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[001] or matrimonial, as to which, at the proper time, he showed1 them the letters of the
[002] lord king prohibiting them from proceeding, to which the aforesaid judges refused
[003] to pay regard. It may also be alleged that the excommunication was null or wrongful
[004] because an appeal was properly taken from such judgment, and he may put forward
[005] many other answers to safeguard his status, but let him have his proof ready at hand,
[006] for as soon as his excommunication is established it will be necessary to establish his
[007] absolution.

He who has been properly excommunicated and has remained in that condition for forty days.

[009] Finally note that when one has been properly excommunicated and has obstinately
[010] continued in that status for forty days, despising the keys of the church, then, that
[011] sword may aid sword, after notice by the bishop or his official let the excommunicate
[012] be arrested. [But one will never be arrested at the order of judges delegate, or of an
[013] archdeacon or other inferior judge, because it is over bishops that the king has coercion,
[014] because of their baronies.] When an excommunicate ought to be arrested,
[015] [and] the chancellor has received the bishop's letters, he will issue a writ in this form.

Of arresting an excommunicate; thus sword aids sword.

[017] ‘The king to the sheriff, greeting. The venerable father N. has made known to us by
[018] his letters patent that such a one, who was excommunicated because of his manifest
[019] contumacy, refuses to be justiced2 by ecclesiastical censure. Because the royal power
[020] ought not to be lacking to Holy Church in its complaints, we order you to justice him
[021] by his body according to the custom of England until satisfaction has been made to
[022] Holy Church, both of his contempt and for the wrong done to it by him. Witness etc.’
[023] When the arrested man has satisfied the church, he will be delivered at the bishop's
[024] order by this writ.

The king will order the sheriff.

[026] ‘The king to the sheriff, greeting. Because the venerable father, such a bishop, has
[027] made known to us that for such a one, whom at his request (or ‘at the request of the
[028] venerable father, such a bishop’) we ordered to be arrested by you and justiced by
[029] his body as one despising the keys of the church, the blessing of absolution is at hand,


1. ‘exhibuit’

2. ‘iustitiari’; Selden Soc. vol. 87, xxxviii, 27 (no. 35); Logan, Excommunication, 11

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