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[001] of his tenant, the rule fails here, since he cannot have first seisin though he may have a
[002] common seisin with the heirs, as said above. If there is an heir apparent, one or
[003] several having one right, and there is doubt as to whether they are heirs or not,
[004] or [though they are heirs] are not acknowledged as such, let them sue by assise of
[005] mortdancestor at once and show that they are heirs by the assise. If there is doubt
[006] whether those who are present and claim as heirs are in fact heirs, because [for
[007] example], an older brother and heir has gone on a journey to the Holy Land and
[008] no one knows whether he is alive or dead, let seisin be given to the present claimants
[009] by the chief lord and the assise, subject to the condition that if the older brother
[010] returns the inheritance be restored to him without plea, since it is obvious that if he is
[011] alive he is the heir.1 If the chief lord has primer seisin [and] two dispute the inheritance,2
[012] each claiming as heir, as a younger and an older brother [or] a legitimate and a
[013] bastard son, the inheritance is to be restored to neither until it is clear which is the
[014] nearer and more rightful heir; if the lord restores and gives seisin to the wrongful
[015] heir and takes his homage, and then is vouched to warranty against the claim of the
[016] rightful heir, he will be bound to warrant de jure,3 even though he answers to the
[017] voucher that he accepted the homage ‘saving the right of any other,’ for he saves
[018] but poorly the right of the true heir who takes the homage of the wrongful heir and
[019] puts him into seisin to the disherison of the true heir, when he knows or ought to
[020] know that another is heir and4 could safely retain seisin until he was satisfied of the
[021] truth, a procedure which would also be proper if there were doubt as to whether there
[022] was another heir or not, that is, when no other appears or claims.

If the chief lord finds the possession vacant.

[024] If after the death of his tenant the chief lord finds the possession vacant, he may
[025] keep himself in seisin without wrong to anyone until it is clear who the lawful heir
[026] is.5 And when that is clear, until [the heir] comes to him ready to do to him as lord
[027] what he ought6 of right to do him, especially if he acknowledges him as lord, for the
[028] right of lordship may be in dispute among several, [of which nothing at present.]
[029] When the lord has vacant seisin, as was said above, the heir may not enter without
[030] his consent; if he enters upon the seisin of the chief lord and the lord ejects him, or if
[031] he ejects the chief lord and the lord


1. Infra 297, 309

2. ‘de hereditate,’ as 247

3. Cf. supra ii, 135, 174, 207, 227, infra iv, 220

4. ‘et’

5. Glanvill, vii, 9, 17; supra ii, 207

6. ‘debet’

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