The English Historical Review/Volume 37/A Proposal for Arbitration between Simon de Montfort and Henry III in 1260

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A Proposal for Arbitration between Simon de Montfort and Henry III in 1260

THE following proposal is to be found on membrane 26 of Curia Regis Roll, no. 167, 44 Henry III, which bears the heading 'Placita coram Domino Rege de tempore H. Bigod Iusticarii Angliae'. The reference in the text to St. Margaret's day enables us to date the entry 20 July or thereabouts. It is the sole entry on the last membrane of the roll, and is written in a more careful and legible hand than any case on the other membranes. In the series of references illustrating the various attempts to settle the differences between Simon de Montfort and the king which are given by M. Bemont[1] the above project for a settlement might take its place after the abortive attempt to make Hugh Bigod, Philip Basset, and Humphrey de Bohun the arbiters (5 February 1260)[2] and before the first reference of the case to St. Louis in 1261. It will therefore come second in the order of such attempts, and, so far as we can judge from the complete absence of any record of the proposed proceedings, failed like that which preceded it. The legal form of the process is interesting, and aptly illustrates Maitland's remark that 'the king can do wrong, but no action lies against him'.[3]

E. F. Jacob.

Public Record Office, Curia Regis Roll 167, 44 Hen. III, mem. 26.

Memorandum quod cum quedam contentiones suborte essent inter dominum Regem Angliae ex una parte et Symonem de Monte forti comitem Leicestriae ex altera de quibusdam transgressionibus quas idem dominus Rex imposuit predicto comiti sicut continetur in quibusdam articulis quos idem dominus Rex liberari fecit eidem comiti et similiter in quibusdam aliis articulis quos idem dominus Rex liberate proponit si sibi viderit expedire ad parliamentum a die sancti Iohannis Baptiste in xv dies anno regni Regis Henrici filii Regis lohannis quadragesimo quarto scilicet die Sancte Margarete voluit et concessit dominus Rex ex parte sua ad instanciam magnatum suorum et similiter predictus comes ex parte sua concessit et instanter petiit quod venerabiles patres B.[onifacius] Cantuariae Archiepiscopus H.[enricus] Lond. episcopus R.[icardus] Lincoln. W.[alterus] Wigorn. S.[imon] Norwic. et W.[alterus] Exon. episcopi per sacramentum proborum et legalium hominum per quos rei veritas melius investigari poterit in premissis diligentem faciant inquisitionem de omnibus transgressionibus illatis modis omnibus quibus melius inquirere poterunt. Et cum inde sumcienter inquisierint id quod fuerit inquisitum referent domino Regi et consilio suo Ut idem consilium de transgressionibus domino Regi illatis per predictum comitem si quae fuerint prout inquisitum fuerit competentes domino Regi considerent emendas et ad illam considerationem faciendam addantur magnates scilicet Comites et Barones pares predicti comitis sufficientes. Et hec inquisitio proficietur infra Octabam predicti festi sancte Margarete si sumcienter fieri possit. Sin autem, prefati Archiepiscopus et episcopi ultra terminum ilium inquirant de transgressionibus predictis quousque inde sumcienter fuerit inquisitum. Quod tamen fiat quam celerrime fieri poterit. Dominus noster Rex venire faciet coram prefatis Archiepiscopo et Episcopis illos per quos intelligent quod rei veritatem in premissis melius inquirere poterint et coram eis sacramentum prestare prout viderint expedire. Et si contingat quod aliqui fuerint articuli de quibus adeo festinanter non possit inquiri prefigatur alius terminus competens ad inquisitionem illam rite faciendam. Ita tamen quod de aliis articulis de quibus sufficienter inquisitum fuerit nichilominus procedat consideratio sine dilacione prout secundum iustitiam fuerit faciendum. Et sciendum quod bene licebit domino Regi pro parte sua et similiter predicto comiti pro parte sua dicere et proponere coram prefatis inquisitoribus ea quae eis viderint competere et similiter salvis eisdem domino Regi et comiti rationabilibus calumpniis suis cum perventum fuerit ad considerationem faciendam quo ad personas eorum qui considerationi intererunt. Et sciendum quod predicti Archiepiscopus et Episcopi cum perventum fuerit ad considerationem faciendam quo ad personas eorum qui considerationi intererunt iuraverunt in verbo dei ad predictam inquisitionem fideliter et sine fictitia faciendam. Si vero omnes iidem Archiepiscopus et episcopi predicte inquisitioni interesse non possint quattuor eorum qui presentes fuerint ad inquisitionem illam faciendam procedant.

  1. Simon de Montfort, p. 196 note.
  2. Royal Letters, ed. Shirley, ii. 393.
  3. Pollock and Maitland, History of English Law, i. 515.


Pp. 81–2. Mr. H. G. Richardson supplies the following corrections for the readings in the Latin text: Line 7, for parliamentum, parleamentum; line 22, for proficietur, perficietur; line 23, for Octabam, Octabas; lines 40–1, delete cum perventum … intererunt. He also notes that in the previous sentence the last clause, from 'et similiter', is an interlineation running over two lines, and that a stop in line 7 after expedire elucidates the sense.