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[001] of the king and may not be transferred to anyone except as a justice1 of the lord
[002] king, as the view of frankpledge, the plea de vetito namii, the amendment of breaches
[003] of the assises, the trial of thieves, as in the case of those who have soke and sake,2
[004] and the like, all of which pertain to the peace and consequently to the crown.3 A
[005] thing given in free alms may also be called quasi-sacred, for there are gifts in free
[006] alms and alms more completely free, as may be found below [in the portion] on
[007] assises.4

What the requirements of a valid gift are.

[009] We must see what the requirements of a valid and effective gift are. It must be
[010] complete and absolute, free and uncoerced, extorted neither by fear nor through
[011] force.5 Let money or service play no part, lest it fall into the category of purchase
[012] and sale, for if money is involved there will then be a sale, and if service, the
[013] remuneration for it. If a gift is to be valid the donor must be of full age, for if a
[014] minor makes a gift it will be ineffective since (if he so wishes) it shall be returned
[015] to him in its entirety when he reaches full age.6 Also let the donor hold in his own
[016] name and not another's, otherwise his gift may be revoked.7 And let him, at the
[017] least, be of sound mind and good memory, though an invalid, ill and on his death
[018] bed, for a gift made under such conditions will be good if all the other [requirements]
[019] of a valid gift are met. For no one, provided he is of good memory, ought to
[020] be kept from the administration or disposition of his own property when affected
[021] by infirmity, since it is only then that he must make provision for his family, his
[022] household and relations, give stipends and settle his bequests; otherwise such
[023] persons might suffer damage without fault.8 But since charters are sometimes
[024] fraudulently drawn and gifts falsely taken to be made when they are not, recourse
[025] must therefore be had to the country and the neighbourhood so that the truth9
[026] may be declared. For an inquest may be varied in many ways to suit the diversity
[027] of complaints, for example, let it be made by these words.

Writ directed to the sheriff to inquire into a donor's condition at the time of his gift.

[029] ‘The king to the sheriff, greeting. We order you to go in your own person, taking
[030] with you the keepers of the pleas of our crown and in addition twelve lawful and
[031] discreet knights of your county of such a neighbourhood, to such a place and to
[032] diligently inquire by their oaths if such a one etc.’ Or in another way: ‘We order
[033] you to cause to come before you and before the keepers of the pleas


1. ‘iustitiarius,’ as infra 281, 439

2. Infra 167-8

3. Infra 439, 446, iii, 154

4. Infra 93, iii, 40, 127, 128, 331, iv, 265, 266

5. Supra 49, infra 64

6. Supra 51

7. D. 41.2.18. pr.: ‘nam possidet cuius nomine possidetur’

8. Continued infra 62, n. 3; the section following is an excursus suggested by the requirement of sound mind

9. ‘veritatem’

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