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[001] of bed-sickness, provided that an essoin of difficulty in coming has come first, and
[002] so and in the same way, as said above, until all together, or some or one alone has
[003] ‘languor.’ After the essoin returned and the day certain (if it is passing illness)
[004] accepted, the demandant ought at once and without delay to cause a writ .for
[005] viewing the essoinee1 to issue to the sheriff.2

Of the duty of the sheriff when he has received the writ.

[007] The duty of the sheriff, when he receives the writ in the county court, is to send
[008] four lawful knights at once to view the essoinee. He ought to take for this purpose
[009] knights who are present and not summon knights who are absent, because of the
[010] words of the writ: ‘Send four [of your county].’3 It does not suffice if he sends serjeants,
[011] for they ought to be knights, because of the words of the writ: ‘Send
[012] knights.’ It does not suffice to send three, because of the words of the writ: ‘Send
[013] four,’ and because where a fixed number is specified, namely four, two or three are
[014] not sufficient.4 Nor does it suffice if two or three assume companions to make up the
[015] four, because they ought not to view or testify unless they are sent. ‘Of his county,’
[016] is said5 for this reason, because if he wished to send others he would not have coercion.
[017] It is said ‘to such a place,’ because if the essoinee should not be found in the
[018] place named in the essoin he could thus be in default, [and so] if he had not kept
[019] himself in ‘languor’ in the proper way. It is also said ‘to see whether the infirmity
[020] etc.’ For they must view his body and inquire diligently as to the kind of infirmity
[021] and the circumstances, and accordingly award passing illness or ‘languor,’ (and
[022] give the reason therefor if they are asked,) and give him a day certain in court or
[023] at the Tower of London. It is given at the Tower because it is a place certain, where
[024] the constable ought always to be present, who ought to attest the day of their
[025] appearance and arrival, and because the justices are not always resident in the
[026] Bench continuously throughout the year. When a day is thus given the parties at
[027] the Tower, after the year and day it does not suffice if the parties, neglecting that
[028] place, come before the justices at Westminster, if they are then resident there, because
[029] it is one thing to give a day at the Tower and another to give it at Westminster
[030] in the Bench. Thus when they have had a day at the Tower, they ought to
[031] receive a day in the Bench from the constable at the Tower, if the justices are then
[032] resident in the Bench, or if they are not, when they next come, unless they are then
[033] itinerant in the county,6 because then a day will be given there,


1. ‘essoniatum,’ supra 113

2. The writ is on 113

3. Infra 120

4. Infra 118

5. ‘dicitur’

6. Supra 112

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