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THE LAW OF TREASON IN ENGLANDIN THE LATER MIDDLE AGESCAMBRIDGE STUDIESIN ENGLISH LEGAL HISTORYEdited byD. E. C. YALEFellow of Christ's College, Cambridge,and Reader in English Legal History;Barrister-at-Law, Inner TempleTHE LAW OF TREASONIN ENGLANDIN THELATER MIDDLE AGESBYJ.G.BELLAMYAssociate Professor of HistoryCarleton University, OttawaCAMBRIDGEATTHE UNIVERSITY PRESS1970PUBLISHED BY THE PRESS SYNDICATE OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGEThe Pitt Building, Trumpington Street, Cambridge, United KingdomCAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESSThe Edinburgh Building, Cambridge CB2 2RU, UK40 West 20th Street, New York NY 10011-4211, USA477 Williamstown Road, Port Melbourne, VIC 3207, AustraliaRuiz de Alarcon 13,28014 Madrid, SpainDock House, The Waterfront, Cape Town 8001, South Africa© Cambridge University Press 1970This book is in copyright. Subject to statutory exceptionand to the provisions of relevant collective licensing agreements,no reproduction of any part may take place withoutthe written permission of Cambridge University Press.First published 1970First paperback edition 2004A catalogue record for this book is available from the British LibraryLibrary of Congress catalogue card number: 70-111123ISBN 0 521 07830 X hardbackISBN 0 52152638 8 paperbackCONTENTSEditor's Preface viiPreface xvList of Abbreviations xvii1 The Medieval Concept of Treason i2 The Treatise Writers and the English Law of Treasonat the End of the Thirteenth Century 153 The Origins of the English State Trial 234 The Great Statute of Treasons 595 The Scope of Treason, 1352-1485 1026 Treason before the Courts, 1352-1485 1387 The Origins and the Early History of the Act of Attainder 1778 Treason and the Constitution 206AppendixesI Misprision 216II Petty Treason 225III Illustrative Materials 232Select Bibliography 239Index 246[...]... TREASON IN ENGLAND plotting against the life of the lord from plotting against the life of the king: perhaps the earliest mention of what were later called high and petty treason The same laws showed a definite Roman influence by their mention not only of open act of treason but also of the plotting of such a deed, a conception which figured in the law of maiestas.1 The laws of later Saxon kings, those of. .. hanged, the penalty for treason. 3 As with the crime of predicting the king's death there are no other examples of the concealment of treason being held as treason before the fifteenth century.4 A category of treason clearly delineated in the legal writings of the late thirteenth century was the counterfeiting or clipping of coin or the forging of the king's seal However, the theories of the writers and the. .. THE LAW OF TREASON IN ENGLAND legitimate daughter before her marriage or the nurse suckling the heir of the king.1 In addition to the crimes listed in treatises there were other types of offences which had been shown to be treason during the course of the thirteenth century Maitland referred to two cases which occurred in the reign of King John where the offence was predicting the death of the king.2... contrasting the office of king and the office-holder, but practically none in the field of treason. 4 Still less did they indulge in artificial jurisprudence to the degree of raising the crown to the status of a corporation sole, though the king might be a part, the head, of a truly collective the parliamentary justification for waging war against Charles I and indeed the theory upon which the king was... subjects guilty of insurrection He was thinking apparently of the rubric about levying war against the king within the realm, which appeared in the treason statute of 1352.3 The argument is unsound For levying war against the king men had been convicted of treason during the two preceding reigns Kings assumed the guise and the rights of sovereign princes some considerable time before they were universally... meant by "king for the time being" himself and his successors whose titles were (from his own dynastic standpoint) legitimate Coke and other lawyers reading the text in later ages interpreted it in a manner which turned allegiance in this context into 'a shifting sand' xii THE LAW OF TREASON IN ENGLAND body, a corporation in aggregate As Fineux C J said in 1522,1 'the parliament of the king and the lords... element in the collection of cas royaux and like them were never given precise definition In the thirteenth century lese-majesty was held to include all attempts on the person or the honour of the king, but by the end of the middle ages it embraced, as well as the obvious crimes of attempts no the life of the king or his family or levying war against him, the offences of highway robbery, abduction of women,... Documents of the Middle Ages (London, 1896), pp 252-4 i4 THE LAW OF TREASON IN ENGLAND Thus the English law of treason of the later middle ages was founded on a Germanic base but contained also much that was derived either from the law of classical Rome or from contemporary European practice From about the mid-thirteenth century there was considerable, but not continuous, resistance to the introduction of. .. Athelstan and Edgar, referred to plotting against lords in general rather than specifically against the king Exceptional were the laws of Ethelred and Cnut, which clearly set out the procedure to be followed in rebutting charges of high treason, that is to say against the monarch.2 Important for the later history of treason was also the law of Ethelred which allocated for the crime of false moneying... the Kings of England, ed Robertson, pp 68-9 4 Lear, Treason, pp 11-12 5 Ibid., pp 26-9 THE MEDIEVAL CONCEPT OF TREASON 3 Roman ideas were to reappear in the laws of the European states of the later middle ages, as were details of interpretation, such as the blurring of the distinction between intent and actual deed, details of procedure, such as trial of the accused even after death, and details of . Reader in English Legal History;Barrister-at -Law, Inner Temple THE LAW OF TREASON IN ENGLAND IN THE LATER MIDDLE AGES BYJ.G.BELLAMYAssociate Professor of. the Statute of Treasons of 1352. As Plucknett2 has remarked, &apos ;the history of treason in the middle ages is as distinctive as the nature of the offence.
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