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which may as well be abrogated, for the good of the Kingdoni, as they were first made for it. For instance, those Statutes that relate to Victuals, Clothes, and Places of Trade, doc. which have ever stood whilst the Reason of them was in force but when that Benefit, which once redounded, fell by cross Qccurrences, they ended; according to that old Maxim, Cero Sante ratione Legis, cesjat Lex. "But this cannot be said of Fundamental Laws, til Houses stand without their Foundations, and English Mankind wholly cease to be'; which brings close upon tho point.
Sect, 9. There is not any Country, that has more conftantly express'd her Care and 'deep Sollicitude, to thç prefervation of her fundamental Laws, than the English Nation. And tho the Evil of some particular Times and Persons have endeavour'd an utter Abolition of those excellent Fundamentals, which we have before defined and defended from any jaft reason of Revolution ; yet God Almighty, who is always
1 concern'd to avenge the Cause of Justice, and those excellent good Laws by which it is upheld, has by his Providence befuold their Contrivances, and baffled their attempts, by bringing their Designs to nought, and their Persons frequently to condign Punishment and Disgrace. Their 'Age' no Antiquary living can affyre us, 'unless they say, as old as Reason it felf; but our own Authors are not lacking to inform us, that the Liberties, Properties, and Privileges of the English Nation are yery antient.
Sett, 1o. For Horn, in his Mirror of Justice, (writ in Edward the First's time) fol. 1. tells us, " That after God had abated
the Nobility of the Britons, he did deliver the Realm to mert
more humble and simple, of the Countries adjoining; to “ wit, the S.zxons, who came from the parts of Almeign to ” conquer this Land; of which Men there were forty Sove « şeigns, which did rule as Companions, and those Princes “ dii call this Realm England, which before was named the ý Greater Britain." These, after great Wars, Tribulations, & and Pains, by long time' sufferd, did chuse a King to “ reign over them, to govern the People of God, and to « maintain and defend their Perions, and their Good in “ quiet, by the Rules of Right. And at the beginning they “ did calls him to swear to maintain the Holy Chriftian « Faith, and to guide his People by Right, with all his
Power, without respect of Persons, and to observe the & Laws, And after, when the Kingdom was turn d inco an
Heritage, King Alfred that govern this Kingdom about
an hunired leventy one years before the Conqueft, did a cause the Great Mein of the Kingdom to affemble ai
“ London, and there did ordain for a perpetual Usage, That “ twice in the Year, or ofcner, if need should be, in time of « Peace, they should affemble at London in Parliament, for
the Government of God's People, that men might live “ in quiet, and receive Right by certain Usages and Holy
<< In which Parliament (faith our Author) the Rights and " Prerogatives of the Kings and of the Subjects are diftin
guilh d and set apart; and particularly by him express’d, too tedious here to insert : amongst whicń Ordinances we find,“ That no man should be imprison’d, but for a capital « Offence. And if a man should dețain another in Prison,
by colour of Right (where there was none) till the Party « imprison'd dy'd; he that kept him in Prison should be “ hefd guilty of Murder, as you may read page 33.' And pag. 36. “ He is declar'd guilty of Homicide, by whom a "Man shall die in prison, whether it be the Judges, that shall “ too long delay to do a Man right, or by Cruelty of Goalers, or “ suffering him to die of Famine; or when a Man is adjudg’d a to do penance, and shall be surcharg'd by his Goaler with “ Irons, or other pain, wherehy he is depriv'd of his life. And p. 149. “ That by the antient Law of England, it was
Feloniy to detain a màn in prison, after suficient Bail of. “ fer'd, where the Party was plevisable ; every Person was
plevisable, but he that was appeal'd of Treason, Murder,
Robbery, or Burglary, pag. 35. None ought to be put in * coinmon Prisons, but only such as were Attainted, or prin. “ cipally Appealed or Indi&ted of Tume capital Offence, or At“ tainted of false or wrongful Imprisonment. So tender have of the antient Laws and Conftitutions of this Realm been of "the Liberty of their Subjects Perfons, that no man ought to “ be imprison'd, but for a Capital Offence, as Treason, Murder,
a € Robbery, or Burglary,
Seit. 11. Nor is Lambard short, in his excellent Translation of the Saxon Laws, from King Ina's time 712. to Henry III. 1100. in describing to us the great Obligation, and strong Condition the People were wont to put upon their Kings, to observe the antient fundamental Laws, and free Customs of this Land; which were handed down from one Age to another. And in the 17th Chapter of 'Edward the Confeffor's Laws, the mention there made of a King's Duty is very remarkable, That if he break his Oath, or perform'd not his Obligation, nec nomen Regis in eo conftabit, 'The same Lambard further tells us, That however any may affirm William of Normandy to be a Conqueror, he was receiv'd by the People as Edward's Succeffor, and by folemni Oath taken, 'to maintain unto them the
fame Laws, that liis Kinsman Edward the Confeffor did. This Doctrine remaind in the general unquestion’d, to the Reign of King Jobn, who imperiously thought that Voluntas Regu, and not Salus Populi, was Suprema Lex; or the King's Will was the Supreme Law, and not the People's Preserva. tion: till the incens'd Barons of that time becook themselves to a vigorous Defence of their antient Rights and Liberties, and learnt him to keep those Laws by a due Restraint and timely Compulsion, which his former Invasion of them evidenc'd to the World he would never have done willingly.
Sect. 12. The Proposals and Articles of Agreement, with the Pledges given to the Barons, on the behalf of the People by the King, were confirm'd in Henry III's time, bis Son and Succeffor; when the abused, slighted, and disregarded Laws by bis Father, were thought fit to be reduc'd to Record, that the People of England might not for ever after be to seek for a written
a recorded Law to their Defence and Security : for, Mifera Servitus eft ubi Jus est vagum aut incognitum. And so we enter upon that Grand Charter of Liberty and Privilege, in the Cause, Reason, and End of it.
Sect. 1. We shall first rehearse it, so far as we are concernd, (with the Formalities of Grant and Curse) and shall then fay soinething as to the Cause, Reason, and End of it.
A Rehearsal of the Material Parts of the Great
Charter of England.
ENRT, by the Grace of God, King of England, &c. To
all Archbishops, or Earls, Barons, Sheriffs, Proroft, Oncers, and to all Bailiffs, and our faithful Subjects, i do
shall see this present Charter, Greeting. Know 9 H. 3. con- ye that we, unto the Honour of Almighty firmod 28 E.3. God, and for the Salvation of the Souls of our Progenitors, and our
Succeffors, Kings of England, to the Advancement of Holy Church, and Amendment of our Realm, of our mere and free Will have given and granted to all Archbithops, doc. and to all Freemen of this our Realm, these Liberties under-written, to be holden and kept in
this our Realm of England for evermore. Chap.s. The
We have granted and given to all Freemen of om Form of anti- Realm, for us and our Heirs for evermore, theje Lient Alts, &c." berties. underwritten, to have and to hold, toʻsber Coke 2. Inft. and to their Heirs, of us and our Heirs fare. fol. 20 nam'd.
A Freeman shall not be a merced for a small Chap. 14. Fault, but after the quantity of the Fault. And for a great Fault, after the manner thereof, saying to him his Contenements or Free-hold. And a Merchant likewife shall be amerced, saving to him his Merchandize ; and none of the said Amercements mill be affefs'd, but by the Oath of good and honeft men of the Vicinage.
No Freeman shall be taken or imprisoned, nor Chap. 29. be diffeized of his Freehold, or Liberties, or free Cuftoms, or be outlaw'd, or exild, or any other ways destroy’d; nor we shall not pass upon him, nor condemn him, but by lawful Judgment of his Peers, or by the Law of the Land. We shall jell to no man, we shall deny nor defer to no Man either Justice or Right.
And to all these Cuftoms, Liberties aforesaid, which we have granted to be holden within this our Realm, as much as apperta ineth to us and our Heirs, we shall observe; and all Men of this our Realm, as well Spiritual as Temporal (as much as in them is) shall observe the same against all Persons in likewise. And for this our Gift, and Grant of tese Li. berties, and for other contain’d in our Charter of Liberties of our For:ft, the Archbishops, Bishops, Abbots, Priors, Earls, Barons, Knigiits, Freeholders, and other our Subjects, have given unto us the fifteenth parts of all their Movables: And we have granted unto them on the other part, That neither We, nor our Heirs shall procure or do any thing whereby the Liberties in this Charter contain'd shall be infring’d or brc. ken ; and if any thing be procur’d by any person contrary to the Premises, mall be had of no force or effect. There being. Witneff.s, Boniface Archbishop of Canterbury, &c. We ratifying and approving those Gifts and Grants aforesaid, confirm and make firong all the same, for us and our Heirs perpetually, and by the Tenor of these Presents do renew the Jame willingly; and granting for us and our Heirs, that this Charter, in all and lingular its Articles, for evermore shall he stedfastly, firmly, and inviolably obferv'd. And if any Article in the same Charter contain'd, yet hitherto peradventure hath not been observ'd nor kept, we will, and hy our *Authority Royal command, from henceforth firmly they be obsery'd. Witness, dc.
The Sentence of Curse given by the Bijbops, with
the King's Confeni, against the Breakers of the Great Charter.
N the Year of our Lord 1253. the third day of May, in the
great Hall of the King at Westminster, in the presence, and by the Confent of the Lord Henry, by the Grace of God, King of England, and the Lord Richard, Earl of Cornwal, his Brother ; Roger Bigot Earl of Norfolk, Marsal of England; Humphry Earl of Hereford; Henry Earl of Oxford; John Earí Warren ; and other Estates of the Realm of England: We Boniface, by the mercy of God, Archbishop of Canterbury, Primate of England, F. of London, H. of Ely, S. of Worcester, E. of Lincoln, W. of Norwich, P. of Hereford, W. of Salisbury, w. of Durbam, R. of Excester, M. of Carlifle, W. of Bath, E. of Rochefter, T. of St. Davids ; Bishops, apparel'd in Pontificals, with Tapers burning, against the Breakers of the Church's Liberties, and of the Liberties and other Customs of this Realm of England; and namely these which are contain'd in the Charter of the common Liberties of England, and Charter of the Forest, have denounc'd Sentence of Excommunication in this form, by the Authority of Almighty God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, doc. of the blessed A poftles Peter and Paul, and of all Apoftles, and of all Martyrs, of blessed Edward King of England, and of all the Saints of Heaven ; We excommunicate and accurse, and from the Benefits of our holy Mother the Church we fequefter all those that hereafter willingly and maliciously deprive or spoil the Church of her Right, and all those that by any craft or willingness, do violate, break, diminish, or change the Church's Liberties, and free Cuftoms containd in the Charters of the common Liberties, and of the Forest, granted by our Lord the King to Archbishops, Bishops, and other Prelates of England, and likewise to the Earls, Barons, Knights, and other Freeholders of the Realm. And all that fecretly and openly, by deed, word, or couhsel do make Sta. tutes, or observe them being made, and that bring in Cuftoms to keep them, when they be brought in, againft the said Liberties, or any of them, and all those that shall presume to judg against them; and all and every such Person, before. mention'd, that wittingly thall commit any thing of the