Harvard Law School Library

Bracton Online -- English

Previous   Volume 4, Page 371  Next    

Go to Volume:      Page:    

[001] him to appear on such a day etc., and let the sheriff then be there to hear his judgment
[002] as to this, that he did not attach the same B. as he was ordered.’ Let the enrolment
[003] be in this form with respect to all the other returns of the sheriff mentioned above.
[004] The form of the writ which follows such an enrolment is this.

Writ for attaching, in several ways, sicut alias or pluries, where the sheriff has been negligent.

[006] ‘The king to the sheriff, greeting. We order you, as at another time we ordered you,
[007] to put A. by gage and safe pledges to be present on such a day etc. (as above) to
[008] answer such a one with respect to such a personal plea, (or in another way: We order
[009] you, as at another time we ordered you, to distrain such one by his lands and chattels
[010] in your bailiwick to be before our justices on such a day to answer B. with respect to
[011] such a personal plea, or such other, according to the form of the original writ) as to
[012] which you have sent word to our aforesaid justices at such a place that our writ for
[013] attaching the aforesaid B. came to you so late that you were unable to execute our
[014] order, [though] it was alleged there that you received it in good time and at such an
[015] hour that you could have carried out that order. (Or thus: ‘that you received it in full
[016] county court where the aforesaid B. was present etc.,’ as above.) And you are to be
[017] there to hear your judgment as to this, that you did not attach the aforesaid B. to
[018] be present at such a day as you were ordered. And have there the names of the pledges
[019] and this writ. Witness etc.’ If on that day he does not make the attachment or excuse1
[020] himself he will remain in mercy.

Of the sheriff's excuse because of a liberty.2

[022] The sheriff is often excused because of lack of power, because3 he cannot enter liberties
[023] without a warrant except on the default of those who have the liberties and the
[024] returns of writs.4 Hence if the sheriff is ordered to attach such a one, resident within
[025] such liberties, since he may not enter let him make returns of writs by the bailiffs of the
[026] aforesaid liberty, and let him order them to execute the order of the lord king. The
[027] bailiffs then either execute the order or do nothing. If they execute it completely the
[028] sheriff will thereby be discharged. If they do nothing, it suffices to excuse the sheriff
[029] if he sends word to the justices that the bailiffs were ordered to do it. In that case,
[030] when the bailiffs have done nothing, the sheriff will be ordered, because of their
[031] default, not to omit on account of such a liberty from attaching such a one to be etc.
[032] Thus the sheriff, when he has a warrant, may enter liberties, which otherwise would
[033] not be allowed him. Let the enrolment be as follows:


1. ‘excusaverit’

2. From next line

3. ‘quia’

4. Clanchy in T.R.H.S. (5th ser.), xvii, 59, 74; om: ‘per vicecomitem’

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