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finds, that the said Election took place in consequence of certain corrupt agreements, and other illegal practices, by the friends and agents of the said

of which he was uninformed when his former petition was presented.

Your petitioner therefore trusts, that this honourable

House will take the same into consideration at the same time with the matters contained in the former petition, and will find that your petitioner was duly elected, and ought to have been returned member for the said boroughs.

Petition against the reported Right of Election. To &c.

The humble petition of the several persons whose

names are hereunto subscribed, on the behalf of themselves and others, freemen and electors of the borough of

in the county of Sheweth, That on the

day of

the Select Committee appointed to try and determine the merits of the petition presented by

and esqrs. complaining of an undue election and return for the said borough, reported to this bonourable House, “ That the right of election of burgesses to serve-in Parliament for the said borough, is not in

and that the right of election is in

That your petitioner is advised, that the right of elec. tion, so determined by the said Select Committee, is not the right of election for the said borough.

Therefore to prevent the judgment of the said Select

Committee from becoming final and conclusive, your petitioners humbly pray this honourable House,

that they may be admitted as parties, according to : the form of the statute in this case made and pro

vided, to oppose the right of election in favour of which the said Select Committee have so reported ; and that your petitioners may have such other relief in the premises as to this honourable House shall seem meet, and the case may require.

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Absentees punished.

Every one to whom it belongeth shall, upon summons, come to

the Parliament. [A. D. 1382.] “ ITEM, the king doth will and command, and it is assented in the parliament by the prelates, lords, and commons, that all and singular persons and commonalties, which from henceforth shall have the summons of the parliament, shall come from henceforth bound to the parliaments in the manner as they are to do and have been ac. customed within the realm of England of old times. (2.) And if any person of the same realm, which from henceforth shall have the said summons, (be he archbishop, bishop, abbot, prior, duke, earl, baron, banneret, knight of the shire, citizen of city, burgess of borough, or other singular person, or commonalty) do absent himself, and come not at the said summons, (except he may reasonably and honestly excuse him to our lord the king) he shall be amerced and otherwise punished, according as of old times hath been used to be done within the said realm in the said case. (3.) And if any sheriff of the realm be from henceforth negligent in making his returns of writs of the parliament; or that he leave out of the said returns any cities or boroughs, which he bound, and of old times were wont, to come to the parliament, he shall be punished, in the manner as was accustomed to be done in the said case in times past.”

Punishment of sherift omitting his return.

ANNO 70 HENRICI IV. Car. 15.

The dlanner of the Election of Knights of Shires for a Par

liament,

A. D. 1 105.

" ITEM, our lord the king, at the grievous complaint of his commons in this present parliament, of the undue election of the knights of counties for the parliament, which be sometimes made of affection of sheriffs, and otherwise against the form of the writs directed to the sheriff, to the great slander of the counties and hindrance of the business of the commonalty in the said county ;”. (2) our sovereigu lord the king willing therein to provide remedy, by the assent of the lords spiritual and temporal, and the commons in this present parliament assembled, hath ordained and established, That from henceforth the elections of such knights shall be made in the form as followeth ; (that is to say) at the next county to be holden after the delivery of Election of

knights. the writ of the parliament, proclamation shall be made in the full county of the day and place of the parliament, (3) and that all they that be there present, as well suitors duly summoned for the same cause as other, shall attend to the election of the knights for the parliament, (4) and then in the full county they shall proceed to the election freely and indifferently, notwithstanding any request or commandment to the contrary ; (5) and after that they be chosen, the names of the persons so chosen (be they present or absent) shall be written in an indenture under the seals of all them that did choose them, and tacked to the same writ of the parliament, which indenture so sealed and tacked shall be holden for the sheriff's return of the said writ touching the knights of the shires. (6) And in the writs of the parliament to be made hereafter, this clause shall be put:'“ Et electionem tuam in pleno comitatu tuo factam, distincte & aperte sub sigillo tuo & sigillis eorum qui electioni illi interfuerint, nobis in cancellaria nostra ad diem & locum in brevi contentos certifices indilate.”

ANNO 110 HENRICI IV. Cap. 1.

The Penalty on a Sheriff for making an untrue Return of the
Election of Knights of the Parliament.

A. D. 1409,

“ FIRST, whereas in the parliament holden at Westminster, the 7th year of the reign of our said lord the king, there was ordained and established by a statute for the preservation of the liberties and franchises of the election of the knights of the shire used through the realm, a certain form and manner of the election of such knights, as in the said statute more fully is contained: (2) and forasmuch as in the same statute no penalty was ordained or limited in special upon the sheriffs of the counties, if they make

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any returns to the contrary of the same statute,” (3) ' it is
ordained and stablished, that the justices assigned to take
assizes shall have power to inquire in their sessions of
assizes, of such returns made ; (4) and if it be found by
inquest, and due examination before the same justices, that
any such sheriff hath made, or hereafter shall make, any
return contrary to the tenor of the said statute, that then
the said' sheriff shall incur the penalty of 1001. to be paid to
our lord the king; (5) and moreover, that the knights of
the counties so unduly returned, shall lose their wages of
the parliament, of old time accustomed.”

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ANNO 60 HENRICI VI. CAP. 4.

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The Sheriff's Traverse to an Inquest found, touching return-
ing Knights of Shires for the Parliament.

A. D. 1427. " ITEM, Whereas, it was ordained and established in the 7 11. 4. 15.

7th year of king Henry the Fourth, grandfather of our
lord the king that now is, that knights of shires for the par-
liament should be chosen in manner and form following ;
that is to say, at the next county to be holden after the de-
livery of the writ of the parliament, proclamation shall be
made in the full county of the day and place of the parlia-
ment, (2) and that all they which be present there, as well
suitors duly summoned for this cause, as other, shall attend
to the election of their knights for the parliament, (3) and
then in full county they shall proceed to the election freely
and indifferently, notwithstanding any request or com-
mandment to the contrary ; (4) and that after they be
chosen, whether such persons chosen be present or absent,
their names shall be written in indentures under the seals
of all the choosers, and annexed to the said writ of par.
liament, which indenture so sealed and tacked, shall be
holden for the return of the said writ, as to the knights of
the said shires ; (5) and also in the writs of the parliament
hereafter to be made, this clause shall be put in the man-
ner as followeth : Et electionem tuam in pleno comitatu
tuo factam, distincte & aperte sub sigillo tuo & sigillis
eorum qui electioni illi interfuerint, nobis in cancelaria
nostra ad diem & locum in brevi contentos certifices indi-
late (6). And for that in the same statute no pain was
ordained, nor specially set upon the sheriffs of the
county, if they make their return contrary to the said sta-

tute, it was ordained and established the 11th year of the 11 11.4. c. 1. said King Henry the Fourth, That the justices of assizes

should have power to inquire in their sessions of assizes,
of such returns made; (7) and if it be found by inquest
and due examination before the same justices, that any such
sheriff hath made, or hereafter shall make, any return con-
trary to the tenor of the said statute, that the same sheriff
should incur the pain of 1001. to be paid to our said lord
the king, (8) and moreover that the knights so unduly re-
turned, shall lose their wages of the parliament, in old

times accustomed ; (9) to the great mischiefs of sheriffs and knights of the shire, which he forebarred and put out of their answer against such inquests of office, taken before the said judges, because of the statute and ordinance aforesaid.” (10) Our lord the king, willing in this case The knights to provide remedy, hath ordained and established, That chosen for the all the knights of the shires, chosen for this present par- and the sheliament, and the sheriffs of the same counties against whom rilts of cout any inquests or offices of undue election be found before ties may have the justices of assizes shall have their answer and traverse of an office to such inquests of office taken;(11) and also all the knights

found against from henceforth so to be chosen, and the sheriffs that shall make such elections shall have their answer and traverse to such inquests and offices before any justices of assizes hereafter to be taken ; (12) and the said knights and sheriffs shall not be endamaged unto our said lord the king or his successors, for any such inquest taken, or to be takea, until they be duly convict according to the form of the law.'

them.

ANNO 80 HENRICI VI. Cap. 7.

What Sort of Men shall be Choosers, and who shall be chosen Knights of the Parliament.

A. D. 1429. “ ITEM, Whereas the elections of knights of shires to come to the parliaments of our lord the king in many counties of the realm of England, have now of late been made by very great, outrageous and excessive number of people dwelling within the same counties of the realm of England, of the which most part was of people of small substance, 7 Hen. 4. 15. and of no value, whereof every of them pretended a voice equivalent, as to such elections to be made, with the most worthy knights and esquires, dwelling within the same counties, whereby manslaughter, riots, batteries, and divi. sions among the gentlemen and other people of the same counties, shall very likely rise and be, unless convenient and due remedy be provided in this behalf;” (2) “ our lord the king, considering the premises, hath provided, ordained and stablished by authority of this present parliament, That the knights of the shires to be chosen within the same realm of England, to come to the parliaments of our lord the king, hereafter to be holden, shall be chosen in every county of the realm of England, by people dwelling and resident in the same counties, whereof every one of the qualificathem shall have free land or tenement to the value of forty tions of the shillings by the year, at the least, above all charges ;(3) and that they which shall be so chose, shall be dwelling and resident within the same counties ;(4) and such as What is re: have the greatest number of them that may expend 20s. Candidates. by year, and above, as afore is said, shall be returned by the sheriffs of every county, knights for the parliament, by indentures sealed betwixt the said sheriffs and the said choosers so to be made. (5) And every sheriff of the

electors.

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