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gradation; and when the King insisted that, after he was degraded, he should be tried before the ordinary court, the Archbishop maintained that it was unjust that a man should be twice tried for the same offence. Henry thereupon assembled the Bishops, and asked them whether they would submit to the ancient laws and customs of the realm ; and they, after some hesitation, expressed their willingness to do so. Accordingly, a Council was convoked at Clarendon in 1164, when the sixteen articles, known as the Constitutions of Clarendon, were drawn up.
They are to the following effect :-1. All suits concerning the advowson and presentation of churches shall be decided in the civil courts. 2. Churches belonging to the King's fee shall not be granted in perpetuity without his consent. 3. Ecclesiastics accused of any crime shall appear before the King's Justice, who shall decide whether the case ought to be tried in the secular or ecclesiastical court; and if the clerk is convicted, or confesses his crime, the Church must not any longer give him protection. 4. No Archbishop, or clergyman of high rank, shall go out of the realm without the King's licence; and then he must give surety that, whilst abroad, he will do nothing to the damage of the King or kingdom. 5. Excommunicated persons shall not be required to do more than give security that they will present themselves to suffer the judgment of the Church, in order to absolution. 6. No layman shall be accused before a Bishop, except by legal witnesses ; and if the culprit be of such high rank that no one dares to accuse him, the Sheriff, on the Bishop's demand, shall swear twelve lawful men of the neighbourhood before the Bishop to declare the truth according to their conscience. 7. No tenant in chief of the King, nor officer of his household, shall be excommuni. cated, nor his land put under an interdict, till application has been made to the King, or, in his absence, to his Justiciary, that he may do justice concerning such person. 8. All appeals in spiritual matters shall be carried from the Archdeacon to the Bishop, from the Bishop to the Primate, and from him to the King, and shall be carried no further without the King's consent. 9. If any lawsuit arise between a layman and an ecclesiastic concerning the nature of a fief, the question shall be decided by the verdict of twelve lawful men, &c. 10. Any inhabitant of a city, borough, &c., who has been cited before an ecclesiastical court, and has refused to appear, may be placed under an interdict. 11. Archbishops, and other spiritual dignitaries, who hold of the King in chief, shall be regarded as Barons of the realm, and shall possess the privileges and be subjected to the burdens belonging to their rank: they shall be present at the trials at
The Circuits.-In 1176, England was divided into six districts and justices in eyre, or itinerant justices were appointed to make periodic circuits to try all the criminal and civil pleas arising within their respective divisions. This alteration was suggested by the failure of the old system, which had culminated in the existence of a great diversity of laws, customs, rules, and forms of proceeding, and in much injustice consequent upon the ignorance or partiality of the local judges.
Sworn Recognitors.-In 1176 sixteen sworn recognitors were substituted for trial by battle, thus laying, according to some authorities, the foundation of the system of Trial by Jury, to which we shall have occasion to refer hereafter. During this century the several functions of the Aula Regis were distinguished, and the three separate courts of the King's Bench, vel curiam coram ipso rege, vel ejus justiciario, in 1194; the Court of Common Pleas, in 1196; and the Court of Exchequer, variously assigned to 1079, 1135, and 1359, were erected as independent courts.
the King's Court, till judgment proceeds to loss of member or death. 12. Pleas of debt belong to the King's jurisdiction. 13. If a person resist a sentence legally pronounced on him by an ecclesiastical court, the King shall employ his authority in obliging him to make submission. In like manner, if any one resist the King in his judi. cature, the prelates shall assist the King with their censures in reducing him. 14. Goods forfeited to the King shall not be protected in churches or churchyards. 15. When any archbishopric, bishopric, or royal abbey falls vacant, the King shall enjoy its revenues ; and when it is to be filled, he shall send for the principal clergy thereof, and the election shall be made in his chapel, and with his assent, and the advice of such of the prelates as he shall call for that pur. pose ; and the person elected shall do homage and fealty to the King for his temporal possessions, saving his order. 16. No villein shall be ordained as a clerk, without the consent of the lord on whose estate he was born.
The murder of Becket (1170) gave a great advantage to the Church; and the Constitutions became practically inoperative.
1 Page 141.
Sir Matthew Hale says that Henry II. raised up the municipal laws of the kingdom to a greater perfection, and a more orderly and regular administration, than before. 'It is true,' says he, that we have no record of judicial proceedings so ancient as that time, except the pipe rolls in the Exchequer, which are only accounts of his revenue.
But we need no other evidence hereof than the tractate of Granville, which, though perhaps it was not written by that Ranulphus de Granvilla who was Justitiarius Angliæ under Henry II., yet it seems to be wholly written at that time.'1 Population—Classes.—We remarked that the
population of England at the accession of William I. was about 2,000,000, at which figure it stood at the close of this century. The natural increase by birth, and the large influx of Normans, was counterbalanced by the frightful loss of life that attended the struggles between the contending races, and those between the rival supporters of Stephen and Matilda. These two millions may be divided into—1, The nobility and gentry; 2, The remaining freemen, consisting of the burgesses, the inhabitants of cities, towns, or boroughs, and those who dwelt in the country, the socagers, whose tenure was free, though inferior to knight service, and the tenant class, the basis of the English yeomanry. 3, The servi, who, according to the Doomsday-book, amounted to 25,000, who were styled by the Normans villeins, and were divided into two classes, villeins in gross, in whom their owners had practically the same rights as in their cattle, and villeins regardant, who differed from the former in that they were attached to the land, and could only be sold with it.
1 Hale, p. 168.
THIRTEENTH CENTURY-1200 TO 1299.
John, 1199 to 1216. Henry III., 1216 to 1272. Edward I., 1272 to 1307.
The land tenure'remains the same in theory ; time has however added a species of prescriptive right to the titles of the beneficiaries under what can hardly now be called the new régime. Estates pass from ancestor to heir as absolute property.
John, one of the vilest of our kings, being implicated in the murder of his nephew Prince Arthur in 1203, was deprived, by the King of France, of Normandy, Anjou, Maine, Touraine, and part of Poitou ; in other words, of the bulk of the continental possessions of our early Norman kings, his predecessors. A fact perhaps not to be regretted, its effect being, according to some of our best historians, to centre the affections of the Anglo-Norman nobles in their English home. The history of the English nation has, indeed, been by some dated from A.D. 1215.
Magna Charta.—It was in the year 1215 that the nobles, driven to extreme measures by the flagrant tyranny of the King, presented themselves, headed by Archbishop Langton, in arms before John, and insisted on the liberties and laws of King Edward, and the Charter of Henry I., being confirmed. By procrastination and stratagem John endeavoured to evade the demand, but his manœuvres failed. The day was fixed for him to meet his Barons. It was the 9th of Junethe place was Runnymede. The Conference, which was afterwards adjourned till the 15th, was not concluded till Friday, the 19th, when the Royal seal was affixed to the Magna Charta ; the most important clauses of which arel :
•12. No scutage or aid shall be imposed in our kingdom, unless by the general council of our kingdom; except for ransoming our person, making our eldest son a knight, and once for marrying our eldest daughter; and for these there shall be paid a reasonable aid. In like manner it shall be concerning the aids of the city of London. . ... 14. And for
i The residue of the Charter runs thus :JOHN, by the grace of God King of England, Lord of Ireland, Duke of
Normandy and Aquitaine, and Count of Anjou, to his Archbishops, Bishops, Abbots, Earls, Barons, Justiciaries, Foresters, Sheriffs, Governors, Officers, and to all Bailiffs, and his lieges, greeting. Know ye, that we, in the presence of God, and for the salvation of our soul, and the souls of all our ancestors and heirs, and unto the honour of God and the advancement of Holy Church, and amendment of our Realm, by advice 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, JOCELIn of Bath and Glastonbury, Hugh of Lincoln, WALTER of Worcester, WILLIAM of Coventry, BENEDICT of Rochester, Bishops; of Master PANDULPH, Sub-Deacon and Familiar of our Lord thePope, Bro. ther AYMERIC, Master of the Knights-Templars in England; and of the Noble Persons, WILLIAM MARESCHALL, 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, and HUBERT DE BURGH, Seneschal of Poitu, Hugh DE NEVILLE, MATTHEW Fitz HERBERT, THOMAS BASSET, ALAN BASSET, PHILIP OF ALBINEY, ROBERT DE ROPPELL, JOHN MARESCHALL, JOHN Fitz Hugh, and others our liegemen, have, in the first place, granted to God, and by this our present Charter confirmed, for us and our heirs for
1. That the Church of England shall be free, and have her whole rights, and her liberties inviolable; and we will have them so observed, that it may appear thence that the freedom of elections, which is reckoned chief and indispensable to the English Church, and which we granted and confirmed by our Charter, and obtained the confir. mation of the same from our Lord the Pope Innocent III., before the discord between us and our barons, was granted of mere free will ; which Charter we shall observe, and we do will it to be faithfully observed by our heirs for ever. 2. We also have granted to all the freemen of our kingdom, for us and for our heirs for ever, all the