The Dooms of King Edward the
King Edward commands all the
reeves: that you judge such just dooms as you know to be most righteous, and as
in the doom-book stands. Fear not on any account to pronounce folkright;
and that every suit have a term when it shall be brought forward, that you then
And I will
that every man have his warrantor; and that no man buy out of port, but have
the port-reeve's witness, or that of other unlying men whom one may believe.
And if any one buy out of port then let him incur the king's oferhyrnes,
and let the warranty nevertheless go forward, until it be known where it shall
stop. Also we have ordained: that he who should vouch to warranty should have
unlying witness to the effect that he rightfully vouched it; or should bring
forward an oath which he might believe who made the claim. So we have ordained
the same respecting ownership; that he should adduce unlying witness thereof,
or bring forward the oath, if he could, of persons unchosen, by which the
claimant should be bound. But if he could not, then should be named to him six
men of the same neighbourhood wherein he was resident, and of the six let him
get one for one ox, or for that cattle which may be the worth of this, and
afterward let it increase, according to the value of the property, if there
ought to be more. Also we have ordained: if there were any evil-minded man who
would put another's property in borh for wither-tihtle, that he
should then declare on oath that he did not Afrom
any knavery, but with full right, without fraud and guile," and that he
then should there do as he durst with whom it is attached: "like as he it
owned, so be it vouched to warranty."
Also we have ordained
of what he were worthy who denied justice to another, either in boc-land or in
folc-land, and that he should give him a term respecting the folc-land when he
should do him justice before the reeve. But if he had no right either to the boc-land or to the
folc-land, that he who denied the right should be liable in
thirty shillings to the king; and for the second offense, the like: for the
third offense, the king's oferhyrnes, that is, 120 shillings, unless he
Also we have ordained
concerning those men who were perjurers; if that were made evident, or an oath
failed to them, or were out-proved, that they afterwards should not be
oath-worthy, but ordeal-worthy.
exhorted his witan when they were at Exeter, that they should all search
out how their frith might be better than it had previously been: for it seemed
to him that it was more indifferently observed than it should be, what he had
formerly commanded. He then asked them, who would apply to its amendment, and
be in that fellowship that he was, and love that which he loved, and shun that
which he shunned, both on sea and land? That is, then, that no man deny justice
to another: if any one do so, let him make bot as it before is written; for the
first offence, with thirty shillings; and for the second offense, the like; and
for the third, with 120 shillings to the king.
And if the reeve do not
lawfully exact it, with the witness of those men who are assigned him to bear
witness, then let him make bot of my oferhyrnes, with 120 shillings.
If any one be accused
of theft, then let those take him in borh who before commended him to his lord,
that he may justify himself thereof; or let other friends, if they have any, do
the same. If he knows not who will take him in borh, then let those on whom it
is incumbent take an in borh on his property. If he have neither property nor
other borh, then let him be held to judgment.
Also I will that every
man have constantly those men ready on his land, who may lead those men who
desire to seek their own, and for no meed-monies prevent them, nor anywhere
protect or harbour a convicted offender, willfully nor violently.
If any one disregard
this, and break his oath and his wed, which all the nation has given,
let him make bot as the doom-book may teach: but if he will not, let him
forfeit the friendship of us all, and all that he has. If any one harbour him
after that, let him make bot as the doom-book may say, and as he ought who
harbours a fugutive, if it be here within. If it be within the east-country,
let him make bot according as the frith-gewritu say.
If any one, through a
charge of theft, forfeit his freedom, and deliver himself up, and his kindred
forsake him, and he know not who shall make bot for him; let him then be worthy
of the theow-work which thereto belongs, and let the wer abate for the kindred.
Let no man receive
another man's man without his leave whom he before followed, and until he be
blameless towards every hand. If any one do so, let him make bot of my oferhyrnes.
I will that each reeve
have a gemot always once in fourweeks; and so do that every man be worthy of
folk-right: and that every suit have an end and a term when it shall be brought
forward. If that any one disregard, let him make bot as we before ordained.