[Preamble] EDWARD by the grace of God, King of England, Lord of Ireland,
and Duke of Guyan, to all Archbishops, Bishops, etc. We have seen the Great
Charter of the Lord HENRY, sometimes King of England, our father, of the
Liberties of England, in these words: Henry by the grace of God, King of
England, Lord of Ireland, Duke of Normandy and Guyan, and Earl of Anjou,
to all Archbishops, Bishops, Abbots, Priors, Earls, Barons, Sheriffs, Provosts,
Officers, and to all Bailiffs and other our faithful Subjects , which shall
see this present Charter, Greeting. Know ye that we, unto the honour of
Almighty God, and for the salvation of the souls of our progenitors and
successors, Kings of England, to the advancement of holy Church, and amendment
of our Realm, of our meer and free will, have given and granted to all
Archbishops, Bishops, Abbots, Priors, Earls, Barons, and to all freemen
of this our realm, these liberties following, to be kept in our kingdom
of England for ever.
 First, We have granted to God, and by this our present Charter have
confirmed, for us and our Heirs for ever, That the Church of England shall
be free and shall have her whole rights and liberties inviolable. We have
granted also, and given to all the freemen of our realm, for us and our
Heirs for ever, these liberties underwritten, to have and to hold to them
and their Heirs, of us and our Heirs for ever.
 If any of our Earls or Barons, or any other, which holdeth of Us
in chief by Knights service, shall die and at the time of his death his
heir be of full age, and oweth us Relief, he shall have his inheritance
by the old Relief; that is to say, the heir or heirs of an Earl, for a
whole Earldom, by one hundred pound; the heir or heirs of a Baron, for
an whole Barony, by one hundred marks; the heir or heirs of a Knight, for
one whole Knights fee, one hundred shillings at the most; and he that hath
less, shall give less, according to the custom of the fees.
 But if the Heir of any such be within age, his Lord shall not have
the ward of him, nor of his land, before that he hath taken him homage.
And after that such an heir hath been in ward (when he is come of full
age) that is to say, to the age of one and twenty years, he shall have
his inheritance without Relief, and without Fine; so that if such an heir,
being within age, be made Knight, yet nevertheless his land shall remain
in the keeping of his Lord unto the term aforesaid.
 The keeper of the land of such an heir, being within age, shall
not take of the lands of the heir, but reasonable issues, reasonable customs,
and reasonable servics, and that without destruction and waste of his men
and goods. And if we commit the custody of any such land to the Sheriff,
or to any other, which is answerable unto us for the issues of the same
land, and he make destruction or waste of those things that he hath in
custody, we will take of him amends and recompence therefore, and the land
shall be committed to two lawful and discreet men of that fee, which shall
answer unto us for the issues of the same land, or unto him whom we will
assign. And if we give or sell to any man the custody of any such land,
and he therein do make destruction or waste, he shall lose the same custody;
and it shall be assigned to two lawful and discreet men of that fee, which
also in like manner shall be answerable to us, as afore is said.
 The keeper, so long as he hath the custody of the land of such an
heir, shall keep up the houses, parks, warrens, ponds, mills, and other
things pertaining to the same land, with the issues of the said land; and
he shall deliver to the Heir, when he cometh to his full age, all his land
stored with ploughs, and all other things, at the least as he received
it. All these things shall be observed in the custodies of the Archbishopricks,
Bishopricks, Abbeys, Priories, Churchs, and Dignities vacant, which appertain
to us; except this, that such custody shall not be sold.
 Heirs shall be married without Disparagement.
 A Widow, after the death of her husband, incontinent, and without
any Difficulty, shall have her marriage and her inheritance, and shall
give nothing for her dower, her marriage, or her inheritance, which her
husband and she held the day of the death of her husband, and she shall
tarry in the chief house of her husband by forty days after the death of
her husband, within which days her dower shall be assigned her (if it were
not assigned her before) or that the house be a castle; and if she depart
from the castle, then a competent house shall be forthwith provided for
her, in the which she may honestly dwell, until her dower be to her assigned,
as it is aforesaid; and she shall have in the meantime her reasonable estovers
of the common; and for her do wer shall be assigned unto her the third
part of all the lands of her husband, which were his during coverture,
except she were endowed of less at the Church-door. No widow shall be distrained
to marry herself: nevertheless she shall find surety, that she shall not
marry without our licence and assent (if she hold of us) nor without the
assent of the Lord, if she hold of another.
 We or our Bailiffs shall not seize any land or rent for any debt,
as long as the present Goods and Chattels of the debtor do suffice to pay
the debt, and the debtor himself be ready to satisfy therefore. Neither
shall the pledges of the debtor be dist rained, as long as the principal
debtor is sufficient for the payment of the debt. And if the principal
debtor fail in the payment of the debt, having nothing wherewith to pay,
or will not pay where he is able, the pledges shall answer for the debt.
And if they will, they shall have the lands and rents of the debtor, until
they be satished of that which they before paid for him, except that the
debtor can show himself to be acquitted against the said sureties.
 The city of London shall have all the old liberties and customs,
which it hath been used to have. Moreover we will and grant, that all other
Cities, Boroughs, Towns, and the Barons of the Five Ports, and all other
Ports, shall have all their liberties and free customs.
 No man shall be distrained to do more service for a Knights fee,
nor any freehold, than therefore is due.
 Common Pleas shall not follow our Court, but shall be holden in
some place certain.
 Assises of novel disseisin, and of Mortdancestor, shall not be
taken but in the shires, and after this manner: If we be out of this Realm,
our chief Justicer shall send our Justicers through every County once in
the Year, which, with the Knights of the shires, shall take the said Assises
in those counties; and those things that at the coming of our foresaid
Justicers, being sent to take those Assises in the counties, cannot be
determined, shall be ended by them in some other place in their circuit;
and those things, which for difficulty of some articles cannot be determined
by them, shall be referred to our Justicers of the Bench, and there shall
 Assises of Darrein Presentment shall be alway taken before our
Justices of the Bench, and there shall be determined.
 A Freeman shall not be amerced for a small fault, but after the
manner of the fault; and for a great fault after the greatness thereof,
saving to him his contenement; and a Merchant likewise, saving to him his
Merchandise; and any other's villain than ours shall be likewise amerced,
saving his wainage, if he falls into our mercy. And none of the said amerciaments
shall be assessed, but by the oath of honest and lawful men of the vicinage.
Earls and Barons shall not be amerced but by their Peers, and after the
manner of their offence. No man of the Church shall be amerced after the
quantity of his spiritual Benefice, but after his Lay-tenement, and after
the quantity of his offence.
 No Town or Freeman shall be distrained to make Bridges nor Banks,
but such as of old time and of right have been accustomed to make them
in the time of King Henry our Grandfather.
 No Banks shall be defended from henceforth, but such as were in
defence in the time of King Henry our Grandfather, by the same places,
and the same bounds, as they were wont to be in his time.
 No Sheriff, Constable, Escheator, Coroner, nor any other our Bailiffs,
shall hold Pleas of our Crown.
 If any that holdeth of us Lay-fee do die, and our Sheriff or Bailiff
do show our Letters Patents of our summon for Debt, which the dead man
did owe to us; it shall be lawful to our Sheriff or Bailiff to attach or
inroll all the goods and chattels of the dead, being found in the said
fee, to the Value of the same Debt, by the sight and testimony of lawful
men, so that nothing thereof shall be taken away, until we be clearly paid
off the debt; and the residue shall remain to the Executors to perform
the testament of the dead; and if nothing be owing unto us, all the chattels
shall go to the use of the dead (saving to his wife and children their
 No Constable, nor his Bailiff, shall take corn or other chattels
of any man, if the man be not of the Town where the Castle is, but he shall
forthwith pay for the same, unless that the will of the seller was to respite
the payment; and if he be of the same Town, the price shall be paid unto
him within forty days.
 No Constable shall distrain any Knight to give money for keeping
of his Castle, if he himself will do it in his proper person, or cause
it to be done by another sufficient man, if he may not do it himself for
a reasonable cause. And if we lead or send him to an army, he shall be
free from Castle-ward for the time that he shall be with us in fee in our
host, for the which he hath done service in our wars.
 No Sheriff nor Bailiff of ours, or any other, shall take the Horses
or Carts of any man to make carriage, except he pay the old price limited,
that is to say, for carriage with two horse, x.d. a day; for three horse,
xiv.d. a day. No demesne Cart of any Spiritual person or Knight, or any
Lord, shall be taken by our Bailiffs; nor we, nor our Bailiffs, nor any
other, shall take any man's wood for our Castles, or other our necessaries
to be done, but by the licence of him whose wood it shall be.
 We will not hold the Lands of them that be convict of Felony but
one year and one day, and then those Lands shall be delivered to the Lords
of the fee.
 All Wears from henceforth shall be utterly put down by Thames and
Medway, and through all England, but only by the Sea-coasts.
 The Writ that is called Praecipe in capite shall be from henceforth
granted to no person of any freehold, whereby any freeman may lose his
 One measure of Wine shall be through our Realm, and one measure
of Ale, and one measure of Corn, that is to say, the Quarter of London;
and one breadth of dyed Cloth, Russets, and Haberjects, that is to say,
two Yards within the lists. And it shall be of Weights as it is of Measures.
 Nothing from henceforth shall be given for a Writ of Inquisition,
nor taken of him that prayeth Inquisition of Life, or of Member, but it
shall be granted freely, and not denied.
 If any do hold of us by Fee-ferm, or by Socage, or Burgage, and
he holdeth Lands of another by Knights Service, we will not have the Custody
of his Heir, nor of his Land, which is holden of the Fee of another, by
reason of that Fee-ferm, Socage, or Burgage. Neither will we have the custody
of such Fee-ferm, or Socage, or Burgage, except Knights Service be due
unto us out of the same Fee-ferm. We will not have the custody of the Heir,
or of any Land, by occasion of any Petit Serjeanty, that any man holdeth
of us by Service to pay a Knife, an Arrow, or the like.
 No Bailiff from henceforth shall put any man to his open Law, nor
to an Oath, upon his own bare saying, without faithful Witnesses brought
in for the same.
 No Freeman shall be taken, or imprisoned, or be disseised of his
Freehold, or Liberties, or free Customs, or be outlawed, or exiled, or
any otherwise destroyed; nor will we pass upon him, nor condemn him, but
by lawful Judgment of his Peers, or by the Law of the Land. We will sell
to no man, we will not deny or defer to any man either Justice or Right.
 All Merchants (if they were not openly prohibited before) shall
have their safe and sure Conduct to depart out of England, to come into
England, to tarry in, and go through England, as well by Land as by Water,
to buy and sell without any manner of evil Tolts, by the old and rightful
Customs, except in Time of War. And if they be of a land making War against
us, and such be found in our Realm at the beginning of the Wars, they shall
be attached without harm of body or goods, until it be known unto us ,
or our Chief Justice, how our Merchants be intreated there in the land
making War against us; and if our Merchants be well intreated there, theirs
shall be likewise with us.
 If any man hold of any Eschete, as of the honour of Wallingford,
Nottingham, Boloin, or of any other Eschetes which be in our hands, and
are Baronies, and die, his Heir shall give none other Relief, nor do none
other Service to us, than he should to the Baron, if it were in the Baron's
hand. And we in the same wise shall hold it as the Baron held it; neither
shall we have, by occasion of any such Barony or Eschete, any Eschete or
keeping of any of our men, unless he that held the Barony or Eschete hold
of us in chief.
 No Freeman from henceforth shall give or sell any more of his Land,
but so that of the residue of the Lands the Lord of the Fee may have the
Service due to him, which belongeth to the Fee.
 All Patrons of Abbies, which have the King's Charters of England
of Advowson, or have old Tenure or Possession in the same, shall have the
Custody of them when they fall void, as it hath been accustomed, and as
it is afore declared.
 No Man shall be taken or imprisoned upon the Appeal of a Woman
for the Death of any other, than of her husband.
 No County Court from henceforth shall be holden, but from Month
to Month; and where greater time hath been used, there shall be greater:
Nor any Sheriff, or his Bailiff, shall keep his Turn in the Hundred but
twice in the Year; and nowhere but in due place, and accustomed; that is
to say, once after Easter, and again after the Feast of St. Michael. And
the View of Frankpledge shall be likewise at the Feast of St. Michael without
occasion; so that every man may have his Liberties which he had, or used
to have, in the time of King HENRY our Grandfather, or which he hath purchased
since: but the View of Frankpledge shall be so done, that our Peace may
be kept; and that the Tything be wholly kept as it hath been accustomed;
and that the Sheriff seek no Occasions, and that he be content with so
much as the Sheriff was wont to have for his Viewmaking in the time of
King HENRY our Grandfather.
 It shall not be lawful from henceforth to any to give his Lands
to any Religious House, and to take the same Land again to hold of the
same House. Nor shall it be lawful to any House of Religion to take the
Lands of any, and to lease the same to him of whom he received it. If any
from henceforth give his Lands to any Religious House, and thereupon be
convict, the Gift shall be utterly void, and the Land shall accrue to the
Lord of the Fee.
 Escuage from henceforth shall be taken like as it was wont to be
in the time of King HENRY our Grandfather; reserving to all Archbishops,
Bishops, Abbots, Priors, Templers, Hospitallers, Earls, Barons, and all
persons, as well Spiritual as Temporal, all their free liberties and free
Customs, which they have had in time passed. And all these Customs and
Liberties aforesaid, which we have granted to be holden within this our
Realm, as much as appertaineth to us and our Heirs, we shall observe; and
all Men of this our Realm, as well Spiritual as Temporal (as much as in
them is) shall observe the same against all persons in like wise. And for
this our Gift and Grant of these Liberties, and of other contained in our
Charter of Liberties of our Forest, the Archbishops, Bishops, Abbots, Priors,
Earls, Barons, Knights, Freeholders, and other our Subjects, have given
unto us the Fifteenth Part of all their Moveables. And we have granted
unto them for us and our Heirs, that neither we, nor our Heirs shall proc
ure or do anything whereby the Liberties in this Charter contained shall
be infringed or broken; and if anything be procured by any person contrary
to the premisses, it shall be had of no force nor effect. These being Witnesses;
Lord B. Archbishop of Cant erbury, E. Bishop of London, J. Bishop of Bathe,
P. of Winchester, H. of Lincoln, R. of Salisbury, W. of Rochester, W. of
Worester, J. of Ely, H. of Hereford, R. of Chichester, W. of Exeter, Bishops;
the Abbot of St. Edmunds, the Abbot of St. Albans, the Abbot of Bello,
the Abbot of St. Augustines in Canterbury, the Abbot of Evesham, the Abbot
of Westminster, the Abbot of Bourgh St. Peter, the Abbot of Reading, the
Abbot of Abindon, the Abbot of Malmsbury, the Abbot of Winchcomb, the Abbot
of Hyde, the Abbot of Certefey, the Abbot of Sherburn, the Abbot of Cerne,
the Abbot of Abbotebir, the Abbot of Middleton, the Abbot of Seleby, the
Abbot of Cirencester; H. de Burgh Justice, H. Earl of Chester and Lincoln,
W. Earl of Salisbury, W. Earl of Warren, G. de Clare Earl of Gloucester
and Hereford, W. de Ferrars Earl of Derby, W. de Mandeville Earl of Essex,
H. de Bygod Earl of Norfolk, W. Earl of Albermarle, H. Earl of Hereford,
J. Constable of Chester, R. de Ros, R. Fitzwalter, R. de Vyponte, W. de
Bruer, R. de Muntefichet, P. Fitzherbert, W. de Aubenie, F. Grefly, F.
de Breus, J. de Monemue, J. Fitzallen, H. de Mortimer, W. de Beauchamp,
W. de St. John, P. de Mauly, Brian de Lisle, Thomas de Multon, R. de Argenteyn,
G. de Nevil, W. de Mauduit, J. de Balun, and others.
We, ratifying and approving these Gifts and Grants aforesaid, confirm
and make strong all the same for us and our Heirs perpetually, and, by
the Tenour of these Presents, do renew the same; willing and granting for
us and our Heirs, that this Charter, and all and singular his Articles,
for ever shall be stedfastly, firmly, and inviolably observed; although
some Articles in the same Charter contained, yet hitherto peradventure
have not been kept, we will, and by Authority Royal command, from henceforth
firmly they be observed. In witness whereof we have caused these our Letters
Patents to be made. T. EDWARD our Son at Westminster, the Twenty-eighth
Day of March, in the Twenty-eighth Year of our Reign.