THE CHAPTERS OF MAGNA CARTA
Discussion of the contents of Magna Carta hinges on its separate chapters: ‘chapter 40 says this’, ‘chapter 42 says that’. To aid such a discussion, in texts printed today, whether in Latin or in English translation, each chapter is numbered and starts a new paragraph. The original Charter was not like that at all. All the four engrossments were written out as continuous text without any numeration. In this they differed from the Articles of the Barons, where each of the ‘capitula’, although still unnumbered, began on a new line and started with a sign conventionally used to indicate a new item on a list.
The Charter did not follow this pattern, because there was no tradition of putting new paragraphs into royal charters. What the four engrossments did do, however, was to divide the contents up into what were effectively separate chapters by starting each new one with a prominent capital letter, although this was done less emphatically in the Salisbury Charter, given its formal book hand, than in the others. Sometimes, moreover, capitals of smaller, but still abnormal size, seem to indicate subsections within chapters. These divisions may reflect the way, until a late stage, drafts of the Charter were divided up into separate ‘capitula’, as in the Articles of the Barons. This in turn would reflect how the negotiations themselves were carried out article by article. When Magna Carta was copied out after 1215, the scribes often made the divisions clearer by starting each chapter on a new line and colouring in its first letter or paragraph marker. Only one attempt, as far as I have discovered, was made in these copies to number the chapters of the Charter and there the effort was abandoned before the end. The numbers were anyway being applied not to the final, authorized version but to one of the variant copies of the Huntington/Peterborough family.1
The key moment in the numbering of the 1215 Charter came with Blackstone. In his book of 1759, he printed the Charter as a continuous text, and did not distinguish the start of new chapters with larger capital letters. But what he did do was to supply numbers to the chapters in the margin of his text, his total being sixty-three. Nearly all the later editions have kept to Blackstone’s numbers, although Bishop Stubbs in his Select Charters did not divide up the security clause, and thus ended up with only sixty.2 It is a curious fact, however, never apparently noticed, that Blackstone’s chapter divisions do not exactly match up with those in the engrossments of the Charter, as indicated by their capitalization. This was partly because Blackstone had numbered the Articles of the Barons in order to relate the chapters in the Articles to the corresponding chapters in Magna Carta. Where a Magna Carta chapter either broke an Articles chapter into two, or ran two together, Blackstone occasionally ignored this and kept to the Articles’ division. Equally, when a new section appeared in the Charter, he sometimes created a chapter for it, as with his chapter 19, even when the engrossments did not do so. Blackstone also made no effort to indicate where the engrossments, if not necessarily starting new chapters, certainly seem to indicate subsections within chapters. The resulting divergences are not of great moment, but are nonetheless a pity, for they can obscure what is going on. The engrossments, for example, manifestly break what is chapter 27 in the Articles into two, rightly so because the bearing of the second part is completely changed, and in a way prejudicial to knights and under-tenants. Blackstone, however, presumably to retain the correspondence with the Articles, kept everything together as the Charter’s chapter 37. It is, of course, too late now to undo Blackstone’s numbering, but I mention the original divisions in the discussion that follows, and also indicate them in my text and translation of the Charter.
Students studying the Charter are sometimes given the task (at least by me) of putting its chapters into a more coherent order. How far the Charter, as it stands, is organized logically is a question we will address when looking at the negotiations at Runnymede and the differences (some made to improve the organization) between the Articles of the Barons and Magna Carta. Here we will indicate briefly, by way of introduction, the Charter’s main concerns, the dos and don’ts that it laid down for kingship. Those can be broken down into several broad interlocking areas, with individual chapters often bearing on more than one of them.
The Charter was above all about money. Its overwhelming aim was to restrict the king’s ability to take it from his subjects. Another major thrust was in the area of law and justice. The Charter wanted to make the king’s dispensation of justice fairer and more accessible, while at the same time preventing his arbitrary and lawless treatment of individuals. Overlapping with both these agendas was the issue of local government. Here the Charter sought to deal with the malpractices of the king’s local officials, above all his sheriffs and foresters. There were chapters on London, and towns and trade, while the first chapter of all was on the church, one that arrived at a very late stage in the negotiations, despite coming right at the Charter’s start. The Charter, as it hoped, thus set a new course for kingship in the future. It was also about redressing the injustices committed in the past. Several chapters set up procedures for doing that, and included among the beneficiaries both Llywelyn ab Iorwerth, the Welsh ruler of North Wales, and Alexander II, the king of Scots. Much thought went into how John’s concessions might be enforced. The ‘security clause’ at the end of the Charter was easily its longest and most controversial chapter.
The chapters of the Charter set out the ‘liberties’ being granted by the king to his subjects, hence the way the 1215 Charter, like its successors, was called ‘the charter of liberties’. John would have regarded these liberties very much as privileges that he had graciously conceded. His subjects would have baulked at such a description. For them the liberties were more in the nature of rights to which they were very much entitled, often by ancient custom. Indeed, when John conceded to London, in chapter 13, ‘all its ancient liberties and free customs’, he was manifestly merely conceding what Londoners had already. The issue was also blurred, at the end of the Charter, when John, in chapters 60 and 63, referred to ‘these aforesaid customs and liberties’ and ‘the foresaid liberties, rights and concessions’.
There was one other key feature of the concessions John was making. They were, as he said thrice over, to be held from him and his heirs in perpetuity. The Charter for ever afterwards was to provide the fundamental law for the government of the kingdom.
THE CONTENTS OF MAGNA CARTA
King John started the Charter, having set out his titles, by greeting his subjects. He then fixed their attention (as was usual in royal charters) with a resounding and commanding ‘Know’, all the engrossments giving a big capital letter to the ‘S’ at the start of ‘Sciatis’. The king went on to explain his reasons for acting, and on whose advice he had acted, after which there followed an impressive list of counsellors – bishops, barons and ministers. It is only at the end of this list (thus making a gigantic sentence) that we find out what John was actually doing.
‘In the first place’ – ‘In primis’ – John granted freedom to the church, demonstrating his good faith in so doing by reference to his earlier concession of freedom to elect bishops and abbots, which had been confirmed by Pope Innocent III. Blackstone naturally made this the first chapter of the Charter.
The New Start
Having privileged the church in this separate section, John then commenced the Charter all over again. ‘We have also granted to all the free men of our kingdom, for us and our heirs in perpetuity, all the below written liberties.’ Blackstone simply included this in his chapter 1 and it is always printed as such. That is fair enough on the basis of the Lincoln Charter and the copy in the letters testimonial, but the other engrossments have the kind of a capital here (for the ‘C’ in ‘Concessimus’, ‘We have granted’) that indicates the beginning of a new section. Later copies of the Charter went down the same path. This makes sense, for the Charter is clearly now making a new start.
What then were the areas in which John granted liberties to his free men?
The pre-eminent concern, as we have said, was money, and before starting here, a word about money itself. In John’s reign there was only one coin, the silver penny, of which there were 240 in the pound. ‘Pound’ itself was simply a term of account, a way of expressing a sum of money. The same was true both of ‘shilling’, of which there were twenty in the pound, making each worth twelve pennies, and of ‘mark’, which was two thirds of a pound, so 160 pennies or thirteen shillings and four pence. The Latin for pound was ‘libra’, for shilling ‘solidus’ and for penny ‘denarius’, hence the abbreviations l.s.d. Pounds, shillings and marks avoided the need for people to talk in large sums of pennies; but since pennies were the only currency, there was no avoiding transporting large numbers of them around, which was often done in great sacks and barrels. In July 1215 John acknowledged receipt of 9,900 marks in sixty-six sacks, which meant there were 24,000 pennies in each.3 The king’s annual revenue at the start of John’s reign was around £22,000, or 5,280,000 pennies. John minted many silver pennies but never in his own name. His brother Richard had been equally nameless. Both continued to mint coins that bore on one side the name of their father ‘Henry’ placed around a sometimes crude image of a royal head. On the other side was a small cross and the name of the moneyer.
Returning then to the Charter, a raft of early chapters, nearly all those between 2 and 14, were concerned to restrict the money-getting operations of royal government. Within this group, chapters 2–8 regulated the highly lucrative rights that came from the tenurial relationship between the king and his earls, barons and other tenants-in-chief. So these chapters were about relief (an inheritance tax), wardships and the marriages of heirs, heiresses and widows. Later in the Charter, chapters 37, 43 and 53 dealt, at least in part, with particular aspects of related rights and demands.
With chapters 10 and 11, the Charter tackled another issue, that of debts owed to the Jews, one point being to prevent them accruing interest during minorities. Here too the king was involved because (as chapter 10 indicated) he might take debts owed the Jews into his own hands and extract the money for himself.
Chapters 12 and 14 were of the greatest importance, for they were about taxation in the form of ‘scutages and aids’. Save on three specified occasions, these were only to be levied by ‘our common counsel of the kingdom’. The assumption here was that counsel would lead to consent, so essentially this meant that taxation needed the consent of the kingdom.4 Chapter 14 went on to set out the rules for convoking the assembly which could give that consent.
The king was not just owed money. He also had unpleasant ways of forcing people to pay up, notably by ‘distraint’, which involved the seizure of the chattels and land of the debtor and his sureties. This process chapters 9, 26 and 27 attempted to regulate and limit. Money was also an issue in the sections of the Charter that dealt with justice and local government.
Justice and the Arbitrary Treatment of Individuals
After the opening section of the Charter on money, there followed chapters 17 to 22 – about justice. Chapters 17 to 19 made the king’s procedures for civil litigation more accessible, and also placed them under local control. Later, chapter 36 was likewise concerned to make the king’s justice more available and free of cost, although here in the area of criminal jurisdiction. Conversely, chapter 34 aimed at preventing royal justice interfering with private courts. Chapters 20 to 22 were about ‘amercements’. These were financial penalties for falling into the king’s ‘mercy’, and arose when an individual was convicted before the king or his judges of some offence. Today they would be called fines. The aim of the chapters was to ensure they were kept at a reasonable level and assessed either by the victim’s neighbours or, in the case of an earl or a baron, by his peers, that is, social equals. The related chapter 32 limited the king’s ability to seize land as penalty for a felony.
Another section about justice comes between chapters 38 and 40. Chapter 38 prevented a bailiff, that is a local official, putting anyone ‘to law’, meaning essentially putting anyone on trial, on his sole accusation unsupported by witnesses. Chapters 39 and 40 are the most famous in Magna Carta, and are still part of the law of the United Kingdom today. Chapter 40 seemed to make a blanket promise of justice, speedy and free, to everyone.
To no one will we sell, to no one will we deny or delay, right or justice.
Chapter 39 dealt directly with the arbitrary treatment of individuals.
No free man is to be arrested, or imprisoned, or disseised, or outlawed, or exiled, or in any way destroyed, nor will we go against him, nor will we send against him, save by the lawful judgement of his peers or by the law of the land.
Here ‘disseised’ meant dispossessed of property, whilst going against or sending against someone meant (if not exclusively) taking action against them by force of arms. I have preferred ‘destroyed’, as a translation of the Latin ‘destruatur’, to the more common ‘ruined’, since it better captures the sense of threat to life as well as property.
After the section on justice between chapters 17 and 22, chapters 23 to 31 turned to local government and the malpractices of the king’s local agents – sheriffs, bailiffs and constables of castles. Here chapter 25 had particular importance since it sought to limit the financial burdens placed by the king on the counties. Chapter 45 attacked on another front and insisted that the king’s officials should ‘know the law of the kingdom and wish to observe it well’. Chapter 50 went further and made the king dismiss various named sheriffs and castellans, all of them foreigners, from their bailiwicks, which meant their local offices.
The Charter was also concerned with the running of the royal forest. Chapter 44 sought to limit the jurisdiction of the forest justices, while chapter 47 reduced immediately the extent of the forest, with more to come, it was hoped, from chapter 53. Most promising of all for John’s subjects, most poisonous of all to the king, was chapter 48, which empowered twelve knights elected in each county to investigate and abolish the malpractices of the king’s local agents.
London, Towns, Trade, Measures and Movement
The chapter protecting London from arbitrary taxation and confirming its liberties is, in modern printings, split between chapters 12 and 13. One could argue the case, looking at the original engrossments, for making it a discrete chapter, or at least a subsection within a chapter. What is certain is that all the engrossments started a new chapter with the liberties and ancient customs of the other towns, rather than tagging them on, as in modern printings, to the chapter on London. Another chapter benefiting both London and other towns was chapter 33, which removed fish weirs (an obstacle to trade) from the rivers Thames and Medway and elsewhere throughout all England, unless at the seashore. Chapter 35 sought to establish uniform measures of drink, corn and cloth throughout the country (corn according to the measure of London), while chapter 41 allowed, save in time of war, all merchants safety of travel, without suffering any unjust exactions. The following chapter 42 gave freedom of travel to everyone in and out of the kingdom, again save in time of war.
Appointments and Patronage
The Charter said that officials should know the law of the kingdom, and dismissed some named sheriffs and castellans. Apart from that, however, it did nothing to control the king’s choice of his ministers, either locally or centrally. That could be seen as one of its central weaknesses. The Charter was not much more restrictive when it came to the king’s bestowal of patronage. Chapter 4 at least meant that the king’s appointees would lose control of wardships for maladministration. Chapter 6 was designed to prevent heirs and heiresses in wardship from being ‘disparaged’ in marriage, which meant being married to those beneath them in social rank. It also stipulated that the family should be informed of what was planned. The idea was thus to make it more difficult for the king to give marriages to whomever he wanted. The same was true, more astringently, of chapter 8, which laid down that a widow could no longer be forced into remarriage if she wished to live without a husband.
Redress of Past Grievances
Two important chapters in the Charter, chapters 52 and 55, were concerned to redress the wrongs suffered by individuals in the past. Under chapter 52 those disseised (that is, dispossessed) of their possessions by King John without lawful judgement of their peers would have them immediately restored. Under chapter 55 all fines and amercements imposed unjustly by John were to be pardoned. Amercements we have already encountered in the chapters that sought to limit their size and regulate their assessment. Fines were offers of money accepted by the king for concessions and favours. They might be more or less compulsory (so to recover the king’s good will) or entirely voluntary (so for the right to set up a new market). Both chapters laid down that if disputes arose over the restorations and pardons, these were to be determined by the twenty-five barons named in the Charter’s ‘security of peace’, that is the ‘security clause’, which is described below. Chapter 52 also put on the agenda the dispossessions committed by John’s predecessors, his father Henry II and brother Richard I. John was to deal with these when he returned from or abandoned his prospective crusade. There was no postponement when it came to the hostages and charters which John had extracted as guarantees of peace and ‘faithful service’. Under chapter 49, these were to be immediately returned.
The Welsh and the King of Scots
It was in the context of redress of grievances that the Welsh and Alexander, king of Scots, entered the Charter. Under chapter 56, Welshmen were immediately to be restored to lands and liberties taken by King John without judgement of their peers. The chapter also set up procedures to deal with any disputes over the process. Chapter 57 put the disseisins suffered by the Welsh at the hands of Henry II and Richard I on the agenda, while chapter 58 laid down that John was to restore the son of Llywelyn and the other Welsh hostages. Under chapter 59, John promised, with one qualification, to treat King Alexander, when it came to returning his sisters, hostages, liberties and rights, in the same way as, under the terms of the Charter, he was to treat the barons of England.
The Passing Down of the Concessions
The Charter was primarily aimed at the malpractices of the king and his ministers. It did, however, aspire to set the same standards for others. Thus chapter 60, the final one before the security clause, stated that all the customs and liberties which John had conceded to his men should be observed by everyone in the kingdom towards their men. There were other chapters too, like chapters 7 and 8 on widows, and chapter 15 on aids, which protected tenants from the demands of their lords. We will discuss in Chapter 4 the tensions within society the Charter thus revealed.
The Enforcement of the Charter
At the end of the Charter came the most sensational and revolutionary chapter of all. John declared that, wishing his concessions to be firmly maintained, he had offered the barons the following ‘security’. This was that they might choose twenty-five of their number who were empowered, if necessary, to force him and his ministers to observe the liberties granted and confirmed in the Charter. They also had the power to put right any other wrongs. In this, the twenty-five were to act with ‘the commune of all the land’. The word ‘commune’ here meant a sworn association. It was to be formed by ‘all the land’ swearing either voluntarily or, if necessary, under compulsion to obey the orders of the twenty-five in bringing the king to heel. Finally, the chapter concluded with John promising not to seek anything by which the Charter might be invalidated. Blackstone printed the security clause as a single chapter, but the engrossments broke it up, in slightly different ways, which shows the desire to make its elements as clear as possible. It was not quite the only device in the Charter by which the barons sought to ensure its enforcement. They also strove to reduce John’s power of resistance. The key chapter here was chapter 51, under which John promised, after the peace, to dismiss all the foreign soldiers he had recruited. In the printed versions, this chapter is separated, as it is in the Articles of the Barons, from the preceding chapter, which dismissed some of John’s foreign sheriffs and castellans from office. In fact, in two of the engrossments, and in the bishops’ copy of the Charter, the two chapters are one, which strongly suggests that the dismissals, apart from removing unpopular local officials, were also seen as stripping John of military experts, as all these men were.
The Conclusion of the Charter
At the end of the security clause, in what is printed as chapter 62, John remitted his rancour and ill will, pardoned all transgressions committed since the start of the civil war at Easter 1215, and undertook that the bishops should issue letters testifying to the ‘aforesaid concessions’. In fact, the engrossments, perhaps surprisingly, give little warrant for making this a discrete and single chapter, but they all agree in starting the final section of the Charter with what became chapter 63. Here John reiterated that the church should be free and stated that the men of the kingdom and their heirs were to enjoy the ‘foresaid liberties, rights and concessions’ in perpetuity. An oath, he continued, had been taken on his behalf and that of the barons for the observation of everything in good faith. In a normal charter, what would have followed next would have been a list of witnesses, but in Magna Carta these were stated to be as ‘above said’. This referred to the counsellors John had listed at the start of the Charter. Magna Carta then concluded with the following statement:
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.
The date of Magna Carta was thus 15 June 1215.
THE TEXT OF MAGNA CARTA
The Latin text and English translation of Magna Carta are here printed on facing pages. The Latin text comes from the Lincoln Charter since, of all the engrossments, it is the most finely written. It is also the engrossment whose history is most certain since ‘LINCOLNIA’, written twice on the back, almost certainly by the scribe of the Charter, shows it was intended for Lincoln from the start. The Latin text given here differs from previous printed examples in trying to indicate how the originals, by the use of capitalletters of different sizes, were divided up into chapters, or sections within chapters. While the divisions, thus indicated, for the most part correspond with the numbered chapters set in stone since Blackstone’s work of 1759,5 there are differences, as we have seen. In both the Latin and English texts set out below, a line is left blank where the engrossments indicate the start of a new chapter or section, but only those given numbers by Blackstone are numbered. The largest capital letters found in the engrossments I have rendered in the Latin text as N. Capital letters of less emphasis, but still of a size to indicate a division, appear as N. Where Blackstone made chapter divisions (so at chapters 19 and 51) that are questionable, then his number is placed in the body of the text. In making these divisions, I have not followed Lincoln exclusively, but have also taken into account the capitalizations found in Canterbury, Cii and Salisbury, although the capitals in the Salisbury Charter are throughout given less emphasis than those in the other three. I have also taken into account the capitalization found in the bishops’ letters testimonial, which guaranteed the authentic text. Significant divergences in the capitalization between these sources are indicated in the footnotes. The symbol | in the Latin text indicates where the Lincoln lines end. I have used a larger font altogether to reflect the exceptionally large letters at the start of the Lincoln Charter. In the translation, following Holt, I indicate the equivalent chapters in the Articles of the Barons (AB) and the Charter of 1225 (1225).
In the footnotes, I have collated the Lincoln text with that found in the other three engrossments and the copy in the bishops’ letter. Although of no great moment, this is the first published collation to use all five, since the Salisbury engrossment could not be found when the Statutes of the Realm text was published in 1810.6 My collation indicates omissions, corrections and variations in word order. I have not, however, included the variations in the spellings of personal names place names and such words as ‘pledges’, ‘carts’, ‘socage’ and so on. I have also omitted some small slips in the bishops’ copy, which were probably the result of mistakes made by the fourteenth-century copyist. Some significance may attach to a corrected omission in Canterbury and Cii, but apart from that the chief value of a collation is to show that the differences between the texts are minor. The engrossments were made, on the whole, with care.
Of previous published texts, Blackstone’s is the Canterbury engrossment collated with the bishops’ copy. That in Statutes of the Realm uses the Lincoln engrossment, and indicates all variations with Canterbury, Cii and the bishops’ copy in footnotes. It makes no division into chapters and does not expand the abbreviations, instead using a typeface that sought to reproduce them.7 It also sought to follow the original punctuation. The text below, in line with current practice, expands the abbreviations and uses modern punctuation. It seeks, however, to follow the text’s use of capitals. As in much other contemporary writing, this appears to have been haphazard. It is also often ambiguous, especially where a letter like ‘w’ has the same from in both upper and lower case. I have used capitals less frequently than Statutes of the Realm, and usually only where they seem quite clear. In the process, I may sometimes have been unfair to sheriffs, Wales and the Welsh where I have generally gone for lower case: ‘vicecomites’, ‘wallia’ and ‘walenses’.8In preparing the transcription, I have used a photograph of the Pine engraving, the engraving of the Lincoln Charter published in Foedera,9 and photographs of Lincoln, Salisbury and Cii. With the bishops’ copy, I have been able to work directly on the text in the Red Book of the Exchequer.10 I have also photographed it.
There have been many translations of the 1215 Charter, the most widely used being J. C. Holt’s, which is printed as an Appendix to his Magna Carta. (Holt’s Latin text was Cii.)11 The present translation is in places perhaps a little more literal than Holt’s but is not fundamentally different from it or many others. In making the translation, I have been helped immensely by both Daniel Hadas and Henry Summerson’s translation on the website of the Magna Carta Project. The meaning of some of the technical terms and obscure words found in the translation is explained in the Glossary at the end of the book (pp. 461–470).
Magna Carta 1215
Johannes dei gratia Rex Anglie, Dominus Hibernie, Dux Normannie et Aquitanie, Comes Andegavie, Archiepiscopis, Episcopis, Abbatibus, Comitibus, Baronibus, Justiciariis, Forestariis, Vicecomitibus, Prepositis, Ministris et Omnibus Ballivis et FidelibusSuisSalutem.
Sciatis nos intuitu dei et pro salute anime nostre et omnium antecessorum et heredum nostrorum, ad honorem* | dei et exaltacionem sancte ecclesie, et emendationem Regni nostri, per consilium venerabilium patrum nostrorum, Stephani Cantuariensis, Archiepiscopi Totius Anglie, Primatis et Sancte Romane ecclesie Cardinalis, Henrici Dublinensis Archiepiscopi, Willelmi Londoniensis, Petri Wintoniensis, Joscelini Bathoniensis et Glastoniensis, Hugonis Lincolniensis, Walteri Wigornensis, Willelmi Coventrensis, et Benedicti Roffensis Episcoporum; Magistri Pandulfi domini Pape Subdi | aconi et familiaris, et† fratris Eimerici Magistri Militie Templi in Anglia; et Nobilium virorum Willelmi Marescalli Comitis Penbrocie, Willelmi Comitis Sarresbyrie, Willelmi Comitis Warennie, Willelmi Comitis Arundellie, Alani de Galweia Constabularii Scotie, Warini filii Geroldi, Huberti de Burgo Senescalli Pictavie, Petri filii Hereberti,‡ Hugonis de Nevill’, Mathei filii Hereberti, Thome Basset,| Alani Basset, Philippi de Albiniaco, Roberti de Roppelay, Johannis Marescalli, Johannis filii Hugonis et aliorum fidelium nostrorum:
John by the grace of God, king of England, lord of Ireland, duke of Normandy and Aquitaine, count of Anjou, to his archbishops, bishops, abbots, earls, barons, justices, foresters, sheriffs, reeves, ministers and all his bailiffs and faithful men, greeting.
Know that we, inspired by God and for the salvation of our soul, and for the souls of all our ancestors and heirs, for the honour of God and the exaltation of holy church, and the reform of our kingdom, by the counsel of our venerable 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, Jocelyn of Bath and Glastonbury, Hugh of Lincoln, Walter of Worcester, William of Coventry and Benedict of Rochester, bishops, Master Pandulf subdeacon and member of the household of the lord pope, and brother Aymeric, master of the knights of the Temple in England, and of the noble men, William Marshal, earl of Pembroke, William earl of Salisbury, William earl of Warenne, William earl of Arundel, Alan of Galloway, constable of Scotland, Warin fitzGerold, Hubert de Burgh, seneschal of Poitou, Peter fitzHerbert, Hugh de Neville, Matthew fitzHerbert, Thomas Basset, Alan Basset, Philip d’Aubigné, Robert of Ropsley, John Marshal, John fitzHugh, and our other faithful men:
1. In primis concessisse deo et hac presenti carta nostra confirmasse, pro nobis et heredibus nostris in perpetuum, quod Anglicana ecclesia libera sit, et habeat jura sua integra, et libertates suas illesas; et ita volumus observari quod apparet ex eo quod libertatem electionum, que maxima et |* magis necessaria reputatur ecclesie Anglicane, mera et spontanea voluntate, ante discordiam inter nos et Barones nostros motam, concessimus et carta nostra confirmavimus, et eam obtinuimus a Domino Papa Innocentio tercio confirmari; quam et nos observabimus et ab heredibus nostris in perpetuum bona fide volumus observari.
Concessimus† etiam omnibus liberis hominibus regni nostri, pro nobis et heredibus nostris in perpetuum, omnes libertates subscriptas, habendas et tenendas, eis | et heredibus suis, de nobis et heredibus nostris.
1. In the first place, have granted to God and by this our present charter have confirmed, for us and our heirs in perpetuity, that the English church is to be free, and is to have its rights in whole and its liberties unharmed, and we wish it so to be observed; which is manifest from this, namely that the liberty of elections, which is deemed to be of the greatest importance and most necessary for the English church, by our free and spontaneous will, before the discord moved between us and our barons, we granted and confirmed by our charter, and obtained its confirmation from the lord pope, Innocent the third, which we shall both observe and wish to be observed by our heirs in perpetuity in good faith.
We have also granted to all the free men of our kingdom, for us and our heirs in perpetuity, all the below written liberties, to be had and held by them and their heirs from us and our heirs. [1225, 1]
2. Si quis comitum vel baronum nostrorum, sive aliorum tenentium de nobis in capite per servicium militare, mortuus fuerit, et cum decesserit heres suus plene etatis fuerit et relevium debeat, habeat hereditatem suam per antiquum relevium; Scilicet heres vel heredes comitis de Baronia comitis integra per centum Libras; heres vel heredes baronis de Baronia integra per centum Libras; heres vel heredes | militis de feodo militis integro per centum solidos ad plus; et qui minus debuerit minus det secundum antiquam consuetudinem feodorum.
2. If any of our earls or barons, or others holding from us in chief by knight service, dies and when he dies his heir is of full age and owes relief, he is to have his inheritance by the ancient relief; namely the heir or heirs of an earl for a whole barony of an earl by a hundred pounds; the heir or heirs of a baron for a whole barony by a hundred pounds; the heir or heirs of a knight for the whole fee of a knight by a hundred shillings at most; and who owes less is to give less according to the ancient custom of fees. [AB, 1; 1225, 2]
3. Si autem heres alicuius talium fuerit infra etatem et fuerit in custodia, cum ad etatem pervenerit, habeat hereditatem suam sine relevio et sine fine.
3. If, however, the heir of any such one is underage and is in wardship, when he comes of age, he is to have his inheritance without relief and without fine. [AB, 2; 1225, 3]
4. Custos terre huiusmodi heredis qui infra etatem fuerit, non capiat de terra heredis nisi rationabiles exitus et rationabiles consuetudines, et rationabilia servitia, et hoc sine destruc | tione et vasto hominum vel rerum.
Et si nos commiserimus custodiam alicuius talis terre vicecomiti vel alicui alii qui de exitibus illius nobis respondere debeat, et ille destructionem de custodia fecerit vel vastum, nos ab illo capiemus emendam, et terra committatur duobus legalibus et discretis hominibus de feodo illo, qui de exitibus respondeant nobis vel ei cui eos assignaverimus.
Et si dederimus vel vendiderimus alicui custodiam alicuius talis terre, et ille | destructionem inde fecerit vel vastum, amittat ipsam custodiam, et tradatur duobus legalibus et discretis hominibus de feodo illo qui similiter respondeant nobis* sicut predictum est.
4. The guardian of the land of an heir of this kind who is underage, is not to take from the land of the heir anything other than reasonable issues and reasonable customs and reasonable services, and this without destruction and waste of men or things.
And if we commit the wardship of any such land to a sheriff or anyone else who ought to answer to us for its issues, and he causes destruction to the wardship or waste, we will take amends from him, and the land is to be committed to two law-worthy and prudent men of that fee, who are to answer for the issues to us or to him to whom we assign them.
And if we give or sell the wardship of any such land to anyone, and he then causes destruction or waste, he is to lose that wardship, and it is to be handed to two law-worthy and prudent men of that fee, who similarly shall answer to us as aforesaid. [AB, 3; 1225, 4]
5. Custos autem, quamdiu custodiam terre habuerit, sustentet domos, parcos, vivaria, stagna, molendina, et cetera ad terram illam pertinentia, de exitibus terre eiusdem; et reddat heredi, cum ad plenam etatem pervenerit, terram suam totam instauratam de carrucis et | waignagiis secundum quod tempus waignagii exiget et exitus terre rationabiliter poterunt sustinere.
5. The guardian, however, for as long as he has wardship of the land, is to maintain the houses, parks, fish ponds, ponds, mills and other things belonging to that land, from the issues of the same land. And he is to deliver to the heir, when he comes of age, his land fully stocked with ploughs and wainages according to what the time of the wainage will demand and the issues of the land will reasonably be able to sustain. [AB, 3, 35; 1225, 5]
6. Heredes maritentur absque disparagatione, ita† quod, antequam contrahatur, matrimonium ostendatur propinquis de consanguinitate ipsius heredis.
6. Heirs are to be married without disparagement, provided however that, before a marriage is contracted, it is to be made known to the nearest kin of that heir. [AB, 3; 1225, 6]
7. Vidua‡ post mortem mariti sui statim et sine difficultate habeat maritagium et hereditatem suam, nec aliquid det pro dote sua, vel pro maritagio suo, vel hereditate sua quam hereditatem maritus suus et ipsa | tenuerint die obitus ipsius mariti, et maneat in domo mariti sui per quadraginta dies post mortem ipsius, infra quos assignetur ei dos sua.
7. A widow, after the death of her husband, immediately and without difficulty, is to have her marriage portion and inheritance, nor shall she give anything for her dower, or for her marriage portion, or her inheritance, which inheritance she and her husband held on the day of the death of that husband. And she is to remain in the house of her husband for forty days after his death, within which time her dower is to be assigned her. [AB, 4; 1225, 7]
8. Nulla vidua distringatur ad se maritandum dum voluerit vivere sine marito, ita tamen quod securitatem faciat quod se non maritabit sine assensu nostro, si de nobis tenuerit, vel sine assensu domini sui de quo tenuerit, si de alio tenuerit.
8. No widow is to be distrained to marry while she wishes to live without a husband, provided however that she gives security that she will not marry without our assent, if she holds from us, or without the assent of her lord from whom she holds, if she holds from another. [AB, 17; 1225, 7]
9. Nec nos nec ballivi nostri saisiemus terram aliquam nec redditum pro debito aliquo | quamdiu catalla debitoris sufficiunt ad debitum reddendum; nec plegii ipsius debitoris distringantur quamdiu ipse capitalis debitor sufficit ad solutionem debiti.
Et* si capitalis debitor defecerit in solutione debiti, non habens unde solvat, plegii respondeant de debito; et, si voluerint, habeant terras et redditus debitoris donec sit eis satisfactum de debito quod ante pro eo solverint, nisi capitalis debitor monstraverit se esse quietum inde versus eosdem plegios. |
9. Neither we nor our bailiffs are to seize any land or rent for any debt, for as long as the chattels of the debtor suffice to pay the debt; nor are the sureties of that debtor to be distrained for as long as the chief debtor himself has sufficient for payment of the debt.
And if the chief debtor fails in the payment of the debt, not having the wherewithal to pay, the sureties are to answer for the debt. And if they wish, they are to have the lands and the rents of the debtor until satisfaction is given to them for the debt which before they paid for him, unless the chief debtor shows that he is quit against those same sureties in that matter. [AB, 5; 1225, 8]
10. Si quis mutuo ceperit aliquid a Judeis, plus vel minus, et moriatur antequam debitum illud solvatur, debitum non usuret quamdiu heres fuerit infra etatem, de quocumque teneat; et si debitum illud inciderit in manus nostras, nos non capiemus nisi catallum contentum in carta.
10. If anyone has taken anything on loan from the Jews, more or less, and dies before that debt is paid, the debt is not to bear usury for as long as the heir is underage, from whomever he holds; and if that debt falls into our hands, we shall not take anything save the capital contained in the charter. [AB, 34]
11. Et si quis moriatur, et debitum debeat Judeis, uxor eius habeat dotem suam, et nichil reddat de debito illo; et si liberi ipsius defuncti qui fuerint infra etatem remanserint, provideantur eis necessaria secundum | tenementum quod fuerit defuncti, et de residuo solvatur debitum, salvo servitio dominorum.
Simili modo fiat de debitis que debentur aliis quam Judeis.
11. And if anyone dies, and owes a debt to the Jews, his wife is to have her dower, and is to pay nothing of that debt; and if children of the deceased, who are underage, remain, their needs are to be provided for in keeping with the tenement which was the deceased’s, and the debts are to be paid from the residue, saving the service of the lords. In a similar way, it is to be for debts owed to others than Jews. [AB, 35]
12. Nullum scutagium vel auxilium ponatur in regno nostro nisi per commune consilium regni nostri, nisi ad corpus nostrum redimendum, et primogenitum filium nostrum militem faciendum, et ad filiam nostram primogenitam semel maritandam, et ad hec non fiat nisi rationabile auxilium.
Simili modo fiat de auxiliis | de civitate Londoniarum.
12. No scutage or aid is to be levied in our kingdom, save by the common counsel of our kingdom, save for the ransoming of our body, and the making of our first-born son a knight, and for the marrying a single time of our first-born daughter; and for these things there is only to be a reasonable aid. [AB, 32; 1225, 37]
In a similar way it is to be for aids from the city of London. [AB, 32]
13. Et civitas Londoniarum habeat omnes antiquas libertates et liberas consuetudines suas, tam per terras, quam per aquas.
Preterea volumus et concedimus quod omnes alie civitates, et burgi, et ville, et portus, habeant omnes libertates et liberas consuetudines suas.
13. And the city of London is to have all its ancient liberties and free customs, by both land and water.
In addition, we wish and grant that all other cities and boroughs, and vills and ports, have all their liberties and free customs. [AB, 32; 1225, 9]
14. Et ad habendum commune consilium regni de auxilio assidendo aliter* quam in tribus casibus predictis, vel de scutagio assidendo, summoneri faciemus Archiepiscopos, Episcopos, | Abbates, Comites, et maiores barones, sigillatim per Litteras nostras. Et preterea faciemus summoneri in generali, per vicecomites et ballivos nostros, omnes illos qui de nobis tenent in capite ad certum diem, scilicet ad terminum quadraginta dierum ad minus, et ad certum locum; et in omnibus litteris illius summonitionis causam summonitionis exprimemus; et sic facta summonitione negotium ad diem assignatum procedat secundum consilium illorum qui presentes | fuerint, quamvis non omnes summoniti venerint.
14. And to have the common counsel of the kingdom for an aid to be assessed, other than in the three cases aforesaid, or for a scutage to be assessed, we will cause to be summoned archbishops, bishops, abbots, earls and greater barons, individually by our letters; and in addition we will cause to be summoned in general, by our sheriffs and bailiffs, all those who hold from us in chief, at a specified day, namely at a term of forty days distant at least, and at a specified place; and in all the letters of that summons, we will express the cause of the summons; and thus, the summons having been made, the business is to proceed on the assigned day, according to the counsel of those who are present, although not all those summoned come.
15. Nos non concedemus decetero alicui quod capiat auxilium de liberis hominibus suis, nisi ad corpus suum redimendum, et ad faciendum primogenitum filium suum militem, et ad primogenitam filiam suam semel maritandam, et ad hec non fiat nisi rationabile auxilium.
15. We will not grant henceforth to anyone that he may take an aid from his free men, save for the ransoming of his body, and the making of his first-born son a knight, and for the marrying a single time of his first-born daughter, and for these things there is only to be a reasonable aid. [AB, 6]
16. Nullus distringatur ad faciendum maius servitium de feodo militis, nec de alio libero tenemento, quam inde debetur.
16. No one is to be distrained to do more service for the fee of a knight, or for another free tenement, than is owed therefrom. [AB, 7; 1225, 10]
17. Co | mmunia placita non sequantur curiam nostram sed teneantur in aliquo certo loco.†
17. Common pleas are not to follow our court but are to be held in some specified place. [AB, 8; 1225, 11]
18. Recognitiones de nova dissaisina, de morte antecessoris, et de‡ ultima presentatione, non capiantur nisi in suis comitatibus et hoc modo.
Nos, vel, si extra regnum fuerimus, capitalis Justiciarius noster, mittemus duos justiciarios per unumquemque comitatum per quattuor vices in anno, qui, cum quattuor militibus cuiuslibet comitatus electis per comitatum, capiant in comi | tatu et in die et loco comitatus assisas predictas. (19) Et* si in die comitatus assise predicte capi non possint, tot milites et libere tenentes remaneant de illis qui interfuerint comitatui die illo, per quos possint sufficienter juditia† fieri, secundum quod negotium fuerit maius vel minus.
18. Recognitions of novel disseisin, of mort d’ancestor, and of darrein presentment, are not to be taken unless in their counties and in this way.
We or, if we are out of our kingdom, our chief justiciar shall send two justices through each county four times a year, who, with four knights of each county, elected by the county court are to take the aforesaid assizes, in the county court and on the day and in the place of the county court. [AB, 8; 1225, 12] (19) And if on the day of the county court, the aforesaid assizes cannot be taken, enough knights and free tenants are to remain from those who attended the county court on that day, that judgements can be effectively made, according to whether the business is great or small. [AB, 13; 1225, 12]
20. Liber homo non amercietur pro parvo delicto, nisi secundum modum delicti; et pro magno delicto amercietur secundum magnitudinem delicti, salvo contenemento suo, et mercator eodem | modo salva mercandisa sua, et villanus eodem modo amercietur salvo waignagio suo, si inciderint in misericordiam nostram; et nulla predictarum misericordiarum ponatur nisi per sacramentum proborum hominum de visneto.
20. A free man is not be amerced for a small offence, and only in accordance with the degree of the offence; and for a great offence, he is to be amerced according to the magnitude of the offence, saving his livelihood, and a merchant in the same, way saving his merchandise, and a villein is to be amerced in the same way saving his wainage, if they fall into our mercy. And none of the aforesaid amercements are to be imposed save by the oath of upright men of the neighbourhood. [AB, 9; 1225, 14]
21. Comites et barones non amercientur nisi per pares suos, et non nisi secundum modum delicti.
21. Earls and barons are not to be amerced save by their peers, and only in accordance with the degree of the offence. [1225, 14]
22. Nullus clericus amercietur de laico tenemento suo, nisi secundum modum aliorum predictorum, et non secundum quantitatem beneficii sui ecclesiastici.
22. No clerk is to be amerced in respect of his lay tenement, save according to the manner of the others aforesaid, and not according to the quantity of his ecclesiastical benefice. [AB, 10; 1225, 14]
23. Nec‡ | villa nec homo distringatur facere pontes ad Riparias, nisi qui ab antiquo et de iure facere debent.
23. No vill nor man is to be distrained to build bridges at riverbanks, save those obliged to do so from ancient times and by law. [AB, 11; 1225, 15]
24. Nullus vicecomes, Constabularius, Coronatores, vel alii ballivi nostri, teneant placita corone nostre.
24. No sheriff, constable, coroners or other of our bailiffs are to hold pleas of our crown. [AB, 14; 1225, 17]
25. Omnes Comitatus, et§ Hundredi, Trethingii et Wapentachii¶ sint ad antiquas firmas absque ullo incremento, exceptis dominicis maneriis nostris.
25. All counties and hundreds, ridings and wapentakes, are to be at the ancient farms without any increment, except our demesne manors. [AB, 14]
26. Si aliquis tenens de nobis laicum feodum moriatur, et vicecomes vel Ballivus | noster ostendat litteras nostras* patentes de summonitione nostra de debito quod defunctus nobis debuit, liceat vicecomiti vel Ballivo nostro attachiare et inbreviare catalla defuncti inventa in laico feodo ad valentiam illius debiti, per visum legalium hominum, ita tamen quod nichil inde amoveatur, donec persolvatur nobis debitum quod clarum fuit;† et residuum relinquatur executoribus ad faciendum testamentum defuncti; et‡ si nichil nobis de | beatur ab ipso, omnia catalla cedant defuncto, salvis uxori ipsius et pueris rationabilibus partibus suis.
26. If anyone holding a lay fee from us dies, and our sheriff or bailiff shows our letters patent for our summons of a debt which the deceased owed us, it is to be permissible for our sheriff or bailiff to attach and write down the chattels of the deceased found in the lay fee, to the value of that debt, by view of law-worthy men, provided however that nothing is removed from there until the debt which was clear is paid to us. And the residue is to be left to the executors to make the will of the deceased; and if nothing is owed us by him, all the chattels are to pass to the deceased, saving for his wife and children their reasonable shares. [AB, 15; 1225, 18]
27. Si aliquis liber homo intestatus decesserit, catalla sua per manus propinquorum parentum et amicorum suorum, per visum ecclesie distribuantur, salvis unicuique debitis que defunctus ei debebat.
27. If any free man dies intestate, his chattels are to be distributed by the hands of his nearest relations and friends, under the supervision of the church, saving to each person the debts which the deceased owed him. [AB, 16]
28. Nullus constabularius vel alius ballivus noster capiat§ blada vel alia catalla alicuius nisi statim inde¶ reddat denarios aut respectum inde habere | possit de voluntate venditoris.
28. No constable or other bailiff of ours is to take the corn or other chattels of anyone, unless he immediately gives money for this, or is able to have a delay with the consent of the vendor. [AB, 18; 1225, 19]
29. Nullus constabularius distringat aliquem militem ad dandum denarios pro custodia castri si facere voluerit custodiam illam in propria persona sua vel per alium probum hominem, si ipse eam facere non possit propter rationabilem causam; et si nos duxerimus vel miserimus eum in exercitum, erit quietus de custodia secundum quantitatem temporis quo per nos fuerit in exercitum.**
29. No constable is to distrain any knight to give money for the guard of a castle, if he wishes to perform that guard in his own person, or through another upright man, if he himself cannot do it for a reasonable cause. And if we lead or send him in an army, he will be quit of the guard, according to the amount of time he will have been in the army by our order. [AB, 19; 1225, 20]
30. Nullus vicecomes, vel Ballivus noster, vel aliquis | alius capiat†† equos vel carettas alicuius liberi hominis pro carriagio faciendo, nisi de voluntate ipsius liberi hominis.
30. No sheriff or bailiff of ours or anyone else is to take the horses or carts of any free man for carriage, save with the consent of the free man himself. [AB, 20; 1225, 21]
31. Nec* nos nec ballivi nostri capiemus alienum boscum ad castra, vel alia agenda nostra, nisi per voluntatem ipsius† cuius boscus ille fuerit.
31. Neither we nor our bailiffs shall take wood belonging to another person for castles, or for our other affairs, unless with the consent of him whose wood it is. [AB, 21; 1225, 21]
32. Nos non tenebimus terras illorum qui convicti fuerint de‡ felonia nisi per unum annum et unum diem, et tunc reddantur terre dominis feodorum.
32. We will not hold the lands of those who are convicted of felony, save for one year and one day, and then the lands are to be returned to the lords of the fees. [AB, 22; 1225, 22]
33. Omnes kidelli decetero deponantur penitus de Tamisia, et | Medewaye,§ et per totam Angliam, nisi per costeram maris.
33. All fish weirs are henceforth to be removed completely from the Thames and the Medway, and through all England, save at the seashore. [AB, 23; 1225, 23]
34. Breve quod vocatur precipe decetero non fiat alicui de aliquo tenemento unde liber homo possit¶ amittere curiam suam.
34. The writ which is called precipe is not to be made out henceforth to anyone for any tenement whereby a free man could lose his court. [AB, 24; 1225, 24]
35. Una mensura vini sit per totum regnum nostrum, et una mensura** cervisie, et una mensura bladi, scilicet Quartarium Londoniense, et una latitudo pannorum tinctorum et Russetorum et Halbergettorum, scilicet due ulne infra listas. De ponderibus autem sit ut de me | nsuris.
35. There is to be one measure of wine through all our kingdom, and one measure of ale, and one measure of corn, namely the quarter of London, and one width of tinted cloths, and russets and haubergets, namely two ells within the borders. Moreover, for weights it is to be as for measures. [AB, 12; 1225, 25]
36. Nichil detur vel capiatur decetero pro brevi inquisitionis de vita vel menbris, sed gratis concedatur et non negetur.
36. Nothing is to be given or taken henceforth for a writ of inquisition concerning life or limbs, but it is to be given without payment and not denied. [AB, 26; 1225, 26]
37. Si aliquis teneat de nobis per feodifirmam, vel per socagium, vel per burgagium, et de alio terram teneat per servitium militare, nos non habebimus custodiam heredis nec terre sue que est de feodo alterius, occasione illius feodifirme, vel socagii, vel burgagii; nec habebimus custodiam illius feodifirme, vel socagii, vel burgagii, nisi ipsa feodifirma | debeat servitium militare.
Nos* non habebimus custodiam heredis vel terre alicuius, quam tenet de alio per servitium militare, occasione alicuius parve serianterie quam tenet de nobis per servitium reddendi nobis cultellos, vel sagittas, vel huiusmodi.
37. If anyone holds from us by fee farm, or by socage, or by burgage, and holds land from another by knight service, we will not have wardship of the heir nor of his land which is of the fee of another, by reason of that fee farm, or socage, or burgage, nor will we have wardship of that fee farm or socage or burgage, unless that fee farm owes knight service.
We will not have wardship of the heir or the land of anyone, which he holds from another by knight service, by reason of any small serjeanty which he holds from us by the service of rendering to us knives, arrows or things of that kind. [AB, 27; 1225, 27]
38. Nullus ballivus ponat decetero aliquem ad legem simplici loquela sua, sine testibus fidelibus ad hoc inductis.
38. No bailiff is henceforth to put anyone to law on his sole accusation without trustworthy witnesses brought forward for this. [AB, 28; 1225, 28]
39. Nullus liber homo capiatur, vel inprisonetur, aut dissaisiatur, aut utlaghetur, aut exuletur, aut aliquo modo | destruatur, nec super eum ibimus, nec super eum mittemus, nisi per legale iuditium parium suorum vel per legem terre.
39. No free man is to be arrested, or imprisoned, or disseised, or outlawed, or exiled, or in any way destroyed, nor will we go against him, nor will we send against him, save by the lawful judgement of his peers or by the law of the land. [AB, 29; 1225, 29]
40. Nulli vendemus, nulli negabimus, aut differemus, rectum aut† justitiam.
40. To no one will we sell, to no one will we deny or delay, right or justice. [AB, 30; 1225, 29]
41. Omnes mercatores habeant salvum et securum exire ab‡ Anglia, et venire in Angliam,§ morari et ire per Angliam, tam per terram quam per aquam, ad emendum et vendendum sine omnibus malis toltis, per antiquas et rectas consuetudines, preterquam in tempore guerre, et si sint de terra | contra nos guerrina, et si tales inveniantur in terra nostra in principio guerre, attachientur sine dampno corporum et rerum, donec sciatur a nobis vel capitali justiciario nostro quomodo mercatores terre nostre tractentur, qui tunc invenientur in terra contra nos guerrina; et si nostri salvi sint ibi, alii salvi sint in terra nostra.
41. All merchants are to be safe and secure departing from England and entering into England, and staying and going through England, both by land and by water, to buy and sell, without any evil exactions, according to ancient and right customs, save in time of war, and if they are from a land at war with us. And if such are found in our land at the beginning of the war, they are to be attached without damage of body and goods, until it is known by us or our chief justiciar, how the merchants of our land are treated, who then are found in the land at war with us, and if ours are safe there, the others are to be safe in our land. [AB, 31; 1225, 30]
42. Liceat unicuique decetero exire de regno nostro, et redire salvo et secure per terram et per aquam, salva fide nostra, nisi tempore guerre per aliquod breve tempus, | propter communem utilitatem regni, exceptis inprisonatis et utlaghatis secundum legem regni, et gente de terra contra nos guerrina, et mercatoribus de quibus fiat sicut predictum est.
42. It is to be allowable for anyone henceforth to depart from our kingdom, and return safely and securely, by land and by water, saving our faith, save in time of war for some brief time, for the common utility of the kingdom, except those imprisoned and outlawed according to the law of the kingdom, and people from a land at war with us, and merchants for whom it is to be as aforesaid. [AB, 33]
43. Si quis tenuerit de aliqua escaeta, sicut de honore Wallingeford’, Notingeham’, Bolonie, Lancastrie, vel de aliis escaetis, que sunt in manu nostra, et sunt baronie, et obierit, heres eius non det aliud relevium, nec faciat aliud nobis servitium* quam faceret baroni si baronia illa esset | in manu baronis; et† nos eodem modo eam tenebimus quo baro eam tenuit.
43. If anyone dies who holds from any escheat, as from the honour of Wallingford, Nottingham, Boulogne, Lancaster, or from other escheats which are in our hand, and are baronies, his heir is not to give us other relief, nor to do us other service, than he would do to the baron if that barony was in the hand of a baron; and we will hold it in the same way as the baron held it. [AB, 36; 1225, 31]
44. Homines qui manent extra forestam non veniant decetero coram justiciariis nostris de foresta per communes summonitiones, nisi sint in placito vel plegii alicuius vel aliquorum qui attachiati sint pro foresta.
44. Men who live outside the forest are not henceforth to come before our justices of the forest through the common summonses, unless they are in a plea, or the sureties of some person or persons who have been attached for the forest business. [AB, 39; 1225 Forest Charter, 2]
45. Nos non faciemus justiciarios,‡ constabularios, vicecomites, vel ballivos, nisi de talibus qui sciant legem regni et eam bene velint observare.
45. We will not make justices, constables, sheriffs or bailiffs, save from those who know the law of the kingdom and wish to observe it well. [AB, 42]
46. Omnes | barones qui fundaverunt Abbatias, unde habent cartas Regum Anglie, vel antiquam tenuram, habeant earum custodiam cum vacaverint, sicut habere debent.
46. All barons who have founded abbeys, for which they have charters of the kings of England, or ancient tenure, are to have custody of these when they become vacant, as they ought to have. [AB, 43; 1225, 33]
47. Omnes foreste que afforestate sunt tempore nostro, statim deafforestentur; et ita fiat de ripariis que per nos tempore nostro posite sunt in defenso.
47. All forests which have been afforested in our time are to be immediately deforested; and it is to be the same for riverbanks which through us in our time have been placed in enclosure. [AB, 47; 1225, 16; 1225 Forest Charter, 3]
48. Omnes male consuetudines de forestis et warrennis, et de forestariis et warrennariis, vicecomitibus, et eorum ministris, Ripariis | et earum custodibus, statim inquirantur in quolibet comitatu per duodecim milites iuratos de eodem comitatu, qui debent eligi per probos homines eiusdem comitatus, et infra quadraginta dies post inquisitionem factam, penitus, ita quod numquam revocentur, deleantur* per eosdem. Ita quod nos hoc prius† sciamus vel justiciarius noster, si‡ in Anglia non fuerimus.
48. All evil customs of forests and warrens, and of foresters and warreners, sheriffs and their ministers, riverbanks and their keepers, are to be immediately inquired into in each county by twelve sworn knights of the same county, who are to be elected by upright men of the same county, and within forty days after the inquiry has been made, they are to be wholly abolished by them, so that they are never revived, provided that we, or our justiciar, if we are not in England, know about it beforehand. [AB, 39]
49. Omnes obsides et cartas statim reddemus que liberate fuerunt nobis ab Anglicis in securitatem pacis vel fide | lis servitii.
49. We will immediately return all hostages and charters which were given to us by Englishmen as security for peace or faithful service. [AB, 38]
50. Nos amovebimus penitus de balliis parentes Gerardi de Atyes§ quod decetero nullam habeant balliam in Anglia; Engelardum de Cygoyny, Andream, Petrum et Gyonem de Cancellis,¶ Gyonem de Cygoyny, Galfridum de Martiny et fratres eius, Philippum Marc’, et fratres eius, et Galfridum nepotem eius, et totam sequelam eorumdem; (51) et** statim post pacis reformationem amovebimus de regno omnes alienigenas milites, Balistarios, servientes | stipendiarios, qui venerint cum equis et armis ad nocumentum regni.
50. We will remove completely from their bailiwicks the kinsmen of Gerard d’Athée, so that henceforth they shall hold no bailiwick in England: Engelard de Cigogné, Andrew, Peter and Gio de Chanceaux, Gio de Cigogné, Geoffrey de Martigny, and his brothers, Philip Marc and his brothers, and Geoffrey his nephew, and all their following. [AB, 40] (51) And immediately after the restoration of peace, we will remove from the kingdom all alien knights, cross-bowmen, serjeants, mercenaries, who have come with horses and arms to the harm of the kingdom. [AB, 41]
52. Si quis fuerit dissaisitus vel elongatus per nos sine legali iuditio parium suorum, de terris, castellis,†† libertatibus, vel iure suo, statim ea ei restituemus; et si contentio super hoc orta fuerit, tunc inde fiat‡‡ per juditium viginti quinque baronum, de quibus fit mentio inferius in securitate pacis.
De omnibus autem illis de quibus aliquis dissaisitus fuerit vel elongatus sine legali iuditio parium suorum, per Henricum | Regem patrem nostrum vel per Ricardum regem fratrem nostrum, que in manu nostra habemus, vel que alii tenent, que nos oporteat warantizare, respectum habebimus usque ad communem terminum cruce signatorum; exceptis illis de quibus placitum motum fuit vel inquisitio facta per preceptum nostrum, ante susceptionem crucis nostre.
Cum autem redierimus de peregrinatione nostra, vel si forte remanserimus a peregrinatione nostra, statim inde plenam iustitiam exhibebimus.
52. If anyone has been disseised or dispossessed by us, without lawful judgement of his peers, of lands, castles, liberties or his right, we will restore these to him immediately. And if a dispute arises about this, then it is to be dealt with by the judgement of the twenty-five barons of whom mention is made below in the security of peace.
Concerning, however, all those who have been disseised or dispossessed without lawful judgement of their peers by King Henry, our father, or by King Richard, our brother, which things we have in our hand, or which others hold, which we ought to warrant, we will have respite until the common term of crusaders; except for those things concerning which a plea has been moved or an inquest made by our order, before the receiving of our cross.
When, however, we return from pilgrimage, or if by chance we remain behind from our pilgrimage, we will then immediately give full justice. [AB, 25]
53. Eundem* autem | respectum habebimus, et eodem modo, de iustitia exhibenda de forestis deafforestandis† vel remansuris forestis, quas Henricus pater noster vel Ricardus frater noster afforestaverunt, et de custodiis terrarum que sunt de alieno feodo, cuiusmodi custodias hucusque habuimus occasione feodi quod aliquis de nobis tenuit per servitium militare. Et de Abbatiis que fundate fuerint in feodo alterius quam nostro, in quibus dominus feodi dixerit se ius habere. Et cum redierimus, vel si reman | serimus a peregrinatione nostra, super hiis conquerentibus plenam iustitiam statim exhibebimus.
53. We shall have the same respite, and in the same way, concerning the giving of justice with regard to forests to be deforested or forests to be retained, which Henry, our father, or Richard, our brother, afforested, and concerning the wardship of lands which are of the fee of another, wardships of which kind we have had hitherto by reason of a fee which somebody held from us by knight service; and concerning abbeys which have been founded in the fee of another, not our own, in which the lord of the fee says he has right. And when we return, or if we remain behind from our pilgrimage, we will immediately give full justice on these things to the complainants. [1225 Forest Charter, 1, 3]
54. Nullus capiatur nec inprisonetur propter appellum femine de morte alterius quam viri sui.
54. No one is to be arrested or imprisoned through the appeal of a woman for the death of anyone other than her husband. [1225, 34]
55. Omnes fines qui iniuste et contra legem terre facti sunt nobiscum, et omnia amerciamenta facta iniuste et contra legem terre, omnino condonentur, vel fiat inde per iuditium viginti quinque baronum de quibus fit mentio inferius in securitate pacis, vel per iuditium maioris partis | eorumdem, una cum predicto Stephano Cantuariensi Archiepiscopo, si interesse poterit, et aliis quos secum ad hoc vocare voluerit: et si interesse non poterit, nichilominus procedat negotium sine eo. Ita quod, si aliquis vel aliqui de predictis viginti quinque baronibus fuerint in simili querela, amoveantur quantum ad hoc iuditium, et alii loco eorum per residuos de eisdem viginti quinque,* tantum ad hoc faciendum electi et iurati substituantur.†
55. All fines which have been made with us unjustly and against the law of the land, and all amercements made unjustly and against the law of the land, are to be completely remitted, or dealt with by the judgement of the twenty-five barons of whom mention is made below in the security of peace, or by the judgement of the greater part of them, together with the aforesaid Stephen, archbishop of Canterbury, if he will be able to attend, and with others whom he wishes to call with him for this. And if he will not be able toattend, nonetheless the business is to proceed without him, provided that if any person or persons from the aforesaid twenty-five barons is in such a plea, they are to be removed just for that judgement, and others in place of them, chosen and sworn just to make that judgement, are to be substituted by the rest of the twenty-five. [AB, 37]
56. Si nos disseisivimus vel elongavi | mus walenses de terris vel libertatibus vel rebus aliis, sine legali iuditio parium suorum,‡ in anglia vel in wallia, eis statim reddantur; et si contentio super hoc orta fuerit, tunc inde fiat in marchia per iuditium parium suorum, de tenementis anglie secundum legem anglie, de tenementis wallie secundum legem wallie, de tenementis marchie secundum legem marchie. Idem facient walenses nobis et nostris.
56. If we have disseised or dispossessed Welshmen of lands, or liberties or other things, without lawful judgement of their peers, in England or in Wales, those things are to be immediately restored to them. And if a dispute arises about this, then it is to be dealt with in the March by judgement of their peers, concerning tenements in England according to the law of England, concerning tenements of Wales, according to the law of Wales, concerning tenements of the March, according to the law of the March. Welshmen shall do the same for us and our men. [AB, 44]
57. De omnibus autem illis de quibus aliquis walensium dissaisitus fuerit | vel elongatus§ sine legali iuditio parium suorum, per Henricum regem patrem nostrum vel Ricardum Regem fratrem nostrum que nos in manu nostra habemus, vel que alii tenent que nos oporteat warantizare, respectum habebimus usque ad communem terminum crucesignatorum, illis exceptis de quibus placitum motum fuit vel inquisitio facta per preceptum nostrum ante susceptionem crucis nostre. Cum autem redierimus, vel si forte remanserimus a peregrinatione nostra, statim eis inde plenam iusticiam | exhibebimus, secundum leges walensium¶ et partes predictas.
57. Concerning, however, all the things of which any Welshman has been disseised or dispossessed, without lawful judgement of his peers, by King Henry, our father, or King Richard, our brother, which we have in our hand, or which others hold which we ought to warrant, we will have respite until the common term of crusaders, those things excepted concerning which a plea has been moved or an inquest has been made by our order before the receiving of our cross. When, however, we return, or if by chance we remain behind from our pilgrimage, we will then immediately give full justice to them according to the laws of the Welsh and the foresaid parts. [AB, 44]
58. Nos reddemus filium Leulini statim, et omnes obsides de wallia, et cartas que nobis liberate fuerunt in securitatem pacis.
58. We will return the son of Llywelyn immediately, and all hostages from Wales, and the charters which have been delivered to us as security of peace. [AB, 45]
59. Nos faciemus Alexandro Regi scottorum de sororibus suis et obsidibus reddendis, et libertatibus suis, et jure suo, secundum formam in qua faciemus aliis baronibus nostris Anglie, nisi aliter esse debeat per cartas quas habemus de Willelmo patre ipsius,*quondam rege scottorum; et hoc erit per | iuditium parium | suorum in curia nostra.
59. We will deal with Alexander, king of Scots, concerning the restoration of his sisters and hostages, and his liberties and his right, according to the form in which we will deal with our other barons of England, unless it should be otherwise by reason of the charters which we have from William, his father, once king of Scots, and this will be by judgement of his peers in our court. [AB, 46]
60. Omnes autem istas consuetudines predictas et libertates quas nos concessimus† in regno nostro tenendas quantum ad nos pertinet erga nostros, omnes de regno nostro, tam clerici quam laici, observent‡ quantum ad se pertinet erga suos.
60. All these aforesaid customs and liberties, moreover, which we have granted to be held in our kingdom, as much as it pertains to us towards our men, all the men of our kingdom, both clerks and laymen, are to observe, as much as it pertains to them, to their men. [AB, 48; 1225, 37; 1225 Forest Charter, 17]
61. Cum autem pro deo, et ad emendationem regni nostri, et ad melius sopiendam discordiam inter nos et barones nostros ortam, hec omnia predicta concesserimus, volentes ea integra et firma§ stabilitate in perpetuum gaudere,¶ facimus et conce | dimus eis securitatem subscriptam; videlicet quod barones eligent** viginti quinque barones de regno quos voluerint, qui debeant pro totis viribus suis observare, tenere, et facere observari, pacem et libertates quas eis concessimus, et hac presenti carta nostra confirmavimus. Ita scilicet quod, si nos, vel justiciarius noster, vel ballivi nostri, vel aliquis de ministris nostris, in aliquo erga aliquem deliquerimus, vel aliquem articulorum pacis aut securitatis transgressi fuerimus, et delictum ostensum | fuerit quattuor baronibus de predictis viginti quinque baronibus, illi quattuor barones accedent†† ad nos vel ad justiciarium nostrum, si fuerimus extra regnum, proponentes nobis excessum;* petent ut excessum illum sine dilatione faciamus emendari. Et si nos excessum non emendaverimus, vel, si fuerimus extra regnum, justiciarius noster non emendaverit infra tempus quadraginta dierum computandum a tempore quo monstratum fuerit nobis vel justiciario nostro† si extra regnum fuerimus, predicti | quattuor barones referant causam‡ ad residuos de illis§viginti quinque baronibus, et illi viginti quinque barones cum communa totius terre distringent et gravabunt nos modis omnibus quibus poterunt, scilicet¶ per captionem castrorum, terrarum, possessionum, et aliis modis quibus poterunt, donec fuerit emendatum secundum arbitrium eorum, salva persona nostra et Regine nostre et liberorum nostrorum; et cum fuerit emendatum, intendent nobis sicut prius fecerunt.
Et quicumque voluerit de | terra, iuret quod ad predicta omnia exequenda, parebit mandatis predictorum viginti quinque baronum, et quod gravabit nos pro posse suo cum ipsis, et nos publice et libere damus licentiam iurandi cuilibet qui iurare voluerit, et nulli umquam iurare prohibebimus.
Omnes autem illos de terra qui per se et sponte sua noluerint iurare** viginti quinque baronibus, de distringendo et gravando nos cum eis, faciemus iurare eosdem de mandato nostro, sicut predictum est.
Et si aliquis de†† vigin | ti quinque baronibus decesserit, vel a terra recesserit, vel aliquo alio modo impeditus fuerit, quominus ista predicta possent‡‡ exequi, qui residui fuerint de predictis§§ viginti quinque baronibus eligant alium loco ipsius, pro arbitrio suo, qui simili modo erit iuratus quo et ceteri.
In omnibus autem que istis viginti quinque baronibus committuntur exequenda, si forte ipsi viginti quinque presentes fuerint, et inter se super re aliqua discordaverint, vel aliqui ex eis summoniti nolint vel neq | ueant interesse, ratum habeatur et firmum quod maior pars eorum qui presentes fuerint, providerit, vel preceperit, ac si omnes viginti quinque in hoc consensissent. Et predicti viginti quinque iurent quod omnia antedicta fideliter observabunt, et pro toto posse suo facient observari.
Et nos nichil impetrabimus ab aliquo, per nos nec per alium, per quod aliqua istarum concessionum et* libertatum revocetur vel minuatur. Et si aliquid tale impetratum fuerit irritum sit et inane et numquam | eo utemur per nos nec per alium.
61. Since, moreover, for God and for the reform of our kingdom and for the better quieting of the discord arisen between us and our barons, we have granted all the things aforesaid, wishing these things to enjoy a complete and firm durability in perpetuity, we make and grant them the below written security: namely that the barons shall choose twenty-five barons of the kingdom, whom they wish, who should with all their strength observe, keep and cause to be observed, the peace and liberties which we have granted to them, and have confirmed by this our present charter, so namely that if we, or our justiciar, or our bailiffs, or any of our ministers, offends against anyone in any way, or transgresses any of the articles of peace or security, and the offence is shown to four barons of the aforesaid twenty-five barons, these four barons shall go to us or our justiciar, if we are out of the kingdom, putting before us the transgression; they shall seek that we cause that transgression to be redressed without delay. And if we do not redress it, or, if we are out of the kingdom, our justiciar does not redress it, within the time of forty days to be counted from the time when it is shown to us or our justiciar, if we are out of the kingdom, the aforesaid four barons are to refer the cause to the rest of those twenty-five barons, and those twenty-five barons, with the commune of all the land, shall distrain and distress us in all ways they can, namely by the taking of castles, lands, possessions, and in other ways as they shall be able, until it is redressed, according to their judgement, saving our person and those of our queen and our children. And when it is redressed, they shall obey us as they did before.
And whosoever of the land wishes, is to swear that for the executing of all the aforesaid things, he shall obey the orders of the foresaid twenty-five barons, and that he will distress us with them according to his ability, and we publicly and freely give licence to swear to anyone who wishes to swear, and to no one will we ever prohibit swearing.
All those, however, of the land who do not wish of their own accord and spontaneously to swear to the twenty-five barons, concerning distraining and distressing us with them, we shall cause these same to swear by our order, as is aforesaid.
And if any of the twenty-five barons dies, or departs from the land, or in any other way is impeded, so that they are the less able to carry out the foresaid things, those who remain of the aforesaid twenty-five barons are to choose another in his place, according to their decision, who will be sworn in the same way as the others.
In all the things, moreover, which are committed to these twenty-five barons to be dealt with, if by chance these twenty-five are present, and disagree among themselves on any thing, or if any of them, having been summoned, should not wish or should be unable to attend, what the greater part of those who are present provide or order, is to be treated as ratified and binding, as if all the twenty-five had consented to this. And the aforesaid twenty-five are to swear that they will faithfully observe all the aforesaid things, and to the best of their ability will cause them to be observed.
And we will obtain nothing from anybody, by us nor by another, by which any of these concessions and liberties may be revoked or diminished; and if any such thing is obtained, it is to be invalid and void, and we will never use it, either through ourselves or through another. [AB, 49]
62. Et† omnes malas voluntates, indignationes, et rancores, ortos inter nos et homines nostros, clericos et laicos, a tempore discordie, plene omnibus remisimus et condonavimus.
Preterea omnes trangressiones factas occasione eiusdem‡ discordie, a Pascha anno Regni nostri sextodecimo usque ad pacem reformatam, plene remisimus omnibus, clericis et laicis, et quantum ad nos pertinet, plene condonavimus.
Et insuper, fecimus eis fieri | litteras testimoniales patentes Domini Stephani Cantuariensis Archiepiscopi, Domini Henrici Dublinensis Archiepiscopi,§ et Episcoporum predictorum, et Magistri Pandulfi, super securitate ista¶ et concessionibus prefatis.
62. And all ill will, indignation and rancour which has arisen between us and our men, clerks and laymen, from the time of the discord, we have fully remitted and pardoned to everyone.
In addition, all transgressions perpetrated on occasion of the aforesaid discord, from Easter in the sixteenth year of our reign, until the restoration of peace, we have fully remitted to all, clerks and laymen, and as much as it belongs to us, have fully pardoned.
And, moreover, we have caused to be made for them letters patent testimonial of lord Stephen, archbishop of Canterbury, of lord Henry, archbishop of Dublin, and of the aforesaid bishops, and of Master Pandulf, on this security and the aforesaid concessions.
63. Quare volumus et firmiter precipimus quod anglicana ecclesia libera sit et quod homines in regno nostro habeant et teneant omnes prefatas libertates, jura, et concessiones, bene et* in pace, libere et quiete, plene et integre, sibi et | heredibus suis, de nobis et heredibus nostris, in omnibus rebus et locis, in perpetuum, sicut predictum est.
Juratum est autem, tam ex parte nostra quam ex parte baronum, quod hec omnia supradicta bona fide et sine malo ingenio servabuntur.†
Testibus supradictis et multis aliis.
Data per manum nostram in Prato quod vocatur Runimed’ inter Windleshor’ et Stanes | Quintodecimo die Junii, Anno Regni Nostri Septimodecimo.‡
63. Wherefore, we wish and firmly command that the English church be free, and that the men in our kingdom have and hold all the aforesaid liberties, rights and concessions, well and in peace, freely and quietly, fully and completely, for them and their heirs, from us and our heirs, in all things and places, in perpetuity, as is aforesaid.
Moreover, it has been sworn both on our part and on the part of the barons, that all these things abovesaid will be observed in good faith and without evil intent.
Witnesses the abovesaid 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.*