Select Documents of English Constitutional History

Contents:

72.

The Statute of Treasons

(March, 1352. French text and translation, 1 S. R. 319. 2 Stubbs, 431.)

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2. ITEM, whereas divers opinions have been before this time what case should be adjudged treason, and what not; the king, at the request of the lords and of the commons, hath made a declaration in the manner as hereafter followeth, that is to say; when a man doth compass or imagine the death of our lord the king, or of our lady his wife, or of their eldest son and heir; or if a man do violate the king’s wife, or the king’s eldest daughter unmarried, or the wife of the king’s eldest son and heir; or if a man do levy war against our lord the king in his realm, or be adherent to the king’s enemies in his realm, giving to them aid and comfort in the realm, or elsewhere, and thereof be proveably attainted of open deed by people of their condition: and if a man counterfeit the king’s great or privy seal, or his money; and if a man bring false money into this realm, counterfeit to the money of England, as the money called lushburgh, or other, like to the said money of England, knowing the money to be false, to merchandise or make payment in deceit of our said lord the king and of his people; and if a man slay the chancellor, treasurer, or the king’s justices of the one bench or the other, justices in eyre, or justices of assize, and all other justices assigned to hear and determine, being in their places, doing their offices: and it is to be understood, that in the cases above rehearsed, that ought to be judged treason which extends to our lord the king, and his royal majesty: and of such treason the forfeiture of the escheats pertaineth to our sovereign lord, as well of the lands and tenements holden of other, as of himself: and moreover there is another manner of treason, that is to say, when a servant slayeth his master, or a wife her husband, or when a mail secular or religious slayeth his prelate, to whom he oweth faith and obedience, and such manner of treason giveth forfeiture of escheats to every lord of his own fee: and because that many other like cases of treason may happen in time to come, which a man cannot think or declare at this present time; it is accorded, that if any other case, supposed treason, which is not above specified, doth happen of new, before any justices, the justices shall tarry without any going to judgment of the treason, till the case be showed before the king in his parliament, and it be declared, whether it ought to be judged treason or else felony. And if perchance any man of this realm ride armed openly or secretly with men of arms against any other, to slay him, or rob him, or take him, or retain him till he hath made fine or ransom for to have his deliverance, it is not the mind of the king nor his council, that in such case it shall be judged treason, but shall be judged felony or trespass, according to the laws of the land of old time used, and according as the case requireth. * * *

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22. Item, because that some do purchase in the court of Rome provisions, to have abbeys and priories in England, in destruction of the realm, and of holy religion; it is accorded, that every man that purchaseth such provisions of abbeys or priories, that he and his executors and procurators, which do sue and make execution of such provisions, shall be out of the king’s protection; and that a man may do with them as of enemies of our sovereign lord the king and his realm; and he that offendeth against such provisors in body or in goods, or in other possessions, shall be excused against all people, and shall never be impeached nor grieved for the same at any man’s suit.

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Chicago: "The Statute of Treasons," Select Documents of English Constitutional History in Select Documents of English Constitutional History, ed. George Burton Adams (1851-1925) and Henry Morse Stephens (1857-1918) (New York: Macmillan Company, 1916), 122. Original Sources, accessed August 8, 2022, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=4A547G2JAI7C4JJ.

MLA: . "The Statute of Treasons." Select Documents of English Constitutional History, in Select Documents of English Constitutional History, edited by George Burton Adams (1851-1925) and Henry Morse Stephens (1857-1918), New York, Macmillan Company, 1916, page 122. Original Sources. 8 Aug. 2022. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=4A547G2JAI7C4JJ.

Harvard: , 'The Statute of Treasons' in Select Documents of English Constitutional History. cited in 1916, Select Documents of English Constitutional History, ed. , Macmillan Company, New York, pp.122. Original Sources, retrieved 8 August 2022, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=4A547G2JAI7C4JJ.