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The words of the appeal of a woman complaining of rape.

[002] ‘A., such a woman, appeals B. for that whereas she was at such a place on such a
[003] day in such a year etc. (as above)1 (or ‘when she was going from such a place to
[004] such,’ or ‘at such a place, doing such a thing’) the said B. came with his force and
[005] wickedly and against the king's peace lay with her and took from her her maidenhood
[006] (or ‘virginity’) and kept her with him for so many nights (and let her thus
[007] set out all the facts and the truth). And that he did this wickedly and feloniously
[008] she offers to prove against him as the king's court may award.’

The appellee's denial.

[010] ‘And B. comes and denies the felony and the breach of the peace and the rape and
[011] everything, word for word, as the king's court may award.’ He must of necessity
[012] defend himself by the country, because of the unavailability of any other method
[013] of proof, because of the woman's sex,2 unless there are exceptions available to him
[014] by which he may avoid the appeal.

Of exceptions against the appeal.

[016] For he may except against it that suit was not adequately made, as in other
[017] appeals, [or] that he did not deprive her of her maidenhood since she is still a
[018] virgin. In that case let the truth be ascertained by an examination of her body,
[019] made by four law-abiding women sworn to tell the truth as to whether she is a
[020] virgin or defiled. If they say that she is a virgin, the appellee will depart quit of
[021] that appeal and the woman be placed in custody; if they find that she has been
[022] defiled, inquiry must then be made as to the guilty party, whether by the appellee
[023] or another, but not by the said women but by the country. On this matter may be
[024] found in the last eyre of Martin of Pateshull in the county of Norfolk in the twelfth
[025] year of king Henry, [the case] of Levina daughter of Ralph of Sheringes.3 He may
[026] also except against her and say that he had her as his concubine and amica before
[027] the day and year mentioned in the appeal and put himself on the country with respect
[028] thereto, [or] that he had her and defiled her with her consent and not against
[029] her will, and that if she now appeals him it is in hatred of another woman whom
[030] he has as his concubine, or whom he has married, and at the instigation of one of
[031] her kinsmen. He may also except that on the year


1. Supra 406

2. Supra 403

3. Not in B.N.B.; no roll extant

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