Harvard Law School Library

Bracton Online -- English

Previous   Volume 2, Page 423  Next    

Go to Volume:      Page:    

[001] prosecuting. If when the appeal has once been in the county court and been put
[002] before the king or his justices a dispute arises as to the words of the appeal, let
[003] [the sheriff] then be ordered to cause a record to be made in the county court of
[004] the words of the appeal by this writ:

The writ to the sheriff for making a record in the county court before the keepers [of the pleas of the crown].

[006] ‘The king to the sheriff, greeting. We order you to cause a record to be made before
[007] you and the keepers of the pleas of our crown in your full county court of the
[008] appeal1 whereby A. appeals B. of breach of our peace, how and by what words
[009] the said A. made his appeal2 and whether he made it in the county or the hundred
[010] court. And have that record before us or our justices at Westminster on such a
[011] day under your seal and the seals of the aforesaid keepers of the pleas of our crown
[012] and by the hands of two of those who were present at the making of the said
[013] record. And have there this writ. Witness etc.’ There is another writ on the same
[014] matter, where the sheriff ought to have the record and ought to cause twelve men
[015] and the four townships to come to certify the justices as to a person's death.

Another writ to the sheriff on the same matter.

[017] ‘The king to the sheriff, greeting. We order you, putting aside every obstacle, to
[018] be before our justices at Westminster at such a term and to have there the record
[019] of the appeal sued in your county court between A., the appellor, and B., the
[020] appellee, with respect to the death of C., the brother of the same A. And cause to
[021] come before the said justices at the aforesaid term twelve free and law-abiding
[022] men of the immediate vicinity by whom etc., who are in no way related by kinship
[023] to the aforesaid A. and B., and in addition six law-abiding men and the reeve of
[024] each of the four nearest townships, to certify our aforesaid justices regarding the
[025] said death. And have there the names of the aforesaid twelve and this writ.
[026] Witness etc.’

Where a man commits felony upon his own person.

[028] Just as a man may commit felony by slaying another so may he do so by slaying
[029] himself, the felony is said to be done to himself,3 as where one has been accused of
[030] some crime and been arrested [or outlawed]4 [as] for homicide or with the proceeds
[031] of theft, 5or apprehended in the course of some evil deed and crime, and
[032] kills himself in fear of the crime that hangs over him; he will have no heir,6 because
[033] the felony previously committed, the theft or homicide or the like, is thus convicted.
[034] 7But the goods of those who destroy themselves when they are not accused
[035] of a crime or taken in the course of a criminal act are not appropriated by the
[036] fisc,


1. ‘de appello’

2. ‘appellum’

3. Om: ‘Feloniam quidem facit de se ipso,’ a rubric, more properly: ‘Quidam feloniam faciunt de se ipsos.’

4. ‘vel utlagatus fuerit,’ from line 31

5-6. D. 48.21.3. pr.: ‘Qui rei postulati vel qui in scelere deprehensi metu criminis imminentis mortem sibi consciverunt heredem non habent.’; supra 366

7-8. D. 48.21.3. pr.: ‘ut qui rei criminis non postulati manus sibi intulerint, bona eorum fisco non vindicentur: non enim facti sceleritatem esse obnoxiam, sed conscientiae metum in reo velut confesso teneri placuit. Ergo aut postulati esse debent aut in scelere deprehensi ut si se interfecerint bona eorum confiscentur.’; ‘metum’ for ‘metus,’ as D.

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