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[001] nor to a military fee, [or] if with respect to socage, not as to a military fee, as1 where
[002] he says that he is of age because he pleaded in the court of the lord king as one who is
[003] full of age, and there recovered by judgment.

Of proof of age by presumption, by bodily appearance.

[005] But of all answers, there is only one that leads to a full and sufficient proof of age,
[006] that made by kinsmen and witnesses, adequately examined; all the others raise
[007] presumptions, as bodily appearance and the like. But some admit of proof to the
[008] contrary and others do not, as proof by bodily appearance [attested] by the view
[009] of a justice, as where his appearance is such2 that there is a strong presumption of full
[010] age, as where he is bearded, great in stature or the like. When the justices have judged
[011] him of full age, he will be taken of full age, as against all; there must be no further
[012] argument against their judgment. Since it often appears that one is of age when he is
[013] a minor and conversely,3 [if] the justices are in doubt recourse must of necessity be
[014] had to proof by the country and kinsmen, whether the minor claims or [something] is
[015] claimed from him.

How age is proved by the country when it cannot be proved by bodily appearance, and by whom.

[017] We must see how this ought to be done. It is clear that it is done by twelve lawful
[018] men, or more if need be, of whom some are the kinsmen of him who says that he is
[019] of full age and some not, by whom the truth of the matter can best be ascertained
[020] and who, after examination, are found in no way suspect, [and] by certain clear
[021] proofs. This is the form of oath: for they ought to swear that he has reached at least
[022] his twenty-first year or more, or that he is not twenty-one years old. If it is a male, the
[023] first juror will swear thus, that he has reached his twenty-first year and more; if a
[024] female, that she has reached fourteen or fifteen years and more, so help him God etc.
[025] After him another will swear thus: ‘The oath that such a one has sworn is true, so
[026] help me God etc.’ And so all the others. In this way the minor will be allowed to sue or
[027] answer, according to the various kinds of tenements, or if the jurors say the contrary,
[028] not


1. ‘ut’

2. ‘ut si sic appareat’

3. ‘Om: ‘minor . . . maior’

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