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The Statute of Marlborough 1267 [Distress]

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The Statute of Marlborough 1267 [Distress]

1267 CHAPTER 1 52 Hen 3 cc 1 4 15


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X1The original text of this Act was not modern English. The traditional translation appears first with obsolete characters modernised. The original text (as an image) appears second.

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

Provisions made at Marlborough in the Presence of our Lord King Henry, and Richard King of the Romans, and the Lord Edward eldest Son of the said King Henry, and the Lord Ottobon, at that Time Legate in England.

In the Year of Grace, One thousand two hundred sixty-seven, the two-and-fiftieth Year of the Reign of King Henry, Son of King John, in the Utas of Saint Martin, the said King our Lord providing for the better Estate of his Realm of England, and for the more speedy Ministration of Justice, as belongeth to the Office of a King, the more discreet Men of the Realm being called together, as well of the higher as of the lower Estate: [X2It was Provided, agreed, and ordained, that whereas the Realm of England of late had been disquieted with manifold Troubles and Dissensions; for Reformation whereof Statutes and Laws be right necessary, whereby the Peace and Tranquillity of the People must be observed; wherein the King, intending to devise convenient Remedy, hath made these Acts, Ordinances, and Statutes underwritten, which he willeth to be observed for ever firmly and inviolably of all his Subjects, as well high as low.]

Editorial Information

X2Variant reading of the text noted in The Statutes of the Realm as follows: It was Provided and established and with full consent ordained, That (whereas the Realm of England having been of late depressed by manifold Troubles and the evils of Dissensions, standeth in need of a Reformation of the Laws and Usages, whereby the Peace and Tranquillity of the People may be preserved, whereto it behoved the King and his liege Men to apply an wholesome Remedy,) the Provisions, Ordinances, and Statutes underwritten, should be firmly and inviolably observed by all the People of the same Realm, as well high as low, for ever.

I Of wrongful Distresses, or Defiances of the King’s Courts. Punishment for unlawful Distresses.E+W

Whereas at the time of a Commotion late stirred up within this Realm, and also sithence, many great Men, and divers other, [X3refusing to be justified] by the King and his Court, like as they ought and were wont in Time of the King’s noble Progenitors, and also in his Time; but took great Revenges and Distresses of their Neighbours, and of other, until they had Amends and Fines at their own Pleasure; and further, some of them [X4would not be justified] by the King’s Officers, nor [X5would] suffer them to make Delivery of such Distresses as they had taken of their own Authority (X6); It is Provided, agreed, and granted, that all Persons, as well of high as of low Estate, shall (X7) receive Justice in the King’s Court; and none from henceforth shall take any such Revenge or Distress of his own Authority, without Award of [X8our] Court, though he have Damage or Injury, whereby he would have amends of his Neighbour either higher or lower.

And upon the foresaid Article It is Provided and granted, that if any from henceforth take such Revenges of his own Authority, without Award of the King’s Court as before is said, and be convict thereof, he shall be punished by Fine, and that according to the Trespass; and likewise if one Neighbour take a Distress of another without Award of the King’s Court, whereby he hath Damage, he shall be punished in the same wise, and that after the Quantity of the Trespass; and nevertheless sufficient and full Amends shall be made to them that have sustained Loss by such Distresses.

Editorial Information

X3Variant reading of the text noted in The Statutes of the Realm as follows: have disdained to be justised

X4Variant reading of the text noted in The Statutes of the Realm as follows: will not be justised

X5Variant reading of the text noted in The Statutes of the Realm as follows: will

X6Variant reading of the text noted in The Statutes of the Realm as follows: at their own Pleasure

X7Variant reading of the text noted in The Statutes of the Realm as follows: do, and

X8Variant reading of the text noted in The Statutes of the Realm as follows: the King's

IV Distresses shall not be driven out of the County. Distresses shall be reasonable.E+W

None from henceforth shall cause any Distress that he hath taken, to be driven out of the County where it was [taken]; and if one Neighbour do so to another of his own Authority, and without Judgment, he shall make Fine, as above is said, as for a Thing done against the Peace; nevertheless, if the Lord Presume so to do against his Tenant, he shall be grievously punished by Amerciament.

Moreover, Distresses shall be reasonable, and not too great; and he that taketh [X9great] and unreasonable Distresses, shall be grievously amerced for the Excess of such Distresses.

Editorial Information

X9Variant reading of the text noted in The Statutes of the Realm as follows: undue

XV In what Places Distresses shall not be taken.E+W

It shall be lawful for no Man from henceforth, for any manner of cause, to take Distresses out of his Fee, nor in the King’s Highway, nor in the common Street, but only to the King or his Officers, [having special authority to do the same.]

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