Suits of Court Act 1267
Statutes made at Marlborough, alias Marleberge, 18 Novemb. Anno 52 HEN. III. and Anno Dom. 1267.
Suits of Court Act 1267
1267 (52 Hen. 3) C A P. IX.
In the Year of Grace, One thousand two hundred sixty seven, the two and fiftieth Year of the Reign of King HENRY, Son of King JOHN, in the Utas of St. Martin, the said King our Lord providing for the better Estate of his Realm of England, and for the more speedy Ministration of Justice, as belongeth to the Office of a King, the more discreet Men of the Realm being called together, as well of the higher as of the lower Estate: It was provided, agreed, and ordained, that whereas the Realm of England of late had been disquieted with manifold Troubles and Dissensions; for Reformation whereof Statutes and Laws be right necessary, whereby the Peace and Tranquillity of the People*2 must be observed:Wherein the King, intending to devise convenient Remedy, hath made these Acts, Ordinances, and Statutes underwritten, which he willeth to be observed for ever firmly and inviolably of all his Subjects, as well high as low."
Who shall do Suit of Court. Suit of Court by Coparceners.
Contra formam feoffamenti.
2 Inst. 115.
Who shall do Suit of Court.
6 Co. 1. Suit of Court by Coparceners.
Stat. Hibermiæ, 14 H. 3. par. 7. Particion 1.
A Lord distraining his Tenant for Suit not due.
Fitz. Avowry, 15, 42, 48, 51, 60, 66, 68, 89, 99.
FOR doing Suits unto Courts of great Lords, or of meaner Persons, from henceforth this Order shall be observed, That none that is infeoffed by Deed, from henceforth shall be distrained to do such Suit to the Court of his Lord, without he be specially bound thereto by the Form of his Deed:
(2) These only except, whose Ancestors, or they themselves, have used to do such Suit before the first Voyage of the said King HENRYinto Britain, sithence which nine and thirty Years and an half are passed, unto the time that these Statutes were enacted.
(3) Likewise from henceforth none that is infeoffed without Deed, from the time of the Conquest, or any other ancient Feoffment, shall be distrained to do such Suits, unless that he or his Ancestors used to do it before the said Voyage.
(4) And they that are infeoffed by Deed to do a certain Service, as, for Service of so many Shillings by Year, to be acquitted of all Service from henceforth shall not be bounden to such Suits, or other like, contrary unto the Form of their Feoffment.
(5) And if any Inheritance, whereof but one Suit is due, descend unto many Heirs, as unto Parceners, whoso hath the eldest Part of the Inheritance, shall do that one Suit for himself and his Fellows, and the other Coheirs shall be Contributaries, according to their Portion, for doing such Suit.
(6) And if many Feoffees be seised of an Inheritance, whereof but one Suit is due, the Lord of the Fee shall have but that one Suit; and shall not exact of the said Inheritance, but that one Suit, as hath been used to be done before.
(7) And if those Feoffees have no Warrant or Mean which ought to acquit them, then all the Feoffees, according to their Portion, shall be Contributaries for doing the Suit for them.
(8) And if it chance that the Lords of the Fee do distrain their Tenants for such Suits, contrary to this Act, then, at the Complaint of the Tenants, the Lords shall be attached to appear in the King's Court at a short Day, to make Answer thereto, and shall have but one Essoin therein, if they be within the Realm; and immediately the Beasts, or other Distresses taken by this Occasion, shall be delivered to the Plaintiff, and so shall remain, until the Plea betwixt them be determined.
(9) And if the Lords of the Courts which took Distresses, come not at the Day that they were attached, or do not keep the Day given to them by Essoin, then the Sheriff shall be commanded to cause them to come at another Day; at which Day, if they come not, then he shall be commanded to distrain them by all their Goods and Chattles that they have in the Shire, so that the Sheriff shall answer to the King of the Issues of the said Inheritance; and that he have their Bodies before our Justices at a certain Day limited. So that if they come not at that Day, the Party Plaintiff shall go without Day, and his Beasts, or other Distresses taken by that Colour, shall remain delivered, until the same Lords have recovered the same Suit by Award of the King's Court; and in the mean time such Distresses shall cease, saving to the Lords of the Court their Right to recover those Suits in Form of Law, when they will sue therefore.
(10) And when the Lords of the Courts come in to answer the Plaintiffs of such Trespasses, and be convict thereupon; then, by Award of the King's Court, the Plaintiffs shall recover against them the Damages that they have sustained by occasion of the said Distress.
Tenants withholding from their Lords their due Suits. Fitz. Avowry, 86, 92.
II. Likewise if the Tenants, after this Act, withdraw from their Lord such Suits as they were wont to do, and which they did before the time of the said Voyage, and hitherto used to do; then by like Speediness of Justice, as be to limiting of Days, and awarding of Distresses, the Lords of the Court shall obtain Justice to recover their Suits, with their Damages, in like manner as the Tenants should recover theirs:
(2) And this recovering of Damages must be understood of withdrawing from themselves, and not of withdrawing from their Ancestors.
(3) Nevertheless, the Lords of the Court shall not recover Seisin of such Suits against their Tenants by Default, as they were wont to do.
(4) And touching Suits withdrawn before the time aforementioned, let the Common law run as it was wont before time.'
Note : this act is listed in the Chronological Table of Statutes as the Suits of Court Act, 1267
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