Now we must turn to homicide committed in secret, in no one's presence, to no  one's knowledge, and in no one's sight or hearing, which is called murder. First  we must see what murder is, why it was devised, and how one may be discharged  [payment] of a murder-fine. Murder is the secret slaying of man by the hand of  man, [whether those slain are known or strangers,][committed wickedly,]12done  out of the sight of and unknown to all except the slayer alone and his accomplices  and abettors so that no public hue and cry immediately pursues them,3 and [where]  who the slayer is cannot be ascertained.4 The word secret is used because the slayer  is unknown; of man,5 so as to include male and female and exclude brute animals  lacking reason. I say of strangers and men who are known because whether the  slain man6 is known or unknown he is called a Frenchman, unless englishry, that is,  that he is an Englishman, is presented before the justices [and] proved by his  kinsmen.7
The reason for devising murder-fines.
 8The reason for the devising of murder-fines was this: in the days of Cnut, king  of the Danes, when at the prayer of the English barons he sent his army back to  Denmark after he had conquered and pacified England, the barons of England  offered themselves as sureties to the said King Cnut that, whatever the force the king  kept with him in England they would have firm peace in all things so that, if anyone  of the English should slay any of the men whom the king kept with him and if that  man could not make his defence against the charge by the judgment of God, that is,  by water or iron, justice would be done upon him. If he fled away and could not be  arrrested they would pay on his behalf sixty-six marks, to be collected in the vill  where he was slain, because the inhabitants did not produce the slayer. And if the  marks could not be collected in that vill because of its poverty, they would be  collected in the hundred for deposit in the king's treasury.9
What is called murder.
 10He will always be reputed a Frenchman unless it can be shown that he is English,  englishry having been properly presented before the justices.11[How it ought to be  presented will be more fully explained below in its proper place.]12 The words by  the hand of man are used to distinguish it from the case of those slain or devoured  by beasts and animals which lack reason; such persons cannot be said to be murdered  feloniously since animals which lack reason cannot be said to commit injuria or  felony.13 Or the words may be used to distinguish it from the case of those who  have died by misadventure, as those drowned, crushed and the like; by misadventure  where there is no concealed felony, as will be explained below.14