thus To A.B. and his companions itinerant1 in such a county (or the justices of  the Bench to their beloved friends and companions A.B. and his companions  itinerating in such a county, according as they wish to put themselves first or last  in the mandate). Know etc. (as above). [And note that neither the lord king nor  any other may so warrant a man or cure a default that he may gain something from  his adversary by his absence, only that he be saved2 harmless. Nor so that judgment  be deferred as to anything which is against the peace of the lord king, as [in] outlawry  and the like, as [in the case] of Richard Siward and the earl of Gloucester,  among the pleas which follow the king in the thirty-third year of his reign.]3 And so  it is that a greater court and one of equal standing excuse and protect from default  [in a lesser], but a lesser never in a greater.4
How absence is excused in many ways.
 Finally note that absence alone makes one contumacious, nor need it be proved  [for] absence alone suffices,5 unless it is excused for good reason, because6 it is  necessary and not [merely] voluntary,7 necessary being used for unavoidable, that  is, not unwillingness but incapability.8 Necessity which excuses from default sometimes  precedes the summons, sometimes is concomitant with the summons, sometimes  follows and arises after the summons, and sometimes an excuse arises in the  absence of necessity.9 It precedes and excuses where, though one has been lawfully  summoned at his home he cannot come or send, [nor, because of necessity preceding  the summons, could he have provided10 for himself, as where he could essoin  himself or appoint an attorney,] as where before the summons he has been captured  and imprisoned and so kept in prison that he cannot come or send, according as the  cause is civil or criminal. And so if before the summons he becomes insane, so that  he cannot consent to the summons nor receive it, [nor could he have provided for  himself, as said above.]11 And so if before the summons he is confined by so serious  an illness that he cannot take notice of it, nor think of anything except anguish and  pain. And so if he is detained on the king's service, not fraudulently pretending the  necessity of serving nor procuring the call,12 since he thus cannot conveniently come  or send, [nor