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How the justices ought to proceed in their eyre and in what order.

[003] 1We must first see how [a general summons having been issued [to attend] before
[004] the justices in eyre at an appointed day and place, a summons which ought to allow
[005] at least a fortnight's2 interval,] they ought to proceed and in what order. [They
[006] ought first to begin with the pleas of the crown, in which both major and minor
[007] criminal actions are determined, unless the lord king has ordered them to proceed
[008] in another way in some particular place.] First let the writs be read which authorize
[009] and empower them to proceed on eyre, that their authority may be known. When
[010] these have been heard, and if the justices so wish, let one of the senior and more
[011] distinguished among them publicly declare in the presence of all the reason for their
[012] coming, the purpose of the eyre and the advantage to be derived from keeping the
[013] peace. These words used to be said by Martin of Pateshull. First of all, of the king's
[014] peace and justice and the breaches thereof by murderers, robbers and burglars, who
[015] commit their crimes by day and night, not only against those who journey from place
[016] to place but even against those asleep in their beds. And [let him declare] that the
[017] king orders all his lieges, in the faith whereby they are bound to him and as they wish
[018] to save their possessions, to lend effective and diligent counsel and aid for the
[019] preservation of his peace and justice and the suppression and extirpation of wrongdoing.
[020] And more [may be said] to the like effect. These remarks having been made,
[021] the justices ought to betake themselves to some private place and call before them
[022] four or six or more of the greater men of the county, who are called the ‘buzones’3
[023] of the county and on whose nod the views of the others depend, and let them consult
[024] with those men in turn and explain how the king and his council have ordained that
[025] all those who are fifteen years of age and more, knights as well as others, must swear
[026] that they will not harbour outlaws, robbers or burglars, nor


1. Continued from 317, n. 3; reading: ‘Videndum erit in primis qualiter, facta coram ...’

2. Read ‘xl’ for ‘xv’? Forty days: Fleta i, ca. 19; Britton, i, 19 (xl jours au meyns)

3. Lapsley in E.H.R., xlvii, 177, 545; Crown, Community and Parliament, 63

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