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Ordinance and Statute of Praemunire

Our lord the king, with the assent and by the prayer of the lords and commons of his kingdom of England, in his great council held at Westminster on Monday next after the feast of St. Matthew the Apostle, in the twenty-seventh year of his reign that is to say in England; in France the fourteenth for the improvement of his said kingdom and for the maintenance of its laws and usages, has ordained and established the measures hereinunder written:

First, whereas our lord the king has been shown by the clamorous and grievous complaints of his lords and commons aforesaid how numerous persons have been and are being taken out of the kingdom to respond in cases of which the cognizance pertains to the court of our lord the king; and also how the judgments rendered in the same court are being impeached in the court of another, to the prejudice and disherison of our lord the king and of his crown and of all the people of his said kingdom, and to the undoing and annulment of the common law of the same kingdom at all times customary: therefore, after good deliberation held with the lords and others of the said council, it is granted and agreed by our said lord the king and by the lords and commons aforesaid that all persons of the king's allegiance, of whatever condition they may be, who take any one out of the kingdom in a plea of which the cognizance pertains to the king's court or in matters regarding which judgments have been rendered in the king's court, or who bring suit in the court of another to undo or impede the judgments rendered in the king's court, shall be given a day ... [on which] to appear before the king and his council, or in his chancery, or before the king's justices in their courts, either the one bench or the other, or before other justices of the king who may be deputed for the purpose, there to answer to the king in proper person regarding the contempt involved in such action. And if they do not come in proper person on the said day to stand trial, let them, their procurators, attorneys, executors, notaries, and supporters, from this day forth be put outside the king's protection, and let their lands, goods, and chattels be forfeit to the king, and let their bodies, wherever they may be found, be taken and imprisoned and redeemed at the king's pleasure....

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