety that the plea was brought in good faith. The progress of the suit was controlled at crucial points by precisely formulated writs to the sheriff, instructing him for instance, to put the disputed property under royal protection pending a decision, to impanel an assize and have it view the property in advance of the justices' arrival, to ascertain a point of fact material to the plea, or to summon a 'warrantor' to support a claim by the defendant.

The Royal Court kept a record on its cases on parchment kept rolled up: its "rolls". The oldest roll of 1194 is almost completely comprised of land cases.

Anyone could appoint an agent, an "attorney", to appear in court on his behalf, it being assumed that the principal could not be present and royal authorization given. A wife could represent her husband. The principal was then bound by the actions of his agent. Gradually men appeared who made a business of representing whoever would employ them. The common law system became committed to the "adversary system" with the parties struggling judicially against each other.

The Royal Court took jurisdiction over issues of whether certain land was civil or ecclesiastical [assize utrum], and therefore whether the land owed services or payment to the Crown or not. It also heard issues of disturbance of advowson, a complex of rights to income from a church and to the selection of a parson for the church [assize of darrein [last] presentment]. Many churches had been built by a lord on his manor for his villeins. The lord had then appointed a parson and provided for his upkeep out of the income of the church. In later times, the lord's chosen parson was formally appointed by the bishop. By the 1100s, many lords had given their advowsons to abbeys. This procedure used twelve recognitors selected by the sheriff.

As before, the land of any person who had been outlawed or convicted of a felony escheated to his lord. His moveable goods and chattels became the King's. If he was executed, his heirs received nothing because they were of the same blood as the felon, which was corrupt: "corruption of the blood". The loss of civil rights and capacities after a sentence of death for felony or treason, which resulted in forfeiture of property and corruption of the blood, was called "attainder".

The manor court heard cases arising out of the unfree tenures of the lord's vassals. It also heard distraint, also called "distress", issues. Distraint was a landlord's method of forcing a tenant to perform the services of his fief. To distrain by the fief, a lord first obtained a judgment of his court. Otherwise, he distrained only by goods and chattels without judgment of his court. A distraint was merely a security to secure a person's services, if he agreed he owed them, or his attendance in court, if he did not agree that he owed them. Law and custom restricted the type of goods and chattels distrainable, and the time and manner of distraint. For instance, neither clothes, household utensils, nor a riding horse was distrainable. The lord could not use the chattels taken while they were in his custody. If cattle in custody were not accessible to the tenant, the lord had to feed them at his expense. The lord, if he were not the King, could not sell the chattel. This court also determined inheritance and dower issues.

The court of the vill enforced the village ordinances. The hundred court met twice a month and dealt with the petty crimes of lowly men in the neighborhood of a few vills. The county and borough courts heard cases of felonies, accusations against freemen, tort, and debts. The knights make the county courts work as legal and administrative agencies of the Crown.

The peace of the sheriff still exists for his county. The King's peace may still be specially given, but it will cease upon the death of the King. Law required every good and lawful man to be bound to follow the hue and cry when it was raised against an offender who was fleeing. The village reeve was expected to lead the chase to the boundary of the next jurisdiction, which would then take the responsibility to catch the man.

Admiralty issues (since no assize could be summoned on the high seas), and tenement issues of land held in frankalmoin ["free alms" for the poor to relieve the king of this burden], where the tenant was a cleric were heard in the ecclesiastical courts.

Before Henry's reign, the church, with the pope's backing, had become more powerful and asserted more authority. Henry tried to return to the concept of the king being appointed by God and as the head of the church as well as of the state, as in Henry I's time, and to include the church in his reform of the legal system, which would make the spiritual jurisdiction and temporal jurisdiction conform to a common justice. Toward this end, he published the Constitutions of Clarendon. But the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Becket, refused to agree to them, although as Chancellor he had seen the beneficial effects on the kingdom of Henry's legal measures. The disagreement came to a head in Henry's attempt to establish the principle of "one law to all" by having church clerics punished by the civil courts as before, instead of having "benefit of clergy" to be tried and punished only in ecclesiastical courts, even for secular crimes. Clerics composed about one-sixth the population. The church courts had characteristically punished with spiritual penalties of a fine or a penance, and at most defrocking. It could not impose a death penalty, even for murder. When Archbishop Becket was murdered and became a martyr, "benefit of clergy" became a standard right, except for offenses in the king's forests. Appeals could be made to the pope without the king's permission. The king could take a criminal cleric's chattels, but not his life. However, though theoretically bishops were elected by the body of bishops with the approval of the king, as a practical matter, the king chose the bishops and the abbots. It was a constant matter of dispute, in which the pope would sometimes involve himself. Selection of archbishops was also a frequent matter of contention between king and pope.

The church copied the assize procedure developed by the Royal Court to detect ecclesiastical offenses. Trial was still by compurgation. Bishops could request the Chancery to imprison an offender who had remained excommunicant for forty days, until he made amends. Chancery complied as a matter of course. This went on for six centuries.

The delineations of jurisdiction among these courts were confused and there was much competing and overlapping of jurisdictions. However, the court could appoint arbitrators or suggest to the parties to compromise to avoid the harshness of a decisive judgment which might drive the losing party to violent self-help.

The office of coroner was established about 1194 to supplement the judicial investigations of crimes with local officers prior to the arrival of the itinerant justices. Four knights who were residents of the county and possessed sufficient land were elected by the county court for life. Sometimes they had county and royal connections instead. They received no pay. They determined if sudden deaths were accidental or due to murder and the cause of death of prisoners. They also held inquests on other crime such as bodily injury, rape, and prison break. They attached [arrested] the accused and evaluated and guarded his chattels until after the trial. If the accused was found guilty, his possessions went to the King. The coroner sat with the sheriff at every county court and went with him on his turns. This office and the forbidding of sheriffs to act as justices in their own counties reduced the power of the sheriffs. The responsibility of receiving the oath of the peace is changed from the sheriff to knights, the duty of the sheriffs being only to receive and keep the criminals taken by these knights until the justices came to try them.

Also, at this time, the constitution of the grand jury of the county was defined. First, four knights were to be chosen in the county court. These were to select on oath two knights from each hundred. These two, also on oath, are to add by co-optation ten more for the jury of the hundred.

In London, if one of two witnesses for the defense died while an action was pending, the survivor, after offering his oath, could proceed to the grave of the dead witness, and there offer oath as to what the dead man would have sworn if he had been alive. If a foreigner was bound to make oath for debt or any misdeed, he could make it with six others, his own oath being the seventh; but if could not find six supporters, he alone could make the oath and take it in the six nearest churches.

In London, the method of capital punishment was being confined to hanging, instead of also being in the form of beheading, burning, drowning, stoning, or hurling from a rock. In cases of drowning, the offender was first sewn up in a sack with a snake, a dog, an ape, and a cock.

Chief Justiciar Ranulph Glanvill wrote a treatise on the writs which could be brought in the Royal Court and the way they could be used. It was a practical manual of procedure and of the law administered in the Royal Court.

There are personal actions such as "debt" for specific chattel or specific sum of money. This splits into two actions. The detinue award is for the specific chattel or its value. The action of "replevin" is available to the tenant to recover personal property which had been wrongly distrained, usually cattle; the goods are "repledged" pending action. Also, but rarely used, are "covenant" to protect termors for leases of land for terms of years, and "trespass": a semi-criminal action brought by a private party for an offense punishable by death (or in the 1100s by mutilation) such as murder, rape, robbery, or mayhem, that is done with force of arms and against the peace of the king. The use of trespass grew as private actions for felony were supplanted by public indictment. It occasioned outlawry in default of appearance. These personal actions were initiated in common law courts by their respective writs.

These are some of the cases of novel disseisin brought to the king's court:

Woodbridge v. Bardolf (1194, king's court): Ralf of Woodbridge seeks before the justices his free tenement in Hebston by the assize of novel disseisin against Hugh Bardolf. Against which assize Hugh said that he had that seisin by judgment of his court for the default of the same Ralf. And the court has recorded the summons and distraints reasonably made on the same Ralf. And Ralf himself has acknowledged the summons and distraints and said that he ought not hold anything from him in that land; rather, it is of another's fee. And because neither he nor anyone for him has complained to the justices that Hugh unjustly drew him into a plea concerning a tenement which Ralf himself held of the fee of another lord, it is considered that Hugh hold in peace. And let Ralf plead by writ of right if he want and be in mercy for his false claim.

Turroc v. fitz Walter (1194, king's court): The assize came to recognize if Clement son of Walter unjustly and without judgment disseised Matilda of Turroc of her free tenement within the assize. Clement comes and says that he disseised her by judgment of his court. The court is present and records that she occupied more of her lord's land than she had in dower by the sheriff and by order of the lord king, so that she was summoned and distrained to come in to court, and she so responded that she remained in mercy of 10s. by judgment, so that for that amercement and for other complaints she made fine with her lord for 1/2 mark [7s.] and put her land in pledge in his court and did not want to render the 1/2 mark [7s.]. And therefore by judgment of his court he seised it. Matilda denies all word for word. And the same Clement only produces two men from his court; and it is considered that it was no court. Judgment: let Matilda have her seisin and let Clement be in mercy for disseisin.

Fitz Hereward v. Prior of Lecton (1195, king's court): The assize came to recognize if the prior of Lecton unjustly and without judgment disseised Reginald son of Hereward and Essolda his wife of his free tenement in Clapston after the first coronation of the lord king. The prior says that the assize ought not be taken thereof, because he seised that land by judgment of his court for default of his service and his rent, whereof he has his court present, which asserts the same thing. It is considered that the prior replevy [give back] to them their land and give them a day in his court concerning the arrears of rents and services. And let him treat them justly by judgment of his court.

Stanfeld v. Brewes (1199, king's court): The assize comes to recognize if Simon of Brewes and Luke cleric and Peter of Brewes unjustly and without a judgment disseised Odo of Stanfeld and Juliana his wife of her free tenement in Michehey within the assize. Simon says that the assize ought not be taken thereof, because he took that land into his hand by judgment of his court — which he produced and which attests to this — for default of his service. And it was testified that Odo holds that land from the same Simon. Simon was ordered to replevy that land to Odo as well as the chattels and to treat him rightfully in his court.

fitz William v. Amice et al. (1200, king's court): The assize comes to recognize if Amice who was the wife of Richard earl of Clare and Hugh of Ceriton, John of Cornherd, William of Wattevill, Alexander son of Gilbert, Alexander son of Matthew, Bartholomew son of Alexander, Robert of Cornherd, and Geoffrey son of Leveric unjustly and without judgment disseised Richard son of William of Sudbury of his free tenement in Sudbury after the feast of St Michael next before the coronation of the lord king. The countess says that, when she was separated by papal order from the earl of Clare her husband by reason of consanguinity, to which husband the vill of Sudbury had been given with her as marriage portion, she came to Sudbury and convoked her court and made the same Richard to be summoned to come to show by what warrant he held her land. He willingly entered into the plea and vouched the earl of Clare her former husband to warrant and at the day given him to have [his warrantor] he did not have him. And thus by consideration of her court she seised her land and holds it. Which court she produced and which attests this. Richard comes and denies that he was ever summoned or came into her court by summons or vouched to warranty or so lost seisin by consideration of the court of the countess. And this he offers [to prove]. It is considered that he defend himself 12-handed that he did not willingly enter into the plea and vouch to warranty. Let him wage his law [prove by the 12-handed oath, thus, by compurgation]. Pledges of the law: Hugh son of Hugh, Wido of Sudbury. Day is given them at the quindene of St. John.

This is the suit of Richard of Sudbury: [there follow the names, but only of 10 men] against the countess Amice who was the countess of Clare, concerning whom he had complained concerning a novel disseisin of his free tenement in Sudbury. She said that by judgment of her court for default of warranty which he had vouched did she make the [dis]seisin and thereof did she produce suit. And he denied against her and against the suit, and law was adjudged. And he comes with his law and makes it with the abovesaid suit. Therefore it is considered that he recover thereof his seisin; let the countess be in mercy for unjust disseisin and also her men, of whom the same Richard has complained. And let the same countess return to him the damages done thereof by a jury of law-worthy men of the vicinity. The names of the men of the countess are in the writ.

A sample of crown pleas in several hundreds or wapentakes [Danish name for a hundred] from 1201 to 1203 are:

  1. Denise, who was wife to Anthony, appeals Nicholas Kam of the death of Anthony, her husband, for that he wickedly slew her husband; and this she offers to prove against him under award of the court. And Nicholas defends all of it. It is considered that Denise's appeal is null, for in it she does not say that she saw the deed. The jurors being asked, say that they suspect him of it; the whole county likewise suspects him. Let him purge himself by water [ordeal] under the Assize. He has waged his law.
  2. William de Ros appeals Ailward Bere, Roger Bald, Robert Merchant, and Nicholas Parmenter, for that they came to his house and wickedly in the king's peace took away from him a certain villein of his whom he kept in chains because he wished to run away, and led him off, and in robbery carried away his wife's coffer with one mark of silver and other chattels; and this he offers to prove by his son, Robert de Ros, who saw it. And Ailward and the others have come and defended the felony, robbery, and breach of the king's peace, and say that (as the custom is in Cornwall) Roger of Prideaux, by the sheriff's orders, caused twelve men to come together and make oath about the said villein, whether he was the king's villein or William's and it was found that he was the king's villein, so the said Roger the serjeant demanded that [William] should surrender him, and he refused, so [Roger] sent to the sheriff, who then sent to deliver [the villein], who, however, had escaped and was not to be found, and William makes this appeal because he wishes to keep the chattels of Thomas [the villein], to wit, two oxen, one cow, one mare, two pigs, nine sheep, eleven goats. And that this is so the jurors testify. Judgment: William and Robert in mercy for the false claim. William's amercement, a half-mark. Robert's amercement, a half-mark. Pledge for the mark, Warin, Robert's son. Let the king have his chattels from William. Pledge for the chattels, Richard, Hervey's son.
  3. Serlo of Ennis-Caven appeals Osbert of Dimiliock and Jordan, Walter's son, for that they in the king's peace wickedly assaulted, beat and seriously wounded him, so that by reason of the beating three bones were extracted from his head; and this he offers to prove against him under the court's award as a man maimed by that mayhem. And it is testified by the coroners that the wounds when fresh were shown in the county [court], and that [the bones were broken] as aforesaid. And Osbert and Jordan come and defend word by word. It is considered that Osbert do purge himself by ordeal of iron on account of the appeal, for Serlo betook himself against Osbert in the first instance. And let Jordan be in custody until it be known how Osbert shall fare. And the other persons who are appealed as accessories are to be under pledge until [Osbert's fate] be known.
  4. The jurors say that they suspect William Fisman of the death of Agnes of Chilleu, for the day before he had threatened her body and goods. And the four neighboring townships being sworn, suspect him of it. It is considered that he purge himself by water under the Assize.
  5. William Burnell and Luke of the Well are suspected of the burglary at the house of Richard Palmer by the jurors of the hundred, and by the four neighboring townships, which are sworn. Let them purge themselves by water under the Assize.
  6. Malot Crawe appeals Robert, Godfrey's son, of rape. He comes and defends. It is testified that he thus raped her and that she was seen bleeding. By leave of the justices they made concord on the terms of his espousing her.
  7. Walter Wifin was burgled, and of his chattels taken from his house in the burglary certain boots were found in the house of Lefchild of Ranam, and the said Walter pursues those boots as his. And Lefchild said that he bought them in Bodmin market for 2 1/2 pence, but he knows not from whom. And besides Walter says that eleven ells of linen cloth, part of the stolen goods, were sold in Lefchild's house, and all the other proceeds of the burglary, and that Lefchild was the receiver of the burglars, namely, Robert of Hideford and Alan the Foresters, whom he [Walter] had appealed of the crime. And Lefchild defends. The jurors on being asked, say that they suspect Lefchild of the said receipt. So let him purge himself by water under the Assize.
  8. Eadmer of Penwithen appeals Martin, Robert and Thomas of Penwithen, for that Robert wounded him in the head so that twenty-eight pieces of bone were extracted, and meanwhile Martin and Thomas held him; and this he offers to deraign against the said Robert as a man thereby maimed, under the court's award. And Robert comes and defends all of it word by word. It is considered that he purge himself by ordeal of iron. Let the others be in custody until it be known how Robert shall fare. Afterwards Eadmer came and withdrew himself, and submitted to an amercement of one mark. Pledges, Reinfrid, Gill's son, and Philip his brother. Let the other appellees go quit.
  9. Reginald le Teinus accused of the receipt and fellowship of Robert the outlaw comes and defends. The jurors say that they suspect him, and the four neighboring townships say that they suspect him of it. So let him purge himself by water under the Assize. And there must be inquiry as to Richard Revel, who was sheriff when the said Robert escaped from his custody.
  10. Osbert of Reterth appeals Odo Hay, for that he assaulted him as he was returning from Bodmin market, and in the king's peace and wickedly struck him on the hand with a stick, and afterwards struck him on the arm with his sword so that he is maimed; and this he offers to prove as a maimed man. And Odo defends it all. And that [Osbert] is maimed is testified by knights sent to see him. Judgment: let [Odo] purge himself by ordeal of iron because of this appeal.
  11. Wulward of Wadebridge was burgled. And Odo Hay, Lawrence Smith, Osbert Mediciner, and Benet his son, William Miller, Robert of Frokemere, and Maud his sister, are suspected of the burglary by the jurors of the hundred and by the four nearest townships, which are sworn. Let the males purge themselves by water under the Assize, and Maud by ordeal of iron. Roger Morand fled for that burglary, and he was living in Bodmin, [which town is] therefore in mercy.
  12. Robert, Godfrey's son, appeals Philip, William's son, for that he came on the land of [Robert's] lord Richard Fortescue, and wickedly and in the king's peace and in robbery took eight oxen and a mantle, cape, and sword, and carried them off; and this he offers to prove against him by his body under award of the court. And Philip comes and defends all of it word by word. It is considered that the appeal is null, for the oxen were not Robert's, but Richard's. The jurors being asked, say that [Philip] did no robbery to [Richard]. So Richard Fortescue is in mercy for a false appeal, and let Philip be quit.
  13. Peter Burel appeals Anketil of Wingely, for that he wickedly in the king's peace assaulted him in the field where he was pasturing his oxen, and beat him, and gave him four wounds in the head, and in robbery took from him an ax and a sword; and this he offers to prove against him; but he shows no wound. And Anketil defends. And the county records that [Peter] first appealed Roger of Tregadec of the same robbery and of the same wounds. Therefore it is considered that the appeal is null, and let Peter be in mercy for a false appeal. His amercement, a half-mark; pledge for it, Ralph Giffard.
  14. The jurors are in mercy for a silly presentment, for they presented an appeal which was made in the hundred [court] and which was not presented in the county [court].
  15. Lucy of Morwinstow appeals Robert de Scaccis and Roland of Kellio and Peter of Lancarf of robbing her of twenty shillings and eight pence, and of a cloak, price a half-mark. And it is testified by the jurors that they did not rob her, and that she is a hireling, and that a man lay with her in a garden, and the boys hooted her, so that she left her cloak, and the boys took it and pawned it for two gallons of wine. It is considered that Robert do give her three pence in respect of the wine and do go quit. And Roland and Peter neither come nor essoin [present an excuse for nonappearance] themselves. And their pledges were Nicholas brother of Alfred of Bodmin and Herbert Reeve of Bodmin, who are therefore in mercy.
  16. Osbert Church accused of the death of Roland, son of Reginald of Kennel, on the appeal of the said Reginald, was detained in gaol and defends word by word. And Reginald offers proof by the body of a certain freeman, Arkald, who has his [Reginald's] daughter to wife, who is to prove in his stead, since he has passed the age of sixty. Osbert Church defends all of it. The knights of the hundred of Penwith say that they suspect him of the said death. The knights of kerrier [hundred] say the same. The knights of Penwith [hundred] say the same. The knights of Pyder [hundred] say the same. Judgment: let him purge himself by water, and Reginald is in mercy, for he does not allege sight and hearing, and because he has withdrawn himself, and put another in his place, who neither saw nor heard and yet offered to prove it, and so let both Reginald and Arkald be in mercy. Osbert is purged by the water. Osbert's pledges: Henry Little, Henry of Penant, Ossulf Black, Roger of Trevithow, John of Glin, Ralph of Trelew.
  17. Roger of Wick [was] appealed of the death of Brictmer by the appeal of Hawise, Brictmer's wife, and was captured in flight, as say John of Winielton and Ralph of Mertherin, but the flight is not testified by the hundred. Kerier [hundred] says the same. Penwith [hundred] says the same. So is considered that he purge himself by water. He is purged. Roger's pledges: Ralph of Trelew, Ogier of Kurnick, Richard, Simon's son, Alfred Malvoisin, Everwin of Lande, John of Kewerion, Warin of Tiwardeni, Baldwin Tirel, Roger of Trevithow, John of Glin, William of Dunham, Thomas, Osbert's son.
  18. Richard, William's son, appealed Luke, Richard's son, and William, the servant of Alan Clerk, of robbery and of binding him. The appellees have not come nor essoined themselves. The county together with the wapentake says that they were appealed, not of the king's peace, but of the sheriff's peace, so that the suit was and is in the county [court], and therefore they were not attached to come before the justices. Therefore the jurors are in mercy for presenting what they ought not to have presented.
  19. William, Hawise's son, appeals Richard, son of Robert of Somercotes, for that he came in the king's peace to his house at Somercotes, and broke his house and robbed him of...[an abrasion] shillings, and a cape and surcoat, and twenty-five fowls, and twenty shillings worth of corn [grain], and wounded him in the head with the wound that he shows; and this he offers to prove against him as the court shall consider etc. And Richard comes and defends the breach of the king's peace and the housebreaking, wounding and robbery, but confesses that he came to a certain house, which William asserts to be his [William's], as to his [Richard's] own proper house, which escheated into his hand on the death of Roger his villein, and there he took certain chattels which were his villein's and which on his villein's death were his [Richard's] own: to wit, five thraves of oats, thirteen sheaves of barley, and twenty-five fowls; and he offers the king twenty shillings for an inquest [to find] whether this be so or no. And William says that Richard says this unjustly, for the said Roger never had that house nor dwelt therein, nor were those chattels Roger's, but he [William] held that house as his own, and the chattels there seized were his. The jurors being questioned whether Roger did thus hold the house of Richard in villeinage, say, Yes. Also the coroners and the whole county testify that [William] never showed any wound until now; and the wound that he now shows is of recent date. Therefore it is considered that the appeal is null, and let Richard go quit, and William be in mercy for his false claim. Pledges for the amercement, Gilbert, Robert's son, and Richard, Haldeng's son.
  20. Astin of Wispington appeals Simon of Edlington, for that he wickedly and in the king's peace assaulted him in his meadows and put out his eye, so that he is maimed of that eye; and this he offers to prove etc. Simon comes and defends all of it word by word. And the coroners and the county testify that hitherto the appeal has been duly sued, at first by [Astin's] wife, and then by [Astin himself]. Judgment: let law be made, and let it be in the election of the appellee whether he or Astin shall carry the iron. He has chosen that Astin shall carry it. Astin has waged the law. Simon's pledges, William of Land and his frankpledge and Ralph of Stures. Astin's pledges, Roger Thorpe, Osgot of Wispington, and William, Joel's brother. Afterwards came [the appellor and appellee] and both put themselves in mercy.
  21. Gilbert of Willingham appeals Gilbert, Geoffrey's son, for that he in the king's peace and wickedly set fire to his house and burned it, so that after the setting fire [the appellor] went forth and raised hue and cry so that his neighbors and the township of Willingham came thither, and he showed them [the appellee] in flight and therefore they pursued him with the cry; and this he offers etc. And the appellee defends all of it word by word etc. And the neighbors and the township of Willingham being questioned, say that they never saw him in flight, and that [the appellor] never showed him to them. Likewise the jurors say that in their belief he appeals him out of spite rather than for just cause. Therefore it is considered that the appeal is null, and the appellee is in mercy for a half-mark [7s.]. Pledge for the amercement, Robert Walo.
  22. William burel appeals Walter Morcock, for that he in the king's peace so struck and beat Margery, [William's] wife, that he killed the child in her womb, and besides this beat her and drew blood. And William of Manby, the beadle, testifies that he saw the wound while fresh and the blood in the wapentake [court]. And the serjeant of the riding and the coroners and the twelve knights testify that they never saw wound nor blood. And so it is considered that the appeal is null, for one part of the appeal being quashed, it is quashed altogether, and William Burel is in mercy. Let him be in custody. And William Manby is in mercy for false testimony. Pledges for William's amercement, Richard of Bilsby, Elias of Welton.
  23. William Marshall fled for the death of Sigerid, Denis' mother, whereof Denis appeals him; and he was in the Prior of Sixhills' frankpledge of Sixhills, which is in mercy, and his chattels were two cows and one bullock. Afterwards came the Prior of Sixhills and undertook to have William to right before the justices. And he came, and then Denis, Sigerid's son, came and appealed him of his mother's death. And it was testified that [Denis] had an elder brother, and that nine years are past since [Sigerid] died, and that she lived almost a year after she was wounded, and that Denis never appealed [William] before now. Therefore it is considered that the appeal is null and that Denis be in mercy. Pledge for the amercement, his father, Ralph, son of Denis.
  24. Alice, wife of Geoffrey of Carlby, appealed William, Roger's son, and William his son and Roger his son of the death of William her brother. And Alice does not prosecute. Therefore let her be in mercy and let her be arrested. To judgment against the sheriff who did not imprison the said persons who were attached, whereas they are appealed of homicide, and to judgment also as to a writ which he ought to produce.
  25. Hawise, Thurstan's daughter, appeals Walter of Croxby and William Miller of the death of her father and of a wound given to herself. And she has a husband, Robert Franchenay, who will not stir in the matter. Therefore it is considered that the appeal is null, for a woman has no appeal against anyone save for the death of her husband or for rape. And let Robert be in mercy on his wife's account, for a half-mark [7s.], and let the appellees be quit. Pledge for Robert's amercement, Richard Dean of Mareham, who has lay property. Wapentake of Aswardhurn.
  26. Juliana of Creeton appeals Adam of Merle of battery and robbery. And Adam does not come, but essoins himself as being in the king's service beyond seas. And for that it is not allowed to anyone appealed of the king's peace to leave the land without a warrant before he has been before justices learned in the law, his pledges are in mercy: to wit, Segar of Arceles, Alan of Renington, and Robert of Searby. Adam himself is excused from the plea by the essoin that he has cast.
  27. Thomas, Leofwin's son, appeals Alan Harvester, for that he in the king's peace assaulted him as he went on the highway, and with his force carried him into Alan's house, and struck him on the arm so that he broke a small bone of his arm, whereby he is maimed, and robbed him of his cape and his knife, and held him while Eimma, [Alan's] wife, cut off one of his testicles and Ralph Pilate the other, and when he was thus dismembered and ill-treated, the said Alan with his force carried him back into the road, whereupon as soon as might be he raised the cry, and the neighbors came to the cry, and saw him thus ill-treated, and then at once he sent to the king's serjeant, who came and found, so [Thomas] says, the robbed things in Alan's house and then as soon as might be [Thomas] went to the wapentake [court] and to the county [court] and showed all this. So inquiry is made of the king's sergeant, who testifies that he came to Alan's house and there found the knife and the testicles in a little cup, but found not the cape. Also the whole county testifies that [Thomas] never before now appealed Alan of breaking a bone. And so it is considered that the appeal is null, and that [Thomas] be in mercy, and that the other appellees be quit. Thomas also appeals Emma, Alan's wife, for that she in the peace aforesaid after he was placed in her lord's house cut off one of his testicles. He also appeals Ralph Pilate, for that he cut off the other of his testicles.
  28. The twelve jurors presented in their verdict that Austin, Rumfar's son, appealed Ralph Gille of the death of his brother, so that [Ralph] fled, and that William, Rumfar's son, appealed Benet Carter of the same death, and Ranulf, Ralph's son, appealed Hugh of Hyckham of the same death and Baldwin of Elsham and Ralph Hoth and Colegrim as accessories. And the coroners by their rolls testify this also. But the county records otherwise, namely, that the said Ralph Gille, Benet, Hugh, Baldwin, Ralph [Hoth] and Gocegrim were all appealed by Ranulf, Ralph's son, and by no one else, so that four of them, to wit, Ralph Gille, Hugh, Benet and Colegrim, were outlawed at the suit of the said Ranulf, and that the said persons were not appealed by anyone other than the said Ranulf. And for that the county could not [be heard to] contradict the coroners and the said jurors who have said their say upon oath, it is considered etc. Thereupon the county forestalled the judgment and before judgment was pronounced made fine with 200 pounds [4,000s.] [to be collected throughout the county], franchises excepted.
  29. Hereward, William's son, appeals Walter, Hugh's son, for that he in the king's peace assaulted him and wounded him in the arm with an iron fork and gave him another wound in the head; and this he offers to prove by his body as the court shall consider. And Walter defends all of it by his body. And it is testified by the coroners and by the whole county that Hereward showed his wounds at the proper time and has made sufficient suit. Therefore it is considered that there be battle. Walter's pledges, Peter of Gosberton church, and Richard Hereward's son. Hereward's pledges, William his father and the Prior of Pinchbeck. Let them come armed in the quindene of St. Swithin at Leicester.
  30. William Gering appeals William Cook of imprisonment, to wit, that he with his force in the king's peace and wickedly, while [Gering] was in the service of his lord Guy at the forge, took him and led him to Freiston to the house of William Longchamp, and there kept him in prison so that his lord could not get him replevied; and this he offers to prove as the court shall consider. And William Cook comes and defends the felony and imprisonment, but confesses that whereas he had sent his lord's servants to seize the beasts of the said Guy on account of a certain amercement which [Guy] had incurred in the court of [Cook's] lord [Longchamp], and which though often summoned he had refused to pay, [Gering] came and rescued the beasts that had been seized and wounded a servant of [Cook's] lord, who had been sent to seize them, whereupon [Cook] arrested [Gering] until he should find pledges to stand to right touching both the wounding and the rescue, and when [Gering's] lord [Guy] came for him, [Cook] offered to let him be replevied, but this [Guy] refused, and afterwards he repeated the offer before the king's serjeant, but even then it was refused, and then [Cook] let [Gering] go without taking security. And Guy says that he puts himself upon the wapentake, whether the imprisonment took place in manner aforesaid, and whether he [Guy] at once showed the matter to the king's serjeant, or no. And William Cook does the same. And the wapentake says that the alleged [imprisonment] took place in Lent, and Guy did not show the matter to the wapentake until a fortnight before St. Botulph's day. And the county together with the coroners says that they never heard the suit in their court. Therefore it is considered that the appeal is null, and Guy is in mercy. And let William and those who are appealed as accessories go quit.
  31. The jurors say that Andrew, sureman's son, appealed Peter, Leofwin's son, Thomas Squire and William Oildene of robbery. And he does not prosecute. So he and Stephen Despine and Baldwin Long are in mercy, and the appellees go without day. Afterwards comes Andrew and says that [the appellees] imprisoned him by the order of William Malesoures in the said William's house, so that he sent to the sheriff that the sheriff might deliver him, whereupon the sheriff sent his serjeant and others thither, who on coming there found him imprisoned and delivered him and he produces witnesses, to wit, Nicholas Portehors and Hugh, Thurkill's son, who testify that they found him imprisoned, and he vouches the sheriff to warrant this. And the sheriff, on being questioned, says that in truth he sent thither four lawful men with the serjeant on a complaint made by Nicholas Portehors on Andrew's behalf. And those who were sent thither by the sheriff testify that they found him at liberty and disporting himself in William's house. Therefore it is considered that the appeal is null [and Andrew is in mercy] for his false complaint and Nicholas Portehors and Hugh, Thurkill's son, are in mercy for false testimony. Andrew and Hugh are to be in custody until they have found pledges [for their amercement].
  32. The jurors say that Geoffrey Cardun has levied new customs other than he ought and other than have been usual, to wit, in taking from every cart crossing his land at Winwick with eels, one stick of eels, and from a cart with greenfish, one greenfish, and from a cart with salmon, half a salmon, and from a cart with herrings, five herrings, whereas he ought to take no custom for anything save for salt crossing his land, to wit, for a cartload, one bole of salt, and in that case the salter ought to have a loaf in return for the salt, and also if the salter's cart breaks down, the salter's horses ought to have pasture on Geoffrey's land without challenge while he repairs his cart. And Geoffrey comes and confesses that he takes the said customs, and ought to take them, for he and his ancestors have taken them from the conquest of England, and he puts himself on the grand assize of our lord the king, and craves that a recognition be made whether he ought to take those customs or no. And afterwards he offers the king twenty shillings that this action may be put before Sir Geoffrey FitzPeter [the Justiciar]. Pledge for the twenty shillings, Richard of Hinton.
  33. The jurors say that Hugh, son of Walter Priest, was outlawed for the death of Roger Rombald at the suit of Robert Rombald, and afterwards returned under the [protection of the] king's writ, and afterwards was outlawed for the same death on the appeal of Geoffrey, Thurstan's son. The county therefore is asked by what warrant they outlawed the same man twice for the same death, and says that of a truth in King Richard's time the said Hugh was outlawed at the suit of one Lucy, sister of the said Roger, so that for a long time afterwards he hid himself; and at length he came into the county [court] and produced letters of Sir Geoffrey FitzPeter in the form following: "G. FitzPeter etc. to the sheriff of Northamptonshire, greeting, Know thou that the king hath pardoned to Hugh, son of the priest of Grafton, his flight and the outlawry adjudged to him for the death of a certain slain man, and hath signified to us by his letters that we be aiding to the said Hugh in reestablishing the peace between him and the kinsfolk of the slain; wherefore we command thee that thou be aiding to the said Hugh in making the peace aforesaid, and do us to wit by thy letters under seal what thou hast done in this matter, since we are bound to signify the same to the king. In witness etc. by the king's writ from beyond seas." And the said letters being read in full county [court] the county told the said Hugh that he must find pledges that he would be in the king's peace, and he went away to find pledges, and afterwards did not appear. But the kinsfolk of the slain, having heard that Hugh had returned after his outlawry, came to the next county [court] and Robert Rombald produced Geoffrey, Thurstan's son, who said that if he saw the said Hugh he would sue against him the death of the said Roger, who was [his kinsman]. And the county showed him how Hugh had brought the Justiciar's letters pardoning him the flight and outlawry, and that he was to find pledges to stand to the king's peace, but had not returned. Whereupon the king's serjeant was ordered to seek Hugh and bring him to a later county [court]. And at a later county [court] Geoffrey offered himself against Hugh, and Hugh did not appear; whereupon the king's serjeant being questioned said that he had not found him, and the county advised [Geoffrey] to come to another county [court], because if in the meantime Hugh could be found, he would be brought to the county [court]. Then at the third county [court] the said Geoffrey offered himself, and it was testified by the serjeant that Hugh had not yet been found, wherefore the county said that as Hugh would not appear to the king's peace, he must bear the wolf's head as he had done before. To judgment against the coroners and the twelve jurors.
  34. Robert of Herthale, arrested for having in self-defense slain Roger, Swein's son, who had slain five men in a fit of madness, is committed to the sheriff that he may be in custody as before, for the king must be consulted about this matter. The chattels of him who killed the five men were worth two shillings, for which Richard [the sheriff must account].
  35. Sibil, Engelard's daughter, appeals Ralph of Sandford, for that he in the king's peace and wickedly and in breach of the peace given to her in the county [court] by the sheriff, came to the house of her lord [or husband] and broke her chests and carried off the chattels, and so treated her that he slew the child that was living in her womb. Afterwards she came and said that they had made a compromise and she withdrew herself, for they have agreed that Ralph shall satisfy her for the loss of the chattels upon the view and by the appraisement of lawful men; and Ralph has assented to this.
  36. William Pipin slew William [or John] Guldeneman and fled. He had no chattels. Let him be exacted. And Hugh Fuller was taken for this death and put in gaol because the said John [or William] was slain in his house. And Hugh gives to the king his chattels which were taken with him, that he may have an inquest [to find] whether he be guilty thereof or no. The jurors say that he is not guilty, and so let him go quit thereof. And William Picot is in mercy for having sold Hugh's chattels before he was convicted of the death, and for having sold them at an undervalue, for he sold them, as he says, for three shillings, and the jurors say that they were worth seventeen shillings, for which William Picot and those who were his fellows ought to account. And William says that the chattels were sold by the advice of his fellows, and his fellows deny this.
  37. Robert White slew Walter of Hugeford and fled. The jurors say that he was outlawed for the death, and the county and the coroners say that he was not outlawed, because no one sued against him. And because the jurors cannot [be heard to] contradict the county and the coroners, therefore they are in mercy, and let Robert be exacted. His chattels were [worth] fifteen shillings, for which R. of Ambresleigh, the sheriff, must account.
  38. Elyas of Lilleshall fled to church for the death of a woman slain at Lilleshall. He had no chattels. He confessed the death and abjured the realm. Alice Crithecreche and Eva of Lilleshall and Aldith and Mabel, Geoffrey and Robert of Lilleshall, and Peter of Hopton were taken for the death of the said woman slain at Lilleshall. And Alice, at once after the death, fled to the county of Stafford with some of the chattels of the slain, so it is said, and was taken in that county and brought back into Shropshire and there, as the king's serjeant and many knights and lawful men of the county testify, in their presence she said, that at night she heard a tumult in the house of the slain; whereupon she came to the door and looked in, and saw through the middle of the doorway four men in the house, and they came out and caught her, and threatened to kill her unless she would conceal them; and so they gave her the pelf [booty] that she had. And when she came before the [itinerant] justices she denied all this. Therefore she has deserved death, but by way of dispensation [the sentence is mitigated, so] let her eyes be torn out. The others are not suspected, therefore let them be under pledges.
  39. William, John's son, appeals Walter, son of Ralph Hose, for that when [William's] lord Guy of Shawbury and [William] had come from attending the pleas of our lord the king in the county court of Shropshire, there came five men in the forest of Haughmond and there in the king's peace and wickedly assaulted his lord Guy, and so that [Walter], who was the fourth among those five, wounded Guy and was accessory with the others in force as aid so that Guy his lord was killed, and after having wounded his lord he [Walter] came to William and held him so that he could not aid his lord; and this he offers to deraign [determine by personal combat] against him as the court shall consider. And Walter comes and defends all of it word by word as the court etc. It is considered that there be battle [combat] between them. The battle [combat] is waged. Day is given them, at Oxford on the morrow of the octave of All Saints, and then let them come armed. And Ralph [Walter's father] gives the king a half-mark that he may have the custody of his son, [for which sum] the pledges are John of Knighton and Reiner of Acton, and he is committed to the custody of Ralph Hose, Reiner of Acton, John of Knighton, Reginald of Leigh, Adam of Mcuklestone, William of Bromley, Stephen of Ackleton, Eudo of Mark.
  40. Robert, son of Robert of Ferrers, appeals Ranulf of Tattesworth, for that he came into Robert's garden and wickedly and in the king's peace assaulted Robert's man Roger, and beat and wounded him so that his life was despaired of, and robbed him [Roger?] of a cloak, a sword, a bow and arrows: and the said Roger offers to prove this by his body as the court shall consider. And Ranulf comes and defends the whole of it, word by word, and offers the king one mark of silver that he may have an inquest of lawful knights [to say] whether he be guilty thereof or no. Also he says that Roger has never until now appealed him of this, and prays that this be allowed in his favor. [Ranulf's] offering is accepted. The jurors say that in truth there was some quarrel between Robert's gardener, Osmund, and some footboys, but Ranulf was not there, and they do not suspect him of any robbery or any tort done to Robert or to Osmund. Also the county records that the knights who on Robert's complaint were sent to view Osmund's wounds found him unwounded and found no one else complaining, and that Robert in his plaint spoke of Osmund his gardener and never of Roger, and that Roger never came to the county [court] to make this appeal. Therefore it is considered that Ranulf be quit, and Robert and Roger in mercy. Pledge for Ranulf's mark, Philip of Draycot. Pledges for the amercement, Henry of Hungerhill, and Richard Meverell. Pledge for Roger, the said Robert.
  41. One L. is suspected by the jurors of being present when Reinild of Hemchurch was slain, and of having aided and counseled her death. And she defends. Therefore let her purge herself by the ordeal of iron; but as she is ill, the ordeal is respited until her recovery.
  42. Andrew of Burwarton is suspected by the jurors of the death of one Hervey, for that he concealed himself because of that death. Therefore let him purge himself by ordeal of water.
  43. Godith, formerly wife of Walter Palmer, appeals Richard of Stonall, for that he in the king's peace wickedly and by night with his force came to her house and bound her and her husband, and afterwards slew the said Walter her husband; and this she offers to prove against him as wife of the slain as the court shall consider. And he defends all of it. And the jurors and the whole neighborhood suspect him of that death. And so it is considered that he purge himself by ordeal of iron for he has elected to bear the iron.
  44. The jurors of Oflow hundred say that the bailiffs of Tamworth have unjustly taken toll from the knights of Staffordshire, to wit, for their oxen and other beasts. And the men of Lichfield complain that likewise they have taken toll from them, more especially in Staffordshire. And the bailiffs deny that they take anything from the knights in Staffordshire. And for that they cannot [be heard to] contradict the jurors, the bailiffs are in mercy. As to the men of Lichfield, [the Tamworth bailiffs] say that they ought to have, and in King Henry's time had, toll of them, more especially of the merchants, as well in Staffordshire as in Warwickshire. And the burgesses of Lichfield offer the king a half-mark for an inquest by the county. And the county records that in King Henry's time the men of Lichfield did not pay toll in Staffordshire. Therefore the bailiffs are in mercy.

Chapter 7

The Times 1215-1272

Baron landholders' semi-fortified stone manor houses were improved and extended. Many had been licensed to be embattled or crenelated [wall indented at top with shooting spaces]. They were usually quadrangular around a central courtyard. The central and largest room was the hall, where people ate and slept. If the hall was on the first floor, the fire might be at a hearth in the middle of the floor. Sometimes the lord had his own chamber, with a sleeping loft above it. Having a second floor necessitated a fireplace in the wall so the smoke could go up two floors to the roof. Other rooms each had a fireplace. Often the hall was on the second floor and took up two stories. There was a fireplace on one wall of the bottom story. There were small windows around the top story and on the inside of the courtyard. Windows of large houses were of opaque glass supplied by a glassmaking craft. The glass was thick, uneven, distorted, and greenish in color. The walls were plastered. The floor was wood with some carpets. Roofs were timbered with horizontal beams. Many roofs had tiles supplied by the tile craft, which baked the tiles in kilns or over an open fire. Because of the hazard of fire, the kitchen was often a separate building, with a covered way connecting it to the hall. It had one or two open fires in fireplaces, and ovens. Sometimes there was a separate room for a dairy.

Furniture included heavy wood armchairs for the lord and lady, stools, benches, trestle tables, chests, and cupboards. Outside was an enclosed garden with cabbages, peas, beans, beetroots, onions, garlic, leeks, lettuce, watercress, hops, herbs, nut trees for oil, some flowers, and a fish pond and well. Bees were kept for their honey.

Nobles, doctors, and attorneys wore tunics to the ankle and an over-tunic almost as long, which was lined with fur and had long sleeves. A hood was attached to it. A man's hair was short and curled, with bangs on the forehead. The tunic of merchants and middle class men reached to the calf. The laborer wore a tunic that reached to the knee, cloth stockings, and shoes of heavy felt, cloth, or perhaps leather. Ladies wore a full-length tunic with moderate fullness in the skirt, and a low belt, and tight sleeves. A lady's hair was concealed by a round hat tied on the top of her head. Over her tunic, she wore a cloak. Monks and nuns wore long black robes with hoods.

The barons now managed and developed their estates to be as productive as possible, often using the successful management techniques of church estates. They kept records of their fields, tenants, and services owed by each tenant, and duties of the manor officers, such as supervision of the ploughing and harrowing. Annually, the manor's profit or loss for the year was calculated. Most manors were self-supporting except that iron for tools and horseshoes and salt for curing usually had to be obtained elsewhere. Wine, tar, canvas and millstones were imports from other countries and bought at fairs, as was fish, furs, spices, and silks. Sheep were kept in such large numbers that they were susceptible to a new disease "scab". Every great household was bound to give alms.

As feudalism became less military and less rough, daughters were permitted to inherit fiefs. It became customary to divide the property of a deceased man without a son equally among his daughters. Lords were receiving homage from all the daughters and thereby acquiring marriage rights over all of them. Also, if a son predeceased his father but left a child, that child would succeed to the father's land in the same way that the deceased would have.

Manors averaged about ten miles distance between each other, the land in between being unused and called "wasteland". Statutes after a period of civil war proscribing the retaking of land discouraged the enclosure of waste land.

Some villeins bought out their servitude by paying a substitute to do his service or paying his lord a firm (from hence, the words farm and farmer) sum to hire an agricultural laborer in his place. This made it possible for a farm laborer to till one continuous piece of land instead of scattered strips.

Looms were now mounted with two bars. Women did embroidery. The clothing of most people was made at home, even sandals. The village tanner and bootmaker supplied long pieces of soft leather for more protection than sandals. Tanning mills replaced some hand labor. The professional hunter of wolves, lynx, or otters supplied head coverings. Every village had a smith and possibly a carpenter for construction of ploughs and carts. The smith obtained coal from coal fields for heating the metal he worked. Horse harnesses were homemade from hair and hemp. There were watermills and/or windmills for grinding grain, for malt, and/or for fulling cloth. The position of the sails of the windmills was changed by manual labor when the direction of the wind changed.

Most men wore a knife because of the prevalence of murder and robbery. It was an every day event for a murderer to flee to sanctuary in a church, which would then be surrounded by his pursuers while the coroner was summoned. Usually, the fugitive would confess, pay compensation, and agree to leave the nation permanently.

It had been long customary for the groom to endow his bride in public at the church door. This was to keep her and her children if he died first. If dower was not specified, it was understood to be one-third of all lands and tenements. From 1246, priests taught that betrothal and consummation constituted irrevocable marriage.

County courts were the center of decision-making regarding judicial, fiscal, military, and general administrative matters. The writs for the conservation of the peace, directing the taking of the oath, the pursuit of malefactors, and the observance of watch and ward, were proclaimed in full county court; attachments were made in obedience to them in the county court. The county offices were: sheriff, coroner, escheator, and constable or bailiff. There were 28 sheriffs for 38 counties. The sheriff was usually a substantial landholder and a knight who had been prominent in the local court. He usually had a castle in which he kept persons he arrested. He no longer bought his office and collected certain rents for himself, but was a salaried political appointee of the King. He employed a deputy or undersheriff, who was an attorney, and clerks. If there was civil commotion or contempt of royal authority, the sheriff had power to raise a posse of armed men to restore order [posse comitatus: power of the county]. The coroner watched the interests of the crown and had duties in sudden deaths, treasure trove, and shipwreck cases. There were about five coroners per county and they served for a number of years. They were chosen by the county court. The escheator was appointed annually by the Treasurer to administer the Crown's rights in feudal land, which until 1242 had been the responsibility of the sheriff. He was usually chosen from the local gentry. The constable and bailiff operated at the hundred and parish level to detect crime and keep the peace. They assisted sheriffs and Justices of the Peace, organized watches for criminals and vagrants at the village level, and raised the hue and cry along the highway and from village to village in pursuit of offenders who had committed felony or robbery. The constables also kept the royal castles; they recruited, fed, and commanded the castle garrison.

County knights served sheriffs, coroners, escheators, and justices on special royal commissions of gaol-delivery. They sat in judgment in the county court at its monthly meetings, attended the two great annual assemblies when the lord, knights and freeholders of the county gathered to meet the itinerant justices who came escorted by the sheriff and weapon bearers. They served on the committees which reviewed the presentments of the hundreds and village, and carried the record of the county court to Westminster when summoned there by the kings' justices. They served on the grand assize. As elected representatives of their fellow knights of the county, they assessed any taxes due from each hundred. Election might be by nomination by the sheriff from a fixed list, by choice, or in rotation. They investigated and reported on local abuses and grievances. The King's justices and council often called on them to answer questions put to them on oath. In the villages, humbler freeholders and sokemen were elected to assess the village taxes. Six villeins answered for the village's offenses before the royal itinerant justice.

Reading and writing in the English language was taught. The use of English ceased to be a mark of vulgarity. In 1258 the first governmental document was issued in English as well as in Latin and French. Latin started falling into disuse. Boys of noblemen were taught reading, writing, Latin, a musical instrument, athletics, riding, and gentlemanly conduct. Girls were taught reading, writing, music, dancing, and perhaps household nursing and first aid, spinning, embroidery, and gardening. Girls of high social position were also taught riding and hawking. Grammar schools taught, in Latin, grammar, dialectic (ascertaining word meaning by looking at its origin, its sound (e.g. soft or harsh), its power (e.g. robust and strong sound), its inflection, and its order; and avoiding obscurity and ambiguity in statements), and rhetoric [art of public speaking, oratory, and debate]. The teacher possessed the only complete copy of the Latin text, and most of the school work was done orally. Though books were few and precious, the students read several Latin works. Girls and boys of high social position usually had private teachers for grammar school, while boys of lower classes were sponsored at grammar schools such as those at Oxford. Discipline was maintained by the birch or rod.

There was no examination for admission as an undergraduate to Oxford, but a knowledge of Latin with some skill in speaking Latin was a necessary background. The students came from all backgrounds. Some had their expenses paid by their parents, while others had the patronage of a churchman, a religious house, or a wealthy layman. They studied the "liberal arts", which derived its name from "liber" or free, because they were for the free men of Rome rather than for the economic purposes of those who had to work. The works of Greek authors such as Aristotle were now available; the European monk Thomas Aquinas had edited Aristotle's works to reconcile them to church doctrine. He opined that man's intellectual use of reason did not conflict with the religious belief that revelation came only from God, because reason was given to man by God. He shared Aristotle's belief that the earth was a sphere, and that the celestial bodies moved around it in perfect circles. Latin learning had already been absorbed without detriment to the church.

A student at Oxford would become a master after graduating from a seven year course of study of the seven liberal arts: [grammar, rhetoric (the source of law), Aristotelian logic (which differentiates the true from the false), arithmetic, including fractions and ratios, (the foundation of order), geometry, including methods of finding the length of lines, the area of surfaces, and the volume of solids, (the science of measurement), astronomy (the most noble of the sciences because it is connected with divinity and theology), music and also Aristotle's philosophy of physics, metaphysics, and ethics; and then lecturing and leading disputations for two years. He also had to write a thesis on some chosen subject and defend it against the faculty. A Master's degree gave one the right to teach. Further study for four years led to a doctorate in one of the professions: theology and canon or civil law.

There were about 1,500 students in Oxford. They drank, played dice, quarreled a lot and begged at street corners. There were mob fights between students from the north and students from the south and between students and townsmen. But when the mayor of Oxford hanged two students accused of being involved in the killing of a townswoman, many masters and students left for Cambridge. In 1214, a charter created the office of Chancellor of the university at Oxford. He was responsible for law and order and, through his court, could fine, imprison, and excommunicate offenders and expel undesirables such as prostitutes from the town. He had authority over all crimes involving scholars, except murder and mayhem. The Chancellor summoned and presided over meetings of the masters and came to be elected by indirect vote by the masters who had schools, usually no more than a room or hall with a central hearth which was hired for lectures. Students paid for meals there. Corners of the room were often partitioned off for private study. At night, some students slept on the straw on the floor. Six hours of sleep were considered sufficient. In 1231, the king ordered that every student must have his name on the roll of a master and the masters had to keep a list of those attending his lectures.

In 1221 the friars established their chief school at Oxford. They were bound by oaths of poverty, obedience, and chastity, but were not confined within the walls of a monastery. They walked barefoot from place to lace preaching. They begged for their food and lodgings. They replaced monks, who had become self-indulgent, as the most vital spiritual force among the people.

The first college was founded in 1264 by Walter de Merton, former Chancellor to the King, at Oxford. A college had the living arrangements of a Hall, with the addition of monastic-type rules. A warden and about 30 scholars lived and ate meals together in the college buildings. Merton College's founding documents provided that: "The house shall be called the House of the Scholars of Merton, and it shall be the residence of the Scholars forever. . . There shall be a constant succession of scholars devoted to the study of letters, who shall be bound to employ themselves in the study of Arts or Philosophy, the Canons or Theology. Let there also be one member of the collegiate body, who shall be a grammarian, and must entirely devote himself to the study of grammar; let him have the care of the students in grammar, and to him also let the more advanced have recourse without a blush, when doubts arise in their faculty. . . There is to be one person in every chamber, where Scholars are resident, of more mature age than the others, who is to make his report of their morals and advancement in learning to the Warden. . . The Scholars who are appointed to the duty of studying in the House are to have a common table, and a dress as nearly alike as possible. . . The members of the College must all be present together, as far as their leisure serves, at the canonical hours and celebration of masses on holy and other days. . . The Scholars are to have a reader at meals, and in eating together they are to observe silence, and to listen to what is read. In their chambers, they must abstain from noise and interruption of their fellows; and when they speak they must use the Latin language. . . A Scrutiny shall be held in the House by the Warden and the Seniors, and all the Scholars there present, three times a year; a diligent inquiry is to be instituted into the life, conduct, morals, and progress in learning, of each and all; and what requires correction then is to be corrected, and excesses are to be visited with condign punishment. . ."

Educated men (and those of the 1200s through the 1500s), believed that the earth was the center of the universe and that it was surrounded by a giant spherical dome on which the stars were placed. The sun and moon and planets were each on a sphere around the earth that was responsible for their movements. The origin of the word "planet" meant "wanderer" because the motion of the planets changed in direction and speed. Astrology explained how the position of the stars and planets influenced man and other earthly things. For instance, the position of the stars at a person's birth determined his character. The angle and therefore potency of the sun's rays influenced climate, temperament, and changes of mortal life such as disease and revolutions. Unusual events such as the proximity of two planets, a comet, an eclipse, a meteor, or a nova were of great significance. A star often was thought to presage the birth of a great man or a hero. There was a propitious time to have a marriage, go on a journey, make war, and take herbal medicine or be bled by leeches, the latter of which was accompanied by religious ceremony. Cure was by God, with medical practitioners only relieving suffering. But there were medical interventions such as pressure and binding were applied to bleeding. Arrow and sword wounds to the skin or to any protruding intestine were washed with warm water and sewn up with needle and silk thread. Ribs were spread apart by a wedge to remove arrow heads. Fractured bones were splinted or encased in plaster. Dislocations were remedied. Hernias were trussed. Bladder stones blocking urination were pushed back into the bladder or removed through an artificial opening in the bladder. Surgery was performed by butchers, blacksmiths, and barbers.

Roger Bacon, an Oxford master, began the science of physics. He read Arab writers on the source of light rays being from the object seen, the nature of refraction and reflection of light, and the properties of lenses. He studied the radiation of light and heat. He studied angles of reflection in plane, spherical, cylindrical, and conical mirrors, in both their concave and convex aspects. He did experiments in refraction in different media, e.g. air, water, and glass, and knew that the human cornea refracted light, and that the human eye lens was doubly convex. He comprehended the magnifying power of convex lenses and conceptualized the combination of lenses which would increase the power of vision by magnification. He realized that rays of light pass so much faster than those of sound or smell that the time is imperceptible to humans. He knew that rays of heat and sound penetrate all matter without our awareness and that opaque bodies offered resistance to passage of light rays. He knew the power of parabolic concave mirrors to cause parallel rays to converge after reflection to a focus and knew that a mirror could be produced that would start a fire at a fixed distance. These insights made it possible for jewelers and weavers to use lenses to view their work instead of glass globes full of water, which distorted all but the center of the image: "spherical aberration". The lens, whose opposite surfaces were sections of spheres, took the place of the central parts of the globe over the image.

He knew about magnetic poles attracting, if different and repelling, if the same, and the relation of magnets' poles to those of the heavens and earth. He calculated the circumference of the world and the latitude and longitude of terrestrial positions. He foresaw sailing around the world.

Bacon began the science of chemistry when he took the empirical knowledge as to a few metals and their oxides and some of the principal alkalis, acids, and salts to the abstract level of metals as compound bodies the elements of which might be separated and recomposed and changed among the states of solid, liquid, and gas. When he studied man's physical nature, health, and disease, he opined that the usefulness of a talisman was not to bring about a physical change, but to bring the patient into a frame of mind more conducive to physical healing. He urged that there be experiments in chemistry to develop medicinal drugs.

He studied different kinds of plants and the differences between arable land, forest land, pasture land, and garden land.

He studied the planetary motions and astronomical tables to forecast future events. He did calculations on days in a month and days in a year which later contributed to the legal definition of a leap year.

Bacon was an extreme proponent of the inductive method of finding truths, e.g. by categorizing all available facts on a certain subject to ascertain the natural laws governing it. His contribution to the development of science was abstracting the method of experiment from the concrete problem to see its bearing and importance as a universal method of research. He advocated changing education to include studies of the natural world using observation, exact measurement, and experiments.

His explanation of a rainbow as a result of natural laws was contrary to theological opinion that a rainbow was placed in the heavens to assure mankind that there was not to be another universal deluge.

The making and selling of goods diverged e.g. as the cloth merchant severed from the tailor and the leather merchant severed from the butcher. These craftsmen formed themselves into guilds, which sought charters to require all craftsmen to belong to the guild of their craft, to have legal control of the craft work, and be able to expel any craftsman for disobedience. These guilds were composed of master craftsmen, their journeymen, and apprentices. These guilds determined the wages and working conditions of the craftsmen and petitioned the borough authorities for ordinances restraining trade, for instance by controlling the admission of outsiders to the craft, preventing foreigners from selling in the town except at fairs, limiting purchases of raw materials to suppliers within the town, forbidding night work, restricting the number of apprentices to each master craftsmen, and requiring a minimum number of years for apprenticeships. In return, these guilds assured quality control. In some boroughs, they did work for the town, such as maintaining certain defensive towers or walls of the town near their respective wards. In some boroughs, fines for infractions of these regulations were split between the guild and the government.

In some towns, the merchant guilds attempted to directly regulate the craft guilds. Crafts fought each other. There was a street battle with much bloodshed between the goldsmiths and the parmenters and between the tailors and the cordwainers in 1267 in London. There was also a major fight between the goldsmiths and the tailors in 1268. The Parish Clerks' Company was chartered in 1233.

The citizens of London had a common seal for the city. London merchants traveled throughout the nation with goods to sell exempt from tolls. Most of the London aldermen were woolmongers, vintners, skinners, and grocers by turns or carried on all these branches of commerce at once. Jews were allowed to make loans with interest up to 2d. a week for 20s. lent. There are three inns in London. Inns typically had narrow facades, large courtyards, lodging and refreshment for the well-off, warehousing and marketing facilities for merchants, and stabling and repairs for wagons. Caregiving infirmaries such as "Bethlehem Hospital" were established in London. One was a lunatic infirmary founded by the sheriff of London. Only tiles were used for roofing in London, because wood shingles were fire hazards and fires in London had been frequent. Some areas near London are disclaimed by the king to be royal forest land, so all citizens could hunt there and till their land there without interference by the royal foresters. The Sheriff's court in London lost its old importance and handled mainly trespass and debt cases, while important cases went to the Hustings, which was presided over by the Mayor with the sheriffs and aldermen in attendance. From the early 1200s, the Mayor's Court took on the work which the weekly Husting could not manage. This consisted mostly of assault and robbery cases. Murder and manslaughter cases were left to the royal courts.

London aldermen were elected by the citizens of their respective wards in wardmotes, in which was also arranged the watch, protection against fire, and probably also assessment of the taxes within the ward. There was much effort by the commoners to influence the governance of the city. In 1261 they forced their way into the townmote and by this brute show of strength, which threatened riot, they made their own candidate mayor. Subsequent elections were tumultuous.

The Tower of London now had outer walls of fortress buildings surrounded by a wide and deep moat, over which was one stone causeway and wooden drawbridge. Within this was an inner curtain wall with twelve towers and an inner moat. The palace within was a principal residence of English monarchs, whose retinue was extensive, including the chief officers of state: Lord High Steward, Lord High Chancellor, Lord High Treasurer, Lord Great Chamberlain, Lord High Constable, Keeper of the Seals, and the King's Marshall; lesser officials such as the Chamberlain of the Candles, Keeper of the Tents, Master Steward of the Larder, Usher of the Spithouse, Marshall of the Trumpets, Keeper of the Books, Keeper of the Dishes and of the Cups, and Steward of the Buttery; and numbers of cat hunters, wolf catchers, clerks and limners, carters, water carriers, washerwomen and laundresses, chaplains, lawyers, archers, huntsmen, hornblowers, barbers, minstrels, guards and servitors, and bakers and confectioners. The fortress also contained a garrison, armory, chapels, stables, forge, wardrobe for a tailor's workroom and secure storage of valuable clothes, silver plate, and expensive imports such as sugar, rice, almonds, dried fruits, cinnamon, saffron, ginger, galingale, zedoary, pepper, nutmeg, and mace. There was a kitchen with courtyard for cattle, poultry, and pigs; dairy, pigeon loft, brewery, beehives, fruit stores, gardens for vegetables and herbs; and sheds for gardeners. There was also a mint, which minted a gold penny worth 2s. of silver, a jewel house, and a menagerie (with leopards, lions, a bear, and an elephant). The fortress also served as a state prison. Most prisoners there had opposed the royal will; they were usually permitted to live in quarters in the same style they were used to, including servants and visits by family and friends. But occasionally prisoners were confined in irons in dark and damp dungeons.

The King's family, immediate circle, and most distinguished guests dined elegantly in the Great Hall at midday. They would first wash their hands in hot water poured by servants over bowls. The table had silver plate, silver spoons, and cups of horn, crystal, maple wood, or silver laid on a white cloth. Each guest brought his own knife in a leather sheath attached to a belt or girdle. A procession of servitors brought the many dishes to which the gentlemen helped the ladies and the young their seniors by placing the food in scooped-out half-loaves of bread that were afterwards distributed to the poor. A wine cup was handed around the table. In the winter after dinner, there would often be games of chess or dice or songs of minstrels, and sometimes dancing, juggler or acrobat displays, or storytelling by a minstrel. In the summer there were outdoor games and tournaments. Hunting with hounds or hawks was popular with both ladies and gentlemen. The King would go to bed on a feather mattress with fur coverlet that was surrounded by linen hangings. His grooms would sleep on trundle beds in the same room. The queen likewise shared her bedchamber with several of her ladies sleeping on trundle beds. Breakfast was comprised of a piece of bread and a cup of wine taken after the daily morning mass in one of the chapels. Sometimes a round and deep tub was brought into the bedchamber by servants who poured hot water onto the bather in the tub. Baths were often taken in the times of Henry III, who believed in cleanliness and sanitation. Henry III was also noted for his luxurious tastes. He had a linen table cloth, goblets of mounted cocoa-nut, a glass cup set in crystal, and silk and velvet mattresses, cushions, and bolster. He had many rooms painted with gold stars, green and red lions, and painted flowers. To his sister on her marriage, he gave goldsmith's work, a chess table, chessmen in an ivory box, silver pans and cooking vessels, robes of cloth of gold, embroidered robes, robes of scarlet, blue, and green fine linen, Genoese cloth of gold, two napkins, and thirteen towels.

In the King's 1235 grant to Oxford, the Mayor and good men were authorized to take weekly for three years 1/2 d. on every cart entering the town loaded with goods, if it was from the county, or 1d. if it came from outside the county; 1/4 d. for every horse load, except for brushwood; 1/2 d. on every horse, mare, ox, or cow brought to sell; and 1/2 d. for every five sheep, goats, or pigs.

English ships had one mast with a square sail. The hulls were made of planks overlapping each other. There was a high fore castle [tower] on the bow, a top castle on the mast, and a high stern castle from which to shoot arrows down on other ships. There were no rowing oars, but steering was still by an oar on the starboard side of the ship. The usual carrying capacity was 30 tuns [big casks of wine each with about 250 gallons]. On the coasts there were lights and beacons. Harbors at river mouths were kept from silting up. Ships were loaded from piers. The construction of London Bridge had just been finished. Bricks began to be imported for building. About 10% of the population lived in towns.

Churches had stained glass windows.

Newcastle-on-Tyne received these new rights:

  1. And that they shall justly have their lands and tenures and mortgages and debts, whoever owes them to them.
  2. Concerning their lands and tenures within the town, right shall be done to them according to the custom of the city Winton.
  3. And of all their debts which are lent in Newcastle-on-Tyne and of mortgages there made, pleas shall be held at Newcastle-on-Tyne.
  4. None of them shall plead outside the walls of the City of Newcastle-on-Tyne on any plea, except pleas of tenures outside the city and except the minters and my ministers.
  5. That none of them be distrained by any without the said city for the repayment of any debt to any person for which he is not capital debtor or surety.
  6. That the burgesses shall be quit of toll and lastage [duty on a ship's cargo] and pontage [tax for repairing bridges] and have passage back and forth.
  7. Moreover, for the improvement of the city, I have granted them that they shall be quit of year's gift and of scotale [pressure to buy ale at the sheriff's tavern], so that my sheriff of Newcastle-on-Tyne or any other minister shall not make a scotale.
  8. And whosoever shall seek that city with his merchandise, whether foreigners or others, of whatever place they may be, they may come sojourn and depart in my safe peace, on paying the due customs and debts, and any impediment to these rights is prohibited.
  9. We have granted them also a merchant guild.
  10. And that none of them [in the merchant guild] shall fight by combat.

The king no longer lives on his own from income from his own lands, but takes money from the treasury. A tax of a percentage of 1/15 th of personal property was levied in 1225 for a war, in return for which the king signed the Magna Carta. It was to be paid by all tenants-in-chief, men of the royal domain, burgesses of the boroughs and cities, clerical tenants-in-chief, and religious houses. The percentage tax came to be used frequently and ranged from about 1/40 th to 1/5 th. In 1294, this tax was bifurcated into one percentage amount for the rural districts and a higher one for urban districts, because the burgesses had greater wealth and much of it was hard to uncover because it was in the possession of customers and debtors. It was usually 1/10 th for towns and royal domains and 1/15 th in the country. This amount of money collected by this tax increased with the wealth of the country.

The king takes custody of lands of lunatics and idiots, as well as escheats of land falling by descent to aliens. Henry III took 20s. from his tenants-in-chief for the marriage of his daughter, and two pounds for the knighting of his son.

By 1250, the king was hiring soldiers at 2s. per day for knights, and 9d. a day for less heavily armed soldiers, and 6d. a day for crossbowmen. Some castle-guard was done by watchmen hired at 2d. a day. Ships were impressed when needed. Sometimes private ships were authorized to ravage the French coasts and take what spoil they could.

While King Henry III was underage, there was much controversy as to who should be his ministers of state, such as justiciar, chancellor, and treasurer. This led to the concept that they should not be chosen by the king alone. After he came of age, elected men from the baronage fought to have meetings and his small council in several conferences called great councils or parliaments (from French "to speak the mind") to discuss the levying of taxes and the solution of difficult legal cases, the implementation of the Magna Carta, the appointment of the king's ministers and sheriffs, and the receipt and consideration of petitions. The barons paid 1/30 th tax on their moveable property to have three barons of their choice added to the council. Statutes were enacted. Landholders were given the duty of electing four of their members in every county to ensure that the sheriff observed the law and to report his misdemeanors to the justiciar. They were also given the duty of electing four men from the county from whom the exchequer was to choose the sheriff of the year. Earl Montfort and certain barons forced King Henry III to summon a great council or parliament in 1265 in which the common people were represented officially by two knights from every county, two burgesses from every borough, and two representatives from each major port. So the King's permanent small council became a separate body from parliament and its members took a specific councilor's oath in 1257 to give faithful counsel, to keep secrecy, to prevent alienation of ancient demesne, to procure justice for the rich and poor, to allow justice to be done on themselves and their friends, to abstain from gifts and misuse of patronage and influence, and to be faithful to the queen and to the heir.

The Law

The barons forced successive Kings to sign the Magna Carta until it became the law of the land. It became the first statute of the official statute book. Its provisions express the principle that a king is bound by the law and is not above it. However, there is no redress if the king breaches the law.

The Magna Carta was issued by John in 1215. A revised version was issued by Henry III in 1225 with the forest clauses separated out into a forest charter. The two versions are replicated together, with the formatting of each indicated in the titles below.

{Magna Carta - 1215}
Magna Carta - 1215 & 1225

{John, by the grace of God, King of England, Lord of Ireland, Duke of Normandy and Aquitaine, and Count of Anjou: To the Archbishops, Bishops, Abbots, Earls, Barons, Justiciaries, Foresters, Sheriffs, Reeves, Ministers, and all Bailiffs and others, his faithful subjects, Greeting. Know ye that in the presence of God, and for the health of our soul, and the souls of our ancestors and heirs, to the honor of God, and the exaltation of Holy Church, and amendment of our realm, by the advice of our reverend Fathers, Stephen, Archbishop of Canterbury, Primate of all England, and Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church; Henry, Archbishop of Dublin; William of London, Peter of Winchester, Jocelin of Bath and Glastonbury, Hugh of Lincoln, Walter of Worcester, William of Coventry, and Benedict of Rochester, Bishops; Master Pandulph, the pope's subdeacon and familiar; Brother Aymeric, Master of the Knights of the Temple in England; and the noble persons, William Marshall, Earl of Pembroke; William, Earl of Salisbury; William, Earl of Warren; William, Earl of Arundel; Alan de Galloway, Constable of Scotland; Warin Fitz-Gerald, Peter Fitz-Herbert, Hubert de Burgh, Seneshal of Poitou, Hugh de Neville, Matthew Fitz-Herbert, Thomas Basset, Alan Basset, Philip Daubeny, Robert de Roppelay, John Marshall, John Fitz-Hugh, and others, our liegemen:}




First, we have granted to God, and by this our present Charter confirmed, for us and our heirs forever, that the English Church shall be free and enjoy her whole rights and her liberties inviolable. {And that we will this so to be observed appears from the fact that we of our own free will, before the outbreak of the dissensions between us and our barons, granted, confirmed, and procured to be confirmed by Pope Innocent III the freedom of elections, which is considered most important and necessary to the English Church, which Charter we will both keep ourself and will it to be kept with good faith by our heirs forever.} We have also granted to all the free men of our realm, for us and our heirs forever, all the liberties underwritten, to have and to hold to them and their heirs of us and our heirs.


If any of our earls, barons, or others who hold of us in chief by knight's service dies, and at the time of his death his heir is of full age and owes to us a relief, he shall have his inheritance on payment of [no more than] the old relief; to wit, the heir or heirs of an earl, for an entire earldom, 100 pounds [2,000s.]; the heir or heirs of a baron of an entire barony, {100 pounds} 100 MARKS [67 POUNDS OR 1340s.]; the heir or heirs of an entire knight's fee, 100s. at the most [about 1/3 of a knight's annual income]; and he who owes less shall give less, according to the old custom of fees.




The guardian of the land of any heir thus under age shall take therefrom only reasonable issues, customs, and services, without destruction or waste of men or goods. And if we commit the custody of any such land to the sheriff or any other person answerable to us for the issues of the same land, and he commits destruction or waste, we will take an amends from him and recompense therefore. And the land shall be committed to two lawful and discreet men of that fee, who shall be answerable for the issues of the same land to us or to whomsoever we shall have assigned them. And if we give or sell the custody of any such land to any man, and he commits destruction or waste, he shall lose the custody, which shall be committed to two lawful and discreet men of that fee, who shall, in like manner, be answerable to us as has been aforesaid.


The guardian, so long as he shall have the custody of the land, shall keep up and maintain the houses, parks, fishponds, pools, mills, and other things pertaining thereto, out of the issues of the same, and shall restore to the heir when he comes of age, all his land stocked with {ploughs and tillage, according as the season may require and the issues of the land can reasonably bear} PLOUGHS AND ALL OTHER THINGS, AT THE LEAST AS HE RECEIVED IT. ALL THESE THINGS SHALL BE OBSERVED IN THE CUSTODIES OF VACANT ARCHBISHOPRICKS, BISHOPRICKS, ABBEYS, PRIORIES, CHURCHES, AND DIGNITIES, WHICH APPERTAIN TO US; EXCEPT THIS, THAT SUCH CUSTODY SHALL NOT BE SOLD.


Heirs shall be married without loss of station. {And the marriage shall be made known to the heir's nearest of kin before it is agreed.}

[VII. A WIDOW SHALL HAVE HER MARRIAGE, INHERITANCE, AND QUERENTINE (period of forty days during which the widow has a privilege of remaining in the mansion house of which her husband died seized). THE KING'S WIDOW, ETC.]

A widow, after the death of her husband, shall immediately and without difficulty have her marriage portion [property given to her by her father] and inheritance. She shall not give anything for her marriage portion, dower, or inheritance which she and her husband held on the day of his death, and she may remain in her husband's house for forty days after his death, within which time her dower shall be assigned to her. IF THAT HOUSE IS A CASTLE AND SHE LEAVES THE CASTLE, THEN A COMPETENT HOUSE SHALL FORTHWITH BE PROVIDED FOR HER, IN WHICH SHE MAY HONESTLY DWELL UNTIL HER DOWER IS ASSIGNED TO HER AS AFORESAID; AND IN THE MEANTIME HER REASONABLE ESTOVERS OF THE COMMON [NECESSARIES OR SUPPLIES SUCH AS WOOD], ETC.

No widow shall be compelled [by penalty of fine] to marry so long as she has a mind to live without a husband, provided, however, that she gives security that she will not marry without our assent, if she holds of us, or that of the lord of whom she holds, if she holds of another.


Neither we nor our bailiffs shall seize any land or rent for any debt as long as the debtor's goods and chattels suffice to pay the debt AND THE DEBTOR HIMSELF IS READY TO SATISFY THEREFORE. Nor shall the debtor's sureties be distrained as long as the debtor is able to pay the debt. If the debtor fails to pay, not having the means to pay, OR WILL NOT PAY ALTHOUGH ABLE TO PAY, then the sureties shall answer the debt. And, if they desire, they shall hold the debtor's lands and rents until they have received satisfaction of that which they had paid for him, unless the debtor can show that he has discharged his obligation to them.

{If anyone who has borrowed from the Jews any sum of money, great or small, dies before the debt has been paid, the heir shall pay no interest on the debt as long as he remains under age, of whomsoever he may hold. If the debt falls into our hands, we will take only the principal sum named in the bond.}

{And if any man dies indebted to the Jews, his wife shall have her dower and pay nothing of that debt; if the deceased leaves children under age, they shall have necessaries provided for them in keeping with the estate of the deceased, and the debt shall be paid out of the residue, saving the service due to the deceased's feudal lords. So shall it be done with regard to debts owed persons other than Jews.}


The City of London shall have all her old liberties and free customs, both by land and water. Moreover, we will and grant that all other cities, boroughs, towns, and ports shall have all their liberties and free customs.

{No scutage or aid shall be imposed in our realm unless by common counsel thereof, except to ransom our person, make our eldest son a knight, and once to marry our eldest daughter, and for these only a reasonable aid shall be levied. So shall it be with regard to aids from the City of London.}

{To obtain the common counsel of the realm concerning the assessment of aids (other than in the three aforesaid cases) or of scutage, we will have the archbishops, bishops, abbots, earls, and great barons individually summoned by our letters; we will also have our sheriffs and bailiffs summon generally all those who hold lands directly of us, to meet on a fixed day, but with at least forty days' notice, and at a fixed place. In all such letters of summons, we will explain the reason therefor. After summons has thus been made, the business shall proceed on the day appointed, according to the advice of those who are present, even though not all the persons summoned have come.}

{We will not in the future grant permission to any man to levy an aid upon his free men, except to ransom his person, make his eldest son a knight, and once to marry his eldest daughter, and on each of these occasions only a reasonable aid shall be levied.}


No man shall be compelled to perform more service for a knight's fee nor any freehold than is due therefrom.


People who have Common Pleas shall not follow our Court traveling about the realm, but shall be heard in some certain place.


{Land assizes of novel disseisin, mort d'ancestor and darrein presentment shall be heard only in the county where the property is situated, and in this manner: We or, if we are not in the realm, our Chief Justiciary, shall send two justiciaries through each county four times a year [to clear and prevent backlog], and they, together with four knights elected out of each county by the people thereof, shall hold the said assizes in the county court, on the day and in the place where that court meets.}


{If the said assizes cannot be held on the day appointed, so many of the knights and freeholders as were present on that day shall remain as will be sufficient for the administration of justice, according to the amount of business to be done.}





A freeman shall be amerced [made to pay a fine to the King] for a small offense only according to the degree thereof, and for a serious offense according to its magnitude, saving his position and livelihood; and in like manner a merchant, saving his trade and merchandise, and a villein saving his tillage, if they should fall under our mercy. None of these amercements shall be imposed except by the oath of honest men of the neighborhood.

Earls and barons shall be amerced only by their peers, and only in accordance with the seriousness of the offense.

{No amercement shall be imposed upon a cleric's lay tenement, except in the manner of the other persons aforesaid, and without regard to the value of his ecclesiastical benefice.}



No town or freeman shall be compelled to build bridges over rivers OR BANKS except those bound by old custom and law to do so.




No sheriff, constable, coroners, or other of our bailiffs shall hold pleas of our Crown [but only justiciars, to prevent disparity of punishments and corruption].

{All counties, hundreds, wapentakes, and tithings (except our demesne manors) shall remain at the old rents, without any increase.}


If anyone holding a lay fee of us dies, and our sheriff or our bailiff show our letters patent [public letter from a sovereign or one in authority] of summons for a debt due to us from the deceased, it shall be lawful for such sheriff or bailiff to attach and list the goods and chattels of the deceased found in the lay fee to the value of that debt, by the sight and testimony of lawful men [to prevent taking too much], so that nothing thereof shall be removed therefrom until our whole debt is paid; then the residue shall be given up to the executors to carry out the will of the deceased. If there is no debt due from him to us, all his chattels shall remain the property of the deceased, saving to his wife and children their reasonable shares.

{If any freeman dies intestate, his chattels shall be distributed by his nearest kinfolk and friends, under supervision of the Church, saving to each creditor the debts owed him by the deceased.}


No constable or other of our bailiffs shall take grain or other chattels of any man without immediate payment, unless the seller voluntarily consents to postponement of payment. THIS APPLIES IF THE MAN IS NOT OF THE TOWN WHERE THE CASTLE IS. BUT IF THE MAN IS OF THE SAME TOWN AS WHERE THE CASTLE IS, THE PRICE SHALL BE PAID TO HIM WITHIN 40 DAYS.


No constable shall compel any knight to give money for keeping of his castle in lieu of castle-guard when the knight is willing to perform it in person or, if reasonable cause prevents him from performing it himself, by some other fit man. Further, if we lead or send him into military service, he shall be excused from castle-guard for the time he remains in service by our command.


No sheriff or bailiff of ours, or any other man, shall take horses or carts of any freeman for carriage without the owner's consent. HE SHALL PAY THE OLD PRICE, THAT IS, FOR CARRIAGE WITH TWO HORSES, 10d. A DAY; FOR THREE HORSES, 14d. A DAY. NO DEMESNE CART OF ANY SPIRITUAL PERSON OR KNIGHT OR ANY LORD SHALL BE TAKEN BY OUR BAILIFFS.

Neither we nor our bailiffs will take another man's wood for our castles or for other of our necessaries without the owner's consent.


We will hold the lands of persons convicted of felony for only a year and a day [to remove the chattels and movables], after which they shall be restored to the lords of the fees.


All fishweirs [obstructing navigation] shall be entirely removed by the Thames and Medway rivers, and throughout England, except upon the seacoast.


The [royal] writ called "praecipe in capite" [for tenements held in chief of the Crown] shall not in the future be granted to anyone respecting any freehold if thereby a freeman [who has a mesne lord] may not be tried in his lord's court.


There shall be one measure of wine throughout our realm, one measure of ale, and one measure of grain, to wit, the London quarter, and one breadth of dyed cloth, russets, and haberjets, to wit, two {ells} YARDS within the selvages. As with measures so shall it also be with weights.


Henceforth nothing shall be given or taken for a writ of inquisition upon life or limb, but it shall be granted freely and not denied.


If anyone holds of us by fee farm, socage, or burgage, and also holds land of another by knight's service, we will not by reason of that fee farm, socage, or burgage have the wardship of his heir, or the land which belongs to another man's fee. Nor will we have the custody of such fee farm, socage, or burgage unless such fee farm owe knight's service. We will not have the wardship of any man's heir, or the land which he holds of another by knight's service, by reason of any petty serjeanty which he holds of us by service of rendering us knives, arrows, or the like.


In the future no [royal] bailiff shall upon his own unsupported accusation put any man to trial or oath without producing credible witnesses to the truth of the accusation.


No freeman shall be taken, imprisoned, disseised OF HIS FREEHOLD OR LIBERTIES OR FREE CUSTOMS, OR BE outlawed, banished, or in any way ruined, nor will we prosecute or condemn him, except by the lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land.

To no one will we sell [by bribery], to none will we deny or delay, right or justice.


All merchants shall have safe conduct to go and come out of and into England, and to stay in and travel through England by land and water, to buy and sell, without evil tolls, in accordance with old and just customs, except, in time of war, such merchants as are of a country at war with us. If any such be found in our realm at the outbreak of war, they shall be detained, without harm to their bodies or goods, until it be known to us or our Chief Justiciary how our merchants are being treated in the country at war with us. And if our merchants are safe there, then theirs shall be safe with us.

{Henceforth anyone, saving his allegiance due to us, may leave our realm and return safely and securely by land and water, except for a short period in time of war, for the common benefit of the realm.}


If anyone dies holding of any escheat, such as the honor of Wallingford, Nottingham, Boulogne, {Lancaster,} or other escheats which are in our hands and are baronies, his heir shall not give any relief or do any service to us other than he would owe to the baron, if such barony had been in the baron's hands. And we will hold the escheat in the same manner in which the baron held it. NOR SHALL WE HAVE, BY OCCASION OF ANY BARONY OR ESCHEAT, ANY ESCHEAT OR KEEPING OF ANY OF OUR MEN, UNLESS HE WHO HELD THE BARONY OR ESCHEAT ELSEWHERE HELD OF US IN CHIEF.

Persons dwelling outside the forest [in the county] need not in the future come before our justiciaries of the forest in answer to a general summons unless they are impleaded or are sureties for any person or persons attached for breach of forest laws.



{We will appoint as justiciaries, constables, sheriffs, or bailiffs only such men as know the law of the land and will keep it well.}


All barons who had founded abbeys of which they have charters of English Kings or old tenure, shall have the custody of the same when vacant, as is their due.

All forests which have been created in our time shall forthwith be disafforested. {So shall it be done with regard to river banks which have been enclosed by fences in our time.}

{All evil customs concerning forests and warrens [livestock grounds in forests], foresters and warreners, sheriffs and their officers, or riverbanks and their conservators shall be immediately investigated in each county by twelve sworn knights of such county, who are chosen by honest men of that county, and shall within forty days after this inquest be completely and irrevocably abolished, provided always that the matter has first been brought to our knowledge, or that of our justiciars, if we are not in England.}

{We will immediately return all hostages and charters delivered to us by Englishmen as security for the peace or for the performance of loyal service.}

{We will entirely remove from their offices the kinsmen of Gerald de Athyes, so that henceforth they shall hold no office in England: Engelard de Cigogne, Peter, Guy, and Andrew de Chanceaux, Guy de Cigogne, Geoffrey de Martigny and his brothers, Philip Mark and his brothers, and Geoffrey his nephew, and all their followers.}

{As soon as peace is restored, we will banish from our realm all foreign knights, crossbowmen, sergeants, and mercenaries, who have come with horses and arms, to the hurt of the realm.}

{If anyone has been disseised or deprived by us, without the legal judgment of his peers, of lands, castles, liberties, or rights, we will immediately restore the same, and if any disagreement arises on this, the matter shall be decided by judgment of the twenty-five barons mentioned below in the clause for securing the peace. With regard to all those things, however, of which any man was disseised or deprived, without the legal judgment of his peers, by King Henry [II] our Father or our Brother King Richard, and which remain in our hands or are held by others under our warranty, we shall have respite during the term commonly allowed to the Crusaders, excepting those cases in which a plea was begun or inquest made on our order before we took the cross; when, however, we return from our pilgrimage, or if perhaps we do not undertake it, we will at once do full justice in these matters.}

{Likewise, we shall have the same respite in rendering justice with respect to the disafforestation or retention of those forests which Henry [II] our Father or Richard our Brother afforested, and concerning custodies of lands which are of the fee of another, which we hitherto have held by reason of the fee which some person has held of us by knight's service, and to abbeys founded on fees other than our own, in which the lord of that fee asserts his right. When we return from our pilgrimage, or if we do not undertake it, we will forthwith do full justice to the complainants in these matters.}


No one shall be arrested or imprisoned upon a woman's appeal for the death of any person other than her husband [since no woman was expected to personally engage in trial by combat].





{All fines unjustly and unlawfully given to us, and all amercements levied unjustly and against the law of the land, shall be entirely remitted or the matter decided by judgment of the twenty-five barons mentioned below in the clause for securing the peace, or the majority of them, together with the aforesaid Stephen, Archbishop of Canterbury, if he himself can be present, and any others whom he may wish to bring with him for the purpose; if he cannot be present, the business shall nevertheless proceed without him. If any one or more of the said twenty-five barons has an interest in a suit of this kind, he or they shall step down for this particular judgment, and be replaced by another or others, elected and sworn by the rest of the said barons, for this occasion only.}

{If we have disseised or deprived the Welsh of lands, liberties, or other things, without legal judgment of their peers, in England or Wales, they shall immediately be restored to them, and if a disagreement arises thereon, the question shall be determined in the Marches by judgment of their peers according to the law of England as to English tenements, the law of Wales as to Welsh tenements, the law of the Marches as to tenements in the Marches. The same shall the Welsh do to us and ours.}

{But with regard to all those things of which any Welshman was disseised or deprived, without legal judgment of his peers, by King Henry [II] our Father or our Brother King Richard, and which we hold in our hands or others hold under our warranty, we shall have respite during the term commonly allowed to the Crusaders, except as to those matters whereon a suit had arisen or an inquisition had been taken by our command prior to our taking the cross. Immediately after our return from our pilgrimage, or if by chance we do not undertake it, we will do full justice according to the laws of the Welsh and the aforesaid regions.}

{We will immediately return the son of Llywelyn, all the Welsh hostages, and the charters which were delivered to us as security for the peace.}

{With regard to the return of the sisters and hostages of Alexander, King of the Scots, and of his liberties and rights, we will do the same as we would with regard to our other barons of England, unless it appears by the charters which we hold of William his father, late King of the Scots, that it ought to be otherwise; this shall be determined by judgment of his peers in our court.}



{All the customs and liberties aforesaid, which we have granted to be enjoyed, as far as it pertains to us towards our people throughout our realm, let all our subjects, whether clerics or laymen, observe, as far as it pertains toward their dependents.}



{Whereas we, for the honor of God and the reform of our realm, and in order the better to allay the discord arisen between us and our barons, have granted all these things aforesaid. We, willing that they be forever enjoyed wholly and in lasting strength, do give and grant to our subjects the following security, to wit, that the barons shall elect any twenty-five barons of the realm they wish, who shall, with their utmost power, keep, hold, and cause to be kept the peace and liberties which we have granted unto them and by this our present Charter have confirmed, so that if we, our Justiciary, bailiffs, or any of our ministers offends in any respect against any man, or transgresses any of these articles of peace or security, and the offense is brought before four of the said twenty-five barons, those four barons shall come before us, or our Chief Justiciary if we are out of the realm, declaring the offense, and shall demand speedy amends for the same. If we or, in case of our being out of the realm, our Chief Justiciary fails to afford redress within forty days from the time the case was brought before us or, in the event of our having been out of the realm, our Chief Justiciary, the aforesaid four barons shall refer the matter to the rest of the twenty-five barons, who, together with the commonalty of the whole country, shall distrain and distress us to the utmost of their power, to wit, by capture of our castles, lands, and possessions and by all other possible means, until compensation is made according to their decision, saving our person and that of our Queen and children; as soon as redress has been had, they shall return to their former allegiance. Anyone in the realm may take oath that, for the accomplishment of all the aforesaid matters, he will obey the orders of the said twenty-five barons and distress us to the utmost of his power; and we give public and free leave to everyone wishing to take oath to do so, and to none will we deny the same. Moreover, all such of our subjects who do not of their own free will and accord agree to swear to the said twenty-five barons, to distrain and distress us together with them, we will compel to do so by our command in the aforesaid manner. If any one of the twenty-five barons dies or leaves the country or is in any way hindered from executing the said office, the rest of the said twenty-five barons shall choose another in his stead, at their discretion, who shall be sworn in like manner as the others. In all cases which are referred to the said twenty-five barons to execute, and in which a difference arises among them, supposing them all to be present, or in which not all who have been summoned are willing or able to appear, the verdict of the majority shall be considered as firm and binding as if the whole number had been of one mind. The aforesaid twenty-five shall swear to keep faithfully all the aforesaid articles and, to the best of their power, to cause them to be kept by others. We will not procure, either by ourself or any other, anything from any man whereby any of these concessions or liberties may be revoked or abated. If any such procurement is made, let it be null and void; it shall never be made use of either by us or by any other.}


{We have also fully forgiven and pardoned all ill-will, wrath, and malice which has arisen between us and our subjects, both clergy and laymen, during the disputes, to and with all men. Moreover, we have fully forgiven and, as far as it pertains to us, wholly pardoned to and with all, clergy and laymen, all offenses made in consequence of the said disputes from Easter in the sixteenth year of our reign until the restoration of peace. Over and above this, we have caused letters patent to be made for Stephen, Archbishop of Canterbury, Henry, Archbishop of Dublin, the above-mentioned Bishops, and Master Pandulph, for the aforesaid security and concessions.}

{Wherefore we will that, and firmly command that, the English Church shall be free and all men in our realm shall have and hold all the aforesaid liberties, rights, and concessions, well and peaceably, freely, quietly, fully, and wholly, to them and their heirs, of us and our heirs, in all things and places forever, as is aforesaid. It is moreover sworn, as will on our part as on the part of the barons, that all these matters aforesaid shall be kept in good faith and without deceit. Witness the above-named and many others. Given by our hand in the meadow which is called Runnymede, between Windsor and Staines, on the fifteenth day of June in the seventeenth year of our reign.}



Statutes which were enacted after the Magna Carta follow:

Nuisance is recognized by this statute: "Every freeman, without danger, shall make in his own wood, or in his land, or in his water, which he has within our Forest, mills, springs, pools, clay pits, dikes, or arable ground, so that it does not annoy any of his neighbors."

Anyone taking a widow's dower after her husband's death must not only return the dower, but pay damages in the amount of the value of the dower from the time of death of the husband until her recovery of seisin.

Widows may bequeath the crop of their ground as well of their dowers as of their other lands and tenements.

Freeholders of tenements on manors shall have sufficient ingress and egress from their tenements to the common pasture and as much pasture as suffices for their tenements.

"Grain shall not be taken under the pretense of borrowing or the promise of after-payment without the permission of the owner."

"A parent or other who forcefully leads away and withholds, or marries off, an heir who is a minor (under 14), shall yield the value of the marriage and be imprisoned until he has satisfied the king for the trespass. If an heir 14 years or older marries without his Lord's permission to defraud him of the marriage and the Lord offers him reasonable and convenient marriage, without disparagement, then the Lord shall hold his land beyond the term of his age, that, of twenty one years, so long that he may receive double the value of the marriage as estimated by lawful men, or after as it has been offered before without fraud or collusion, and after as it may be proved in the King's Court. Any Lord who marries off a ward of his who is a minor and cannot consent to marriage, to a villain or other, such as a burgess, whereby the ward is disparaged, shall lose the wardship and all its profits if the ward's friends complain of the Lord. The wardship and profit shall be converted to the use of the heir, for the shame done to him, after the disposition and provision of his friends." (The "marriage" could be annulled by the church.)

"If an heir of whatever age will not marry at the request of his Lord, he shall not be compelled thereunto; but when he comes of age, he shall pay to his Lord the value of the marriage before receiving his land, whether or not he himself marries."

"Interest shall not run against any minor, from the time of death of his ancestor until his lawful age; so nevertheless, that the payment of the principal debt, with the interest that was before the death of his ancestor shall not remain."

The value of debts to be repaid to the king or to any man shall be reasonably determined by the debtor's neighbors and not by strangers. A debtors' plough cattle or sheep cannot be taken to satisfy a debt.

The wards and escheats of the king shall be surveyed yearly by three people assigned by the King. The sheriffs, by their counsel, shall approve and let to farm such wards and escheats as they think most profitable for the King. The Sheriffs shall be answerable for the issues thereof in the Exchequer at designated times. The collectors of the customs on wool exports shall pay this money at the two designated times and shall make yearly accounts of all parcels in ports and all ships.

By statute leap year was standardized throughout the nation, "the day increasing in the leap year shall be accounted in that year", "but it shall be taken and reckoned in the same month wherein it grew and that day and the preceding day shall be counted as one day."

"An English penny, called a sterling, round and without any clipping, shall weigh 32 wheat grains dry in the middle of the ear."

Measurements of distance were standardized to twelve inches to a foot, three feet to a yard, and so forth up to an acre of land.

Goods which could only be sold by the standard weights and measures (such as ounces, pounds, gallons, bushels) included sacks of wool, leather, skins, ropes, glass, iron, lead, canvas, linen cloth, tallow, spices, confections cheese, herrings, sugar, pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, wheat, barley, oats, bread, and ale. The prices required for bread and ale were based on the market price for the wheat, barley, and oats from which they were made.

The punishment for repeated violations of required measures, weights, or prices of bread and ale by a baker or brewer; selling of spoiled or unwholesome wine, meat, fish by brewers, butchers, or cooks; or a steward or bailiff receiving a bribe was reduced to placement in a pillory with a shaven head so that these men would still be fit for military service and not overcrowd the gaols.

Forest penalties were changed so that "No man shall lose either life or member [limb] for killing of our deer. But if any man be taken and convicted for taking our venison, he shall make a grievous fine, if he has anything. And if he has nothing to lose, he shall be imprisoned for a year and a day. And after that, if he can find sufficient sureties, he shall be delivered, and, if not, he shall abjure the realm of England."

The Forest Charter provided that: Every freeman may allow his pigs to eat in his own wood in the King's forest. He may also drive his pigs through the King's forest and tarry one night within the forest without losing any of his pigs. But people having greyhounds must keep them out of the forest so they don't maim the deer.

The Forest Charter also allowed magnates traveling through the King's forest on the King's command to come to him, to kill one or two deer as long as it was in view of the forester if he was present, or while having a horn blown, so it did not seem to be theft.

After a period of civil war, the following statutes were enacted:

"All persons, as well of high as of low estate, shall receive justice in the King's Court; and none shall take any such revenge or distress by his own authority, without award of our court, although he is damaged or injured, whereby he would have amends of his neighbor either higher or lower." The penalty is a fine according to the trespass.

A fraudulent conveyance to a minor or lease for a term of years made to defraud a Lord of a wardship shall be void. A Lord who maliciously and wrongfully alleges this to a court shall pay damages and costs.

If a Lord will not render unto an heir his land when he comes of age or takes possession away from an heir of age or removes anything from the land, he shall pay damages. (The king retained the right to take possession of an heir's land for a year or, in lieu of this, to take one year's profit from the land in addition to the relief.)

Kinsmen of a minor heir who have custody of his land held in socage shall make no waste, sale, nor destruction of the inheritance and shall answer to the heir when he comes of age for the issues of the land, except for the reasonable costs of these guardians.

No lord may distrain any of his tenants. No one may drive animals taken by distraint out of the county where they have been taken.

"Farmers during their terms, shall not make waste, sale, nor exile of house, woods, and men, nor of any thing else belonging to the tenements which they have to farm".

Church law required that planned marriages be publicly announced by the priest so that any impediment could be made known. If a marriage was clandestine or both parties knew of an impediment, or it was within the prohibited degrees of consanguinity, the children would be illegitimate. According to church rules, a man could bequeath his personal property subject to certain family rights. These were that if only the wife survived, she received half the property. Similarly, if children survived, but no wife, they received half the property. When the wife and children survived, each party received one third. The church hoped that the remaining fraction would go to the church as a reward for praying for the deceased's soul. It taught that dying without a will was sinful. Adults were to confess their sins at least yearly to their parish priest, which confession would be confidential.

Henry de Bracton, a royal justice and the last great ecclesiastical attorney, wrote an unfinished treatise: A Tract on the Laws and Customs of England, systematizing and organizing the law of the court rolls with definitions and general concepts and describing court practice and procedure. It was influenced by his knowledge of Roman legal concepts, such as res judicata, and by his own opinions, such as that the law should go from precedent to precedent. He also argued that the will and intent to injure was the essence of murder, so that neither an infant nor a madman should be held liable for such and that degrees of punishment should vary with the level of moral guilt in a killing. He thought the deodand to be unreasonable.

Bracton defines the requirements of a valid and effective gift as: "It must be complete and absolute, free and uncoerced, extorted neither by fear nor through force. Let money or service play no part, lest it fall into the category of purchase and sale, for if money is involved there will then be a sale, and if service, the remuneration for it. If a gift is to be valid the donor must be of full age, for if a minor makes a gift it will be ineffective since (if he so wishes) it shall be returned to him in its entirety when he reaches full age. Also let the donor hold in his own name and not another's, otherwise his gift may be revoked. And let him, at the least, be of sound mind and good memory, though an invalid, ill and on his death bed, for a gift make under such conditions will be good if all the other [requirements] of a valid gift are met. For no one, provided he is of good memory, ought to be kept from the administration or disposition of his own property when affected by infirmity, since it is only then that he must make provision for his family, his household and relations, given stipends and settle his bequests; otherwise such persons might suffer damage without fault. But since charters are sometimes fraudulently drawn and gifts falsely taken to be made when they are not, recourse must therefore be had to the country and the neighborhood so that the truth may be declared."

In Bracton's view, a villein could buy his own freedom and the child of a mixed marriage was free unless he was born in the tenement of his villein parent.

Judicial Procedure

The Royal Court split up into several courts with different specialties and became more like departments of state than offices of the King's household. The justices were career civil servants knowledgeable in the civil and canon law. The Court of the King's Bench (a marble slab in Westminster upon which the throne was placed) traveled with the king and heard criminal cases and pleas of the Crown. Any use of force, however trivial, was interpreted as breach of the royal peace and could be brought before the king's bench. Its records were the coram rege rolls. The title of the Chief Justiciar of England changed to the Chief Justice of England. The Court of Common Pleas heard civil cases brought by one subject against another. Pursuant to the Magna Carta, it sat only at one place, the Great Hall in Westminster. It had concurrent jurisdiction with the King's Bench over trespass cases. Its records were the de banco rolls. The Court of the Exchequer with its subsidiary department of the Treasury was in almost permanent session at Westminster, collecting the Crown's revenue and enforcing the Crown's rights.

Appeals from these courts could be made to the king and/or his small council, which was the curia regis and could hear any plea of the land. In 1234, the justiciar as the principal royal executive officers and chief presiding officer over the curia regis ended. In 1268, a chief justiciar was appointed the hold pleas before the king. Henceforth, a justiciar was a royal officer who dealt only with judicial work. About the same time the presiding justice of the court of common pleas also came to be styled justiciar or chief justice. Justices were no longer statesmen or politicians, but simply men learned in the law.

Membership in or attendance at the great council or parliament no longer rested upon feudal tenure, but upon a writ of summons which was, to a degree, dependent on the royal will.

Crown pleas included issues of the King's property, fines due to him, murder (a body found with no witnesses to a killing), homicide (a killing for which there were witnesses), rape, wounding, mayhem, consorting, larceny, robbery, burglary, arson, poaching, unjust imprisonment, selling cloth by nonstandard widths, selling wine by nonstandard weights. Crown causes were pled by the king's serjeants or servants at law, who were not clerics. Apprentices at law learned pleading from them.

Between the proprietary action and the possessory assizes there is growing use in the king's courts of writs of entry, by which a tenant may be ordered to give up land, e.g. by a recent flaw in a tenant's title, for a term which has expired, by a widow for her late husband's land, or by an heir who has become of full age from his guardian. For instance: " ...Command Tertius that ... he render to Claimant, who is of full age, as it is said, ten acres ...which he claims to be his right and inheritance and into which the said Tertius has no entry save by Secundus, to whom Primus demised [gaged] them, who had only the wardship thereof while the aforesaid Claimant was under age, as he says...". But most litigation about land is still through the writ of right for proprietary issues and the assizes of novel disseisin and mort d'ancestor for possessory issues.

Royal itinerant justices traveled to the counties every seven years. There, they gave interrogatories to local assizes of twelve men to determine what had happened there since the last eyre. All boroughs had to send twelve burgesses who were to indict any burgesses suspected of breaking the royal law. Every crime, every invasion of royal rights, and every neglect of police duties was to be presented and tried. Suspects were held in gaol until their cases could be heard and gaol breaks were common. Punishment after trial was prison for serious crimes, expulsion from the realm for less serious crimes, and pledges for good behavior for lesser crimes. The visitation of these justices was anticipated with trepidation. In 1237, the residents of Cornwall hid in the woods rather than face the itinerant justices.

Royal coroners held inquests on all sudden deaths to determine whether they were accidental or not. If not, royal justices held trial. They also had duties in treasure trove and shipwreck cases.

Justices of assize, justices of the peace, and itinerant justices operated at the county level. The traditional county courts had lost much jurisdiction to the royal courts and were now limited to personal actions in causes involving usually no more than 40s. There were pleas of trespass and debt, unjust seizure and detention of beasts, rent collection, claims of fugitive villeins and their goods, nuisances, and encroachments. The sheriff still constitutes and conducts the court. The county court met every three or four weeks, usually in the sheriff's castle located in the chief borough of the county, but some met in the open air.

Twice a year the sheriff visited each hundred in the county to hold a turn [court for small offenses, such as encroachment of public land, brewing and baking contrary to government regulations, and use of dishonest weights and measures.]. Everyone who held freehold land in the hundred except the greater magnates had to attend or be fined for absence. The sheriff annually viewed frankpledge, in which every layman without land that could be forfeited for felony, including villeins, were checked for being in a tithing, a group of neighbors responsible for each other's good conduct. This applied to every boy who had reached the age of twelve. He had to swear on the Bible "I will be a lawful man and bear loyalty to our lord the King and his heirs, and I will be justiciable to my chief tithing man, so help me God and the saints." Each tithing man paid a penny to the sheriff.

The hundred court decided cases of theft, viewing of boundaries of land, claims for tenurial services, claims for homage, relief, and for wardship; enfeoffments made, battery and brawls not amounting to felony, wounding and maiming of beasts, collection of debts, trespass, detinue [detention of personal property which originally was rightfully acquired] and covenant, which now requires a sealed writing; defamation, and inquiries and presentments arising from the assizes of bread and ale and measures. A paid bailiff had responsibility for the hundred court, which met every three weeks.

Still in existence is the old self-help law of hamsocne, the thief hand-habbende, the thief back-berend, the old summary procedure where the thief is caught in the act, AEthelstan's laws, Edward the Confessor's laws, and Kent's childwyte [fine for begetting a bastard on a lord's female bond slave]. Under the name of "actio furti" [appeal of larceny] is the old process by which a thief can be pursued and goods vindicated. As before and for centuries later, deodands were forfeited to the king to appease God's wrath. These chattel which caused the death of a person were usually carts, cart teams, horses, boats, or millwheels. Then they were forfeited to the community, which paid the king their worth. Sometimes the justices named the charitable purpose for which the deodand was to be spent, such as the price of a boat to go to the repair of a bridge.

Five cases with short summaries are:

Other cases dealt with issues of entry, e.g. whether land was conveyed or just rented; issues of whether a man was free, for which his lineage was examined; issues of to which lord a villein belonged; issues of nuisance such as making or destroying a bank, ditch, or hedge; diverting a watercourse or damming it to make a pool; obstructing a road, and issues of what grazing rights were conveyed in pasture land, waste, woods, or arable fields between harvest and sowing. Grazing right disputes usually arose from the ambiguous language in the grant of land "with appurtenances".

Courts awarded specific relief as well as money damages. If a landlord broke his covenant to lease land for a term of years, the court restored possession to the lessee. If a lord did not perform the services due to his superior lord, the court ordered him to perform the services. The courts also ordered repair by a lessee.

Debts of country knights and freeholders were heard in the local courts; debts of merchants and burgesses were heard in the courts of the fairs and boroughs; debts due under wills and testaments were heard in the ecclesiastical courts. The ecclesiastical courts deemed marriage to legitimize bastard children whose parents married, so they inherited personal property and money of their parents. Proof was by compurgation. Church law required excommunication to be in writing with the reasons therefore, and a copy given to the excommunicant. A church judge was required to employ a notary or two men to write down all acts of the judge and to give a copy to the parties to protect against unjust judges. No cleric was allowed to pronounce or execute a sentence of death or to take part in judicial tests or ordeals. Anyone knowingly accepting a stolen article was required to restore it to its owner. Heretics were to be excommunicated.

Trial by combat is still available, although it is extremely rare for it to actually take place.

The manor court imposed penalties on those who did not perform their services to the manor and the lord wrote down the customs of the manor for future use in other courts.

By statute, no fines could be taken of any man for fair pleading in the Circuit of Justiciars, county, hundred, or manor courts.

Various statutes relaxed the requirements for attendance at court of those who were not involved in a case as long as there were enough to make the inquests fully. And "every freeman who owes suit to the county, tything, hundred, and wapentake, or to the Court of his Lord, may freely make his attorney attend for him." All above the rank of knight were exempted from attendance on the sheriff's turn, unless specifically summoned. Prelates and barons were generally excepted from the county courts by the charters of their estates. Charters of boroughs often excepted their representatives at the county court when there were no justices. Some barons and knights paid the sheriff to be excused. The king often relieved the simple knights by special license. There was frequently a problem of not having enough knights to hold the assizes. Henry III excused the attendance at hundred courts of all but those who were bound to special service, or who were concerned in suits.

Trespass has become a writ of course in the common law. It still involves violence, but its element of breach of the peace extends to those breaches which do not amount to felony. It can include assault and battery, physical force to land, and physical force to chattels, e.g. assaulting and beating the plaintiff, breaking into his close, or carrying off his goods. One found guilty is fined and imprisoned. As in criminal matters, if a defendant does not appear at court, his body can be seized and imprisoned, and if he cannot be found, he may be outlawed. Trespass to goods results in damages, rather than the return of the goods, for goods carried off from the plaintiff's possession and can be brought by bailees.

In Chancery, the court of the Chancellor, if there is a case with no remedy specified in the law, that is similar to a situation for which there is a writ, then a new writ may be made for that case. (By this will later be expanded the action of trespass called "trespass on the case".)

Various cases from the manors of the abbey of Bec in 1248-1249 are:

  1. Ragenilda of Bec gives 2s. for having married without licence. Pledge, William of Pinner. The same Ragenilda demands against Roger Loft and Juliana his wife a certain messuage which belonged to Robert le Beck, and a jury of twelve lawful men is granted her in consideration of the said fine, and if she recovers seisin she will give in all 5s. And twelve jurors are elected, to wit, John of Hulle, William Maureward, Robert Hale Walter But, Walter Sigar, William Brihtwin, Richard Horseman, Richard Leofred, William John's son, Hugh Cross, Richard Pontfret and Robert Croyser, John Bisuthe and Gilbert Bisuthe who are sworn. And they say that the said Ragenilda has the greater right. Therefore let her have seisin.
  2. Richard Guest gives 12d. and if he recovers will give 2s. to have a jury of twelve lawful men as to whether he has the greater right in a certain headland at Eastcot which Ragenilda widow of William Andrews holds, or the said Ragenilda. Pledges for the fine, John Brook and Richard of Pinner. And the said Ragenilda comes and says that she has no power to bring that land into judgment because she has no right in it save by reason of the wardship of the son and heir of her husband, who is under age. And Richard is not able to deny this. Therefore let him await [the heir's] full age.
  3. Walter Hulle gives 13s.4d. for licence to dwell on the land of the Prior of Harmondsworth so long as he shall live and as a condition finds pledges, to wit, William Slipper, John Bisuthe, Gilbert Bisuthe, Hugh Tree, William John's son, John Hulle, who undertake that the said Walter shall do to the lord all the services and customs which he would do if he dwelt on the lord's land and that his heriot shall be secured to the lord in case he dies there [i.e. at Harmondsworth].
  4. Geoffrey Sweyn demands the moiety of one virgate of land which John Crisp and Alina Hele hold, and he gives 2s. to have a jury, and if he recovers will give 20s. And the said jurors come and say upon their oath that the said Geoffrey has no right in the said land. Therefore let the said tenants go thence without day and let the said Geoffrey pay 2s. Pledges, Hugh Bussel and Godfrey Francis.
  5. Juliana Saer's daughter demands as her right the moiety of one messuage with a croft, which messuage William Snell and Goda his wife, sister of the said Juliana hold. And they have made accord by leave [of the court] to the effect that the said William and Goda give to the said Juliana a barn and the curtilage nearest the Green and two selions [a ridge of land between two furrows] in the western part of the said croft [a small enclosed field]. And the said William put himself in mercy. Fine, 12d.
  6. Hugh of Stanbridge complains of Gilbert Vicar's son and William of Stanbridge that the wife of the said Gilbert who is of [Gilbert's] mainpast and the said William unjustly etc. beat and unlawfully struck him and dragged him by his hair out of his own proper house, to his damage 40s. and to his dishonor 20s., and [of this] he produces suit. And Gilbert and William come and defend all of it fully. Therefore let each of them go to his law six-handed. Afterwards they make accord to this effect that in case the said Hugh shall hereafter in any manner offend against [Gilbert and William] and thereof shall be convicted he will give the lord 6s.8d. by way of penalty and will make amends to [Gilbert and William] according to the judgment of six lawful men, and the others on their part will do the like by him. And Hugh put himself in mercy. Fine, 3s. Pledges, John Tailor and Walter Brother.
  7. Breakers of the assize [of beer:] William Idle (fined 6d.), maud carter's widow (6d.), Walter Carter.
  8. John Witriche in mercy for carrying off thorns. Fine, 6d.
  9. Robert Dochi in mercy (fine, 2d.) for divers trespasses. Pledges, Gilbert Priest's son, Ralph Winbold and Walter Green.
  10. Ailwin Crisp in mercy for his cow caught in the lord's pasture when ward had been made. Fine, 12d.
  11. John Bernard in mercy for his beasts caught by night in the lord's meadow. Fine, 2s.
  12. Richard Love gives 12d. to have a jury of twelve touching a rod of land which Robert of Brockhole and Juliana his wife hold. This action is respited to the next court [when the jurors are to come] without further delay. Afterwards the jurors come and say upon their oath that the said Richard has the greater right in the said land. Therefore let him have seisin.
  13. William Blackbeard in mercy for not coming with his law as he was bound to do. Pledges, Geoffrey of Wick and Geoffrey Payn. Fine, 6d.
  14. It was presented that Stephen Shepherd by night struck his sister with a knife and grievously wounded her. Therefore let him be committed to prison. Afterwards he made fine with 2s. Pledge, Geoffrey of wick.
  15. It was presented that Robert Carter's son by night invaded the house of Peter Burgess and in felony threw stones at his door so that the said Peter raised the hue. Therefore let the said Robert be committed to prison. Afterwards he made fine with 2s.
  16. Nicholas Drye, Henry le Notte (fine, 12d.) and Thomas Hogue (fine, 12d.) were convicted for that they by night invaded the house of Sir Thomas the Chaplain and forcibly expelled thence a man and woman who had been taken in there as guests. Therefore they are in mercy. Pledges of the said Thomas, richard of Lortemere and Jordan of Paris. Pledges of the said Henry, Richard Pen... and Richard Butry.
  17. Adam Moses gives half a sextary of wine to have an inquest as to whether Henry Ayulf accused him of the crime of larceny and used opprobrious and contumelious words of him. Afterwards they made accord and Henry finds security for an amercement. Fine, 12d.
  18. Isabella Sywards in mercy for having sold to Richard Bodenham land that she could not warrant him.
  19. All the ploughmen of great Ogbourne are convicted by the oath of twelve men...because by reason of their default [the land] of the lord was ill ploughed whereby the lord is damaged to the amount of 9s.... And Walter Reaper is in mercy for concealing [i.e. not giving information as to] the said bad ploughing. Afterwards he made fine with the lord with 1 mark.
  20. From Ralph Joce 6s.8d. for his son, because he [the son] unlawfully carried off grain from the lord's court. Pledge, Geoffrey Joce.
  21. From Henry Pink 12d. for a trespass by waylaying.
  22. From Eve Corner 6d. for a trespass of her pigs.
  23. From Ralph Scales 6d. for timber carried off.
  24. From William Cooper 12d. for ploughing his own land with the lord's plough without licence.
  25. From Hugh Newman 12d. for trespass in the wood.
  26. From Richard Penant 12d. for the same.
  27. From Helen widow of Little Ogbourne 6d. for the same.
  28. From Nicholas Siward 6d. for a false complaint against William Pafey.
  29. From William Pafey 12d. for fighting with the said Nicholas.
  30. From the widow of Ralph Shepherd 6d. for a trespass in Pencombe.
  31. Richard Blund gives a half-mark and if he recovers will give two marks and a half to have a jury of the whole court, to inquire whether he has the greater right in a virgate of land which Hugh Frith holds in wardship with Cristiana daughter of Simon White, or the said Cristiana. Pledges for the fine, Richard Dene, William Hulle, John of Senholt, Hugh Smith, and William Ketelburn. And the whole court say upon their oath that the said Richard has greater right in the said land than anyone else. Therefore let him recover his seisin.
  32. ....Miller gives 2d. [the Latin translates as 4s.] for a trespass against the assize of beer and because the lord's grain has been ill kept at the mill. Pledges, John Orped and Joce Serjeant.
  33. Noah gives 2s. in the same way for an inquest as to one acre. Afterwards they submit themselves to arbitrators, who adjudge that the said Robert shall pay 3s. to the said Roger and 6s. to the said Gilbert and 7s. to the said Noah, and that he will do so [Robert] finds pledges.
  34. Ralph Bar in mercy for having beaten one of the lord's men. Pledges, Herbert Rede and Ralph Brunild.
  35. For the common fine of the township, a half-mark.
  36. John Boneffiant found pledges, to wit, William Smith and William of Bledlow, that he will not eloign himself from the lord's land and that he will be prompt to obey the lord's summons.

Chapter 8

The Times: 1272-1348

King Edward I was respected by the people for his good government, practical wisdom, and genuine concern for justice for everyone. He loved his people and wanted them to love him. He came to the throne with twenty years experience governing lesser lands on the continent which were given to him by his father Henry III. He spoke Latin, English, and French. He gained a reputation as a lawgiver and as a peacemaker in disputes on the continent. His reputation was so high and agreement on him as the next king so strong that England was peaceful in the almost two years that it took him to arrive there from continental business. He was truthful, law-abiding, and kept his word. He had close and solid family relationships, especially with his father and with his wife Eleanor, to whom he was faithful. He was loyal to his close circle of good friends. He valued honor and adhered reasonably well to the terms of the treaties he made. He was generous in carrying out the royal custom of subsidizing the feeding of paupers. He visited the sick. He was frugal and dressed in plain, ordinary clothes rather than extravagant or ostentatious ones. He disliked ceremony and display.

At his accession, there was a firm foundation of a national law administered by a centralized judicial system, a centralized executive, and an organized system of local government in close touch with both the judicial and the executive system. To gain knowledge of his nation, he sent royal commissioners into every county to ask about any encroachments on the King's rights and about misdeeds by any of the King's officials: sheriffs, bailiffs, or coroners. The results were compiled as the "Hundred Rolls". They were the basis of reforms which improved justice at the local as well as the national level. They also rationalized the array of jurisdictions that had grown up with feudal government. Statutes were passed by a parliament of two houses, that of peers (lords) and that of an elected [rather than appointed] commons, and the final form of the constitution was fixed.

Wardships of children and widows were sought because they were very profitable. A guardian could get one tenth of the income of the property during the wardship and a substantial marriage amount when the ward married. Parents often made contracts to marry for their young children. This avoided a forced marriage by a ward should the parents die.

Most earldoms and many baronages came into the royal house by escheat or marriage. The royal house employed many people. The barons developed a class consciousness of aristocracy and became leaders of society. Many men, no matter of whom they held land, sought knighthood. The king granted knighthood by placing his sword on the head of able-bodied and moral candidates who swore an oath of loyalty to the king and to defend "all ladies, gentlewomen, widows and orphans" and to "shun no adventure of your person in any war wherein you should happen to be". A code of knightly chivalry became recognized, such as telling the truth and setting wrongs right. About half of the knights were literate. In 1278, the king issued a writ ordering all freeholders who held land of the value of at least 400s. to receive knighthood at the King's hands.

At the royal house and other great houses gentlemanly jousting competitions, with well-refined and specific rules, took the place of violent tournaments with general rules. Edward forbade tournaments at which there was danger of a "melee". At these knights competed for the affection of ladies by jousting with each other while the ladies watched. Courtly romances were common. If a man convinced a lady to marry him, the marriage ceremony took place in church, with feasting and dancing afterwards. Romantic stories were at the height of their popularity. A usual theme was the lonely quest of a knight engaged in adventures which would impress his lady.

Riddles include: 1. I will make you a cross, and a thing will not touch you, and you will not be able to leave the house without breaking that cross. Answer: Stand before a post in your house, with your arms extended. 2. What you do not know, and I do not know, and no one can know after I have told you. Answer: I will take a straw from the floor of the room, measure its inches, tell you the length, and break the straw. 3. A pear tree bears all the fruit a pear tree can bear and did not bear pears. Answer: It bore only one pear.

The dress of the higher classes was very changeable and subject to fashion as well as function. Ladies no longer braided their hair in long tails, but rolled it up in a net under a veil, often topped with an elaborate and fanciful headdress. They wore non-functional long trains on their tunics and dainty shoes. Men wore a long gown, sometimes clasped around the waist. Overtunics were often lined or trimmed with native fur such as squirrel. People often wore solid red, blue, or green clothes. Only monks and friars wore brown. The introduction of buttons and buttonholes to replace pins and laces made clothing warmer, and it could be made tighter. After Edward I established the standard inch as three continuous dried barleycorns, shoes came in standard sizes and with a right one different from a left one. The spinning wheel came into existence to replace the handheld spindle. Now one hand could be used to form the thread while the other hand turned a large upright wheel that caused the thread to wind around the spindle, which did not have to be held by hand. This resulted in an uninterrupted spinning motion which was not interrupted by alternately forming the thread and winding it on the spindle.

Lords surrounded themselves with people of the next lower rank, usually from nearby families, and had large households. For instance, the king had a circle of noblemen and ladies about him. A peer or great prelate had a household of about 100-200 people, among which were his inner circle, companions, administrators, secretaries, bodyguards and armed escort, chaplain, singing priests and choirboys, and servants. All officers of the household were gentlemen. The secretary was usually a clerk, who was literate because he had taken minor clerical orders. Since the feudal obligation of the tenants was disappearing, a lord sometimes hired retainers to supplement his escort of fighting men. They proudly wore his livery of cloth or hat, which was in the nature of a uniform or badge of service. A nobleman and his lady had a circle of knights and gentlemen and their ladies. A knight had a circle of gentlemen and their ladies.

The great barons lived in houses built within the walls of their castles. Lesser barons lived in semi-fortified manors, many of which had been licensed to be embattled or crenelated. Their halls were two stories high, and usually built on the first rather than on the second floor. Windows came down almost to the floor. The hall had a raised floor at one end where the lord and lady and a few others sat at a high table. The hearth was in the middle of the room or on a wall. Sometimes a cat was used to open and shut the louvers of the smoke outlet in the roof. The lord's bedroom was next to the hall on the second floor and could have windows into the hall and a spiral staircase connecting the two rooms. There was a chapel, in which the lord attended mass every morning. The many knights usually lived in unfortified houses with two rooms.

In the great houses, there were more wall hangings, and ornaments for the tables. The tables were lit with candles or torches made of wax. Plates were gold and silver. The lord, his lady, and their family and guests sat at the head table, which was raised on a dais. On this high table was a large and elaborate salt cellar. One's place in relationship to the salt cellar indicated one's status: above or below the salt. Also, those of higher status at the table ate a superior bread. The almoner [alms giver] said grace. Gentlemen poured the lord's drink [cupbearer], served his meat [carver], and supervised the serving of the food [sewer]. A yeoman ewery washed the hands of the lord and his guests and supplied the napkins, ewers [pitchers], and basins. A yeoman cellarer or butler served the wine and beer. The yeoman of the pantry served the bread, salt, and cutlery. The steward presided over the table of household officers of gentle birth. The marshall of the hall, clerk of the kitchen, or other yeomen officers supervised other tables. Salt and spices were available at all tables. Most people ate with their fingers, although there were knives and some spoons. Drinking vessels were usually metal, horn, or wood. A marshall and ushers kept order. Minstrels played musical instruments or recited histories of noble deeds or amusing anecdotes. Reading aloud was a favorite pastime. The almoner collected the leftovers to distribute to the poor.

In lesser houses people ate off trenchers [a four day old slab of coarse bread or a piece of wood with the middle scooped out like a bowl], or plates of wood or pewter [made from tin, copper, and lead]. They often shared plates and drinking vessels at the table.

Queen Eleanor, a cultivated, intelligent, and educated lady from the continent, fostered culture and rewarded individual literary efforts, such as translations from Latin, with grants of her own money. She patronized Oxford and Cambridge Universities and left bequests to poor scholars there. She herself had read Aristotle and commentaries thereon, and she especially patronized literature which would give cross-cultural perspectives on subjects. She was kind and thoughtful towards those about her and was also sympathetic to the afflicted and generous to the poor. She shared Edward's career to a remarkable extent, even accompanying him on a crusade. She had an intimate knowledge of the people in Edward's official circle and relied on the advice of two of them in managing her lands. She mediated disputes between earls and other nobility, as well as softened her husband's temper towards people. Edward granted her many wardships and marriages and she arranged marriages with political advantages. She dealt with envoys coming to the court. Her intellectual vitality and organized mentality allowed her to deal with arising situations well. Edward held her in great esteem. She introduced to England the merino sheep, which, when bred with the English sheep, gave them a better quality of wool. She and Edward often played games of chess and backgammon.

Farm efficiency was increased by the use of windmills in the fields to pump water and by allowing villeins their freedom and hiring them as laborers only when needed. Customary service was virtually extinct. A man could earn 5d. for reaping, binding, and shocking into a pile, an acre of wheat. A strong man with a wife to do the binding could do this in a long harvest day. Harvests were usually plentiful, with the exception of two periods of famine over the country due to weather conditions. Then the price of wheat went way up and drove up the prices of all other goods correspondingly. The story of outlaw Robin Hood, who made a living by robbing, was passed around. This Robin Hood did not give to the poor. But generally, there was enough grain to store so that the population was no longer periodically devastated by famine. The population grew and all arable land in the nation came under the plough. The acre was standardized. About 1300, the price of an ox was 9s., a heifer or cow 7s., a hide 2s.6d., a cart horse 2 or 3 pounds. Farm women went to nearby towns to sell eggs and dairy products, usually to town women.

Although manors needed the ploughmen, the carters and drivers, the herdsmen, and the dairymaid on a full-time basis, other tenants spent increasing time in crafts and became village carpenters, smiths, weavers or millers' assistants. Trade and the towns grew. Smiths used coal in their furnaces.

Money rents often replaced service due to a lord, such as fish silver, malt silver, or barley silver. The lord's rights are being limited to the rights declared on the extents [records showing service due from each tenant] and the rolls of the manor. Sometimes land is granted to strangers because none of the kindred of the deceased will take it. Often a manor court limited a fee in land to certain issue instead of being inheritable by all heirs. Surveyors' poles marked boundaries declared by court in boundary disputes. This resulted in survey maps showing villages and cow pastures.

The revival of trade and the appearance of a money economy was undermining the long-established relationship between the lord of the manor and his villeins. As a result, money payments were supplementing or replacing payments in service and produce as in Martham, where Thomas Knight held twelve acres in villeinage, paid 16d. for it and 14d. in special aids. "He shall do sixteen working days in August and for every day he shall have one repast - viz. Bread and fish. He shall hoe ten days without the lord's food—price of a day 1/2 d. He shall cart to Norwich six cartings or shall give 9d., and he shall have for every carting one leaf and one lagena - or gallon - of ale. Also for ditching 1d. He shall make malt 3 1/2 seams of barley or shall give 6d. Also he shall flail for twelve days or give 12d. He shall plough if he has his own plough, and for every ploughing he shall have three loaves and nine herrings ... For carting manure he shall give 2."

Another example is this manor's holdings, when 3d. would buy food for a day: "Extent of the manor of Bernehorne, made on Wednesday following the feast of St. Gregory the Pope, in the thirty-fifth year of the reign of King Edward, in the presence of Brother Thomas, keeper of Marley, John de la More, and Adam de Thruhlegh, clerks, on the oath of William de Gocecoumbe, Walter le Parker, Richard le Knyst, Richard the son of the latter, Andrew of Estone, Stephen Morsprich, Thomas Brembel, William of Swynham, John Pollard, Roger le Glide, John Syward, and John de Lillingewist, who say that there are all the following holdings:... John Pollard holds a half acre in Aldithewisse and owes 18d. at the four terms, and owes for it relief and heriot. John Suthinton holds a house and 40 acres of land and owes 3s.6d. at Easter and Michaelmas. William of Swynham holds one acre of meadow in the thicket of Swynham and owes 1d. at the feast of Michaelmas. Ralph of Leybourne holds a cottage and one acre of land in Pinden and owes 3s. at Easter and Michaelmas, and attendance at the court in the manor every three weeks, also relief and heriot. Richard Knyst of Swynham holds two acres and a half of land and owes yearly 4s. William of Knelle holds two acres of land in Aldithewisse and owes yearly 4s. Roger le Glede holds a cottage and three roods of land and owes 2s.6d. Easter and Michaelmas. Alexander Hamound holds a little piece of land near Aldewisse and owes one goose of the value of 2d. The sum of the whole rent of the free tenants, with the value of the goose, is 18s.9d. They say, moreover, that John of Cayworth holds a house and 30 acres of land, and owes yearly 2s. at Easter and Michaelmas; and he owes a cock and two hens at Christmas of the value of 4d. And he ought to harrow for two days at the Lenten sowing with one man and his own horse and his own harrow, the value of the work being 4d.; and he is to receive from the lord on each day three meals, of the value of 5d., and then the lord will be at a loss of 1d. Thus his harrowing is of no value to the service of the lord. And he ought to carry the manure of the lord for two days with one cart, with his own two oxen, the value of the work being 8d.; and he is to receive from the lord each day three meals at the value as above. And thus the service is worth 3d. clear. And he shall find one man for two days, for mowing the meadow of the lord, who can mow, by estimation, one acre and a half, the value of the mowing of an acre being 6d.: the sum is therefore 9d. And he is to receive each day three meals of the value given above. And thus that mowing is worth 4d. clear. And he ought to gather and carry that same hay which he has cut, the price of the work being 3d. And he shall have from the lord two meals for one man, of the value of 1 1/2 d. Thus the work will be worth 1 1/2 d. clear. And he ought to carry the hay of the lord for one day with a cart and three animals of his own, the price of the work being 6d. And he shall have from the lord three meals of the value of 2 1/2 d. And thus the work is worth 3 1/2 d. clear. And he ought to carry in autumn beans or oats for two days with a cart and three animals of his own, the value of the work being 12d. And he shall receive from the lord each day three meals of the value given above. And thus the work is worth 7d. clear. And he ought to carry wood from the woods of the lord as far as the manor, for two days in summer, with a cart and three animals of his own, the value of the work being 9d. And he shall receive from the lord each day three meals of the price given above. And thus the work is worth 4d. clear. And he ought to find one man for two days to cut heath, the value of the work being 4d., and he shall have three meals each day of the value given above: and thus the lord will lose, if he receives the service, 3d. Thus that mowing is worth nothing to the service of the lord. And he ought to carry the heath which he has cut, the value of the work being 5d. And he shall receive from the lord three meals at the price of 2 1/2 d. And thus the work will be worth 2 1/2 d. clear. And he ought to carry to Battle, twice in the summer season, each time half a load of grain, the value of the service being 4d. And he shall receive in the manor each time one meal of the value of 2d. And thus the work is worth 2d. clear. The totals of the rents, with the value of the hens, is 2s.4d. The total of the value of the works is 2s.3 1/2 d., being owed from the said John yearly. William of Cayworth holds a house and 30 acres of land and owes at Easter and Michaelmas 2s. rent. And he shall do all customs just as the aforesaid John of Cayworth. William atte Grene holds a house and 30 acres of land and owes in all things the same as the said John. Alan atte Felde holds a house and 16 acres of land (for which the sergeant pays to the court of Bixley 2s.), and he owes at Easter and Michaelmas 4s., attendance at the manor court, relief, and heriot. John Lyllingwyst holds a house and four acres of land and owes at the two terms 2s., attendance at the manor court, relief, and heriot. The same John holds one acre of land in the fields of Hoo and owes at the two periods 2s., attendance, relief, and heriot. Reginald atte Denne holds a house and 18 acres of land and owes at the said periods 18d., attendance, relief, and heriot. Robert of Northehou holds three acres of land at Saltcote and owes at the said periods attendance, relief, and heriot. Total of the rents of the villeins, with the value of the hens, 20s. Total of all the works of these villeins, 6s.10 1/2 d. And it is to be noted that none of the above-mentioned villeins can give their daughters in marriage, nor cause their sons to be tonsured, nor can they cut down timber growing on the lands they hold, without licence of the bailiff or sergeant of the lord, and then for building purposes and not otherwise. And after the death of any one of the aforesaid villeins, the lord shall have as a heriot his best animal, if he had any; if, however, he have no living beast, the lord shall have no heriot, as they say. The sons or daughters of the aforesaid villeins shall give, for entrance into the holding after the death of their predecessors, as much as they give of rent per year. Sylvester, the priest, holds one acre of meadow adjacent to his house and owes yearly 3s. Total of the rent of tenants for life, 3s. Petronilla atte Holme holds a cottage and a piece of land and owes at Easter and Michaelmas - ; also, attendance, relief, and heriot. Walter Herying holds a cottage and a piece of land and owes at Easter and Michaelmas 18d., attendance, relief, and heriot. Isabella Mariner holds a cottage and owes at the feast of St. Michael 12d., attendance, relief, and heriot. Jordan atte Melle holds a cottage and 1 1/2 acres of land and owes at Easter and Michaelmas 2s., attendance, relief, and heriot. William of Batelesmere holds one acre of land with a cottage and owes at the feast of St. Michael 3d., and one cock and one hen at Christmas of the value of 3d., attendance, relief, and heriot. John le Man holds half an acre of land with a cottage and owes at the feast of St. Michael 2s., attendance, relief, and heriot. Hohn Werthe holds one rood of land with a cottage and owes at the said term 18d., attendance, relief, and heriot. Geoffrey Caumbreis holds half an acre and a cottage and owes at the said term 18d., attendance, relief, and heriot. William Hassok holds one rood of land and a cottage and owes at the said term 18d., attendance, relief, and heriot. The same man holds 3 1/2 acres of land and owes yearly at the feast of St. Michael 3s. for all. Roger Doget holds half an acre of land and a cottage, which were those of R. the miller, and owes at the feast of St. Michael 18d., attendance, relief, and heriot. Thomas le Brod holds one acre and a cottage and owes at the said term 3s., attendance, relief, and heriot. Agnes of Cayworth holds half an acre and a cottage and owes at the said term 18d., attendance, relief, and heriot. Total of the rents of the said cottagers, with the value of the hens, 34s.6d. And it is to be noted that all the said cottagers shall do as regards giving their daughters in marriage, having their sons tonsured, cutting down timber, paying heriot, and giving fines for entrance, just as John of Cayworth and the rest of the villeins above mentioned." The above fines and penalties, with heriots and reliefs, are worth 5s. yearly.

Often one village was divided up among two or more manors, so different manorial customs made living conditions different among the villagers. Villages usually had carpenters, smiths, saddlers, thatchers, carters, fullers, dyers, soapmakers, tanners, needlers, and brassworkers. Each villein had his own garden in which to grow fruit and vegetables next to his house, a pig (which fattened more quickly than other animals), strips in the common field, and sometimes an assart [a few acres of his own to cultivate as he pleased on originally rough uncultivated waste land beyond the common fields and the enclosed common pastures and meadows]. Most villeins did not venture beyond their village except for about ten miles to a local shrine or great fair a couple times a year. At the fair might be fish, honey, spices, salt, garlic, oil, furs, silks, canvas, soap, pans, pots, grindstones, coal, nails, tar, iron, shovels, brushes, pails, horses, and packsaddles. Early apothecaries might sell potions there. Men and women looking for other employment might attend to indicate their availability.

Under Edward I, villages were required to mount watches to protect life and property and were called upon to provide one man for the army and to pay his wages.

People told time by counting the number of rings of the church bell, which rang on the hour. Every Sunday, the villagers went to church, which was typically the most elaborate and centrally located building in the village. The parishioners elected churchwardens, who might be women. This religion brought comfort and hope of going to heaven after judgment by God at death if sin was avoided. On festival days, Bible stories, legends, and lives of saints were read or performed as miracle dramas. They learned to avoid the devil, who was influential in lonely places like forests and high mountains. At death, the corpse was washed, shrouded, and put into a rectangular coffin with a cross on its lid. Priests sang prayers amid burning incense for the deliverance of the soul to God while interring the coffin into the ground. Men who did not make a will risked the danger of an intestate and unconfessed death. The personal property of a man dying intestate now went to the church as a trust for the dead man's imperiled soul instead of to the man's lord.

Unqualified persons entered holy orders thereby obtaining "benefit of clergy", and then returned to secular employments retaining this protection.

A villein could be forever set free from servitude by his lord as in this example:

"To all the faithful of Christ to whom the present writing shall come, Richard, by the divine permission, abbot of Peterborough and of the Convent of the same place, eternal greeting in the Lord: Let all know that we have manumitted and liberated from all yoke of servitude William, the son of Richard of Wythington, whom previously we have held as our born bondman, with his whole progeny and all his chattels, so that neither we nor our successors shall be able to require or exact any right or claim in the said William, his progeny, or his chattels. But the same William, with his whole progeny and all his chattels, shall remain free and quit and without disturbance, exaction, or any claim on the part of us or our successors by reason of any servitude forever.

We will, moreover, and concede that he and his heirs shall hold the messuages, land, rents, and meadows in Wythington which his ancestors held from us and our predecessors, by giving and performing the fine which is called merchet for giving his daughter in marriage, and tallage from year to year according to our will, - that he shall have and hold these for the future from us and our successors freely, quietly, peacefully, and hereditarily, by paying to us and our successors yearly 40s. sterling, at the four terms of the year, namely: at St. John the Baptist's day 10s., at Michaelmas 10s., at Christmas 10s., and at Easter 10s., for all service, exaction, custom, and secular demand; saving to us, nevertheless, attendance at our court of Castre every three weeks, wardship, and relief, and outside service of our lord the King, when they shall happen. And if it shall happen that the said William or his heirs shall die at any time without an heir, the said messuage, land rents, and meadows with their appurtenances shall return fully and completely to us and our successors. Nor will it be allowed to the said William or his heirs to give, sell, alienate, mortgage, or encumber in any way, the said messuage, land, rents, and meadows, or any part of them, by which the said messuage, land, rents, and meadows should not return to us and our successors in the form declared above. And if this should occur later, their deed shall be declared null, and what is thus alienated shall come to us and our successors...

Given at Borough, for the love of Lord Robert of good memory, once abbot, our predecessor and maternal uncle of the said William, and at the instance of the good man, Brother Hugh of Mutton, relative of the said abbot Robert, A.D. 1278, on the eve of Pentecost."

Villeins who were released from the manorial organization by commutation of their service for a money payment took the name of their craft as part of their name, such as, for the manufacture of textiles, Weaver, Draper, Comber, Fuller, Napper, Cissor, Tailor, Textor; for metalwork, Faber, Ironmonger; for leatherwork, Tanner; for woodwork, building and carpentry, Carpenter, Cooper, Mason, Pictor; for food production, Baker, Pistor. Iron, tin, lead, salt, and even coal were providing increasing numbers of people with a livelihood.

Many new boroughs were founded as grants of market rights by the king grew in number. These grants implied the advantage of the King's protection. In fact, one flooded town was replaced with a new town planned with square blocks. It was the charter which distinguished the borough community from the other communities existing in the country. It invested each borough with a distinct character. The privileges which the charter conferred were different in different places. It might give trading privileges: freedom from toll, a guild merchant, a right to hold a fair. It might give jurisdictional privileges: a right to hold court with greater or less franchises. It might give governmental privileges: freedom from the burden of attending the hundred and county courts, the return of writs, which meant the right to exclude the royal officials, the right to take the profits of the borough, paying for them a fixed sum to the Crown or other lord of the borough, the right to elect their own officials rather than them being appointed by the king or a lord, and the right to provide for the government of the borough. It might give tenurial privileges: the power to make a will of lands, or freedom from the right of a lord to control his tenants' marriages. It might give procedural privileges: trial by combat is excluded, and trial by compurgation is secured and regulated. These medieval borough charters are very varied, and represent all stages of development and all grades of franchise. Boroughs bought increasing rights and freedoms from their lord, who was usually the King.

In the larger towns, where cathedrals and public building were built, there arose a system for teaching these technical skills and elaborate handicraft, wood, metal, stained glass, and stone work. A boy from the town would be bound over in apprenticeship to a particular craftsman, who supplied him with board and clothing. The craftsman might also employ men for just a day. These journeymen were not part of the craftsman's household as was the apprentice. After a few years of an apprenticeship, one became a journeyman and perfected his knowledge of his craft and its standards by seeing different methods and results in various towns. He was admitted as a master of his trade to a guild upon presenting an article of his work worthy of that guild's standard of workmanship: his "masterpiece". Women, usually wives of brethren only, could be admitted. The tailors' guild and the skinners' guild are extant now.

When guilds performed morality plays based on Bible stories at town festivals, there was usually a tie between the Bible story and the guild's craft. For instance, the story of the loaves and fishes would be performed by the Bakers' or Fishmongers' Guild. The theme of the morality play was the fight of the Seven Cardinal Virtues against the Seven Deadly Sins for the human soul, a life-long battle. The number seven was thought to have sacred power; there were seven sacraments, seven churches in the Biblical Apocalypse, seven liberal arts and seven devilish arts. The seven sacraments were: baptism, confirmation, Lord's Supper, penance, orders, matrimony, and extreme unction.

A borough was run by a mayor elected usually for life. By being members of a guild, merchant-traders and craftsmen acquired the legal status of burgesses and had the freedom of the borough. Each guild occupied a certain ward of the town headed by an alderman. The town aldermen, who were unpaid, made up the town council, which advised the mayor. The Mayor of London received 40 pounds for hospitality, but in small towns, 20s. sufficed. Often there were town police, bailiffs, beadles [messengers], a town crier, and a town clerk. London offices included recorder, prosecutor, common sergeant, and attorneys. In the center of town were the fine stone houses, a guildhall with a belfry tower, and the marketplace - a square or broad street, where the town crier made public announcements with bell or horn. Here too was the ducking stool for scandalmongers and the stocks which held offenders by their legs and perhaps their hands to be scorned and pelted by bystanders with, for instance, rotten fruit and filth. No longer were towns dominated by the local landholders.

In London there were 4 royal princes, 6 great earls, 17 barons, 26 knights, and 11 female representatives of the peerage (counted in 1319). There was a wall with four towers surrounding the White Tower, and this castle was known as the Tower of London. Another wall and a moat were built around it and it has reached its final form. Hovels, shops, and waste patches alternated with high walls and imposing gateways protecting mansions. The mansions had orchards, gardens, stables, brewhouses, bakeries, guardrooms, and chapels. London streets were paved with cobbles and sand. Each citizen was to keep the street in front of his tenement in good repair. Later, each alderman appointed four reputable men to repair and clean the streets for wages. The repair of Bishopsgate was the responsibility of the Bishop because he received one stick from every cart of firewood passing through it. Rules as to tiled roofs were enforced. A 1297 ordinance required all taverns to close at curfew, an hour that fluctuated. Prostitutes were expelled from the city because the street with their bawdy houses had become very noisy. Women huckster-retailers, nurses, servants, and loose women were limited to wearing hoods furred with lambskin or rabbitskin and forbidden to wear hoods furred with vair or miniver [grey or white squirrel] in the guise of good ladies. An infirmary for the blind was founded by a mercer, who became its first prior.

The London mayoral elections were hotly fought over until in 1285, when the aldermen began to act with the aid of an elected council in each of the twenty-four wards, which decentralized the government of the city. Each ward chose certain of its inhabitants to be councilors to the aldermen. This council was to be consulted by him and its advice to be followed. In 1291, the aldermen for the first time included a fishmonger. The Fishmongers were the only guild at this time, besides the Weavers, which had acquired independent jurisdiction by the transfer of control of their weekly hallmote from a public official to themselves. Craftsmen began to take other public offices too. By the reign of Edward II, all the citizens were obliged to be enrolled among the trade guilds. A great quarrel between the weaver's guild and the magistracy began the control of the city by the craft guilds or city companies. Admission to freedom of the city [citizenship] was controlled by the citizens, who decided that no man of English birth, and especially no English merchant, who followed any specific mistery [French word for a calling or trade] or craft, was to be admitted to the freedom of the city except on the security of six reputable men of that mistery or craft. No longer could one simply purchase citizenship. Apprentices had to finish their terms before such admission, and often could not afford the citizenship fee imposed on them. Only freemen could sell wares in the city, a custom of at least two hundred years.

As economic activity in London became more complex and on a larger scale in the 1200s, some craftsmen were brought under the control of other crafts or merchants. The bakers fell under the control of the wholesale grain dealers; the weavers became pieceworkers for rich cloth merchants; the blademakers and shearers were employed by cutlers; coppersmiths were controlled by girdlers; fullers were controlled by entrepreneurial dyers; and the painters, joiners, and lorimers were controlled by the saddlers. Guilds moved their meeting places from churches, which were now too small, to guild halls. The controlling officers of the large guilds met at the Guildhall, which became the seat of mayoral authority. London streets in existence by this time include Cordwainer, Silver, Cannon (Candlewick), and Roper. Lanes included Ironmonger, Soper, Spurrier, Lad (ladles), Distaff, Needles, Mede, Limeburner, and Hosier. Fighting among groups was common in London. There was a street fight on a large scale in 1327 between the saddlers and a coalition of joiners, painters, and lorimers (makers of metal work of saddles). Much blood was shed in the street battle between the skinners and the fishmongers in 1340. There was a city ordinance that no one except royal attendants, baronial valets, and city officials were to go about armed. Disputes among neighbors that were brought to court included the use and upkeep of party walls, blocked and overflowing gutters, cesspits too close to a neighbor's property, noisy tenants, loss of light, and dangerous or overhanging structures.

In 1275, a goldsmith was chief assay-master of the King's mint and keeper of the exchange at London. The king gave the Goldsmiths' Company the right of assay [determination of the quantity of gold or silver in an object] and required that no vessels of gold or silver should leave the maker's hands until they had been tested by the wardens and stamped appropriately. In 1279, goldsmith William Farrington bought the soke of the ward containing the goldsmiths' shops. It remained in his family for 80 years. A patent of 1327 empowered the guild to elect a properly qualified governing body to superintend its affairs, and reform subjects of just complaint. It also prescribed, as a safeguard against a prevailing fraud and abuse, that all members of the trade should have their standing in Cheapside or in the King's exchange, and that no gold or silver should be manufactured for export, except that which had been bought at the exchange or of the trade openly.

Some prices in London were: large wooden bedstead 18s., a small bedstead 2s., a large chest for household items 2s., feather beds 2-3s., a table 1s., a chair 4-6d., cloth gown lined with fur 13-20s., plain coats and overcoats 2-8s., caps 2-8d., a pair of pen-cases with inkhorn 4d., a skin of parchment 1d., 24 sheets of paper 6d, a carcass of beef 15s., a pig 4s., a swan 5s., and a pheasant 4s. There was a problem with malefactors committing offenses in London and avoiding its jurisdiction by escaping to Southwark across the Thames. So Southwark was given a royal charter which put it under the jurisdiction of London for peace and order matters and allowed London to appoint its tax collector. London forbade games being played because they had replaced practice in archery, which was necessary for defense.

A royal inquiry into the state of the currency indicated much falsification and coin-clipping by the Jews and others. About 280 Jews and many Englishmen were found guilty and hanged. The rest of the Jews, about 16,000, were expelled in 1290. This was popular with the public because of the abuses of usury. There had been outbreaks of violence directed at the Jews since about 1140. The king used Italian bankers instead because he thought them more equitable in their dealings. The lepers were driven out of London in 1276. Exports and imports were no longer a tiny margin in an economy just above the subsistence level. Exports were primarily raw wool and cloth, but also grain, butter, eggs, herring, hides, leather goods such as bottles and boots, embroideries, metalware, horseshoes, daggers, tin, coal, and lead. Imported were wine, silk, timber, furs, rubies, emeralds, fruits, raisins, currents, pepper, ginger, cloves, rice, cordovan leather, pitch, hemp, spars, fine iron, short rods of steel, bow-staves of yew, tar, oil, salt, cotton (for candlewicks), and alum (makes dyes hold). Ships which transported them had one or two masts upon which sails could be furled, the recently invented rudder, and a carrying capacity of up to 200 tuns [about one ton]. Many duties of sheriffs and coroners were transferred to county landholders by commissions. In coastal counties, there were such commissions for supervising coastal defense and maintaining the beacons. Each maritime county maintained a coast guard, which was under the command of a knight. Ports had well-maintained harbors, quays, and streets. By 1306 there was an office of admiral of the fleet of the ships of the southern ports.

Women could inherit land in certain circumstances. Some tenants holding land in chief of the king were women.

Regulation of trade became national instead of local. Trade was relatively free; almost the only internal transportation tolls were petty portages and viages levied to recoup the expense of a bridge or road which had been built by private enterprise. Responsibility for the coinage was transferred from the individual moneyers working in different boroughs to a central official who was to become Master of the Mint. The round half penny and farthing [1/4 penny] were created so that the penny needn't be cut into halves and quarters anymore.

Edward I called meetings of representatives from all social and geographic sectors of the nation at one Parliament to determine taxes due to the Crown. He declared that "what touches all, should be approved by all". He wanted taxes from the burgesses in the towns and the clergy's ecclesiastical property as well as from landholders. He argued to the clergy that if barons had to both fight and pay, they who could do no fighting must at least pay. When the clergy refused to pay, he put them outside the royal protection and threatened outlawry and confiscation of their lands. Then they agreed to pay and to renounce all papal orders contrary to the King's authority.

The Model Parliament of 1295 was composed of the three communities. The first were the lords, which included seven earls and forty-one barons. Because of the increase of lesser barons due to a long national peace and prosperity, the lords attending were reduced in numbers and peerage became dependent not on land tenure, but on royal writ of summons. The great barons were chosen by the king and received a special summons in their own names to the council or Parliament. Others were called by a general summons. The second community was the clergy, represented by the two archbishops, bishops from each of eighteen dioceses, and sixty-seven abbots. The third community was the commons. It was composed of two knights elected by the suitors who were then present at the county court, two burgesses elected by principal burgesses of each borough, and two representatives from each city. The country knights had a natural affinity with the towns in part because their younger sons sought their occupation, wife, and estate there. Also, great lords recruited younger brothers of yeoman families for servants and fighting men, who ultimately settled down as tradesmen in the towns. The country people and the town people also had a community of interest by both being encompassed by the county courts. The peasants were not represented in the county courts nor in Parliament. One had to have land to be entitled to vote because the landowner had a stake in the country, a material security for his good behavior.

Parliaments without knights and burgesses still met with the king. But it was understood that no extraordinary tax could be levied without the knights and burgesses present. Ordinary taxes could be arranged with individuals, estates, or communities. The lower clergy ceased to attend Parliament and instead considered taxes to pay to the king during their national church convocations, which were held at the same time as Parliament. For collection purposes, their diocesan synod was analogous to the count court. The higher clergy remained in Parliament because they were feudal vassals of the king.

Edward's council was the highest tribunal. It comprised the chancellor, treasurer and other great officers of state, the justices of the three courts, the master or chief clerks of the chancery, and certain selected prelates and barons. The council assisted the king in considering petitions. Most petitions to the King were private grievances of individuals, including people of no social rank, such as prisoners. Other petitions were from communities and groups, such as religious houses, the two universities, boroughs, and counties. These groups sometimes formed alliances in a common cause. Women sometimes petitioned. From 1293, the petitions were placed in four stacks for examination by the King and council, by the Chancery, by the Exchequer, or by the justices. Many hours were spent hearing and answering petitions. From 1305, the petitions were presented to the king in full Parliament.

The king still exercised the power of legislation without a full Parliament. He might in his council issue proclamations. The Chief Justices still had, as members of the king's council, a real voice in the making of laws. The king and his justices might, after a statute has been made, put an authoritative interpretation upon it. Royal proclamations had the same force as statutes while the king lived; sometimes there were demands that certain proclamations be made perpetual by being embodied in statutes, e.g. fixing wages. There was no convention that agreement or even the presence of representatives was required for legislation. The idea that the present can bind the absent and that the majority of those present may outvote the minority was beginning to take hold. Edward I's councilors and justices took an oath to give, expedite, and execute faithful counsel; to maintain, recover, increase, and prevent the diminution of, royal rights; to do justice, honestly and unsparingly; to join in no engagements which may present the councilor from fulfilling his promise; and to take no gifts in the administration of justice, save meat and drink for the day. These were in addition to other matters sworn to by the councilors.

Parliament soon was required to meet at least once a year at the Great Hall at Westminster beside the royal palace. London paid its representatives 10s. per day for their attendance at Parliament. From the time of Edward II, the counties paid their knight-representatives 4s. daily, and the boroughs paid their burgess- representatives 2s. daily. When it convened, the Chancellor sat on the left and the Archbishop of Canterbury on the right of the king. Just below and in front of the king his council sits on wool sacks brought in for their comfort from wool stored nearby. It answers questions. Behind them on the wool sacks sit the justices, who may be called upon to give legal advice, e.g. in framing statutes. Then come the spiritual and lay barons, then the knights, and lastly the elected burgesses and citizens. Lawmaking is now a function of Parliament, of which the King's council is a part, instead of a function of the king with his council and justices. The common people now had a voice in lawmaking, though legislation could be passed without their consent. The first legislation proposed by the commons was alteration of the forest laws governing the royal pleasure parks. Such a statute was passed in a bargain for taxes of a percentage of all movables, which were mostly foodstuffs and animals. The king offered to give up the royal right to tax merchandise for a new tax: customs on exports. The barons and knights of the county agreed to pay an 11th, the burgesses, a 7th, and the clergy a 10th on their other movables. In time, several boroughs sought to be included in the county representation so they could pay the lower rate. This new system of taxation began the decline of the imposition of feudal aids, knights' fees, scutages, carucage, and tallage, which had been negotiated by the Exchequer with the reeves of each town, the sheriff and county courts of each county, and the bishops of each diocese.

The staple [depot or mart, from the French "estaple"] system began when the export of wool had increased and Parliament initiated customs duties of 6s.8d. on every sack of wool, woolfells [sheepskin with wool still on it], or skins exported in 1275. These goods had to be assessed and collected at certain designated ports. Certain large wool merchants, the merchants of the staple, were allowed to have a monopoly on the purchase and export of wool. Imports of wine were taxed as tunnage as before, that is there was a royal right to take from each wine ship one cask for every ten at the price of 20s. per cask.

In 1297, Edward I confirmed the Magna Carta and other items. Judgments contrary to Magna Carta were nullified. The documents were to be read in cathedral churches as grants of Edward and all violators were to be excommunicated. He also agreed not to impose taxes without the consent of Parliament after baronial pressure had forced him to retreat from trying to increase, for a war in France, the customs tax on every exported sack of wool to 40s. from the 6s. 8d. per sack it had been since 1275. The customs tax was finally fixed at 10s. for every sack of wool, 2s. for each tun [casket] of wine, and 6d. for every pound's worth of other goods. The "tenths and fifteenths" tax levied on income from movables or chattels became regular every year. Edward also confirmed the Forest Charter, which called for its earlier boundaries. And he agreed not to impound any grain or wool or and like against the will of the owners, as had been done before to collect taxes. Also, the special prises or requisitions of goods for national emergency were not to be a precedent. Lastly, he agreed not to impose penalties on two earls and their supporters for refusing to serve in the war in France when the king did not go.

From 1299, statutes were recorded in a Statute Roll as they were enacted.

By the end of the 1200s, the King's wardrobe, where confidential matters such as military affairs were discussed in his bedroom, became a department of state with the King's privy seal. The keeper of the privy seal was established as a new office by Edward I in 1318. The wardrobe paid and provisioned the knights, squires, and sergeants of the king and was composed mostly of civil servants. It traveled with the King. The Crown's treasure, plate, tents, hangings, beds, cooking utensils, wine, and legal and financial rolls were carried on pack horses or in two-wheeled carts drawn by oxen, donkeys, or dogs. The people in the entourage rode horses or walked. The other two specialized administrative bodies were the Exchequer, which received most of the royal revenue and kept accounts at Westminster, and the Chancery, which wrote royal writs, charters, and letters, and kept records.

The chief functions of administration in the 1300s were performed by the council, chancery, wardrobe, chamber [room off wardrobe for dressing and for storage], and exchequer. Many of the chancellors had come from the wardrobe and chamber. In time, the chancellor ceased to be a part of the king's personal retinue and to follow the court. The chancery became primarily a department of central administration rather than a secretariat and record-keeping part of the royal household. The king used a privy seal to issue directives to the chancery. Edward III made some merchants earls and appointed them to be his ministers. He did not summon anyone to his council who did not have the confidence of the magnates [barons, earls, bishops, and abbots].

There was a recoinage due to debasement of the old coinage. This increased the number of coins in circulation. The price of wheat went from about 7s. in 1270 to about 5s. per quarter in 1280. Also the price of an ox went from 14s. to 10s. Then there were broad movements of prices, within which there were wide fluctuations, largely due to the state of the harvest. From 1280 to 1290, there was runaway inflation. In some places, both grain and livestock prices almost doubled between 1305 and 1310. Wheat prices peaked at 15s.5d. a quarter in the famine year of 1316. In 1338, prices dropped and remained low for twenty years. The poor were hurt by high prices and the lords of the manors were hurt by low prices.

As before, inadequate care and ignorance of nutrition caused many infant deaths. Accidents and disease were so prevalent that death was always near and life insecure. Many women died in childbirth.

In the 1300s, there were extremes of fashion in men's and women's clothing including tight garments, pendant sleeves down to the ground, coats so short they didn't reach the hips or so long they reached the heels, hoods so small they couldn't cover the head, and shoes with long curved peaks like claws at the toes. Both men and women wore belts low on the hips. The skirt of a lady's tunic was fuller and the bodice more closely fitted than before. Her hair was usually elaborately done up, e.g. with long curls or curled braids on either side of the face. A jeweled circlet was often worn around her head. Ladies wore on their arms or belts, cloth handbags, which usually contained toiletries, such as combs made of ivory, horn, bone, or wood, and perhaps a little book of devotions. A man wore a knife and a bag on his belt. Some women painted their faces and/or colored their hair. There were hand- held glass mirrors. Some people kept dogs purely as pets.

There was a great development of heraldic splendor with for instance, crests, coat-armor, badges, pennons [long, triangular flag], and helmets. They descended through families. Not only was it a mark of service to wear the badge of a lord, but lords wore each other's badges by way of compliment.

Edward I always sought the agreement of Parliament before assembling an army or taking actions of war, and Parliamentary consent came to be expected for such. He completed the conquest and annexation of Wales in 1284. The feudal army was summoned for the last time in the 100 year war with France, which began in 1337. In it the English longbow was used to pierce French knights' armor. There had been much competition between the strength of arrows to pierce and the heaviness of armor to resist. Guns and cannon with gunpowder were introduced in 1338. A system to raise an army by contract was developed. Contracts were made with nobles, knights, or esquires who undertook to enlist an agreed number of armored men-at-arms and archers, who were paid wages. The King provided transport for each contractor and his retinue, baggage, and horses. The title of "knight" now resumed its military character as well as being a social rank.

After Edward I died in 1307, there was a period of general lawlessness and contests for power between earls and barons and the irresponsible King Edward II, who was not a warrior king. He eventually was assassinated. Also in 1307, Parliament required the king to obtain its consent for any exchange or alteration of the currency.

By 1319, the guilds of London had become so powerful that they extracted a charter from the king that to be a citizen of London one had to be a member of a guild.

By 1326, scholars, the nobility, and the clergy had reading eyeglasses, which had been invented in Italy, probably by the glass blowers. Italy was famous for its glasswork. The first eyeglasses were fabricated by pouring molten glass into curved molds. The actual shape was difficult to control because thermal expansion and contraction resulted in bubbles and other optical imperfections.

As of 1336, importing foreign cloth or fur, except for use by the King's family, was prohibited, as was the export of unwoven wool. Later, this was relaxed and a customs tax of 33% was imposed on wool exported.

Foreign cloth workers were allowed by statute to come to live in the nation, be granted franchises, and be in the King's protection. But no cloth was to be exported until it was fulled. During the reign of Edward III, Flanders weavers were encouraged to come to England to teach the English how to weave and finish fine cloth. A cloth industry grew with all the manufacturing processes under the supervision of one capitalist manufacturer, who set up his enterprise in the country to avoid the regulations of the towns. The best places were hilly areas where there were many streams and good pasture for flocks of sheep. He hired shearers to cut the nap as short as possible to give a smooth surface, then spinsters to card and spin the wool in their country cottages, then weavers, and then fullers and dyers to come to fulling mills established near streams for their waterpower. Fulling became mechanized as heavy wooden hammers run by water- power replaced feet trampling the cloth covered with soap or fuller's clay. The shaft loom was a technological advance in weaving. This loom was horizontal and its frames, which controlled the lifting of the warp threads, could each be raised by a foot treadle. This left both hands free to throw and catch the shuttle attached to the weft thread from side to side through the warp. Also many more weaving patterns became possible through the use of different thread configurations on the frames.

In 1341, the commons forced King Edward III and council to approve their petition when Parliament was still in session so that they would draft the legislation in true accordance with the petition. This had not been done when drafting had been done after Parliament ended, when the phrase "saving the prerogatives of the king" was often added. Also the lords and commons consulted each other and joined in petitions. But they usually stated their conclusions to the king separately. It was considered a burden rather than a privilege to attend Parliament and elections for such were not often contested. They were conducted according to local custom until 1600.

In 1348, the Commons voted a tax of 1/15 th on movables for three years with the proviso that it be spent only on the war against Scotland. This began the practice of appropriation of funds. In 1381, began the practice of appointing treasurers of the subsidies to account to Parliament for both receipts and disbursements.

Alien merchants were under the king's special protection. In return for paying extra import and export duties, Edward III gave alien merchants full rights of trade, travel, and residence in England free of all local tolls and restrictions, and guaranteed a fair hearing of their commercial and criminal cases in special pie powder (after French "pie poudrous" or dusty feet) courts at fairs.

The Law

Edward I remodeled the law in response to grievances and to problems which came up in the courts. The changes improved the efficiency of justice and served to accommodate it to the changing circumstances of the social system.

"No man by force of arms, malice or menacing shall disturb anyone in making free election [of sheriffs, coroners, conservators of the peace by freeholders of the county]."

"No city, borough, town, nor man shall be amerced without reasonable cause and according to the severity of his trespass. That is, every freeman saving his freehold, a merchant saving his merchandise, a villein saving his wainage [implements of agriculture], and that by his peers."

No distress shall be taken of ploughing-cattle or sheep.

Young salmon shall not be taken from waters in the spring.

No loan shall be made for interest.

If an heir who is a minor is married off without the consent of the guardian, the value of the marriage will be lost and the wrongdoer imprisoned. If anyone marries off an heir over 14 years of age without the consent of the guardian, the guardian shall have double the value of the marriage. Moreover, anyone who has withdrawn a marriage shall pay the full value thereof to the guardian for the trespass and make amends to the King. And if a lord refuses to marry off a female heir of full age and keep her unmarried because he covets the land, then he shall not have her lands more than two years after she reaches full age, at which time she can recover her inheritance without giving anything for the wardship or her marriage. However, if she maliciously refuses to be married by her lord, he may hold her land and inheritance until she is the age of a male heir, that is, 21 years old and further until he has taken the value of the marriage.

Aid to make one's son a knight or marry off his daughter of a whole knight's fee shall be taken 20s., and 400s. [yearly income from] land held in socage 20s. [5%], and of more, more; and of less, less; after the rate. And none shall levy such aid to make his son a knight until his son is 15 years old, nor to marry his daughter until she is seven year old.

A conveyance of land which is the inheritance of a minor child by his guardian or lord to another is void.

Dower shall not abate because the widow has received dower of another man unless part of the first dower received was of the same tenant and in the same town. But a woman who leaves her husband for another man is barred from dower.

A tenant for a term of years who has let land from a landlord shall not let it lie waste, nor shall a landlord attempt to oust a tenant for a term of years by fictitious recoveries.

When two or more hold wood, turfland, or fishing or other such thing in common, wherein none knows his several, and one does waste against the minds of the others, he may be sued.

Lands which are given to a man and his wife upon condition that if they die without heirs, the land shall revert to the donor or his heir, may not be alienated to defeat this condition.

If a man takes land in marriage with a wife, and she dies before him, the land will revert to the donor or his heir, unless the couple has a child, in which case the husband will have the land by the courtesy of the nation for his life before it reverts to the donor or his heir.

The ecclesiastical law had a doctrine for women-covert, i.e. women under the protection or coverture of a husband. It held that chattels of a woman who married vested in her husband, but he could not dispose of them by will. Her jewelry, but not her apparel, could go to his creditors if his assets didn't cover his debts. If she was a merchant when she married, she could still sell her goods in the open market. The husband also had the right to the rents and profits from his wife's real estate, but not the real estate itself, unless by the birth of a child he became tenant for life by courtesy. Only the father, but not the mother had authority over their children. A father had a right to his child's services, and could sue a third party for abducting, enticing away, or injuring the child, just as he could for his servants. A husband was liable for the debts of his wife, even if incurred before the marriage. He was answerable for her torts and trespasses, except for battery. For this reason, he was allowed to chastise her, restrain her liberty for gross misbehavior, and punish her by beating for some misdemeanors. But the courts would protect her from death, serious bodily harm, or his failure to supply her the necessities of life. Promises under oath were not recognized for married women. A conveyance or agreement of a married woman was void. These principles held only if she was under the protection of her husband, i.e. a woman-covert, and not if they lived separately, for instance if he went to sea. If separated, she had a right to alimony from him to maintain herself.

A free tenant may alienate his land freely, but if the alienation was for an estate in fee simple [to a man and his heirs], the person acquiring the land would hold of the land's lord and not of the person alienating the land. (This halted the growth of subinfeudation and caused services as well as incidents of aids, relief, escheat, wardship, and marriage to go directly to the Chief Lord. It also advantaged the Crown as overlord, which then acquired more direct tenants.)

One may create an estate which will descend in unbroken succession down the line of inheritance prescribed in the original gift as long as that line should last, instead of descending to all heirs. This was called a fee simple conditional holding of land. The successive occupants might draw the rents and cut the wood, but on the death of each, his heir would take possession of an unencumbered interest, unfettered by any liability for the debt of his ancestor or by any disposition made by him during his lifetime e.g. a wife's estate in dower or a husband's estate in courtesy. If there was no issue, it reverted to the original donor. (This curtailed the advantage of tenants of the greater barons who profited by increased wardships and reliefs from subinfeudation from subdivision and better cultivation of their land while still paying the greater barons fixed sums. This statute that protected reversionary estates incidentally established a system of entails. This new manner of holding land: "fee tail", is in addition to the concepts of land held in fee simple (i.e. with no subdivisions) and land held for life. No grantee or his heirs could alienate the land held in fee tail. The donor could give directions that the land could remain to another person rather than reverting to himself. (Interests in remainder or reversion of estates in land replace the lord's tenurial right to succeed to land by escheat if his tenant dies without heirs.)

In Kent, all men are free and may give or sell their lands without permission of their lords, as before the Conquest. (Since Kent was nearest the continent, money flowed between England and the continent through Kent. So Kent never developed a manorial system of land holding, but evolved from a system of clans and independent villages directly into a commercial system.

Anyone disseising another whereby he also robs him or uses force and arms in the disseisin shall be imprisoned and fined. The plaintiff shall recover seisin and damages.

"All must be ready at the command and summons of sheriffs, and at the cry of the country, to sue and arrest felons as necessary as well within franchise as without." Otherwise, he shall be fined. A Lord defaulting shall lose his franchise to the King. A Bailiff defaulting shall be imprisoned a year as well as fined, or be imprisoned two years if he cannot pay the fine. A sheriff, coroner, or any other bailiff who conceals a felony will be imprisoned for a year and pay a fine, or be imprisoned for three years if he cannot pay the fine.

Villeins must report felons, pursue felons, serve in the watch, and clear growth of concealing underwood from roads. They must join the military to fight on the borders when called. Desertion from the army is punishable.

Accessories to a crime shall not be declared outlaw before the principal is proven guilty. (This made uniform the practice of the various counties.)

Only those imprisoned for the smaller offenses of a single incidence of petty larceny, receipt of felons, or accessory to a felony, or some other trespass not punishable by life or limb shall be let out by sufficient surety. Prisoners who were outlawed or escaped from prison or are notorious thieves or were imprisoned for felonious house burning, passing false money, counterfeiting the King's seal, treason touching the king himself, or other major offenses or have been excommunicated by the church may not be released.

Killing in self-defense and by mischance shall be pardoned from the King's indictment. Killing by a child or a person of unsound mind shall be pardoned from the King's indictment. (But a private accuser can still sue.)

Any man who ravishes [abducts] any woman without her consent or by force shall have the criminal penalty of loss of life or limb. (The criminal penalty used to be just two years in prison.)

Trespasses in parks or ponds shall be punished by imprisonment for three years and a fine as well as paying damages to the wronged person. After his imprisonment, he shall find a surety or leave the nation.

"Forasmuch as there have been often times found in the country devisors of tales, where discord, or occasion of discord, has many times arisen between the King and his people, or great men of this realm; For the damage that has and may thereof ensue, it is commanded, that from henceforth none be so hardy to tell or publish any false news or tales, whereby discord or occasion of discord or slander may grow between the King and his people, or the great men of the realm." Anyone doing so shall be imprisoned until he brings into the court the first author of the tale.

A system of registration and enforcement of commercial agreements was established by statute. Merchants could obtain a writing of a debt sealed by the debtor and authenticated by royal seal or a seal of a mayor of certain towns, and kept by the creditor. Failure to pay a such a debt was punishable by imprisonment and, after three months, the selling of borough tenements and chattels and of county lands. During the three months, the merchant held this property in a new tenure of "statute merchant". (Prior to this, it was difficult for a foreign merchant to collect a debt because he could not appear in court which did not recognize him as one of its proper "suitors" or constituents, so he had to trust a local attorney. Also, the remedy was inadequate because the history of the law of debt was based on debt as a substitute for the blood feud, so that failure to pay meant slavery or death. Also a debtor's land was protected by feudal custom, which was contrary to the idea of imposing a new tenant on a lord.)

"In no city, borough, town, market, or fair shall a person of the realm be distrained for a debt for which he is not the debtor or pledge."

Anyone making those passing with goods through their jurisdiction answer to them in excess of their jurisdiction shall be grievously amerced to the King.

No market town shall take an outrageous toll contrary to the common custom of the nation.

Since good sterling money has been counterfeited with base and false metal outside the nation and then brought in, foreigners found in the nation's ports with this false money shall forfeit their lives. Anyone bringing money into the nation must have it examined at his port of entry. Payments of money shall be made only by coin of the appropriate weight delivered by the Warden of the Exchange and marked with the King's mark. (A currency exchange was established at Dover for the exchange of foreign currency for English sterling.)

The silver in craftwork must be sterling and marked with the Leopard's Head. The gold in craftwork must meet the standard of the Touch of Paris.

The assize of bread and ale had been and was enforced locally by local inspectors. Now, the Crown appointed royal officers for the gauge of wines and measurement of cloths. Edicts disallowed middlemen from raising prices against consumers by such practices as forestalling [intercepting goods before they reached the market and then reselling them] or engrossing [buying a large supply of a commodity to drive up the price] and price regulation was attempted. For instance, prices were set for poultry and lamb, in a period of plenty. Maximum prices were set for cattle, pigs, sheep, poultry, and eggs in 1314, but these prices were hard to enforce. In London examples of prices set are: best hen 3d.2q., best wild goose 4d., best hare 4d., best kid 10d., best lamb 4d., best fresh herrings 12 for 1d., best pickled herrings 20 for 1d., best haddock 2d., best fresh salmon 3s.

Freemen may drive their swine through the King's demesne Forest to feed in their own woods or elsewhere. No man shall lose his life or limb for killing deer in the Forest, but instead shall be grievously fined or imprisoned for a year.

The Forest Charter allowed a man to cut down and take wood from his own woods in the King's forest to repair his house, fences, and hedges. He may also enclose his woods in the King's forest with fences and hedges to grow new trees and keep cattle and beasts therefrom. After seven years growth of these new trees, he may cut them down for sale with the King's permission.

Each borough has its own civil and criminal ordinances and police jurisdiction. Borough courts tended to deal with more laws than other local courts because of the borough's denser populations, which were composed of merchants, manufacturers, and traders, as well as those engaged in agriculture. Only borough courts have jurisdiction over fairs. In some boroughs the villein who resides for a year and a day becomes free. There are special ordinances relating to apprentices. There are sometimes ordinances against enticing away servants bound by agreement to serve another. The wife who is a trader is regarded in many places as a feme sole [single woman rather than a feme covert [woman-covert], who was under the protection of a husband]. There may be special ordinances as to the liability of masters for the acts of their apprentices and agents, or as to brokers, debt, or earnest money binding a bargain. The criminal and police jurisdiction in the borough was organized upon the same model as in the country at large, and was controlled by the King's courts upon similar principles, though there are some survivals of old rules, such as mention of the bot and the wer. The crimes committed are similar to those of the country, such as violence, breaches of the assize of bread and beer, stirring up suits before the ecclesiastical courts, digging up or obstructing the highway, not being enrolled in a tithing, encroachments upon or obstructions of rights of common. The most striking difference with the country at large are the ordinances on the repair or demolition of buildings, encroachments on another's building, fires, and nuisances. Specimens of other characteristic urban disputes are: selling bad food, using bad materials, unskillful or careless workmanship, fraudulent weights and measures, fraud in buying and selling, forestalling or regrating [buying in one market to resell in another market], acting in a way likely to endanger the liberties of the borough, usury, trading without being a citizen, assisting other unlicensed persons to trade, unlawfully forming a guild, complaints against various guilds in which trade might be organized. Since the ordinances were always liable to be called in question before the King's courts, they tended to become uniform and in harmony with the principles of the common law. Also, trading between boroughs kept them knowledgeable about each other's customs and conditions for trade, which then tended to standardize. Boroughs often had seals to prove communal consent and tended to act as a corporate body.

Borough ordinances often include arson such as this one: "And if a street be set on fire by any one, his body shall be attached and cast into the midst of the fire." Robbery by the miller was specially treated by an ordinance that "And if the miller be attainted [found guilty] of robbery of the grain or of the flour to the amount of 4d., he shall be hanged from the beam in his mill."

In London, an ordinance prescribed for bakers for the first offense of making false bread a forfeiture of that bread. For the second offense was prescribed imprisonment, and for the third offense placement in the pillory. A London ordinance for millers who caused bread to be false prescribed for them to be carried in a tumbrel cart through certain streets, exposed to the derision of the people.

By statute, no one may make a gift or alienation of land to the church. An attempt to do so will cause the land to escheat to the lord, or in his default, to the King. Religious houses may not alienate land given to them by the king or other patrons because such gifts were for the sake of someone's soul. An attempt to do so will cause the land to revert to the donor or his heir. If the church did not say the prayers or do the other actions for which land was given to it, the land will revert to the donor or his heir. Land may not be alienated to religious bodies in such a way that it would cease to render its due service to the King. (The church never died, never married, and never had children.) The church shall send no money out of the nation. (This statute of mortmain was neutralized by collusive lawsuits in which the intended grantor would sue the intended grantee claiming superior title and then would default, surrendering the land to the intended grantee by court judgment.)

"Concerning wrecks of the sea, where a man, a dog, or a cat escape alive out of the ship, that such ship nor barge nor anything within them shall be deemed wreck, but the goods shall be saved and kept by view of the Sheriff, Coroner, or the King's Bailiff". If anyone proves the goods were his within a year and a day, they shall be restored to him without delay. Otherwise, they shall be kept by the King. "And where wreck belongs to one other than the King, he shall have it in like manner". If he does otherwise, he shall be imprisoned and pay damages and fine.

Some statutes applied only to Kent County, which had a unique position between London and the continent. One could sell or give away his land without the consent of one's lord. The services of the land, however, could only be sold to the chief lord. Inheritance of land was to all sons by equal portions, and if there were no sons, then to all daughters in equal portions. The eldest brother has his choice of portion, then the next oldest, etc. The goods of a deceased person were divided into three parts after his funeral expenses and debts were paid. One third went to the surviving spouse. One third went to the deceased's sons and daughters. One third could be disposed by will of the decedent. If there were no children, one half went to the spouse and one half went according to will. If an heir was under 15 years old, his next of kin to whom inheritance could not descend was to be his guardian. A wife who remarried or bore a child lost her dower land. A husband lost his dower if he remarried. If a tenant withheld rent or services, his lord could seek award of court to find distress on his tenement and if he could find none, he could take the tenement for a year and a day in his hands without manuring it. It the tenant paid up in this time, he got the tenement back. If he didn't within a year and a day, however, the lord could manure the land. A felon forfeited his life and his goods, but not his lands or tenements. A wife of a felon had the dower of one half or her husband's lands and tenements.

The common law recognized the tort of false imprisonment if a man arrested as a felon, a person who was not a felon.

Judicial Procedure

The writ of Quo Warranto [by what right] is created, by which all landholders exercising jurisdictions must bring their ancestors' charters before a traveling justice for the Common Pleas for examination and interpretation as to whether they were going beyond their charters and infringing upon the jurisdiction of the Royal Court. As a result, many manor courts were confined to manorial matters and could no longer view frankpledge or hear criminal cases, which were reserved for the royal courts. In the manor courts which retained criminal jurisdiction, there was a reassertion of the obligation to have present a royal coroner, whose duty it was to see that royal rights were not infringed and that the goods of felons were given to the Crown and not kept by the lords.

The supreme court was the king and his council in Parliament. It heard the most important causes, important because they concern the king, or because they concern very great men (e.g. treason), or because they involve grave questions of public law, or because they are unprecedented. It has large, indefinite powers and provides new remedies for new wrongs. The office of great justiciar disappears and the chancellor becomes the head of the council. After the council were the royal courts of the King's Bench, Common Pleas, and the Exchequer, which had become separate, each with its own justices and records. The Court of Common Pleas had its own Chief Justice and usually met at Westminster. This disadvantaged the small farmer, who would have to travel to Westminster to present a case. The King's Council maintained a close connection with the Court of the King's Bench, which heard criminal cases and appeals from the Court of Common Pleas. It traveled with the King. There were many trespass cases so heard by it in the reign of Edward I. The King's Council did a great deal of justice, for the more part criminal justice. It was supported by the populace because it dealt promptly and summarily with rebellion or some scandalous acquittal of a notorious criminal by bribed or partial jurors, and thereby prevented anarchy. Its procedure was to send for the accused and compel him to answer upon oath written interrogatories. Affidavits were then sworn upon both sides. With written depositions before them, the Lords of the council, without any jury, acquit or convict. Fines and imprisonments were meted out to rioters, conspirators, bribers, and perjured jurors. No loss of life or limb occurred because there had been no jury.

In criminal cases, witnesses acquainted with particular facts were added to the general assize of twelve men from each hundred and four men from each town. The assize then bifurcated into the grand jury of twelve to twenty-four men and the petty jury or jury of verdict of twelve men, which replaced ordeal, compurgation, and trial by combat as the method of finding the truth. The men of the petty jury as well as those of the grand jury were expected to know or to acquaint themselves with the facts of the cases. The men of the petty jury tended to be the same men who were on the grand jury.

Felony included such crimes as homicide, arson, rape, robbery, burglary, and larceny. Murder still meant secret homicide. Burglary was an offense committed in times of peace and consisted of breaking into churches, houses, and into the walls and gates of villages and boroughs. These six offenses could be prosecuted by indictment or private accusation by an individual. The penalties involved loss of life or limb or outlawry; a felon's goods were confiscated by the crown and his land was forfeited to the crown for a year and a day, after which it escheated to the felon's lord. The peace of the king now did not die with the king, but renewed automatically without an interval before the inauguration of a new king.

Notorious felons who would not consent or put themselves on inquests for felonies with which they were charged at royal courts were put in strong and hard imprisonment to persuade them to accept trial by assize. This inducement progressed into being loaded with heavy chains and placed on the ground in the worst part of the prison and being fed a only little water one day and a little bread the next. Sometimes pieces of iron or stones were placed one another onto their prone bodies to persuade them to plead. This then developed into being loaded with as much iron as could be borne, and finally into being pressed to death ["peine forte et dure"]. Many of these men chose to die by this pressing so that their families could inherit their property, which would have been forfeited if they had been convicted of serious crimes.

The most common cases in the Court of Common Pleas were "detinue" [wrongful detention of a good or chattel which had been loaned, rented, or left for safekeeping with a "bailee", but belonged to the plaintiff], "debt" [for money due from a sale, for money loaned, for rent upon a lease for years, from a surety, promised in a sealed document, or due to arbitrators to whom a dispute had been submitted] and "account" [e.g. against bailiffs of manors, a guardian in socage, and partners]. It also heard estovers of wood, profit by gathering nuts, acorns, and other fruits in wood, corody [allowance of food], yearly delivery of grain, toll, tunnage, passage, keeping of parks, woods, forests, chases, warrens, gates, and other bailiwicks, and offices in fee.

The itinerant justices gradually ceased to perform administrative duties on their journeys because landed society had objected to their intrusiveness. Edward I substituted regular visitations of justices of assize for the irregular journeys of the itinerant justices. Each one of four circuits had two justices of assize. From about 1299, these justices of assize heard cases of gaol delivery. Their jurisdiction expanded to include serious criminal cases and breach of the king's peace.

Breaches of the forest charter laws were determined by justices of the King's forest, parks, and chases, along with men of assize.

Coroners' inquest procedures were delineated by statute and included describing in detail in the coroner's rolls every wound of a dead body, how many may be culpable, and people claiming to have found treasure who might be suspects.

The precedent for punishment for treason was established by the conviction of a knight, David ab Gruffydd, who had turned traitor to the Welsh enemy, after fighting with Edward and being rewarded with land, during the conquest of Wales. He had plotted to kill the King. He was found guilty of treason by Parliament and condemned to be dragged at the heels of horses for being a traitor to his knightly vows, hanged by the neck for his murders, cut down before consciousness left him to have his entrails cut out for committing his crimes during the holy week of Easter, and his head cut off and his body divided into four parts for plotting against the King's life. The head was placed on the Tower of London and his body sections were placed in public view at various other locations in England. This came to be known as "hanging, drawing, and quartering". Prior to this the penalty had been imprisonment, usually followed by ransom.

Trial by combat is now limited to certain claims of enfeoffment of large land holding and is barred for land held in socage, burgage, or by marriage. Assize is the usual manner of trial, but compurgation remains in the borough court long after it becomes obsolete in the royal courts. Defendants no longer request assizes but are automatically put to them.

Numerous statutes protect the integrity of the courts and King's offices by double and treble damages and imprisonment for offenses such as bribery, false informers, conspiracy to falsely move or maintain pleas, champerty [covenant between a litigant and another for the other to have a part or profit in the award in return for maintaining the suit], conflict of interest by court officers taking part in a quarrel pending in court or working any fraud whereby common right may be delayed or disturbed. There had been many abuses, the most common of which was extortion by sheriffs, who gaoled people without cause to make them pay to be released. The 1275 prohibition of maintenance of a quarrel of a party in court by a nonparty was extended in 1327 to all persons, including the king's councilors and ministers, and great men, e.g. by sending letters. In 1346, this prohibition specifically included prelates, earls, barons taking in hand quarrels other than their own, or maintaining them for gift, promise, amity, favor, doubt, or fear, in disturbance of law and hindrance of right. The reason given was that there had been persons disinherited, delayed or disturbed in their rights, and not guilty persons convicted or otherwise oppressed. All great men were required to put out of their service all maintainers who had been retained, and void their fees and robes, without giving them aid, favor, or comfort. This law was not obeyed.

The king reserved to himself and his council in its judicial capacity the correction of all breaches of the law which the lower courts had failed to remedy, whether from weakness, partiality, corruption, or jury timidity, and especially when the powerful barons defied the courts. The Chancery also sought to address causes which were impeded in their regular course, which often involved assaults, batteries, and forcible dispossessions.

Disputes within the royal household were administered by the King's steward. He received and determined complaints about acts or breaches of the peace within twelve miles around the King's person or "verge". He was assisted by the marshall in the "court of the hall" and by the clerk of the market when imposing fines for trading regulation violations in the "court of the market".

Ecclesiastical courts were successful in their competition with the secular courts for jurisdiction over testamentary matters [concerning wills] and succession [no will] to chattels.

There were local courts of the vill, borough, manor, hundred, county, sheriff, escheator, and royal bailiff, with overlapping jurisdictions. The county court in its full session, that is, as it attended the itinerant justices on their visitation, contained the archbishops, bishops, priors, earls, barons, knights, and freeholders, and from each township four men and the reeve, and from each borough twelve burgesses. It was still the folkmote, the general assembly of the people. In 1293, suitors who could not spend 40s. a year within their county were not required to attend their county court.

The most common plea in the hundred court was trespass. It also heard issues concerning services arising out of land, detention of chattels, small debts, wounding or maiming of animals, and personal assaults and brawls not amounting to felony. It met every three weeks. The sheriff held his turn twice a year and viewed frankpledge once a year.

When Edward I came to the throne, over half of the approximately 600 hundred courts had gone under the jurisdiction of a private lord owing to royal charter, prescriptive right, and usurpation. The sheriff's powers in these hundreds varied. In some, the sheriff had no right of entry.

In the manor courts, actions of debt, detinue, and covenant were frequent. Sometimes there are questions of a breach of warranty of title in agreements of sale of land. Accusations of defamation were frequent; this offense could not be taken to the King's court, but it had been recognized as an offense in the Anglo-Saxon laws. In some cases, the damages caused are specifically stated. For instance, defamation of a lord's grain would cause other purchasers to forbear buying it. There are frequent cases of ordinary thefts, trespasses, and assaults. The courts did rough but substantial justice without distinction between concepts such as tort and contract. In fact, the action of covenant was the only form of agreement enforceable at common law. It required a writing under seal and awarded damages. Their law was not technical, but elastic, and remedies could include injunctions, salary attachment, and performance of acts. The steward holding the manor court was often a lawyer.

Some pleas in the manors of the abbey of Bec were:

  1. Hugh le Pee in mercy (fine, 12d.) for concealing a sheep for half a year. Pledges, Simon of Newmere, John of Senholt
  2. William Ketelburn in mercy (fine, 13s.4d.) for divers trespasses. Pledge, Henry Ketelburn.
  3. Hugh Derwin for pasture, 6d. Richard Hulle for divers trespasses, 12d. Henry Stanhard for pasture, 6d.
  4. William Derwin for a trespass, 6d.; pledge, William Sperling.
  5. Hugh Hall gives the lord 12d. that he may have the judgment of the court as to a tenement and two acres of land, which he demands as of right, so he says. And it being asserted that the said land is not free[hold] let the court say its say. And the court says that the tenement and one of the two acres are of servile condition and that the other acre is of free condition. The case is reserved for the lord's presence. Pledge, John Brian.
  6. John Palmer is put in seisin of his father's tenement and gives the lord 53s.4d. as entry money.
  7. William Ketelburn gives the lord 6s.8d. that he may be removed from the office of reeve. Pledge, Robert Serjeant.
  8. William Frith for subtraction of work, 6d. John Reginald for the same, 6d. John of Senholt, 12d. William Ketelburn, 12d.
  9. For the common fine to be paid on S. Andrew's day, 100s.
  10. It is presented by the chief pledges that Godfrey Serjeant has made default; also that John le Pee has unlawfully thrown up a bank; therefore let it be set to rights.
  11. Robert Smith is put in seisin of his father's tenement and gives the lord four pounds for entry money. Pledge, Robert Serjeant.
  12. William Ketelburn for a trespass, 13s.4d.
  13. William Fleming gives four pounds for leave to contract [marriage] with widow Susan. Pledge, Richard Serjeant.
  14. John Mabely gives the lord 3s. to have the judgment of twelve men as to certain land whereof Noah deforces him; pledges, Richard Smith, Ralph Bernard. The said jurors say that Noah the Fat has right; therefore etc.
  15. Agnes Stampelove gives the lord 2s. for leave to come and go in the vill but to dwell outside the lord's land. Pledge, Richard Smith.
  16. Godfrey Tailor the younger for a trespass, 2s.
  17. Whereas Godfrey Tailor the younger has demanded against Noah a farthing land, now the action is compromised in manner following:- -Godfrey for himself and his heirs remises to the said Noah and his heirs all right and claim which he has or can have in the said farthing land by reason of the gift made by his grandfather John Tailor.
  18. Agnes Mabely is put in seisin of a farthing land which her mother held, and gives the lord 33s.4d. for entry money. Pledges, Noah, William Askil.
  19. The full court declares that in case any woman shall have altogether quitted the lord's domain and shall marry a freeman, she may return and recover whatever right and claim she has in any land; but if she shall be joined to a serf, then she cannot do this during the serf's lifetime, but after his death she may.
  20. William Alice's son is put in seisin of a bakehouse in the King's Street, and shall keep up the house at his own cost and gives 12d. for entry money, and 10s. annual rent payable at three terms, viz. 3s.4d. at Martinmas, 3s.4d. at Lady Day, 3s.4d. at Christmas. Pledges, Adam Clerk, John Deboneir.
  21. John son of Alma demands a cottage which Henry Fleming holds and gives the lord 12d. for the oath and recognition of 12 men; pledge, Richard Jordan. The jurors say that Henry Fleming has the better right.
  22. Baldwin Cobbler's son finds [as pledges] Walter Cobbler, Roger of Broadwater, Robert Linene, William Frances, that notwithstanding his stay in London he will always make suit with his tithing and will at no time claim any liberty contrary to the lord's will and will come to the lord whenever the lord wills.
  23. Simon Patrick gives the lord 12d. to have the judgment of the court as to a cottage of which the widow of Geoffrey Dogers deforces him; pledge, Simon of Strode. The said jurors say that the said Simon has the better right. And the said Simon remises and quitclaims all his right to his sister Maud and her husband John Horin, [who] gives the lord 10s. for entry money; pledges, Simon Patrick, John Talk.
  24. Hugh Wiking for not making suit at the lord's mill, 12d.
  25. It was presented that William Derwin and John Derwin (fine, 12d.) committed a trespass against Agnes Dene, and the cry was raised, therefore etc.
  26. Hugh Churchyard contracted [marriage] without the lord's leave; [fine] 12d.
  27. Let Juliana Forester be distrained for her default, also William Moor.
  28. John Kulbel in mercy (fine, 12d.) for not producing Gregory Miller, and he is commanded to produce him at the next court.
  29. Hugh Andrew's son gives the lord 4s. for leave to marry; pledge, Robert Serjeant.
  30. Juliana Forester gives the lord 12d. in order that for the future no occasion may be taken against her for neglect of suit of court.
  31. John Franklain is put in seisin of his father's tenement and gives the lord 20s. for entry; pledge, Robert Serjeant.
  32. Henry Cross gives the lord 4s. for license to marry; pledge, Robert Serjeant.
  33. Isabella Warin gives the lord 4s. for leave to give her daughter Mary in marriage; pledge, John Serjeant.
  34. It is presented by the whole township that Ralph le War has disseised the lord of a moiety of a hedge, whereas it had often been adjudged by award of the court that the said hedge belongs as to one moiety to the lord and as to the other to Ralph, and the said Ralph claims and takes to his use the whole to the lord's damage etc. Also they say that the said Ralph holds Overcolkescroft, which land by right is the lord's.
  35. It is presented by unanimous verdict of the whole court that if anyone marries a woman who has right in any land according to the custom of the manor and is seised thereof by the will of the lord, and the said woman surrenders her right and her seisin into the hands of the lord and her husband receives that right and seisin from the hands of the lord, in such case the heirs of the woman are for ever barred from the said land and the said right remains to the husband and his heirs. Therefore let William Wood, whose case falls under this rule, hold his land in manner aforesaid. And for the making of this inquest the said William gives the lord 6s.8d.
  36. The tenements of Lucy Mill are to be seized into the lord's hands because of the adultery which she has committed and the bailiff is to answer for them.
    The chief pledges present that Cristina daughter of Richard Maleville has married at London without the lord's licence; therefore let the said Richard be distrained. He has made fine with 12d. Also that Alice Berde has done the same; therefore let her be distrained. Also that Robert Fountain has committed a trespass against William Gery; therefore the said Robert is in mercy; pledge, Humfrey; fine, 6d. Also that Richard Maleville has drawn blood from Stephen Gust; therefore he is in mercy; fine, 2s.
  37. Geoffrey Coterel in mercy for a battery; fine, 12d.; pledge, Adam Serjeant. Geoffrey Coterel for trespass in the hay; fine, 6d.; pledge, Alan Reaper. Hugh of Senholt in mercy for trespass in the green wood; fine, 6d.
  38. Hugh Wiking in mercy for delay in doing his works; fine, 6d. Hugh Churchyard for trespass in [cutting] thorns; fine, 6d. Thomas Gold in mercy for trespass in the wood; fine, 3d.; pledge, Robert Grinder.
  39. William Dun in mercy for subtraction of his works due in autumn; fine, 2s. Avice Isaac for the same, 6d.; Hugh Wiking for the same, 6d.; Agnes Rede in mercy for her daughter's trespass in the corn [grain], 6d.
  40. Walter Ash in mercy for not making suit to the lord's mill; fine, 6d. Hugh Pinel in mercy for diverting a watercourse to the nuisance of the neighbors; fine, 6d.; pledge, Robert Fresel.
  41. John Dun in mercy for carrying off corn [grain] in the autumn; pledge, Adam White. Alan Reaper gives the lord 12d. on account of a sheep which was lost while in his custody.
  42. Adam White in mercy for bad mowing; fine, 6d. Hugh Harding in mercy for the same; fine, 6d.
  43. The chief pledges present that Henry Blackstone (fine, 6d.), Hugh Churchyard (fine, 18d.), Walter Ash (fine, 6d.), Henry of Locksbarow (fine, 12d.), Avice Isaac (fine, 6d.), Richard Matthew (fine, 6d.), Hugh Wiking (fine,—), Ralph Dene (fine, 6d.), John Palmer (fine, 12d.), John Coterel (fine, 6d.), John Moor (fine, 6d.), John Cubbel (fine, 12d.), Hugh Andrew (fine, 6d.), Philip Chapman (fine, 6d.), John Fellow (fine, 12d.), Robert Bailiff (fine, 6d.), Alice Squire (fine, 12d.), John Grately (fine,—), Richard Hull (fine, 6d.), Osbert Reaper (fine, 6d.), and Robert Cross (fine, 6d.), have broken the assize of beer. Also that Henry of Senholt, Henry Brown, Hugh Hayward, Richard Moor, Juliana Woodward, Alice Harding, Peronel Street, Eleanor Mead make default. Also that Walter Ash (fine,—), John Wiking (fine,—), John Smart (fine,—), and Henry Coterel have married themselves without the lord's licence; therefore let them be distrained to do the will of the lord.
  44. Alan Reaper for the trespass of his foal; fine, 6d.
  45. Philip Chapman in mercy for refusing his gage to the lord's bailiff; fine, 3d.
  46. William Ash in mercy for trespass in the growing crop; fine, 6d.
  47. John Iremonger in mercy for contempt; fine, 6d.
  48. The chief pledges present that William of Ripley (fine, 6d.), Walter Smith (no goods), Maud of Pasmere (fine, 6d.), have received [strangers] contrary to the assize; therefore they are in mercy.
  49. Maud widow of Reginald of Challow has sufficiently proved that a certain sheep valued at 8d. is hers, and binds herself to restore it or its price in case it shall be demanded from her within year and day; pledges, John Iremonger and John Robertd; and she gives the lord 3d. for [his] custody [of it].

The Court of Hustings in London is empowered to award landlords their tenements for which rent or services are in arrears if the landlord could not distrain enough tenant possessions to cover the arrearages.

Wills are proven in the Court of Husting, the oldest court in London, which went back to the times of Edward the Confessor. One such proven will is:

"Tour (John de La) - To Robert his eldest son his capital messuage and wharf in the parish of Berchingechurch near the land called 'Berewardesland`. To Agnes his wife his house called 'Wyvelattestone', together with rents, reversions, etc. in the parish of S. Dunstan towards the Tower, for life; remainder to Stephen his son. To Peter and Edmund his sons lands and rents in the parish of All Hallows de Berhyngechurch; remainders over in default of heirs. To Agnes, wife of John le Keu, fishmonger, a house situate in the same parish of Berhyng, at a peppercorn [nominal] rent."

The Court of the Mayor of London heard diverse cases, including disputes over goods, faulty or substandard goods, adulteration, selling food unfit for human consumption, enhancing the price of goods, using unlawful weighing beams, debts, theft, distraints, forgery, tavern brawling, bullying, and gambling. Insulting or assaulting a city dignitary was a very serious crime; an attack on the mayor was once capitally punished. Sacrilege, rape, and burglary were punished by death. Apart from the death penalty, the punishment meted out the most was public exposure in the pillory, with some mark of ignominy slung round the neck. If the crime was selling bad food, it was burnt under the offender's nose. If it was sour wine, the offender was drenched in it. Standing in the pillory for even one hour was very humiliating, and by the end of the day, it was known throughout the city. The offender's reputation was ruined. Some men died in the pillory of shame and distress. A variation of the pillory was being dragged through the streets on a hurdle. Prostitutes were carted through the streets in coarse rough cloth hoods, with penitential crosses in their hands. Scolds were exposed in a "thewe" for women. In more serious cases, imprisonment for up to a year was added to the pillory. Mutilation was rare, but there are cases of men losing their right hands for rescuing prisoners. The death penalty was usually by hanging. The following four London cases pertain to customs, bad grain, surgery, and apprenticeship, respectively.

"John le Paumer was summoned to answer Richer de Refham, Sheriff, in a plea that, whereas the defendant and his Society of Bermen [carriers] in the City were sworn not to carry any wine, by land or water, for the use of citizens or others, without the Sheriff's mark, nor lead nor cause it to be led, whereby the Sheriff might be defrauded of his customs, nevertheless he caused four casks of wine belonging to Ralph le Mazun of Westminster to be carried from the City of Westminster without the Sheriff's mark, thus defrauding the latter of his customs in contempt of the king etc. The defendant acknowledged the trespass. Judgment that he remain in the custody of the Sheriff till he satisfy the King and the Court for offense."

"Walter atte Belhaus, William atte Belhous, Robert le Barber dwelling at Ewelleshalle, John de Lewes, Gilbert le Gras, John his son, Roger le Mortimer, William Ballard atte Hole, Peter de Sheperton, John Brun and the wife of Thomas the pelterer, Stephen de Haddeham, William de Goryngg, Margery de Frydaiestrate, Mariot, who dwells in the house of William de Harwe, and William de Hendone were attached to answer for forestalling all kinds of grain and exposing it, together with putrid grain, on the pavement, for sale by the bushel, through their men and women servants; and for buying their own grain from their own servants in deception of the people. The defendants denied that they were guilty and put themselves on their country. A jury of Richard de Hockeleye and others brought in a verdict of guilty, and the defendants were committed to prison till the next Parliament."

"Peter the Surgeon acknowledged himself bound to Ralph de Mortimer, by Richard atte Hill his attorney, in the sum of 20s., payable at certain terms, the said Ralph undertaking to give Peter a letter of acquittance [release from a debt]. This Recognizance arose out of a covenant between them with regard to the effecting of a cure. Both were amerced for coming to an agreement out of Court. A precept was issued to summon all the surgeons of the City for Friday, that an inquiry might be made as to whether the above Peter was fitted to enjoy the profession of a surgeon."

"Thomas de Kydemenstre, shoemaker, was summoned to answer William de Beverlee, because he did not clothe, feed and instruct his apprentice Thomas, William's son, but drove him away. The defendant said that the apprentice lent his master's goods to others and promised to restore them or their value, but went away against his wish; and he demanded a jury. Subsequently, a jury of William de Upton and others said the apprentice lent two pairs of shoes belonging to his master and was told to restore them, but, frightened by the beating which he received, ran away; further that the master did not feed and clothe his apprentice as he ought, being unable to do so, to the apprentice's damage 40d., but that he was now in a position to look after his apprentice. Thereupon Thomas de Kydemenstre said he was willing to have the apprentice back and provide for him, and the father agreed. Judgment that the master take back the apprentice and feed and instruct him, or that he repay to the father, the money paid to the latter, and that he pay the father the 40d. and be in mercy."

A professional class of temporal attorneys whose business it is to appear on behalf of litigants is prominent in the nation. Attorneys are now drawn from the knightly class of landed gentlemen, instead of ecclesiastical orders. Since it was forbidden for ecclesiastics to act as advocates in the secular courts, those who left the clergy to become advocates adopted a close-fitting cap to hide their tonsures, which came to be called a "coif". The great litigation of the nation is conducted by a small group of men, as is indicated by the earliest Year Books of case decisions. They sit in court and will sometimes intervene as amicus curiae [friends of the court]. Parliament refers difficult points of law to them as well as to the justices. These reports became so authoritative that they could be cited in the courts as precedent. Groups of attorneys from the countryside who are appearing in London courts during term-time and living in temporary lodgings start to form guild-like fellowships and buy property where they dine and reside together, called the Inns of Court. They begin to think of themselves as belonging to a profession, with a feeling of responsibility for training the novices who sat in court to learn court procedures and attorney techniques. They invited these students to supper at the Inns of Court for the purpose of arguing about the day's cases. The Inns of Court evolved a scheme of legal education, which was oral and used disputations. Thus they became educational institutions as well as clubs for practicing attorneys. The call to the bar of an Inn was in effect a degree. To be an attorney one had to be educated and certified at the Inns of Court. They practice law full time. Some are employed by the King. Justices come to be recruited from among those who had passed their lives practicing law in court, instead of from the ecclesiastical orders. All attorneys were brought under the control of the justices.

There are two types of attorney: one attorney appears in the place of his principal, who does not appear. The appointment of this attorney is an unusual and a solemn thing, only to be allowed on special grounds and with the proper formalities. For instance, a poor person may not be able to afford to travel to attend the royal court in person. The other one is the pleader-attorney, who accompanies his client to court and advocates his position with his knowledge of the law and his persuasiveness.

In 1280, the city of London made regulations for the admission of both types of attorneys to practice before the civic courts, and for their due control. In 1292 the king directed the justices to provide a certain number of attorneys and apprentices to follow the court, who should have the exclusive right of practicing before it. This begins the process which will make the attorney for legal business an "officer of the court" which has appointed him.

Chapter 9

The Times: 1348-1399

Waves of the black death, named for the black spots on the body, swept over the nation. The black blotches were caused by extensive internal bleeding. The plague was carried in the blood of black rats and transmitted to humans by the bite of the rat flea, but this cause was unknown. The first wave of this plague, in 1348, lasted for three years and desolated the nation by about one half the population in the towns and one third in the country. People tried to avoid the plague by flight. The agony and death of so many good people caused some to question their belief in God. Also, it was hard to understand why priests who fled were less likely to die than priests who stayed with the dying to give them the last rites. Legal and judicial, as well as other public business, ceased for two years, interrupted by the plague. Thus begins a long period of disorganization, unrest, and social instability. Customary ways were so upset that authority and tradition were no longer automatically accepted. Fields lay waste and sheep and cattle wandered over the countryside. Local courts could seldom be held. Some monasteries in need of cash sold annuities to be paid in the form of food, drink, clothing, and lodging during the annuitant's life, and sometimes that of his widow also. Guilds and rich men made contributions to the poor and ships with provisions were sent to various parts of the country for the relief of starving people. In London, many tradesmen and artisans formed parish fraternities which united people of all social levels and women on almost equal terms with men, in communal devotion and mutual support, such as help in resolving disputes, moral guidance, money when needed, and burial and masses.

Farm workers were so rare that they were able to demand wages at double or triple the pre-plague rate. The pre-plague had been 4-6d. daily for masons, carpenters, plasterers, and tilers and 3d. for their laborers. These laborers could buy 12 cheap loaves, 3 gallons of ale, and a gallon of cheap wine or half a pair of shoes. Prices did not go up nearly as much as wages. Villeins relinquish their tenements, and deserted their manors, to get better wages elsewhere. They became nomadic, roaming from place to place, seeking day work for good wages where they could get it, and resorting to thievery on the highways or beggary where they could not. The Robin Hood legends were popular among them. In them, Robin Hood is pure outlaw and does not contribute money to the poor. Nor does he court Maid Marion.

They spread political songs among each other, such as: "To seek silver to the King, I my seed sold; wherefore my land lieth fallow and learneth to sleep. Since they fetched my fair cattle in my fold; when I think of my old wealth, well nigh I weep. Thus breedeth many beggars bold; and there wakeneth in the world dismay and woe, for as good is death anon as so for to toil."

Groups of armed men took lands, manors, goods, and women by force. The villeins agreed to assist each other in resisting by force their lords' efforts to return them to servitude. A statute of laborers passed in 1351 for wages to be set at the pre-plague rates was ineffectual. Justices became afraid to administer the law. Villeins, free peasants, and craftsmen joined together and learned to use the tactics of association and strikes against their employers.

The office of Justice of the Peace was created for every county to deal with rioting and vagrants. Cooperation by officials of other counties was mandated to deal with fugitives from its justice.

The Black Death visited again in 1361 and in 1369. The Black Death reduced the population from about 5 million to about 2 1/2 million. It was to rise to about 4 million by 1600.

When there were attempts to enforce the legal servitude of the villeins, they spread rhymes of their condition and need to revolt. A secret league, called the "Great Society" linked the centers of intrigue. A high poll tax, graduated from 20s. to 12d., that was to be raised for a war with France, touched off a spontaneous riot all over the nation in 1381. This tax included people not taxed before, such as laborers, the village smith, and the village tiler. Each area had its own specific grievances. There was no common political motive, except maladministration in general.

In this Peasants' Revolt, mobs overran the counties around London. The upper classes fled to the woods. Written records of the servitude of villeins were burned in their halls, which were also looted. Title deeds of landlords were burned. Rate rolls of general taxation were destroyed. Prisoners were released from gaols. Men connected with tax collection, law enforcement, attorneys, and alien merchants were beheaded. The Chief Justice was murdered while fleeing. The archbishop, who was a notoriously exploitive landlord, the chancellor, and the treasurer were murdered. Severed heads were posted on London Bridge. A mob took control of the king's empty bedchamber in the Tower. The villeins demanded that service to a lord be by agreement instead of by servitude, a commutation of villein service for rents of a maximum of 4d. per acre yearly, abolition of a lord's right for their work on demand (e.g. just before a hail storm so only his crops were saved), and the right to hunt and fish. The sokemen protested having to use the lord's mill and having to attend his court.

The revolt was suppressed and its leaders punished. The king issued proclamations forbidding unauthorized gatherings and ordering tenants of land to perform their customary services. The poll tax was dropped. For the future, the duty to deal with rioting and vagrants was given to royal justices, sheriffs, mayors, bailiffs, and constables as well as the Justices of the Peace. There was a high Peace in each hundred and a petty constable in each parish. Justices of the Peace could swear in neighbors as unpaid special constables when disorder broke out.

The sheriff was responsible for seeing that men of the lower classes were organized into groups of ten for police and surety purposes, and for holding of hundred and county courts, arresting suspects, guarding prisoners awaiting trial, carrying out the penalties adjudged by the courts, and collecting Crown revenue through his bailiffs. Royal writs were addressed to the sheriff. Because many sheriffs had taken fines and ransoms for their own use, a term limit of one year was imposed. Sheriffs, hundreders, and bailiffs had to have lands in the same counties or bailiwicks [so they could be held answerable to the King].

Efforts were made to keep laborers at the plough and cart rather than learn a craft or entering and being educated by the church. The new colleges at the universities ceased to accept villeins as students.

Due to the shortage of labor, landlords' returns had decreased from about 20% to about 5%. But some found new methods of using land that were more profitable than the customary services of villeins who had holdings of land or the paid labor of practically free men who paid a money rent for land holdings. One method was to turn the land to sheep breeding. Others leased their demesne land, which transferred the burden of getting laborers from the landlord to the lessee-tenant. The payment was called a "farm" and the tenant a "farmer". First, there were stock-and-land leases, in which both the land and everything required to cultivate it were let together. After 50 years, when the farmers had acquired assets, there were pure land leases. Landlords preferred to lease their land at will instead of for a term of years to prevent the tenant from depleting the soil with a few richer crops during the last years of his tenancy. The commutation of labor services into a money payment developed into a general commutation of virtually all services. Lords in need of money gladly sold manumissions to their villeins.

The lord and lady of some manors now ate with their family and entertained guests in a private parlor [from French word 'to speak"] or great chamber, where they could converse and which had its own fireplace. The great chamber was usually at the dais end of the great hall. The great hall had been too noisy for conversation and now was little used. There were also separate chambers or bed-sitting rooms for guests or members the family or household, in which one slept, received visitors, played games, and occasionally ate.

Some farmers achieved enough wealth to employ others as laborers on their farms. The laborers lived with their employer in his barn, sleeping on hay in the loft, or in mud huts outside the barn. The farmer's family lived at one end of the barn around an open fire. Their possessions typically were: livestock, a chest, a trestle table, benches, stools, an iron or bronze cauldron and pots, brooms, wooden platters, wooden bowls, spoons, knives, wooden or leather jugs, a salt box, straw mattresses, wool blankets, linen towels, iron tools, and rush candles [used the pith of a rush reed for the wick]. Those who could not afford rush candles could get a dim light by using a little grease in a shallow container, with a few twisted strands of linen thread afloat in it. The peasants ate dark bread and beans and drank water from springs. Milk and cheese were a luxury for them. Those who could not afford bread instead ate oat cakes made of pounded beans and bran, cheese, and cabbage. They also had leeks, onions, and peas as vegetables. Some farmers could afford to have a wooden four-posted bedstead, hens, geese, pigs, a couple of cows, a couple of sheep, or two plow oxen. July was the month when the divide between rich and poor became most apparent. The rich could survive on the contents of their barns, but the poor tried to survive by grinding up the coarsest of wheat bran and shriveled peas and beans to make some sort of bread. Grain and bread prices soared during July. Farming still occupied the vast majority of the population. Town inhabitants and university students went into the fields to help with the harvest in the summer. Parliament was suspended during the harvest.

Town people had more wealth than country people. Most townspeople slept in nightgowns and nightcaps in beds with mattresses, blankets, linen sheets, and pillows. Beds were made every morning. Bathing was by sponging hot water from a basin over the body, sometimes with herbs in it, rinsing with a splash of warm water, and drying off with a towel. Tubs used only for baths came into use. There were drapery rugs hung around beds, handheld mirrors of glass, and salt cellars. The first meal of the day was a light breakfast, which broke the fast that had lasted the night. Meals were often prepared according to recipes from cook books which involved several preparation procedures using flour, eggs, sugar, cheese, and grated bread, rather than just simple seasoning. Menus were put together with foods that tasted well together and served on plates in several courses. Sheffield cutlery was world famous. Table manners included not making sounds when eating, not playing with one's spoon or knife, not placing one's elbows on the table, keeping one's mouth clean with a napkin, and not being boisterous. There were courtesies such as saying "Good Morning" when meeting someone and not pointing one's finger at another person. King Richard II invented the handkerchief for sneezing and blowing one's nose. There were books on etiquette. Cats were the object of superstition, but there was an Ancient and Honorable Order of the Men Who Stroke Cats.

New burgesses were recruited locally, usually from within a 20 mile radius of town. Most of the freemen of the larger boroughs, like Canterbury and London, came from smaller boroughs. An incoming burgess was required to buy his right to trade either by way of a seven year apprenticeship or by payment of an entry fee. To qualify, he needed both a skill and social respectability.

Towns started acquiring from the king the right to vacant sites and other waste places, which previously was the lord's right. The perpetuality of towns was recognized by statutes of 1391, which compared town-held property to church-held property. The right of London to pass ordinances was confirmed by charter. Some towns had a town clerk, who was chief of full-time salaried officers. There was a guildhall to maintain, a weigh-house, prison, and other public buildings, municipal water supplies, wharves, cranes, quays, wash-houses, and public lavatories.

After the experience of the black death, some sanitary measures were taken. The notorious offenders in matters of public hygiene in the towns, such as the butchers, the fishmongers, and the leather tanners were assigned specific localities where their trades would do least harm. The smiths and potters were excluded from the more densely populated areas because they were fire risks. In the town of Salisbury, there was Butcher Row, Ox Row, Fish Row, Ironmongers' Row, Wheelwrights' Row, Smiths' Row, Pot Row, Silver Street, Cheese Market, and Wool Market.

For water, most communities depended on rivers that ran near by or on public wells that were dug to reach the water underground. Some towns had water public water supply systems. Fresh water was brought into the town from a spring or pond above the town by wood or lead pipes or open conduits. Sometimes tree trunks were hollowed out and tapered at the ends to fit into the funnel-shaped end of another. But they leaked a lot. In London, a conduit piped water underground to a lead tank, from which it was delivered to the public by means of pipes and brass taps in the stone framework. This was London's chief water supply. Water carriers carried water in wooden devices on their backs to houses.

The paving and proper drainage of the streets became a town concern. Building contracts began specifying the provision of adequate cesspits for the privies at town houses, whether the latrines were built into the house or as an outhouse. Also, in the better houses, there grew a practice of carting human and animal fecal matter at night to dung heaps outside the city walls. There was one public latrine in each ward and about twelve dung carts for the whole city. Country manor houses had latrines on the ground floor and/or the basement level. Stairwells between floors had narrow and winding steps.

In London, the Goldsmiths, Merchant Taylors [Tailors], Skinners, and Girdlers bought royal charters, which recognized their power of self-government as a company and their power to enforce their standards, perhaps throughout the country. The Goldsmiths, the Mercers, and the Saddlers became the first guilds to receive, in 1394-5, charters of incorporation, which gave them perpetual existence. As such they could hold land in "mortmain" [dead hand], thus depriving the king of rights that came to him on the death of a tenant-in-chief. They were authorized to bestow livery on their members and were called Livery Companies. The liverymen [freemen] of the trading companies elected London's representatives to Parliament.

In all towns, the organization of craft associations spread rapidly downwards through the trades and sought self-government. Craft guilds were gaining much power relative to the old merchant guilds in governing the towns. The greater crafts such as the fishmongers, skinners, and the corders (made rope, canvas, and pitch) organized and ultimately were recognized by town authorities as self-governing craft guilds. The building trade guilds such as the tilers, carpenters, masons, and joiners, became important. Masons were still itinerant, going to sites of churches, public buildings, or commanded by the king to work on castles. The guild was not necessarily associated with a specific product. For instance, a saddle and bridle were the result of work of four crafts: joiner (woodworker), painter, saddler (leather), and lorimer (metal trappings).

In London in 1392 craft guilds included: baker, fishmonger (cut up and sold fish), fruitier, brewer, butcher, bird dealer, cook, apothecary (sold potions he had ground up), cutler (made knives and spoons), barber, tailor, shoemaker, glover (made gloves), skinner (sold furs), girdler (made girdles of cloth to wear around one's waist), pouchmaker, armorer, sheathmaker, weaver, fuller, painter, carpenter, joiner (woodworker who finished interior woodwork such as doors and made furniture), tiler, mason (cut stone for buildings), smith (made metal tools for stonemasons and builders), tallow chandler (made candles and sometimes soap from the fat and grease the housewife supplied), wax chandler (made candles), stirrup maker, spurrier (made spurs), and hosteler (innkeeper). However, the merchant guilds of the goldsmiths, vintners (sold wine), mercers (sold cloth), grocers, and drapers (finished and sold English cloth) were still strong. It was a long custom in London that freemen in one company could practice the trade of another company. There were paint mills and saw mills replacing human labor. There were apothecary shops and women surgeons. Women who earned their own living by spinning were called "spinsters".

Some prices in London were: a hen pastry 5d., a capon pastry 8d., a roast pheasant 13d., a roast heron 18d., roast goose 7d., a hen 4d., a capon 6d., three roast thrushes 2d., ten larks 3d., ten finches 1d, and ten cooked eggs 1d.

Many of the guilds bought sites on which they built a chapel, which was later used as a secular meeting place. The guild officers commonly included an alderman, stewards, a dean, and a clerk, who were elected. The guild officers sat as a guild court to determine discipline for offenses such as false weights or measures or false workmanship or work and decided trade disputes. The brethren in guild fraternity were classified as masters, journeymen, or apprentices. They were expected to contribute to the support of the sick and impoverished in their fellowship. Their code required social action such as ostracizing a man of the craft who was living in adultery until he mended his ways.

The rules of the Company of Glovers were:

  1. None but a freeman of the city shall make or sell gloves.
  2. No glover may be admitted to the freedom of the city unless with the assent of the wardens of the trade.
  3. No one shall entice away the servant of another.
  4. If a servant in the trade makes away with his master's chattels to the value of 12d., the wardens shall make good the loss; and if the servant refuses to be judged by the wardens, he shall be taken before the mayor and aldermen.
  5. No one may sell his goods by candlelight.
  6. Any false work found shall be taken before the mayor and aldermen by the wardens.
  7. All things touching the trade within the city between those who are not freemen shall be forfeited.
  8. Journeymen shall be paid their present rate of wages.
  9. Persons who entice away journeymen glovers to make gloves in their own houses shall be brought before the mayor and aldermen.
  10. Any one of the trade who refuses to obey these regulations shall be brought before the mayor and aldermen.

Cordwainers [workers in soft cordovan leather from Spain, especially shoes] of good repute petitioned the city of London in 1375 for ordinances on their trade as follows:

"To the mayor and aldermen of the city of London pray the good folks of the trade of cordwainers of the same city, that it may please you to grant unto them the articles that follow, for the profit of the common people; that so, what is good and right may be done unto all manner of folks, for saving the honor of the city and lawfully governing the said trade.

In the first place - that if any one of the trade shall sell to any person shoes of bazen [sheepskin tanned in oak or larch-bark] as being cordwain, or of calf-leather for ox-leather, in deceit of the common people, and to the scandal of the trade, he shall pay to the Chamber of the Guildhall, the first time that he shall be convicted thereof, forty pence; the second time, 7s. half a mark; and the third time the same, and further, at the discretion of the mayor and aldermen.

Also - that no one of the trade shall keep house within the franchise if he be not free [invested with the rights or privileges] of the city and one knowing his trade, and that no one shall be admitted to the freedom without the presence of the wardens of the trade bearing witness to his standing, on the pain aforesaid.

Also - if any one of the trade shall be found offending touching the trade, or rebellious against the wardens thereof, such person shall not make complaint to any one of another trade, by reason of the discord or dissension that may have arisen between them; but he shall be ruled by the good folks of his own trade. And if he shall differ from them as acting against right, then let the offense be adjudged upon before the mayor and aldermen; and if he be found rebellious against the ordinance, let him pay to the Chamber the sum above mentioned.

Also - that no one of the trade shall entice or purloin the servant of another from the service of his master by paying him more than is ordained by the trade, on the pain aforesaid.

Also - that no one shall carry out of his house any wares connected with his trade for sale in market or elsewhere except only at a certain place situated between Soperesland and the Conduit; and that at a certain time of the day, that is to say, between prime [the first hour of the day] and noon. And that no shoes shall exceed the measure of seven inches, so that the wares may be surveyed by the good folks of the trade, because of the deceit upon the common people that might ensue and the scandal of the trade, on the pain aforesaid.

Also - that no one shall expose his wares openly for sale in market on Sundays at any place, but only within his own dwelling to serve the common people, on the pain aforesaid.

Also - that if any one sells old shoes, he shall not mix new shoes among the old in deceit of the common people and to the scandal of the trade, on the pain aforesaid."

Smithfield was a field outside the city gates at which horses were sold and raced. In 1372, the horse dealers and drovers petitioned for a tax on animals sold there to pay for cleaning the field. The city ordinance reads as follows: "On Wednesday next after the Feast of St. Margaret the Virgin came reputable men, the horse dealers and drovers, and delivered unto the mayor and aldermen a certain petition in these words: 'To the mayor, recorder, and aldermen show the dealers of Smithfield, that is to say, the coursers and drovers, that for the amendment of the said field they have granted and assented among them that for the term of three years next ensuing after the date of this petition for every horse sold in the said field there shall be paid one penny, for every ox and cow one halfpenny, for every eight sheep one penny, and for every swine one penny by the seller and the same by the purchaser who buys the same for resale.` Afterwards, on the eleventh day of August in the same year, Adam Fernham, keeper of the gaol at Newgate, Hugh, Averelle, bailiff of Smithfield, and William Godhewe, weaver, were chosen and sworn faithfully to collect and receive the said pennies in form aforesaid and to clean the field of Smithfield from time to time during such term of three years when necessary."

Many London houses were being made from stone and timber and even brick and timber, instead of just timber and mud. However, chimneys were still a luxury of the rich. They were made of stone, tile, or plaster. There were windows of glass and a guild of glaziers was chartered by the King. A typical merchant's house had a cellar; a ground floor with a shop and storage space; a first floor with a parlor to receive guests, a spacious hall for dining, and perhaps a kitchen; and at the top, a large family bedroom and a servant's room. Many single-roomed houses added a second-floor room for sleeping, which was approached by a wooden or stone staircase from the outside. Their goods were displayed on a booth outside the door of the house or hung in the windows. They were stored at night in the cellar. Over the booths swung huge signs, which had to be nine feet above street level to allow a man on horseback to ride underneath. There were no sidewalks. Street repair work for wages was supervised by a stone master. The streets sloped down from the middle so that the filth of the streets would run down the sides of the road. There were many wood chips in the streets due to cutting up of firewood before taking it indoors. People often threw the rubbish from their houses onto the street although they were supposed to cart it outside the city walls and to clean the frontage of their houses once a week. Dustmen scavenged through the rubbish on the streets. Pigs and geese were not longer allowed to run at large in the streets, but had to be fed at home. There were other city rules on building, public order, the use of fountains, precautions against fire, trading rights in various districts, closing time of taverns, and when refuse could be thrown into the streets, e.g. nighttime.

Aldermen were constantly making rounds to test measures and weights, wine cups, the height of tavern signs, and the mesh of the fishing nets, which had to be at least two inches wide. They saw that the taverns were shut when curfew was rung and arrested anyone on the street after curfew who had a weapon, for no one with a sword was allowed on the streets unless he was some great lord or other substantial person of good reputation. Wards provided citizens to guard the gates in their respective neighborhood and keep its key.

The city was so dense that nuisance was a common action brought in court, for instance, vegetable vendors near a church obstructing passageway on the street or plumbers melting their solder with a lower than usual shaft of the furnace so smoke was inhaled by people nearby.

Crime in London was rare. Murder, burglary, highway robbery, and gross theft were punishable by hanging. Forgery, fraud, was punishable by the placement in the pillory or stocks or by imprisonment. Perjury was punished by confession from a high stool for the first offense, and the pillory for the second. Slander and telling lies were punished by the pillory and wearing a whetstone around one's neck. There was an ordinance passed against prostitutes in 1351. London as well as other port towns had not only prostitutes, but syphilis.

Prominent Londoners sought to elevate their social position by having their family marry into rural landholders of position. For poor boys with talent, the main routes for advancement were the church, the law, and positions in great households.

Many master freemasons, who carved freestone or finely grained sandstone and limestone artistically with mallet and chisel, left the country for better wages after their wages were fixed by statute. The curvilinear gothic style of architecture was replaced by the perpendicular style, which was simpler and cheaper to build. Church steeples now had clocks on them with dials and hands to supplement the church bell ringing on the hour. Alabaster was often used for sepulchral monuments instead of metal or stone. With it, closer portraiture could be achieved.

In the 1300s and 1400s the London population suffered from tuberculosis, typhus, influenza, leprosy, dysentery, smallpox, diphtheria, measles, heart disease, fevers, coughs, cramps, catarrhs and cataracts, scabs, boils, tumors, and "burning agues". There were also many deaths by fires, burning by candles near straw beds when drunk, falling downstairs when drunk, and drowning in the river or wells. Children were often crushed by carts, trampled by horses, or mauled by pigs. Towns recognized surgery as a livelihood subject to admission and oath to serve the social good. Master surgeons were admitted to practice in 1369 in London in full husting before the mayor and the aldermen and swore to: faithfully serve the people in undertaking their cures, take reasonably from them, faithfully follow their calling, present to the said mayor and aldermen the defaults of others undertaking, so often as should be necessary; to be ready, at all times when they should be warned, to attend the maimed or wounded and others, to give truthful information to the officers of the city as to such maimed, wounded, or others whether they be in peril of death or not, and to faithfully do all other things touching their calling.

Some young girls of good families were boarded at nunneries to be taught there. Some upper class widows retired there. Only women were allowed to be present at a birth, at which they spread the knowledge of midwifery. As usual, many women died giving birth. Various ways to prevent pregnancy were tried. It was believed that a baby grew from a seed of the father planted in the woman's body.

Infant mortality was especially high in boroughs and burgess family lines usually died out. A three-generation family span was exceptional in the towns, despite family wealth.

Children's sweets included gingerbread and peppermint drops. After the plague, gentlemen no longer had their children learn to speak Norman. The grammar schools taught in English instead of Norman as of 1362. Bishops began to preach in English. English became the official language of Parliament, in 1363, and the courts, replacing Norman and Latin.

A will in 1389 in which a wealthy citizen arranges for one son to become a attorney and the other a merchant: "Will of William de Tonge, citizen of London: One hundred marks [1,333s.] each to my two sons. And I will that my said two sons shall live upon the profits of the money bequeathed to them above until the age of twenty years. And if my said two sons be well learned in grammar and adorned with good manners, which shall be known at the end of twenty years, and the elder son wish to practice common law, and if it is known that he would spend his time well in that faculty, I will that over and above the profit of the said one hundred marks he shall have yearly from my rents for the term of seven years five marks [67s.]. And if he should waste his time aforesaid, or if he should marry foolishly and unsuitably, I will that he receive nothing more of the said five marks.

And if younger son wishes to attend the University of Oxford or to establish himself well in the mystery of a merchant after the age of twenty years, and [if] there be knowledge of his praiseworthy progress in his faculty or his carefulness in trading ... I will that he shall receive five marks yearly in the manner described above for his maintenance, over and above the profit of the said one hundred marks to him bequeathed, for the space of seven years; and if he behave himself otherwise, I will that thereupon he be excluded from the said five marks. And in case the said bequest of 200 marks [2,667s.] to him and his brother shall be annulled so that he shall have nothing therefrom ... then the said 200 marks shall be spent upon all the yearly chaplains who can be had to celebrate divine service in the church of All Hallows for my soul."

England was still an agricultural rather than a manufacturing country. Imported were cloth, silks, linen, velvets, furs, glass, wines, candles, millstones, amber, iron, and mercury. Exported were wool, leather, lead, tin, and alabaster for sculpturing. Merchant adventurers came to manufacture cloth good enough for export and began to buy up raw wool in such quantity that its export declined. They took their cloth abroad to sell, personally or by agents.

An Oxford theologian and preacher, John Wyclif, voiced the popular resentment of the materialism of the church, benefit of clergy, immorality of priests, and the selling of indulgences and pardons. Encouraged by the king, he argued against the supremacy of the papal law over the King's courts and against payments to the papacy. He opined that the church had no power to excommunicate. The friars had become mere beggars and the church was still wealthy. He proposed that all goods should be held in common by the righteous and that the church should hold no property but be entirely spiritual. He believed that people should rely on their individual consciences. He thought that the Bible should be available to people who could read English so that the people could have a direct access to God without priests or the pope. Towards this end, he translated it from Latin into English in 1384. His preachers spread his views throughout the country. The church then possessed about one-third of the land of the nation.

William of Ockham, an Englishman educated at Oxford and teaching theology in Paris, taught that the primary form of knowledge came from experience gained through the senses and that God might cause a person to think that he has intuitive knowledge of an existent object when there is in fact no such object.

Most great lords were literate. Many stories described good men, who set an example to be followed, and bad men, whose habits were to be avoided. Stories were written about pilgrimage vacations of ordinary people to religious sites in England. Will Langland's poem "The Vision of William Concerning Piers Plowman" portrays a pilgrimage of common people to the shrine of Truth led by a virtuous laborer. Mystics wrote practical advice with transcendental teaching, for instance "Scale of Perfection" attributed to Walter Hilton and "Cloud of Unknowing". Richard Rolle wrote about spiritual matters, probably the "Prick of Conscience". Richard de Bury wrote "Philobiblon" about book lovers. Jean Froissart wrote the "Chronicles" on knights. Courtly ideals were expressed in "Sir Gawaine and the Grene Knyght", wherein the adventures of the hero, an Arthur knight, are allegorical in the struggle against the world, the flesh, and the devil (1370). "Pearl" eulogized all that is pure and innocent on the event of the death of a two year old child.

Geoffrey Chaucer was a squire and diplomat of the king. His "Tales of the Canterbury Pilgrims" portrayed characters of every social class, including the knight with his squire, abbot, prioress, nun, priest, monk, friar, poor parson of the country, summoner (who enforced the jurisdiction and levied the dues of the church courts), pardoner (sold pardons from the pope), scholar, attorney, doctor, merchant, sailor, franklin, yeoman, haberdasher, tapestry- maker, ploughman, cook, weaver, dyer, upholsterer, miller, reeve, carpenter.

There were Chaucer stories about a beautiful and virtuous wife disliked by her mother-in-law, the difficulty of marriage between people of different religions, the hatred of a poor person by his brother and his neighbor, rich merchants who visited other kingdoms, the importance of a man himself following the rules he sets for other people's behavior, the spite of a man for a woman who rejected him, the relative lack of enthusiasm of a wife for sex as compared to her husband, a mother giving up her own comfort for that of her child, the revenge killing of a murderer by the dead man's friends, the joy of seeing a loved one after years of separation, that life is more sad than happy, that lost money can be retrieved, but time lost is lost forever.

Other stories in the Canterbury Tales were about two men who did not remain friends after they fell in love with the same woman, about a child who preferred to learn from an older child than from his schoolteacher, about a wife who convinced her husband not to avenge her beating for the sake of peace, about a man who woke up from bad dreams full of fear, about a man wanting to marry a beautiful woman but later realizing a plain wife would not be pursued by other men, about a man who drank so much wine that he lost his mental and physical powers, about a woman who married for money instead of love, about a man who said something in frustration which he didn't mean, about a person brought up in poverty who endured adversity better than one brought up in wealth, about a wife who was loving and wise, about a good marriage being more valuable than money, about a virgin who committed suicide rather than be raped, about a wife persuaded to adultery by a man who said he would otherwise kill himself, about three men who found a pile of gold and murdered each other to take it all, about an angry man who wanted to kill, about a malicious man who had joy in seeing other men in trouble and misfortune, about a man whose face turned red in shame, about a wife expecting to have half of what her husband owned. Paper supplemented parchment, so there were more books.

Political songs and poems were written about the evil times of King Edward II, the military triumphs of King Edward III, and the complaints of the poor against their oppressors, such as "Song of the Husbandman". John Gower wrote moralizing poems on the villein's revolt, the sins of the clergy and attorneys, and the bad rule of King Richard II, who in 1377 succeeded Edward III. Robin Hood ballads were popular. The minstrel, who was a honorable person, replaced the troubadour of older times.

There were many colleges at Oxford and Cambridge due to the prohibition of gifts to the church. Laymen instead of ecclesiastics were appointed as Chancellor. The Masters at Oxford got rid of ecclesiastical supervision by a bishop and archdeacon by 1368. One could be admitted as a student at age thirteen. The rate of maintenance for a student was 10d. weekly.

A Bachelor of Arts degree was granted after four years of study and an oral exam. Required reading in 1340 for the Bachelor's Degree was the new logic of Aristotle ("Prior and Posterior Analytics" e.g. on syllogistic logic and deduction, the "Topics", or the "Sophistical Refutations", e.g. logical fallacies such as from 'All A are B' to 'All B are A'), and a selection from these Aristotle works on physics: "Of Heaven and Earth", "On the Soul", "Of meteors", "Of Birth and Decay", or "Of Feeling and What is Felt" with "Of Memory and Recollection" and "Of Sleep and Waking", or "Of the Movement of Animals" with "Of Minor Points in Natural History".

A Master of Arts degree could be awarded after three more years of study and teaching. A Doctorate degrees in theology required ten more years of study. A Doctorate in civil or canon law required eight more years. A man with a degree in canon law who wanted to practice in a certain bishop's court had to first satisfy this bishop of his competence.

Another source of legal learning was in London, where the guilds gave rise to the Inns of Court. They used the Register of Writs, the case law of the Year Books, and disputation to teach their students.

For a doctorate in medicine from Oxford or Cambridge, five more years plus two years of practice were required. Surgery was not taught because it was considered manual labor, and there was some feeling that it was a sacrilege and dishonorable. Urinalysis and pulse beat were used for diagnosis. Epilepsy and apoplexy were understood as spasms inside the head. It was known what substances served as laxatives and diuretics. Teeth were extracted, eye cataracts were removed with a silver needle, and skin from the arm was grafted onto a mutilated face.

Englishmen who had collected books on philosophy, medicine, astronomy, and history and literature books from the continent gave their collections to the universities, which started their libraries. Marco Polo's discoveries on his journey to China were known.

The requirements of elementary and higher studies were adjusted in 1393 and began the public school system. William of Wykeham's school, St. Mary College of Winchester in Oxford was the prototype. The curriculum was civil law, canon law, medicine, with astronomical instruments that students made, theology, and the arts. The arts textbooks were still grammar, logic, Donatus, and Aristotle. Many laymen were literate, for instance country gentry, merchants, and craftsmen. Laymen instead of clerics were now appointed to the great offices of state.

Parliament met about twice a year and lasted from two weeks to several months. There was a well-defined group of about fifty barons and a few spiritual peers who were always summoned to Parliament and who composed a House of Lords. "Peer" now meant a member of the House of Lords. All peers had the right to approach the king with advice. The baron peers reasoned that the custom of regular attendance was a right that should be inherited by the eldest son, or by a female heir, if there were no male heirs. However, the theory of nobility by blood as conveying political privilege had no legal recognition. No female could attend Parliament; the husband of a baroness attended Parliament in her stead. Edward III and Richard II created new peers with various titles of dignity, such as duke and marquess, which were above barons and earls. The dukes and marquesses were identified with a territorial designation such as an English county or county town. Whenever a Parliament was assembled the commons were present. The commons was composed of representatives from 100 boroughs and 37 counties. Each new Parliament required an election of representatives. The members of the commons were generally the most prominent and powerful economic and political figures of the county and were repeatedly reelected. The electors were usually influenced by the sheriff or a powerful lord who suggested suitable men. The wealthy merchants typically represented the boroughs and paid much of the taxes. Under Edward III, the commons took a leading part in the granting of taxes and the presentation of petitions and became a permanent and distinct body, the House of Commons, with a spokesman or "speaker", chosen by the Crown, and a clerk. The speaker came to be an intermediary between the Commons and the king and between the Commons and the Lords. A clerk of Parliament registered its acts and sat with the Lords. A clerk of the Crown superintended the issue of writs and the receipt of the returns and attested the signature of the king on statutes. It became a regular practice for the Chancellor to open Parliament with an opportunity to present petitions after his opening speech. The king then referred them to certain peers and justices, who decided to which court, or Parliament, they should be sent. During the 1300s, the number of barons going to Parliament gradually decreased.

At the 1376 Parliament, ("the Good Parliament") the Commons, which formerly had only consented to taxes, took political action by complaining that the King's councilors had grown rich by war profiteering at the cost of impoverishing the nation and the people were too poor to endure any more taxation for the war and held a hearing on financial malfeasance and dishonesty of two ministers. The chamberlain had extorted enormous sums, had intercepted fines meant for the king's treasury, and had sold a castle to the enemy. The steward had bought debts of the king's. The House of Lords, the High Court of Parliament, found the charges proved and dismissed them permanently from office. This established the constitutional means for impeachment and prosecution by the Commons and removal by the House of Lords of ministers. By this process, there could be no royal intimidation, as there could be in the ordinary courts. The Commons demanded that its members be elected by county citizens rather than appointed by the sheriff.

The roles of Parliament and the King's council are starting to differentiate into legislative and executive, respectively. The legislative function is lawmaking, and the executive is regulation-making that refines and effectuates the laws of Parliament. But the legislative, executive, and judicial authorities have not as yet become so completely separated that they cannot on occasion work together.

Sheriffs dealt directly with the king instead of through an earl.

From 1150 to 1400, resistance was an ordinary remedy for political disagreements. If a popular leader raised his standard in a popular cause, an irregular army could be assembled in a day. (There was no regular army, since England was protected by the sea from invasion.) So misgovernment by a king would be quickly restrained. Society recovered quickly from conflict and civil war because the national wealth consisted chiefly in flocks and herds and in the simple buildings inhabited by the people. In a week after armed resistance, the agricultural worker was driving his team. There was little furniture, stock of shops, manufactured goods, or machinery that could be destroyed.

To support a war with France in 1353, the staple was reinstated by statute of 1353 after an experiment without it in which profits of a staple went to staples outside the nation. Wool exports were inspected for quality and taxed through his officials only at the designated staple ports. These officials included collectors, controllers, searchers [inspectors], surveyors, clerks, weighers, and crane-keepers. Wool, woolfells, leather, and lead sold for export had to go through the staple town. The penalty was forfeiture of lands, tenements, goods, and chattel. (The staple statute remained basically unchanged for the next 200 years.) The mayor and constables of the staple were elected annually by the native and foreign merchants of the place. The mayor gave validity to contracts for a set fee, by seal of his office. He and the constables had jurisdiction over all persons and things touching the staple, which was regulated by the Law Merchant in all matters of contract, covenant, debt, and felonies against foreign merchants. A hue and cry was required to be raised and followed for anyone taking a cart of merchandise or slaying a merchant, denizen [resident alien] or alien, or the town would answer for the robbery and damage done. In 1363, Calais, a continental town held by the English, became the staple town for lead, tin, cloth, and wool and was placed under a group of London capitalists: the Merchants of the Staple. All exports of these had to pass through Calais, where customs tax was collected.

Guns and cannon were common by 1372. In the 1300s and 1400s, the king relied on mercenaries hired directly or by contract with his great nobles for foreign wars. The King reimbursed the contractors with the profits of war, such as the ransoms paid by the families of rich prisoners. The fighting men supplemented their pay by plunder. Featherbeds and blooded horses were favorite spoils of war brought back to England from the continent. As new techniques with footmen came into being, the footmen became the core of the army and the knightly abilities of the feudal tenants-in-chief became less valuable.

Many lords got men to fight with them by livery and maintenance employment agreements such as this one of 1374: "Bordeaux, February 15. This indenture, made between our lord King John [of Gaunt, of Castile, etc.] of the one part and Symkyn Molyneux, esquire, of the other part, witnesses that the said Symkyn is retained and will remain with our said lord for peace and for war for the term of his life, as follows: that is to say, the said Symkyn shall be bound to serve our said lord as well in time of peace as of war in whatsoever parts it shall please our said lord, well and fitly arrayed. And he shall be boarded as well in time of peace as of war. And he shall take for his fees by the year, as well in time of peace as of war, ten marks sterling [133s.] from the issues of the Duchy of Lancaster by the hands of the receiver there who now is or shall be in time to come, at the terms of Easter and Michaelmas by even portions yearly for the whole of his life. And, moreover, our lord has granted to him by the year in time of war five marks sterling [67s.] by the hands of the treasurer of war for the time being. And his year of war shall begin the day when he shall move from his inn towards our said lord by letters which shall be sent to him thereof, and thenceforward he shall take wages coming and returning by reasonable daily [payments] and he shall have fitting freightage for him, his men, horses, and other harness within reason, and in respect of his war horses taken and lost in the service of our said lord, and also in respect to prisoners and other profits of war taken or gained by him or any of his men, the said our lord will do to him as to other squires of his rank."

Forecastles and stern castles on ships were lower and broader. Underneath them were cabins. The English ship was still single masted with a single square sail. A fleet was formed with over 200 ships selected by the English admirals acting for the king at the ports. Men were seized and pressed into service and criminals were pardoned from crimes to become sailors in the fleet, which was led by the King's ship. They used the superior longbow against the French sailor's crossbow. In 1372, the Tower of London had four mounted fortress cannon and the port of Dover had six.

The war's disruption of shipping caused trade to decline. But the better policing of the narrow seas made piracy almost disappear.

English merchants may carry their merchandise in foreign ships if there are no English ships available.

Anyone may ship or carry grain out of the nation, except to enemies, after paying duties. But the council may restrain this passage when necessary for the good of the nation. Any merchant, privy or stranger, who was robbed of goods on the sea or lost his ship by tempest or other misfortune on the sea banks, his goods coming to shore could not be declared Wreck, but were to be delivered to the merchant after he proves ownership in court by his marks on the goods or by good and lawful merchants.

All stakes and obstacles set up in rivers impeding the passage of boats shall be removed.

Waterpower was replacing foot power in driving the mills where cloth was cleaned and fulled.

A boundary dispute between two barons resulted in the first true survey map. Nine cow pastures were divided by a boundary marked by a shield on a pole which the commission of true and sworn men had set up.

King Richard II, an irresponsible sovereign, asserted an absolute supremacy of the king over Parliament and declared certain statutes which he claimed to have been forced on him to be revoked. He interfered with county elections of knights to Parliament by directing sheriffs to return certain named persons. He wanted to dispense altogether with Parliament and instead have a committee of representatives. He claimed that the goods of his subjects were his own and illegally taxed the counties. There were many disputes as to who should be his ministers. High treason was extended to include making a riot and rumor, compassing or purposing to depose the King, revoking one's homage or liege to the King, or attempting to repeal a statute. When Henry Bolingbroke reported to Parliament that another lord had cast doubt on the king's trustworthiness, a duel between them was arranged. But Richard, probably fearing the gain of power of the lord who won, instead exiled the two lords. He took possession of the Lancaster estates to which Henry was heir and forbade this inheritance. This made all propertied men anxious and they united behind Bolingbroke in taking up arms against Richard. Richard was not a warrior king and offered to resign the crown. The "Merciless Parliament" of 1388 swept out Richard's friends. Parliament deposed and imprisoned Richard. It revoked the extensions to the definition of high treason. It elected Bolingbroke, who claimed to be a descendant of Henry III, to be King Henry IV. This action established clearly that royal decrees were subordinate to parliamentary statutes, that Parliament was the ultimate legal arbiter of the realm, and that the consent of Parliament was necessary in determining kingship. The House of Commons became very powerful. It was responsible for the major part of legislation. It's members began to assert the privilege of free speech. That is, they wanted to discuss other matters than what was on the king's agenda and they opposed punishment for what they said unless it was treasonable. Henry IV agreed to their request not to consider reports of proceedings unless they came to him through official channels.

The Law

After the Black Death of 1348 these statutes were enacted:

High treason was defined by statute in 1352 as levying war against the King, aiding the King's enemies, compassing or imagining the death of the King, Queen, or their eldest son and heir, or violating the Queen or the eldest unmarried daughter or the wife of the King's eldest son and heir; making or knowingly using counterfeits of the King's great or privy seal or coinage; or slaying the Chancellor, Treasurer, or any justice in the exercise of their duty. The penalty was forfeit of life and lands.

Petit treason was defined by statute and included a servant slaying his master, a wife her husband, or a man his lord, to whom was owed faith and obedience.

No one shall tell false news or lies about prelates, dukes, earls, barons, and other nobles and great men or the Chancellor, Treasurer, a Justice, Clerk of the Privy Seal, Steward of the King's house whereby debates and discords might arise between these lords or between the lords and the commons. Cases shall be tried by the King's Council, which included the Chancellor, Treasurer, and chief justices.

Preachers drawing crowds by ingenious sermons and inciting them to riot shall be arrested by sheriffs and tried by the ecclesiastical court.

Any stranger passing at night of whom any have suspicion shall be arrested and taken to the Sheriff.

No man shall ride with a spear, upon pain of forfeiting it.

No servant of agriculture or laborer shall carry any sword or dagger, or else forfeit it, except in time of war in defense of the nation. He may carry bow and arrow [for practice] on Sundays and holy days, when he should not play games such as tennis, football, or dice.

No one may enter another's land and tenements by strong hand nor with a mob, upon pain of imprisonment and ransom at the King's will.

Charters, releases, obligations, [quitclaim deeds] and other deeds burnt or destroyed in uprisings shall be reissued without fee, after trial by the king and his council. Manumissions, obligations, releases and other bonds and feoffments in land made by force, coercion or duress during mob uprisings are void.

Men who rape and women consenting after a rape shall lose their inheritance and dower and joint feoffments. The husbands, or father or next of kin of such women may sue the rapist by inquisition, but not by trial by combat. The penalty is loss of life and member.

The Statute of Laborers of 1351 required all workers, from tailors to ploughmen, to work only at pre-plague wage rates and forced the vagrant peasant to work for anyone who claimed him or her. It also encouraged longer terms of employment as in the past rather than for a day at a time. Statutory price controls on food limited profits to reasonable ones according to the distance of the supply. Later, wages were determined in each county by Justices of the Peace according to the dearth of victuals while allowing a victualer a reasonable profit and a penalty was specified as paying the value of the excess wages given or received for the first offense, double this for the second offense, and treble this or forty days imprisonment for the third offense.

A fugitive laborer will be outlawed, and when found, shall be burnt in the forehead with the letter "F" for falsity.

Children who labored at the plough and cart or other agriculture shall continue in that labor and may not go into a craft.

A statute of 1363 designed to stop hoarding various types of merchandise until a type became scarce so to sell it at high prices, required merchants to deal in only one type of merchandise. It also required craftsmen to work in only one craft as before (except women who traditionally did several types of handiwork). This was repealed a year later.

Where scarcity has made the price of poultry high, it shall be lowered to 8d. for a young capon, 7d. for an old capon or a goose, 9d. for a hen, and 10d. for a pullet.

The fares for passage on boats on fresh waters and from Dover to the continent shall remain at their old rate.

Any merchant selling at a fair after it has ended will forfeit to the king twice the value of that sold.

Anyone finding and proving cloth contrary to the assize of cloth shall have one-third of it for his labor.

No shoemaker nor cordwainer shall tan their leather and no tanner shall make shoes, in order that tanning not be false or poorly done.

All denizen [foreigner permitted to reside in the realm with certain rights and privileges] and alien merchants may buy and sell goods and merchandise, in gross, in any part of the country, despite town charters or franchises, to anyone except an enemy of the King. They may also sell small wares: victuals, fur, silk, coverchiefs [an item of woman's apparel], silver wire, and gold wire in retail, but not cloth or wine. They must sell their goods within three months of arrival. Any alien bringing goods to the nation to sell must buy goods of the nation to the value of at least one-half that of his merchandise sold. These merchants must engage in no collusion to lower the price of merchandise bought, take merchandise bought to the staple, and promise to hold no staple beyond the sea for the same merchandise. An amendment disallowed denizens from taking wools, leather, woolfells, or lead for export, but only strangers.

Towns failing to bring disturbers of this right to justice shall forfeit their franchise to the king and pay double damages to the merchant. The disturber shall be imprisoned for a year.

Cloth may not be tacked nor folded for sale to merchants unless they are opened to the buyers for inspection, for instance for concealed inferior wool. Workers, weavers, and fullers shall put their seals to every cloth. And anyone could bring his own wools, woolfells, leather, and lead to the staple to sell without being compelled to sell them in the country. Special streets or warehouses were appointed with warehouse rent fixed by the mayor and constables with four of the principal inhabitants. Customs duties were regulated and machinery provided for their collection. No one was to forestall or regrate, that is, buy at one price and sell at a higher price in the same locale. Forestallers were those who bought raw material on its way to market. Regrators were those who tried to create a "corner" in the article in the market itself.

Imported cloth shall be inspected by the King's officials for non- standard measurements or defects [despite town franchises].

No one shall leave the nation except at designated ports, on pain of one year's imprisonment.

Social distinctions by attire were mandated by statute of 1363. A servant, his wife, son, or daughter, shall only wear cloth worth no more than 27s. and shall not have more than one dish of meat or fish a day. Carters, ploughmen, drivers of the plough, oxherds, cowherds, shepherds, and all other people owning less than 40s. of goods and chattels shall only wear blanket and russet worth no more than 12d. and girdles of linen according to their estate. Craftsmen and free peasants shall only wear cloth worth no more than 40s. Esquires and gentlemen below the rank of knight with no land nor rent over 2,000s. a year shall only wear cloth worth no more than 60s., no gold, silver, stone, fur, or the color purple. Esquires with land up to 2,667s. per year may wear 67s. cloth, cloth of silk and silver, miniver [grey squirrel] fur and stones, except stones on the head. Merchants, citizens, burgesses, artificers, and people of handicraft having goods and chattels worth 10,000s. shall wear cloth the same value as that worn by esquires and gentlemen with land or rent within 2,000s. per year. The same merchants and burgesses with goods and chattels worth 13,333s. and esquires and gentlemen with land or rent within 400s. per year may not wear gold cloth, miniver fur, ermine [white] fur, or embroidered stones. A knight with land or rents within 2,667s. yearly are limited to cloth of 80s., but his wife may wear a stone on her head. Knights and ladies with land or rents within 8,000s. to 20,000s. yearly may not wear fur of ermine or of letuse, but may wear gold, and such ladies may wear pearls as well as stones on their heads. The penalty is forfeiture of such apparel. This statute is necessary because of "outrageous and excessive apparel of diverse persons against their estate and degree, to the great destruction and impoverishment of all the land".

If anyone finds a hawk [used to hunt birds, ducks, and pheasant] that a lord has lost, he must take it to the sheriff for keeping for the lord to claim. If there is no claim after four months, the finder may have it only if he is a gentleman. If one steals a hawk from a lord or conceals from him the fact that it has been found, he shall pay the price of the hawk and be imprisoned for two years.

No laborer or any other man who does not have lands and tenements of the value of 40s. per year shall keep a greyhound [or other hound or dog] to hunt, nor shall they use nets or cords or other devices to take [deer, hare, rabbits, nor other gentlemen's game], upon pain of one year imprisonment. (The rabbit had been introduced by the Normans.) This 1390 law was primarily intended to stop the meetings of laborers and artificers.

No man shall eat more than two courses of meat or fish in his house or elsewhere, except at festivals, when three are allowed [because great men ate costly meats to excess and the lesser people were thereby impoverished].

No one may export silver, whether bullion or coinage, or wine except foreign merchants may carry back the portion of their money not used to buy English commodities. The penalty for bringing false or counterfeit money into the nation is loss of life and member. An assigned searcher [inspector] for coinage of the nation on the sea passing out of the nation or bad money in the nation shall have one third of it. No foreign money may be used in the nation.

Each goldsmith shall have an identifying mark, which shall be placed on his vessel or work only after inspection by the King's surveyor.

No one shall give anything to a beggar who is capable of working.

Vagrants begging in London were banned by this 1359 ordinance: "Forasmuch as many men and women, and others, of divers counties, who might work, to the help of the common people, have betaken themselves from out of their own country to the city of London and do go about begging there so as to have their own ease and repose, not wishing to labor or work for their sustenance, to the great damage of the common people; and also do waste divers alms which would otherwise be given to many poor folks, such as lepers, blind, halt, and persons oppressed with old age and divers other maladies, to the destruction of the support of the same - we do command on behalf of our lord the King, whom may God preserve and bless, that all those who go about begging in the said city and who are able to labor and work for the profit of the common people shall quit the said city between now and Monday next ensuing. And if any such shall be found begging after the day aforesaid, the same shall be taken and put in the stocks on Cornhill for half a day the first time, and the second time he shall remain in the stocks one whole day, and the third time he shall be taken and shall remain in prison for forty days and shall then forswear the said city forever. And every constable and the beadle of every ward of the said city shall be empowered to arrest such manner of folks and to put them in the stocks in manner aforesaid."

The hundred year cry to "let the king live on his own" found fruition in a 1352 statute requiring consent of the Parliament before any commission of array for militia could be taken and a 1362 statute requiring purchases of goods and means of conveyance for the king and his household to be made only by agreement with the seller and with payment to him before the king traveled on, instead of at the low prices determined unilaterally by the king's purveyor.

Every man who has wood within the forest may take houseboot [right to take wood for repair of one's house] and heyboot [right to take material for the maintenance of hedges and fences, and the making of farming utensils] in his wood without being arrested so long as it take such within the view of the foresters.

No fecal matter, dung, garbage, or entrails of animals killed shall be put into ditches or rivers or other waters, so that maladies and diseases will not be caused by corrupted and infected air. The penalty is 400s. to the king after trial by the Chancellor.

Gifts or alienation of land to guilds, fraternities, or towns are forbidden. Instead, it escheats to its lord, or in his default, to the King.

No man will be charged to go out of his county to do military service except in case of an enemy invasion of the nation. Men who chose to go into the king's service outside the nation shall be paid wages by the king until their return.

Admiralty law came into being when ancient naval manners and customs were written down as the "Black Book of the Admiralty". This included the organization of the fleet under the Admiral, sea-maneuver rules such as not laying anchor until the Admiral's ship had, engagement rules, and the distribution of captured goods: one-fourth to the vessel owner, one-fourth to the king if the seamen were paid by the king's wages, and the rest divided among the crew and Admiral. Stealing a boat or an anchor holding a boat was punishable by hanging. Stealing an oar or an anchor was punishable by forty days imprisonment for the first offense, six months imprisonment for the second, and hanging for the third. Desertion was punishable by loss of double the amount of wages earned and imprisonment for one year. Cases were tried by jury in the Admiral's court.

Wines, vinegar, oil and honey imported shall be gauged by the King's appointees.

Judicial Procedure

The office of Justice of the Peace was developed and filled by knights, esquires and gentlemen who were closely associated with the magnates. There was no salary nor any requirement of knowledge of the law. They were to pursue, restrain, arrest, imprison, try, and duly punish felons, trespassers, and rioters according to the law. They were expected to arrest vagrants who would not work and imprison them until sureties for good behavior was found for them. They also were empowered to inspect weights and measures. Trespass included forcible offenses of breaking of a fence enclosing private property, assault and battery, false imprisonment, and taking away goods and chattels.

The action of trespass was replacing private suits for murder and for personal injury.

Pardons may be given only for slaying another in one's own defense or by misfortune [accident], and not for slaying by lying in wait, assault, or malice aforethought.

Justices of Assize, sheriffs, and Justices of the Peace and mayors shall have power to inquire of all vagabonds and compel them to find surety of their good bearing or be imprisoned.

A reversioner shall be received in court to defend his right when a tenant for a term of life, tenant in dower, or by the Law of England, or in Tail after Possibility of Issue extinct are sued in court for the land, so as to prevent collusion by the demandants.

A person in debt may not avoid his creditors by giving his tenements or chattels to his friends in collusion to have the profits at their will.

Where there was a garnishment given touching a plea of land, a writ of deceit is also maintainable.

Actions of debt will be heard only in the county where the contract was made. The action of debt includes enforcement of contracts executed or under seal, e.g. rent due on a lease, hire of an archer, contract of sale or repair of an item. Thus there is a growing connection between the actions of debt and contract.

Executors have an action for trespass to their testators' goods and chattels in like manner as did the testator when alive.

If a man dies intestate, his goods shall be administered by his next and most lawful friends appointed. Such administrators shall have the same powers and duties as executors and be accountable as are executors to the ecclesiastical court.

Children born to English parents in parts beyond the sea may inherit from their ancestors in the same manner as those born in the nation.

A person grieved by a false oath in a town court proceeding may appeal to the King's Bench or Common Pleas, regardless of any town franchise.

The Court of the King's Bench worked independently of the King. It was exceptional to find the king sitting on his bench. It became confined to the established common law.

Decisions of the common law courts are appealable to the House of Lords. The king's council members who are not peers, in particular the justices and the Masters of the Chancery, are summoned by the House of Lords only as mere assistants. Parliament can change the common law by statute. The right of a peer to be tried for capital crimes by a court composed of his peers was established. There is a widespread belief that all the peers are by right the king's councilors.

No attorney may practice law and also be a justice of assize. No justice may take any gift except from the king nor give counsel to any litigant before him.

In 1390, there was another statute against maintainers, instigators, barretors, procurers, and embracers of quarrels and inquests because of great and outrageous oppressions of parties in court. Because this encouraged maintenance by the retinue of lords with fees, robes, and other liveries, such maintainers were to be put out of their lords' service, and could not be retained by another lord. No one was to give livery to anyone else, except household members and those retained for life for peace or for war. Justices of the Peace were authorized to inquire about yeomen, or other of lower estate than squire, bearing livery of any lord.

Whereas it is contained in the Magna Carta that none shall be imprisoned nor put out of his freehold, nor of his franchises nor free custom, unless it be by the law of the land; it is established that from henceforth none shall be taken by petition or suggestion made to the king unless by indictment of good and lawful people of the same neighborhood where such deeds be done, in due manner, or by process made by writ original at the common law; nor that none be out of his franchise, nor of his freeholds, unless he be duly brought into answer and before judges of the same by the course of law.

The Chancery came to have a separate and independent equitable jurisdiction. It heard petitions of misconduct of government officials or of powerful oppressors, fraud, accident, abuse of trust, wardship of infants, dower, and rent charges. Because the common law and its procedures had become technical and rigid, the Chancery was given equity jurisdiction by statute in 1285. King Edward III proclaimed that petitions for remedies that the common law didn't cover be addressed to the Chancellor, who was not bound by established law, but could do equity. In Chancery, if there is a case that is similar to a case for which there is a writ, but is not in technical conformity with the requirements of the common law for a remedy, then a new writ may be made for that case by the Chancellor. These were called "actions on the case". Also, Parliament may create new remedies. There were so many cases that were similar to a case with no remedy specified in the common law, that litigants were flowing into the Chancery. The Chancellor gave swift and equitable relief, which was summary. With the backing of the council, the Chancellor made decisions implementing the policy of the Statute of Laborers. Most of these concerned occupational competency, for instance negligent activity of carriers, builders, shepherds, doctors, cloth workers, smiths, innkeepers, and gaolers. For instance, the common law action of detinue could force return of cloth bailed for fulling or sheep bailed for pasturing, but could not address damages due to faulty work. The Chancellor addressed issues of loss of wool, dead lambs, and damaged sheep, as well as dead sheep. He imposed a legal duty on innkeepers to prevent injury or damage to a patron or his goods from third parties. A dog bite or other damage by a dog known by its owner to be vicious was made a more serious offense than general damage by any dog. A person starting a fire was given a duty to prevent the fire from damaging property of others.

The king will fine instead of seize the land of his tenants who sell or alienate their land, such fine to be determined by the Chancellor by due process.

Only barons who were peers of the House of Lords were entitled to trial in the House of Lords. In practice, however, this pertained only to major crimes.

Treason was tried by the lords in Parliament, by bill of "attainder". It was often used for political purposes. Most attainders were reversed as a term of peace made between competing factions.

The King's coroner and a murderer who had taken sanctuary in a church often agreed to the penalty of confession and perpetual banishment from the nation as follows: "Memorandum that on July 6, [1347], Henry de Roseye abjured the realm of England before John Bernard, the King's coroner, at the church of Tendale in the County of Kent in form following: 'Hear this, O lord the coroner, that I, Henry de Roseye, have stolen an ox and a cow of the widow of John Welsshe of Retherfeld; and I have stolen eighteen beasts from divers men in the said county. And I acknowledge that I have feloniously killed Roger le Swan in the town of Strete in the hundred of Strete in the rape [a division of a county] of Lewes and that I am a felon of the lord King of England. And because I have committed many ill deeds and thefts in his land, I abjure the land of the Lord Edward King of England, and [I acknowledge] that I ought to hasten to the port of Hastings, which thou hast given me, and that I ought not to depart from the way, and if I do so I am willing to be taken as a thief and felon of the lord King, and that at Hastings I will diligently seek passage, and that I will not wait there save for the flood and one ebb if I can have passage; and if I cannot have passage within that period, I will go up to the knees into the sea every day, endeavoring to cross; and unless I can do so within forty days, I will return at once to the church, as a thief and a felon of the lord King, so help me God."

Property damage by a tenant of a London building was assessed in a 1374 case: "John Parker, butcher, was summoned to answer Clement Spray in a plea of trespass, wherein the latter complained that the said John, who had hired a tavern at the corner of St. Martin- le-Grand from him for fifteen months, had committed waste and damage therein, although by the custom of the city no tenant for a term of years was entitled to destroy any portion of the buildings or fixtures let to him. He alleged that the defendant had taken down the door post of the tavern and also of the shop, the boarded door of a partition of the tavern, a seat in the tavern, a plastered partition wall, the stone flooring in the chamber, the hearth of the kitchen, and the mantelpiece above it, a partition in the kitchen, two doors and other partitions, of a total value of 21s. four pounds, 1s. 8d., and to his damage, 400s. [20 pounds]. The defendant denied the trespass and put himself on the country. Afterwards a jury [panel]... found the defendant guilty of the aforesaid trespass to the plaintiff's damage, 40d. Judgment was given for that amount and a fine of 1s. to the King, which the defendant paid immediately in court."

The innkeeper's duty to safeguard the person and property of his lodgers was applied in this case:

"John Trentedeus of Southwark was summoned to answer William Latymer touching a plea why, whereas according to the law and custom of the realm of England, innkeepers who keep a common inn are bound to keep safely by day and by night without reduction or loss men who are passing through the parts where such inns are and lodging their goods within those inns, so that, by default of the innkeepers or their servants, no damage should in any way happen to such their guests ...

On Monday after the Feast of the Purification of the Virgin Mary in the fourth year of the now King by default of the said John, certain malefactors took and carried away two small portable chests with 533s. and also with charters and writings, to wit two writings obligatory, in the one of which is contained that a certain Robert Bour is bound to the said William in 2,000s. and in the other that a certain John Pusele is bound to the same William in 800s. 40 pounds ... and with other muniments [writings defending claims or rights] of the same William, to wit his return of all the writs of the lord King for the counties of Somerset and Dorset, whereof the same William was then sheriff, for the morrow of the Purification of the Blessed Mary the Virgin in the year aforesaid, as well before the same lord the King in his Chancery and in his Bench as before the justices of the King's Common Bench and his barons of his Exchequer, returnable at Westminster on the said morrow, and likewise the rolls of the court of Cranestock for all the courts held there from the first year of the reign of the said lord the King until the said Monday, contained in the same chests being lodged within the inn of the same John at Southwark

And the said John ... says that on the said Monday about the second hour after noon the said William entered his inn to be lodged there, and at once when he entered, the same John assigned to the said William a certain chamber being in that inn, fitting for his rank, with a door and a lock affixed to the same door with sufficient nails, so that he should lie there and put and keep his things there, and delivered to the said William the key to the door of the said chamber, which chamber the said William accepted...

William says that ... when the said John had delivered to him the said chamber and key as above, the same William, being occupied about divers businesses to be done in the city of London, went out from the said inn into the city to expedite the said businesses and handed over the key of the door to a certain servant of the said William to take care of in meantime, ordering the servant to remain in the inn meanwhile and to take care of his horses there; and afterwards, when night was falling, the same William being in the city and the key still in the keeping of the said servant, the wife of the said John called unto her into her hall the said servant who had the key, giving him food and drink with a merry countenance and asking him divers questions and occupying him thus for a long time, until the staple of the lock of the door aforesaid was thrust on one side out of its right place and the door of the chamber was thereby opened and his goods, being in the inn of the said John, were taken and carried off by the said malefactors ... The said John says ...[that his wife did not call the servant into the hall, but that] when the said servant came into the said hall and asked his wife for bread and ale and other necessaries to be brought to the said chamber of his master, his wife immediately and without delay delivered to the same servant the things for which he asked ... protesting that no goods of the same William in the said inn were carried away by the said John his servant or any strange malefactors other than the persons of the household of the said William."

On the Coram Rege Roll of 1395 is a case on the issue of whether a court crier can be seized by officers of a staple:

"Edmund Hikelyng, 'crier', sues William Baddele and wife Maud, John Olney, and William Knyghtbrugge for assault and imprisonment at Westminster, attacking him with a stick and imprisoning him for one hour on Wednesday before St. Martin, 19 Richard II.

Baddele says Mark Faire of Winchester was prosecuting a bill of debt for 18s. against Edmund and John More before William Brampton, mayor of the staple of Westminster, and Thomas Alby and William Askham, constables of the said staple, and on that day the Mayor and the constables issued a writ of capias against Edmund and John to answer Mark and be before the Mayor and the constables at the next court. This writ was delivered to Baddele as sergeant of the staple, and by virtue of it he took and imprisoned Edmund in the staple. Maud and the others say they aided Baddele by virtue of the said writ.

Edmund does not acknowledge Baddele to be sergeant of the staple or Mark a merchant of the staple or that he was taken in the staple. He is minister of the King's Court of his Bench and is crier under Thomas Thorne, the chief crier, his master. Every servant of the court is under special protection while doing his duty or on his way to do it. On the day in question, he was at Westminster carrying his master's staff of office before Hugh Huls, one of the King's justices, and William took him in the presence of the said justice and imprisoned him.

The case is adjourned for consideration from Hilary to Easter."

A law of equity began to be developed from decisions by the Chancellor in his court of conscience from around 1370. One such case was that of Godwyne v. Profyt sometime after 1393. This petition was made to the Chancellor: To the most reverend Father in God, and most gracious Lord, the bishop of Exeter, Chancellor of England. Thomas Godwyne and Joan his wife, late wife of Peter at More of Southwerk, most humbly beseech that, whereas at Michaelmas in the 17th year of our most excellent lord King Richard who now is, the said Peter at More in his lifetime enfeoffed Thomas Profyt parson of St. George's church Southwerk, Richard Saundre, and John Denewey, in a tenement with the appurtenances situated in Southwerk and 24 acres of land 6 acres of meadow in the said parish of St. George and in the parish of our Lady of Newington, on the conditions following, to wit, that the said three feoffees should, immediately after the death of the said Peter, enfeoff the said Joan in all the said lands and tenements with all their appurtenances for the life of the said Joan, with remainder after her decease to one Nicholas at More, brother of the said Peter, to hold to him and the heirs of his body begotten, and for default of issue, then to be sold by four worthy people of the said parish, and the money to be received for the same to be given to Holy Church for his soul; whereupon the said Peter died. And after his death two of the said feoffees, Richard and John, by the procurement of one John Solas, released all their estate in the said lands and tenements to the said Thomas Profyt, on the said conditions, out of the great trust that they had in the said Thomas Profyt, who was their confessor, that he would perform the will of the said Peter [at More] in the form aforesaid; and this well and lawfully to do the said Thomas Profyt swore on his Verbum Dei and to perform the said conditions on all points. And since the release was so made, the said Thomas Profyt, through the scheming and false covin of the said John Solas, has sold all the lands and tenements aforesaid to the same John Solas for ever. And the said John Solas is bound to the said Thomas Profyt in 100 pounds by a bond to make defense of the said lands and tenements by the bribery (?) and maintenance against every one; and so by their false interpretation and conspiracy the said Joan, Nicholas, and Holy Church are like to be disinherited and put out of their estate and right, as is abovesaid, for ever, tortiously, against the said conditions, and contrary to the will of the said Peter [at More]. May it please your most righteous Lordship to command the said Thomas Profyt, Richard Saundre, and John Denewy to come before you, and to examine them to tell the truth of all the said matter, so that the said Joan, who has not the wherewithal to live, may have her right in the said lands and tenements, as by the examination before you, most gracious Lord, shall be found and proved; for God and in way of holy charity.

Chapter 10

The Times: 1399-1485

This period, which begins with the reign of the usurper King, Henry IV, is dominated by war: the last half of the 100 year war with France, which, with the help of Joan of Arc, took all English land on the continent except the port of Calais, and the War of the Roses over the throne in England. The ongoing border fights with Wales and Scotland were fought by England's feudal army. But for fighting in France, the king paid barons and earls to raise their own fighting forces. When they returned to England, they fought to put their candidate on its throne, which had been unsteady since its usurpation by Henry IV. All the great houses kept bands of armed retainers. These retainers were given land or pay or both as well as liveries [uniforms or badges] bearing the family crest. In the system of "livery and maintenance", if the retainer was harassed by the law or by enemies, the lord protected him. The liveries became the badges of the factions engaged in the War of the Roses. And the white rose was worn by the supporters of the house of York, and the red rose by supporters of the house of Lancaster for the Crown. Great lords fought each other for property and made forcible entries usurping private property. Shakespeare's histories deal with this era.

In both wars, the musket was used as well as the longbow. To use it, powder was put into the barrel, then a ball rammed down the barrel with a rod, and then the powder lit by a hot rod held with one hand while the other hand was used to aim the musket. Cannon were used to besiege castles and destroy their walls, so many castles were allowed to deteriorate. The existence of cannon also limited the usefulness of town walls for defense. But townspeople did not take part in the fighting.

Since the power of the throne changed from one faction to another, political and personal vindictiveness gave rise to many bills of attainder that resulted in lords being beheaded and losing their lands to the King. However, these were done by the form of law; there were no secret executions in England. Families engaged in blood feuds. Roving bands ravaged the country, plundering the people, holding the forests, and robbing collectors of Crown revenue. Some men made a living by fighting for others in quarrels. Individual life and property were insecure. Whole districts were in a permanent alarm of riot and robbery. The roads were not safe. Nobles employed men who had returned from fighting in war to use their fighting skill in local defense. There was fighting between lords and gangs of ruffians holding the roads, breaking into and seizing manor houses, and openly committing murders.

Peace was never well-kept nor was law ever well-executed, though fighting was suspended by agreement during the harvest. Local administration was paralyzed by party faction or lodged in some great lord or some clique of courtiers. The elections of members to Parliament was interfered with and Parliament was rarely held. Barons and earls fought their disputes in the field rather than in the royal courts. Litigation was expensive, so men relied increasingly on the protection of the great men of their neighborhood and less on the King's courts for the safety of their lives and land. Local men involved in court functions usually owed allegiance to a lord which compromised the exercise of justice. Men serving in an assize often lied to please their lord instead of telling the truth. Lords maintained, supported, or promoted litigation with money or aid supplied to one party to the detriment of justice. It was not unusual for lords to attend court with a great force of retainers behind them. Many justices of the peace wore liveries of magnates and accepted money from them. Royal justices were flouted or bribed. The King's writ was denied or perverted. For 6-8s., a lord could have the king instruct his sheriff to impanel a jury which would find in his favor. A statute against riots, forcible entries, and, excepting the King, magnates' liveries of uniform, food, and badges to their retainers, except in war outside the nation, was passed, but was difficult to enforce because the offenders were lords, who dominated the Parliament and the council.

With men so often gone to fight, their wives managed the household alone. The typical wife had maidens of equal class to whom she taught household management, spinning, weaving, carding wool with iron wool-combs, heckling flax, embroidery, and making garments. There were foot-treadles for spinning wheels. She taught the children. Each day she scheduled the activities of the household including music, conversation, dancing, chess, reading, playing ball, and gathering flowers. She organized picnics, rode horseback and went hunting, hawking to get birds, and hare-ferreting. She was nurse to all around her. If her husband died, she usually continued in this role because most men named their wife as executor of their will with full power to act as she thought best. The wives of barons shared their right of immunity from arrest by the processes of common law and to be tried by their peers.

For ladies, close-fitting jackets came to be worn over close- fitting long gowns with low, square-cut necklines and flowing sleeves, under which was worn a girdle or corset of stout linen reinforced by stiff leather or even iron. Her skirt was provocatively slit from knee to ankle. All her hair was confined by a hair net. Headdresses were very elaborate and heavy, trailing streamers of linen. Some were in the shape of hearts, butterflies, crescents, double horns, steeples, or long cones. Men also wore hats rather than hoods. They wore huge hats of velvet, fur, or leather. Their hair was cut into a cap-like shape on their heads, and later was shoulder-length. They wore doublets with thick padding over the shoulders or short tunics over the trucks of their bodies and tightened at the waist to emphasize the shoulders. Their collars were high. Their sleeves were long concoctions of velvet, damask, and satin, sometimes worn wrapped around their arms in layers. Their legs and hips were covered with hosen, often in different colors. Codpieces worn between the legs emphasized the sensuality of the age as did ladies' tight and low- cut gowns. Men's shoes were pointed with upward pikes at the toes that impeded walking. At another time, their shoes were broad with blunt toes. Both men and women wore much jewelry and ornamentation. But, despite the fancy dress, the overall mood was a macabre preoccupation with mortality, despair, and a lack of confidence in the future. Cannon and mercenaries had reduced the military significance of knighthood, so its chivalric code deteriorated into surface politeness, ostentation, and extravagance.

Master and servants ceased to eat together in the same hall, except for great occasions, on feast days, and for plays. The lord, and his lady, family, and guests took their meals in a great chamber, usually up beneath the roof next to the upper floor of the great hall. The chimney-pieces and windows were often richly decorated with paneled stonework, tracery and carving. There was often a bay or oriel window with still expensive glass. Tapestries, damask, and tablecloths covered the tables. There was much formality and ceremonial ritual, more elaborate than before, during dinners at manorial households, including processions bringing and serving courses, and bowing, kneeling, and curtseying. There were many courses of a variety of meats, fish, stews, and soups, with a variety of spices and elaborately cooked. Barons, knights, and their ladies sat to the right of the lord above the salt and were served by the lord's sewer and carver and gentlemen waiters; their social inferiors such as "gentlemen of worship" sat below the salt and were served by another sewer and yeomen. The lord's cupbearer looked after the lord alone. A knights table was waited on by yeomen. The gentlemen officers, gentlemen servants and yeomen officers were waited on by their own servants. The amount of food dished out to each person varied according to his rank. The almoner said grace and distributed the leftovers to the poor gathered at the gate. The superior people's hands were washed by their inferiors. Lastly, the trestle tables were removed while sweet wine and spices were consumed standing. Then the musicians were called into the hall and dancing began. The lord usually slept in a great bed in this room. The standard number of meals was three: breakfast, dinner, and supper.

The diet of an ordinary family such as that of a small shopholder or yeoman farmer included beef, mutton, pork, a variety of fish, both fresh and salted, venison, nuts, peas, oatmeal, honey, grapes, apples, pears, and fresh vegetables. Cattle and sheep were driven from Wales to English markets. This droving lasted for five centuries.

Many types of people besides the nobility and knights now had property and thus were considered gentry: female lines of the nobility, merchants and their sons, attorneys, auditors, squires, and peasant-yeomen. The burgess grew rich as the knight dropped lower. The great merchants lived in mansions which could occupy whole blocks. Typically, there would be an oak-paneled great hall, with adjoining kitchen, pantry, and buttery on one end and a great parlor to receive guests, bedrooms, wardrobes, servants' rooms, and a chapel on the other end or on a second floor. The beds were surrounded by heavy draperies to keep out cold drafts. In towns these mansions were entered through a gate through a row of shops on the street. A lesser dwelling would have these rooms on three floors over a shop on the first floor. An average Londoner would have a shop, a storeroom, a hall, a kitchen, and a buttery on the first floor, and three bedrooms on the second floor. Artisans and shopkeepers of more modest means lived in rows of dwellings, each with a shop and small storage room on the first floor, and a combination parlor-bedroom on the second floor. The humblest residents crowded their shop and family into one 6 by 10 foot room for rent of a few shillings a year. All except the last would also have a small garden. The best gardens had a fruit tree, herbs, flowers, a well, and a latrine area. There were common and public privies for those without their own. Kitchen slops and casual refuse continued to be thrown into the street. Floors of stone or planks were strewn with rushes. There was some tile flooring. Most dwellings had glass windows. Candles were used for lighting at night. Torches and oil-burning lanterns were portable lights. Furnishings were still sparse. Men sat on benches or joint stools and women sat on cushions on the floor. Hall and parlor had a table and benches and perhaps one chair. Bedrooms had a curtained feather bed with pillows, blankets, and sheets. Clothes were stored in a chest, sometimes with sweet-smelling herbs such as lavender, rosemary, and southernwood. Better homes had wall hanging and cupboards displaying plate. Laundresses washed clothes in the streams, rivers, and public conduits. Country peasants still lived in wood, straw, and mud huts with earth floors and a smoky hearth in the center or a kitchen area under the eaves of the hut.

In 1442, bricks began to be manufactured in the nation and so there was more use of bricks in buildings. Chimneys were introduced into manor houses where stone had been too expensive. This was necessary if a second floor was added, so the smoke would not damage the floor above it and would eventually go out of the house.

Nobles and their retinue moved from manor to manor, as they had for centuries, to keep watch upon their lands and to consume the produce thereof; it was easier to bring the household to the estate than to transport the yield of the estate to the household. Also, at regular intervals sewage had to be removed from the cellar pits. Often a footman walked or ran on foot next to his master or mistress when they rode out on horseback or in a carriage. He was there primarily for prestige.

Jousting tournaments were held for entertainment purposes only and were followed by banquets of several courses of food served on dishes of gold, silver, pewter, or wood on a linen cloth covering the table. Hands were washed before and after the meal. People washed their faces every morning after getting up. Teeth were cleaned with powders. Fragrant leaves were chewed for bad breath. Garlic was used for indigestion and other ailments. Feet were rubbed with salt and vinegar to remove calluses. Good manners included not slumping against a post, fidgeting, sticking one's finger into one's nose, putting one's hands into one's hose to scratch the privy parts, spitting over the table or too far, licking one's plate, picking one's teeth, breathing stinking breath into the face of the lord, blowing on one's food, stuffing masses of bread into one's mouth, scratching one's head, loosening one's girdle to belch, and probing one's teeth with a knife.

Fishing and hunting were reserved for the nobility rather than just the King.

As many lords became less wealthy because of the cost of war, some peasants, villein and free, became prosperous, especially those who also worked at a craft, e.g. butchers, bakers, smiths, shoemakers, tailors, carpenters, and cloth workers.

An agricultural slump caused poorer soils to fall back into waste. The better soils were leased by peasants, who, with their families, were in a better position to farm it than a great lord, who found it hard to hire laborers at a reasonable cost. Further, peasants' sheep, hens, pigs, ducks, goats, cattle, bees, and crop made them almost self-sufficient in foodstuffs. They lived in a huddle of cottages, pastured their animals on common land, and used common meadows for haymaking. They subsisted mainly on boiled bacon, an occasional chicken, worts and beans grown in the cottage garden, and cereals. They wore fine wool cloth in all their apparel. Brimless hats were replacing hoods. They had an abundance of bed coverings in their houses. And they had more free time. Village entertainment included traveling jesters, acrobats, musicians, and bear-baiters. Playing games and gambling were popular pastimes.

Most villeins were now being called "customary tenants" or "copy- holders" of land because they held their acres by a copy of the court-roll of the manor, which listed the number of teams, the fines, the reliefs, and the services due to the lord for each landholder. The Chancery court interpreted many of these documents to include rights of inheritance. The common law courts followed the lead of the Chancery and held that copyhold land could be inherited as was land at common law. Evictions by lords decreased.

The difference between villein and freeman lessened but landlords usually still had profits of villein bondage, such as heriot, merchet, and chevage.

A class of laborers was arising who depended entirely on the wages of industry for their subsistence. The cloth workers in rural areas were isolated and weak and often at the mercy of middlemen for employment and the amount of their wages. When rural laborers went to towns to seek employment in the new industries, they would work at first for any rate. This deepened the cleavage of the classes in the towns. The artificers in the town and the cottagers and laborers in the country lived from hand to mouth, on the edge of survival, but better off than the old, the diseased, the widows, and the orphans. However, the 1400s were the most prosperous time for laborers considering their wages and the prices of food. Meat and poultry were plentiful and grain prices low.

Social mobility was most possible in the towns, where distinctions were usually only of wealth. So a poor apprentice could aspire to become a master, a member of the livery of his company, a member of the council, an alderman, a mayor, and then an esquire for life. The distance between baron and a country knight and between a yeoman and knight was wider. Manor custom was strong. But a yeoman could give his sons a chance to become gentlemen by entering them in a trade in a town, sending them to university, or to war. Every freeman was to some extent a soldier, and to some extent a lawyer, serving in the county or borough courts. A burgess, with his workshop or warehouse, was trained in warlike exercises, and he could keep his own accounts, and make his own will and other legal documents, with the aid of a scrivener or a chaplain, who could supply an outline of form. But law was growing as a profession. Old-established London families began to choose the law as a profession for their sons, in preference to an apprenticeship in trade. Many borough burgesses in Parliament were attorneys.

In London, shopkeepers appealed to passersby to buy their goods, sometimes even seizing people by the sleeve. The drapers had several roomy shops containing shelves piled with cloths of all colors and grades, tapestries, pillows, blankets, bed draperies, and 'bankers and dorsers' to soften hard wooden benches. A rear storeroom held more cloth for import or export. Many shops of skinners were on Fur Row. There were shops of leather sellers, hosiers, gold and silver cups, and silks. At the Stocks Market were fishmongers, butchers, and poulterers. London grocers imported spices, canvas, ropery, potions, unguents, soap, confections, garlic, cabbages, onions, apples, oranges, almonds, figs, dates, raisins, dyestuffs, woad, madder (plant for medicine and dye), scarlet grains, saffron, iron, and steel. They were retailers as well as wholesalers and had shops selling honey, licorice, salt, vinegar, rice, sugar loaves, syrups, spices, garden seeds, dyes, alum, soap, brimstone, paper, varnish, canvas, rope, musk, incense, treacle of Genoa, and mercury. The Grocers did some money lending, usually at 12% interest. The guilds did not restrict themselves to dealing in the goods for which they had a right of inspection, and so many dealt in wine that it was a medium of exchange. There was no sharp distinction between retail and wholesale trading.

In London, grocers sold herbs for medicinal as well as eating purposes. Breadcarts sold penny wheat loaves. Foreigners set up stalls on certain days of the week to sell meat, canvas, linen, cloth, ironmongery, and lead. There were great houses, churches, monasteries, inns, guildhalls, warehouses, and the King's Beam for weighing wool to be exported. In 1410, the Guildhall of London was built through contributions, proceeds of fines, and lastly, to finish it, special fees imposed on apprenticeships, deeds, wills, and letters-patent. The Mercers and Goldsmiths were in the prosperous part of town. The Goldsmiths' shops sold gold and silver plate, jewels, rings, water pitchers, drinking goblets, basins to hold water for the hands, and covered saltcellars. The grain market was on Cornhill. Halfway up the street, there was a supply of water which had been brought up in pipes. On the top of the hill was a cage where riotous folk had been incarcerated by the night watch and the stocks and pillory, where fraudulent schemers were exposed to ridicule. No work was to be done on Sundays, but some did work surreptitiously. The barbers kept their shops open in defiance of the church. Outside the London city walls were tenements, the Smithfield cattle market, Westminster Hall, green fields of crops, and some marsh land.

On the Thames River to London were large ships with cargoes; small boats rowed by tough boatmen offering passage for a penny; small private barges of great men with carved wood, gay banners, and oarsmen with velvet gowns; the banks covered with masts and tackle; the nineteen arch London Bridge supporting a street of shops and houses and a drawbridge in the middle; quays; warehouses, and great cranes lifting bales from ship to wharf. Merchant guilds which imported or exported each had their own wharves and warehouses. Downstream, pirates hung on gallows at the low-water mark to remain until three tides had overflowed their bodies. A climate change of about 1 1/2 degree Celcius lower caused the Thames to regularly freeze over in winter.

The large scale of London trade promoted the specialization of the manufacturer versus the merchant versus the shipper. Merchants had enough wealth to make loans to the government or for new commercial enterprises. Local reputation on general, depended upon a combination of wealth, trustworthiness of character, and public spirit; it rose and fell with business success. Some London merchants were knighted by the King. Many bought country estates and turned themselves into gentry.

The king granted London all common soils, improvements, wastes, streets, and ways in London and in the adjacent waters of the Thames River and all the profits and rents to be derived therefrom. Later the king granted London the liberty to purchase lands and tenements worth up to 2,667s. yearly. With this power, London had obtained all the essential features of a corporation: a seal, the right to make by-laws, the power to purchase lands and hold them "to them and their successors" (not simply their heirs, which is an individual and hereditary succession only), the power to sue and be sued in its own name, and the perpetual succession implied in the power of filling up vacancies by election. Since these powers were not granted by charters, London is a corporation by prescription. In 1446, the liverymen obtained the right with the council to elect the mayor, the sheriff, and certain other corporate officers.

Many boroughs sought and obtained formal incorporation with the same essential features as London. This tied up the loose language of their early charters of liberties. Often, a borough would have its own resident Justice of the Peace. Each incorporation involved a review by a Justice of the Peace to make sure the charter of incorporation rule didn't conflict with the law of the nation. A borough typically had a mayor accompanied by his personal sword- bearer and serjeants-at-mace bearing the borough regalia, bailiffs, a sheriff, and chamberlains or a steward for financial assistance. At many boroughs, aldermen, assisted by their constables, kept the peace in their separate wards. There might be coroners, a recorder, and a town clerk, with a host of lesser officials including beadles, aletasters, sealers, searchers [inspectors], weighers and keepers of the market, ferrymen and porters, clock-keepers and criers, paviors [maintained the roads], scavengers and other street cleaners, gatekeepers and watchmen of several ranks and kinds. A wealthy borough would have a chaplain and two or three minstrels. The mayor replaced the bailiffs as the chief magistracy.

In all towns, the wealthiest and most influential guilds were the merchant traders of mercers, drapers, grocers, and goldsmiths. From their ranks came most of the mayors, and many began to intermarry with the country knights and gentry. Next came the shopholders of skinners, tailors, ironmongers, and corvisors [shoemakers]. Thirdly came the humbler artisans, the sellers of victuals, small shopkeepers, apprentices, and journeymen on the rise. Lastly came unskilled laborers, who lived in crowded tenements and hired themselves out. The first three groups were the free men who voted, paid scot and bore lot, and belonged to guilds. Scot was a ratable proportion in the payments levied from the town for local or national purposes. Merchant guilds in some towns merged their existence into the town corporation, and their guild halls became the common halls of the town, and their property became town property.

In London, the Cutlers' Company was chartered in 1415, the Haberdashers' Company in 1417, the Grocers' Company in 1428, the Drapers' and Cordwainers' companies in 1429, the Vintners' and Brewers' companies in 1437, the Leathersellers' Company in 1444, the Girdlers' Company in 1448, the Armourers' and Brassiers' companies in 1453, the Barbers' Company in 1461, the Tallow Chandlers' Company in 1462, the Ironmongers' Company in 1464, the Dyers' Company in 1471, the Musicians' Company in 1472, the Carpenters' Company in 1477, the Cooks' Company in 1481, and the Waxchandlers' Company in 1483. The Fishmongers, which had been chartered in 1399, were incorporated in 1433, the Cordwainers in 1439, and the Pewterers in 1468.

There were craft guilds in the towns, at least 65 in London. In fact, every London trade of twenty men had its own guild. The guild secured good work for its members and the members maintained the reputation of the work standards of the guild. Bad work was punished and night work prohibited as leading to bad work. The guild exercised moral control over its members and provided sickness and death benefits for them. There was much overlapping in the two forms of association: the craft guild and the religious fraternity. Apprentices were taken in to assure an adequate supply of competent workers for the future. The standard indenture of an apprentice bound him to live in his master's house, to serve him diligently, obey reasonable commands, keep his master's secrets, protect him from injury, abstain from dice, cards and haunting of taverns, not marry, commit no fornication, nor absent himself without permission. In return the master undertook to provide the boy or girl with bed, board, and lodging and to instruct him or her in the trade, craft, or mystery. When these apprentices had enough training they were made journeymen with a higher rate of pay. Journeymen traveled to see the work of their craft in other towns. Those journeymen rising to master had the highest pay rate.

Occupations free of guild restrictions included horse dealers, marbelers, bookbinders, jewelers, organ makers, feathermongers, pie makers, basket makers, mirrorers, quilters, and parchment makers. Non-citizens of London could not be prevented from selling leather, metalwares, hay, meat, fruit, vegetables, butter, cheese, poultry, and fish from their boats, though they had to sell in the morning and sell all their goods before the market closed.

In the towns, many married women had independent businesses and wives also played an active part in the businesses of their husbands. Wives of well-to-do London merchants embroidered, sewed jewelry onto clothes, and made silk garments. Widows often continued in their husband's businesses, such as managing a large import-export trade, tailoring, brewing, and metal shop. Socially lower women often ran their own breweries, bakeries, and taverns. It was possible for wives to be free burgesses in their own right in some towns.

Some ladies were patrons of writers. Some women were active in prison reform in matters of reviews to insure that no man was in gaol without due cause, overcharges for bed and board, brutality, and regulation of prisoners being placed in irons. Many men and women left money in their wills for food and clothing for prisoners, especially debtors. Wills often left one-third of the wealth to the church, the poor, prisoners, infirmaries, young girls' education; road, wall, and bridge repair; water supply, markets and almshouses. Some infirmaries were for the insane, who were generally thought to be possessed by the devil or demons. Their treatment was usually by scourging the demons out of their body by flogging. If this didn't work, torture could be used to drive the demons from the body.

The guilds were being replaced by associations for the investment of capital. In associations, journeymen were losing their chance of rising to be a master. Competition among associations was starting to supplant custom as the mainspring of trade.

The cloth exporters, who were mostly mercers, were unregulated and banded together for mutual support and protection under the name of Merchant Adventurers of London. The Merchant Adventurers was chartered in 1407. It was the first and a prototype of regulated companies. That is the company regulated the trade. Each merchant could ship on his own a certain number of cloths each year (the number depending on the length of his membership in the company) and sell them himself or by his factor at the place where the company had privileges of market. Strict rules governed the conduct of each member. He was to make sales only at certain hours on specified days. All disagreements were to be settled by the company's governor, or his deputy in residence, and those officials dealt with such disputes as arose between members of the company and continental officials and buyers. A share in the ownership of one of their vessels was a common form of investment by prosperous merchants. By 1450, the merchant adventurers were dealing in linen cloths, buckrams [a stiffened, coarse cloth], fustians [coarse cloth made of cotton threads going in one direction and linen threads the other], satins, jewels, fine woolen and linen wares, threads, potions, wood, oil, wine, salt, copper, and iron. They began to replace trade by alien traders. The history of the "Merchant Adventurers" was associated with the growth of the mercantile system for more than 300 years. It eventually replaced the staples system.

Paved roads in towns were usually gravel and sometimes cobble. They were frequently muddy because of rain and spillage of water being carried. Iron-shod wheels and overloaded carts made them very uneven. London was the first town with paviors. They cleaned and repaired the streets, filling up potholes with wood chips and compacting them with hand rams. The paviors were organized as a city company in 1479. About 1482, towns besides London began appointing salaried road paviors to repair roads and collect their expenses from the householders because the policy of placing the burden on individual householders didn't work well. London streets were lighted at night by public lanterns, under the direction of the mayor. The residents were to light these candle lanterns in winter from dusk to the 9 p.m. curfew. There were fire-engines composed of a circular cistern with a pump and six feet of inflexible hose on wheels pulled by two men on one end and pushed by two men on the other end. In 1480 the city walls were rebuilt with a weekly tax of 5d. per head.

In schools, there was a renaissance of learning from original sources of knowledge written in Greek and rebirth of the Greek pursuit of the truth and scientific spirit of inquiry. There was a striking increase in the number of schools founded by wealthy merchants or town guilds. Every cathedral, monastery, and college had a grammar school. Merchants tended to send their sons to private boarding schools, instead of having them tutored at home as did the nobility. Well-to-do parents still sent sons to live in the house of some noble to serve them as pages in return for being educated with the noble's son by the household priest. They often wore their master's coat of arms and became their squires as part of their knightly education. Sometimes girls were sent to live in another house to take advantage to receive education from a tutor there under the supervision of the lady of the house. Every man, free or villein, could send his sons and daughters to school. In every village, there were some who could read and write.

In 1428, Lincoln's Inn required barristers normally resident in London and the county of Middlesex to remain in residence and pay commons during the periods between sessions of court and during vacations, so that the formal education of students would be continuous. In 1442, a similar requirement was extended to all members.

The book "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight" was written about an incident in the court of King Arthur and Queen Guenevere in which a green knight challenges Arthur's knights to live up to their reputation for valor and awesome deeds. The knight Gawain answers the challenge, but is shown that he could be false and cowardly when death seemed to be imminent. Thereafter, he wears a green girdle around his waist to remind him not to be proud.

Other literature read included "London Lickpenny", a satire on London and its expensive services and products, "Fall of Princes" by John Lydgate, social history by Thomas Hoccleve, "The Cuckoo and the Nightengale", and "The Flower and Leaf" on morality as secular common sense. King James I of Scotland wrote a book about how he fell in love. Chaucer, Cicero, Ovid, and Aesops's Fables were widely read. Malory's new version of the Arthurian stories was popular. Margery Kempe wrote the first true autobiography. She was a woman who had a normal married life with children, but one day had visions and voices which led her to leave her husband to take up a life of wandering and praying in holy possession. There were religious folk ballads such as "The Cherry Tree Carol", about the command of Jesus from Mary's womb for a cherry tree to bend down so that Mary could have some cherries from it. The common people developed ballads, e.g. about their love of the forest, their wish to hunt, and their hatred of the forest laws.

About 30% of Londoners could read English. Books were bought in London in such quantities by 1403 that the craft organizations of text-letter writers, illuminators, bookbinders, and book sellers was sanctioned by ordinance. "Unto the honorable lords, and wise, the mayor and aldermen of the city of London, pray very humbly all the good folks, freemen of the said city, of the trades of writers of text-letter, limners [illuminator of books], and other folks of London who are wont to bind and to sell books, that it may please your great sagenesses to grant unto them that they may elect yearly two reputable men, the one a limner, the other a text- writer, to be wardens of the said trades, and that the names of the wardens so elected may be presented each year before the mayor for the time being, and they be there sworn well and diligently to oversee that good rule and governance is had and exercised by all folks of the same trades in all works unto the said trades pertaining, to the praise and good fame of the loyal good men of the said trades and to the shame and blame of the bad and disloyal men of the same. And that the same wardens may call together all the men of the said trades honorably and peacefully when need shall be, as well for the good rule and governance of the said city as of the trades aforesaid. And that the same wardens, in performing their due office, may present from time to time all the defaults of the said bad and disloyal men to the chamberlain at the Guildhall for the time being, to the end that the same may there, according to the wise and prudent discretion of the governors of the said city, be corrected, punished, and duly redressed. And that all who are rebellious against the said wardens as to the survey and good rule of the same trades may be punished according to the general ordinance made as to rebellious persons in trades of the said city [fines and imprisonment]. And that it may please you to command that this petition, by your sagenesses granted, may be entered of record for time to come, for the love of God and as a work of charity."

Gutenberg's printing press, which used movable type of small blocks with letters on them, was brought to London in 1476 by a mercer: William Caxton. It supplemented the text-writer and monastic copyist. It was a wood and iron frame with a mounted platform on which were placed small metal frames into which words with small letters of lead had been set up. Each line of text had to be carried from the type case to the press. Beside the press were pots filled with ink and inking balls. When enough lines of type to make a page had been assembled on the press, the balls would be dipped in ink and drawn over the type. Then a sheet of paper would be placed on the form and a lever pulled to press the paper against the type. Linen usually replaced the more expensive parchment for the book pages.

The printing press made books more accessible to all literate people. Caxton printed major English texts and some translations from French and Latin. He commended different books to various kinds of readers, for instance, for gentlemen who understand gentleness and science, or for ladies and gentlewomen, or to all good folk. There were many cook books in use. There were convex eyeglasses for reading and concave ones for distance to correct near-sightedness. The first public library in London was established from a bequest in a will in 1423.

Many carols were sung at the Christian festival of Christmas. Ballads were sung on many features of social life of this age of disorder, hatred of sheriffs, but faith in the King. The legend of Robin Hood was popular. Town miracle plays on leading incidents of the Bible and morality plays were popular. Vintners portrayed the miracle of Cana where water was turned into wine and Goldsmiths ornately dressed the three Kings coming from the east. In York, the building of Noah's Ark was performed by the Shipwrights and the Flood performed by the Fishery and Mariners. Short pantomimes and disguising, forerunners of costume parties, were good recreation. Games of cards became popular as soon as cards were introduced. The king, queen, and jack were dressed in contemporary clothes. Men bowled, kicked footballs, and played tennis. In London, Christmas was celebrated with masques and mummings. There was a great tree in the main market place and evergreen decorations in churches, houses, and streets. There were also games, dances, street bonfires in front of building doors, and general relaxation of social controls. Sometimes there was drunken licentiousness and revelry, with peasants gathering together to make demands of lords for the best of his goods. May Day was celebrated with crowns and garlands of spring flowers. The village May Day pageant was often presided over by Robin Hood and Maid Marion.

People turned to mysticism to escape from the everyday violent world. They read works of mystics, such as "Scale of Perfection" and "Cloud of Unknowing", the latter describing how one may better know God. They believed in magic and sorcery, but had no religious enthusiasm because the church was engendering more disrespect. Monks and nuns had long ago resigned spiritual leadership to the friars; now the friars too lost much of their good reputation. The monks became used to life with many servants such as cooks, butlers, bakers, brewers, barbers, laundresses, tailors, carpenters, and farm hands. The austerity of their diet had vanished. The schedule of divine services was no longer followed by many and the fostering of learning was abandoned. Into monasteries drifted the lazy and miserable. Nunneries had become aristocratic boarding houses. The practice of taking sanctuary was abused; criminals and debtors sought it and were allowed to overstay the 40-day restriction and to leave at night to commit robberies. There were numerous chaplains, who were ordained because they received pay from private persons for saying masses for the dead; having to forego wife and family, they had much leisure time for mischief. Church courts became corrupt, but jealously guarded their jurisdiction from temporal court encroachment. Peter's Pence was no longer paid by the people, so the burden of papal exaction fell wholly on the clergy. But the church was rich and powerful, paying almost a third of the whole taxation of the nation and forming a majority in the House of Lords. Many families had kinsmen in the clergy. Even the lowest cleric or clerk could read and write in Latin.

People relied on saint's days as reference points in the year, because they did not know dates of the year. But townspeople knew the hour and minute of each day, because mechanical clocks were in all towns and in the halls of the well-to-do. This increased the sense of punctuality and lifted standards of efficiency.

A linguistic unity and national pride was developing. London English became the norm and predominated over rural dialects. Important news was announced and spread by word of mouth in market squares and sometimes in churches. As usual, traders provided one of the best sources of news; they maintained an informal network of speedy messengers and accurate reports because political changes so affected their ventures. News also came from peddlers, who visited villages and farms to sell items that could not be bought in the local village. These often included scissors, eyeglasses, colored handkerchiefs, calendars, fancy leather goods, watches, and clocks. Peddling was fairly profitable because of the lack of competition. But peddlers were often viewed as tramps and suspected of engaging in robbery as well as peddling.

A royal post service was established by relays of mounted messengers. The first route was between London and the Scottish border, where there were frequent battles for land between the Scotch and English.

The inland roads from town to town were still rough and without signs. A horseman could make up to 40 miles a day. Common carriers took passengers and parcels from various towns to London on scheduled journeys. Now the common yeoman could order goods from the London market, communicate readily with friends in London, and receive news of the world frequently. Trade with London was so great and the common carrier so efficient in transporting goods that the medieval fair began to decline. First the Grocers and then the Mercers refused to allow their members to sell goods at fairs. There was much highway robbery. Most goods were still transported by boats along the coasts, with trading at the ports.

Embroidery was exported. Imported were timber, pitch, tar, potash [for cloth dying], furs, silk, satin, gold cloth, damask cloth, furred gowns, gems, fruit, spices, and sugar. Imports were restricted by national policy for the purpose of protecting native industries.

English single-masted ships began to be replaced by two or three masted ships with high pointed bows to resist waves and sails enabling the ship to sail closer to the wind. 200 tuns was the usual carrying capacity. The increase in trade made piracy, even by merchants, profitable and frequent until merchant vessels began sailing in groups for their mutual protection. The astrolabe was used for navigation by the stars.

Consuls were appointed to assist English traders abroad.

Henry IV appointed the first admiral of the entire nation and resolved to create a national fleet of warships instead of using merchant ships. In 1417, the war navy had 27 ships. In 1421, Portsmouth was fortified as a naval base. Henry V issued the orders that formed the basic law of English admiralty and appointed surgeons to the navy and army. He was the last true warrior King.

For defense of the nation, especially the safeguard of the seas, Parliament allotted the king for life, 3s. for every tun of wine imported and an additional 3s. for every tun of sweet wine imported. From about 1413, tunnage on wine and poundage on merchandise were duties on goods of merchants which were regularly granted by Parliament to the king for life for upkeep of the Navy. Before this time, such duties had been sporadic and temporary.

The most common ailments were eye problems, aching teeth, festering ears, joint swelling and sudden paralysis of the bowels. Epidemics broke out occasionally in the towns in the summers. The plague swept London in 1467 and the nation in 1407, 1445, and 1471. Leprosy disappeared.

Infirmaries were supported by a tax of the king levied on nearby counties. The walls, ditches, gutters, sewers, and bridges on waterways and the coast were kept in repair by laborers hired by commissions appointed by the Chancellor. Those who benefited from these waterways were taxed for the repairs in proportion to their use thereof.

Alabaster was sculptured into tombs surmounted with a recumbent effigy of the deceased, and effigies of mourners on the sides. Few townsmen choose to face death alone and planned memorial masses to be sung to lift his soul beyond Purgatory. Chantries were built by wealthy men for this purpose.

Chemical experimentation was still thought to be akin to sorcery, so was forbidden by King Henry IV in 1404.

Gold was minted into coins: noble, half noble, and farthing.

King Henry IV lost power to the Commons and the Lords because he needed revenue from taxes and as a usurper King, he did not carry the natural authority of a King. The Commons acquired the right to elect its own speaker. The lords who helped the usurpation felt they should share the natural power of the kingship. The council became the instrument of the Lords. Also, the Commons gained power compared to the nobility because many nobles had died in war. The consent of the Commons to legislation became so usual that the justices declared that it was necessary. The Commons began to see itself as representative of the entire commons of the realm instead of just their own counties. Its members had the freedom to consider and debate every matter of public interest, foreign or domestic, except for church matters. The Commons, the poorest of the three estates, established an exclusive right to originate all money grants to the king in 1407. The Speaker of the Commons announced its money grant to the king only on the last day of the parliamentary session, after the answers to its petitions had been declared, and after the Lords had agreed to the money grant. It tied its grants by rule rather than just practice to certain appropriations. For instance, tunnage and poundage were appropriated for naval defenses. Wool customs went to the maintenance of Calais, a port on the continent, and defense of the nation. It also put the petitions in statutory form, called "bills", to be enacted after consideration and amendment by all without alteration. Each house had a right to deliberate in privacy. In the Commons, members spoke in the order in which they stood up bareheaded. Any member of Parliament or either house or the king could initiate a bill. Both houses had the power to amend or reject a bill. There were conferences between select committees of both houses to settle their differences. The Commons required the appointment of auditors to audit the King's accounts to ensure past grants had been spent according to their purpose. It forced the King's council appointees to be approved by Parliament and to be paid salaries. About 1430, kings' councilors were required to take an oath not to accept gifts of land, not to maintain private suits, not to reveal secrets, and not to neglect the kings' business. A quorum was fixed and rules made for removal from the council. For the next fifty years, the council was responsible both to the king and to Parliament. This was the first encroachment on the King's right to summon, prorogue, or dismiss a Parliament at his pleasure, determine an agenda of Parliament, veto or amend its bills, exercise his discretion as to which lords he summoned to Parliament, and create new peers by letters patent [official public letters]. Parliament was affected by the factionalism of the times. The speaker of the commons was often an officer of some great lord. In 1426, the retainers of the barons in Parliament were forbidden to bear arms, so they appeared with clubs on their shoulders. When the clubs were forbidden, they came with stones concealed in their clothing.

Kings created dukes and marquesses to be peers. A duke was given creation money or allowance of 40 pounds a year. A marquess was given 35 pounds. These new positions could not descend to an heiress, unlike a barony or earldom. An earl was given 20 pounds, which probably took the place of his one-third from the county. King Henry VI gave the title of viscount to several people; it had an allowance of 13.3 pounds and was above baron. It allowed them to be peers. There were about 55 peers. In King Edward IV's reign, the king's retinue had about 16 knights, 160 squires, 240 yeomen, clerks, grooms, and stablemen. The suitable annual expense of the household of the king was 13,000 pounds for his retinue of about 516 people, a duke 4,000 pounds for about 230 people, a marquess 3,000 pounds for about 224 people, an earl 2,000 pounds for about 130 people, a viscount 1,000 pounds for about 84 people, a baron 500 pounds for about 26 people, a banneret [a knight made in the field, who had a banner] 200 pounds for about 24 people, a knight bachelor 100 pounds for about 16 people, and a squire 50 pounds for about 16 people. Of a squire's 50 pounds, about 25 pounds were spent in food, repairs and furniture 5, on horses, hay, and carriage 4, on clothes, alms and oblations 4, wages 9, livery of dress 3, and the rest on hounds and the charges of harvest and hay time. Many servants of the household of the country gentleman were poor relations. They might by education and accomplishment rise into the service of a baron who could take him to court and make his fortune.

Barons' households also included steward, chaplains, treasurer, accountants, chamberlain, carvers, servers, cupbearers, pages, and even chancellor. They were given wages and clothing allowances and had meals in the hall at tables according to their degree.

The authority of the King's privy seal had become a great office of state which transmitted the King's wishes to the Chancery and Exchequer, rather than the King's personal instrument for sealing documents. Now the king used a signet kept by his secretary as his personal seal. Edward IV made the household office of secretary, who had custody the king's signet seal, a public office. The secretary was generally a member of the council. Edward IV invented the benevolence, a gift wrung from wealthy subjects.

King Edward IV introduced an elaborate spy system, the use of the rack to torture people to give information, and other interferences with justice, all of which the Tudor sovereigns later used. Torture was used to discover facts, especially about coconspirators, rather than to elicit a confession, as on the continent. It was only used on prisoners held in the Tower of London involved in state trials and could only be authorized by the king's closest councilors in virtue of the royal prerogative. The rack stretched the supine body by the wrists and legs with increasing agony at the joints until the limbs were dislocated. Some victims were permanently crippled by it; others died on it. Most told what they knew, often at the very sight of the rack. Torture was forbidden in the common law, which favored an accusatorial system, in which the accuser had to prove guilt, rather than an inquisitional system, in which the accused had to prove innocence. Edward IV applied martial law to ordinary cases of high treason by extending the jurisdiction of the politically- appointed High Constable of England to these cases, thus depriving the accused of trial by jury. He executed many for treason and never restored their forfeited land to their families, as had been the usual practice.

King Richard III prohibited the seizure of goods before conviction of felony. He also liberated the unfree villeins on royal estates.

It was declared under Parliamentary authority that there was a preference for the Crown to pass to a King's eldest son, and to his male issue after him. Formerly, a man could ascend to the throne through his female ancestry as well.

The Law

The forcible entry statute is expanded to include peaceful entry with forcible holding after the justices arrived and to forcible holding with departure before the justices arrived. Penalties are triple damages, fine, and ransom to the King. A forceful possession lasting three years is exempt.

By common law, a tenant could not take away buildings or fixtures he built on land because it would be wasteful. This applied to agricultural fixtures, but not to other trade fixtures. Also at common law, if a person had enjoyed light next to his property for at least 20 years, no one could build up the adjacent land so that the light would be blocked.

Women of age fourteen or over shall have livery of their lands and tenements by inheritance without question or difficulty.

Purposely cutting out another's tongue or putting out another's eyes is a felony [penalty of loss of all property].

No one may keep swans unless he has lands and tenements of the estate of freehold to a yearly value of 67s., because swans of the King, lords, knights, and esquires have been stolen by yeomen and husbandmen.

The wage ceiling for servants is: bailiff of agriculture 23s.4d. per year, and clothing up to 5s., with meat and drink; chief peasant, a carter, chief shepherd 20s. and clothing up to 4s., with meat and drink; common servant of agriculture 15s., and clothing up to 3s.4d.; woman servant 10s., and clothing up to 4s., with meat and drink; infant under fourteen years 6s., and clothing up to 3s., with meat and drink. Such as deserve less or where there is a custom of less, that lesser amount shall be given.

For laborers at harvest time: mower 4d. with meat and drink or 6d. without; reaper or carter: 3d. with or 5d. without; woman laborer and other laborers: 2d with and 4d. without.

The ceiling wage rate for craftsmen per day is: free mason or master carpenter 4d. with meat & drink or 5d. without; master tiler or slater, rough mason, and mesne [intermediary] carpenter and other artificiers in building 3d. with meat and drink or 4d. without; every other laborer 2d. with meat and drink or 3d. without. In winter the respective wages were less: mason category: 3d. with or 4d. without; master tiler category: 2d. with or 4d. without; others: 1d. with or 3d. without meat and drink.

Any servant of agriculture who is serving a term with a master and covenants to serve another man at the end of this term and that other man shall notify the master by the middle of his term so he can get a replacement worker. Otherwise, the servant shall continue to serve the first master.

No man or woman may put their son or daughter to serve as an apprentice in a craft within any borough, but may send the child to school, unless he or she has land or rent to the value of 20s. per year. [because of scarcity of laborers and other servants of agriculture]

No laborer may be hired by the week.

Masons may no longer congregate yearly, because it has led to violation of the statute of laborers.

No games may be played by laborers because they lead to [gambling and] murders and robberies.

Apparel worn must be appropriate to one's status to preserve the industry of agriculture. The following list of classes shows the lowest class, which could wear certain apparel:

  1. Lords - gold cloth, gold corses, sable fur, purple silk
  2. Knights - velvet, branched satin, ermine fur
  3. Esquires and gentlemen with possessions to the value of 800s. per year, daughters of a person who has possessions to the value of 2,000s. a year - damask, silk, kerchiefs up to 5s. in value.
  4. Esquires and gentlemen with possessions to the yearly value of 800s. 40 pounds - fur of martron or letuse, gold or silver girdles, silk corse not made in the nation, kerchief up to 3s.4d in value
  5. Men with possessions of the yearly value of 40s. excluding the above three classes - fustian, bustian, scarlet cloth in grain
  6. Men with possessions under the yearly value of 40s. excluding the first three classes - black or white lamb fur, stuffing of wool, cotton, or cadas.
  7. Yeomen - cloth up to the value of 2s., hose up to the value of 14s., a girdle with silver, kerchief up to 12d.
  8. Servants of agriculture, laborer, servant, country craftsman - none of the above clothes

Gowns and jackets must cover the entire trunk of the body, including the private parts. Shoes may not have pikes over two inches.

Every town shall have at its cost a common balance with weights according to the standard of the Exchequer. All citizens may weigh goods for free. All cloth to be sold shall be sealed according to this measure.

There is a standard bushel of grain throughout the nation.

There are standard measures for plain tile, roof tile, and gutter tile throughout the nation.

No gold or silver may be taken out of the nation.

The price of silver is fixed at 30s. for a pound, to increase the value of silver coinage, which has become scarce due to its higher value when in plate or masse.

A designee of the king will inspect and seal cloth with lead to prevent deceit. Cloth may not be tacked together before inspection. No cloth may be sold until sealed.

Heads of arrows shall be hardened at the points with steel and marked with the mark of the arrowsmith who made it, so they are not faulty.

Shoemakers and cordwainers may tan their leather, but all leather must be inspected and marked by a town official before it is sold.

Cordwainers shall not tan leather [to prevent deceitful tanning]. Tanners who make a notorious default in leather which is found by a cordwainer shall make a forfeiture.

Defective embroidery for sale shall be forfeited.

No fishing net may be fastened or tacked to posts, boats, or anchors, but may be used by hand, so that fish are preserved and vessels may pass.

No one may import any articles which could be made in the nation, including silks, bows, woolen cloths, iron and hardware goods, harness and saddlery, except printed books.

The following merchandise shall not be brought into the nation already wrought: woolen cloth or caps, silk laces, ribbons, fringes, and embroidery, gold laces, saddles, stirrups, harnesses, spurs, bridles, gridirons, locks, hammers, fire tongs, dripping pans, dice, tennis balls, points, purses, gloves, girdles, harness for girdles of iron steel or of tin, any thing wrought of any treated leather, towed furs, shoes, galoshes, corks, knives, daggers, woodknives, thick blunt needles, sheers for tailors, scissors, razors, sheaths, playing cards, pins, pattens [wooden shoes on iron supports worn in wet weather], pack needles, painted ware, forcers, caskets, rings of copper or of gilt sheet metal, chaffing dishes, hanging candlesticks, chaffing balls, mass bells, rings for curtains, ladles, skimmers, counterfeit felt hat moulds, water pitchers with wide spouts, hats, brushes, cards for wool, white iron wire, upon pain of their forfeiture. One half this forfeiture goes to the king and the other half to the person seizing the wares.

No sheep may be exported, because being shorn elsewhere would deprive the king of customs.

No wheat, rye, or barley may be imported unless the prices are such that national agriculture is not hurt.

Clothmakers must pay their laborers, such as carders and spinsters, in current coin and not in pins and girdles and the like.

The term "freemen" in the Magna Carta includes women.

The election of a knight from a county to go to Parliament shall be proclaimed by the sheriff in the full county so all may attend and none shall be commanded to do something else at that time. Election is to be by majority of the votes and its results will be sealed and sent to Parliament.

Electors and electees to Parliament must reside in the county or be citizens or burgesses of a borough. To be an elector to Parliament, a knight must reside in the county and have a freehold of land or tenements there of the value of at least 40s. per year, because participation in elections of too many people of little substance or worth had led to homicides, assaults, and feuds. (These "yeomen" were about one sixth of the population. Most former electors and every leaseholder and every copyholder were now excluded. Those elected for Parliament were still gentry chosen by substantial freeholders.)

London ordinances forbade placing rubbish or dung in the Thames River or any town ditch or casting water or anything else out of a window. The roads were maintained with tolls on carts and horses bringing victuals or grains into the city and on merchandise unloaded from ships at the port. No carter shall drive his cart more quickly when it is unloaded than when it is loaded. No pie bakers shall sell beef pies as venison pies, or make any meat pie with entrails. To assist the poor, bread and ale shall be sold by the farthing.

Desertion by a soldier is penalized by forfeiture of all land and property.

The common law held that a bailee is entitled to possession against all persons except the owner of the bailed property.

Former justice Sir Thomas Littleton wrote a legal textbook describing tenancies in dower; the tenures of socage, knight's service, serjeanty, and burgage; estates in fee simple, fee tail, and fee conditional; inheritance and alienation of land. For instance, "Also, if feoffment be made upon such condition, that if the feoffor pay to the feofee at a certain day, etc., 800s. forty pounds of money, that then the feoffor may reenter, etc., in this case the feoffee is called tenant in mortgage, ... and if he doth not pay, then the land which he puts in pledge upon condition for the payment of the money is gone from him for ever, and so dead as to the tenant, etc."

Joint tenants are distinguished from tenants in common by Littleton thus: "Joint-tenants are, as if a man be seised of certain lands or tenements, etc., and thereof enfeoffeth two, or three, or four, or more, to have and to hold to them (and to their heirs, or letteth to them) for term of their lives, or for term of another's life; by force of which feoffment or lease they are seised, such are joint-tenants. ... And it is to be understood, that the nature of joint-tenancy is, that he that surviveth shall have solely the entire tenancy, according to such estate as he hath, ..." "Tenants in common are they that have lands or tenements in fee-simple, fee-tail, or for term of life, etc., the which have such lands and tenements by several title, and not by joint title, and neither of them knoweth thereof his severalty, but they ought by the law to occupy such lands or tenements in common pro indiviso [undivided], to take the profits in common. ...As if a man enfeoff two joint-tenants in fee, and the one of them alien that which to him belongeth to another in fee, now the other joint-tenant and the alienee are tenants in common, because they are in such tenements by several titles, ..."

There are legal maxims and customs of ancient origin which have become well established and known though not written down as statutes. Some delineated by Christopher St. Germain in "Doctor and Student" in 1518 are:

  1. The spouse of a deceased person takes all personal and real chattels of the deceased.
  2. For inheritance of land, if there are no descendant children, the brothers and sisters take alike, and if there are none, the next blood kin of the whole blood take, and if none, the land escheats to the lord. Land may never ascend from a son to his father or mother.
  3. A child born before espousals is a bastard and may not inherit, even if his father is the husband.
  4. If a middle brother purchases lands in fee and dies without heirs of his body, his eldest brother takes his lands and not the younger brother. The next possible heir in line is the younger brother, and the next after him, the father's brother.
  5. For lands held in socage, if the heir is under 14, the next friend to the heir, to whom inheritance may not descend, shall have the ward of his body and lands until the heir is 14, at which time the heir may enter.
  6. For lands held by knight's service, if the heir is under 14, then the lord shall have the ward and marriage of the heir until the heir is 21, if male, or 14 (changed to 16 in 1285), if female. When of age, the heir shall pay relief.
  7. A lease for a term of years is a real chattel rather than a free tenement, and may pass without livery of seisin.
  8. He who has possession of land, though it is by disseisin, has right against all men but against him who has right.
  9. If a tenant is past due his rent, the lord may distrain his beasts which are on the land.
  10. All birds, fowls, and wild beasts of the forest and warren are excepted out of the law and custom of property. No property may be had of them unless they are tame. However, the eggs of hawks and herons and the like belong to the man whose land they are on.
  11. If a man steals goods to the value of 12d., or above, it is felony, and he shall die for it. If it is under the value of 12d., then it is but petit larceny, and he shall not die for it, but shall be punished at the discretion of the judges. This not apply to goods taken from the person, which is robbery, a felony punishable by death.
  12. If the son is attainted [convicted of treason or felony with the death penalty and forfeiture of all lands and goods] in the life of the father, and after he purchases his charter of pardon of the King, and after the father dies; in this case the land shall escheat to the lord of the fee, insomuch that though he has a younger brother, yet the land shall not descend to him: for by the attainder of the elder brother the blood is corrupt, and the father in the law died without heir.
  13. A man declared outlaw forfeits his profits from land and his goods to the King.
  14. He who is arraigned upon an indictment of felony shall be admitted, in favor of life, to challenge thirty-five inquirers (three whole inquests would have thirty-six) peremptorily. With cause, he may challenge as many as he has cause to challenge if he can prove it. Such peremptory challenge shall not be admitted in a private suit.
  15. An accessory shall not be put to answer before the principal.
  16. If a man commands another to commit a trespass, and he does it, the one who made the command is a trespasser.
  17. The land of every man is in the law enclosed from other, though it lies in the open field, and a trespasser in it may be brought to court.
  18. Every man is bound to make recompense for such hurt as his beasts do in the growing grain or grass of his neighbor, though he didn't know that they were there.
  19. If two titles are concurrent together, the oldest title shall be preferred.
  20. He who recovers debt or damages in the King's court when the person charged is not in custody, may within a year after the judgment take the body of the defendant, and commit him to prison until he has paid the debt and damages.
  21. If the demandant or plaintiff, hanging his writ (writ pending in court), will enter into the thing demanded, his writ shall abate.
  22. By the alienation of the tenant, hanging the writ, or his entry into religion, or if he is made a knight, or she is a woman and takes a husband hanging the writ, the writ shall not abate.
  23. The king may disseise no man and no man may disseise the king, nor pull any reversion or remainder out of him.

Judicial Procedure

The prohibition against maintenance was given penalties in 1406 of 100s. per person for a knight or lower giving livery of cloth or hats, and of 40s. for the receiver of such. A person who brought such suit to court was to be given half the penalty. The Justices of Assize and King's Bench were authorized to inquire about such practices. The statute explicitly included ladies and any writing, oath, or promise as well as indenture. Excepted were guilds, fraternities, and craftsmen of cities and boroughs which were founded on a good purpose, universities, the mayor and sheriffs of London, and also lords, knights, and esquires in time of war. A penalty of one year in prison without bail was given. In 1468, there was a penalty of 100s. per livery to the giver of such, 100s. per month to the retainer or taker of such, and 100s. per month to the person retained. Still this law was seldom obeyed.

People took grievances outside the confines of the rigid common law to the Chancellor, who could give equitable remedies under authority of a statute of 1285 (described in Chapter 8). The Chancery heard many cases of breach of faith in the "use", a form of trust in which three parties were involved: the holder of land, feofees to whom the holder had made it over by conveyance or "bargain and sale", and the beneficiary or receiver of the profits of the land, who was often the holder, his children, relatives, friends, an institution, or a corporation. This system of using land had been created by the friars to get around the prohibition against holding property. Lords and gentry quickly adopted it. The advantages of the use were that 1) there was no legal restriction to will away the beneficial interest of the use although the land itself could not be conveyed by will; 2) it was hard for the king to collect feudal incidents because the feoffees were often unknown 3) the original holder was protected from forfeiture of his land in case of conviction of treason if the Crown went to someone he had not supported. Chancery gave a remedy for dishonest or defaulting feofees.

Chancery also provided the equitable relief of specific performance in disputes over agreements, for instance, conveyance of certain land, whereas the common law courts awarded only monetary damages by the writ of covenant.

Chancery ordered accounts to be made in matters of foreign trade because the common law courts were limited to accounts pursuant to transactions made within the nation. It also involved itself in the administration of assets and accounting of partners to each other.

The Chancellor took jurisdiction of cases of debt, detinue, and account which had been decided in other courts with oath-helping by the defendant. He did not trust the reliance on friends of the defendant swearing that his statement made in his defense was true. An important evidentiary difference between procedures of the Chancery and the common law courts was that the Chancellor could orally question the plaintiff and the defendant under oath. He also could order persons to appear at his court by subpoena [under pain of punishment, such as a heavy fine].

Whereas the characteristic award of the common law courts was seisin of land or monetary damages, Chancery often enjoined certain action. Because malicious suits were a problem, the Chancery identified such suits and issued injunctions against taking them to any court.

The Chancery was given jurisdiction by statute over men of great power taking by force women who had lands and tenements or goods and not setting them free unless they bound themselves to pay great sums to the offenders or to marry them. A statute also gave Chancery jurisdiction over servants taking their masters' goods at his death.

Justices of the Peace, appointed by the Crown, investigated all riots and arrested rioters, by authority of statute. If they had departed, the Justices certified the case to the King. The case was then set for trial first before the king and his council and then at the King's Bench. If the suspected rioters did not appear at either trial, they could be convicted for default of appearance. If a riot was not investigated and the rioters sought, the Justice of the Peace nearest forfeited 2,000s. Justices of the peace were not paid. For complex cases and criminal cases with defendants of high social status, they deferred to the Justices of Assize, who rode on circuit once or twice a year. Since there was no requirement of legal knowledge for a Justice of the Peace, many referred to the "Boke of the Justice of the Peas" compiled about 1422 for them to use. Manor courts still formally admitted new tenants, registered titles, sales of land and exchanges of land, and commutation of services, enrolled leases and rules of succession, settled boundary disputes, and regulated the village agriculture.

All attorneys shall be examined by the royal justices for their learnedness in the law and, at their discretion, those that are good and virtuous shall be received to make any suit in any royal court. These attorneys shall be sworn to serve well and truly in their offices.

Attorneys may plead on behalf of parties in the hundred courts.

A qualification for jurors was to have an estate to one's own use or one of whom other persons had estates of fee simple, fee tail, or freehold in lands and tenements, which were at least 40s. per year in value. In a plea of land worth at least 40s. yearly or a personal plea with relief sought at least 800s., jurors had to have land in the bailiwick to the value of at least 400s., because perjury was considered less likely in the more sufficient men.

In criminal cases, there were many complaints made that the same men being on the grand assize and petty assize was unfair because prejudicial. So it became possible for a defendant to challenge an indictor for cause before the indictor was put on the petty assize. Then the petty assize came to be drawn from the country at large and was a true petty or trial jury. Jurors were separated from witnesses.

Justices of the Peace were to have lands worth 267s. yearly, because those with less had used the office for extortion and lost the respect and obedience of the people.

A Sheriff was not to arrest, but to transfer indictments to the Justices of the Peace of the county. He had to reside in his bailiwick. The sheriff could be sued for misfeasance such as bribery in the King's court.

Impeachment was replaced with bill of attainder during the swift succession of parliaments during the civil war. This was a more rapid and efficient technique of bringing down unpopular ministers or political foes. There was no introduction of evidence, nor opportunity for the person accused to defend himself, nor any court procedure, as there was with impeachment.

An example of a case of common law decided by Court of King's Bench is Russell's Case (1482) as follows:

In the king's bench one Thomas Russell and Alice his wife brought a writ of trespass for goods taken from Alice while she was single. The defendant appeared and pleaded not guilty but was found guilty by a jury at nisi prius, which assessed the damages at 20 pounds. Before the case was next to be heard in the King's Court an injunction issued out of the Chancery to the plaintiffs not to proceed to judgment, on pain of 100 pounds, and for a long time judgment was not asked for. Then Hussey CJKB. asked Spelman and Fincham, who appeared for the plaintiff if they wanted to ask for judgment according to the verdict. Fincham [P]: We would ask for judgment, except for fear of the penalty provided for in the injunction, for fear that our client will be imprisoned by the Chancellor if he disobeys. Fairfax, JKB: He can ask for judgment in spite of the injunction, for if it is addressed to the plaintiff his attorney can ask for judgment, and vice versa. Hussey, CJKB: We have consulted together on this matter among ourselves and we see no harm which can come to the plaintiff if he proceeds to judgment. The law will not make him pay the penalty provided in the injunction. If the Chancellor wants to imprison him he must send him to the Fleet Prison, and, as soon as you are there you will inform us and we shall issue a habeas corpus returnable before us, and when you appear before us we shall discharge you, so you will not come to much harm, and we shall do all we can for you. Nevertheless, Fairfax said he would go to the Chancellor and ask him if he would discharge the injunction. And they asked for judgment and it was held that they should recover their damages as assessed by the jury, but they would not give judgment for damages caused by the vexation the plaintiff suffered through the Chancery injunction. And they said that if the Chancellor would not discharge the injunction, they would give judgment if the plaintiff would ask for it.

An example of a petition to chancery in the 15th century is Hulkere v. Alcote, as follows:

To the right reverend father in God and gracious lord bishop of Bath, chancellor of England, your poor and continual bedwoman Lucy Hulkere, widow of Westminster, most meekly and piteously beseeches: that whereas she has sued for many years in the King's Bench and in the Common Pleas for withholding diverse charters and evidences of land, leaving and delaying her dower of the manor of Manthorpe in Lincolnshire and also of the manor of Gildenburton in Northamptonshire, together with the withdrawing of her true goods which her husband gave her on his deathbed to the value of 100 pounds and more, under record of notary, sued against Harry Alcote and Elizabeth of the foresaid Gildenburton within the same county of Northampton. And by collusion and fickle counsel of the foresaid Harry and Elizabeth his mother there was led and shown for him within the Common Pleas a false release, sealed, to void and exclude all her true suit by record of true clerks and attorneys of the aforesaid Common Pleas. Of the which false release proved she has a copy to show. [All this is] to her great hindrance and perpetual destruction unless she have help and remedy by your righteous and gracious lordship in this matter at this time. That it please your noble grace and pity graciously to grant a writ subpoena to command the foresaid Henry Alcote and Elizabeth Alcote to come before your presence by a certain day by you limited in all haste that they may come to Westminster to answer to this matter abovesaid, for love of God and a deed of charity, considering graciously that the foresaid Harry Alcote, with another fellow of his affinity who is not lately hanged for a thief in Franceled her into a garden at Gildenburton and put her down on the ground, laying upon her body a board and a summer saddle and great stones upon the board, the foresaid Harry Alcote sitting across her feet and the other at her head for to have slain her and murdered her, and by grace of our lady her mother- in-law out walking heard a piteous voice crying and by her goodness she was saved and delivered, and otherwise would be dead. Pledges to prosecute: John Devenshire of Berdevyle in Essex and James Kelom of London. Returnable in Michaelmas term.

Chapter 11

The Times: 1485-1509

Henry Tudor and other exiles defeated and killed Richard III on Bosworth field, which ends the civil War of the Roses between the Lancaster and York factions. As King, Henry VII restored order to the nation. He was readily accepted as king because he was descended from the Lancaster royal line and he married a woman from the York royal line. Henry was intelligent and sensitive. He weighed alternatives and possible consequences before taking action. He was convinced by reason on what plans to make. His primary strategy was enacting and enforcing statutes to shore up the undermined legal system, which includes the establishment of a new court: the Court of the Star Chamber, to obtain punishment of persons whom juries were afraid to convict. It had no jury and no grand jury indictment. For speed and certainty, it tried people "ex officio": by virtue of its office. Suspects were required to take an oath ex officio, by which they swore to truthfully answer all questions put to them. A man could not refuse to answer on the grounds of self-incrimination. The Star Chamber was the room in which the King's council had met since the 1300s. In his reign of 24 years, Henry applied himself diligently to the details of the work of government to make it work well. He strengthened the monarchy, shored up the legal system to work again, and provided a peace in the land in which a renaissance of the arts and sciences, culture, and the intellectual life could flourish.

The most prevalent problems were: murder, robbery, rape or forced marriage of wealthy women, counterfeiting of coin, extortion, misdemeanors by sheriffs and escheators, bribing of sheriffs and jurors, perjury, livery and maintenance agreements, idleness, unlawful plays, and riots. Interference with the course of justice was not committed only by lords on behalf of their retainers; men of humbler station were equally prone to help their friends in court or to give assistance in return for payment. Rural juries were intimidated by the old baronage and their armed retinues. Juries in municipal courts were subverted by gangs of townsmen. Justices of the Peace didn't enforce the laws. The agricultural work of the nation had been adversely affected.

Henry made policy with the advice of his council and had Parliament enact it into legislation. He dominated Parliament by having selected most of its members. Many of his council were sons of burgesses and had been trained in universities. He chose competent and especially trusted men for his officers and commanders of castles and garrison. The fact that only the king had artillery deterred barons from revolting. Also, the baronial forces were depleted due to civil War of the Roses. If Henry thought a magnate was exercising his territorial power to the King's detriment, he confronted him with an army and forced him to bind his whole family in recognizances for large sums of money to ensure future good conduct. Since the king had the authority to interpret these pledges, they were a formidable check on any activity which could be considered to be disloyal. The earl of Kent, whose debts put him entirely at the King's mercy, was bound to "be seen daily once in the day within the King's house". Henry also required recognizances from men of all classes, including clergy, captains of royal castles, and receivers of land. The higher nobility now consisted of about twenty families. The heavy fines by the Star Court put an end to conspiracies to defraud, champerty [an agreement with a litigant to pay costs of litigation for a share in the damages awarded], livery, and maintenance. The ties between the nobility and the Justices of the Peace had encouraged corruption of justice. So Henry appointed many of the lesser gentry and attorneys as Justices of the Peace. Also he appointed a few of his councilors as nonresident Justices of the Peace. There were a total of about thirty Justices of the Peace per county. Their appointments were indefinite and most remained until retirement or death. Henry instituted the Yeomen of the Guard to be his personal bodyguards night and day.

Many bills of attainder caused lords to lose their land to the King. Most of these lords had been chronic disturbers of the peace. Henry required retainers to be licensed, which system lasted until about 1600. Henry was also known to exhaust the resources of barons he suspected of disloyalty by accepting their hospitality for himself and his household for an extended period of time.

Henry built up royal funds by using every available procedure of government to get money, by maximizing income from royal estates by transferring authority over them from the Exchequer to knowledgeable receivers, and from forfeitures of land and property due to attainders of treason. He also personally reviewed all accounts and initialed every page, making sure that all payments were made. He regularly ordered all men with an income of 800s. [40 pounds] yearly from lands or revenue in hand to receive knighthoods, which were avoided by those who did not want to fight, or pay a high fee. As a result, the Crown became rich and therefore powerful.

Henry's Queen, Elizabeth, was a good influence on his character. Her active beneficence was a counteracting influence to his avaricious predisposition. When Henry and his Queen traveled through the nation, they often stopped to talk to the common people. They sometimes gave away money, such as to a man who had lost his hand. Henry paid for an intelligent boy he met to go to school.

Henry had the first paper mill erected in the nation. He fostered the reading of books and the study of Roman law, the classics, and the Bible. He had his own library and gave books to other libraries.

The age of entry to university was between 13 and 16. It took four years' study of grammar, logic, and rhetoric to achieve the Bachelor of Arts degree and another five before a master could begin a specialized study of the civil law, canon law, theology, or medicine. Arabic numbers replaced Roman numerals, making easy multiplication and division possible. Humanist studies were espoused by individual scholars at the three centers of higher learning: Oxford University, Cambridge University, and the Inns of Court in London. The Inns of Court attracted the sons of gentry and merchants pursuing practical and social accomplishments. The text of 'readings' to members of the inns survive from this time. In the legalistic climate of these times, attorneys were prosperous.

The enclosure of land by hedges for sheep farming continued, especially by rich merchants who bought country land for this purpose. Often this was land that had been under the plough. Any villeins were given their freedom and they and the tenants at will were thrown off it immediately. That land held by copyholders of land who had only a life estate, was withheld from their sons. Only freeholders and copyholders with the custom of the manor in their favor were secure against eviction. But they could be pressured to sell by tactics such as breeding rabbits or keeping geese on adjoining land to the detriment of their crops, or preventing them from taking their traditional short cuts across the now enclosed land to their fields. The real line of distinction between rural people was one of material means instead of legal status: free or unfree. On one extreme was the well-to-do yeoman farmer farming his own land. On the other extreme was the agricultural laborer working for wages. Henry made several proclamations ordering certain enclosures to be destroyed and tillage to be restored.

Other land put to use for sheep breeding was waste land. There were three sheep to every person. The nearby woodlands no longer had wolves or lynx who could kill the sheep. Bears and elk are also gone.

There were still deer, wild boar, wildcats and wild cattle in vast forests for the lords to hunt. Wood was used for houses, arms, carts, bridges, and ships.

The villages were still isolated from each other, so that a visitor from miles away was treated as warily as a foreigner. Most people lived and died where they had been born. A person's dialect indicated his place of origin. The life of the village still revolved around the church. In some parishes, its activities were highly organized, with different groups performing different functions. For example, the matrons looked after a certain altar; the maidens raised money for a chapel or saw to the gilding of the images; the older men collected money for church repair; and the younger men organized the church ales and the church plays. Wills often left property or rents from leased land to the church. Cows and sheep given could be leased out to villagers. Buildings given could be leased out, turned over to the poor, used to brew ale or bake bread for church ales, or used in general as a place for church activities. Church ales would usually a good source of income; alehouses would be closed during the ceremonies and parishioners would contribute malt for the ale and grain, eggs, butter, cheese, and fruits.

The largest town, London, had a population of about 70,000. Other towns had a population less than 20,000. The population was increasing, but did not reach the level of the period just before the black death.

In most large towns, there were groups of tailors and hatmakers, glovers, and other leatherworkers. Some towns had a specialization due to their proximity to the sources of raw materials, such as nails, cutlery, and effigies and altars. Despite the spread of wool manufacturing to the countryside, there was a marked increase of industry and prosperity in the towns. The principal streets of the larger towns were paved with gravel. Guild halls became important and imposing architecturally.

A large area of London was taken up by walled gardens of the monasteries and large mansions. There were some houses of stone and timber and some mansions of brick and timber clustered around palaces. In these, bedrooms increased in number, with rich bed hangings, linen sheets, and bolsters. Bedspreads were introduced. Nightgowns were worn. Fireplaces became usual in all the rooms. Tapestries covered the walls. Carpets were used in the private rooms. Some of the great halls had tiled floors. The old trestle tables were replaced by tables with legs. Benches and stools had backs to lean on. Women and men wore elaborate headdresses. There are guilds of ironmongers, salters, and haberdashers [hats and caps]. On the outer periphery are mud and straw taverns and brothels. Houses are beginning to be built outside the walls along the Thames because the collapse of the power of the great feudal lords decreased the fear of an armed attack on London. The merchants introduced this idea of living at a distance from the place of work so that they could escape living in the narrow, damp, and dark lanes of the City and have more light and space. Indeed no baronial army ever threatened the king again. East of London were cattle pastures, flour mills, bakers, cloth-fulling mills, lime burners, brick and tile makers, bell founders, and ship repairing. There was a drawbridge on the south part of London Bridge for defense and to let ships through. Water sports were played on the Thames such as tilting at each other with lances from different boats.

The Tailors' and Linen Armorers' Guild received a charter in 1503 from the king as the "Merchant Tailors" to use all wares and merchandise, especially wool cloth, as well wholesale as retail, throughout the nation. Some schooling was now being made compulsory in certain trades; the goldsmiths' company made a rule that all apprentices had to be able to read and write.

A yeoman was the second-rank person of some importance, below a knight, below a gentleman, below a full member of a guild. In London, it meant the journeyman or second adult in a small workshop. These yeomen had their own fraternities and were often on strike. Some yeomen in the large London industries, e.g. goldsmiths, tailors, cloth workers, who had served an apprenticeship started their own businesses in London suburbs outside the jurisdiction of their craft to search them.

The Merchant Adventurers created a London fellowship confederacy to make membership of their society and compliance with its regulations binding on all cloth traders and to deal with common interests and difficulties such as taxation, relations with rulers, and dangers at sea. They made and enforced trading rules, chartered fleets, and organized armed convoys when the seas were unsafe and coordinated policies with Henry VII. Membership could be bought for a large fee or gained by apprenticeship or by being the son of a member.

Foreign trade was revived because it was a period of comparative peace. The nation sought to sell as much as possible to foreign nations and to buy at little as possible and thereby increase its wealth in gold and silver, which could be used for currency.

Ships weighed 200 tons and had twice the cargo space they had previously. Their bows were more pointed and their high prows made them better able to withstand gales. The mariners' compass with a pivoting needle and circular dial with a scale was introduced. The scale gave precision to directions. Ships had three masts. On the first was a square sail. On the second was a square sail with a small rectangular sail above it. On the third was a three cornered lateen sail. These sails make it possible to sail in almost any direction. This opened the seas of the world to navigation. At this time navigators kept their knowledge and expertise secret from others. Adventurous seamen went on voyages of discovery, such as John Cabot to North America in 1497, following Italian Christopher Columbus' discovery of the new world in 1492. Ferdinand Magellan of Portugal circumnavigated the world in 1519, proving uncontrovertedly that the earth was spherical rather than flat. Sailors overcame their fear of tumbling into one of the openings into hell that they believed were far out into the Atlantic Ocean and ceased to believe that a red sunset in the morning was due to a reflection from hell. Seamen could venture forth into the darkness of the broad Atlantic Ocean with a fair expectation of finding their way home again. They gradually learned that there were no sea serpents or monsters that would devour foolhardy mariners. They learned to endure months at sea on a diet of salt beef, beans, biscuits, and stale water and the bare deck for a bed. But there were still mutinies and disobedient pilots. Mortality rates among seamen were high. Theologians had to admit that Jerusalem was not the center of the world. There are more navy ships, and they have some cannon.

The blast furnace was introduced in the iron industry. A blast of hot air was constantly forced from a stove into the lower part of the furnace which was heating at high temperature a mixture of the iron ore and a reducing agent that combined with the oxygen released. After the iron was extracted, it was allowed to harden and then reheated and hammered on an anvil to shape it and to force out the hard, brittle impurities. Blast furnace heat was maintained by bellows worked by water wheels. Alchemists sought to make gold from the baser metals and to make a substance that would give them immortality. There was some thought that suffocation in mines, caverns, wells, and cellars was not due to evil spirits, but to bad air such as caused by "exhalation of metals".

In 1502, German Peter Henlein invented the pocket watch and the mainspring inside it.

There were morality plays in which the seven deadly sins: pride, covetousness, lust, anger, gluttony, envy, and sloth, fought the seven cardinal virtues: faith, hope, charity, prudence, temperance, justice, and strength, respectively, for the human soul. The play "Everyman" demonstrates that every man can get to heaven only by being virtuous and doing good deeds in his lifetime. It emphasizes that death may come anytime to every man, when his deeds will be judged as to their goodness or sinfulness. Card games were introduced. The legend of Robin Hood was written down.

The Commons gained the stature of the Lords and statutes were regularly enacted by the "assent of the lords spiritual and temporal and the commons", instead of at the request of the Commons.

The Law

Royal proclamations clarifying, refining or amplifying the law had the force of parliamentary statutes. In 1486, he proclaimed that "Forasmuch as many of the King our sovereign lord's subjects [have] been disposed daily to hear feigned, contrived, and forged tidings and tales, and the same tidings and tales, neither dreading God nor his Highness, utter and tell again as though they were true, to the great hurt of divers of his subjects and to his grievous displeasure: Therefore, in eschewing of such untrue and forged tidings and tales, the King our said sovereign lord straitly chargeth and commandeth that no manner person, whatsoever he be, utter nor tell any such tidings or tales but he bring forth the same person the which was author and teller of the said tidings or tales, upon pain to be set on the pillory, there to stand as long as it shall be thought convenient to the mayor, bailiff, or other official of any city, borough, or town where it shall happen any such person to be taken and accused for any such telling or reporting of any such tidings or tales. Furthermore the same our sovereign lord straitly chargeth and commandeth that all mayors, bailiffs, and other officers diligently search and inquire of all such persons tellers of such tidings and tales not bringing forth the author of the same, and them set on the pillory as it is above said." He also proclaimed in 1487 that no one, except peace officers, may carry a weapon, e.g. bows, arrows, or swords, in any town or city unless on a journey. He proclaimed in 1498 that no one may refuse to receive silver pennies or other lawful coin as payment regardless of their condition as clipped, worn, thin, or old, on pain of imprisonment and further punishment.

Statutes included:

Lords holding castles, manors, lands and tenements by knight's service of the king shall have a writ of right for wardship of the body as well as of the land of any minor heir of a deceased person who had the use [beneficial enjoyment] of the land for himself and his heirs as if the land had been in the possession of the deceased person. And if such an heir is of age, he shall pay relief to the lord as if he had inherited possession of the land. An heir in ward shall have an action of waste against his lord as if his ancestor had died seised of the land. That is, lands of "those who use" shall be liable for execution of his debt and to the chief lord for his relief and heriot, and if he is a bondsman, they may be seized by the lord. The king tried to retain the benefits of feudal incidents on land by this Statute of Uses, but attorneys sought to circumvent it by drafting elaborate and technical instruments to convey land free of feudal burdens.

Any woman who has an estate in dower, or for a term of life, or in tail, jointly with her husband, or only to herself, or to her use, in any manors, lands, tenements, or other hereditaments of the inheritance or purchase of her husband, or given to the said husband and wife in tail, or for term of life, by any of the ancestors of the said husband, or by any other person seised to the use of the said husband, or of his ancestors, who, by herself or with any after taken husband; discontinue, alienate, release, confirm with warranty or, by collusion, allow any recovery of the same against them or any other seised to their use, such action shall be void. Then, the person to whom the interest, title, or inheritance would go after the death of such woman may enter and possess such premises. This does not affect the common law that a woman who is single or remarried may give, sell, or make discontinuance of any lands for the term of her life only.

All deeds of gift of goods and chattels made of trust, to the use of the giver [grantor and beneficiary of trust], to defraud creditors are void.

It is a felony to carry off against her will, a woman with lands and tenements or movable goods, or who is heir-apparent to an ancestor. This includes taking, procuring, abetting, or knowingly receiving a woman taken against her will.

A vagabond, idle, or suspected person shall be put in the stocks for three days with only bread and water, and then be put out of the town. If he returns, he shall spend six days in the stocks. (A few years later this was changed to one and three days, respectively.) Every beggar who is not able to work, shall return to the hundred where he last dwelled, is best known, or was born and stay there.

No one may take pheasants or partridges by net snares or other devices from his own warren [breeding ground], upon the freehold of any other person, or else forfeit 200s., one half to the owner of the land and the other half to the suer. No one may take eggs of any falcon, hawk, or swan out of their nest, whether it is on his land or any other man's land, on pain of imprisonment for one year and fine at the King's will, one half to the King, and the other half to the holder of the land, or owner of the swan. No man shall bear any English hawk, but shall have a certificate for any imported hawk, on pain for forfeiture of such. No one shall drive falcons or hawks from their customary breeding place to another place to breed or slay any for hurting him, or else forfeit 200s. after examination by a Justice of the Peace, one half going to the king and one half to the suer.

Any person without a forest of his own who has a net device with which to catch deer shall pay 200s. for each month of possession. Anyone stalking a deer with beasts anywhere not in his own forest shall forfeit 200s. Anyone taking any heron by device other than a hawk or long bow shall forfeit 6s.8d. No one shall take a young heron from its nest or pay 10s. for each such heron. Two justices may decide such an issue, and one tenth of the fine shall go to them.

No man shall shoot a crossbow except in defense of his house, other than a lord or one having 2,667s. of land because their use had resulted in too many deer being killed. (The longbow was not forbidden.)

No beasts may be slaughtered or cut up by butchers within the walls of a town, or pay 12d. for every ox and 8d. for every cow or other beast, so that people will not be annoyed and distempered by foul air, which may cause them sickness.

No tanner may be a currier [dressed, dyed, and finished tanned leather] and no currier may be a tanner. No shoemaker [cordwainer] may be a currier and no currier may be a shoemaker. No currier shall curry hides which have not been tanned. No tanner shall sell other than red leather. No tanner may sell a hide before it is dried. No tanner may tan sheepskins.

No long bow shall be sold over the price of 3s.4d.

Good wood for making bows may be imported without paying customs.

No grained cloth of the finest making shall be sold for more than 16s., nor any other colored cloth for more than 11s. per yard, or else forfeit 40s. for every yard so sold. No hat shall be sold for more than 20d. and no cap shall be sold for more than 2s.8d., or else forfeit 40s. for each so sold.

Silver may not be sold or used for any use but goldsmithery or amending of plate to make it good as sterling, so that there will be enough silver with which to make coinage.

Each feather bed, bolster, or pillow for sale shall be stuffed with one type of stuffing, that is, dry pulled feathers or with clean down alone, and with no sealed feathers nor marsh grass, nor any other corrupt stuffings. Each quilt, mattress, or cushion for sale shall be stuffed with one type of stuffing, that is, clean wool, or clean flocks alone, and with no horsehair, marsh grass, neatshair, deershair, or goatshair, which is wrought in lime fats and gives off an abominable and contagious odor when heated by a man's body, on pain of forfeiture of such.

Salmon shall be sold by standard volume butts and barrels. Large salmon shall be sold without any small fish or broken-bellied salmon and the small fish shall be packed by themselves only, or else forfeit 6s.8d. Herring shall be sold at standard volumes. The herring shall be as good in the middle and in every part of the package as at the ends of the package, or else forfeit 3s.4d. Eels shall be sold at standard volumes, and good eels shall not be mixed with lesser quality eels, or else forfeit 10s. The fish shall be packed in the manner prescribed or else forfeit 3s.4d. for each vessel.

Fustians shall always be shorn with the long shear, so that it can be worn for at least two years. If an iron or anything else used to dress such injures the cloth so that it wears out after four months, 20s. shall be forfeited for each default, one half to the king and the other half to the suer.

Pewter and brass ware for sale shall be of the quality of that of London and marked by its maker, on pain of forfeiture of such, and may be sold only at open fairs and markets or in the seller's home, or else forfeit 200s. If such false ware is sold, its maker shall forfeit its value, one half to the king and one half to the searchers. Anyone using false weights of such wares shall forfeit 20s., one half to the king and one half to the suer, or if he cannot pay this fine, to be put in the stocks until market day and then be put in the pillory all the market time.

No alien nor denizen [foreigner allowed to reside in the nation with certain rights and privileges] may carry out of the nation any raw wool or any woolen cloth which has not been barbed, rowed, and shorn.

Silk ribbons, laces, and girdles of silk may not be imported, since they can be made in the nation.

No one shall import wine into the nation, but on English ships, or else forfeit the wine, one half to the king and one half to the seizer of the wine.

No one may take out of the nation any [male] horse or any mare worth more than 6s.8s. or under the age of three years, upon pain of forfeiture of such. However, a denizen may take a horse for his own use and not to sell. This is to stop losing horses needed for defense of the nation and to stop the price of a horse from going up.

Freemen of London may go to fairs and markets with wares to sell, despite the London ordinance to the contrary.

Merchants residing in the nation but outside London shall have free access to foreign markets without exaction taken of more than 133s. sterling by the confederacy of London merchants, which have increased their fee so much, 400s., that merchants not in the confederacy have been driven to sell their goods in London for less than they would get at a foreign market. Exacting more is punishable by a fine of 400s. and damages to the grieved party of ten times the excess amount taken.

For the privilege of selling merchandise, a duty of scavage shall be taken of merchant aliens, but not of denizens. Any town official who allows disturbing of a person trying to sell his merchandise because he has not paid scavage, shall pay a fine of 400s.

Coin clipped or diminished shall not be current in payment, but may be converted at the King's mint into plate or bullion. Anyone refusing to take coins with only normal wear may be imprisoned by the mayor, sheriff, bailiff, constable or other chief officer. New coins, which have a circle or inscription around the outer edge, will be deemed clipped if this circle or inscription is interfered with.

The penalty for usury is placement in the pillory, imprisonment for half a year, and a fine of 400s. (The penalty was later changed to one half thereof.)

Lawbooks in use at the Inns of Court included "The Books of Magna Carta with diverse Old Statutes", "Doctor and Student" by St. Germain, "Grand Abridgment" by Fitzherbert, and "New Natura Brevium" by Lombard.

Judicial Procedure

These changes in the judicial process were made by statute:

The Chancellor, Treasurer, keeper of the King's privy seal, or two of them, with a bishop selected by them, and a temporal lord of the King's council selected by them, and the two Chief Justices of the King's Bench shall constitute the court of the Star Chamber. It shall have the authority to call before it by writ or by privy seal anyone accused of "unlawful maintenances, giving of liveries, signs and tokens, and retainers by indentures, promises, oaths, writings, or otherwise embraceries of his subjects" and witnesses, and impose punishment as if convicted under due process of law. These laws shall now be enforced: If a town does not punish the murderer of a man murdered in the town, the town shall be punished. A town shall hold any man who wounds another in peril of death, until there is perfect knowledge whether the man hurt should live or die. Upon viewing a dead body, the coroner should inquire of the killers, their abettors, and anyone present at the killing and certify these names. In addition, the murderer and accessories indicted shall be tried at the King's suit within a year of the murder, which trial will not be delayed until a private suit is taken. If acquitted at the King's suit, he shall go back to prison or let out with bail for the remainder of the year, in which time the slain man's wife or next of kin may sue. For every inquiry made upon viewing a slain body coroners shall be paid 13s.4d. out of the goods of the slayer or from a town not taking a murderer, but letting him escape. If the coroner does not make inquiry upon viewing a dead body, he shall be fined 100s. to the King. If a party fails to appear for trial after a justice has taken bail from him, a record of such shall be sent to the King.

Up to 1600, the Star Chamber heard many cases of forgery, perjury, riot, maintenance, fraud, libel, and conspiracy. It could mete out any punishment, except death or any dismemberment. This included life imprisonment, fines, pillory, whipping, branding, and mutilation. Henry VII sat on it. If a Justice of the Peace does not act on any person's complaint, that person may take that complaint to another Justice of the Peace, and if there is no remedy then, he may take his complaint to a Justice of Assize, and if there is not remedy then, he may take his complaint to the King or the Chancellor. There shall then be inquiry into why the other justices did not remedy the situation. If it is found that they were in default in executing the laws, they shall forfeit their commissions and be punished according to their demerits.

Justices of the Peace shall make inquiry of all offenses in unlawful retaining, examine all suspects, and certify them to the King's Bench for trial there or in the King's council, and the latter might also proceed against suspects on its own initiative on information given.

Perjury committed by unlawful maintenance, embracing, or corruption of officers, or in the Chancery, or before the King's council, shall be punished in the discretion of the Chancellor, Treasurer, both the Chief Justices, and the clerk of the rolls.

The Star Chamber, Chancellor, King's Bench and King and council have the power to examine all defendants, by oath or otherwise, to adjudge them convicted or attainted. They can also be found guilty by confession, examination, or otherwise. If a defendant denied doing the acts of which he is convicted, he was subject to an additional fine to the king and imprisonment. Violations of statutes may be heard by the Justices of Assize or the Justices of the Peace, except treason, murder, and other felony.

Actions on the case shall be treated as expeditiously in the courts of the King's Bench and Common Pleas as actions of trespass or debt.

Proclamation at four court terms of a levy of a fine shall be a final end to an issue of land, tenements, or other hereditaments and the decision shall bind persons and their heirs, whether they have knowledge or not of the decision, except for women-covert who were not parties, persons under the age of twenty-one, in prison, out of the nation, or not of whole mind, who are not parties. These may sue within five years of losing such condition. Also, anyone not a party may claim a right, title, claim, or interest in the said lands, tenements, or other hereditaments at the time of such fine recorded, within five years after proclamations of the fine.

A defendant who appeals a decision for the purpose of delaying execution of such shall pay costs and damages to the plaintiff for the delay.

No sheriff, undersheriff, or county clerk shall enter any complaints in their books unless the complaining party is present. And no more complaints than the complaining party knows about shall be entered. The penalty is 40s. for each such false complaint, one half to the king and the other half to the suer after examination by a Justice of the Peace. This is to prevent extortion of defendants by false complaints. The justice shall certify this examination to the King, on pain of a fine of 40s. A bailiff of a hundred who does not do his duty to summon defendants shall pay a fine of 40s. for each such default, after examination by a Justice of the Peace. Sheriffs' records of fines imposed and bailiffs' records of fines collected may be reviewed by a Justice of the Peace to examine for deceit.

Any sheriff allowing a prisoner to escape, whether from negligence or for a bribe, shall be fined, if the prisoner was indicted of high treason, at least 1,333s. for each escape. However, if the prisoner was in their keeping because of a suspicion of high treason, the fine shall be at least 800s.; and if indicted of murder or petite treason, at least 400s.; and if suspected of murder or petite treason, 200s.; and if suspected of other felonies, 100s. Petite treason was that by a wife to her husband or a man to his lord.

Any person not responding to a summons for jury service shall be fined 12d. for the first default, and 2s. for the second, and double for each subsequent default.

A pauper may sue in any court and be assigned a attorney at no cost to him.

A Justice of the Peace to whom has been reported hunting by persons disguised with painted faces or visors or otherwise, may issue a warrant for the sheriff or other county officer to arrest such persons and bring them before the justice. Such hunting in disguise or hunting at night or disobeying such warrant is a felony. This is to stop large mobs of disguised people from hunting together and then causing riots, robberies, and murders.

Benefit of clergy may be used only once, since this privilege has made clerics more bold in committing murder, rape, robbery, and theft. However, there will be no benefit of clergy in the case of murder of one's immediate lord, master, or sovereign. (This begins the gradual restriction of benefit of clergy until it disappears. Also, benefit of clergy was often disregarded in unpeaceful times.)

For an issue of riot or unlawful assembly, the sheriff shall call 24 jurors, each of lands and tenements at least 20s. of charter land or freehold or 26s.8d. of copyhold or of both. For each default of the sheriff, he shall pay 400s. And if the jury acquits, then the justice, sheriff, and under-sheriff shall certify the names of any jurors maintained or embraced and their misdemeanors, or else forfeit 400s. Any person proved to be a maintainer or embracer shall forfeit 400s. to the king and be committed to ward.

The principal leaders of any riot or unlawful assembly shall be imprisoned and fined and be bound to the peace with sureties at a sum determined by the Justices of the Peace. If the riot is by forty people or heinous, the Justices of Peace shall certify such and send the record of conviction to the King.

The King's steward, Treasurer, and comptroller have authority to question by twelve discreet persons any servant of the king about making any confederacies, compassings, conspiracies, or imaginations with any other person to destroy or murder the king or one of his council or a lord. Trial shall be by twelve men of the King's household and punishment as by felony in the common law.

When a land holder enfeoffs his land and tenements to people unknown to the remainderman in tail, so that he does not know who to sue, he may sue the receiver of the profits of the land and tenements for a remedy. And the receivers shall have the same advantages and defenses as the feoffees or as if they were tenants. And if any deceased person had the use for himself and his heirs, then any of his heirs shall have the same advantages and defenses as if his ancestor had died seised of the land and tenements. And all recoveries shall be good against all receivers and their heirs, and the feofees and their heirs, and the co- feoffees of the receivers and their heirs, as though the receivers were tenants indeed, or feofees to their use, or their heirs of the freehold of the land and tenements.

If a person feoffs his land to other persons while retaining the use thereof for himself, it shall be treated as if he were still seised of the land. Thus, relief and heriot will still be paid for land in socage. And debts and executions of judgments may be had upon the land and tenements.

The penalty for not paying customs is double the value of the goods.

The town of London shall have jurisdiction over flooding and unlawful fishing nets in that part of the Thames River that flows next to it.

The city of London shall have jurisdiction to enforce free passage of boats on the Thames River in the city, interruption of which carries a fine of 400s., two-thirds to the king and one third to the suer.

Jurors impaneled in London shall be of lands, tenements, or goods and chattels, to the value of 133s. And if the case concerns debt or damages at least 133s, the jurors shall have lands, tenements, goods, or chattels, to the value of 333s. This is to curtail the perjury that has gone on with jurors of little substance, discretion, and reputation.

A party grieved by a false verdict of any court in London may appeal to the Hustings Court of London, which hears common pleas before the mayor and aldermen. Each of the twelve alderman shall pick from his ward four jurors of the substance of at least 2,000s. to be impaneled. If twenty-four of them find that the jurors of the petty jury has given an untrue verdict, each such juror shall pay a fine of at least 400s. and imprisonment not more than six months without release on bail or surety. However, if it is found that the verdict was true, then the grand jury may inquire if any juror was bribed. If so, such juror bribed and the defendant who bribed him shall each pay ten times the amount of the bribe to the plaintiff and be imprisoned not more than six months without release on bail or surety.

Other changes in the judicial process were made by court decision. For instance, the royal justices decided that only the king could grant sanctuary for treason and not the church. After this, the church withdrew the right of sanctuary from second time offenders.

The King's council has practically limited itself to cases in which the state has an interest, especially the maintenance of public order. Chancery became an independent court rather than the arm of the king and his council. In Chancery and the King's Bench, the intellectual revival brought by humanism inspires novel procedures to be devised to meet current problems in disputed titles to land, inheritance, debt, breach of contract, promises to perform acts or services, deceit, nuisance, defamation, and the sale of goods.

A new remedy is specific performance, that is, performance of an act rather than money damages.

Evidence is now taken from witnesses.

Various courts had overlapping jurisdiction. For instance, trespass could be brought in the Court of Common Pleas because it was a civil action between two private persons. It could also be brought in the Court of the King's Bench because it broke the King's peace. It was advantageous for a party to sue for trespass in the King's court because there a defendant could be made to pay a fine to the king or be imprisoned, or declared outlaw if he did not appear at court.

A wrongful step on the defendant's land, a wrongful touch to his person or chattels could be held to constitute sufficient force and an adequate breach of the king's peace to sustain a trespass action. A new form of action is trespass on the case, which did not require the element of force or of breach of the peace that the trespass offense requires. Trespass on the case [or "case" for short] expands in usage to cover many types of situations. Stemming from it is "assumpsit", which provided damages for breach of an oral agreement and a written agreement without a seal.

Parliament's supremacy over all regular courts of law was firmly established and it was called "the high court of Parliament", paradoxically, since it came to rarely function as a law court.

The humanist intellectual revival also caused the church courts to try to eliminate contradictions with state law, for instance in debt, restitution, illegitimacy, and the age of legal majority.

The Bishop's Court in London had nine offenders a week by 1500. Half of these cases were for adultery and sexual offenses, and the rest were for slander, blasphemy, missing church services, and breach of faith. Punishment was penance by walking barefoot before the cross in the Sunday Procession dressed in a sheet and holding a candle.

Chapter 12

The Times: 1509-1558

Renaissance humanism came into being in the nation. In this development, scholars in London, Oxford, and Cambridge emphasized the value of classical learning, especially Platonism and the study of Greek literature as the means of better understanding and writing. They studied the original Greek texts and became disillusioned with the filtered interpretations of the church, for example of the Bible and Aristotle. There had long been displeasure with the priests of the church. They were supposed to preach four times yearly, visit the sick, say the daily liturgies, and hear confessions at least yearly. But there were many lapses. Many were not celibate, and some openly lived with a woman and had children. Complaints about them included not residing within their parish community, doing other work such as raising crops, and taking too much in probate, mortuary fees, and marriage fees. Probate fees had risen from at most 5s. to 60s. in the last hundred years. Mortuary fees ranged from 1/3 to 1/9 of a deceased person's goods. Sanctuary was abused. People objected to the right of arrest by ecclesiastical authorities.

Also, most parish priests did not have a theology degree or even a Bachelor's degree, as did many laymen. In fact, many laymen were better educated than the parish priests. No one other than a laborer was illiterate in the towns.

Humanist grammar [secondary] schools were established in London by merchants and guilds. In 1510, the founder and dean of St. Paul's School placed its management in the hands of London "citizens of established reputation" because he had lost confidence in the good faith of priests and noblemen. The sons of the nobility, attorneys, and merchants were starting to go to grammar school now instead of being taught at home by a tutor. At school, they mingled with sons of yeomen, farmers, and tradesmen, who were usually poor. The usual age of entry was six or seven. Classical Latin and Greek were taught and the literature of the best classical authors was read. Secondary education teachers were expected to know Latin and have studied the ancient philosophers, history, and geography. The method of teaching was for the teacher to read textbooks to the class from a prepared curriculum. The students were taught in Latin and expected not to speak English in school. They learned how to read and to write Latin, to develop and amplify a theme by logical analysis, and to essay on the same subject in the narrative, persuasive, argumentative, commending, consoling, and inciting styles. They had horn books with the alphabet and perhaps a Biblical verse on them. This was a piece of wood with a paper on it held down by a sheet of transparent horn. They also learned arithmetic (solving arithmetical problems and casting accounts). Disobedience incurred flogging by teacher as well as by parents. Spare the rod and spoil the child was the philosophy. Schools now guarded the morals and behavior of students. There were two week vacations at Christmas and at Easter. Royal grammar books for English and Latin were proclaimed by Henry in 1543 to be the only grammar book authorized for students. In 1545, he proclaimed a certain primer of prayers in English to be the only one to be used by students.

The first school of humanist studies arose in Oxford with the Foundation of Corpus Christi College in 1516 by Bishop Richard Fox. It had the first permanent Reader or Professor in Greek. The Professor of Humanity was to extirpate all barbarisms by the study of Cicero, Sallust, Valerius Maximus, and Quintilian. The third Reader of Theology was to read texts of the Holy Fathers but not those of their commentators. Oxford University was granted a charter which put the greater part of the town under control of the Chancellor and scholars. The mayor of Oxford was required to take an oath at his election to maintain the privileges and customs of the university. Roman law and other Regius professorships were founded by the king at Oxford and Cambridge. Teaching of undergraduates was the responsibility of the university rather than of the colleges, though some colleges had live-in teachers as students. Most colleges were exclusively for graduate fellows, though this was beginning to change. The university took responsibility for the student's morals and behavior and tutors sometimes whipped the undergraduates. For young noblemen, a more important part of their education than going to university was travel on the continent with a tutor. This exposure to foreign fields was no longer readily available through war or pilgrimage. The purpose was practical - to learn about foreign people and their languages, countries, and courts. Knowledge of the terrain, resources, prosperity, and stability of their countries was particularly useful to a future diplomatic or political career.

The physicians of London were incorporated to oversee and govern the practice of medicine. A faculty of physicians was established at Oxford and Cambridge. A Royal College of Physicians was founded in London in 1518 by the King's physician. The College of Physicians taught more practical medicine and anatomy than the universities. Only graduates of the College of Physicians or of Oxford or Cambridge were allowed to practice medicine or surgery.

Medical texts were Hippocrates and Galen. These viewed disease as only part of the process of nature without anything divine. They stressed empiricism, experience, collections of facts, evidences of the senses, and avoidance of philosophical speculations. Hippocrates had asserted that madness was simply a disease of the brain and then Galen had agreed and advocated merciful treatment of the insane. Galen's great remedies were proper diet, exercise, massage, and bathing. He taught the importance of a good water supply and good drainage. Greek medicinal doctrines were assumed, such as that preservation of the health of the body was dependent on air, food, drink, movement and repose, sleeping and waking, excretion and retention, and the passions. It was widely known that sleep was restorative and that bad news or worry could spoil one's digestion. An Italian book of 1507 showed that post-mortem examinations could show cause of death by gallstones, heart disease, thrombosis of the veins, or abscesses. In 1540 began the practice of giving bodies of hanged felons to surgeons to dissect. This was to deter the commission of felony. There was some feeling that dissection was a sacrilege, that the practice of medicine was a form of sorcery, and that illness and disease should be dealt with by prayer and/or atonement because caused by sin, the wrath of God, or by the devil. Food that was digested was thought to turn into a vapor which passed along the veins and was concreted as blood, flesh, and fat. After 1546, there was a book listing hundreds of drugs with preparation directions, but their use and application was by trial and error.

In 1543, Flemish physician Andreas Vesalius, who had secretly dissected human corpses, published the first finely detailed description of human anatomy. In it, there was no missing rib on one side of man, and this challenged the theory of the woman Eve having been made from a rib of the man Adam.

In the 1540s, Ambroise Pare from France, a barber-surgeon who was the son of a servant, was an army surgeon. Wounds at this time were treated with boiling oil and spurting vessels were closed by being seared with a red-hot iron. After he ran out of boiling oil, he observed that the soldiers without this treatment were healing better than those with this treatment. So he advocated ceasing the practice of cauterizing wounds. He also began tying arteries with cord to stop their bleeding after amputation many other surgical techniques.

Students were beginning to read for the bar by their own study of the newly available printed texts, treatises, and collections of statute law and of cases, instead of listening in court and talking with attorneys.

In 1523, Anthony Fitzherbert wrote "Boke of Husbandry", which set forth the most current methods of arable farming, giving details of tools and equipment, advice on capital outlay, methods of manuring, draining, ploughing, and rick-building. It was used by many constantly, and was often carried around in the pocket. This began a new way to disseminate new methods in agriculture. He also wrote a "Boke of Surveying", which relied on the perch rod and compass dial, and gave instruction on how to set down the results of a survey. In 1533, Gemma Frisius laid down the principles of topographical survey by triangulation. This improved the quality of surveys and produced accurate plots.

Geoffrey Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales" was a popular book. Through Chaucer, London English became a national standard and the notion of "correct pronunciation" came into being.

The discoveries and adventures of Amerigo Vespucci, a Portuguese explorer, were widely read. The North and South American continents were named for him.

London merchant guilds began to be identified mainly with hospitality and benevolence instead of being trading organizations. Twelve great companies dominated city politics and effectively chose the mayor and aldermen. They were, in order of precedence, Mercers, Grocers, Drapers, Fishmongers, Goldsmiths, Skinners, Tailors, Haberdashers, Ironmongers, Salters, Vintners, and the Clothworkers (composed from leading fullers and shearmen). The leading men of these guilds were generally aldermen and the guilds acted like municipal committees of trade and manufactures. Then they superintended the trade and manufactures of London much like a government department. They were called Livery Companies and categorized their memberships in three grades: mere membership, livery membership, and placement on the governing body. Livery members were distinguished by having the clothing of the brotherhood [its livery] and all privileges, and proprietary and municipal rights, in the fullest degree. They generally had a right to a place at the Company banquets. They were invited by the governing body, as a matter of favor, to other entertainments. These liverymen were usually those who had bought membership and paid higher fees because they were richer. Their pensions were larger than those of mere members. Those with mere membership were freemen who had only the simple freedom of the trade. The masters were usually householders. The journeymen, yeomanry, bachelors were simple freemen. Most of these companies had almshouses attached to their halls for the impoverished, disabled, and elderly members and their widows and children. For instance, many members of the Goldsmiths had been blinded by the fire and smoke of quicksilver and some members had been rendered crazed and infirm by working in that trade. The freedom and rights of citizenship of the city could only be obtained through membership in a livery company.

A lesser guild, the Leathersellers, absorbed the Glovers, Pursers, and Pouchmakers. These craftsmen then became wage earners of the Leathersellers, but others of these craftsmen remained independent. Before, the Whittawyers, who treated horse, deer, and sheep hides with alum and oil, had become wage earners for the Skinners.

Londoners went to the fields outside the city for recreation and games. When farmers enclosed some suburban common fields in 1514, a crowd of young men marched out to them and, crying "shovels and spades", uprooted the hedges and filled in the ditches, thus reclaiming the land for their traditional games. The last major riot in London was aroused by a speaker on May Day in 1517 when a thousand disorderly young men, mostly apprentices, defied the curfew and looted shops and houses of aliens. A duke with two thousand soldiers put it down in mid-afternoon, after which the king executed fifteen of the rioters.

Many English migrated to London. There were ambitious young men and women hopeful of betterment through employment, apprenticeship, higher wages, or successful marriage. On the other hand, there were subsistence migrants forced to leave their homes for food, work, or somewhere to live. There was much social mobility. For instance, between 1551 and 1553, of 881 persons admitted as freemen of London, 46 were the sons of gentlemen, 136 the sons of yeomen, and 289 the sons of farm workers. London grew in population about twice as fast as the nation. The fortunes of landowners varied; some went into aristocratic debt by ostentatiously spending on building, clothes, food, and drink, and some became indebted by inefficient management. Some had to sell their manors and dismiss their servants.

There are 26 wards of London as of 1550. This is the number for the next four centuries. Each ward has an alderman, a clerk, and a chief constable. There are also in each ward about 100 to 300 elected officials including prickers, benchers, blackbootmen, fewellers [keepers of greyhounds], scribes, a halter-cutter, introducers, upperspeakers, under speakers, butlers, porters, inquestmen, scavengers, constables, watchmen, a beadle, jurymen, and common councilmen. The wardmote had inquest jurisdiction over immorality or bad behavior such as vagrancy, delinquency, illegitimacy, and disputes. This contributed greatly to social stability. In 1546, Henry ordered the London brothels closed. A small gaol was established in the Clink district of Southwark, giving the name "clink" to any small gaol. London ordinances required journeymen to work from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. in winter, with a total of 90 minutes breaks for breakfast, dinner, and an afternoon drink, for 7d. In the summer they had to work for two hours longer for 8d. At its peak in the 1540s the court employed about 200 gentlemen, which was about half the peerage and one-fifth of the greater gentry. Henry issued a proclamation ordering noblemen and gentlemen in London not employed by the court to return to their country homes to perform their service to the king.

Though there was much agreement on the faults of the church and the need to reform it, there were many disagreements on what philosophy of life should take the place of church teachings. The humanist Thomas More was a university trained intellectual. His book "Utopia", idealized an imaginary society living according to the principles of natural virtue. In it, everything is owned in common and there is no need for money. All believe that there is a God who created the world and all good things and who guides men, and that the soul is immortal. But otherwise people choose their religious beliefs and their priests. From this perspective, the practices of current Christians, scholastic theologians, priests and monks, superstition, and ritual look absurd. He encouraged a religious revival. Aristotle's position that virtuous men would rule best is successfully debated against Plato's position that intellectuals and philosophers would be the ideal rulers.

More believed the new humanistic studies should be brought to women as well as to men. He had tutors teach all his children Latin, Greek, logic, theology, philosophy, mathematics, and astronomy from an early age. His eldest daughter Margaret became a recognized scholar and translated his treatise on the lord's prayer. Other high class women became highly educated. They voiced their opinions on religious matters. In the 1530s, the Duchess of Suffolk spoke out for reform of the clergy and against images, relics, shrines, pilgrimages, and services in Latin. She and the countess of Sussex supported ministers and established seminaries for the spread of the reformed faith.

More pled for proportion between punishment and crime. He urged that theft no longer be punished by death because this only encouraged the thief to murder his victim to eliminate evidence of the theft. He opined that the purpose of punishment was to reform offenders. He advocated justice for the poor to the standard of justice received by the rich.

Erasmus, a former monk, visited the nation for a couple of years and argued that reason should prevail over religious belief. He wrote the book "In Praise of Folly", which noted man's elaborate pains in misdirected efforts to gain the wrong thing. For instance, it questioned what man would stick his head into the halter of marriage if he first weighed the inconveniences of that life? Or what woman would ever embrace her husband if she foresaw or considered the dangers of childbirth and the drudgery of motherhood? Childhood and senility are the most pleasant stages of life because ignorance is bliss. Old age forgetfulness washes away the cares of the mind. A foolish and doting old man is freed from the miseries that torment the wise and has the chief joy of life: garrulousness. The seekers of wisdom are the farthest from happiness; they forget the human station to which they were born and use their arts as engines with which to attack nature. The least unhappy are those who approximate the naiveness of the beasts and who never attempt what is beyond men. As an example, is anyone happier than a moron or fool? Their cheerful confusion of the mind frees the spirit from care and gives it many-sided delights. Fools are free from the fear of death and from the pangs of conscience. They are not filled with vain worries and hopes. They are not troubled by the thousand cares to which this life is subject. They experience no shame, fear, ambition, envy, or love. In a world where men are mostly at odds, all agree in their attitude towards these innocents. They are sought after and sheltered; everyone permits them to do and say what they wish with impunity. However, the usual opinion is that nothing is more lamentable than madness. The Christian religion has some kinship with folly, while it has none at all with wisdom. For proof of this, notice that children, old people, women, and fools take more delight than anyone else in holy and religious things, led no doubt solely by instinct. Next, notice that the founders of religion have prized simplicity and have been the bitterest foes of learning. Finally, no people act more foolishly than those who have been truly possessed with Christian piety. They give away whatever is theirs; they overlook injuries, allow themselves to be cheated, make no distinction between friends and enemies, shun pleasure, and feast on hunger, vigils, tears, labors, and scorn. They disdain life, and utterly prefer death. In short, they have become altogether indifferent to ordinary interests, as if their souls lived elsewhere and not in their bodies. What is this, if not to be mad? The life of Christians is run over with nonsense. They make elaborate funeral arrangements, with candles, mourners, singers, and pallbearers. They must think that their sight will be returned to them after they are dead, or that their corpses will fall ashamed at not being buried grandly. Christian theologians, in order to prove a point, will pluck four or five words out from different places, even falsifying the sense of them if necessary, and disregard the fact that their context was relevant or even contradicted their points. They do this with such brazen skill that our attorneys are often jealous of them.

Attorney Christopher St. German wrote the legal treatise "Doctor and Student", in which he deems the law of natural reason to be supreme and eternal. The law of God and the law of man, as enunciated by the church and royalty, merely supplement the law of natural reason and may change from time to time. Examples of the law of reason are: It is good to be loved. Evil is to be avoided. Do onto others as you would have them do unto you. Do nothing against the truth. Live peacefully with others. Justice is to be done to every man. No one is to wrong another. A trespasser should be punished. From these is deduced that a man should love his benefactor. It is lawful to put away force with force. It is lawful for every man to defend himself and his goods against an unlawful power.

Like his father, Henry VIII dominated Parliament. He used this power to reform the church of England in the 1530's. The Protestant reformation cause, started in Germany in 1517 by Martin Luther posting his thesis, had become identified with Henry's efforts to have his marriage of eighteen years to the virtuous Catherine annulled so he could marry a much younger woman: Anne. His purported reason was to have a son. The end of his six successive wives was: annulled, beheaded, died; annulled, beheaded, survived. Henry VIII was egotistical, arrogant, and self- indulgent. This nature allowed him to declare himself the head of the church of England instead of the pope.

Henry used and then discarded officers of state e.g. by executing them for supposed treason. One such was Thomas Wolsey, the son of a town grazier [one who pastures cattle and rears them for market] and butcher, who was another supporter of classical learning. He rose through the church, the gateway to advancement in a diversity of occupations of clergy such as secretary, librarian, teacher, attorney, doctor, author, civil servant, diplomat, and statesman. He was a court priest when he aligned himself with Henry, both of whom wanted power and glory and dressed extravagantly. But he was brilliant and more of a strategist than Henry. Wolsey called himself a reformer and started a purge of criminals, vagrants and prostitutes within London, bringing many before the council. But most of his reforming plans were not brought to fruition, but ended after his campaign resulted in more power for himself. Wolsey rose to be Chancellor to the King and Archbishop of York. As the representative of the pope for England, he exercised almost full papal authority there. But he controlled the church in England in the King's interest. He was second only to the King and he strengthened the crown by consolidating power and income that had been scattered among nobles and officeholders. He also came to control the many courts. Wolsey centralized the church in England and dissolved the smaller monasteries, the proceeds of which he used to build colleges at Oxford and his home town. He was an impartial and respected justice.

When Wolsey was not able to convince the pope to give Henry an annulment of his marriage, Henry dismissed him and took his property, shortly after which Wolsey died.

The King replaced Wolsey as Chancellor with Thomas More, after whom he made Thomas Cromwell Chancellor. Cromwell, the son of a clothworker/blacksmith/brewer/innkeeper, was a self-taught attorney, arbitrator, merchant, and accountant. Like Wolsey, he was a natural orator. He drafted and had passed legislation that created a new church of England. He had all men swear an oath to the terms of the succession statute. Thomas More was known for his honesty and was a highly respected man. More did not yield to Henry's bullying for support for his statute declaring the succession to be vested in the children of his second marriage, and his statute declaring himself the supreme head of the church of England, instead of the pope. He did not expressly deny this supremacy statute, so was not guilty of treason under its terms. But silence did not save him. He was attainted for treason on specious grounds and beheaded. His conviction rested on the testimony of one perjured witness, who misquoted More as saying that Parliament did not have the power to require assent to the supremacy statute because it was repugnant to the common law of Christendom.

Henry ruled with an iron fist. In 1536, he issued a proclamation that "any rioters or those in an unlawful assembly shall return to their houses" or "we will proceed against them with all our royal force and destroy them and their wives and children." In 1538, he proclaimed that anyone hurting or maiming an officer while trying to make an arrest "shall lose and forfeit all their lands, goods, and chattel" and shall suffer perpetual imprisonment. Moreover, if one murdered such an officer, he would suffer death without privilege of sanctuary or of clergy. In 1540, he proclaimed that there would be no shooting by handgun except on a shooting range. Henry had Parliament pass bills of attainder against many people. For the first time, harsh treatment of prisoners in the Tower, such as placement in dungeons with little food, no bed, and no change of clothes, became almost a matter of policy. Through his host of spies, Cromwell heard what men said to their closest friends. Words idly spoken were distorted into treasonable utterances. Fear spread through the people. Silence was a person's only possibility of safety.

Cromwell developed a technique for the management of the House of Commons which lasted for generations. He promulgated books in defense of royal spiritual authority, which argued that canon law was not divine but merely human and that clerical authority had no foundation in the Bible. A reformed English Bible was put in all parish churches. Reformers were licensed to preach. Cromwell ordered sermons to be said which proclaimed the supremacy of the King. He instituted registers to record baptisms, marriages, and burials in every county, for the purpose of reducing disputes over descent and inheritance. He dissolved all the lesser monasteries.

When Cromwell procured a foreign wife for Henry whom Henry found unattractive, he was attainted and executed.

Henry now reconstructed his council to have a fixed membership, an official hierarchy based on rank, a secretariat, an official record, and formal powers to summon individuals before it by legal process. Because it met in the King's Privy Lodgings, it was called the "Privy Council". It met daily instead of just during the terms of the Westminster courts from late autumn to early summer. It communicated with the king through intermediaries, of whom the most important was the King's Secretary. Because it was a court council, part of it traveled with the king, while the other part conducted London business. When Henry went to war in France, part of the council went with him, and part of it stayed to attend the Queen Regent.

Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, wrote the first English Common Book of Prayer. With its use beginning in 1549, church services were to be held in English instead of Latin. The celebration of the Lord's Supper was a communion among the parishioners and minister all sharing the wine and bread. It replaced the mass, in which the priests were thought to perform a miraculous change of the substance of bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ, which the priest then offered as a sacrifice for remission of pain or guilt. This reflected the blood sacrifice of Christ dying on the cross. In the mass, only the priests drank the wine. The mass, miracles, the worship of saints, prayers for souls in purgatory, and pilgrimages to shrines such as that of Thomas Becket, were all to be discontinued. Imprisonment or exile rather than death was made the penalty for heresy and blasphemy, and also for adultery.

After the King dissolved the greater monasteries, he took and sold their ornaments, silver plate and jewelry, lead from roofs of their buildings, and finally much of the land itself. Many maps of manors and lands were made at this time. Three monasteries were converted into the first three treating hospitals in London, one for the diseased, one for the poor, and one, Bethlehem (or "Bedlam" for short), for the mentally ill. But there were still many poor, sick, blind, aged, and impotent people in the streets since the closure of the monasteries. In 1552, there were 2,100 people in need of relief, including 300 orphans, 600 sick or aged, 350 poor men overburdened with their children, 650 decayed householders, and 200 idle vagabonds. The poor often begged at parishes, where they spread disease. London then set up a poor relief scheme. The Bridewell was established to set to work the idle, vagabonds, and prostitutes making feather bed ticks and wool-cards, drawing of wire, carding, knitting, and winding of silk. Parishes were required to give money for the poor in 1563. Other towns followed London's lead in levying a poor rate.

Henry used the proceeds from the sale of the monasteries for building many new palaces and wood ships for his navy. In war, these navy ships had heavy guns which could sink other ships. In peace time, these ships were hired out to traders. Large ships were constructed in docks, made partly by digging and partly by building walls. In 1545, henry issued a proclamation ordering all vagabonds, ruffians, masterless men, and evil-disposed persons to serve him in his navy.

The former land of the monasteries, about 30% of the country's land, was sold and resold, usually to great landowners, or leased. Title deeds became important as attorneys sought the security that title could give. Some land went to entrepreneurial cloth manufacturers, who converted the buildings for the manufacture of cloth. They bought the raw wool and hired craftsmen for every step of the manufacturing process to be done in one continuous process. This was faster than buying and selling the wool material between craftsmen who lived in different areas. Also, it was more efficient because the amount of raw wool bought could be adjusted to the demand for cloth.

Many landowners now could live in towns exclusively off the rents of their rural land. Rents were increased so much that tenants could not pay and were evicted. They usually became beggars or thieves. Much of their former land was converted from crop raising to pasture for large herds of sheep. Arable farming required many workers, whereas sheep farming required only one shepherd and herdsman. There were exceptional profits made from the export of wool cloth. But much raw wool was still exported. Its price went up from 6s.8d. per tod [about 28 pounds] in 1340 to 20s.8d. in 1546.

Villeinage was now virtually extinct. A lord could usually claim a small money-rent from the freeholder, sometimes a relief when his land was sold or passed at death, and occasionally a heriot from his heir.

There was steady inflation. Landlords made their leases short term so that they could raise rents as prices rose. Copyholders gradually acquired a valuable right in their holdings; their rent became light - less that a shilling an acre.

At least 85% of the population still lived in the country. Rich traders built town or country houses in which the emphasis was on comfort and privacy. There was more furniture, bigger windows filled with glass, thick wallpaper, and formal gardens. Use of thick, insulating wallpaper rose with the rise of paper mills. It was stenciled, hand-painted, or printed. Some floors were tiled instead of stone or wood. They were still strewn with straw. The owners ate in a private dining room and slept in their own rooms with down quilts. Their soap was white. They had clothing of white linen and white wool, leather slippers, and felt hats. Men wore long tunics open at the neck and filled in with pleated linen and enormous puffed sleeves.

Henry made proclamations reminding people of the apparel laws, but they were difficult to enforce. Henry also made a proclamation limiting the consumption of certain meat according to status. Seven dishes were allowed to bishops, dukes, marquises, and earls; six to other temporal lords; five to justices, the King's council, sheriffs, and persons with an income of at least 200 pounds yearly or goods worth 2000 pounds; four to persons with an income of at least 100 pounds or goods worth 1000 pounds; and three dishes to persons with an income of at least 100 pounds or goods worth 500 pounds. There were limits on types of meat served, such as a maximum of one dish of great fowl such as crane, swan, and peacock; eight quail per dish; and twelve larks in a dish. People used tin or pewter dishes, platters, goblets, saucers, spoons, saltcellars, pots, and basins. They used soap to wash themselves, their clothes, and their dishes. A solid, waxy soap was from evaporating a mixture of goat fat, water, and ash high in potassium carbonate. They had bedcovers on their beds. Cloth bore the mark of its weaver and came in many colors. Cloth could be held together with pins that had a shank with a hook by which they were closed. People went to barbers to cut their hair and to extract teeth. They went to people experienced with herbs, roots, and waters for treatment of skin conditions such as sores, cuts, burns, swellings, irritated eyes or scaly faces. For more complicated ailments, they went to physicians, who prescribed potions and medicines. They bought potions and medicines from apothecaries and pharmacists. They burned wood logs in the fireplaces in their houses. So much wood was used that young trees were required by statute to be given enough lateral space to spread their limbs and were not cut down until mature.

The King, earls, who ruled counties, and barons, who had land and a place in the House of Lords, still lived in the most comfort. The King's house had courtyards, gardens, orchards, wood-yards, tennis courts, and bowling alleys.

The walls of the towns were manned by the citizens themselves, with police and watchmen at their disposal. In inns, travelers slept ten to a bed and there were many fleas and an occasional rat or mouse running through the rushes strewn on the floor. The inn provided a bed and ale, but travelers brought their own food. Each slept with his purse under his pillow.

In markets, sellers set up booths for their wares. They sold grain for making oatmeal or for sowing one's own ground. Wine, butter, cheese, fish, chicken, and candles could also be bought. Butchers bought killed sheep, lambs, calves, and pigs to cut up for selling. Tanned leather was sold to girdlemakers and shoemakers. Goods bought in markets were presumed not to be stolen, so that a purchaser could not be dispossessed of goods bought unless he had knowledge that they were stolen.

The ruling group of the towns came to be composed mostly of merchants, manufacturers, attorneys, and physicians. Some townswomen were independent traders. The governed class contained small master craftsmen and journeyman artisans, small traders, and dependent servants. The major streets of London were paved with stone, with a channel in the middle. More water conduits from hills, heaths, and springs were built to provide the citizens of London with more water. The sewers carried only surface water away. Households were forbidden to use the sewers. Privies emptied into cesspools.

The Merchant Adventurers' Fellowship brought virtually all adventurers under its control and organized and regulated the national cloth trade. It had a General Court of the Adventurers sitting in the London Mercers' Hall. Various companies were granted monopolies for trade in certain areas of the world such as Turkey, Spain, France, Venice, the Baltic, and Africa. These were regulated companies. That is they obtained complete control of a particular foreign market, but any merchant who cared to join the company, pay its dues, and obey its regulations, might share in the benefits of its monopoly. The companies generally confined trade to men who were primarily merchants and not shopkeepers. In 1553 explorer Sebastian Cabot formed the Muscovy Company, which was granted a monopoly in its charter for trade with north Russia. It was oriented primarily to export English woolen cloth. It was the first company trading on a joint stock, which was arranged as a matter of convenience and safety. The risks were too great for any few individuals. It hired ships and assigned space to each member to ship his goods at his own risk. The dividend was return to the subscribers of the capital put in plus an appropriate share of any profits made on the voyage. I.e. the money was divided up. The members began leaving their money with the company for the next voyage. A general stock grew up. In 1568 were the first industrial companies: Mines Royal, and Mineral and Battery Works. The cloth, mining, iron, and woodcraft industries employed full-time workers on wages. In the ironworks and foundries, the furnace blowing engines were worked by water wheels or by a gear attached to donkeys or horses. The forge hammers were worked at first by levers and later by water wheels. The day and night hammering filled the neighborhood with their noise.

Land held in common was partitioned. There were leases of mansion houses, smaller dwelling houses, houses with a wharf having a crane, houses with a timber yard, houses with a garden, houses with a shed, shops, warehouses, cellars, and stables. Lands with a dye-house or a brew-house were devised by will along with their dying or brewing implements. There were dairies making butter and cheese.

The knights had 70% of the land, the nobles 10%, the church 10%, and king 5%.

Citizens paid taxes to the king amounting to one tenth of their annual income from land or wages. Merchants paid "forced loans" and benevolences. The national government was much centralized and had full-time workers on wages. A national commission of sewers continually surveyed walls, ditches, banks, gutters, sewers, ponds, bridges, rivers, streams, mills, locks, trenches, fish- breeding ponds, and flood gates. When low places were threatened with flooding, it hired laborers, bought timber, and hired carts with horses or oxen for necessary work. Mayors of cities repaired water conduits and pipes under their cities' ground.

The organ and the harp, precursor to the piano, were played.

All people generally had enough food because of the commercialization of agriculture. Even the standard meal of the peasant was bread, bacon, cheese, and beer or cider, with beef about twice a week. Also, roads were good enough for the transport of foodstuffs thereon. Four-wheeled wagons for carrying people as well as goods. Goods were also transported by the pulling of barges on the rivers from paths along the river. A plough with wheels was used as well as those without.

The matchlock musket came into use, but did not replace the bow because its matchcord didn't remain lit in rainy weather. The matchlock was an improvement over the former musket because both hands could be used to hold and aim the matchlock musket because the powder was ignited by a device that touched a slow-burning cord to the powder when a trigger was pulled with one finger.

After the break with Rome, cooperation among villagers in church activities largely ceased. The altars and images previously taken care of by them disappeared and the paintings on the walls were covered with white or erased, and scripture texts put in their place. People now read the new Bible, the "Paraphrases" of Erasmus, Foxe's "Book of Martyrs", and the works of Bishop Jewel. The Book of Martyrs taught the duty and splendor of rising above all physical danger or suffering. The canon law of the church was abolished and its study prohibited. Professorships of the civil law were founded at the two universities. The Inns of Court grew. Attorneys had more work with the new laws passed to replace the church canons of the church. They played an important role in town government and many became wealthy. They acquired town houses in addition to their rural estates.

Church reforms included abolishing church sanctuaries. Benefit of clergy was restricted. Parsons were allowed to marry. Archbishops were selected by the king without involvement by the pope. Decisions by archbishops in testamentary, matrimonial, and marriage annulment matters were appealable to the Court of Chancery instead of to the pope. The clergy's canons were subject to the King's approval. The control of the church added to the powers of the Crown to summon and dissolve Parliament, coin money, create peers [members of the House of Lords who received individual writs of summons to Parliament], pardon criminals, order the arrest of dangerous persons without customary process of law in times of likely insurrection, tax and call men to arms without the consent of Parliament if the country were threatened with invasion.

About 1550 there began indictments and executions for witchcraftery which lasted for about a century. One of the reasons for suspecting a woman to be a witch was that she lived alone, which was very unusual.

Henry ordered all alien Anabaptists, who denied the validity of infant baptism, to leave the realm.

In Switzerland, Theophrastus Paracelsus, an astrologer and alchemist who later became a physician, did not believe that humor imbalance caused disease nor in treatment by bloodletting or purging. He believed that there were external causes of disease, e.g. toxic matter in food, contagion, defective physical or mental constitution, cosmic influences differing with climate and country, or affliction sent Providence. He urged that wounds be kept clean rather than given poultices. In 1530, he pioneered the application of chemistry to physiology, pathology, and the treatment of disease by starting clinical diagnosis and treatment of disease by highly specific medicines, instead of by cure-alls. For instance, he used alkalis to treat disease, such as gout, indicated by certain substances in the urine, which also started urinalysis. He perceived that syphilis was caused by contagion and used mercury to cure it. He found curative powers also in opium, sulphur, iron, and arsenic. Opium was made by drying and cooking the capsule of the poppy and was one of the few really effective early drugs. Paracelsus urged alchemists to try to prepare drugs from minerals for the relief of suffering. He claimed to acquire knowledge of cures through spiritual contacts to occult wisdom. He believed that a human being has an invisible body as well as a visible one and that it is closely attuned to imagination and the spiritual aspect of an individual. He noticed that one's attitudes and emotions, such as anger, could affect one's health. He sometimes used suggestion and signs to help a patient form mental images, which translated into cures. He saw insanity as illness instead of possession by evil spirits.

Understanding of the celestial world began to change. Contemporary thought was that the nature of all things was to remain at rest, so that movement and motion had to be explained by causes. The earth was stationary and the heavens were spherical and revolved around the earth every twenty-four hours. The universe was finite. The firmament extended outward in a series of rotating, crystalline, ethereal spheres to which were attached the various points of celestial geography. First came the circle of the moon. The sun orbited the earth. The fixed stars rotated on an outer firmament. Finally, there was the abode of God and his heavenly hosts. Different principles ruled the celestial world; it was orderly, stable, ageless, and enduring. But the world of man changed constantly due to its mixed four elements of air, earth, fire, and water each trying to disentangle itself from the others and seeking to find its natural location. The heavenly spheres could affect the destinies of men, such as through fate, fortune, intelligence, cherubim, seraphim, angels, and archangels. Astrologers read the celestial signs and messages.

Then a seed of doubt was cast on this theory by Nicholaus Copernicus, a timid monk in Poland, who found inconsistencies in Ptolemy's work, but saw similarity in the movements of the earth and other planets. He inferred from the "wandering" planetary movements with loops that their motion could be explained simply if they were revolving in circular paths around the sun, rather than around the earth. In his book of 1543, he also expressed his belief that the earth also revolved around the sun. This idea so shocked the world that the word "revolution" became associated with radical change. He thought it more likely that the earth rotated than that the stars moved with great speed in their large orbits. He proposed that the earth spins on its own axis about once every twenty-four hours, with a spin axis at about a 23 1/2 degree tilt from the orbital axis, thus explaining a slow change in the overall appearances of the fixed stars which had been observed since the time of Ptolemy. He deduced from astronomical measurements that the correct order of the planets from the Sun was: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. The church considered his ideas heretical because contradictory to its dogma that man and the earth were the center of the universe. A central sun evoked images of pagan practices of sun worship.

The Law

A person having land in socage or fee simple may will and devise his land by will or testament in writing.

A person holding land by knight's service may will and devise by his last will and testament in writing part of his land to his wife and other parts of his land to his children, as long as 1/3 of entailed land is left to the King.

Anyone serving the king in war may alienate his lands for the performance of his will, and if he dies, his feoffees or executors shall have the wardship of his heir and land.

A person who leases land for a term of years, even if by indenture or without a writing, may have a court remedy as do tenants of freehold for any expulsion by the lessor which is contrary to the lease, covenant, or agreement. These termers, their executors and assigns, shall hold and enjoy their terms against the lessors, their heirs and assigns. The lessor shall have a remedy for rents due or waste by a termer after recovering the land as well as if he had not recovered the land.

A lord may distrain land within his fee for rents, customs, or services due without naming the tenant, because of the existence of secret feoffments and leases made by their tenants to unknown persons.

Anyone seised of land to the use or trust of other persons by reason of a will or conveyance shall be held to have lawful seisin and possession of the land, because by common law, land is not devisable by will or testament, yet land has been so conveyed, which has deprived married men of their courtesy, women of their dower, the king of the lands of persons attainted, the king of a year's profits from felons' lands, and lords of their escheats. (This was difficult to enforce.)

A woman may not have both a jointure [promise of husband to wife of property or income for life after his death] and dower of her husband's land. (Persons had purchased land to hold jointly with their wives)

A sale of land must be in writing, sealed, and registered in its county with the clerk of that county. If the land is worth less than 40s. per year, the clerk is paid 12d. If the land exceeds 40s. yearly, the clerk is paid 2s.6d.

An adult may lease his lands or tenements only by a writing under his seal for a term of years or a term of life, because many people who had taken leases of lands and tenements for a term of years or a term of lives had to spend a lot for repair and were then evicted by heirs of their lessors.

A husband may not lease out his wife's land.

No woman-covert, child, idiot, or person of insane memory may devise land by will or testament.

The land of tenants-in-common may be partitioned by them so that each holds a certain part.

No bishop or other official having authority to take probate of testaments may take a fee for probating a testament where the goods of the testator are under 100s., except that the scribe writing the probate of the testament may take 6d., and for the commission of administration of the goods of any man dying intestate, being up to 100s, may be charged 6d. Where the goods are over 100s. but up to 800s. sterling, probate fees may be 3s.6d. at most, whereof the official may take 2s.6d. at most, with 12d. residue to the scribe for registering the testament. Where the goods are over 800s. sterling, probate fees may be 5s. at most, whereof the official may take 2s.6d. at most, with 2s.6d. residue to the scribe, or the scribe may choose to take 1d. per 10 lines of writing of the testament. If the deceased had willed by his testament any land to be sold, the money thereof coming nor the profits of the land shall not be counted as the goods or chattel of the deceased. Where probate fees have customarily been less, they shall remain the same. The official shall approve and seal the testament without delay and deliver it to the executors named in such testaments for the said sum. If a person dies intestate or executors refuse to prove the testament, then the official shall grant the administration of the goods to the widow of the deceased person, or to the next of kin, or to both, in the discretion of the official, taking surety of them for the true administration of the goods, chattels, and debts. Where kin of unequal degree request the administration, it shall be given to the wife and, at his discretion, other requestors. The executors or administrators, along with at least two persons to whom the deceased was indebted, or to whom legacies were made, or, upon their refusal or absence, two honest kinsmen, shall make an inventory of the deceased's goods, chattels, ware, merchandise, as well moveable as not moveable, and take it upon their oaths to the official.

No parish clergyman or other spiritual person shall take a mortuary fee or money from a deceased person with movable goods under the value of 133s., a deceased woman-covert, a child, a person keeping no house, or a traveler. Only one mortuary fee may be taken of each deceased and that in the place where he most dwelled and lived. Where the deceased's moveable goods are to the value of 133s. or more, above his debts paid, and under 600s., a mortuary up to 3s. 4d. may be taken. Where such goods are 600s. or more and under 800s., mortuary up to 6s.8d. may be taken. Where such goods are 800s. or above, mortuary up to 10s. may be taken. But where mortuaries have customarily been less, they shall remain the same.

Executors of a will declaring land to be sold for the payment of debts, performance of legacies to wife and children, and charitable deeds for the health of souls, may sell the land despite the refusal of other executors to agree to such sale.

A man may not marry his mother, stepmother, sister, niece, aunt, or daughter.

Any clergy preaching contrary to the King's religious doctrine shall recant for the first offense. He shall abjure and bear a faggot (a badge resembling a faggot of wood which would have been used for burning him as a heretic) for the second offense. If he refuses to abjure or bear a faggot or offends a third time, he shall be burned and lose all his goods. If a layperson teaches, defends, or maintains a religious doctrine other than the King's, he shall recant and be imprisoned for twenty days for the first offense. He shall abjure and bear a faggot if he does not recant or offends a second time. He shall forfeit his goods and suffer perpetual imprisonment if he does not abjure or bear a faggot or offends a third time.

The entry of an apprentice into a craft shall not cost more than 2s.6d. After his term, his entry shall not be more than 3s.4d. This replaced the various fees ranging from this to 40s.

No master of a craft may require his apprentice to make an oath not to compete with him by setting up a shop after the term of his apprenticeship.

No alien may take up a craft or occupation in the nation.

No brewer of ale or beer to sell shall make wood vessels or barrels, and coopers shall use only good and seasonable wood to make barrels and shall put their mark thereon. Every ale or beer barrel shall contain 32 of the King's standard gallons. The price of beer barrels sold to ale or beer brewers or others shall be 9d.

An ale-brewer may employ in his service one cooper only to bind, hoop and pin, but not to make, his master's ale vessels.

No butcher may keep a tanning-house.

Tanned leather shall be sold only in open fairs and markets and after it is inspected and sealed.

Only people living in designated towns may make cloth to sell, to prevent the ruin of these towns by people taking up both agriculture and cloth-making outside these towns. No one making cloth for sale may have more than one woolen loom or else forfeit 20s. This to protect the weavers' ability to maintain themselves and their families from rich clothiers who keep many looms and employ journeymen and unskillful persons at low wages. No one owning a fulling mill may own a weaving loom. No weaver may own a fulling mill.

No one shall shoot in or keep in his house any handgun or crossbow unless he has 2,000s. yearly.

No one may hunt or kill hare in the snow since their killing in great numbers by men other than the king and noblemen has depleted them.

No one shall take an egg or bird of any falcon or hawk out of its nest on the King's land. No one may disguise himself with hidden or painted face to enter a forest or park enclosed with a wall for keeping deer to steal any deer or hare.

Ducks and geese shall not be taken with any net or device during the summer, when they haven't enough feathers to fly. But a freeholder of 40s. yearly may hunt and take such with long bow and spaniels.

No one may sell or buy any pheasant except the King's officers may buy such for the King.

No butcher may kill any calf born in the spring.

No grain, beef, mutton, veal, or pork may be sold outside the nation.

Every person with 36 acres of agricultural land, shall sow one quarter acre with flax or hemp-feed.

All persons shall kill crows on their land to prevent them from eating so much grain at sowing and ripening time and destroying hay stacks and the thatched roofs of houses and barns. They shall assemble yearly to survey all the land to decide how best to destroy all the young breed of crows for that year. Every village and town with at least ten households shall put up and maintain crow nets for the destruction of crows.

No land used for raising crops may be converted to pasture. No woods may be converted to agriculture or pasture. The efforts to enforce these proved these prohibitions were not successful.

No one shall cut down or break up dikes holding salt water and fresh water from flooding houses and pastures.

No one shall dump tin-mining debris, dung, or rubbish into rivers flowing into ports or take any wood from the walls of the port, so that ships may always enter at low tide.

A person may lay out a new highway on his land where the old one has been so damaged by waterways that horses with carriages cannot pass, with the consent of local officials.

Only poor, aged, and disabled persons may beg. Begging without a license is punishable by whipping or setting in the stocks 3 days with only bread and water.

Alien palm readers shall no longer be allowed into the nation, because they have been committing felonies and robberies.

Butchers may not sell beef, pork, mutton, or veal from carcasses for more than 1/2 penny and 1/2 farthing [1/4 penny] per pound.

French wines may not sell at retail for more than 8d. per gallon.

A barrel maker or cooper may sell a beer barrel for 10d.

No longer may aliens bring books into the nation to sell because now there are sufficient printers and bookbinders in the nation.

No one may buy fresh fish other than sturgeon, porpoise, or seal from an alien to put to sale in the nation.

Every person with an enclosed park where there are deer, shall keep two tall and strong mares in such park and shall not allow them to be mounted by any short horse, because the breeding of good, swift, and strong horses has diminished.

A man may have only as many trotting horses for the saddle as are appropriate to his degree.

No one may maintain for a living a house for unlawful games such as bowling, tennis, dice, or cards. No artificer, craftsman, husbandman, apprentice, laborer, journeyman, mariner, fisherman may play these games except at Christmas under his master's supervision. Noblemen and others with a yearly income of at least 2,000s. may allow his servants to play these games at his house.

Hemp of flax may not be watered in any river or stream where animals are watered.

No one shall sell merchandise to another and then buy back the same merchandise within three months at a lower price. No one shall sell merchandise to be paid for in a year above the sum of 200s. per 2000s. worth of merchandise. No one shall sell or mortgage any land upon condition of payment of a sum of money before a certain date above the sum of 200s. per 2000s. per year.

No one shall commit forgery by counterfeiting a letter made in another person's name to steal any money, goods, or jewels.

No one shall libel by accusing another of treason in writing and leaving it in an open place without subscribing his own name to it.

If any servant converts to his own use more than 40s. worth of jewels, money, or goods from caskets entrusted to him for safekeeping by a nobleman or other master or mistress, it shall be a felony.

If a person breaks into a dwelling house by night to commit burglary or murder, is killed by anyone in that house, or a person is killed in self-defense, the killer shall not forfeit any lands or goods for the killing.

Killing by poisoning shall be deemed murder and is punishable by death.

A person who has committed a murder, robbery, or other felony he has committed shall be imprisoned for his natural life and be burned on the hand, because those who have been exiled have disclosed their knowledge of the commodities and secrets of this nation and gathered together to practice archery for the benefit of the foreign realm. If he escapes such imprisonment, he shall forfeit his life.

A person convicted or outlawed shall be penalized by loss of life, but not loss of lands or goods, which shall go to his wife as dower and his heirs.

Buggery may not be committed on any person or beast.

No one shall slander or libel the king by speeches or writing or printing or painting.

No one shall steal fish from a pond on another's land by using nets or hooks with bait or by drying up the pond.

The mayor of London shall appoint householders to supervise watermen rowing people across the Thames River because so many people have been robbed and drowned by these rowers. All such boats must be at least 23 feet long and 5 feet wide.

No man shall take away or marry any maiden under 16 years of age with an inheritance against the will of her father.

Any marriage solemnized in church and consummated shall be valid regardless of any prior agreement for marriage.

Sheriffs shall not lose their office because they have not collected enough money for the Exchequer, but shall have allowances sufficient to perform their duties.

Butchers, brewers, and bakers shall not conspire together to sell their victuals only at certain prices. Artificers, workmen and laborers shall not conspire to work only at a certain rate or only at certain hours of the day.

No one shall sell any woolen cloth that shrinks when it is wet.

Only artificers using the cutting of leather, may buy and sell tanned leather and only for the purpose of converting it into made wares.

A beggar's child above five years may be taken into service by anyone that will.

Cattle may be bought only in the open fair or market and only by a butcher or for a household, team, or dairy, but not for resale live.

Butter and cheese shall not be bought to be sold again except at retail in open shop, fair, or market.

No man may enter a craft of cloth-making until he has been an apprentice for seven years or has married a clothiers' wife and practicing the trade for years with her and her servants sorting the wool.

No country person shall sell wares such as linen drapery, wool drapery, hats, or groceries by retail in any incorporated town, but only in open fairs.

For every 60 sheep there shall be kept one milk cow because of the scarcity of cattle.

No clothier may keep more than one wool loom in his house, because many weavers do not have enough work to support their families. No weaver may have more than two wool looms.

No clothmaker, fuller, shearman, weaver, tailor, or shoemaker shall retain a journeyman to work by the piece for less than a three month period. Every craftsman who has three apprentices shall have one journeyman. Servants in agriculture and bargemen shall serve by the whole year and not by day wages.

There shall be a sales tax of 12d. per pound of wool cloth goods for the Crown.

All people shall attend church on Sundays to remember God's benefits and goodness to all and to give thanks for these with prayers and to pray to be given daily necessities.

Anyone fighting in church shall be excluded from the fellowship of the parish community.

No one shall use a rope or device to stretch cloth for sale so to make it appear as more in quantity than it is.

No one may sell cloth at retail unless the town where it was dressed, dyed, and pressed has placed its seal on the cloth. Cloth may not be pressed with a hot press, but only with a cold press.

Offices may not be bought and sold, but only granted by justices of the royal courts.

No one going from house to house to repair metal goods or sell small goods he is carrying may do this trade outside the town where he lives.

No one may sell ale or beer without a license, because there have been too many disorders in common alehouses. Offenders may be put in the town or county gaol for three days.

Only persons with yearly incomes of 1,333s. or owning goods worth 13,333s. may store wine in his house and only for the use of his household.

No one may sell forged iron, calling it steel, because the edged tools and weapons made from it are useless.

Parish communities shall repair the highways for four days each year using oxen, cart, plough, shovels, and spades.

The children of priests are declared legitimate so they may inherit their ancestor's lands. The priests may be tenants by courtesy after the death of their wives of such land and tenements that their wives happened to be seized of in fee simple or in fee tail, during the spousals.

The King's proclamations shall be observed and kept as though they were acts of Parliament. The penalty shall not be more than that stated in the proclamation, except for heresy.

As of 1541, it was felony to practice witchcraft, sorcery, enchantment, or conjuration for the purpose 1) of obtaining money, or 2) to consume any person in his body, members, or goods, or 3) to provoke any person to unlawful love or lucre of money, or 4) to declare where stolen goods be, or 5) to despite Christ, or 6) to pull down any cross.

The Year Books ceased in 1535.

Judicial Procedure

By royal proclamation of 1546, only those admitted by the Chancellor and two chief justices may practice as counsel or in legal pleading in any of the King's courts. Also, such a person must be serjeant-at-law, reader, utter barrister, or an eight-year fellow of one of the four houses of court, except in the Court of Common Pleas.

Doctors of the civil law may practice in the church or Chancery courts.

Justices shall tax inhabitants of the county for building gaols throughout the nation, for imprisonment of felons, to be kept by the sheriffs and repaired out of the Exchequer.

Piracy at sea or in river or creek or port are adjudicated in counties because of the difficulty of obtaining witnesses from the ship, who might be murdered or who are on other voyages on the sea, for adjudication by the admiral.

Piracy and murder on ships is punishable by death only after confession or proof by disinterested witnesses.

Land held by tenants in common may be partitioned by court order, because some of these tenants have cut down all the trees to take the wood and pulled down the houses to convert the material to their own use.

Persons worth 800s. a year in goods shall be admitted in trials of felons in corporate towns although they have no freehold of land.

Each justice of the high courts may employ one chaplain.

The Privy Council took the authority of the star chamber court, which organized itself as a specialty court. Also, a specific group of full-time councilors heard pleas of private suitors.

The bishops, nobility, and Justices of the Peace were commanded to imprison clergy who taught papal authority. Justices of the Peace and sheriffs were to watch over the bishops. The Justices of Assize were to assess the effectiveness of the Justices of the Peace as well as enforce the treason statute on circuit.

The criminal court went outside the common law to prosecute political enemies, e.g. by dispensing with a jury.

Since the nation was now peaceful, expediency was no longer needed, so judicial procedures again became lengthy and formal with records.

The Chancery court enforced the obligations known as trusts, in the name of equity and good conscience. It adopted every analogy that the common law presented. Its procedure was to force the defendant to answer on oath the charges that were brought against him. All pleadings and usually testimony was put into writing. Much evidence consisted of written affidavits. There was no jury. The Chancery court did not record its decisions apparently because it did not see itself s bound by precedents.

Witnesses could be sworn in to state pertinent facts necessary for full understanding and adjudication of cases, because they are reliable now that there is no unlicensed livery and maintenance and because jurors no longer necessarily know all the relevant facts.

When acting as the highest court, the House of Lords was presided over by the Chancellor, who sat on his prescribed place on the wool sacks. It had the following jurisdiction: trial of peers for high treason and serious felony, appeals on writs of error from courts of the common law, and impeachment. The House of Lords served as judge of impeachment cases, whereas the House of Commons served as fact finders.

The leet court and sheriff's turn court have much less jurisdiction. They may dispose of presentments of trespasses and nuisances, but not felony or question of freehold. Such presentments are made by a set of at least twelve men, and the presented person is amerced there and then.

Chapter 13

The Times: 1558-1601

Queen Elizabeth I was intelligent, educated, and wise about human nature. When young, she was a brilliant student and studied the Bible, and Greek and Roman history, philosophy, literature, and oratory. She wrote in English, Latin, French, and Italian. She read Greek, including the Greek Testament, Greek orators, and Greek dramatists at age seven, when the first professorship of Greek was founded at Cambridge University. Learning from books was one of her highest values throughout her life.

She was so influenced by her reading of Cicero that she acquired his style of writing. Her Chief Secretary William Cecil was so guided by Cicero's "Offices" that he carried a copy in his pocket. Cicero opined that government officials had a duty to make the safety and interest of citizens its greatest aim and to influence all their thoughts and endeavors without ever considering personal advantage. Government was not to serve the interest of any one group to the prejudice or neglect of the rest, for then discord and sedition would occur. Furthermore, a ruler should try to become loved and not feared, because men hated those whom they feared, and wished dead those whom they hated. Therefore obedience proceeding from fear could not last, whereas that which was the effect of love would last forever. An oppressor ruling by terror will be resented by the citizens, who in secret will choose a worthier person. Then liberty, having been chained up, would be unleashed more fiercely than otherwise. To obtain the peoples' love, a ruler should be kind and bountiful. To obtain the peoples' trust, a ruler should be just, wise, and faithful. To demonstrate this, a ruler should be eloquent in showing the people an understanding better than theirs, the wisdom to anticipate events, and the ability to deal with adverse events. And this demonstration should be done with modesty. One cannot get the peoples' trust by vain shows, hypocritical pretenses, composed countenances, and studied forms of words. The first goal of a ruler is to take care that each individual is secured in the quiet enjoyment of his own property. The second goal is to impose taxes that are not burdensome. The third goal is to furnish the people with necessaries. The law should be enforced keeping in mind that its fundamental purpose is to keep up agreement and union among citizens.

Elizabeth cared deeply for the welfare of all citizens of whatever class. She was sensitive to public opinion and was loved by her people. She respected truth and was sincere, avoiding guile or fraud. She claimed that she had never dishonored her tongue with a falsehood to anyone. She expected that any covert manipulations by monarchs would be found out and therefore would damage their credibility. "It becometh therefor all of our rank to deal sincerely; lest if we use it not, when we do it we be hardly believed."

She was frugal and diplomatically avoided unnecessary wars, saying that her purse was the pockets of her people. England was a small Protestant nation threatened by the larger Catholic nations of France and Spain. When Elizabeth flirted and talked of marriage with foreign princes, they laid aside any thoughts of conquering England by war, hoping to obtain it my marriage. Not only did she not seek to conquer other lands, but she turned down an invitation to rule the Netherlands. Her credit reputation was so good that she could always get loans at small rates of interest from other countries.

Tudor government was paternalistic, curtailing cutthroat competition, fixing prices and wages, and licensing production under grants of monopoly to achieve a stable and contented society and a fair living for all.

Elizabeth prayed for divine guidance as in this prayer: "Almighty God and King of all kings, Lord of heaven and earth, by whose leave earthly princes rule over mortals, when the most prudent of kings who administered a kingdom, Solomon, frankly confessed that he was not capable enough unless Thou broughtst him power and help, how much less am I, Thy handmaid, in my unwarlike sex and feminine nature, adequate to administer these Thy kingdoms of England and of Ireland, and to govern an innumerable and warlike people, or able to bear the immense magnitude of such a burden, if Thou, most merciful Father didst not provide for me (undeserving of a kingdom) freely and against the opinion of many men. Instruct me from heaven, and give help so that I reign by Thy grace, without which even the wisest among the sons of men can think nothing rightly. Send therefore, O inexhaustible Fount of all wisdom, from Thy holy heaven and the most high throne of Thy majesty, Thy wisdom to be ever with me, that it may keep watch with me in governing the commonwealth, and that it may take pains, that it may teach me, Thy handmaid, and may train me that I may be able to distinguish between good and evil, equity and iniquity, so as rightly to judge Thy people, justly to impose deserved punishments on those who do harm, mercifully to protect the innocent, freely to encourage those who are industrious and useful to the commonwealth. And besides, that I may know what is acceptable to Thee alone, vouchsafe that I wish, dare, and can perform it without paying respect to any earthly persons or things. So that when Thou Thyself, the just Judge, who askest many and great things from those to whom many and great things are entrusted, when Thou requirest an exact accounting, charge me not with badly administering my commonwealth and kingdom. But if by human thoughtlessness or infirmity Thy handmaid strays from the right in some thing, absolve me of it by Thy mercy, most high King and most mild Father, for the sake of Thy Son Jesus Christ; and at the same time grant that after this worldly kingdom has been exacted of me, I may enjoy with Thee an eternity in Thy heavenly and unending kingdom, through the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son and the Assessor of Thy kingdom, our Lord and Mediator. To whom with Thee and with the Holy Spirit, one everlasting King, immortal, invisible, only-wise God, be all honor and glory forever and ever, amen.

Elizabeth promoted commercial speculations, which diffused a vast increase of wealth among her people. The Elizabethan era was one of general prosperity. Her good spirits and gayness created a happy mood in the nation. She loved dancing and madrigal music was popular. She came to dress elaborately and fancifully. Her dresses were fitted not only at the waist, but along the torso by a long and pointed bodice stiffened with wood, steel, or whalebone. Her skirt was held out with a petticoat with progressively larger hoops. There were two layers of skirt with the top one parted to show the bottom one. The materials used were silks, satins, velvets, and brocades. On her dress were quiltings, slashings, and embroidery. It was covered with gold ornaments, pearls, gems, and unusual stones from America. She wore decorated gloves. Ladies copied her and discarded their simple over-tunics for elaborate dresses. The under-tunic was now becoming a petticoat and the over-tunic a dress. Their under-tunics became petticoats. Often they also wore a fan with a mirror, a ball of scent, a miniature portrait of someone dear to them, and sometimes a watch. Single ladies did not wear hats, but had long, flowing hair and low cut dresses showing their bosoms. Married ladies curled their hair and wore it in high masses on their heads with jewels interwoven into it. Both gentlemen and ladies wore hats both indoors and outside and large, pleated collars around their necks (with the newly discovered starch), perfume, rings with stones or pearls, and high-heeled shoes. Gentlemen's' tight sleeves, stiffened and fitted doublet with short skirt, and short cloak were ornamented and their silk or velvet hats flamboyant, with feathers. At their leather belts they hung pouches and perhaps a watch. They wore both rapiers [swords with cutting edges] and daggers daily as there were many quarrels. There were various artistic beard cuts and various lengths of hair, which was often curled and worn in ringlets. Barbers sought to give a man a haircut that would favor his appearance, for instance a long slender beard for a round face to make it seem narrower and a broad and large cut for a lean and straight face. Men now wore stuffed breeches and stockings instead of long hosen. Some wore a jeweled and embroidered codpiece between their legs to emphasize their virility. Both gentlemen and ladies wore silk stockings and socks over them and then boots. Coats dipped in boiled linseed oil with resin served as raincoats. Both men and women wore velvet or wool full length nightgowns with long sleeves and fur lining and trimming to bed, which was the custom for the next 150 years. Fashions changed every year due to the introduction of cheaper, lighter, and less durable cloths by immigrant craftsmen. When Elizabeth became old, she had a wig made to match her youthful long red hair. Other ladies then began wearing wigs.

Every few years, Elizabeth issued a proclamation reminding people of the apparel laws and reiterating certain provisions which had been disregarded. For instance, only the royal family and dukes and marquises in mantles [cloaks] of the garter could wear the color purple. One had to be at least an earl to wear gold or silver or sable. Only dukes, marquises, earls and their children, barons, and knights of the order could wear imported wool, velvet, crimson, scarlet, or blue, or certain furs. Except that barons' sons, knights, or men that could dispend at least 200 pounds yearly could wear velvet in gowns or coats, embroidery, and furs of leopards. Spurs, swords, rapiers, daggers, and woodknives were restricted to knights and barons' sons or higher. A man who could dispend at least 100 pounds per year could wear taffeta, satin, damask, or cloth made of camels' hair and silk, in his outer garments. One had to be the son and heir or the daughter of a knight or wife of said son or a man who could dispend 20 pounds yearly or had 200 pounds worth in goods to wear silk in one's hat, bonnet, nightcap, girdle, scabbard, or hose. Yeomen, husbandmen, serving men, and craftsmen were very restricted in what they could wear. Poor men wore skirted fustian tunics, loose breeches, and coarse stockings or canvas leggings.

Women spent much of their time doing needlework and embroidery. Since so many of the women who spent their days spinning were single, unmarried women became known as "spinsters".

Children wore the same type of apparel as their elders. They were given milk at meals for good growth. It was recognized that sickness could be influenced by diet and herbs. Sickness was still viewed as an imperfect balance of the four humors.

There were many lifestyle possibilities in the nation: gentleman, that is one who owned land or was in a profession such as a attorney, physician, priest or who was a university graduate, government official, or a military officer; employment in agriculture, arts, sciences; employment in households and offices of noblemen and gentlemen; self-sufficient farmers with their own farm; fisherman or mariner on the sea or apprentice of such; employment by carriers of grain into cities, by market towns, or for digging, seeking, finding, getting, melting, fining, working, trying, making of any silver, tin, lead, iron, copper, stone, coal; glassmaker.

Typical wages in the country were: field-workers 2-3d. a day, ploughmen 1s. a week with board, shepherd 6d. a week and board, his boy 2 1/2 d., hedgers 6d. a day, threshers 3-7d. depending on the grain, thatching for five days 2d., master mason or carpenter or joiner 4d. a day and food or 8d. without food, a smith 2d. a day with food, a bricklayer 2 1/2 d. a day with food, a shoemaker 2d. a day with food. These people lived primarily on food from their own ground.

There was typical work for each month of the year in the country: January - ditching and hedging after the frost broke, February - catch moles in the meadows, March - protect the sheep from prowling dogs, April - put up hop poles, sell bark to the tanner before the timber is felled, fell elm and ash for carts and ploughs, fell hazel for forks, fell sallow for rakes, fell horn for flails, May - weed and hire children to pick up stones from the fallow land, June - wash and shear the sheep, July - hay harvest, August - wheat harvest, September and October - gather the fruit, sell the wool from the summer shearing, stack logs for winter, buy salt fish for Lent in the town and lay it up to dry, November - have the chimneys swept before winter, thresh grain in the barn, December - grind tools, repair yokes, forks, and farm implements, cover strawberry and flower beds with straw to protect them from the cold, split kindling wood with beetle and wedge, tan their leather, make leather jugs, make baskets for catching fish, and carve wood spoons, plates, and bowls.

There was a wave of building and renovation activity in town and country. Housing is now, for the first time, purely for dwelling and not for defense. Houses were designed symmetrically with decorative features instead of a haphazard addition of rooms. Windows were large and put on the outer walls instead of just inside the courtyard. A scarcity of timber caused proportionally more stone to be used for dwelling houses and proportionately more brick to be used for royal palaces and mansions. The rest of the house was plaster painted white interspersed with vertical, horizontal, and sloping timber, usually oak, painted black. There were locks and bolts for protection from intruders. The hall was still the main room, and usually extended up to the roof. Richly carved screens separated the hall from the kitchen. The floors were stone or wood, and sometimes tile. They were often covered with rushes or plaited rush mats, on which incomers could remove the mud from their boots. Some private rooms may have carpets on the floor. Walls were smoothly plastered or had carved wood paneling to control drafts. Painted cloths replaced tapestries on walls. Iron stands with candles were hung from the ceiling and used on tables. Plastered ceilings and a lavish use of glass made rooms lighter and cozy. Broad and gracious open stairways with carved wood banisters, which replaced the narrow winding stone steps of a circular stairwell. Most houses had several ornamented brick chimneys and clear, but uneven, glass in the windows. There were fireplaces in living rooms, dining rooms, kitchen, and bedrooms, as well as in the hall and great chamber. Parlors were used for eating and sitting only, but not for sleeping. Closets were rooms off bedrooms in which one could read and write on a writing table, and store one's books, papers, maps, calendar, medals, collections, rarities, and oddities. Sometimes there was a study room or breakfast room as well. A gentleman used his study not only to read and to write, but to hold collections of early chronicles, charters, deeds, copied manuscripts, and coins that reflected the budding interest in antiquarianism; and to study his family genealogy, for which he had hired someone to make an elaborate diagram. He was inclined to have a few classical, religious, medical, legal, and political books there. Rooms were more spacious than before and contained oak furniture such as enclosed cupboards, cabinets, buffets from which food could be served, tables, chairs and benches with backs and cushions, sometimes with arms, lidded chests for storing clothes and linens, and occasionally chests of drawers or wardrobes, either hanging or with shelves, for clothes. Chests of drawers developed from a drawer at the bottom of a wardrobe. Carpeting covered tables, chests, and beds. Family portraits decorated some walls, usually in the dining room. Great houses had a wardrobe chamber with a fireplace in front of which the yeoman of the wardrobe and his assistants could repair clothes and hangings. Separate bedchambers replaced bed-sitting rooms. Bedrooms all led out of each other. The lady's chamber was next to her lord's chamber, and her ladies' chambers were close to her chamber. But curtains on the four poster beds with tops provided privacy and warmth. Beds had elaborately carved bedsteads, sheets, and a feather cover as well as a feather mattress. Often family members, servants, and friends shared the same bed for warmth or convenience. Each bedroom typically had a cabinet with a mirror, e.g. of burnished metal or crystal, and comb on top. One brushed his teeth with tooth soap and a linen cloth, as physicians advised. Each bedroom had a pitcher and water bowl, usually silver or pewter, for washing in the morning, and a chamber pot or a stool with a hole over a bucket for nighttime use, and also fragrant flowers to override the unpleasant odors. The chamber pots and buckets were emptied into cesspits. A large set of lodgings had attached to it latrines consisting of a small cell in which a seat with a hole was placed over a shaft which connected to a pit or a drain. The servants slept in turrets or attics. Elizabeth had a room just for her bath.

More than medieval castles and manor houses, mansions were designed with privacy in mind. Breakfast was substantial, with meat, and usually eaten in one's bedroom. The great hall, often hung around with bows, pikes, swords, and guns, was not abandoned, but the family took meals there only on rare occasions. Instead they withdrew to a parlor, for domestic use, or the great chamber, for entertaining. Parlors were situated on the ground floor: the family lived and relaxed there, and had informal meals in a dining parlor.

The formal or "state" rooms were on the first floor above the ground floor, usually comprising a great chamber, a withdrawing chamber, one or more bedchambers, and a long gallery. Each room had carved chairs and cabinets. Taking a meal in the great chamber involved the same ceremonial ritual as in the manorial great chamber dating from the 1400s. The table was covered with a linen cloth. The lady of the house sat in a chair at the upper end of the table and was served first. People of high rank sat at her end of the table "above" the fancy silver salt cellar and pepper. People of low rank sat "below" it near the other end of the table. Grace was said before the meal. Noon dinner and supper were served by cupbearer, sewer, carver, and assistants. Fine clear Italian glass drinking vessels replaced even gold and silver goblets. Food was eaten from silver dishes with silver spoons. Some gentry used two-pronged forks. Meats were plentiful and varied: e.g. beef, mutton, veal, lamb, kid, pork, hare, capon, red deer, fish and wild fowl as well as the traditional venison and brawn [boar]. Kitchen gardens and orchards supplied apricots, almonds, gooseberries, raspberries, melons, currants, oranges, and lemons as well as the traditional apples, pears, plums, mulberries, quinces, pomegranates, figs, cherries, walnuts, chestnuts, hazel nuts, filberts, almonds, strawberries, blackberries, dewberries, blueberries, and peaches. Also grown were sweet potatoes, artichokes, cabbages, turnips, broad beans, peas, pumpkins, cucumbers, radishes, carrots, celery, parsnips, onions, garlic, leeks, endive, capers, spinach, sorrel, lettuce, parsley, mustard, cress, sage, tarragon, fennel, thyme, mint, savory, rhubarb, and medicinal herbs. The well-to-do started to grow apricots, peaches, and oranges under glass. Sugar was used to make sweet dishes. Toothpicks made of brass or silver or merely a stiff quill were used. After the meal, some men and women were invited for conversation in a withdrawing or drawing chamber. Some might take a walk in the gardens. After the upper table was served, the food was sent to the great hall to the steward and high household officers at the high table and other servants: serving men and women, bakers, brewers, cooks, pot cleaners, laundresses, shepherds, hogherds, dairy maids, falconers, huntsmen, and stable men. What was left was given to the poor at the gates of the house. Great chambers were used primarily for meals, but also for music; dancing; plays; masques; playing cards, dice, backgammon, or chess; and daily prayers if there was no chapel.

The idea of a long gallery was copied from Henry VII and was used for exercise, recreation such as music and dancing, and private conversations. Without the necessity of fortifications, the estate of a noble or gentleman could spread out to include not only a garden for the kitchen, but extensive orchards and beautiful formal gardens of flowers and scrubs, sometimes with fountains and maybe a maze of hedges. Trees were planted, pruned, and grafted onto each other.

Householders had the responsibility to teach their family and servants religion and morals, and often read from the Bible to them. Many thought that the writers of the Bible wrote down the exact words of God, so the passages of the Bible should be taken literally. A noble lord made written rules with penalties for his country household, which numbered about a hundred, including family, retainers, and servants. He enforced them by fines, flogging, and threats of dismissal. The lady of the house saw that the household, held together as an economic and social unit. The noble's family, retainers, guests, and the head servants, such as chaplain and children's tutor, and possibly a musician, dined together at one table. The family included step children and married sons and daughters with their spouses. Young couples often lived with the parents of one of them. Chandeliers of candles lit rooms. There were sandglass clocks. Popular home activities included reading, conversation, gardening, and music-making. Smoking tobacco from a clay pipe and taking snuff became popular with men. For amusement, one of the lord's household would take his place in managing the estate for twelve days. He was called the "lord of misrule", and mimicked his lord, and issued comic orders. Clothes were washed in rivers and wells. At spring cleanings, windows were opened, every washable surface washed, and feather beds and pillows exposed to the sun.

Most dwellings were of brick and stone. Only a few were of wood or mud and straw. The average house was now four rooms instead of three. Yeomen might have six rooms. A weaver's house had a hall, two bedrooms, and a kitchen besides the shop. Farmers might have two instead of one room. A joiner had a one-room house with a feather bed and bolster. Even craftsmen, artificers and simple farmers slept on feather beds on bed frames with pillows, sheets, blankets, and coverlets. Loom tapestry and painted cloth was hung to keep out the cold in their single story homes. They also had pewter spoons and plates, instead of just wood or earthenware ones. Even the poorer class had glass drinking vessels, though of a coarse grade. The poor still used wooden plates and spoons. Laborers had canvas sheets. Richer farmers would build a chamber above the hall, replacing the open hearth with a fireplace and chimney at a wall. Poorer people favored ground floor extensions, adding a kitchen or second bedchamber to their cottages. Kitchens were often separate buildings to reduce the risk of fire. Roasting was done on a spit and baking in irons boxes placed in the fire or in a brick oven at the side of the fireplace. Sometimes dogs were used to turn a spit by continual running in a treadmill. Some people lived in hovels due to the custom in many places that a person could live in a home he built on village waste land if he could build it in one night.

Yeomen farmers still worked from dawn to dusk. Mixed farming began. In this, some of the arable land produced food for man and the rest produced food for sheep, cattle, pigs, and poultry. This was made possible by the introduction of clover, artificial grasses, and turnip and other root crops for the animals. Since the sheep ate these crops in the field, they provided manure to maintain the fertility of the soil. This meant that many animals could be maintained throughout the winter instead of being slaughtered and salted.

Farmers' wives used looms as well as spinning wheels with foot treadles. Since animals could now be kept through the winter, salted meat and salted fish were no longer the staple food of the poorer people during the winter. Farm laborers ate soup, porridge, milk, cheese, bacon, and beer or mead (depending on the district), and dark barley or rye bread, which often served as his plate. Gentlemen ate wheat bread. There was a scarcity of fruits and vegetables that adversely affected the health of the affluent as well as of the poor due to the overall decline in farming. During winter, there were many red noses and coughing.

The value of grain and meat rose compared to wool. Grain became six times its value in the previous reign. Wool fell from 20s.8d. per tod to 16s. So sheep farming, which had taken about 5% of the arable land, was supplanted somewhat by crop raising, and the rural population could be employed for agriculture. In some places, the threefold system of rotation was replaced by alternating land used for crops with that used for pasture. The necessity of manuring and the rotation of crops and grasses such as clover for enrichment of the soil were recognized. Wheat, rye, barley, peas, and beans were raised. There was much appropriation of common land by individual owners by sale or force. Many farms were enclosed by fences or hedges so that each holder could be independent of his neighbors. Red and black currants, rhubarb, apricots, and oranges were now grown. These independent farmers could sell wool to clothiers, and butter, cheese, and meat to the towns. They also often did smithwork and ironwork, making nails, horseshoes, keys, locks, and agricultural implements to sell. A laborer could earn 6d. a day in winter and 7d. a day in summer. Unfree villeinage ceased on the royal estates. But most land was still farmed in common and worked in strips without enclosure. Elizabeth made several proclamations ordering the enclosure of certain enclosed land to be destroyed and the land returned to tillage. Windmills now had vanes replacing manual labor to change the position of their sails when the wind direction changed. Prosperous traders and farmers who owned their own land assumed local offices as established members of the community.

The population of the nation was about five million. Population expansion had allowed landlords to insist on shorter leases and higher rents, instead of having to choose between accepting a long lease and good rent or allowing their estates to pass out of cultivation. Over 50% of the population were on the margin of subsistence. 90% of the population lived in the countryside and 5% in the London and 5% in the other towns. Life expectancy was about 40 years of age. Over 50% was under the age of 23, while only about 9% were over 60. Fluctuations in rates of population growth were traceable back to bad harvests and to epidemics and the two were still closely related to each other: "first dirth and then plague".

Most of London was confined within the city wall. There were orchards and gardens both inside and outside the walls, and fields outside. Flower gardens and nurseries came into existence. No part of the city was more than a ten minute walk to the fields. Some wealthy merchants had four story mansions or country houses outside the city walls. The suburbs of the City of London grew in a long line along the river; on the west side were noblemen's houses on both sides of the Strand. East of the Tower was a seafaring and industrial population. Goldsmiths' Row was replete with four story houses. A few wealthy merchants became money- lenders for interest, despite the law against usury. The mayor of London was typically a rich merchant prince. Each trade occupied its own section of the town and every shop had its own signboard, for instance, hat and cap sellers, cloth sellers, grocers, butchers, cooks, taverns, and booksellers. Many of the London wards were associated with a craft, such as Candlewick Ward, Bread St. Ward, Vintry Ward, and Cordwainer Ward. Some wards were associated with their location in the city, such as Bridge Ward, Tower Ward, Aldgate Ward, Queenhithe Ward, and Billingsgate Ward. People lived at the back or on the second floor of their shops. In the back yard, they grew vegetables such as melons, carrots, turnips, cabbages, pumpkins, parsnips, and cucumbers; herbs; and kept a pig. The pigs could still wander through the streets. Hyde Park was the Queen's hunting ground. London had a small zoo of ten animals, including a lion, tiger, lynx, and wolf.

London was England's greatest manufacturing city. By 1600 the greatest trading companies in London ceased to be associated only with their traditional goods and were dominated by merchants whose main interest was in the cloth trade. Ambitious merchants joined a livery company to become freemen of the city and for the status and social benefits of membership. The companies still made charitable endowments, had funeral feasts, cared for the welfare of guild members, and made lavish displays of pageantry. They were intimately involved with the government of the city. They supplied members for the Court of Aldermen, which relied on the companies to maintain the City's emergency grain stores, to assess and collect taxes, to provide loans to the Crown, to control prices and markets, to provide armed men when trouble was expected, and to raise armies for the Crown at times of rebellion, war, or visits from foreign monarchs. From about 1540 to 1700, there were 23% involved in cloth or clothing industries such as weavers, tailors, hosiers, haberdashers, and cappers. 9% were leatherworkers such as skinners; tanners; those in the heavy leather crafts such as shoemakers, saddlers, and cobblers; and those in the light leather crafts such as glovers and pursers. Another 9% worked in metals, such as the armorers, smiths, cutlers, locksmiths, and coppersmiths. 8% worked in the building trades. The victualing trades, such as bakers, brewers, butchers, costermongers [sold fruit and vegetables from a cart or street stand], millers, fishmongers, oystermen, and tapsters [bartender], grew from 9% before 1600 to 16% by 1700. Of London's workforce, 60% were involved in production; 13% were merchants before 1600; 7% were merchants by 1700; 7% were transport workers such as watermen, sailors, porters, coachmen, and shipwrights; and 5-9% were professionals and officials (this number declining). Life in London was lived in the open air in the streets. The merchant transacted business agreements and the attorney saw his clients in the street or at certain pillars at St. Paul's Church, where there was a market for all kinds of goods and services, including gentlemen's valets, groceries, spirits, books, and loans, which continued even during the daily service. Some gentlemen had offices distant from their dwelling houses such as attorneys, who had a good income from trade disputes and claims to land, which often changed hands. Plays and recreation also occurred in the streets, such as performances by dancers, musicians, jugglers, clowns, tumblers, magicians, and men who swallowed fire. The churches were continuously open and used by trades and peddlers, including tailors and letter-writers. Water carriers carried water in wood vessels on their shoulders from the Thames River or its conduits to the inhabitants three gallons at a time. A gentleman concocted an engine to convey Thames water by lead pipes up into men's houses in a certain section of the city. In 1581, a man took out a lease on one of the arches of London Bridge. There he built a waterwheel from which he pumped water to residents who lived beside the bridge. Soldiers, adventurers, physicians, apprentices, prostitutes, and cooks were all distinguishable by their appearances. An ordinance required apprentices to wear long blue gowns and white breeches with stockings, with no ornamentation of silk, lace, gold or silver and no jewelry. They could wear a meat knife, but not a sword or dagger. Apprentices lived with their masters and worked from 6 or 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Some people knitted wool caps as they walked to later sell. There were sections of town for booksellers, butchers, brewers, hosiers, shoemakers, curriers, cooks, poulters, bow makers, textwriters, pattenmakers, and horse and oxen sellers. Large merchant companies had great halls for trade, such as the mercers, grocers, drapers, fishmongers, and goldsmiths. The other great guilds were the skinners, merchant tailers, salters, haberdashers, ironmongers, vintners, and clothworkers. Smaller guilds were those of the bakers, weavers, fruiterers, dyers, Thames watermen and lightermen, carpenters, joiners, turners, and parish clerks. The guilds insured quality by inspecting goods for a fee.

About 1571, mercer and Merchant Adventurer Thomas Gresham established the Royal Exchange as a place for merchants and brokers to meet for business purposes. It became the center of London's business life. Its great bell rang at midday and at 6 p.m. Its courtyard was lined with shops that rented at 50s. yearly and became a popular social and recreational area. Gresham formulated his law that when two kinds of money of equal denomination but unequal intrinsic value are in circulation at the same time, the one of greater value will tend to be hoarded or exported, i.e. bad money will drive good money out of circulation.

The work-saving knitting frame was invented in 1589 by minister William Lee; it knit crosswise loops using one continuous yarn and was operated by hand. The stocking knitters, who knitted by hand, put up a bitter struggle against its use and chased Lee out of the country. But it did come into use. Some framework stocking knitters paid frame rent for the use of their knitting frames. Frame knitting became a scattered industry.

By 1600 basement services were frequently found in town houses built on restricted sites in London. Lastly, provision of water supplies and improved sanitary arrangements reflected concern with private and public health. There was virtually no drainage. In the case of town houses, some owners would go to considerable effort to solve drainage problems, often paying cash to the civic authorities, but sometimes performing some service for the town at Court or at Westminster, in return for unlimited water or some drainage. Most affluent households, including the Queen's moved from house to house, so their cesspits could be cleaned out and the vacated buildings aired after use. A few cesspits were made air tight. Otherwise, there was extensive burning of incense. Refuse was emptied out of front doors and shoveled into heaps on street corners. It was then dumped into the Thames or along the highways leading out of town. People put on perfume to avoid the stench. By 1600, the first toilet and water closet, where water flushed away the waste, was built. This provided a clean toilet area all year round. But these toilets were not much used because of sewer smells coming from them. The sky above London was darkened somewhat by the burning of coal in houses.

Taverns served meals as well as ale. They were popular meeting places for both men and women of all backgrounds to met their friends. Men went to taverns for camaraderie and to conduct business. Women usually went to taverns with each other. Two taverns in particular were popular with the intelligentsia. Music was usually played in the background and games were sometimes played. Beer made with hops and malt was introduced and soon there were beer drinking contests. Drunkenness became a problem.

At night, the gates of the city were closed and citizens were expected to hang out lanterns. The constable and his watchmen carried lanterns and patrolled the streets asking anyone they saw why they were out so late at night. Crime was rampant in the streets and criminals were executed near to the crime scene.

There were a few horse-drawn coaches with leather flaps or curtains in the unglazed windows to keep out the weather. The main thoroughfare in London was still the Thames River. Nobles, peers, and dignitaries living on the Thames had their own boats and landings. Also at the banks, merchants of all nations had landing places where ships unloaded, warehouses, and cellars for goods and merchandise. Swans swam in the clear bright water. Watermen rowed people across the Thames for a fee. In Southwark were theaters, outlaws, cutpurses, prostitutes, and prisons. In 1550 Southwark became the 26th and last ward of the city. In the summer, people ate supper outside in public.

As of old times, brokers approved by the Mayor and aldermen made contracts with merchants concerning their wares. Some contracts included holding wares as security. Some craftsmen and manual workers extended this idea to used garments and household articles, which they took as pawns, or security for money loaned. This began pawn brokerage, which was lucrative. The problem was that many of the items pawned had been stolen.

Elizabeth had good judgment in selecting her ministers and advisors for her Privy Council, which was organized like Henry VIII's Privy Council. The Queen's Privy Council of about twelve ministers handled foreign affairs, drafted official communiques, issued proclamations, supervised the county offices: the 1500 justices of the peace, chief constables, sheriffs, lord lieutenants, and the county militias. It fixed wages and prices in London, advised Justices of the Peace on wages elsewhere, and controlled exports of grain to keep prices down and supplies ample. It banned the eating of meat two days a week so that the fishing industry and port towns would prosper. When grain was scarce in 1596, Elizabeth made a proclamation against those ingrossers, forestallers, and ingraters of grain who increased its price by spreading false rumors that it was scarce because much of it was being exported, which was forbidden. There were labor strikes in some towns for higher wages after periods of inflation. In 1591, London authorities rounded up the sturdy vagabonds and set them to work cleaning out the city ditches for 4d. per day.

Elizabeth did not allow any gentleman to live in London purely for pleasure, but sent those not employed by the Court back to their country manors to take care of and feed the poor of their parishes. Her proclamation stated that "sundry persons of ability that had intended to save their charges by living privately in London or towns corporate, thereby leaving their hospitality and the relief of their poor neighbors, are charged not to break up their households; and all others that have of late time broken up their households to return to their houses again without delay." She never issued a license for more than 100 retainers. She was partially successful in stopping justices of the peace and sheriffs from wearing the liveries of great men. She continued the policy of Henry VII to replace the rule of force by the rule of law. Service of the crown and influence at court became a better route to power and fortune than individual factions based on local power structures. At the lowest level, bribery became more effective than bullying. The qualities of the courtier, such as wit, and the lawyer became more fashionable than the qualities of the soldier.

Most of the men in Elizabeth's court had attended a university, such as Francis Bacon, son of the Lord Keeper, who became a writer, attorney, member of the Commons, and experimental philosopher, and Walter Ralegh, the writer and sea fighter, who had a humble origin. Many wives and daughters of Privy Councilors attended the Queen in her privy chamber. Most of the knights or gentlemen of the royal household were also members of Parliament or Justices of the Peace for certain districts in the counties. Instead of the office of Chancellor, which was the highest legal office, Elizabeth appointed a man of common birth to be Lord Keeper of the Great Seal; she never made a Lord Keeper a peer. Elizabeth encouraged her lords to frankly make known their views to her, in public or in private, before she decided on a course of action. She had affectionate nicknames for her closest courtiers, and liked to make puns. The rooms of the Queen were arranged as they had been under Henry VIII: the great hall was the main dining room where the servants ate and which Elizabeth attended on high days and holidays; the great chamber was the main reception room, where her gentlemen and yeomen of the guard waited; the presence chamber was where she received important visitors; beyond lay her privy chamber and her bedchamber. She ate her meals in the privy chamber attended only by her ladies. She believed that a light supper was conducive to good health. The Lord Chamberlain attended the Queen's person and managed her privy chamber and her well-born grooms and yeomen and ladies-in-waiting. The Lord Steward managed the domestic servants below the stairs, from the Lord Treasurer to the cooks and grooms of the stable. The court did not travel as much as in the past, but became associated with London. Elizabeth took her entire court on summer visits to the country houses of leading nobility and gentry. Courtiers adopted symbolic "devices" as statements of their reaction to life or events, e.g. a cupid firing arrows at a unicorn signified chastity under attack by sexual desire. They carried them enameled on jewels, had them painted in the background of their portraits, and sometimes had them expressed on furniture, plate, buildings, or food.

The authority of the Queen was the authority of the state. Elizabeth's experience led her to believe that it was most important for a monarch to have justice, temperance, magnanimity, and judgment. She claimed that she never set one person before another, but upon just cause, and had never preferred anyone to office for the preferrer's sake, but only when she believed the person worthy and fit for the office. She never blamed those who did their best and never discharged anyone form office except for cause. Further, she had never been partial or prejudiced nor had listened to any person contrary to law to pervert her verdicts. She never credited a tale that was first told to her and never corrupted her judgment with a censure before she had heard the cause. She did not think that the glory of the title of monarch made all she did lawful. To her, clemency was as eminent in supreme authority as justice and severity.

Secular education and especially the profession of law was now the route for an able but poor person to rise to power, rather than as formerly through military service or through the church.

The first stage of education was primary education, which was devoted to learning to read and write in English. This was carried out at endowed schools or at home by one's mother or a tutor. The children of the gentry were usually taught in their homes by private teachers of small classes. Many of the poor became literate enough to read the Bible and to write letters. However, most agricultural workers and laborers remained illiterate. They signed with an "x", which represented the Christian cross and signified its solemnity. Children of the poor were expected to work from the age of 6 or 7.

The next stage of education was grammar [secondary] school or a private tutor. A student was taught rhetoric (e.g. poetry, history, precepts of rhetoric, and classical oratory), some logic, and Latin and Greek grammar. English grammar was learned through Latin grammar and English style through translation from Latin. As a result, they wrote English in a Latin style. Literary criticism was learned through rhetoric. There were disputations on philosophical questions such as how many angels could sit on a pin's point, and at some schools, orations. The students sat in groups around the hall for their lessons. The boys and some girls were also taught hawking, hunting and archery. There were no playgrounds. The grammar student and the undergraduate were tested for proficiency by written themes and oral disputations, both in Latin. The middle classes from the squire to the petty tradesman were brought into contact with the works of the best Greek and Roman writers. The best schools and many others had the students read Cicero, the "De Officiis", the epistles and orations, and some of Ovid, Terence, Sallust, Virgil, some medieval Latin works, the "Distichs" of Cato, and sometimes Erasmus and Sir Thomas More. The students also had to repeat prayers, recite the Lord's Prayer and the Ten Commandments, and to memorize catechisms. Because the students came from the various social classes such as gentlemen, parsons, yeomen, mercers, and masons, they learned to be on friendly and natural terms with other classes. A typical school-day lasted from 7:00 am to 5:00 PM. There were so many grammar schools founded and financed by merchants and guilds such as the Mercers and Fishmongers that every incorporated town had at least one. Grammar schools were headed by schoolmasters, who were licensed by the bishop and paid by the town. Flogging with a birch rod was used for discipline.

Many grammar schools had preparatory classes called "petties" for boys and girls who could not read and write to learn to do so. The girls did not usually stay beyond the age of nine. This was done by a schoolmaster's assistant, a parish clerk, or some older boys. However, the grammar schools did not become the breeding grounds for humanist ideas because the sovereigns were faced with religious atomism and political unrest, so used the grammar schools to maintain public order and achieve political and religious conformity.

Some founders of grammar schools linked their schools with particular colleges in the universities following the example of Winchester being associated with New College, Oxford, and Eton with King's College, Cambridge. The new charter of Westminster (1560) associated the school with Christ Church, Oxford and Trinity College, Cambridge.

The government of Oxford University, which had been Catholic, was taken from the resident teachers and put into the hands of the Vice-Chancellor, Doctors, Heads of Colleges, and Proctors. Cambridge already had a strong reformed element from Erasmus' influence. Oxford University and Cambridge University were incorporated to have a perpetual existence for the virtuous education of youth and maintenance of good literature. The Chancellors, masters, and scholars had a common seal. Oxford was authorized to and did acquire its own printing press. Undergraduate students entered about age 16 and resided in rooms in colleges rather than in scattered lodgings. The graduate fellows of the college who were M.A.s of under three years standing had the responsibility, instead of the university, for teaching the undergraduates. This led many to regard their fellowship as a position for life rather than until they completed their post-graduate studies. But they were still required to resign on marrying or taking up an ecclesiastical benefice. The undergraduates were poor scholars or fee-paying members of the college. Some of the fee-paying members or gentlemen-commoners or fellow-commoners were the sons of the nobility and gentry and even shared the fellows' table. The undergraduate students were required to have a particular tutors, who were responsible for their moral behavior as well as their academic studies. It was through the tutors that modern studies fit for the education of a Renaissance gentleman became the norm. Those students not seeking a degree could devise his own course of study with his tutor's permission. Less than about 40% stayed long enough to get a degree. Many students who were working on the seven year program for a Master's Degree went out of residence at college after the four year's "bachelor" course. Students had text books to read rather than simply listening to a teacher read books to them.

In addition to the lecturing of the M.A.s and the endowed university lectureships, the university held exercises every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday in which the student was meant through disputation, to apply the formal precepts in logic and rhetoric to the practical business of public speaking and debate. Final examinations were still by disputation. The students came to learn to read Latin easily. Students acted in Latin plays. If a student went to a tavern, he could be flogged. For too elaborate clothing, he could be fined. Fines for absence from class were imposed. However, from this time until 1945, a young man's university days were regarded as a period for the "sowing of wild oats".

All students had to reside in a college or hall, subscribe to the 39 articles of the university, the Queen's supremacy, and the prayer book. Meals were taken together in the college halls. The universities were divided into three tables: a fellows' table of earls, barons, gentlemen, and doctors; a second table of masters of arts, bachelors, and eminent citizens, and a third table of people of low condition. Professors, doctors, masters of arts and students were all distinguishable by their gowns.

Undergraduate education was considered to be for the purpose of good living as well as good learning. It was to affect the body, mind, manners, sentiment, and business, instead of just leading to becoming a better disputant. The emphasis on manners came mostly from an Italian influence. The university curriculum included Latin and Greek languages and was for four years. The student spent at least one year on logic (syllogizing, induction, deduction, fallacies, and the application of logic to other studies), at least one year on rhetoric, and at least one year on philosophy. The latter included physics, metaphysics, history, law, moral and political philosophy, modern languages, and ethics (domestic principles of government, military history, diplomatic history, and public principles of government), and mathematics (arithmetic, geometry, algebra, music, optics, astronomy). The astronomy taught was that of Ptolemy, whose view was that the celestial bodies revolved around a spherical earth, on which he had laid out lines of longitude and latitude. There were lectures on Greek and Latin literature, including Aristotle, Plato, and Cicero. There were no courses on English history in the universities.

About 1564, the curriculum was changed to two terms of grammar, four terms of rhetoric, five terms of dialectic (examining ideas and opinions logically, e.g. ascertaining truth by analyzing words in their context and equivocations), three terms of arithmetic, and two terms of music. There were now negative numbers, irrational numbers such as square roots of non-integers, and imaginary numbers such as square roots of negative numbers. The circumference and area of a circle could be computed from its radius, and the Pythagorean theorem related the three sides of a right triangle. Also available were astrology, alchemy (making various substances such as acids and alcohols), cultivation of gardens, and breeding of stock, especially dogs and horses. Astronomy, geometry, natural and moral philosophy, and metaphysics were necessary for a master's degree. The university libraries of theological manuscripts in Latin were supplemented with many non-religious books.

There were graduate studies in theology, medicine, music, and law, which was a merging of civil and canon law together with preparatory work for studying common law at the Inns of Court in London.

In London, legal training was given at the four Inns of Court. Students were called to dinner by a horn. Only young gentry were admitted there. A year's residence there after university gave a gentleman's son enough law to decide disputes of tenants on family estates or to act as Justice of the Peace in his home county. A full legal education gave him the ability to handle all family legal matters, including property matters. Many later became justices of the Peace or members of Parliament. Students spent two years in the clerks' commons, and two in the masters' commons. Besides reading textbooks in Latin, the students observed at court and did work for practicing attorneys. After about four more years' apprenticeship, a student could be called to the outer bar. There was a real bar of iron or wood separating the justices from the attorneys and litigants. As "Utter Barrister" or attorney, he would swear to "do no falsehood in the court, increase no fees but be contented with the old fees accustomed, delay no man for lucre or malice, but use myself in the office of an Attorney within the Court according to my learning and discretion, so help me God, Amen". Students often also studied and attended lectures on astronomy, geography, history, mathematics, theology, music, navigation, foreign languages, and lectures on anatomy and medicine sponsored by the College of Physicians. A tour of the continent became a part of every gentleman's education. After about eight years' experience, attorneys could become Readers and Benchers, the latter of whom made the rules. Readers gave lectures. Benchers, who were elected by other Benchers, were entrusted with the government of their Inn of Court, and usually were King's counsel. Five to ten years later, a few of these were picked by the Queen for Serjeant at Law, and therefore eligible to plead at the bar of common pleas. Justices were chosen from the Serjeants at Law.

Gresham left the Royal exchange to the city and the Mercer's Company on condition that they use some of its profits to appoint and pay seven lecturers in law, rhetoric, divinity, music, physics, geometry, and astronomy to teach at his mansion, which was called Gresham College. They were installed in 1598 according to his Will. Their lectures were free, open to all, and often in English. They embraced mathematics and new scientific ideas and emphasized their practical applications. A tradition of research and teaching was established in mathematics and astronomy.

Many people kept diaries. Letter writing was frequent at court. Most forms of English literature were now available in print. Many ladies read aloud to each other in reading circles and to their households. Some wrote poetry and did translations. Correctness of spelling was beginning to be developed. Printers tended to standardize it. There was much reading of romances, jest books, histories, plays, prayer collections, and encyclopedias, as well as the Bible. In schools and gentry households, favorite reading was Edmund Spenser's "Faerie Queen" about moral virtues and the faults and errors which beset them, Erasmus' New Testament, "Paraphrases", "Colloquies", and "Adages", Sir Thomas North's edition of Plutarch's "Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans", Elyot's "The Book Named the Governor", and Hoby's translation of "The Courtier". Gentlemen read books on the ideals of gentlemanly conduct, such as "Institucion of a Gentleman" (1555), and Laurence Humphrey's "The Nobles: or of Nobilites". Francis Bacon's "Essays or Counsels Civil and Moral" were popular for their wisdom. In them he commented on many subjects from marriage to atheism. He cautioned against unworthy authority, mass opinion, custom, and ostentation of apparent wisdom. He urged the use of words with their correct meaning.

At a more popular level were Caxton's "The Golden Legend", Baldwin's "Mirror for Magistrates", Foxe's "Book of Martyrs" about English Protestant who suffered at the stake, sensational stories and pamphlets, printed sermons (including those of Switzerland's Calvin), chronicles, travel books, almanacs, herbals, and medical works. English fiction began and was read. There were some books for children. Books were copyrighted, although non-gentlemen writers needed a patron. At the lowest level of literacy were ballads. Next to sermons, the printing press was kept busiest with rhymed ballads about current events. Printed broadsheets on political issues could be distributed quickly. In London, news was brought to the Governor of the News Staple, who classified it as authentic, apocryphal, barber's news, tailor's news, etc. and stamped it. Books were also censored for matter against the state church. This was carried out through the Stationers' Company. This company was now, by charter, the official authority over the entire book trade, with almost sole rights of printing. (Schools had rights of printing). It could burn other books and imprison their printers.

There were language schools teaching French, Italian, and Spanish to the aspiring merchant and to gentlemen's sons and daughters.

Italian business techniques were set forth in textbooks for merchants, using Italian terms of business: debit (debito), credit (credito), inventory (inventorio), journal (giornal), and cash (cassa). The arithmetic of accounting operations, including multiplication, was described in "An Introduction for to Lerne to Reckonwith the Penne or Counters" in 1537. Accounting advice was extended to farmers as well as merchants in the 1569 "The Pathway to Perfectness in the Accomptes of Debitor and Creditor" by James Peele, a salter of London. It repeated the age-old maxim: ...receive before you write, and write before you pay, So shall no part of your accompt in any wise decay. The 1589 "Marchants Avizo" by Johne Browne, merchant of Bristol, gave information on foreign currencies and keeping of accounts, and included specimens of various business documents such as insurance policies, and bills of exchange. It also advised: Take heed of using a false balance or measure...covet not over familiarity amongst men it maketh thee spend much loss of time. Be not hasty in giving credit to every man, but take heed to a man that is full of words, that hath red eyes, that goeth much to law, and that is suspected to live unchaste ... When thou promiseth anything be not stuck to perform it, for he that giveth quickly giveth double ... Fear God...know thy thy parents ...give reverence to thy betters courteous and lowly to all men... be not wise in thine own conceit. The old prohibitions of the now declining canon law were still observed. That is one should not seek wealth for its own sake or beyond what was requisite for a livelihood in one's station, exploit a customer's difficulties to extract an extravagant price, charge excessive interest, or engross to "corner the market".

The printing press had made possible the methodizing of knowledge and its dissemination to a lay public. Knowledge associated with the various professions, occupations, and trades was no longer secret or guarded as a mystery, to be passed on only to a chosen few. The sharing of knowledge was to benefit the community at large. Reading became an out-of-school activity, for instruction as well as for pleasure.

In 1565, graphite was discovered in England, and gave rise to the pencil. Surveying accuracy was improved with the new theodolite, which determined directions and measured angles and used a telescope that pivoted horizontally and vertically. Scientists had the use of an air thermometer, in which a column of air in a glass tube sitting in a dish of water contracted or expanded with changes in the temperature, causing the water to move up or down the tube.

William Shakespeare, a glovemaker's son, wrote plays about historical events and plays which portrayed various human personalities and their interactions with each other. They were enjoyed by all classes of people. His histories were especially popular. The Queen and various earls each employed players and actors, who went on tour as a troupe and performed on a round open-air stage, with people standing around to watch. In London, theaters such as the Globe were built specifically for the performance of plays, which before had been performed at inns. The audience applauded and hissed. There were costumes, but no sets. Ordinary admission was 2d. Before being performed, a play had to be licensed by the Master of the Revels to make sure that there was nothing detrimental to the peace and public order. Elizabeth issued a proclamation forbidding unlicensed interludes or plays, especially concerning religion or government policy on pain of imprisonment for at least fourteen days. The common people still went to morality plays, but also to plays in which historical personages were portrayed, such as Richard II, Henry IV, and Henry V. Some plays were on contemporary issues. Musicians played together as orchestras. Music and singing was a popular pastime after supper; everyone was expected to participate. Dancing was popular with all classes. Gentlemen played cards, dice, chess, billiards, tennis, and fenced and had games on horseback. Their deer hunting diminished as forests were cut down for agriculture and the deer was viewed as an enemy eating crops. Falconry diminished as hedges and enclosures displaced the broad expanses of land.

Country people enjoyed music, dancing, pantomime shows with masks, hurling, running, swimming, leap frog, blind man's buff, shovelboard played with the hands, and football between villages with the goal to get the ball into one's own village. Football and shin-kicking matches often resulted in injuries. They bought ballads from traveling peddlers. Early morning dew gathered in May and early June was thought to have special curative powers. There were many tales involving fairies, witches, devils, ghosts, evil spirits, angels, and monsters which were enjoyed by adults as well as children. Many people still believed in charms, curses, divination, omens, fate, and advice from astrologers. The ghosts of the earth walked the earth, usually because of some foul play to be disclosed, wrong to be set right, to warn those dear to them of peril, or to watch over hidden treasure. Good witches cured and healed. Fairies blessed homes, rewarded minor virtues, and punished mild wrongdoing. When fairies were unhappy, the weather was bad. There were parties for children.

The merry guild feast was no longer a feature of village life. There were fewer holydays and festivals. The most prosperous period of the laborer was closing. An agricultural laborer's yearly wage was about 154s., but his cost of living, which now included house rent, was about 160s. a year. In 1533, daily wages in the summer for an agricultural laborer were about 4d. and for an artisan 6d. In 1563 in the county of Rutland, daily wages for laborers were 7d. in summer and 6d. in winter; and for artisans were 9d. in summer and 8d. in winter. Unemployment was widespread.

There were endowed hospitals in London for the sick and infirm. There were others for orphans, for derelict children, and for the destitute. They worked at jobs in the hospital according to their abilities. There was also a house of correction for discipline of the idle and vicious by productive work. Elizabeth continued the practice of touching people to cure scrofula, although she could not bring herself to fully believe in the reality of such cures, contrary to her chaplain and her physician.

In the towns, shop shutters were let down to form a counter at the front of the shop. Goods were made and/or stored inside the shop. Towns held a market once a week. Fairs occurred once or twice a year. At given times in the towns, everyone was to throw buckets of water onto the street to cleanse it. During epidemics in towns, there was quarantine of those affected to stay in their houses unless going out on business. Their houses were marked and they had to carry a white rod when outside. The quarantine of a person lasted for forty days. The straw in his house was burned and his clothes treated. People who died had to be buried under six feet of ground. There was an outbreak of plague in London roughly every ten years.

There was a pity for the distressed that resulted in towns voting money for a people of a village that had burned down or been decimated by the plague.

Communities were taxed for the upkeep and relief of the prisoners in the gaols in their communities.

Queen Elizabeth was puzzling over the proper relationship between the crown and the church when Richard Hooker, a humble scholar, theologian, and clergyman, attempted to find a justification in reason for the establishment of the Church of England as an official part of the governing apparatus of the nation. His thinking was a turning point from the medieval notion that God ordered society, including the designation of its monarch and its natural laws. The belief in a divine structure with a great chain of being, beginning with God and working down through the hierarchy of angels and saints to men, beasts, and vegetables, did foster order in society. Hooker restated the concept of Aristotle that the purpose of society is to enable men to live well. He wrote that although the monarch was head of state and head of religion, the highest authority in civil affairs was Parliament, and in religion, the Convocation. The monarch had to maintain divine law, but could not make it. From this came the idea that the state derives its authority from the will of the people and the consent of the governed.

Protestant women had more freedom in marriage and were allowed to participate in more church activities compared to Catholic women, but they were not generally allowed to become pastors. Due to sensitivities on the part of both Catholics and Protestants about a female being the head of the church, Elizabeth was given the title of "Supreme Governor" of the church instead of "Supreme Head". Elizabeth was not doctrinaire in religious matters, but pragmatic. She always looked for ways to accommodate all views on what religious aspects to adopt or decline. Images, relics, pilgrimages, and rosaries were discouraged. But the Catholic practice of kneeling at prayer, and bowing and doffing caps at the name of Jesus were retained. Also retained was the place of the altar or communion table at the east end of churches, special communion wafers instead of common bread, and elaborate clergy vestments. The communion prayer contained words expressing both the Catholic view that the wafer and wine contained the real presence of the body and blood of Christ, and the Protestant view that they were commemorative only. Communion was celebrated only at Easter and other great festivals. Church services included a sermon and were in accordance with a reformed prayer book and in English, as was the Bible. Care was even taken not to use words that would offend the Scots, Lutherans, Calvinists, or Huguenots. People could hold what religious beliefs they would, even atheism, as long as they maintained an outward conformity. Attendance at state church services on Sunday mornings and evenings and Holydays was enforced by a fine of 12d. imposed by the church wardens. Babies were to be baptized before they were one month old or the parents would be punished.

Still, the new religion had to be protected. Members of the House of Commons, lawyers, schoolmasters were to take the oath of supremacy or be imprisoned and make a forfeiture; a second refusal brought death. When numerous Anabaptists came from the continent to live in the port towns, the Queen issued a proclamation ordering them to leave the realm because their pernicious opinions could corrupt the church. The new church still accepted the theory of the devil causing storms, but opposed ringing the holy church bells to attempt to drive him away. The sins of people were also thought to cause storms, and also plagues.

In 1562, the Church of England wrote down its Christian Protestant beliefs in thirty-nine Articles of Religion, which specifically excluded certain Catholic beliefs. They were incorporated into statute in 1571 establishing them as the tenets of the official religion of England. The first eighteen endorsed the ideas of one God, Christ as the son of God who was sacrificed for all the sins of men, the resurrection of Christ from the dead and ascension into heaven, the Holy Ghost proceeding from the father and the son, the books of the Bible, the original sin of Adam and his offspring, justification of man by faith in Christ rather than by good works, goods works as the inspired fruit and proof of faith in Christ, Christ in the flesh as like man except for the absence of sin, the chance for sinners who have been Baptised to be forgiven if they truly repent and amend their lives, the predestination of some to be brought by Christ to eternal salvation and their minds to be drawn up to high and heavenly things, and salvation only by the name of Christ and not by a sect. Other tenets described the proper functions of the church, distinguishing them from Roman Catholic practice. Specifically, the church was not to expound one place of scripture so that it was inconsistent with another place of scripture. Because man can err, the church was not to ordain or enforce anything to be believed for necessity of salvation. Explicitly renounced were the Romish doctrine concerning purgatory, pardons, worshipping, adoration of images or relics, invocation of saints, and the use in church of any language, such as Latin, not understood by the people. Only the sacraments of Baptism and the Lord's Supper were recognized. The Lord's Supper was to be a sign of the love that Christians ought to have among themselves and a sacrament of redemption by Christ's death. The wine in the cup of blessing as well as the bread of the Lord's Supper was to be taken by lay- people and to be a partaking of Christ; there was no Romish mass. Excommunication was limited to those who openly denounced the church. Anyone openly breaking the traditions or ceremonies of the church which were approved by common authority were to be rebuked. Elizabeth told the bishops that she wished certain homilies to be read in church, which encouraged good works such as fasting, prayer, alms-giving, Christian behavior, repentance, and which discouraged idolatry, gluttony, drunkenness, excess of apparel, idleness, rebellion, and wife-beating however provoked. She considered homilies more instructive and learned that ministers' sermons, which were often influenced by various gentlemen and were inconsistent with each other. Consecration of bishops and ministers was regulated; and they were allowed to marry. The standard prayer was designated thus: "Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our offenses as we forgive those who have offended against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever and ever, amen."

There was difficulty persuading educated and moral men to be church ministers, even though Elizabeth expressed to the bishops her preference for ministers who were honest and wise instead of learned in religious matters. The Bible was read at home and familiar to everyone. This led to the growth of the Puritan movement. The Puritans believed in the right of the individual Christian to interpret the Scriptures for himself by spiritual illumination. They opposed the mystical interpretation of the Communion service. The Puritans complained that the church exerted insufficient control over the morals of the congregation. Their ideas of morality were very strict and even plays were thought to be immoral. The Independent Puritans were those Protestants who had fled from Mary's Catholic reign to the continent, where they were persuaded to the ideas of John Calvin of Geneva. He stressed the old idea of predestination in the salvation of souls, which had in the past been accepted by nearly all English Christian leaders, thinkers, and teachers, but not stressed. The act of conversion was a common experience among the early Puritans. The concomitant hatred of past sins and love of God which was felt in thankfulness for mercy were proof of selection for salvation. The good works that followed were merely an obligation showing that one's faith was real, but not a way to salvation.

But the puritans also accepted Calvin's idea of independent church government. They therefore thought that ministers and lay elders of each parish should regulate religious affairs and that the bishops, who were "petty popes", should be reduced to an equality with the rest of the clergy, since they did not rule by divine right. The office of archbishop should be eliminated and the head of state should not necessarily be governor of the church. These ideas were widely disseminated in books and pamphlets. The puritans disrupted the established church's Sunday services, tearing the surplice off the minister's back and the wafers and wine from the altar rail. The puritans arranged "lectures" on Sunday afternoons and on weekdays. These were given gratuitously or funded by boroughs. They were strict about not working on the Sabbath, which day they gave to spiritual exercises, meditations, and works of mercy. The only work allowed was preparing meals for themselves, caring for their animals, and milking the cows. They enforced a strict moral discipline on themselves. The puritan movement included William Brewster, an assistant to a court official who was disciplined for delivering, upon pressure from the council, the Queen's signed execution order for Mary of Scotland after the Queen had told him to hold it until she directed otherwise. The puritans formed a party in the House of Commons.

The debased coinage was replaced by a recoinage of newly minted coins with a true silver weight.

Goldsmiths, who also worked silver, often acted as guardians of clients' wealth. They began to borrow at interest at one rate in order to lend out to traders at a higher rate. This began banking.

Patents were begun to encourage the new merchant lords to develop local manufactures or to expand import and export trade. Patents were for a new manufacture or an improved older one and determined the wages of its trades. There was chartering of merchant companies and granting of exclusive rights to new industries as monopolies. Some monopolies or licenses were patents or copyrights of inventors. Others established trading companies for trade to certain foreign lands and supporting consular services. People holding monopolies were accountable to the government. There were monopolies on certain smoked fish, fish oil, seal oil, oil of blubber, vinegar, salt, currants, aniseed, juniper berry liquor, bottles, glasses, brushes, pots, bags, cloth, starch, steel, tin, iron, cards, horn, ox shinbones, ashes, leather pieces, earth coal, calamite stone, powder, saltpeter, and lead manufacturing by-products.

For far-flung enterprises and those where special arrangements with foreign countries was required, there was sharing of stock of companies, usually by merchants of the same type of goods. In joint-stock companies each member took a certain number of shares and all the selling of the goods of each merchant was carried on by the officials of the company. The device of joint stock might take the form of a fully incorporated body or of a less formal and unincorporated syndicate. The greatest joint-stock company was East India Company, chartered in 1600 to trade there in competition with the Dutch East India Company. It was given a fifteen year monopoly on trade east of the southern tip of Africa. Unlike the Muscovy Company, and Merchants of the Staple, individual members could not trade on their own account, but only through the corporate body on its voyages. Each particular voyage was regulated and assisted by the Crown and Privy Council, for instance when further subscriptions were needed, or when carpenters were needed to be pressed into service for fitting out ships, or to deal with an unsuccessful captain. Its charter retained many of the aspects of the medieval trade guild: power to purchase lands, to sue and be sued, to make by-laws, and to punish offenders by fine or imprisonment. Admission was by purchase of a share in a voyage, redemption, presentation, patrimony (adult sons of members), and apprenticeship. Purchase of a share in a voyage was the most common method. A share for the first ship cost one hundred pounds. Cash payments for less than the price of a share could be invested for ultimate redemption. Occasionally presentation or a faculty "for the making of a freeman" was granted to some nobleman or powerful member. Members' liability was limited to their individual subscriptions. Each voyage had 1) a Royal Commission authorizing the Company to undertake the expedition and vesting in its commanders powers for punishing offenses during the voyage, and quenching any mutiny, quarrels, or dissension that might arise; 2) a code of instructions from the Company to the Admiral and to commanders of ships setting forth in great detail the scope and objects of the voyage together with minute regulations for its conduct and trade; 3) authorization for coinage of money or export of specie (gold or silver); and 4) letters missive from the sovereign to foreign rulers at whose ports the ships were to trade. The first voyage brought back spices that were sold at auction in London for ten times their price in the Indies and brought to shareholders a profit equivalent to 9 1/2% yearly for the ten years when the going interest rate was 8% a year.

Town government was often controlled by a few merchant wholesalers. The entire trade of a town might be controlled by its drapers or by a company of the Merchant Adventurers of London. The charter of the latter as of 1564 allowed a common seal, perpetual existence, liberty to purchase lands, and liberty to exercise their government in any part of the nation. It was controlled by a group of rich Londoners, no more than 50, who owned the bulk of the cloth exported. There were policies of insurance given by groups of people for losses of ships and their goods. Marine insurance was regulated.

New companies were incorporated for many trades. They were associations of employers rather than the old guilds which were associations of actual workers. The ostensible reason was the supervision of the quality of the wares produced in that trade. (Shoemakers, haberdashers, saddlers, and curriers exercised close supervision over these wares.) They paid heavily for their patents or charters.

There was no sharp line between craftsman and shopkeeper or between shopkeeper and wholesale merchant. In London, an enterprising citizen could pass freely from one occupation to another. Borrowing money for a new enterprise was common. Industrial suburbs grew up around London and some towns became known as specialists in certain industries. The building crafts in the towns often joined together into one company, e.g. wrights, carpenters, slaters, and sawyers, or joiners, turners, carvers, bricklayers, tilers, wallers, plasterers, and paviors. These companies included small contractors, independent masters, and journeymen. The master craftsman often was a tradesman as well, who supplied timber, bricks, or lime for the building being constructed. The company of painters was chartered with a provision prohibiting painting by persons not apprenticed for seven years.

The prosperous merchants began to form a capitalistic class as capitalism grew. Competition for renting farm land, previously unknown, caused these rents to rise. The price of wheat rose to an average of 14s. per quarter, thereby encouraging tillage once more. There was steady inflation.

With enclosure of agricultural land there could be more innovation and more efficiency, e.g. the time for sowing could be chosen. It was easier to prevent over-grazing and half-starved animals as a result. The complications of the open system with its endless quarrels and lawsuits were avoided. Now noblemen talked about manure and drainage, rotation of crops, clover, and turnips instead of hunting, horses, and dogs. The breed of horses and cattle was improved. There were specializations such as the hunting horse and the coach horse. By royal proclamation of 1562, there were requirements for the keeping of certain horses. For instance, everyone with lands of at least 1,000 pounds had to keep six horses or geldings able for demi-lances [rider bearing a light lance] and ten horses or geldings for light horsemen [rode to battle, but fought on foot]. One with under 100 pounds but over 100 marks yearly had to keep one gelding for a light horseman. Dogs had been bred into various types of hounds for hunting, water and land spaniels for falconry, and other dogs as house dogs or toy dogs. There were no longer any wild boar or wild cattle. The turkey joined the cocks, hens, geese, ducks, pigeons, and peacocks in the farmyard. Manure and dressings were used to fertilize the soil. Hay became a major crop because it could be grown on grazing lands and required little care.

There are new and bigger industries such as glassware, iron, brasswares, alum and coppers, gunpowder, paper, coal, and sugar. The coal trade was given a monopoly. Coal was used for fuel as well as wood, which was becoming scarce. Iron smelters increasingly used coal instead of charcoal, which was limited. Iron was used for firebacks, pots, and boilers. Good quality steel was first produced in 1565 with the help of German craftsmen, and a slitting mill was opened in 1588. Small metal goods, especially cutlery, was made, as well as nails, bolts, hinges, locks, ploughing and harrowing equipment, rakes, pitch forks, shovels, spades, and sickles. Lead was used for windows and roofs. Copper and brass were used to make pots and pans. Pewter was used for plates, drinking vessels, and candlesticks. Competition was the mainspring of trade and therefore of town life.

The mode of travel of the gentry was riding horses, but most people traveled by walking. People carried passes for travel that certified they were of good conduct and not a vagrant or sturdy rogue. Bands of roving vagabonds terrorized the countryside. After a land survey completed in 1579 there arose travel books with maps, itineraries, and mileage between towns in England and Wales. Also, the Queen sent her official mail by four royal postal routes along high roads from London to various corners of the nation. Horses are posted along the way for the mail-deliverer's use. However, private mail still goes by packman or common carrier. The nation's inland trade developed a lot. There were many more wayfaring traders operating from town inns. In 1564, the first canal was built with locks at Exeter. More locks and canals facilitated river travel. At London Bridge, waterwheels and pumps are installed.

New sea navigation techniques improved voyages. Seamen learned to fix their positions, using an astrolabe or quadrant to take the altitude of the sun and stars and to reckon by the north star. They used a nocturnal, read by touch, to help keep time at night by taking the altitude of the stars. They calculated tides. To measure distances, they invented the traverse board, which was bored with holes upon lines, showing the points of the compass; by means of pegs, the steersman kept an account of the course steered. A log tied to a rope with knots at equal intervals was used to measure speed. There were compasses with a bearing dial on a circular plate with degrees up to 360 noted thereon. Seamen had access to compilations of Arab mathematicians and astronomers and to navigational manuals and technical works on the science of navigation and the instruments necessary for precision sailing. For merchants there were maps, books about maps, cosmographical surveys, and books on the newly discovered lands. In 1569 John Mercator produced a map taking into account the converging of the meridians towards the pole. On this chart, a straight line course would correspond to a mariner's actual course through the water on the earth's sphere, instead of having the inaccuracies of a straight line on a map which suggested that the world was flat. It was in use by 1600.

In 1600 William Gilbert, son of a gentleman, and physician to Queen Elizabeth, wrote a book on the magnetic properties of the earth, which founded the science of electricity. He cultivated the method of experiment and of inductive reasoning from observation and insisted on the need for a search for knowledge not in books but in things themselves. He showed that the earth was a great magnet with a north pole and a south pole, by comparing it to lodestones made into spheres in which a north and south pole could be found by intersecting lines of magnetism indicated by a needle on the stone. The vertical dip of the needle was explained by the magnetic attraction of the north pole. He showed how a lodestone's declination could be used to determine latitude at sea. He showed how the charge of a body could be retained for a period of time by covering the body with some non-conducting substance, such as silk. He distinguished magnetism from electricity, giving the latter its name. He discovered that atmospheric conditions affected the production of electricity, dryness decreasing it, and moisture increasing it. He expounded the idea of Copernicus that the earth revolves around the sun in a solar system. However, the prevailing belief was still that the earth was at the center of the universe.

Christmas was an especially festive time of good fellowship. People greeted each other with "Good cheer", "God be with you", or "Against the new year". Carols were often sung and musicians played many tunes. There was dancing and gambling. There were big dinners with many kinds of meat and drink. A hearty fire heated all the house. Many alms were given to beggars.

Parliament enacted laws and voted taxes. The Queen, House of Lords, and House of Commons cooperated together. There was relatively little dissension or debating. Bills were read, voted on, discussed, and passed with the lords, peers, bishops, and justices sitting in their places according to their degree. The justices sat on the wool sacks. A bar separated this area from the rest of the room, where the members of the commons stood. There were many bills concerning personal, local, or sectional interests, but priority consideration was given to public measures. The House of Lords still had 55 members. The Queen appointed and paid the Speaker, Clerk, and Sergeant at Arms of the Commons. The knights in the Commons were almost invariably from the county's leading families and chosen by consensus of knights with free land of at least 40s. in the county court. In the towns, the electors might be the town corporation, holders of certain properties, all the freemen, all the rate-payers, or all the male inhabitants. Disputed elections were not usually concerned with political issues, but were rivalries for power. The Commons gradually won for its members freedom from arrest without its permission and the right of punishing and expelling members for crimes committed. Tax on land remained at 10% of its estimated yearly income. The Queen deferred to the church convocation to define Christian faith and religion, thus separating church and state functions.

The Treasury sought to keep a balanced budget by selling royal land and keeping Crown expenditures down. The Crown carried a slight debt incurred before the Queen's accession.

Theft and robbery were so usual that there were names for various techniques used. A Ruffler went with a weapon to seek service, saying that he was a servitor in the wars, but his chief "trade" was to rob poor wayfaring men and market women. A Prigman went with a stick in his hand like an idle person, but stole clothes off hedges. A Whipjack begged like a mariner, but with a counterfeit license (called a "gibe"); he mostly robbed booths in fairs or pilfered ware from stalls, which was called "heaving of the booth". A Frater had a counterfeit license to beg for some hospital, but preyed upon poor women coming and going to market. A Quire Bird was a person recently let out of prison, and was commonly a horse stealer. An Upright Man carried a truncheon of a staff and called others to account to him and give him a share or "snap" of all that they had gained in one month, and he often beat them. He took the chief place at any market walk and other assemblies. Workers at inns often teamed up with robbers, telling them of wares or money travelers were carrying so the robber could profitably rob them after they left the inn.

Violence was still a part of the texture of everyday life. Private armories and armed gangs were not uncommon. Agricultural laborers kept sword and bow in a corner of their fields in the first part of Elizabeth's reign. Non-political brutal crime and homicides were commonplace. There were frequent local riots and disturbances, in the country and in the towns. Occasionally there were large-scale rebellions. But the rebellion of the Earl of Essex in 1601 had no aftermath in violence. In 1590, the Queen issued a proclamation enforcing curfew for London apprentices, who had been misruly. The Queen issued proclamations to certain counties to place vagrant soldiers or vagrants under martial law because of numerous robberies. She ordered the deportation of vagrant Irishmen in 1594.

After exhausting every other alternative, the Queen reluctantly agreed with her Privy Council on the execution in 1572 of Mary, Queen of Scots, who had been involved in a plot to assassinate her and claim the throne of England. Her Council had persuaded her that it was impossible for her to live in safety otherwise.

Francis Drake sailed around the world from 1577 to 1580. Walter Ralegh made an expedition to North America in 1584 with the Queen's authority to "discover barbarous countries, not actually possessed of any Christian prince and inhabited by Christian people, to occupy and enjoy". He found and named the land of Virginia in honor of the Queen, who was a virgin, and started a colony on Roanoke Island there. Drake and Ralegh plundered Spanish ships for cargo such as American gold and silver, much of which was used to pay for the war with Spain and much going to investors. Seamen on navy and pirate ships raided captured vessels to seize personal possessions of the Spanish on board. The experience fighting Spanish ships led to improvements in ship design; building ships was no longer merely by copying another ship or a small model. When the seas were unsafe because of the war with Spain, the export of English wool was disturbed and later replaced by trading from world ports. Mnay London merchants grew rich from using their ships for pirating.

In 1588, a Spanish Armada came to invade England, return it to Catholicism, and stop the pirating of Spanish ships. In that battle off England's shores, Drake and other experienced sea fighters led two hundred English ships, of which about 20 were built to sink other ships rather than to board and capture them. These new English ships were longer and narrower and did away with the towering superstructures at bow and stern. This made them more maneuverable and easier to sail. Also, the English guns were lighter, more numerous, and outranged the Spanish guns. So the smaller English ships were able to get close enough to fire broadside after broadside against the big Spanish troop-transport galleons, without being fired upon. The English sent fire ships into the Spanish fleet when it was anchored, causing it's ships to disperse in a panic. Then the direction of the wind forced the Spanish galleons northward, where most of them were destroyed by storms. The English seamen had been arbitrarily pressed into this service.

A royal proclamation of 1601 offered a reward of 100 pounds for information on libels against the Queen. There had been mounting demonstrations against her monopolies, which mostly affected household items. There had been abuses of monopolies, such as the steel monopoly had been sold for 12 pounds 10s., but steel was then sold at 5d. per pound instead of the former 2 1/2 d. per pound. Further the steel was mixed and of a lesser quality. This so damaged the knife and sword industry that about 2000 workers lost their jobs from it and became beggars. Monopoly was a severe burden to the middle and poorer classes. Also, the power of patent holders to arrest and imprison persons charged with infringing upon their rights was extended to any disliked person.

When the House of Commons protested against monopolies in 1601, Elizabeth reduced them. She addressed her Council and the Commons saying that "Mr. Speaker, you give me thanks, but I doubt me that I have more cause to thank you all than you me; and I charge you to thank them of the Lower House from me. For had I not received a knowledge from you, I might have fallen into the lapse of an error only for lack of true information. Since I was queen yet did I never put my pen to any grant but that upon pretext and semblance made unto me, it was both good and beneficial to the subject in general, though a private profit to some of my ancient servants who had deserved well. But the contrary being found by experience, I am exceedingly beholding to such subjects as would move the same at the first. And I am not so simple to suppose but that there be some of the Lower House whom these grievances never touched; and for them I think they speak out of zeal to their countries and not out of spleen or malevolent affection, as being parties grieved. And I take it exceedingly gratefully from them, because it gives us to know that no respects or interests had moved them other than the minds they bear to suffer no diminution of our honor and our subjects' love unto us, the zeal of which affection tending to ease my people and knit their hearts unto me, I embrace with a princely care. For above all earthly treasures I esteem my people's love, more than which I desire not to merit. That my grants should be grievous unto my people and oppressions to be privileged under color of our patents, our kingly dignity shall not suffer it. Yea, when I heard it I could give no rest unto my thoughts until I had reformed it. Shall they (think you) escape unpunished that have thus oppressed you, and I have been respectless of their duty and regardless of our honor? No, no, Mr. Speaker, I assure you, were it not more for conscience' sake than for any glory or increase of love that I desire, these errors, troubles, vexations, and oppressions done by these varlets and low persons (not worthy the name of subjects) should not escape without condign punishment. But I perceive they dealt with me like physicians who, ministering a drug, make it more acceptable by giving it a good aromatical savor; or when they give pills, do gild them all over. I have ever used to set the Last Judgment day before my eyes and so to rule as I shall be judged, to answer before a higher judge. To whose judgment seat I do appeal that never thought was cherished in my heart that tended not unto my people's good. And now if my kingly bounties have been abused and my grants turned to the hurts of my people, contrary to my will and meaning, or if any in authority under me have neglected or perverted what I have committed to them, I hope Good will not lay their culps [sins] and offenses to my charge. Who, though there were danger in repealing our grants, yet what danger would I not rather incur for your good than I would suffer them still to continue? I know the title of a king is a glorious title, but assure yourself that the shining glory of princely authority hath not so dazzled the eyes of our understanding but that we well know and remember that we also are to yield an account of our actions before the great Judge. To be a king and wear a crown is a thing more glorious to them that see it than it is pleasant to them that bear it. For myself, I was never so much enticed with the glorious name of a king or royal authority of a queen as delighted that God hath made me His instrument to maintain His truth and glory, and to defend this kingdom from peril, dishonor, tyranny, and oppression. There will never queen sit in my seat with more zeal to my country, care to my subjects, and that will sooner with willingness venture her life for your good and safety, than myself. For it is not my desire to live or reign longer than my life and reign shall be for your good. And though you have had and may have many princes more mighty and wise sitting in this seat, yet you never had or shall have any that will be more careful and loving."

About 1584, Richard Hakluyt, a Bristol clergyman, wrote "A Particular Discourse concerning Western Discoveries". This was to become the classic statement of the case for English colonization. It held out hope that the English would find needed timber for masts, pitch, tar, and ashes for soap.

In Rome in 1600, Giordano Bruno, an Italian monk and priest, was burned alive at the stake by a court of the inquisition for not recanting, although tortured, his heretical and blasphemous philosophy. He had opined that Christianity was irrational and had no scientific basis. He declared that Christ was only a skillful magician, that the Bible could not be taken literally, that God and nature were not separate as taught by Genesis, that the Catholic Church encouraged ignorance from the instinct of self-preservation, and that the earth and planets revolved around the sun, as did other planets around the "fixed" stars and other suns.

The Jesuits, a new Catholic order brimming with zeal, sent missionaries to England to secretly convert people to Catholicism. The practice of Catholicism had gone underground in England, and some Catholic householders maintained Catholic priests in hidden places in their homes.

The Law

Although estate tails (estates descendible only to the heirs of the body of the original feofee) by law could not be sold or given away, this was circumvented by the fraudulent use of a "straw man". In collaboration with the possessor of the property, this straw man sued the possessor asserting that the property had been wrongfully taken from the straw man. The possessor pleaded that the crier of the court who had warranted the title should be called to defend the action. He failed to appear until after judgment had been given to the straw man. Then the straw man conveyed it to the possessor or his nominee in fee simple.

No one shall make false linen by stretching it and adding little pieces of wood, which is so weak that it comes apart after five washings.

Timber shall not be felled to make logs for fires for the making of iron.

No one may take small fish to feed to dogs and pigs. Only nets with mesh leaving three inches spaces may be used to catch fish.

No attainder shall result in the forfeiture of dower by the offender's wife nor disinheritance of his heirs.

The following statute of artificers regulated labor for the next two centuries: No master or mistress may employ a servant for a term less than one year in the crafts of clothiers, woolen cloth weavers, tuckers, fullers, clothworkers, shearmen, dyers, hosiers, tailors, shoemakers, glovemakers, tanners, pewterers, bakers, brewers, cutlers, smith, farriers, curriers, saddlers, spurriers, turners, cappers, hatmakers, feltmakers, bow-makers, arrow-makers, arrowhead-makers, butchers, cooks, or millers, so that agriculture will be advanced and idleness diminished. Also, every craftsman unmarried or under age 30 who is not working must accept employment by any person needing the craft work. Also, any common person between 12 and 60 who is not working must accept employment in agriculture. And, unmarried women between 12 and 40 may be required by town officials to work by the year, the week, or day for wages they determine.

All artificers and laborers hired by the day or week shall work from 5 am to 7 PM. All artificers must labor at agriculture at haytime and harvest to avoid the loss of grain or hay. Every householder who raises crops may receive as an apprentice a child between 10 and 18 to serve in agriculture until he is age 21. A householder in a town may receive a child as an apprentice for 7 years, but merchants may only take as apprentices children of parents with 40s. freehold. (This was designed to inhibit migration to the towns. It excluded three fourths of the rural population.)

No one may be a craftsman until he has served seven years as an apprentice. These artificers may have children as apprentices: smith, wheelmaker, ploughmaker, millmaker, miller, carpenter, rough mason, plasterer, a timber sawer, an ore burner, a lime burner, brickmaker, bricklayer, tilemaker, tiler, layer of slate roofs, layer of wood shingle roofs, layer of straw roofs, cooper, earthen potter, linen weaver, housewife who weaves wool for sale or for household use.

Fish, but no meat, may be eaten on Wednesdays so that there will be more fishermen and mariners and repair of ports. (This was done because fishing had declined since the dissolution of the monasteries. Eating fish instead of meat in Lent in the springtime remained a tradition.)

For repairing of highways, the supervisors may take the rubbish or smallest stones of any quarry along the road in their precinct.

Embezzlement or theft by a servant of his master's goods of 40s. or more is a felony.

No one shall forge a deed of land, charter, sealed writing, court roll or will.

No one shall libel or slander so as to cause a rebellion.

Cut-purses and pick-purses shall not have benefit of clergy.

A debtor may not engage in a fraudulent collusion to sell his land and goods in order to avoid his creditors.

A person robbing a house of 5s. by day when no one is there shall not have benefit of clergy, because too many poor persons who cannot hire a servant to look after their house when they go to work have been robbed.

When the hue and cry is raised for a robbery in a hundred, and other hundreds have been negligent, faulty, or defective in pursuit of the robber, then they must pay half the damages to the person robbed, while the hundred in which the robbery occurred pays the other half. Robbers shall be pursued by horse and by foot.

The price of barrels shall be set by mayors of the towns where they are sold.

No man under the degree of knight may wear a hat or cap of velvet. Caps may not be made of felt, but only knit wool. Only hats may be made of felt. This is to assist the craft of making wool caps.

Every person over 6 years of age shall wear on Sundays a wool knitted cap made by the cappers, except for maidens, ladies, gentlewomen, noble persons, and every lord, knight, and gentlemen with 2,667s. of land, since the practice of not wearing caps has damaged the capping industry. This employed cappers and poor people they had employed and the decrepit and lame as carders, spinners, knitters, parters, forsers, thickers, dressers, dyers, battelers, shearers, pressers, edgers, liners, and bandmakers.

Rugs shall weigh 44 pounds at least and be 35 yards at least in length and at most 3/4 yard wide.

The incorporated company of ship masters may erect beacons and marks on the seashores and hills above, because certain steeples and other marks used for navigation have fallen down and ships therefore have been lost in the sea.

There shall be one sheriff per county, because now there are enough able men to supply one per county.

Trials of noblemen for treason shall be by their peers.

A native or denizen merchant in wholesale or retail goods who leaves the nation to defraud his creditors shall be declared a bankrupt. The Chancellor may conduct an investigation to ascertain his land, house, and goods, no matter who may hold them. They shall be appraised and sold to satisfy his debts.

Loan contracts for money lent may not be for more than 200s. for each 2000s. yearly (i.e. 10% interest). All loans of money or forbearing of money in sales of goods not meeting this requirement shall be punishable by forfeit of the interest only.

No cattle may be put in any enclosed woods that have been growing less than five years. At the end of five years growth, calves may be put in. At the end of six years growth, cattle may be put in.

The mother and reputed father of any bastard who has been left to be kept at the parish where born must pay weekly for the upkeep and relief of such child, so that the true aged and disabled of the parish get their relief and to punish the lewd life.

No master at a university may lease any land unless 1/3 of it is retained for raising crops to supply the colleges and halls for food for their scholars.

Persons with 100s. in goods or 40s. in lands shall find two able men in their parish community to repair the highways yearly.

Landowners of Oxford shall be taxed for the repair of the highway and bridge there.

Woods around London shall not be felled to be converted to coals for iron-works because London needs the wood to make buildings and for fireplaces.

Every melter and maker of wax from honeycombs shall put his mark on every piece of his wax to be sold. Wrought wax such as in lights, staff-torches, red wax or sealing wax, book candles, or searing candles shall bear its maker's mark. All barrels of honey shall bear the mark of the honeymaker.

Wool cloth, cotton cloth, flannel cloth, hose-yarn, hats, and caps shall be dyed black only with dye from the woad plant and not with any false black dye.

No one shall take or kill any pheasants with nets or devices at nighttime because such have become scarce.

Lands, tenements, goods and chattels of accountants teller, or receiver who are in debt may be obtained by court order to satisfy the debt by garnishing the heir of the debtor after the heir has reached 21 and for the 8 years next ensuing.

Fraudulent and secret conveyances made to retain the use of one's land when one sells the land to a bona fide purchaser for value in fee simple, fee tail, for life, for lives, or for years are void.

No new iron mills or furnaces for making or working of any iron or iron metal shall be established in the country around London and the owners of carriages of coals, mines and iron which have impaired or destroyed the highways shall also carry coal ashes, gravel, or stone to repair these highways or else make a payment of 2s.6d. for each cart load not carried.

No one shall bribe an elector to vote for a certain person for fellow, scholar, or officer of a college, school, or hall or hospital so that the fittest persons will be elected, though lacking in money or friends, and learning will therefore be advanced.

Cottage and dwelling houses for workmen or laborers in mineral works, coal mines, or quarries of stone or slate for the making of brick, tile, lime, or coals shall be built only within a mile from such works. Dwelling houses beyond this must be supported by four acres of land to be continually occupied and manured as long as the dwelling house is inhabited or else forfeit 40s. per month to the Queen. Cottages and dwelling houses for sailors or laborers working on ships for the sea shall be built only within a mile of the sea. A cottage may be built in a forest or park for a game keeper of the deer. A cottage may be built for a herdman or shepherd for the keeping of cattle or sheep of the town. A cottage may be built for a poor, lame, sick, aged, or disabled person on waste or common land. More families than one may not be placed in one cottage or dwelling house. (This is a zoning law.)

A vagabond or mighty strong beggar [able to work] shall be whipped.

Any person with land in fee-simple may establish a hospital, abiding place, or house of correction to have continuance forever as a corporation for the sustenance and relief of the maimed, poor, or disabled people as to set the poor to work. The net income shall not exceed 40,000s. yearly.

Troops of vagabonds with weapons in the highways who pretend to be soldiers or mariners have committed robberies and murders. So all vagabonds shall settle down in some service or labor or trade.

Pontage [toll for upkeep and repair of bridges] shall be taken at certain bridges: carts 2d., horse and pack 1d., a flock of sheep 2d.

Crown officials such as treasurers, receivers, accountants, and revenue collectors shall not embezzle Crown funds and shall be personally liable for arrears.

Persons forcibly taking others across county lines to hold them for ransom and those taking or giving blackmail money and those who burn barns or stacks of grain shall be declared felons and shall suffer death, without any benefit of clergy or sanctuary.

No bishop may lease land for more than twenty-one years or longer than the lives of three designated persons.

No bishop may alienate any possession of their sees to the crown. Such are void.

Stewards of leet and baron courts may no longer receive, in their own names, profits of the court over 12d. since they have vexed subjects with grievous fines and amercements so that profits of justice have grown much.

Incorrigible and dangerous rogues shall be branded with an "R" mark on the left shoulder and be put to labor, because banishment did not work as they came back undetected. If one is caught again begging, he shall be deemed a felon.

Any innkeeper, victualer, or alehouse keeper who allows drinking by persons other than those invited by a traveler who accompanies him during his necessary abode there or other than laborers and handicraftsmen in towns upon the usual working days for one hour at dinner time to take their diet in an alehouse or other than laborers and workmen following their work to any given town to sojourn, lodge, or victual in any inn, alehouse or victualing house shall forfeit 10s. for each offense. This is because the use of inns, alehouses, and victualing houses was intended for relief and lodgings of traveling people and people not able to provide their own victuals, but not for entertainment and harboring of lewd and idle people who become drunk.

If a person marries a second time while the first spouse is still living, it shall be a felony and thus punishable by death.

Watermen transporting people on the Thames River shall have served as apprentice to a waterman for five years or have been the son of a waterman. This is to prevent the loss of lives and goods by inexperienced watermen.

No one may make any hat unless he has served as apprentice for at least seven years. This is to prevent false and deceitful hat- making by unskillful persons.

Spices and potions, including pepper, cloves, mace, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, almonds, and dates, which have usually been garbled [cleaned or sorted by sifting] shall be garbled, cleaned, sorted, and sealed by the Garbler before sale. This is to prevent mingled, corrupt, and unclean spices and potions from being sold.

Plasterers shall cease painting because it has intruded upon the livelihoods of painters who have been apprenticed as such.

Pawn brokers accepting stolen goods shall forfeit twice their value to the owner from whom stolen.

No butcher may cut any hide or any ox, bull, steer, or cow so that it is impaired or may kill any calf under five weeks old. No butcher may be a tanner. No one may be a tanner unless that person has apprenticed as such for seven years, or is the son or wife of a tanner who has tanned for four years, or is a son or daughter of a tanner who inherits his tanhouse. Tanners may not be shoemakers, curriers, butchers, or leatherworkers. Only tanners may buy raw hides. Only leatherworkers may buy leather. Only sufficiently strong and substantial leather may be used for sole-leather. Curriers may not be tanners. Curriers may not refuse to curry leather. London searchers shall inspect leather, seal and mark that which is sufficient, and seize any that is insufficiently tanned, curried, wrought, or used.

Fishermen and their guides may continue to use the coastland for their fishing activities despite the trespass to landowners.

Since sails for ships in recent years have been made in the realm instead of imported, none shall make such cloth unless he has been apprenticed in such or brought up in the trade for seven years. This is to stop the badness of such cloth.

Any person killing any pheasant, partridge, dove, pigeon, duck or the like with any gun, crossbow, stonebow, or longbow, or with dogs and nets or snares, or taking the eggs of such from their nests, or tracing or taking hares in the snow shall be imprisoned for three months unless he pays 20s. per head or, after one month's imprisonment, have two sureties bound for 400s. This is because the past penalty of payment hasn't deterred offenders, who frequently cannot pay.

Persons affected by the plague may not leave their houses or be deemed felons and suffer death. This is to avoid further infection. The towns may tax their inhabitants for the relief of infected persons.

Tonnage [tax per ton] and poundage [tax per pound] on goods exported and imported shall be taken to provide safeguard of the seas for such goods.

All persons must go to the established church on Sundays and holy days. The penalty was at first forfeiture 12d. along with church punishment, and later, 20 pounds per month and being bound by two sureties for 200 pounds for good behavior, and if the 20 pounds is not paid, then forfeiture of all goods to be applied to the amount due and two-thirds of one's land.

These laws were directed against Catholicism, but were laxly enforced as long as worship was not open and no one wore priestly clothes:

The writing, preaching, or maintaining of any foreign spiritual jurisdiction shall be punished by forfeiture of goods or, if the goods are not worth 20 pounds, one year imprisonment, for the first offense; forfeiture of goods and lands and the King's protection, for the second offense; and the penalty for high treason for the third offense.

Any person leading others to the Romish [Catholic] religion is guilty of high treason. The penalty for saying mass is [2,667s.] 200 marks and one year's imprisonment. The penalty for hearing mass is [1,333s.] 100 marks and one year's imprisonment. If one is suspected of being a Jesuit or priest giving mass, one must answer questions on examination or be imprisoned.

Papists [those who in conscience refused to take the oath of supremacy of the Crown over the church] must stay in their place of abode and not go five miles from it, unless licensed to do so for business, or else forfeit one's goods and profits of land for life. If a copyholder, land is forfeited to one's lord. But if the goods are not worth 800s. or the land is not worth at least 267s., the realm must be abjured. Otherwise, the papist is declared a felon without benefit of clergy.

If a child is sent to a foreign land for Catholic education, he cannot inherit lands or goods or money, unless he conforms to the established church on his return. There is also a 100 pound penalty for the persons who sent him.

Devising or speaking seditious rumors are penalized by the pillory and loss of both ears for the first offense; and 200 pounds and six months imprisonment for the second offense. Slandering the Queen is penalized by the pillory and loss of one ear, or by [1,333s.] 100 marks and three months imprisonment, at the choice of the offender. The second offense is a felony. Printing, writing, or publishing seditious books is a felony without benefit of clergy. Wishing the Queen dead, prophesying when she would die, or who would succeed her to the Crown is a felony without benefit of clergy. Attainders for these felonies shall not work corruption of the blood [heirs may inherit the property of the felon].

Because the publication of many books and pamphlets against the government, especially the church, had led to discontents with the established church and to the spreading of sects and schisms, the Star Chamber in 1585 held that the printing trade was to be confined to London, except for one press at Oxford and one at Cambridge. No book or pamphlet could be printed unless the text was first seen, examined, and allowed by the Archbishop of Canterbury or the Bishop of London. Book publishers in violation were to be imprisoned for six months and banned from printing; their equipment was to be destroyed. Wardens were authorized to search wherever "they shall have reasonable cause of suspicion", and to seize all such books and pamphlets printed. But printers continued to print unlicensed material.

Judicial Procedure

Jurors shall be selected from those people who have at least 80s. annual income instead of 40s. because sheriffs have been taking bribes by the most able and sufficient freeholders to be spared at home and the poorer and simpler people, who are least able to discern the causes in question, and most unable to bear the charges of appearance and attendance in such cases have been the jurors. Also there had been inflation.

Defendants sued or informed against upon penal statutes may appear by attorney so that they may avoid the inconvenience of traveling a long distance to attend and put to bail.

No only sheriffs, but their employees who impanel juries or execute process in the courts shall take an oath of office.

A hundred shall answer for any robbery therein only if there has been negligence or fault in pursuit of the robber after a hue and cry is made because the past law has been too harsh and required payment for offenses from people unable to pay who have done everything reasonable to catch the robber.

The Star Chamber became the central criminal court after 1560, and punished perjury, corruption, malfeasance throughout the legal system such as jury corruption and judicial bribery, rioting, slander, and libel. Its procedure was inquisitory rather than accusative. It heard witnesses in camera [not in the presence of the suspected]. Trial was by systematic interrogation of the suspected on oath, with torture if necessary in treason cases. Silence could be taken for a confession of guilt. There was no jury. Queen Elizabeth chose not to sit on this court. Punishments were imprisonment, fines, the pillory, ear cropping or tacking, whipping, stigmata on the face, but not death or any dismemberment except for the ears. (The gentry was exempt from whipping.)

The Ecclesiastical High Commission [later called the Court of High Commission or High Court of Ecclesiastical Causes] took over criminal cases formerly heard by the church courts. It also heard matters of domestic morals. It was led by bishops and Privy Council members who in 1559 were authorized by a statute of Parliament to keep order within the church, discipline the clergy, and punish such lay offenses as were included in the ecclesiastical jurisdiction. Obstinate heresy is still a capital crime, but practically the bishops have little power of forcing heretics to stand trial. If anyone maintains papal authority, he forfeits his goods; on a third conviction, he is a traitor. The clergyman who adopts a prayer book other that the prescribed one commits a crime. Excommunication has imprisonment behind it. Elizabeth gave this court the power to fine and imprison, which the former church courts had not had. At first, the chief work was depriving papists of their benefices.

Suits on titles to land were restricted to the common law courts and no longer to be heard in the Star Chamber, Chancery Court, or in the Court of Requests (equity for poor people).

The Queen's Privy Council investigated sedition and treason, security of the regime, major economic offenses, international problems, civil commotion, officials abusing their positions, and persons perverting the course of justice. It frequently issued orders to Justices of the Peace, for instance to investigate riots and crimes, to enforce the statutes against vagrancy and illegal games, to regulate alehouses, to ensure that butchers, innkeepers, and victualers did not sell meat on fish days, and to gather information needed from the counties. The Justices of the Peace decided misdemeanors such as abduction of heiresses, illegal entry, petty thievery, damage to crops, fence-breaking, brawling, personal feuds, drunken pranks, swearing, profanation of the Sabbath, alehouse nuisances, drunkenness, perjury, and malfeasance by officials. They held petty and quarter sessions. The Justices of the Peace had administrative duties in control of vagrancy, upkeep of roads and bridges, and arbitration of lawsuits referred to them by courts. They listed the poor in each parish community, assessed rates for their maintenance, and appointed overseers to administer the welfare system, deploying surplus funds to provide houses of correction for vagrants. Raw materials such as wool, flax, hemp, and iron were bought upon which the able-bodied unemployed could be set to work at the parochial level. They determined wages in their districts, with no statutory ceiling on them, for all laborers, weavers, spinsters, workmen and workwomen working by the day, week, month, or year, or taking any work at any person's hand. There were about 50 Justices of the Peace per county. All were unpaid. They performed these duties for the next 200 years.

The Justices of Assize rode on circuit twice a year to enforce the criminal law and reported their assessment of the work of the Justices of the Peace back to the Privy Council.

The duty to hear and determine felonies was taken from Justices of the Peace by 1590. The Justices of Assize did this work. Accused people could wait for years in gaol before their case was heard. Felonies included breach of prison, hunting by night with painted faces, taking horses to Scotland, stealing of hawks' eggs, stealing cattle, highway robbery, robbing on the sea, robbing houses, letting out of ponds, cutting of purses, deer-stealing at night, conjuring and witchcraft, diminution of coin, counterfeiting of coins, and impenitent roguery and idleness. The penalty was death. Many people were hanged for the felony of theft over 12d. Some bold men accused of felony refused to plead so that they could not be tried and found guilty. They died of heavy weights being placed on their bodies. But then their property could go to their heirs.

The Court of Queen's Bench and Exchequer indirectly expanded their jurisdiction to include suits between citizens, formerly heard only the Court of Common Pleas or Chancery. Chancery interrogated defendants. Chancery often issued injunctions against suits in the common law courts. Trial by combat was very rare.

Benefit of clergy may not be had for stabbing a person who has no weapon drawn, if he dies within six months.

Pleadings had to be in writing and oral testimony was given by sworn witnesses. Case decisions are in books compiled by various reporters who sit in on court hearings rather than in year books.

In the common law, trespass has given rise to the offshoot branch of "ejectment", which becomes the common means of recovering possession of land, no matter what kind of title the claimant asserts. Trespass on the case has given rise to the offshoot branch of "trover" [finding another's goods and converting them to one's own use]. The use of the action of trover gradually supplants the action of detinue, which involves compurgation.

In the common law courts, the action of assumpsit for enforcing certain promises is used more than the action of debt in those cases where there is a debt based on an agreement. The essential nature of "consideration" in contract is evolving from the procedural requirements for the action of assumpsit. Consideration may consist in mutual promises, a precedent debt, or a detriment incurred by one who has simultaneously received a promise related to the detrimental action. Consideration must be something, an act, or forbearance of an act that is of value. For instance, forbearance to sue a worthless claim is not consideration.

The abstract concept of contract as an agreement between two parties which is supported by consideration is developing as the number of various agreements that are court enforceable expands. For instance the word "consideration" is used in Hayward's Case in 1595 in the Court of Wards on the construction of a deed. Sir Rowland Hayward was seised in fee of the Doddington manor and other lands and tenements, whereof part was in demesne, part in lease for years with rents reserved, and part in copyhold, by indenture, "in consideration of a certain sum of money" paid to him by Richard Warren and others, to whom he demised, granted, bargained and sold the said manor, lands and tenements, and the reversions and remainders of them, with all the rents reserved upon any demise, to have and to hold to them and their assigns, presently after the decease of Sir Rowland, for the term of 17 years. It was held that the grantees could elect to take by bargain and sale or by demise, each of which had different consequences.

In another case, A delivered 400s. to B to the use of C, a woman, to be delivered to her on the day of her marriage. Before this day, A countermanded it, and called home the money. It was held in the Chancery Court that C could not recover because "there is no consideration why she should have it".

In a case concerning a deed, A sold land to B for 400s., with confidence, that it would be to the use of A. This bargain "hath a consideration in itself ... and such a consideration is an indenture of bargain and sale". It was held that the transaction was not examinable except for fraud and that A was therefore estopped.

A court reporter at the King's Bench formulated two principles on consideration of the case of Wilkes against Leuson as: "The heir is estopped from falsifying the consideration acknowledged in the deed of feoffment of his ancestor. Where a tenant in capite made a feoffment without consideration, but falsely alleged one in the deed on an office finding his dying seised, the master of the wards cannot remove the feoffees on examining into the consideration, and retain the land until &c. and though the heir tended, still if he do not prosecute his livery, the Queen must admit the feoffees to their traverse, and to have the farm, &c." The court reporter summarized this case as follows: Wilkes, who was merchant of the staple, who died in February last past, made a feoffment in the August before his death to one Leuson, a knight, and his brother, and another, of the manor of Hodnel in the county of Warwick; and the deed, (seen) for seven thousand pounds [140,000s.] to him paid by the feoffees, of which sum he made acquittance in the same deed (although in fact and in truth not a half-penny was paid), gave, granted, and confirmed &c "habendum eir et hoeredibus suis in perpetuum, ad proprium opus et usum ipsorum A. B. et C. in perpetuum," and not "hoeredum suorum," together with a clause of warranty to them, their heirs and assigns, in forma proedicta: and notwithstanding this feoffment he occupied the land with sheep, and took other profits during his life; and afterwards his death was found on a diem clausit extremum by office, that he died seised of the said manor in fee, and one I. Wilkes his brother of full age found his next heir, and a tenure in capite found, and now within the three months the said feoffees sued in the court of wards to be admitted to their traverse, and also to have the manor in farm until &c. And although the said I. Wilkes the brother had tendered a livery, yet he had not hitherto prosecuted it, but for cause had discontinued. And whether now the master of the wards at his discretion could remove the feoffees by injunction out of possession upon examination of the said consideration of the said feoffment which was false, and none such in truth, and retain it in the hands of the Queen donec et quousque &c. was a great question. And by the opinion of the learned counsel of that court he cannot do it, but the Queen is bound in justice to give livery to him who is found heir by the office, or if he will not proceed with that, to grant to the tenderers the traverse, and to have the farm, &c. the request above mentioned. And this by the statutes ... And note, that no averment can be allowed to the heir, that the said consideration was false against the deed and acknowledgment of his ancestor, for that would be to admit an inconvenience. And note the limitation of the use above, for divers doubted whether the feoffees shall have a fee-simple in the sue, because the use is not expressed, except only "to themselves (by their names) for ever;" but if those words had been wanting, it would have been clear enough that the consideration of seven thousand pounds had been sufficient, &c. for the law intends a sufficient consideration by reason of the said sum; but when the use is expressed otherwise by the party himself, it is otherwise. And also the warranty in the deed was "to them, their heirs, and assigns, in form aforesaid," which is a declaration of the intent of Wilkes, that the feoffees shall not have the use in fee simple; and it may be that the use, during their three lives, is worth seven thousand pounds, and more &c. And suppose that the feoffment had been "to have to them and their heirs to the proper use and behoof of them the feoffees for the term of their lives for ever for seven thousand pounds," would they have any other estate than for the term of their lives in the use? I believe not; and so in the other case.

A last example of a case concerning consideration is that of Assaby and Others against Lady Anne Manners and Others. The court reporter characterized the principle of the case as: "A. in consideration of his daughter's marriage covenants to stand seised to his own use for life, and that at his death she and her husband shall have the land in tail, and that all persons should stand seised to those uses, and also for further assurance. After the marriage he bargains and sell with fine and recovery to one with full notice of the covenants and use; this is of no avail, but on the death of A. the daughter and her husband may enter." The court reporter summarized this case as follows: A. was seised of land in fee, and in consideration of a marriage to be had between his daughter and heir apparent, and B. son and heir apparent of C. he covenanted and agreed by indenture with C. that he himself would have, hold, and retain the land to himself, and the profits of during his life, and that after his decease the said son and daughter should have the land to them and to the heirs of their two bodies lawfully begotten, and that all persons then or afterwards seised of the land should stand and be seised immediately after the marriage solemnized to the use of the said A. for the term of his life, and after his death to the use of the said son and daughter in tail as above, and covenanted further to make an assurance of the land before a certain day accordingly &c. and then the marriage took effect; and afterwards A. bargained and sold the land for two hundred marks [2,667s.](of which not a penny is paid) to a stranger, who had notice of the first agreements, covenants, and use, and enfeoffed divers persons to this last use, against whom a common recovery was had to his last use; and also A. levied a fine to the recoverers before any execution had, and notwithstanding all these things A. continued possession in taking the profits during his life; and afterwards died; and the son and daughter entered, and made a feoffment to their first use. And all this matter was found in assize by Assaby and others against Lady Anne Manners and others. And judgment was given that the entry and feoffment were good and lawful, and the use changed by the first indenture and agreement. Yet error was alleged. The judgment in the assize is affirmed.

The famous Shelley's Case stands for the principle that where in any instrument an estate for life is given to the ancestor, and afterwards by the same instrument, the inheritance is limited whether mediately, or immediately, to his heirs, or heirs of his body, as a class to take in succession as heirs to him, the word "heirs" is a word of limitation, and the ancestor takes the whole estate. For example, where property goes to A for life and the remainder goes to A's heirs, A's life estate and the remainder merge into a fee in A. A can sell or devise this interest.

Edward Shelley was a tenant in tail general. He had two sons. The older son predeceased his father, leaving a daughter and his wife pregnant with a son. Edward had a common recovery (the premises being in lease for years) to the use of himself for term of his life, after his decease to the use of the male heirs of his body, and of the male heirs of the body of such heirs, remainder over. After judgment and the awarding of the writ of seisin, but before its execution, Edward died. After his death, and before the birth of his older son's son, the writ of seisin was executed. The younger son entered the land and leased it to a third party. Afterwards, the son of the older son was born. He entered the land and ejected the third party. It was held that the younger son had taken quasi by descent until the birth of the older son's son. The entry by the older son's son was lawful. The third party was lawfully ejected. (Shelley's Case, King's Bench, 1581, English Reports - Full Reprint, Vol. 76, Page 206.)

About 1567, London authorities punished Nicholas Jennings alias Blunt for using elaborate disguises to present himself as an epileptic to beg for handouts from the public. He was pilloried, whipped, and pulled behind a cart through the streets. He was kept at the Bridewell and was set to work at a mill.

Chapter 14

The Times: 1601-1625

Due in part to increasing population, the prices of foodstuffs had risen sixfold from the later 1400s, during which it had been stable. This inflation gradually impoverished those living on fixed wages. Landlords could insist on even shorter leases and higher rents. London quadrupled in population. Many lands that were in scattered strips, pasture lands, waste lands, and lands gained from drainage and disafforestation were enclosed for the introduction of convertible agriculture (e.g. market-oriented specialization) and only sometimes for sheep. The accompanying extinguishment of common rights was devastating to small tenants and cottagers. Gentry and yeomen benefited greatly. There was a gradual consolidation of the land into fewer hands and demise of the small family farm. In towns, the mass of poor, unskilled workers with irregular work grew. Prices finally flattened out in the 1620s.

Society became polarized with a wealthy few growing wealthier and a mass of poor growing poorer. This social stratification became a permanent fixture of English society. Poverty was no longer due to death of a spouse or parent, sickness or injury, or a phase in the life cycle such as youth or old age. Many full-time wage earners were in constant danger of destitution. More subdivided land holdings in the country made holdings of cottagers minuscule. But these were eligible for parish relief under the poor laws. Beside them were substantial numbers of rogues and vagabonds wandering the roads. These vagrants were usually young unmarried men. There were no more licensed liveries of lords.

During the time 1580 to 1680, there were distinct social classes in England which determined dress, convention in comportment which determined face-to-face contacts between superiors and inferiors, order of seating in church, place arrangement at tables, and rank order in public processions. It was influenced by power, wealth, life-style, educational level, and birth. These classes lived in separate worlds; their paths did not cross each other. People moved only within their own class. Each class had a separate existence as well as a different life style from the other classes. So each class developed a wariness of other classes. However, there was much social mobility between adjacent classes.

At the top were the gentry, about 2% of the population. Their's was a landed wealth with large estate mansions. They employed many servants and could live a life of leisure. Their lady wives often managed the household with many servants and freely visited friends and went out shopping, riding, or walking. They conversed with neighbors and made merry with them at childbirths, christenings, churchings, and funerals. Gentlemen usually had positions of responsibility such as lords of manors and leaders in their parishes. These families often sent the oldest son to university to become a Justice of the Peace and then a member of Parliament. They also served as justices and as county officers such as High Constable of their hundred and grand jury member. Their social, economic, and family ties were at least countywide. They composed about 700 gentle families, including the peers, who had even more landed wealth, which was geographically dispersed. After the peers were: baronets (created in 1611), knights, esquires, and then ordinary gentlemen. These titles were acquired by being the son of such or purchase. Most gentry had a house in London, where they spent most of their time, as well as country mansions. About 4/5 of the land was in the hands of 7,000 of the nobility and landed gentry due in part to entails constructed by attorneys to favor hereditary interests. The gentry had also profited by commerce and possessions in the colonies. The country life of a country squire or gentleman dealt with all the daily affairs of a farm. He had men plough, sow, and reap. He takes part in the haying and getting cut grass under cover when a rain came. His sow farrows, his horse is gelded, a first lamb is born. He drags his pond and takes out great carps. His horses stray and he finds them in the pound. Boys are bound to him for service. He hires servants, and some work out their time and some run away. Knaves steal his sheep. His hog is stabbed. He and a neighbor argue about the setting up of a cottage. He borrows money for a daughter's dowry. He holds a leet court. He attends church on Sunday and reads the lesson when called upon. He visits the local tavern to hear from his neighbors. Country folk brawl. Wenches get pregnant. Men commit suicide, usually by hanging. Many gentlemen spent their fortunes and died poor. New gentlemen from the lower classes took their place.

The second class included the wealthier merchants and professional men of the towns. These men were prominent in town government. They usually had close family ties with the gentry, especially as sons. When wealthy enough, they often bought a country estate. The professional men included military officers, civil service officials, attorneys, some physicians, and a few clergymen. The instabilities of trade, high mortality rates in the towns, and high turnover rate among the leading urban families prevented any separate urban interest group arising that would be opposed to the landed gentry. Also included in this second group were the most prosperous yeomanry of the countryside.

The third class was the yeomanry at large, which included many more than the initial group who possessed land in freehold of at least 40s., partly due to inflation. Freehold was the superior form of holding land because one was free to sell, exchange, or devise the land and had a political right to vote in Parliamentary elections. Other yeomen were those who possessed enough land, as copyholder or leaseholder, to be protected from fluctuations in the amount of the annual harvest, that is, at least 50 acres. A copyholder rented land from a lord for a period of years or lives, usually three lives including that of the widow, and paid a substantial amount whenever the copyhold came up for renewal. The copyholder and leaseholder were distinguished from the mere tenant-at-will, whose only right was to gather his growing crop when his landlord decided to terminate his tenancy. The average yeoman had a one and a half story house, with a milkhouse, a malthouse, and other small buildings attached to the dwelling. The house would contain a main living room, a parlor, where there would be one or more beds, and several other rooms with beds. No longer was there a central great hall. Cooking was done in a kitchen or over the open fire in the fireplace of the main room. Furniture included large oak tables, stools, settes or forms, chests, cupboards, and a few hard-backed simple chairs. Dishware was wood or pewter. The yeomen were among those who governed the nation. They often became sureties for recognizances, witnesses to wills, parish managers, churchwardens, vestrymen, the chief civil officers of parishes and towns, overseers of the poor, surveyors of bridges and highways, jurymen and constables for the Justices of the Peace, and sheriffs' bailiffs. The families and servants of these yeomen ate meat, fish, wheaten bread, beer, cheese, milk, butter, and fruit. Their wives were responsible for the dairy, poultry, orchard, garden, and perhaps pigs. They smoked and cured hams and bacon, salted fish, dried herbs for the kitchen or of lavender and pot-pourri for sweetening the linen, and arranged apples and roots in lofts or long garrets under the roof to last the winter. They preserved fruits candied or in syrup. They preserved wines; made perfumes, washes for preserving the hair and complexion, rosemary to cleanse the hair, and elder-flower water for sunburn; distilled beverages; ordered wool hemp, and flax to spin for cloth (the weaving was usually done in the village); fashioned and sewed clothes and house linens; embroidered; dyed; malted oats; brewed; baked; and extracted oils. Many prepared herb medicines and treated injuries, such as dressing wounds, binding arteries, and setting broken bones. Wives also ploughed and sowed, weeded the crops, and sheared sheep. They sometimes cared for the poor and sold produce at the market. Some yeomen were also tanners, painters, carpenters, or blacksmiths; and as such they were frequently brought before the Justices of the Peace for exercising a craft without having served an apprenticeship. The third class also included the freemen of the towns, who could engage independently in trade and had political rights. These were about one-third of the male population of the town.

The fourth class included the ordinary farmer leasing by copyhold, for usually 21 years, five to fifty acres. From this class were drawn sidesmen [assistants to churchwardens] and constables. They had neither voice nor authority in government. Their daily diet was bacon, beer, bread, and cheese. Also in this class were the independent urban craftsmen who were not town freemen. Their only voice in government was at the parish level.

The fifth and lowest class included the laborers and cottagers, who were usually tenants at will. They were dependent on day labor. They started work at dawn, had breakfast for half an hour at six, worked until dinner, and then until supper at about six; in the summer they would then do chores around the barns until eight or nine. Some were hedgers, ditchers, ploughmen, reapers, shepherds, and herdsmen. The cottagers' typical earnings of about 1s. a day amounted to about 200 shillings a year, which was almost subsistence level. Accordingly they also farmed a little on their four acres of land with garden. Some also had a few animals. They lived in a one or two room cottage of clay and branches of trees or wood, sometimes with a brick fireplace and chimney, and few windows. They ate bread, cheese, lard, soup, and greens. If a laborer was unmarried, he lived with the farmer. Theirs was a constant battle for survival. They often moved because of deprivation to seek opportunity elsewhere. The town wage-earning laborers rang