Statute of Westminster 1275

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The Statute of Westminster of 1275 (3 Edw. I), also known as the Statute of Westminster I, codified the existing law in England, in 51 chapters.

Chapter 5, known as the Freedom of Election Act 1275,[citation needed] is still in force in the United Kingdom. William Stubbs says of it:[1]

This act is almost a code by itself; it contains fifty-one clauses, and covers the whole ground of legislation. Its language now recalls that of Canute or Alfred, now anticipates that of our own day; on the one hand common right is to be done to all, as well poor as rich, without respect of persons; on the other, elections are to be free, and no man is by force, malice or menace, to disturb them. The spirit of the Great Charter is not less discernible: excessive amercements, abuses of wardship, irregular demands for feudal aids, are forbidden in the same words or by amending enactments. The inquest system of Henry II of England, the law of wreck, and the institution of coroners, measures of Richard and his ministers, come under review as well as the Provisions of Oxford and the Statute of Marlborough.

Though it is a matter of dispute when peine forte et dure (Law French for "hard and forceful punishment") was first introduced, chapter 3 states that those felons standing mute shall be put in prison forte et dure.[2]

History[edit]

The Statute of Westminster of 1275 was one of two English statutes largely drafted by Robert Burnell and passed during the reign of Edward I. Edward I had returned from the Ninth Crusade on 2 August 1274 and was crowned King of England on 19 August.[3] His first Parliament was summoned for the quinzaine of the Purification on 16 February 1275 but was prorogued until the day after Easter on 22 April 1275 and met at Westminster, its main work being the consideration of the Statute of Westminster I. This was drawn up, not in Latin, but in Norman French, and was passed "by the assent of Archbishops, Bishops, Abbots, Priors, Earls, Barons, and [all] the Commonalty of the Realm, being thither summoned."[4]

Chapters[edit]

The Statute of Westminster I is composed of 51 chapters:

Chapter Subject Repealing act (if any)
England & Wales Rep Ireland Queensland New Zealand
1 The Peace of the Church and the Realm shall be maintained. Religious Houses shall not be overcharged. Stat. Law Rev. Act 1863 Stat. Law (I.) Rev. Act 1872 In force by Imperial Laws Application Act 1988
2 A Clerk convict of Felony, delivered to the Ordinary, shall not depart without Purgation. Criminal Statutes (Repeal) Act, 1827 9 Geo.4 c.53
3 No Penalty for an Escape before it be adjudged. Stat. Law Rev. Act 1863 Stat. Law (I.) Rev. Act 1872
4 What shall be adjudged Wreck of the Sea, and what not. Stat. Law Rev. Act 1863 Stat. Law (I.) Rev. Act 1872
5 There shall be no Disturbance of the Free Elections. In force Electoral Act 1963
6 Amerciaments shall be reasonable, and according to the Offence. Criminal Law Act 1967
7 In what manner, and of whom, Purveyance shall be made for a Castle. Stat. Law Rev. Act 1863 Stat. Law (I.) Rev. Act 1872
8 Nothing shall be taken for beaupleader. Stat. Law Rev. Act 1863 Stat. Law (I.) Rev. Act 1872
9 All Men shall be ready to pursue Felons. Coroners Act 1887[5] Criminal Code Act 1899
10 What sort of Men shall be Coroners. Sheriffs shall have Counter-Rolls with them. Coroners Act 1887
11 Replevin by the Writ of Odio & Atia. Who shall be triers of Murther. Offences against the Person Act 1828 10 Geo. 4. c. 34
12 The Punishment of Felons refusing lawful Trial. Stat. Law Rev. Act 1863 Stat. Law (I.) Rev. Act 1872
13 The Punishment of him that doth ravish a Woman. Offences against the Person Act 1828 10 Geo. 4. c. 34
14 Appeal against the Principle and Accessary. Stat. Law Rev. Act 1863 Stat. Law (I.) Rev. Act 1872
15 Which Prisoners be mainpernable, and which not. The Penalty for unlawful Bailment. Sheriffs Act 1887 9 Geo.4 c.53
16 None shall distrain out of his Fee, not drive the Distress out of the County. Stat. Law Rev. Act 1969 Stat. Law Rev. Act 1983 Property Law Act 1974
17 The Remedy if the Distress be impounded in a Castle or Fortress. Stat. Law Rev. Act 1863 Stat. Law (I.) Rev. Act 1872
18 Who shall assess the common Fines of the County. Stat. Law Rev. Act 1863 Stat. Law (I.) Rev. Act 1872
19 A Sheriff having received the King's Debt, shall discharge the Debtor. Statute Law Revision and Civil Procedure Act 1881
20 Offenses committed in Parks and Ponds. Robbing of tame Beasts in a Park. Criminal Statutes (Repeal) Act, 1827 9 Geo.4 c.53
21 No Waste shall be made in Wards Lands; nor in Bishops, during the Vacation. Civil Procedure Acts Repeal Act 1879
22 The Penalty of an Heir marrying without Consent of his Guardian. A Woman Ward. Stat. Law Rev. Act 1863 Stat. Law (I.) Rev. Act 1872
23 None shall be distrained for a Debt that he oweth not. Stat. Law Rev. Act 1863 Stat. Law (I.) Rev. Act 1872
24 The Remedy if an Officer of the King do disseise any. Civil Procedure Acts Repeal Act 1879 Escheat (Procedure and Amendment) Act 1891
25 None shall commit Champerty, to have Part of the Thing in Question. Criminal Law Act 1967 Stat. Law Rev. Act 1983
26 None of the King's Officers shall commit Extortion. Theft Act 1968 Criminal Code Act 1899
27 Clerks of Officers shall not commit Extortion. Stat. Law Rev. Act 1863 Stat. Law (I.) Rev. Act 1872
28 Clerks shall not commit Maintenance. Criminal Law Act 1967 Stat. Law Rev. Act 1983
29 The Penalty of a Serjeant or Pleader committing Deceit. Stat. Law Rev. Act 1948
30 Extortion by Justices Officers. Stat. Law Rev. Act 1863 Stat. Law (I.) Rev. Act 1872
31 The Penalty for taking excessive Toll in a City, &c. Murage granted to Cities. Theft Act 1968
32 The Penalty of Purveyors not paying for what they take. The King's Carriages. Stat. Law Rev. Act 1863 Stat. Law (I.) Rev. Act 1872
33 No Maintainers of Quarrels shall be suffered. Stat. Law Rev. Act 1863 Stat. Law (I.) Rev. Act 1872
34 None shall report slanderous News, whereby Discord may arise. Stat. Law Rev. Act 1887
35 The Penalty for arresting within a Liberty those that hold not thereof. Civil Procedure Acts Repeal Act 1879
36 Aid to make the Son Knight, or to marry the Daughter. Stat. Law Rev. Act 1863 Stat. Law (I.) Rev. Act 1872
37 The Penalty of a Man attainted of Disseisin with Robbery in the King's Time. Stat. Law Rev. Act 1863 Stat. Law (I.) Rev. Act 1872
38 An Attaint shall be granted in Plea of Land touching Freehold. Stat. Law Rev. Act 1863 Stat. Law (I.) Rev. Act 1872
39 Several Limitations of Prescription in several Writs. Stat. Law Rev. Act 1863 Stat. Law (I.) Rev. Act 1872
40 Voucher to Warranty, and Counter-pleading of Voucher. Stat. Law Rev. Act 1863 Stat. Law (I.) Rev. Act 1872
41 The Champion's Oath in a Writ of Right. Stat. Law Rev. Act 1863 Stat. Law (I.) Rev. Act 1872
42 Certain Actions wherein after Appearance the Tenant shall not be Essoined. Stat. Law Rev. Act 1863 Stat. Law (I.) Rev. Act 1872
43 The shall be no Fourcher by Essoin. Stat. Law Rev. Act 1863 Stat. Law (I.) Rev. Act 1872
44 In what Case Essoin ultra mare shall not be allowed. Stat. Law Rev. Act 1863 Stat. Law (I.) Rev. Act 1872
45 In what Cases the great Distress shall be awarded. Where the Justices Estreats shall be delivered. Stat. Law Rev. Act 1863 Stat. Law (I.) Rev. Act 1872
46 One Plea shall be decided by the Justices before another commenced. Stat. Law Rev. Act 1863 Stat. Law (I.) Rev. Act 1872
47 In what Case the Nonage of the Heir of the Disseisor or Disseisee shall not prejudice. Stat. Law Rev. Act 1863 Stat. Law (I.) Rev. Act 1872
48 The Remedy where a Guardian maketh a Feoffment of his Ward's Land. Suit by Prochein Amy. Stat. Law Rev. Act 1863 Stat. Law (I.) Rev. Act 1872
49 The Tenants Plea in a Writ of Dower. Stat. Law Rev. Act 1863 Stat. Law (I.) Rev. Act 1872
50 Saving for the Crown In force
51 Assises and Darrain Presentments at what Time taken. Stat. Law Rev. Act 1863 Stat. Law (I.) Rev. Act 1872

Ireland[edit]

In the early history of the Lordship of Ireland, English statutes were often applied to Ireland.[6] A 1285 writ authorised Stephen de Fulbourn, then Justiciar of Ireland, to apply there English statutes including Westminster I, Westminster II, Gloucester, and those of merchants.[7] A 1320 act of the Parliament of Ireland (13 Edw. 2 c.2) readopted all these statutes.[8] An act of Edward Poynings' 1495 session of the Parliament of Ireland adopted statutes "formerly made for the common weal" in England; later the Maintenance and Embracery Act 1634 adopted all English statutes dealing with champerty and maintenance and embracery. Many chapters of the 1275 English statute were repealed with respect to Ireland by the Statute Law (Ireland) Revision Act 1872.[9] In the Republic of Ireland, the Short Titles Act 1962 assigned the short title "Distress Act 1275" to chapter 16 of the 1275 English statute, as adopted under the 1495 Irish act;[10] and the short title "Maintenance and Champerty Act 1275" to chapters 25 and 28 of the 1275 English statute, as adopted under the 1634 Irish act.[11] The Statute Law Revision Act 1983 repealed the whole of the 1275 English statute and the 1285 and 1320 Irish statutes.[12]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Stubbs, William. The Constitutional History of England in Its Origin and Development. 
  2. ^ Ripley, George; Dana, Charles A, eds. (1867). New American Cyclopedia. 13. D. Appleton & Company. p. 84. 
  3. ^ Powicke, F. M. (1962). The Thirteenth Century: 1216–1307 (2nd ed.). Oxford: Clarendon Press. p. 226. 
  4. ^ "Statute of Westminster, The First (1275)". legislation.gov.uk. The National Archives. Retrieved 29 March 2015. 
  5. ^ The Sheriffs Act 1887 had repealed it except for the end portion "so far as that portion relates to coroners"; the Coroners Act 1887 repealed "the whole chapter, so far as relates to coroners."
  6. ^ Berry 1907, p.xiv
  7. ^ Berry 1907, p.47 fn.1
  8. ^ Berry 1907, p.46 fn.1 and p.281
  9. ^ "Ch.98, Schedule". The Public General Statutes. 35 & 36 Vict. Eyre and Spottiswoode at the Queen's Printing Office. 1872. pp. 754–755. Retrieved 22 August 2017. 
  10. ^ "Short Titles Act, 1962, Schedule 2". Irish Statute Book. Retrieved 22 August 2017. 
  11. ^ "Short Titles Act, 1962, Schedule 3". Irish Statute Book. Retrieved 22 August 2017. 
  12. ^ "Statute Law Revision Act, 1983, Schedule Part I (1285 and 1320) and Part II (1275)". Irish Statute Book. Retrieved 22 August 2017. 

Sources[edit]

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