Harvard Law School Library

Bracton Online -- English

Previous   Volume 2, Page 384  Next    

Go to Volume:      Page:    

[001] as the character of the offence demands, according as it is serious or slight, [or]
[002] exile for crime and 1lata fuga, as exclusion from all places except [a certain place]2
[003] forever, or deportation to an island,3 forever or for a time, which may be termed
[004] abjuration of the realm or outlawry. If one so exiled has not complied with the
[005] exile4 he is punished by capital punishment,5 that is, if he returns without license
[006] after being so exiled.

Of homicide through misadventure and accident.

[008] Of accidental homicide.6 [Accidental homicide], which was touched upon above,7
[009] may be committed in many ways, as where one intending to cast a spear at a
[010] wild beast [or does something of the sort, as8 where playing with a companion he
[011] has struck him in thoughtless jest, or when he stood far off when he drew his bow or
[012] threw a stone he has struck a man he did not see, or where playing with a ball it has
[013] struck the hand of a barber he did not see so that he has cut another's throat,9 and
[014] thus] has killed a man, not however with the intention of killing him; he ought to
[015] be absolved,10 because a crime is not committed unless the intention to injure exists,11
[016] 12<It is will and purpose which mark maleficia,13 nor is a theft committed unless there
[017] is an intent to steal.>14 as may be said of a child or a madman, since the absence of
[018] intention protects the one and the unkindness of fate excuses the other.15 In crimes
[019] the intention is regarded, not the result.16 It does not matter whether one slays or
[020] furnishes the cause of death.17 But here we distinguish between true cause [and
[021] cause in] misadventure, by18 animals which lack reason,19 or other movable things,20
[022] which provide the occasio, as a ship, a tree that crushes and the like. Properly
[023] speaking stationary things, as a house or a rooted tree, provide neither the cause
[024] nor the occasion, [nor do moving things sometimes,21 neither a ship nor a boat in
[025] salt water, though it may in fresh,22 by mishandling,] but he who conducts himself
[026] stupidly, as in many other cases.

Of those who are arrested: that they ought not to be despoiled of their goods but receive sustenance therefrom.

[028] He who is arrested and imprisoned or kept in custody for a crime or a major felony,
[029] such as homicide, ought not to be despoiled of his goods or disseised of his lands23
[030] but ought to be sustained by them until


1-2. D. 48.22.5: ‘aut lata fuga, ut omnium locorum interdicatur praeter certum locum, aut insulae vinculum’; ‘ut’ for ‘et; om: ‘et’

3. D. 48.22.6

4. D. 48.19.4

5. D.

6. Rubric

7. Supra 341

8. ‘ut’ for ‘vel’

9. D. 9.2.11.pr.

10. D. ‘Divus Hadrianus rescripsit eum qui hominem occidat si non occidendi animo absolvi posse’

11. Azo, Summa Inst. 1.1, no 2; C.

12. Supra i, 388

13. Supra 23, 289, 290, 375

14. Inst. 4.1.7; supra 290, infra 425

15. D. 48.8.12: ‘Infans vel furiosus si hominem occiderint lege Cornelia non tenentur, cum alterum innocentia consilii tuetur, alterum fati infelicitas excusat.’; ‘fati,’ as D

16. D. 48.8.14

17. D. 48.8.15: ‘Nihil interest, occidat quis an causam mortis praebeat.’

18. ‘ab’

19. Supra 379, infra 424

20. ‘moventibus’ for ‘inanimatis’

21. Reading: ‘neque res moventes (for ‘nec equus multotiens’) quandoque’; Fleta, i, ca. 25; Hunnisett, Medieval Coroner, 32; Maitland has read this passage differently: P. and M., ii, 474, n.

22. Supra 344, 380

23. D. 48.20.2; supra 346

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