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[001] members of a household or friends, for compurgators are admitted more readily for
[002] making1 one's law than recognitors for making a recognition. Nor need they all be
[003] of the same order, condition or dignity as he who wages his law, for it suffices if they
[004] are trustworthy and of good repute, [as where a bishop, abbot or prior is required
[005] to make his law, it will not be necessary for his compurgators all to be bishops, abbots
[006] or priors,] whether2 they are ordained clerks, knights or kinsmen, provided they are
[007] suitable in other regards, as was said above.

How the words of a wager of law are to be formulated.

[009] The words of a wager of law are formulated according to the form of the record, as in
[010] making all other wagers of law. If one fails to make it, if he is a layman let him be
[011] taken as convicted of the charge made against him and committed to gaol, as one
[012] presuming against the royal dignity, as though he had committed the crime of lesemajesty.
[013] If he is a clerk, he is sometimes treated more leniently as a matter of grace,
[014] out of reverence for the clerical order. If convicted, they will restore damages to the
[015] plaintiff, sometimes with the taxation of what is due, in accordance with what seems
[016] fair to the justices.

It is important which of them first clears himself.

[018] We must see, according to some, which of them first clears himself, the judge or the
[019] party. Some say that if it is the judge, one or several, that he who sued in court christian
[020] is not thereby released, that in these circumstances each defends his own case,
[021] though it may seem at first sight that there is no one who sues when there is no one
[022] who holds the plea, which is incorrect according to some. But conversely, if he who
[023] is alleged to have brought the action clears himself, the judges are thereby released,
[024] since no one may hold a plea if there is no one who sues,3 which is not so in the first
[025] case, where one may sue by his own act and will though the judge refuses to proceed.
[026] Suppose that the judge fails to clear himself, the plaintiff is not ipso facto convicted,
[027] nor [the others] if one of several judges fails to do so, for here each will defend his
[028] own case, as in D.,4 where it is said that the woman will wait until sentence
[029] on the adulterer


1. ‘faciendam’

2. ‘sive’

3. B.N.B., no. 788 (margin)

4. Supra i, 279

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