Harvard Law School Library

Bracton Online -- English

Previous   Volume 2, Page 317  Next    

Go to Volume:      Page:    

[001] on the day our sheriff aforesaid shall make known to you, to take the aforesaid
[002] inquest with the aforesaid B. and the sheriff aforesaid, so that we may deservedly
[003] commend your diligence and judicious conduct. In testimony whereof etc. Witness
[004] etc.’ And let another similar writ close issue to his colleague and also a writ close
[005] to the sheriff in this form.

Writ close to the sheriff on the same matter.

[007] ‘The king to the sheriff, greeting. We order you to go, taking with you our trusty
[008] and well-beloved A. and B. whom we have appointed our justices in this matter,
[009] to such a place, and there, before yourself and our justices aforesaid, to cause
[010] twenty-four of the more law-worthy and prudent knights of your shire to appear,
[011] through whom the truth of the matter etc. and who are in no way related to the
[012] aforesaid C. and D. (or ‘who are not in some way essoinable’) to recognise upon
[013] their oath whether the aforesaid D.1 robbed the aforesaid C. (or did him some other
[014] harm) in breach of our peace (stated in such a way that all may proceed in accordance
[015] with the plaintiff's complaint. And then as follows) And cause that inquest
[016] (or ‘the inquest that you then make’) to come before us (or ‘to be made known to
[017] us’) on such a day (or ‘without delay’). And make known to the aforesaid D.2
[018] the day on which you wish to make that inquest, that he may be forewarned in
[019] due season and that the aforesaid inquest may proceed in the presence of both
[020] parties if they wish to be present. And so conduct yourself in this matter etc.
[021] Witness etc.’ Infinite are the occasions and the forms by which justices are
[022] appointed, as may be seen below in many places. But let what we have said suffice
[023] for the present by way of example.

On the arrival of the justices [ad omnia placita]; their duty.

[025] On the arrival of the justices ad omnia placita it is their duty, by virtue of the
[026] jurisdiction delegated to them, to hear the plaints and claims of all, that justice
[027] may be done to each and each receive his due.3

4Of the order of bringing actions.

[029] If one believes that he has a claim he must proceed by actions,5 for no one can
[030] prosecute a claim without an action.6 7 [[that is], without a writ8 or9 libellus conventionalis,10
[031] for no one, unless he willingly does so of his own accord, will answer
[032] for his free tenement or its appurtenances11 without a writ. Which, if he be
[033] wrongfully constrained to do, he is aided by a writ of the lord king directed to
[034] the sheriff in this form.

Writ that no one be impleaded without the writ and order of the lord king.

[036] ‘The king to the sheriff, greeting. We order you not to implead (or ‘allow to be impleaded’)
[037] such a one with respect to his free tenement in such a vill without our special


1. ‘D’ for ‘C’

2. ‘D’ for ‘C’

3. Continued infra 327, n. 1

4. From rubric above. The portion following, to the end of 326, except for 317, n. 7 to 318, n. 8, belongs supra 302, after n. 13

5. D. 4.2.13: ‘si quas putas te habere petitiones actionibus experiaris’; Drogheda 74, 180

6. Drogheda 59: ‘sine actione non potuit experiri’; Pillius, 11: ‘nemo experiri potest sine actione’; continued 318, n. 9

7. Belongs supra 302, at n. 11

8. Infra iv, 286

9. ‘sive’ as infra 318, line 5

10. Tancred, 164: ‘Libellus alius dicitur accusationis ... qui datur in causis criminalibus, alius conventionalis, qui datur in causis civilibus ...’; Drogheda, 197; infra 318: ‘sine brevi sive libello’; iv, 179: ‘Si autem nihil sit quod excipi possit tunc videndum an libellus conventionalis, breve scilicet, conveniens sit actioni ...’; cf. Selden Soc. vol. 60, lx-lxii; Traditio vi, 73-75

11. Cf. Richardson in Traditio, vi, 75; Bracton, 29

Contact: specialc@law.harvard.edu
Page last reviewed April 2003.
© 2003 The President and Fellows of Harvard College