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The form of the writ of novel disseisin.

[002] 1‘The king to the sheriff, greeting. Such a one has complained to us that such a
[003] one disseised him wrongfully and without judgment of his free tenement in such a
[004] vill after the last return of the lord king from Brittany to England. Therefore we order
[005] you, if he has made you secure with respect to the prosecution of his claim, to cause
[006] that tenement to be reseised of the chattels which were taken in it and to cause the
[007] tenement and the chattels to be in peace until the first session when our justices come
[008] into those parts. In the meantime cause twelve free and lawful men of that neighbourhood
[009] to view the tenement and cause their names to be written down. And summon
[010] them by good summoners to be at the aforesaid session before the aforesaid our
[011] justices prepared to make a recognition thereof. And put by gage and safe pledges
[012] the aforesaid, [the disseisor], or his bailiff if he has not been found, that he be there
[013] at that time to hear that recognition. And have there the summoners, the names of
[014] the pledges and this writ. Witness etc.’ Impetration having been made in this way,
[015] let the writ, as was said above, be delivered to the sheriff at once and without delay,2
[016] lest the thing originally made litigious by diligent impetration become non-litigious
[017] by negligent prosecution.

The duty of the sheriff when he receives the writ.

[019] The duty of the sheriff is this: at the outset to take pledges for prosecuting from the
[020] plaintiff, whether there is one plaintiff or several, unless they have found pledges in
[021] the court of the lord king or pledge their faith because of their poverty, as the writ
[022] will state. From a single plaintiff let him take two pledges at least, persons sufficient
[023] to pay the amercement due the lord king if the plaintiff retracts or does not proceed:
[024] ‘persons sufficient to pay the amercement,’ that it may not be necessary for him to
[025] answer as to the amercement for them. If a husband and wife are plaintiffs, it
[026] suffices if the two find two sufficient pledges, because of their unitary right and
[027] because they are one body though different souls, and [thus] there will be but one
[028] amercement if one or both retract or do not sue, because the default of one redounds
[029] to both. The same will be true as is evident, of several suing in common on one disseisin
[030] and injuria, since they are, so to speak, one body, and therefore a single security, by
[031] two pledges, suffices, according to some, because if one should be embarrassed by
[032] the burden of sureties3 he would be compelled


1. Glanvill, xiii, 33

2. Supra 50

3. D. 11.1.18; 35.3.6; 36.3.12

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