CONSTITUTIONS OF CLARENDON. 1164
Albert Beebe White; Wallace Notestein (1915). Source problems in English history. Harper & Brothers.
(Latin text in Stubbs, Select Charters, ninth edition, pp. 163-167. Translation by the editor.)
William Stubbs (1870). Select charters and other illustrations of English constitutional history from the earliest times to the reign of Edward the First. Clarendon Press. pp. 129–.
From the year of our Lord's incarnation 1164, the fourth year of the papacy of Alexander, the tenth of the most illustrious Henry, king of the English, in the presence of the same king, was made this remembrance or recognition of a certain part of the customs, liberties, and dignities of his predecessors, that is to say of King Henry his grandfather and others, which ought to be observed and held in the kingdom. And because of dis- sensions and discords which had arisen between the clergy and the lord king's justices and the barons of the kingdom concerning the customs and dignities, this recognition has been made before the archbishops and bishops and clergy, and the earls and barons and great men of the kingdom. And these same customs declared by the archbishops, bishops, earls, and barons, and by the nobler and older men of the kingdom, Thomas archbishop of Canterbury and Roger archbishop of York and Gilbert bishop of London and Henry bishop of Winchester and Nigel bishop of Ely and William bishop of Norwich and Robert bishop of Lincoln and Hilary bishop of Chichester and Jocelin bishop of Salisbury and Richard bishop of Chester and Bartholomew bishop of Exeter and Robert bishop of Hereford and David bishop of St. David's and Roger elect of Worcester conceded and on the word of truth firmly promised by word of mouth should be held and observed for the lord king and his heirs in good faith and without subtlety, these being present: Robert earl of Leicester, Reginald earl of Cornwall, Conan earl of Brittany, John earl of Eu, Roger earl of Clare, earl Geof- frey de Mandeville, Hugh earl of Chester, William earl of Arundel, earl Patrick, William earl of Ferrers, Richard de Luci, Reginald de St. Valery, Roger Bigot, Reginald de Warenne, Richer de Aquila, William de Braose, Richard de Camville, Nigel de Mowbray, Simon de Beauchamp, Humphrey de Bohun, Matthew de Hereford, Walter de Mayenne, Manser Biset the steward, William Malet, William de Courcy, Robert de Dunstaville, Jocelin de Baillol, William de Lanvallei, William de Caisnet, Geof- frey de Vere, William de Hastings, Hugh de Moreville, Alan de Neville, Simon Fitz Peter, William Maudit the chamberlain, John Maudit, John Marshall, Peter de Mara, and many other great men and nobles of the king- dom both clergy and laymen.
A certain part of the customs and dignities which were recognized is contained in the present writing. Of which part these are the articles:
1. If a controversy arise between laymen, or between
laymen and clerks, or between clerks concerning patron-
age and presentation of churches, it shall be treated or
concluded in the court of the lord king.
2. Churches of the lord king's fee cannot be perma-
nently bestowed without his consent and grant.
3. Clerks charged and accused of any matter, sum-
moned by the king's justice, shall come into his court to
answer there to whatever it shall seem to the king's court
should be answered there ; and in the church court to what
it seems should be answered there; however the king's
justice shall send into the court of holy Church for the
purpose of seeing how the matter shall be treated there.
And if the clerk be convicted or confess, the church
ought not to protect him further.
4. It is not permitted the archbishops, bishops, and
priests of the kingdom to leave the kingdom without the
lord king's permission. And if they do leave they are to
give security, if the lord king please, that they will seek
no evil or damage to king or kingdom in going, in making
their stay, or in returning.
5. Excommunicate persons ought not to give security
for an indefinite time, or give an oath, but only security
and pledge for submitting to the judgment of the church
in order that they may be absolved.
6. Laymen ought not to be accused save by depend-
able and lawful accusers and witnesses in the presence of
the bishop, yet so that the archdeacon lose not his right
or anything which he ought to have thence. And if
there should be those who are deemed culpable, but
whom no one wishes or dares to accuse, the sheriff, upon
the bishop's request, shall cause twelve lawful men of
the neighborhood or the vill to take oath before the
bishop that they will show the truth of the matter ac-
cording to their conscience.
7. No one who holds of the king in chief or any of the
officials of his demesne is to be excommunicated or his
lands placed under interdict unless the lord king, if he
be in the land, or his justiciar, if he be outside the king-
dom, first gives his consent, that he may do for him what
is right: yet so that what pertains to the royal court be
concluded there, and what looks to the church court be
sent thither to be concluded there.
8. As to appeals which may arise, they should pass
from the archdeacon to the bishop, and from the bishop
to the archbishop. And if the archbishop fail in furnishing
justice, the matter should come to the lord king at the
last, that at his command the litigation be concluded in
the archbishop's court; and so because it should not
pass further without the lord king's consent.
9. If litigation arise between a clerk and a layman or
between a layman and a clerk concerning any holding
which the clerk would bring to charitable tenure but
the layman to lay fee, it shall be determined on the de-
cision of the king's chief justice by the recognition of
twelve lawful men in the presence of the king's justice
himself whether the holding pertain to charitable tenure
or to lay fee. And if the recognition declare it to be
charitable tenure, it shall be litigated in the church court,
but if lay fee, unless both plead under the same bishop or
baron, the litigation shall be in the royal court. But if
both plead concerning that fief under the same bishop or
baron, it shall be litigated in his court; yet so that he
who was first seised lose not his seisin on account of the
recognition that was made, until the matter be deter-
mined by the plea.
10. If any one who is of a city, castle, borough, or
demesne manor of the king shall be cited by archdeacon
or bishop for any offense for which he ought to be held
answerable to them and despite their summonses he re-
fuse to do what is right, it is fully permissible to place
him under interdict, but he ought not to be excommuni-
cated before the king's chief official of that vill shall agree,
in order that he may authoritatively constrain him to
come to his trial. But if the king's official fail in this,
he himself shall be in the lord king's mercy; and then
the bishop shall be able to coerce the accused man by
11. Archbishops, bishops, and all ecclesiastics of the
kingdom who hold of the king in chief have their pos-
sessions of the lord king as barony and answer for them
to the king's justices and ministers and follow and do
all royal rights and customs; and they ought, just like
other barons, to be present at the judgments of the lord
king's court along with the barons, until it come in judg-
ment to loss of limbs or death.
12. When an archbishopric or bishopric, or an abbey
or priory of the king's demesne shall be vacant, it ought
to be in his hands, and he shall assume its revenues and
expenses as pertaining to his demesne. And when the
time comes to provide for the church, the lord king should
notify the more important clergy of the church, and the
election should be held in the lord king's own chapel
with the assent of the lord king and on the advice of the
clergy of the realm whom he has summoned for the pur-
pose. And there, before he be consecrated, let the elect
perform homage and fealty to the lord king as his liege
lord for life, limbs, and earthly honor, saving his order.
13. If any of the great men of the kingdom should
forcibly prevent archbishop, bishop, or archdeacon from
administering justice in which he or his men were con-
cerned, then the lord king ought to bring such an one to
justice. And if it should happen that any one deforce
the lord king of his right, archbishops, bishops, and arch-
deacons ought to constrain him to make satisfaction to
the lord king.
14. Chattels which have been forfeited to the king are
not to be held in churches or cemeteries against the king's
justice, because they belong to the king whether they be
found inside churches or outside.
15. Pleas concerning debts, which are owed on the
basis of an oath or in connection with which no oath has
been taken, are in the king's justice.
16. Sons of villeins should not be ordained without
the consent of the lord on whose land it is ascertained
they were born.
The declaration of the above-mentioned royal customs and dignities has been made by the archbishops, bishops, earls, barons, and the nobler and older men of the kingdom, at Clarendon on the fourth day before the Purifica- tion of the Blessed Virgin Mary, lord Henry being pres- ent there with the lord king his father. There are, indeed, many other great customs and dignities of holy mother church and of the lord king and barons of the kingdom, which are not included in this writing, but which are to be preserved to holy church and to the lord king and his heirs and the barons of the kingdom, and are to be kept inviolate for ever.