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[001] was said above, and in the interim let her have her reasonable estovers out of the
[002] common inheritance. And for her dower, when it is delivered, let there be assigned
[003] her the third part of all her husband's land that was his during his lifetime, or let
[004] her be satisfied in some other way, according as her dower was constituted her at the
[005] church door,19 20nor shall she be compelled to marry so long as she prefers to live
[006] without a husband, provided she gives security to the chief lord that she will not
[007] marry without his consent, [that is, the consent of him] of whom she ought to hold,
[008] the lord king or another.]21

How dower is to be assigned her.

[010] 22if the whole of her dower is vacant, then, within forty days, let her lawful dower
[011] be assigned her, [or] what was constituted her at the church door, [As it then is,
[012] cultivated or uncultivated, and let nothing be refunded to executors or heirs for
[013] the cultivation and care.]23 with the fruits and rents, and all the other appurtenances,
[014] because it used to be true that as a wife received her dower after her husband's
[015] death,24 so was it restored to the heir after her own,25 because a wife had no
[016] power to make a will of crops and fruits attached to the tenement. But by a new
[017] supervening grace and provision,26 as appears from the provisions at Merton, among
[018] the pleas which follow the king [Henry] in the twentieth27 year of his reign, she may
[019] now make a will of fruits and crops, whether separated from the soil or not, and dispose
[020] of them at her pleasure.28 29If part of her dower is vacant and part not, she shall
[021] then receive the part that is vacant and (if she wishes) claim the other by an action by
[022] writ of right,30 unless on advice she considers it best to postpone her entry for a time
[023] lest by the receipt of part she prejudice herself with respect to the residue, because
[024] of the delay which may ensue in the writ of right, [for she must sue by writ of right]
[025] if she has received any portion of her dower because of the words in the writ of dower,
[026] namely, ‘and whereof she has nothing,’ as will be explained below [in the portion
[027] on] actions [of dower], of exceptions against a petitio of dower.31 32If nothing
[028] is vacant at the time of her husband's death but the whole inheritance stands
[029] alienated in the hands of others, the tenants are not obliged to restore her dower
[030] immediately unless they so wish, since they have just cause for resisting and vouching
[031] a warrantor, one or several in succession until they reach the person of the heir, the
[032] wife's warrantor of her dower, within which period they are not liable to her for
[033] damages or expenses.33 But when the heir has warranted, let him immediately
[034] restore her dower to her, unless he has just ground for resisting;


20-21. Magna Carta (1225) ca. 8 (with additions); supra 255

22. Supra i, 136-8 (full collation)

23. Reading: ‘Secundum quod ... inculta, et nihil ... et cura’; infra 280.

24. Om: ‘culta vel inculta’

25. Om: ‘culta vel inculta’

26. B.N.B., no. 1409 (margin); infra iii, 309

27. For the date, suprai, 137; Woodbine in L.Q.R., xxvi, 151; Richardson and Sayles in L.Q.R., 1, 204 n.

28. Supra 169

29-30. Glanvill vi, 4: ‘si quaedam pars vacat et quaedam non vacat in partem quae vacat ponere se poterit praedicto modo et de residuo habebit breve de recto ...’; infra iii, 400

31. Infra iii, 357, 359, 396

32. New paragraph

33. Infra iii, 399

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