Harvard Law School Library

Bracton Online -- English

Previous   Volume 2, Page 207  Next    

Go to Volume:      Page:    

[001] substituted the aforesaid B. in place of the aforesaid C., who was dead, and caused
[002] her to be called C. and to be raised as if she were the daughter and heir of the
[003] aforesaid D., who1 is neither his daughter nor his heir but the daughter of such a
[004] one, as it is said, and unless they do so2 etc.’ 3And what if the aforesaid substituted
[005] B. has earlier done homage to the lord king or to another whose escheat the land
[006] ought to be? Quaere whether the homage ought to be a bar. And in truth it ought
[007] not, because of an error as to the person, for he took the homage of such a person
[008] as the daughter and heir of such a one who was neither daughter nor heir. And he
[009] took the homage from a tenement which she ought to hold of him, but she ought
[010] to hold no tenement of him since she was not the daughter and heir of D., and
[011] therefore the homage is void because of error, for one who errs does not consent.
[012] 4When a woman who claimed to be pregnant has been proved otherwise in a judicial
[013] proceeding, or confesses that she is not pregnant, let the true heir then have this
[014] writ directed to the chief lord for taking his homage.

When in a judicial proceeding a woman has been proved not to be pregnant or has confessed that she is not, a writ for giving seisin to the true heir.

[016] ‘The king to such a chief lord, greeting. Know that A. who was the wife of B.
[017] gave us and our council to understand that she was pregnant by the said B. her
[018] husband, and since she said this to the disherison of C., brother and heir of the
[019] same B. [to whom the land ought to descend by right of inheritance]5 if the aforesaid
[020] A. had no issue by the said B., as the same C. said, on the plaint of the said C.
[021] we caused her to be kept in custody until it could be learned in the due course of
[022] nature whether she was pregnant or not. And after many inquiries we have at last
[023] learned by the confession of the said A. publicly made in court before [our] justices
[024] etc. ([or] ‘through the lawful and responsible men and women by whom she was
[025] examined in accordance with our order’) that she was not pregnant, but was herself
[026] deceived, believing herself to be pregnant though she was not. Therefore we order
[027] you not to fail because of that deception to take the homage of the aforesaid C.,
[028] who was pronounced in our court the lawful heir of the aforesaid B. according to
[029] the custom of our realm, and to cause him without delay to have seisin of his
[030] inheritance which he ought to hold of you.6 Witness etc.’

The institution of heirs.

[032] When his tenant dies the chief lord ought first to seize into his hand his fee and the
[033] tenement which is held immediately of him, and keep it there until it is clear whether
[034] the deceased has an heir or not.7 [I say this if he finds the possession vacant.8


1. ‘quae’

2. ‘fecerint’

3. New paragraph; supra 174, infra 227, n. 4, 228, 233

4. New paragraph

5. As supra 202

6. ‘te’

7. Glanvill, vii, 17; infra iii, 246

8. ‘si autem heres ... unus heres’ transposed to 208, nn. 3-4

Contact: specialc@law.harvard.edu
Page last reviewed April 2003.
© 2003 The President and Fellows of Harvard College