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The oath of the twelve knights chosen to speak the truth in a plea of the crown.

[002] ‘Hear this, ye justices, that I will speak the truth as to that on which you shall
[003] question me on the lord king's behalf, and I will faithfully do that which you shall
[004] command me on the lord king's behalf, and for nothing will I fail so to do to the
[005] utmost of my power, so help me God and these holy relics.’ And after him each of
[006] the others, separately and individually, shall swear an oath in this form: ‘The
[007] oath that A. (that is the first juror) has here sworn I will for my part keep, so
[008] help me God and these holy relics.’ When all have thus taken the oath let the
[009] chapters [of the eyre], as to which they shall answer before the justices, be read to
[010] them in order Having heard them, let them be told to answer in their veredictum
[011] fully, clearly and openly to each chapter, separately and by itself, and to have that
[012] veredictum ready at an appointed day.1 And let them be told in private that if
[013] anyone in their hundred or wapentake is suspected of some crime they are to
[014] arrest him at once if they can. If they cannot, let them give his name, and the
[015] names of all those who are under suspicion, privately to the justices in a schedule2
[016] and the sheriff will be ordered to arrest them at once and bring them under arrest
[017] before the justices, that the latter may do justice upon them. The chapters to be
[018] put before the jurors sometimes vary, depending on the time and place; they sometimes
[019] are enlarged, sometimes curtailed. Nevertheless something may be said of
[020] the chapters by way of illustrating how they are put forward in order.

The chapters to which the juries shall answer.

[022] 3First of all, pleas of the crown heard in the last eyre but not then determined.
[023] New crown pleas which have arisen since the last eyre. [By these chapters it may
[024] be seen that there is to be no investigation of pleas that had arisen prior to that
[025] eyre and were not put before the justices. If anyone is accused of a matter of that
[026] kind he will have an exception, and the jurors of the other eyre may be charged with
[027] perjury, as [in the roll] of Michaelmas term in the ninth and the beginning of the
[028] tenth years of king Henry, [the case] of one Henry Rumbaud of the county of
[029] Hertford.]4 Of those who are in the king's mercy and have not been amerced.
[030] [Here we must see how one is to be amerced. It is clear that a knight and 5a free
[031] man shall only be amerced according


1. Wiltshire Crown Pleas, 34

2. The privata: ibid., 92; infra 403 ff.

3. The articles of the eyre seem to be those of Br's own eyre in 1245, clumsily brought up to date by the inclusion of those of the 1246-9 and 1250-51 visitations. Cf. Richardson, in E.H.R., lix, 36-7, Traditio, vi, 78-82, 92, 98

4. C.R.R., xii, no. 1567, marked ‘De corona’ on roll; B.N.B., no. 1691; infra 397

5-6. Magna Carta (1215) ca. 20; (1225) ca. 14

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