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Of one who raises another in his house as son and heir who is neither.

[002] We have discussed above the case of a wife who, during her husband's life or after
[003] his death, falsely claims that she is pregnant though she was not. Now we must
[004] consider the case of a husband and wife who, to the disherison of the true heir,
[005] raise as son and heir one who is neither son nor heir but a supposititious child or one
[006] begotten by another. At the complaint of the true heir let them be summoned to
[007] appear before the justices by this writ.

Writ for having the bodies of such a one and his wife before the justices.

[009] 1‘The king to the sheriff, greeting. We order you to have before our justices etc.
[010] the body of A. and of B. his wife (or the body of either of them) to answer C., son
[011] (or ‘grandson’ or other heir) of the said A., who claims to be the heir of A., as
[012] to why they cause D. to be raised as son and heir of the said A., to the disherison
[013] of C., when D. is not and cannot be the son or heir of B., as the said C. says. And
[014] have there this writ. Witness etc.’ If the father and2 mother appear, or one of them,
[015] and produce the child they are raising, acknowledging him in court as their son and
[016] heir, then, if the presumption of legitimacy which admits of no proof to the contrary
[017] lies in their favour, as where he was born of a wife able to conceive, though
[018] begotten by someone other than her husband, or if he was substituted while
[019] husband and wife lived together, there being no impediment on the husband's
[020] part whereby he could not beget nor on the wife's whereby she could not conceive,
[021] for example sterility or old age, such issue will be legitimate. But if the true heir
[022] can demonstrate the contrary it will be otherwise, even though the parents have
[023] acknowledged the contrary in court, [that is], provided it is proved. For an
[024] acknowledgment made in court must be in accord with nature and consonant with
[025] truth. If while such plea is pending and before the status of the child is ascertained
[026] he dies and another is substituted for him and raised as heir, let the following writ
[027] issue on the plaint of the true heir.

Where the true heir dies within age and the guardian substitutes another, a stranger; or if it is suspected that he is dead, a writ that he be produced and viewed.

[029] ‘The king to the sheriff, greeting. A. brother of B., who claims to be the heir of the
[030] said B. if C. the wife of D. and the daughter of the said B.


1. Cf. C.R.R., xii, nos. 2243, 2267; B.N.B., no. 247; Meekings in Bull. Inst. Hist. Res., xxxii, 213, an action brought by William de Monte Acuto against his brother John and Lucia his wife (Easter 10 Hen. III)

2. ‘et’

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