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[001] not indeed to the point of death or mutilation of members if they afterwards return
[002] or are caught, since no criminal cause for outlawry exists, but to the extent of imprisonment
[003] for life or abjuration of the realm and from the communion of all others
[004] who are in the king's peace. As the cause of an excommunication makes it and the
[005] penalty less severe, so the reason for an outlawry makes it and its penalty less severe,
[006] and grace ought more easily to be found that one so outlawed may be restored to the
[007] peace.1 For excommunication and outlawry are considered in many respects
[008] equivalents.2

If the sheriff has been negligent.

[010] Let us return to the beginning of distraints and attachments, because sometimes
[011] the sheriff is negligent in executing the orders of the lord king, [sometimes through
[012] deceit, sometimes because he lacks the power,]3 and then, unless he puts forward
[013] a reasonable excuse, he will remain in the king's mercy. It sometimes happens that
[014] when he receives the king's writ for attaching someone after summons made, that he
[015] neither makes the attachment nor returns the writ that came to him. In that case,
[016] the plaintiff having offered himself for the suit, let the enrolment be made thus: ‘A.
[017] offered himself on the fourth day against B. in such a plea (according to the various
[018] kinds of personal pleas) and B. did not appear; the sheriff was ordered to attach him
[019] to appear on such a day, and he did nothing, nor did he send the writ which came to
[020] him. Therefore the sheriff is ordered, as at another time, to attach him to appear on
[021] such a day, and let the sheriff then be there to hear his judgment as to this, that he
[022] did not attach him and did not send the writ which came to him as he was ordered to
[023] do.’ The form of the writ is as follows.

Writ to the sheriff sicut alias.

[025] ‘The king to the sheriff, greeting. We order you, as we ordered you at another time,
[026] to put A. by gage and safe pledges to be before the justices etc. on such a day to
[027] answer etc. (as above).’ And at the end let this clause be added: ‘And do you then be
[028] there to hear your judgment as to this, that you did not attach A. nor send our writ
[029] which came to you thereon to the aforesaid justices, as at another time you were
[030] ordered to do. And have etc. Witness etc.’ If on that day he has done nothing more
[031] than before, and has not excused himself, he will be amerced for contempt at the
[032] king's will, and let him be ordered for the third time to make the attachment by this
[033] writ. ‘We order you as we have often ordered you etc. (as above).’


1. Sutherland in L.Q.R. lxxxii, 486

2. Supra ii, 359

3. Infra 371

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