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[001] because she then first has a standing to appear in court, that is, according to some,
[002] but according to others, no matter who raises the exception, she who has proved
[003] herself the lawful wife will obtain without further delay.] How the inquest ought to
[004] be made [may be drawn from the answer made] to a consultation of the bishop of
[005] Worcester, [to whom], on the advice of Martin, this reply was given on behalf of
[006] the king.1

The justices were consulted as to the procedure in taking such an inquest.

[008] ‘The king to such a one, bishop, greeting. When a disputed dower was being agitated
[009] before our justices of the bench between A. the woman-demandant2 and B. the tenant,
[010] after many altercations it was objected against A. by B. that she had not been
[011] joined in lawful marriage to the man in whose name she claimed dower, and at
[012] length the taking of an inquest was entrusted to the bishop of Worcester, in whose
[013] diocese the marriage between them was alleged to have been contracted. Afterward
[014] the same bishop consulted us as to how to proceed in the taking of the said inquest,
[015] to whose consultation we were led, according to the custom3 of England, to reply in
[016] this way: that when an inquest is so entrusted to him, having convoked those who
[017] ought be convoked etc. as above, let him proceed in this way: in the first place let
[018] him notify the tenant to be present on a certain day at a certain place ready to
[019] speak against the marriage if she so desires. And then, whether she appears or not,
[020] let him admit the witnesses whom the woman who wishes to prove the marriage has
[021] produced, because of the contumacy of the other woman who has not appeared.
[022] And having inquired into the truth without any great legal formality, summarily,4
[023] so to speak, let the inquest be sent to the lord king, despite any appeal put forward
[024] by the opposing party, should she be present, because if either party should here be
[025] heard as appellant and it was delayed pending the appeal, the cause would never
[026] come to an end and the business could be protracted indefinitely. Nor ought either
[027] party to have recourse by appeal to other judges, especially not to the pope or
[028] others outside the realm, lest they thus have cognizance of lay fee.’

An exception against the woman, if at any time there has been a judgment in a matrimonial cause against the woman claiming dower.

[030] An exception will also bar a woman claiming dower if she once claimed him, in whose
[031] name she claims dower, as her husband, denouncing the marriage as unlawful, and
[032] judgment was then given against her, as where a woman [excepts against another and]
[033] says that she cannot claim dower because when she claimed such a one as her husband
[034] in


1. Supra 373, infra iv, 262, 263

2. ‘petentem’

3. ‘consuetudinem,’ as V

4. Supra 184, 373, infra iv, 305

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