Harvard Law School Library

Bracton Online -- English

Previous   Volume 4, Page 303  Next    

Go to Volume:      Page:    

[001] the ordinary to the lord king, no further exception is to be put forward by which
[002] judgment may be postponed.]

The form of the writ.

[004] ‘Henry by the grace of God [etc.] to the venerable father in Christ A. by the same
[005] grace bishop of London, greeting. Know that when A. in our court before us (or
[006] ‘before our justices’) claimed against B. so much land with the appurtenances in
[007] such a vill, the same B. came into the court before etc. and objected against the said
[008] A. that he had no right in that land because he is a bastard, because he was born before
[009] such a one, the father of the said A., had married the mother of the same A.
[010] Therefore we order you, having called before you those who are to be called, to
[011] enquire diligently into the truth of the matter, namely, whether the aforesaid A. was
[012] born before the aforesaid, such a one, had married such a one, the mother of the
[013] same A., or after. And cause the enquiry that you make thereof to be made known to
[014] us or to our justices, such persons, by your letters patent. Witness etc.’ Since it is
[015] within the king's discretion whether to transmit an enquiry of this kind to court
[016] christian or not, let the writ not include the phrase ‘And since cognisance of such a
[017] matter belongs to the ecclesiastical forum,1<as in the other cases that follow, where it
[018] does belong to the ecclesiastical forum,> and not to the secular.’2 3In this case, since
[019] the exception of bastardy is put forward by the tenant against the demandant, the
[020] demandant must sue and prove that he is legitimate, by replicating to the exception
[021] of bastardy. There is another writ dealing with the same matter.

He against whom bastardy is objected must prove that he is legitimate.

[023] ‘Henry by the grace of God etc. to the venerable etc. (or to such a one, his official),
[024] greeting. Know that when A. of N. in our court etc. claimed against B. and C. his wife
[025] so much land with the appurtenances in such a vill by an assise of mortdancestor
[026] there summoned between them, and the aforesaid C. said that she was the nearer
[027] heir of D., on whose death A. brought that assise, the same A. objected against the
[028] same C. that she could have no right in that land because she was a bastard, born
[029] before her father had espoused her mother. Therefore we order you etc. (as above).’
[030] In this case


1. Supra i, 420

2. Supra iii, 317

3. New sentence

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