was said above, and in the interim let her have her reasonable estovers out of the  common inheritance. And for her dower, when it is delivered, let there be assigned  her the third part of all her husband's land that was his during his lifetime, or let  her be satisfied in some other way, according as her dower was constituted her at the  church door,1920nor shall she be compelled to marry so long as she prefers to live  without a husband, provided she gives security to the chief lord that she will not  marry without his consent, [that is, the consent of him] of whom she ought to hold,  the lord king or another.]21
How dower is to be assigned her.
 22if the whole of her dower is vacant, then, within forty days, let her lawful dower  be assigned her, [or] what was constituted her at the church door, [As it then is,  cultivated or uncultivated, and let nothing be refunded to executors or heirs for  the cultivation and care.]23 with the fruits and rents, and all the other appurtenances,  because it used to be true that as a wife received her dower after her husband's  death,24 so was it restored to the heir after her own,25 because a wife had no  power to make a will of crops and fruits attached to the tenement. But by a new  supervening grace and provision,26 as appears from the provisions at Merton, among  the pleas which follow the king [Henry] in the twentieth27 year of his reign, she may  now make a will of fruits and crops, whether separated from the soil or not, and dispose  of them at her pleasure.2829If part of her dower is vacant and part not, she shall  then receive the part that is vacant and (if she wishes) claim the other by an action by  writ of right,30 unless on advice she considers it best to postpone her entry for a time  lest by the receipt of part she prejudice herself with respect to the residue, because  of the delay which may ensue in the writ of right, [for she must sue by writ of right]  if she has received any portion of her dower because of the words in the writ of dower,  namely, and whereof she has nothing, as will be explained below [in the portion  on] actions [of dower], of exceptions against a petitio of dower.3132If nothing  is vacant at the time of her husband's death but the whole inheritance stands  alienated in the hands of others, the tenants are not obliged to restore her dower  immediately unless they so wish, since they have just cause for resisting and vouching  a warrantor, one or several in succession until they reach the person of the heir, the  wife's warrantor of her dower, within which period they are not liable to her for  damages or expenses.33 But when the heir has warranted, let him immediately  restore her dower to her, unless he has just ground for resisting;
20-21. Magna Carta (1225) ca. 8 (with additions); supra 255