Special Bastardy Act 1235

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Special Bastardy Act 1235
the English Parliament
Part of the Statute of Merton

PROVISIONES DE MERTON. Statutes made at Merton in Crastino Sancti Vincentii (scil. 23. Jan.) Anno 20 HEN. III. and Ann. Dom. 1235.


Special Bastardy Act 1235

1235 (20 Hen. 3) C A P. IX.

IT was provided in the Court of our Lord the King, holden at Merton on Wednesday the morrow after the Feast of St. Vincent, the 20th Year of the Reign of King HENRY the Son of King JOHN, before William * Archbishop of Canterbury, and other his Bishops and Suffragans, and before the greater part of the Earls and Barons of England, there being assembled for the Coronation of the said King, and Hellianor the Queen, about which they were all called, where it was treated for the Commonwealth of the Realm upon the Articles underwritten, thus it was provided and granted, as well of the foresaid Archbishops, Bishops, Earls, and Barons, as of the King himself and others.


He is a Bastard that is born before the Marriage of his Parents.

TO the King's Writ of Bastardy, Whether one being born before Matrimony may inherit in like manner as he that is born after Matrimony, all the Bishops answered, That they would not, nor could not, answer to it; because it was directly against the common Order of the Church. (2) And all the Bishops instanted the Lords, that they would consent, that all such as were born afore Matrimony should be legitimate, as well as they that be born* within Matrimony, as to the Succession of Inheritance, forasmuch as the Church accepteth such for legitimate. And all the Earls and Barons with one voice answered, that they would not change the Laws of the Realm, which hitherto have been used and approved.'


Fitz. Bastardy, 21, 22, 25, 27, 28, 30, 33. 1 H. 6. 3. 11 H. 4. 84. 39 Ed. 3. 14. 44 Ed. 3. 12. 12 Co. 72.

2 Inst. 96.

a Dominus in marg. b De Hibernia in marg.c Et ideo Dominus Rex habet consilium suum sub qua forma procedendum est ad inquisitionem in Curia sua de talibus fic natis in marg.

Note : this act is listed in the Chronological Table of Statutes as the Special Bastardy Act, 1235

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