Prisoners and Bail Act

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STATUTUM WEST' PRIMUM. The Statute of WESTMINSTER, the First, Made at Westminster 25 die Aprilis, Anno 3 EDWARDI I. and Anno Dom. 1275.


Prisoners and Bail Act 1275


1275 (3 Edw. 1) C A P. XV.


THESE be the Acts of King EDWARD, Son to King HENRY, made at Westminster at his first Parliament general after his Coronation, on the Mondayof Easter Utas, the third Year of his Reign, by his Council, and the Assent of Archbishops, Bishops, Abbots, Priors, Earls, Barons, and all the Commonalty of the Realm being thither summoned, because our Lord the King had great Zeal and Desire to redress the State of the Realm in such Things as required Amendment, for the common Profit of holy Church, and of the Realm: And because the State of[1] the holy Church had been evil kept, and the Prelates and religious Persons of the Land grieved many ways, and the People otherwise intreated than they ought to be, and the Peace less kept, and the Laws less used, and the Offenders less punished than they ought to be, by reason where of the People of the Land feared the less to offend; the King hath ordained and established these Acts underwritten, which he intendeth to be necessary and profitable unto the whole Realm.


Which Prisoners be mainpernable, and which not. The Penalty for unlawful Bailment.


What fort of Offenders be not mainpernable.

1 Roll 134, 192, 268.

Bro. Mainprise, 11, 56, 78.

Fitz. Mainprise, 1, 39, 40, Bro. Mainprise, 54, 57, 59, 60, 75, 78, 91.

11 Co. 29. Bro. Main. 6, 9, 19, 22, 30, 48, 50, 51, 53, 58, 63, 64, 73, 91, 93, 97.

What sort of Offenders be mainpernable.

2 Bulstr. 328. 3 Bulstr. 113.

The Penalty for unlawful Mainprise.

Enforced by 27 Ed. 1. stat. 1. c. 3.

See 3 H. 7. c. 3. giving Power to Justices of Peace to let Prisoners to Bail. And 1 & 2 Ph. & M. c. 13. giving farther Directions to such Justices.

AND forasmuch as Sheriffs, and other, which have taken and kept in Prison Persons detected of Felony, and incontinent have let out by Replevin such as were not replevisable, and have kept in Prisonsuch as were replevisable, because they would gain of the one party, and grieve the other;

(2) and forasmuch as before this Time it was not determined which Persons were replevisable, and which not, but only those that were taken for the Death of Man, or by Commandment of the King, or of his Justices, or for the Forest;

(3) It is provided, and by the King commanded, that such Prisoners as before were outlawed, and they which have abjured the Realm, Provors, and such as be taken with the Manour, and those which have broken the King's Prison, Thieves openly defamed and known, and such as be appealed by Provors, so long as the Provors be living (if they be not of good Name) and such as be taken for House-burning feloniously done, or for false Money, or for counterfeiting the King's Seal, or Persons excommunicate, taken at the Request of the Bishop, or for manifest Offences, or for Treason touching the King himself, shall be in no wise replevisable by the common Writ, nor without Writ:

(4) But such as be indicted of Larceny, by Enquests taken before Sheriffs or Bailiffs by their Office, or of light Suspicion, or for Petty Larceny that amounteth not above the Value of xii d. if they were not guilty of some other Larceny aforetime, or guilty of Receipt of Felons, or of Commandment, or Force, or of Aid in Felony done; or guilty of some other Trespass, for which one ought not to lose Life nor Member, and a Man appealed by a Provor after the Death of she Provor (it he be no common Thief, nor defamed) shall from henceforth be let out by sufficient Surety, whereof the Sheriff will be answerable and that without giving ought of their Goods.

(5) And if the Sheriff, or any other, let any go at large by Surety, that is not replevisable, if he be Sheriff or Constable or any other Bailiff of Fee, which hath keeping of Prisons, and thereof be attainted, he shall lose his Fee and Office for ever.

(6) And if the Under-Sheriff, Constable, or Bailiff of such as have Fee for keeping of Prisons, do it contrary to the Will of his Lord, or any other Bailiff being not of Fee, they shall have three Years Imprisonment, and make Fine at the King's Pleasure.


Likewise 31 Car. 2. c. 2. § 7. for bailing Persons committed for Treason or Felony, and not indicted the next Term. The Penalty for detaining a Prisoner that is mainpernable. 2 Inst. 184.

(7) And if any withhold Prisoners replevisable, after that they have offered sufficient Surety, he shall pay a grievous Amerciament to the King;

(8) and if he take any Reward for the Deliverance of such, he shall pay double to the Prisoner, and also shall be in the great Mercy of the King.


Note : this act is listed in the Chronological Table of Statutes as the Prisoners and Bail Act, 1275


  1. For because the State of the holy Church, readbecause the State of his Kingdom and of the holy Church, &c.


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