ever already suspected by many of his peers, and while the king was secretly providing for the success of his plans, they were not less anxious for the security of theirs. Hence arose a mutual mistrust, which the sealed deed of Magna Charta could by no means dissipate; but it was regarded, by one party at least, as only & temporizing expedient, to put an end to the civil feuds which were spread over all the kingdom. In the midst of the schemes which John had commenced to render void that engagement, which he could never remember but with agony, he died suddenly at Newark, on the 19th of October, 1216, by poison, as it is related by some writers, or through the infirmities induced by a broken heart and constitution, as it is asserted by others. There are but few, however, at the present time, who give any degree of credence to the former relation; yet whoever attentively considers the utter hatred which was entertained for John by almost all his subjects, and more especially by the ecclesiastics, will perceive but little reason why this account should be supposed wholly traditional. The celebrated Rapin, and his annotator Morant, have thought it a sufficient argument against its truth to remark that it was improbable for "a man to poison himself to be revenged of another ;” but as the mistaken friar believed he was acting in the most patriotic and virtuous manner, in rescuing England from a tyrannic power, so he gave himself without scruple as a martyr to the cause, confidently expecting as a reward, an immediate and eternal beatitude. The same authors also observe that this circumstance is neither mentioned by any contemporary historians, nor even by any one who lived within sixty years of that time. This argument will go, however, but a short distance to prove the falsity of the relation. Matthew Paris, and from him the principal account of John's reign is derived, was too great an enemy of that king to allow of any vices in the opposing party; particularly in that class of society by a member of which this act is said to bave been committed. During the space of sixty years it was in every one's memory, and after that period it is more than probable, that, had there not existed some foundation for such a report, it could never have descended to later times through the medium of written history.”—THOMPSON'S Magna Charta, p. 32

et seq.

6. Personal Liberty as Secured by the Charter.—"The thirty-ninth article of this cbarter is that important clause which forbids arbitrary imprisonment and punishment without lawful trial: “Let no freeman be imprisoned or outlawed, or in any manner injured, nor proceeded against by us, otherwise than by the legal judgment of his peers, or by the law of the land.' In this clause are clearly contained the writ of habeas corpus and the trial by jury—the most effectual securities against oppression which the wisdom of man has hitherto been able to devise. It is surely more praiseworthy in these haughty nobles to have covered all freemen with the same buckler as themselves than not to have included serfs in the same protection: We shall sell, delay, or deny justice to none.' No man can carry farther the principle that justice is the grand debt of every Government to the people, which cannot be paid without rendering law cheap, prompt, and equal. Nor is the twentieth section unworthy of the like commendation : 'A freeman shall be amerced in proportion to his offence, saving his contenement, and a merchant saving his merchandise.' And surely the barons must be acquitted of an exclusive spirit who subjoin and the villain saving his wagonage.' It seems to be apparent from Glanville that villainage was a generic term for servitude in the reign of Henry II., so that the villain of the Great Charter must have been at least a species of serf. The provision which directs that the supreme civil court shall be stationary, instead of following the king's person, is a proof of that regard to the regularity, accessibility, independence, and dig. nity of public justice, of which the general predominance peculiarly character. izes that venerable monument of English liberty. The liberty of coming to England and going from it, secured to foreign merchants of countries with whom this kingdom is at peace (unless there be a previous prohibition, which Lord Coke interprets to mean by act of Parliament), even if we should ascribe it to the solicitude of the barons for the constant supply of their castles with foreign luxuries, becomes on that very account entitled to regard, inasmuch as the language must be held to be deliberately chosen to promote and insure the purpose of the law."-MACKINTOSH.

Magna Charta.

John, by the grace of God, king of England, lord of Ireland, duke of Normandy and Aquitaine, and count of Anjou; to his archbishops, bishops, abbots, earls, barons, justiciaries, foresters, sheriffs, governors, officers, and to all his bailiffs and liegemén, greeting: Know

ye, that in presence of GOD, and for the health of our soul and the soul of our ancestors and heirs, and to the honor of God and to the exaltation of His Holy Church, and for the amendment of our kingdom; by advice of our venerable fathers, Stephen, archbishop of Canterbury, primate of all England, and cardinal of the Holy Roman Church ; Henry, archbishop of Dublin; William of London, Peter of Winchester, Jocelyn of Bath and Glastonbury, Hugh of Lincoln, Walter of Worcester, William of Coventry, and Benedict of Rochester, bishops; Master Pandulph, our lord the Pope's subdeacon and servant; Brother Aymeric, master of the Temple in England; and the noblemen William Marescall, earl of Pembroke, William earl of Salisbury, William' earl of Warren, William earl of Arundel, Alan de Galloway, constable of Scotland, Warin Fitzgerald, Peter Fitzherbert, Hubert de Burgh, seneschal of Poictou, Hugh de Neville, Matthew Fitzherbert, Thomas Basset, Alan Basset, Philip de Albiney, Robert de Roppelaye, John Marescall, John Fitzhugh, and others our liegemen; we have granted to GOD, and by this our present charter confirmed, for us and our heirs forever:

1. That the English church shall be free and enjoy her whole

liberties inviolate. And that we will have them so to be observed, appears from this that of our mere good will we granted, and by our charter confirmed, the freedom of elections which was reckoned most necessary for the English church, and obtained the confirmation thereof from our lord the Pope Innocent the Third, before the discord which has arisen between us and our barons; which charter we will ourselves observe, and will that it be observed in good faith by our heirs forever. We have also for us and our heirs forever granted to all the freemen of our kingdom, all the underwritten liberties to have and to hold to them and their heirs from us and our heirs.

2. If any of our earls or barons, or others holding lands of us in capite by military service shall die, and when he dies his heir shall be of full age and owe a relief, the heir shall have his inheritance by the ancient relief; the heir or heirs of an earl for a whole earl's barony, by one hundred pounds; of a baron for a whole barony, by one hundred pounds (marks); of a knight for a whole knights fee, by one hundred shillings at most; and he who owes a less relief shall pay less according to the ancient custom of his fee.

3. But if the heir shall be under age, and shall be in ward, when he comes of age he shall have his inheritance without relief or fine.

4. The warden of the heir under age shall take only reasonable issues, customs, and services, and that without destruction or waste of men or things. And if we shall commit the guardianship of these lands to the sheriff or any other who is answerable to us for their revenues, and he shall make destruction or waste on the ward lands, he shall make satisfaction; and the lands shall be intrusted to two lawful and discreet men of that fee, who shall be answerable to us.

Or, if we shall give or sell the wardship of lands to any one, and he shall make destruction or waste, he shall lose his wardship, and the lands shall be intrusted to two discreet men of that fee, who shall be answerable to us as aforesaid.

5. The warden, for as long as he shall hold the land, shall, from the revenues thereof, maintain the houses, parks, warrens, ponds mills, and other things thereto pertaining; and he shall restore to the heir when he comes of age his whole land stocked with ploughs

and carriages according as the time of wainage shall require, and the revenue of the estate will reasonably allow.

6. Heirs shall be married without disparagement of their rank, yet in such wise, that before the marriage is contracted the blood relations of the heir shall be acquainted with it.

7. A widow, after the death of her husband, shall forthwith and without difficulty have her marriage and her inheritance; nor shall she give anything for her dower, marriage, or her inheritance which she and her husband may have held on the day of his decease ; and she may remain in the house of her husband forty days after his death, within which term her dower shall be assigned.

8. No widow shall be distrained to marry herself while she shall desire to live without a husband; but she shall give security not to marry without the king's assent, if she holds of him; or without the consent of the lord of whom she holds, if she holds of another.

9. Neither we nor our bailiffs shall seize any land or rent for any debt, so long as the chattels of the debtor are sufficient for the payment of the debt. Nor shall the sureties of the debtor be distrained, so long as the principal debtor is sufficient for the pay. ment of the debt. And if the principal debtor fail in the payment of the debt, not having wherewithal to discharge it, then shall the sureties be answerable for the debt. And, if they will, they shall have the lands and rents of the debtor until they shall be satisfied for the debt they have paid for him ; unless the principal debtor shall show himself acquitted thereof against the said sureties.

10. If any one shall have borrowed any thing from the Jews, more or less, and shall die before that debt be paid, the debt shall pay no interest so long as the heir shall be under


of whomsoever he may hold; and if that debt shall fall into our hands, we will take nothing but the chattel named in the bond.

11. And if any one shall die indebted to the Jews, his wife shall have her dower and shall pay nothing of that debt; and if children of the deceased shall remain, under age, necessaries shall be provided for them according to the tenement which belonged to the deceased; and out of the residue the debt shall be paid, saving the

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