to prevent him from having recourse to actions lower down, because then the  plea by writ of right has been effectively begun.1 Others say the contrary, that it is  not effectively begun until the party summoned has appeared and answered to the  writ or vouched to warranty or has proceeded beyond that point. But in truth it  suffices if what was first said is done. The above is true if the writ by which the  action was begun lies in his case. If an assise of mortdancestor is impetrated but  does not lie between the parties it will be taken as never impetrated, and the demandant  may thus descend to the assise of novel disseisin for the recovery of his  own seisin. This ought to be so though he has used it. And so if he has impetrated the  little writ of right according to the custom of the manor of the lord king when he  ought to have impetrated the great writ of right patent; though he uses it he nevertheless  will have recourse to the great writ for claiming a free tenement, and conversely,  for since it is2 not impetrated in the circumstances of his case it is null and  void.3 If each of two persons has a proprietary action against one and each may sue  not only on the property but on the possession, but possession as of different times,  cognisance of the last seisin must always be taken first.4 If it is impossible to be  certain of the last seisin, let the general rule then be observed, that he who first  appeals proceeds first. 56<The question of ownership sometimes arises in an action  founded upon possession, 7if the possessory action is brought for recovering possession,  as in the assise of novel disseisin, or for obtaining it, as in the assise of mortdancestor,  and both are sometimes tried together, the possessory and the petitory, [with]  a judgment taking cognisance of [but] not pronouncing upon the proprietas.8 It will  often be necessary to inquire into ownership in order to be more certain as to the  possession, and thus possession has nothing in common with ownership9 with  respect to judgment, though it does with respect to cognisance; or 10it may be said  that they have nothing in common as regards decision, only as regards cognisance,  as was said above, for otherwise the judge could not decide as to one, that is,  as to the possession, unless he could take cognisance of the remainder,11 namely, the  property. The judgment of the judge will be on the possession. And note 12that  the word possession is sometimes used for a thing possessed, sometimes for the  restoration [of a thing never possessed].>13
Failure in four cases.
 14It is clear that the general rule that if several actions are available to a plaintiff
14. Br. and Azo, 203-8. This section is taken from Tancred, 189 ff. though Br. has altered and supplemented it: Schulz in L.Q.R., lix, 172-80, superseding Maitland's remarks and Kantorowicz's comments in Br. Prob., 104 ff. Reading: De hoc autem quod dicitur ... fallit (from 322, lines 2-5) cum ab una parte ... de pluribus rebus et diversis. Poterit qui eas proponit quam voluerit praemittere vel omnes simul tractare