11 Aug


(c) Carrie Devorah

The BIGGEST birthday bash for Intellectual Property rights is coming up in a year or two. Not long to wait, in light of the big fete coming up. The occassion? Why, for the Magna Carta, of course. The Magna Carta Libertatum or The Great Charter of the Liberties of England, is going to be turning 800 years young. While some will be celebrating history of the Sacred document, the greatest blowout bash of them all should be put on by Property Owners around the English Judicial System world, in reminder to Governments, Judiciaries, lobbyists and wonks, the Old Girl is 800 years young in the face of technology challenging Property Rights. Better men and women than Technology’s Titans have tried to remove Property Rights from the people before. They have come and gone.

The Magna Carta lives on.

Twenty eight Parliamentarians in the United Kingdom have signed on to a resolution planning to acknowledge a moment Americans have lost sight of. Within just a few years of America’s bi-centennial, the Magna Carta gift from the Brits was relegated to the United States Capitol’s ‘almost basement’, the Crypt. The Crypt? Where George Washington was almost buried until someone decided a great idea isn’t a good idea if it violates the Dead  Man’s Will, even a late President’s no matter if George’s widow Martha had been convinced taking him on a final tour from Mount Vernon to the Seat of Government, for eternity was a neat thing to do.

So that is where the British gift of Property Rights For the People sits at this time, in the almost- basement of Capitol Hill, removed from its spot of prominence in the Rotunda in 2010. Historically influential and relevant documents like statues or documents that influence Property Rights have a way of moving around the Hill. A Congressional resolution authorized its placement in the Rotunda before it was moved a floor down, to the Crypt. No word if the downgrading of the display to the Crypt was Congressionally authorized, too.

The Magna Carta? Not top of the list of interns ‘bibles’ to talk about when taking constituents on a look-see of Capitol Hill. The oversized cumbersome artswork sits off to the side. The details the artist put into his symbolism is quite complicated, one could easily bet even Brits don’t recall without taking a peek at crib sheets. The gift has taken on the momentum of that ‘wedding’ or ‘engagement’ gift that you never would have bought for yourself but were in an awkward position unable to say no to so it gets moved around and around and never put away JUST so you don’t offend Aunt Elizabeth and Uncle Phil show up and want to see it and, oh heck, why didn’t they just give cash which would have been more practical.’ So there is sits, in the dim corner of the Crypt, a place designed for dead people. Most tours go right to Ground Zero for the obligatory toe shot atop the marble floor compass where North, South, East and West come together before walking the corridors from South to North, from the House to the Senate, under the rotunda, the Magna Carta was removed from.


Young rappers might be thinking The Magna Carta is Jay Z’s newest album as titled “Magna Carta… Holy Grail.” It is not. The Magna Carta is an amazing historical document, The Magna Carta, Latin for “Great Charter” is all about Life and Freedom, fiscal and otherwise, for entrepreneurs and innovators. The Magna Carter is the gift of Financial Independence, or used to be until Technological Titans decided Property Rights was an Old World idea that needed to be done away with, not replaced, done away with.

The old American young rapper turned Mega Millionaire, Jay Z, lost a teaching moment of history that might actually bump the rapper’s sales in 2015 from potential confusion by human beat boxes emanating from historic illiteracy. Jay Z could have “attributed” his album’s name to the Angevin charter written in Latin creating a relevant moment addressing Commerce from music and the Arts In a world of 2D IP and ID. Jay Z still has the opportunity to teach his followers the lessons of forty men, citizens, who, in standing up to their leader John, King of England, in the year 1215, taught him his lesson of humility- people have  Rights To Their Property, something it seems legislators- Senators, Congressmen, Lords, Ladies, Baroness’, Counts, Marques’ and Members of Parliament seem to look beyond, while debating then legislating about Culture, Media, Intellectual Property, Housing, Education, Security, in Committee and out, in Judiciary and Small Business, not only in England and America but throughout the EU and Beyond-  the Magna Carta rocks, still to this day.

Long before America was born, long before America’s current political demise, England’s crown, King John, was faced by his People. June 15, 1215, the Feudal Barons gathered in the face of their King, in the field at Runnymede, near Windsor Castle. The Barons Charter, the Magna Carta, was clear. The Barons’ were going to protect their privileges with laws limiting their King’s powers. The Magna Carta expressed that government was subject to the same laws itself as its subjects, themselves. The Charter required King John, to (a) accept that his will was not arbitrary (b) thatNo freeman shall be taken, imprisoned, disseised, outlawed, banished, or in any way destroyed, nor will We proceed against or prosecute him, except by the lawful judgment of his peers and by the law of the land” (c ) that “To no one will We sell, to no one will We deny or delay, right or justice.”

King John wanted to avoid a Civil War. Thirteen copies of Magna Carta were hand written in Medieval Latin on parchment that was then distributed throughout England. The King affixed his seal to the Magna Carta, a document that went on to become sacred in Law and Rule. Four of those original thirteen documents survive to this day. Though the Magna Carta, the Charter continues to proclaim certain liberties, it wasn’t always that easy or that way. Ten weeks after King John had consented and signed the document, Pope Innocent III nullified the Magna Carta. England fell into war with itself- English against English. 

Those Four historic surviving original Charters of Intellectual Property Rights will be brought together in 2015- one from Lincoln Cathedral, another from Salisbury Cathedral, and two from the British Library. There are later versions of the Magna Carta around. In fact, one of the later year copies, 1297 updates, resides in DC.

Now, as a document about Freedoms and Rights, the Magna Carta was not the  original, a first. As with most creative sorts, the iconic document’s authors inspiration for their 2D IP, Intellectual Property had been copied from the written word of the Charter of Liberties. The Charter of Liberties was written in 1100. King Henry the First had limited his own powers. The Charter of Liberties was translated in to French in 1219, then re-issued in the 13th Century. The Charter, originally called THE GREAT CHARTER OF THE LIBERTIES OF ENGLAND AND OF THE LIBERTIES OF THE FOREST, passed in to law in 1225, still sitting to this day on the Welsh and English statute books. Lord Baron Tom Denning, oft called the people’s Judge, said the Magna Carta is “the greatest constitutional document of all times – the foundation of the freedom of the individual against the arbitrary authority of the despot.”  Lord Irvine, when Baron Denning passed, said in tribute,: “The name Denning was a byword for the law itself. His judgments were models of simple English which ordinary people understood.” Sometimes, Legislators don’t understand, so in tribute to Lord Denning, hear this- the people struggling to make ends meet, get it, that without ideas, they don’t make money. Without money, they don’t pay tuition, mortgages, put food on the table, clothes on thier back or taxes that keep you in governance, while Technological Titans taking 2D IP, ID and Commerce without compensation to the 2D IP owner, squire their billions away, legally and otherwise- on shore, off shore, in for-profits dba as non profits, as charity leaders somehow pulling down hundreds of thousands of dollars in salaries or getting millions of dollars in grants from governments. (Stay tuned.) People today want what people in 1215 wanted- dignity, respect and honor.

The Magna Carta’s evolution is from a Medieval period icon reminding a King he was bound by the Peoples Law, on a journey to becoming Sacred Text inspiring the new America’s settlers from which to create the Constitution of the United States. Even with having migrated from England to an uncharted world, the Colonists moral compass was the bring along the foundational guarantees they had as Englishmen in England- the Magna Carta. Constitutional Law, that evolved from the Magna Carta, became rule of the land in the colonies. The Colonists went on to defer to the Habeas Curpus Act of 1679, the Petition of Right of 1628, the Bill of Rights of 1689 and the Act of Settlement of 1701. New world, new start. New beginnings.

And old ways… it seems. One can only wonder how and why the SCOTUS neglect the Magna Carta’s relevance in the decisions they ponder. Eighteen allegorical and historical influencers of Law sit above the Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States, sculpted on the frieze above them- North, East, West and South. King John holds the Magna Carta ( Now, I know Justice Ginsberg says she defers to the Torah for Chase Chase Peace- Rodef Shalom when she ponders decisions. How is it not one of the Justices pondered the Magna Carta when it came to Microsoft v Perfect 10.

There is something to be celebrated on Magna Carta Day 2015. Celebrants of Copyright Integrity should calendar in some partying too, a Worldwide Magna Carta Property Rights Day, reinforcing that Magna Carta Property Rights is almost, but not quite, a thousand years young. Soon. America’s Fifth Amendment to the Constitution, “no person shall . . . be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law,” is the Magna Carta’s guarantee of the People’s right to Property, core to the conversation of 2D IP, ID and Commerce, to this very day.

Grin, well, if there isnt one, there aught to be. In America and Europe, too. Ya think?

The Magna Carta artwork on display in the Capitol, was made by artist Louis Osman in England. Osman is the artisan who crafted the Crown for Prince Charles’ investiture, a token gift presented by the British Government to the United States celebrating Americas bicentennial independence. June 3, 1976, Representatives of the British Parliament formally presented their gift at a ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda and the United States Congress. Something to be said about toddlers even those two hundred years young, sometimes they don’t appreciate the value of a fine gift or have the etiquette to honor its giver even when it is not their taste and difficult to understand, which is not the case if American Legislators, and British too, grasp, the Magna Carta’s relevancy is eternal. FOrty feudal Barons who took on their King in a field outside his Castle, on principle and in order to do better than just survive from the fruit of their labors. The forty Barons stood up for the right for generations to come, including Jay Z, to create, innovate, design and yes, sing for more than their supper in Jay Z’s case- to profit.

Simple enough concept isnt it, a teaching lessons no interns would easily forget. The Magna Carta tells a Capitol Hill intern that with ownership of their Property Rights, they too can become CEOs like Mark Zuckerberg, Erich Schmidt, Tim Case, and YaHOO!

Sure, Capitol Hill interns can go on and recite the Architect of the Capitol notes to constituent Interns tour through the Capitol. The AOC’s notes describe the Magna Carta’s display pedestal is made of Yorkshire sandstone mixed with pegmatite, a rare three-billion-year-old volcanic stone from the Outer Hebrides. The artwork of the document sits in a presentation case flat hinged gold and white enamel stainless steel, crafted into like a box. The inner gold panel exhibits raised gold text duplicating the Magna Carta text; gold replicas of King John’s seal are bottom left of the document. Gold incised letters forming the English translation of Magna Carta are on the glass center divider. A gold plate sits upper part of the box….

The AOC’s notes on the Magna Carta glide past another teaching moment, I caught while working on my God project ( A biblical allegory you wont hear Legislators espouse often if at all, yet relevant in a conversation rocking the Hill- the debate over Adam and Eve versus Adam and Steve. So much for talking points not in their face.

Gift aside, relevancy of the blossoms on the Tree of Life’s branches are wrapped with blossoms of the Tudor Rose of England- white for the House of York, red for the House of Lancaster symbolizing the Conflict’s resolution, opposite sides intertwined red into white then in to peace. A shamrock was set celebrating Ireland; daffodils speaks for  Wales, the thistles stand for Scotland. The Oak, for Britain, becomes a gold and silver Royal Coat of Arms, set with gems, complete with the Unicorn and Lion, similar to those seen on top Streets in London. The snake, well… grin, probably shouldn’t go there. The ivy is to protect. The apples… well, we have to go there… are the Forbidden Fruit. And, it gets better- the mistletoe represents Family, Loyalty and Affection. Hmm, wondering if this is why the Gift from the British government was demoted a floor down. Well, the figures are suggestive of a 13th century illuminated document’s artistry.

The story that is priceless is Britain’s gift, beyond the gift reminding the Property Rights have lived on for Centuries, is the story told in Osman’s work- Union between a Man and a Woman. Fifty diamonds grace the dove. Symbolism? The 50 states ( The plate is engraved with symbolic designs of the sun, the moon, Adam and Eve, a crab with black pearls eyes, an emerald eyed dragon and a dove of peace with sapphire eyes. Eve’s hair is decorated with diamond has diamond stars in her hair. The raindrops are pearls. The Tree of Life stands, fed by four rivers of Paradise.

No irony lost. Without water feeding the roots of a tree, a Tree withers and dies. Without Artistic Freedom of Expression, religious, secular or other, entrepreneurial innovation afforded by Property Rights the Magna Carta provides, a country will not prosper.

America’s copy of the Ancient Relic, probably wont be invited to the UK’s Grand Blowout in 2015. America’s copy from 1297, sits in the National Archives on Constitution Avenue in Washington DC blocks up from the White House and blocks down from Congress. Copies of the copy can be bought in the gift shop. No word on if heirs of the Forty Feudals are DNA’d, cloned alive to Patent Troll it or squat on its domain. Wink. December 18, 2007, financier David Rubenstein bought the last privately owned copy of the Magna Carta, one of the surviving originals of the 1297 text, the version entered into England’s official Statute Rolls. The precious document sold at Sotheby’s New York auction house for $21.3 million. Rubinstein lent his M.C. to the National Archives, along with $13.5 million to build a new gallery and Visitor’s Center.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt had said in his 1941 Inaugural address “The democratic aspiration is no mere recent phase in human history . . . It was written in Magna Carta.” Why if History and World leaders have got the Magna Carta’s “IT” so right, is it that in these modern times, Legislators are getting “IT” so wrong. As I am oft to say, over and over and over again, if need be, IT ISNT ABOUT JOBS its about owning our own 2D IP, ID and COMMERCE the Technological Titans deceived you into legislatively freeing… that said, for Technological Titans to profit from at the expense of who you used to be- both sides of the pond.

Titles are fine but they don’t pay for estates that have been in the family for centuries. Lords and Ladies and Counts and et al are suffering the same loss of incomes and IP the poorest person at the edge of town is losing. How can you expect to keep your family in history if you continue to be PC and give the baby away with the Bank (American slang for money.) Secret here, when you lose the Castle, the developers will cross the moat and convert your kingdom into pricey condos Churches and Heritage are being converted into in America.

I would think that America’s On-Top-Of-Things legislators will get this influential icon of Intellectual Property out of the Capitol basement, dust it off before returning it back to its former place of prominence I photographed it at for my God project (, right in full view where Legislators cannot help but look at it each time they pass to and from votes, events and, just because it is the right thing to do. And maybe even, the Architect of the Capitol will spring for one of the cheap copies of the Original Magna Carta text being sold at the Archives. Better yet, my illuminated documents are in museums around the world. Have your people call my people. Lets be honest between girls here, the gift is a bit gaudy. The message of forty Feudal Barons from 1215 is lost.

Mr. Rubenstein, can I get a donation from you of over 600 copies of the Magna Carta to place on walls outside Legislators doors, Christmas in August present, for when they come back to Congress? Then maybe, maybe the next time the Legislators cite the Founding Fathers they will take that ONE simple moment to remind people the Integrity of their Copyright, their Intellectual Property, is a global conversation America cannot fight alone. Maybe like children, Legislators need reminding that we all started somewhere and sometimes to move forward you have to look back. Globally, Property Rights is inherent to nations moving forward.

As for me, though my dance card is open. Am seeing my planning help needed… Do-over called for. 28 signers on a document heralding the game changing moment when Forty Feudal Barrons stood up  back in 1215? Should be Forty for those Forty.  Twin signers of 2013 with a Signer from 1215. I am anticipating my invitation to Magna Carta celebrations in tribute to my bringing both sides of the pond back to Square One in the conversation of Intellectual Property Rights Ownership – planning, celebrating the Original Document – the Magna Carta…. and talking more of Copyright Integrity

Session: 2013-14    Date tabled: 16.07.2013                                                                   Primary sponsor: Frank Dobson                                                                                     Sponsors (co-sponsors):   Frank Field, Edward Leigh, Karl McCartney, Penny Mordaunt, Andrew Stunell Field

“That this House welcomes the announcement that the four surviving original copies of Magna Carta will be brought together for the first time in history in 2015 to mark the 800th anniversary of its issue; notes that Magna Carta is one of the world’s most famous documents and that its principles are echoed in the British constitution and others around the world; congratulates the British Library, Lincoln Cathedral and Salisbury Cathedral on uniting the original copies; further welcomes the chance for 1215 members of the public to see the manuscripts side-by-side in a special event; further welcomes the opportunity for scholars to see the documents together for the first time; and looks forward to the celebrations of Magna Carta’s anniversary in two years’ time.

Showing 28 out of 28                                                                                                     DATE SIGNED:  16.07.2013                                                                                          Frank Dobson . Frank Field . Pat Glass . Andrew Stunnell . Penny Mordaunt . Edward Leigh

DATE SIGNED:  17.07.2013                                                                                           Martin Caton . Jim Dobbin . Jim Cunningham . Jeffrey Donaldson . David Simpson . Virenda Sharma  . Jim Shannon . Alan Meale . Karl McCartney . Kelvin Hopkins . Mike Hancock . Khalid Mahmood

DATE SIGNED:  18.07.2013                                                                                           Peter Bottomley . Hugh Bayley . Graham Brady . Paul Flynn . Mike Gapes . Andrew George . Mary Glindon . John Leech . Bob Russell . Martin Vickers


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[Preamble] Edward by the grace of God King of England, lord of Ireland and duke of Aquitaine sends greetings to all to whom the present letters come. We have inspected the great charter of the lord Henry, late King of England, our father, concerning the liberties of England in these words:

Henry by the grace of God King of England, lord of Ireland, duke of Normandy and Aquitaine and count of Anjou sends greetings to his archbishops, bishops, abbots, priors, earls, barons, sheriffs, reeves, ministers and all his bailiffs and faithful men inspecting the present charter. Know that we, at the prompting of God and for the health of our soul and the souls of our ancestors and successors, for the glory of holy Church and the improvement of our realm, freely and out of our good will have given and granted to the archbishops, bishops, abbots, priors, earls, barons and all of our realm these liberties written below to hold in our realm of England in perpetuity.

[1] In the first place we grant to God and confirm by this our present charter for ourselves and our heirs in perpetuity that the English Church is to be free and to have all its rights fully and its liberties entirely. We furthermore grant and give to all the freemen of our realm for ourselves and our heirs in perpetuity the liberties written below to have and to hold to them and their heirs from us and our heirs in perpetuity.

[2] If any of our earls or barons, or anyone else holding from us in chief by military service should die, and should his heir be of full age and owe relief, the heir is to have his inheritance for the ancient relief, namely the heir or heirs of an earl for a whole county £100, the heir or heirs of a baron for a whole barony 100 marks, the heir or heirs of a knight for a whole knight’s fee 100 shillings at most, and he who owes less will give less, according to the ancient custom of (knights’) fees.

[3] If, however, the heir of such a person is under age, his lord is not to have custody of him and his land until he has taken homage from the heir, and after such an heir has been in custody, when he comes of age, namely at twenty-one years old, he is to have his inheritance without relief and without fine, saving that if, whilst under age, he is made a knight, his land will nonetheless remain in the custody of his lords until the aforesaid term.

[4] The keeper of the land of such an heir who is under age is only to take reasonable receipts from the heir’s land and reasonable customs and reasonable services, and this without destruction or waste of men or things. And if we assign custody of any such land to a sheriff or to anyone else who should answer to us for the issues, and such a person should commit destruction or waste, we will take recompense from him and the land will be assigned to two law-worthy and discreet men of that fee who will answer to us or to the person to whom we assign such land for the land’s issues. And if we give or sell to anyone custody of any such land and that person commits destruction or waste, he is to lose custody and the land is to be assigned to two law-worthy and discreet men of that fee who similarly will answer to us as is aforesaid.

[5] The keeper, for as long as he has the custody of the land of such (an heir), is to maintain the houses, parks, fishponds, ponds, mills and other things pertaining to that land from the issues of the same land, and he will restore to the heir, when the heir comes to full age, all his land stocked with ploughs and all other things in at least the same condition as when he received it. All these things are to be observed in the custodies of archbishoprics, bishoprics, abbeys, priories, churches and vacant offices which pertain to us, save that such custodies ought not to be sold.

[6] Heirs are to be married without disparagement.

[7] A widow, after the death of her husband, is immediately and without any difficulty to have her marriage portion and her inheritance, nor is she to pay anything for her dower or her marriage portion or for her inheritance which her husband and she held on the day of her husband’s death, and she shall remain in the chief dwelling place of her husband for forty days after her husband’s death, within which time dower will be assigned her if it has not already been assigned, unless that house is a castle, and if it is a castle which she leaves, then a suitable house will immediately be provided for her in which she may properly dwell until her dower is assigned to her in accordance with what is aforesaid, and in the meantime she is to have her reasonable necessities (estoverium) from the common property. As dower she will be assigned the third part of all the lands of her husband which were his during his lifetime, save when she was dowered with less at the church door. No widow shall be distrained to marry for so long as she wishes to live without a husband, provided that she gives surety that she will not marry without our assent if she holds of us, or without the assent of her lord, if she holds of another.

[8] Neither we nor our bailiffs will seize any land or rent for any debt, as long as the existing chattels of the debtor suffice for the payment of the debt and as long as the debtor is ready to pay the debt, nor will the debtor’s guarantors be distrained for so long as the principal debtor is able to pay the debt; and should the principal debtor default in his payment of the debt, not having the means to repay it, or should he refuse to pay it despite being able to do so, the guarantors will answer for the debt and, if they wish, they are to have the lands and rents of the debtor until they are repaid the debt that previously they paid on behalf of the debtor, unless the principal debtor can show that he is quit in respect to these guarantors.

[9] The city of London is to have all its ancient liberties and customs. Moreover we wish and grant that all other cities and boroughs and vills and the barons of the Cinque Ports and all ports are to have all their liberties and free customs.

[10] No-one is to be distrained to do more service for a knight’s fee or for any other free tenement than is due from it.

[11] Common pleas are not to follow our court but are to be held in a certain fixed place.

[12] Recognisances of novel disseisin and of mort d’ancestor are not to be taken save in their particular counties and in the following way. We or, should we be outside the realm, our chief justiciar, will send our justices once a year to each county, so that, together with the knights of the counties, that may take the aforesaid assizes in the counties; and those assizes which cannot be completed in that visitation of the county by our aforesaid justices assigned to take the said assizes are to be completed elsewhere by the justices in their visitation; and those which cannot be completed by them on account of the difficulty of various articles (of law) are to be referred to our justices of the Bench and completed there.

[13] Assizes of darrein presentment are always to be taken before our justices of the Bench and are to be completed there.

[14] A freeman is not to be amerced for a small offence save in accordance with the manner of the offence, and for a major offence according to its magnitude, saving his sufficiency (salvo contenemento suo), and a merchant likewise, saving his merchandise, and any villain other than one of our own is to be amerced in the same way, saving his necessity (salvo waynagio) should he fall into our mercy, and none of the aforesaid amercements is to be imposed save by the oath of honest and law-worthy men of the neighbourhood. Earls and barons are not to be amerced save by their peers and only in accordance with the manner of their offence.

[15] No town or free man is to be distrained to make bridges or bank works save for those that ought to do so of old and by right.

[16] No bank works of any sort are to be kept up save for those that were in defense in the time of King H(enry II) our grandfather and in the same places and on the same terms as was customary in his time.

[17] No sheriff, constable, coroner or any other of our bailiffs is to hold pleas of our crown.

[18] If anyone holding a lay fee from us should die, and our sheriff or bailiff shows our letters patent containing our summons for a debt that the dead man owed us, our sheriff or bailiff is permitted to attach and enroll all the goods and chattels of the dead man found in lay fee, to the value of the said debt, by view of law-worthy men, so that nothing is to be removed thence until the debt that remains is paid to us, and the remainder is to be released to the executors to discharge the will of the dead man, and if nothing is owed to us from such a person, all the chattels are to pass to the (use of) the dead man, saving to the dead man’s wife and children their reasonable portion.

[19] No constable or his bailiff is to take corn or other chattels from anyone who not themselves of a vill where a castle is built, unless the constable or his bailiff immediately offers money in payment of obtains a respite by the wish of the seller. If the person whose corn or chattels are taken is of such a vill, then the constable or his bailiff is to pay the purchase price within forty days.

[20] No constable is to distrain any knight to give money for castle guard if the knight is willing to do such guard in person or by proxy of any other honest man, should the knight be prevented from doing so by just cause. And if we take or send such a knight into the army, he is to be quit of (castle) guard in accordance with the length of time the we have him in the army for the fee for which he has done service in the army.

[21] No sheriff or bailiff of ours or of anyone else is to take anyone’s horses or carts to make carriage, unless he renders the payment customarily due, namely for a two-horse cart ten pence per day, and for a three-horse cart fourteen pence per day. No demesne cart belonging to any churchman or knight or any other lady (sic) is to be taken by our bailiffs, nor will we or our bailiffs or anyone else take someone else’s timber for a castle or any other of our business save by the will of he to whom the timber belongs.

[22] We shall not hold the lands of those convicted of felony save for a year and a day, whereafter such land is to be restored to the lords of the fees.

[23] All fish weirs (kidelli) on the Thames and the Medway and throughout England are to be entirely dismantled, save on the sea coast.

[24] The writ called ‘praecipe’ is not to be issued to anyone in respect to any free tenement in such a way that a free man might lose his court.

[25] There is to be a single measure for wine throughout our realm, and a single measure for ale, and a single measure for Corn, that is to say the London quarter, and a single breadth for dyed cloth, russets, and haberjects, that is to say two yards within the lists. And it shall be the same for weights as for measures.

[26] Henceforth there is to be nothing given for a writ of inquest from the person seeking an inquest of life or member, but such a writ is to be given freely and is not to be denied.

[27] If any persons hold from us at fee farm or in socage or burgage, and hold land from another by knight service, we are not, by virtue of such a fee farm or socage or burgage, to have custody of the heir or their land which pertains to another’s fee, nor are we to have custody of such a fee farm or socage or burgage unless this fee farm owes knight service. We are not to have the custody of an heir or of any land which is held from another by knight service on the pretext of some small serjeanty held from us by service of rendering us knives or arrows or suchlike things.

[28] No bailiff is henceforth to put any man on his open law or on oath simply by virtue of his spoken word, without reliable witnesses being produced for the same.

[29] No freeman is to be taken or imprisoned or disseised of his free tenement or of his liberties or free customs, or outlawed or exiled or in any way ruined, nor will we go against such a man or send against him save by lawful judgement of his peers or by the law of the land. To no-one will we sell or deny of delay right or justice.

[30] All merchants, unless they have been previously and publicly forbidden, are to have safe and secure conduct in leaving and coming to England and in staying and going through England both by land and by water to buy and to sell, without any evil exactions, according to the ancient and right customs, save in time of war, and if they should be from a land at war against us and be found in our land at the beginning of the war, they are to be attached without damage to their bodies or goods until it is established by us or our chief justiciar in what way the merchants of our land are treated who at such a time are found in the land that is at war with us, and if our merchants are safe there, the other merchants are to be safe in our land.

[31] If anyone dies holding of any escheat such as the honour of Wallingford, Boulogne, Nottingham, Lancaster or of other escheats which are in our hands and which are baronies, his heir is not to give any other relief or render any other service to us that would not have been rendered to the baron if the barony were still held by a baron, and we shall hold such things in the same way as the baron held them, nor, on account of such a barony or escheat, are we to have the escheat or custody of any of our men unless the man who held the barony or the escheat held elsewhere from us in chief.

[32] No free man is henceforth to give or sell any more of his land to anyone, unless the residue of his land is sufficient to render due service to the lord of the fee as pertains to that fee.

[33] All patrons of abbeys which have charters of the kings of England over advowson or ancient tenure or possession are to have the custody of such abbeys when they fall vacant just as they ought to have and as is declared above.

[34] No-one is to be taken or imprisoned on the appeal of woman for the death of anyone save for the death of that woman’s husband.

[35] No county court is to be held save from month to month, and where the greater term used to be held, so will it be in future, nor will any sheriff or his bailiff make his tourn through the hundred save for twice a year and only in the place that is due and customary, namely once after Easter and again after Michaelmas, and the view of frankpledge is to be taken at the Michaelmas term without exception, in such a way that every man is to have his liberties which he had or used to have in the time of King H(enry II) my grandfather or which he has acquired since. The view of frankpledge is to be taken so that our peace be held and so that the tithing is to be held entire as it used to be, and so that the sheriff does not seek exceptions but remains content with that which the sheriff used to have in taking the view in the time of King H(enry) our grandfather.

[36] Nor is it permitted to anyone to give his land to a religious house in such a way that he receives it back from such a house to hold, nor is it permitted to any religious house to accept the land of anyone in such way that the land is restored to the person from whom it was received to hold. If anyone henceforth gives his land in such a way to any religious house and is convicted of the same, the gift is to be entirely quashed and such land is to revert to the lord of that fee.

[37] Scutage furthermore is to be taken as it used to be in the time of King H(enry) our grandfather, and all liberties and free customs shall be preserved to archbishops, bishops, abbots, priors, Templars, Hospitallers, earls, barons and all others, both ecclesiastical and secular persons, just as they formerly had.

All these aforesaid customs and liberties which we have granted to be held in our realm in so far as pertains to us are to be observed by all of our realm, both clergy and laity, in so far as pertains to them in respect to their own men. For this gift and grant of these liberties and of others contained in our charter over the liberties of the forest, the archbishops, bishops, abbots, priors, earls, barons, knights, fee holders and all of our realm have given us a fifteenth part of all their movable goods. Moreover we grant to them for us and our heirs that neither we nor our heirs will seek anything by which the liberties contained in this charter might be infringed or damaged, and should anything be obtained from anyone against this it is to count for nothing and to be held as nothing. With these witnesses: the lord S(tephen) archbishop of Canterbury, E(ustace) bishop of London, J(ocelin) bishop of Bath, P(eter) bishop of Winchester, H(ugh) bishop of Lincoln, R(ichard) bishop of Salisbury, W. bishop of Rochester, W(illiam) bishop of Worcester, J(ohn) bishop of Ely, H(ugh) bishop of Hereford, R(anulf) bishop of Chichester, W(illiam) bishop of Exeter, the abbot of (Bury) St Edmunds, the abbot of St Albans, the abbot of Battle, the abbot of St Augustine’s Canterbury, the abbot of Evesham, the abbot of Westminster, the abbot of Peterborough, the abbot of Reading, the abbot of Abingdon, the abbot of Malmesbury, the abbot of Winchcombe, the abbot of Hyde (Winchester), the abbot of Chertsey, the abbot of Sherborne, the abbot of Cerne, the abbot of Abbotsbury, the abbot of Milton (Abbas), the abbot of Selby, the abbot of Cirencester, H(ubert) de Burgh the justiciar, H. earl of Chester and Lincoln, W(illiam) earl of Salisbury, W(illiam) earl Warenne, G. de Clare earl of Gloucester and Hertford, W(illiam) de Ferrers earl of Derby, W(illiam) de Mandeville earl of Essex, H(ugh) Bigod earl of Norfolk, W(illiam) earl Aumale, H(umphrey) earl of Hereford, J(ohn) constable of Chester, R(obert) de Ros, R(obert) fitz Walter, R(obert) de Vieuxpont, W(illiam) Brewer, R(ichard) de Montfiquet, P(eter) fitz Herbert, W(illiam) de Aubigné, G. Gresley, F. de Braose, J(ohn) of Monmouth, J(ohn) fitz Alan, H(ugh) de Mortemer, W(illiam) de Beauchamp, W(illiam) de St John, P(eter) de Maulay, Brian de Lisle, Th(omas) of Moulton, R(ichard) de Argentan, G(eoffrey) de Neville, W(illiam) Mauduit, J(ohn) de Baalon and others. Given at Westminster on the eleventh day of February in the ninth year of our reign.

We, holding these aforesaid gifts and grants to be right and welcome, conceed and confirm them for ourselves and our heirs and by the terms of the present (letters) renew them, wishing and granting for ourselves and our heirs that the aforesaid charter is to be firmly and inviably observed in all and each of its articles in perpetuity, including any articles contained in the same charter which by chance have not to date been observed. In testimony of which we have had made these our letters patent. Witnessed by Edward our son, at Westminster on the twelfth day of October in the twenty-fifth year of our reign. (Chancery warranty by John of) Stowe.


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