Monday, July 4, 2011

The Six Statutes

I believe I now know all six of the Six Statutes, which were made to reinforce the protections of Magna Charta:

The Six Statutes

1331: 5 Edward III 9: “Item, it is enacted, that no man from henceforth shall be attached by any accusation nor forejudged of life or limb, nor his lands, tenements, goods, nor chattels seised into the King’s hands, against the form of the Great Charter, and the law of the land.”

1351: 25 Edward III 4 (of Statute V): “Item, whereas it is contained in the Great Charter of the franchises of England, that none shall be imprisoned nor put out of his freehold, nor of his franchises nor free custom, unless it be by the law of the land; it is accorded, assented, and stablished, that from henceforth none shall be taken by petition or suggestion made to our lord the King, or to his council, unless it be by indictment or presentment of good and lawful people of the same neighbourhood where such deeds be done, in due manner, or by process made by writ original at the common law; nor that none be out of his franchises, nor of his freeholds, unless he be duly brought into answer, and forejudged of the same by the course of the law; and if any thing be done against the same, it shall be redressed and holden for none.”

1354: 28 Edward III 3: “Item, that no man of what Estate or Condition that he be, shall be put out of Land or Tenement, nor taken nor imprisoned, nor disinherited, nor put to Death, without being brought in Answer by due Process of the Law.”

1362: 36 Edward III, Roll of Parliament no. 9, 22: “First, that the Great Charter, and the Charter of the Forest, and other Statutes made in his time, and the time of his progenitors, for the profit of him, and his commonalty, be well and firmly kept; and put in due execution, without putting disturbance, or making arrest contrary to them by special command, or in other manner.” / “Our lord the king, by the assent of the prelates, dukes, earls, barons, and the commonalty, hath ordained and established, that the said Charters and Statutes be held, and put in execution, according to the said petition.” … “Whereas it is contained in the Grand Charter and other Statutes, that no man be taken or imprisoned by special command without Indictment, or other due process to be made by the law, and oftentimes it hath been, and yet is, many are hindered, taken and imprisoned without Indictment, or other process made by the law upon them, as well of things done out of the Forest of the king, as for other things; that it would therefore please our said lord to command those to be delivered, which are so taken by special command against the form of the Charter and Statutes as aforesaid.” / “The king is pleased, that if any man find himself grieved, that he come and make his complaint, and right shall be done unto him.”

1363: 37 Edward III 18: “Although it be contained in the Great Charter, that no man be taken or imprisoned, or put out of his freehold, without due process of the law, nevertheless divers persons make false suggestions to the King himself, as well for malice as otherwise, whereof the King is often grieved, and divers of the realm put in great damages, contrary to the form of the same statute: Whereof it is ordained, that all they that make such suggestions be sent, with their suggestions, to the chancellor or treasurer, and they and ever of them find sureties to pursue their suggestions; and endure the same pain that the other should have had, in case that his suggestion be found untrue; and that then process of the law be made against them: without being taken or imprisoned, against the form of the same charter, and other statutes.”

1368: 42 Edward III 3: “Item, at the request of the commons by their petitions put forth in this Parliament, to eschew the mischiefs and damages done to divers of his commons by false accusers, which oftentimes have made their accusations more for revenge and singular benefit, than for the profit of the King, or of his people, which accused persons, some have been taken, and sometime caused to come before the King’s council by writ, and otherwise upon grievous pain against the law: It is assented and accorded, for the good governance of the commons, that no man be put to answer without presentment before justices, or matter of record, or by due process and writ original, according to the old law of the land: And if any thing from henceforth be done to the contrary, it shall be void in the law, and holden for error.”

1 comment:

  1. UPDATE (May 2, 2012): I have posted sources in a more recent post. The Six Statutes are those which were used by Parliament during the late 1620s to establish that the laws of England had, for centuries, protected certain aspects of the liberty of the subjects. This was done in order to convince those who needed to be convinced, particularly Charles I, that the Petition of Right (the final form of the concessions that Parliament wanted the King to make, in response to certain, recent abuses) merely expressed and confirmed the ancient law of the land.