Harvard Law School Library

Bracton Online -- English

Previous   Volume 2, Page 400  Next    

Go to Volume:      Page:    

[001] to two knights or other law-abiding men, according as the appellee is or is not a
[002] person of noble rank, and let him be brought by them to the field appointed for
[003] fighting the duel. The appellor likewise. The appellee and the appellor ought to be
[004] so guarded by the aforesaid men that there be no converse with them after the oath,
[005] before the duel is joined, with this exception, that when they reach the field they
[006] ought to take an oath in the presence of the justices in this form:

The oath to be taken on the field.

[008] ‘Hear this, ye justices, that I have neither eaten nor drunk, nor [caused anything
[009] to be done] for me or by me by which God's law may be abased and the devil's
[010] exalted, so help me God etc.’

Let the king's ban be proclaimed.

[012] When the oath has been taken in this way and silence obtained, let the king's ban
[013] be proclaimed at once by the herald's voice1 in these words: ‘It is the command of
[014] the king and of his justices that none be so hardy or rash as to move or utter a
[015] word no matter what he may see or hear; if anyone acts to the contrary he shall
[016] be arrested and put in prison, to lie there for a year and a day until the lord king
[017] has expressed his will concerning him.’ These things having been accomplished, let
[018] the champions engage and fight. If the appellor is vanquished or if the appellee
[019] defends himself against him the whole day long, until the hour that the stars begin
[020] to appear, the appellee will then depart quit of the appeal,2 since the appellor
[021] undertook to conquer him that day and has not done so. And not only will he
[022] appealed as principal be discharged, but all those appealed as accessories and
[023] instigators;3 and not only will he appealed as principal depart quit against this first
[024] appellor, but against all appellors who have appealed him of the same deed.4 It is
[025] otherwise if they have appealed him of different deeds,5

If the appellee is vanquished.

[027] [If the appellee has been vanquished he shall suffer capital punishment, with severe
[028] or more severe torture according to the seriousness of the crime, with the disherison
[029] of his heirs and the loss of all his goods, as was said above [in the portion] on
[030] outlaws.]6 7[for there] if the appellee successfully makes his defence against one, let
[031] the other appellors proceed against him in the manner described above until he is
[032] convicted of one deed;8 then let him proceed9 against the accessories and instigators
[033] of that same deed,


1. D.4.1.7.pr.: ‘sub voce praeconis’

2. Supra 386

3. Supra 392, 293

4. Supra 388, 391, 398

5. Supra 389, 392, 398

6. Supra 361 ff., 386; belongs infra 401, at n. 3

7. Om: ‘Si autem plures ... et factis,’ a connective

8. Reading: ‘quousque de [uno] facto convictus fuerit’

9. ‘procedat’

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