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[001] a certain Elena who was the wife of William of Hayston against Hugh of Selby.1

If the one summoned to answer in a plea of dower excepts that he holds nothing, or only for a term or in villeinage.

[003] The writ also contains the words ‘such a woman claims against such a one [so much
[004] land with the appurtenances].’ To which he who has been called to court may reply
[005] that he holds nothing nor ever held anything thereof, [The truth may be declared
[006] by the country.] [or] he may acknowledge that he holds, but in another's name not
[007] in his own, so that he can neither gain nor lose anything of that land, because he
[008] holds it only for a term of years, or at the will of such a one, or in villeinage; in that
[009] case the writ falls. Let a writ be impetrated against those in whose name he is in
[010] possession. The writ does not fall, however, if he holds for life, or by the law of
[011] England, or until he has been provided for, or the like, so that he has a free tenement,
[012] but he ought to vouch his warrantor, as in other cases, as above.

An exception against the woman if she claims half of a knight's fee, that only a third.

[014] Also ‘against such a one so much land with the appurtenances, that is, the half of
[015] so much land or the third part.’ If it is a half, the tenant may except that she was
[016] otherwise endowed at the church door, that is, of a third part, because the tenement
[017] from which she claims dower is a military fee.2 To which the woman may allege the
[018] contrary if she wishes, and3 let an inquest be taken as to the modus of the constitution.
[019] If she claims the third part, he may except that she was endowed of a smaller
[020] part and with that held herself content. This is also to be decided by inquest and by
[021] the country.

The exception that her husband was never so seised4 there of that he could endow her.

[023] Also ‘in such a vill,’ then [let it be done as5 above [in the portion] ‘if there is an
[024] error in the names of vills.’]6 Also ‘and whereof her husband endowed her on the
[025] day he married her, and who could endow her thereof.’ To this the tenant may except
[026] that her late husband never was seised thereof in any way. [Or] that he was never
[027] so seised that he could endow her, because [he held] only at the will of such a one, or
[028] as of gage, or in wardship, or for a term of years, and therefore in the name of another.
[029] [Or] if in his own name, it was only for a term of life in some way, as of free tenement
[030] and not in fee. [Or] if in fee, not so in fee that he could endow her, because it was the
[031] right of another, so that her husband lost that land to him by judgment,7 [as where
[032] he held it] only by disseisin or intrusion and lost it by the assise. There are any
[033] number of cases of this sort, as to which, if the woman-demandant alleges the contrary
[034] and both put themselves on the country, let an inquest be taken by this writ.


1. Perhaps B.N.B., no. 1889

2. Supra ii, 268

3. ‘et’

4. ‘seisitus’

5. ‘ut’

6. Supra 137

7. Supra ii, 272

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