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to the earldom and married Henry's sister, was the principal nobleman in this committee that was opposed to the king.

In the Royal Letters1 vol. 2, p. 127, there is the following letter which shows that the Four who had to choose the Fifteen were Roger Bigod, Earl of Norfolk, and his brother Hugo Bigod, the Earl of Warwick, and John Mansell; and in Ann. Mon. i. 449, against the first two names is written "Les duze de par le rei unt eslu les duze de par le commun," and against the second two, "E la partie ver le commun ad eslu des duze ke sunt de par le rei," and it is added :—

"E ces quatre unt poer a eslire le cunseil le rei, et quant il unt eslu, il les mustrunt as vint et quatre; et la u la greinure partie de ces assente, seit tenu."

The king's letter is given at length as it illustrates many expressions in the proclamation. It is printed in the Royal Letters 2, 127, from Rot. Pat. 42, Hen. III., memb. 6, and the present copy has been compared with the original :

"Rex Johanni Mansell, thesaurario Eboracensi, salutem.

"Cum nuper concesserimus proceribus et magnatibus regni nostri, juramento firmato in animam nostram, ut per duodecim fideles de consilio nostro jam electos, de quibus vos estis unus, et per alios duodecim fideles nostros electos ex parte ipsorum procerum, fiat reformatio et ordinatio status regni nostri, ad honorem Dei, fidem nostram, et utilitatem regni nostri, secundum quod melius viderint expedire; et nihilominus promiserimus prædictis proceribus et magnatibus nostris quod reformationem et ordinationem per prædictos viginti et quatuor vel majorem partem eorum faciendam ratam habebimus et firmam, et ipsam faciemus teneri et inviolabiliter observari; vobis mandamus, in fide et dilectione quibus nobis tenemini et sub debito juramenti nobis præstiti, quatenus ad reformationem et ordinationem prædictas procedere non omittatis indilate cum aliis, sicut volueritis nostram et nostrorum heredum indignationem vitare in perpetuum.

"Præterea cum vos una cum comite de Warrewico, Rogero le Bygod, comite Norfolchiæ et marescallo nostro Angliæ, et Hugoni le Bigod, fratre suo, electi sitis a prædictis viginti quatuor ad nominandum illos qui de nostro esse debent consilio, et postmodum ad illos in quos vos quatuor vel tres vestrum concordaveritis aliis coordinatoribus

1 The full title of this work is "Rerum Britannicarum medii ævi scriptores, or Chronicles and Memorials of Great Britain and Ireland during the Middle Ages. Royal and other Historical Letters illustrative of the Reign of Henry III., from the originals in the Public Record Office, selected and edited by the Rev. Walter Waddington Shirley, D.D., published by the authority of the Lords Commissioners of her Majesty's Treasury, under the direction of the Master of the Rolls." 2 "et," MS.

nostris præsentandos, ut vos omnes simul vel major pars vestrum ipsos ad nostrum consilium deputandos confirmetis vel infirmetis; vobis præcipimus, firmiter injungentes in fide qua nobis tenemini, quatenus una cum dictis comitibus et Hugone prædicto ad prædictum consilium nostrum sicut superius est expressum nominandum, prout Dominus vobis inspiraverit, indilate procedatis, sicut nostram et heredum nostrorum vitare volueritis indignationem pro1 perpetuo. Nos enim firmiter vobis promittimus pro nobis et heredibus nostris quod si ad hujusmodi ordinationem et reformationem et consilii nostri nominationem, sicut superius est expressum, processeritis, in nullo nos vel heredes nostri contra vos vel vestros futuris temporibus movebimur, sed nos et prædicti heredes nostri in hac parte vos conservabimus indemnes. In cujus, etc. Teste me ipso apud Oxoniam, vicesimo sexto die Junii."

Pauli, in his Geschichte von England, 1853, (3, 717,) gives as the names of the Fifteen the whole of those whose names are appended to the French version of the proclamation (infrà p. 15), with the exception of the Earl of Albemarle ; citing however only that very document, whence it is not clear why the Earl of Albemarle was omitted. The names of the Fifteen are given in Ann. Mon. 1, 449, as follows, and among them is found the name of the Earl of Albemarle. From the names appended to the French proclamation are omitted the names of the Earl of Winchester and Hugo Spenser, while the name of John Mansel is inserted.

"Ceo sunt ceus ke sunt jurez del conseil le rei. Archiepiscopus Cantuariensis. Episcopus Wygornensis. Comes Leycestrensis. Comes Glovernensis. Comes Marscallus. Petrus de Sabaudia. Comes Albermarliæ. Comes Warewik. Comes Herefordensis. Johannes Mansel. Johannes filius Galfridi. Petrus de Monte Forti. Ricardus de Gray. Rogerus de Mortuo Mari. Jacobus de Aldithelege."

Pauli says that the five of the king's party out of these Fifteen, were, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Earls of Warwick and Winchester, Peter of Savoy, and James Audley. As the Earl of Winchester did not belong to the Fifteen, probably John Mansell was the fifth of the royal party.

The powers of these fifteen are thus described in Ann. Mon. 1, 452.

66 Quinze serrunt nomez par ces quatre,... les queus serrunt de conseil le rei. E serrunt cunfermez par les avant dit xxiv. u par la greinure partie de els. E averunt poer del rei conseiler en bone fei del governe

1 "uro," MS., i.e., "nostro."

ment del reaume, et de totes choses ke al rei u al reaume pertenent. E pur amender et adrescer totes les choses ke il verrunt ke facent a adrescer et amender. E su le haute justice, et sur totes autres genz. E si il ne poent tuz estre, ceo ke la greinure partie fra, serra ferm et estable.

In confirmation of these arrangements Henry issued the following proclamation in the form of letters patent on 4 Aug. 1258, Rot. Pat. 42 Hen. III. memb. 4, which is here reprinted from Royal Letters 1, 129, (compared with the original) as it illustrates the subsequent proclamation.

“Henri, par la grace Deu rei de Engleterre, etc., a tous ceus, etc. Sachiez qe pur le profit de nostre reaume, e a la requeste de nos hauz hommes et prodes hommes e du comun de nostre reaume otreyames, qe vinte quatre de nos hommes eusent poer qe qe tout ce q'il ordeneraient del estat de nostre reaume fust ferm e estable, e ce feimes jurer en nostre alme, et donames de ce nos lettres overtes. Et ce meosmes

jurra Eadward nostre fieuz einzne, e de ce dona ses lettres overtes. Les queus vinte quatre desus nomez eslurent quatre, is queus quatre il donerent leur poer de eslire nostre conseil des prodes hommes de nostre terre. Le quel conseil nos avum promis et promettuns craire al adrescement e al amendment de toutes les besoignes qe apartiegnent a nos e a nostre reaume. Et nos voluns qe lavant dit conseil ou la greinure partie puissent eslire prodehomme ou prodeshommes qe. saient en lui de celi ou de ceus qui defauderunt. Et nos averum ferm e estable quanqe lavant dit conseil ou la greinure partie fera. E comandum fermement qe touz nos feaus e nos hommes ausi laient e saient tenuz fermement garder touz les establissemenz, les queus il ferunt al honur de Deu e nostre foi, e au profist de nostre reaume. Et en tesmoign de ceste chose nos avum fet mettre nostre seel a ceste presente lettre. Ceste chose fu fete a Lundres le dimainge prochein apres la Gaulehaust, en lan de nostre corounment quarante secund. Ceste lettre est doublee e livere al cunte le Marescal par le rei e sun conseil."

Under the superintendence of the council and committee were framed the celebrated "Provisions of Oxford." Among other ordinances, a parliament was summoned regularly for 6 October, 2 February, and 1 June in each year, at which only the committee of fifteen, and a further committee of twelve magnates (prodes homes) were to appear. The fol

1 Called, in the award of the king of France, 22 January, 1263 (Rymer's Fœdera, 1816, vol. i., p. 434), “provisiones, ordinationes, statuta et obligationes Oxonienses," and referred to afterwards simply as provisions, "ante tempus provisionum ipsarum." In Rymer, i. 411, 7 December, 1261, they are termed "ordeinemens purveances e establissemens fez a Oxinford."

lowing is the order for the assembling of the parliaments given in Ann. Mon. 1, 452.

Il fet a

"Des parlemenz, quanz serrunt tenuz per an et coment. remembrer ke les xxiv. unt ordene ke treis parlemenz seient par an. Le premerein as utaves de Sein Michel. Le secund le demein de la Chandelur. Le terz le premer jor de June, ceo est a saver, treis semeines devant le Seint John. A ces treis parlemenz vendrunt les cunseilers le rei esluz, tut ne seient il pas mandez pur ver le estat del reaume, et pur treter les cummuns bosoingnes del reaume et del rei ensement. E autre fez ensement quant mester serra per le mandement le rei.

“Si fet a remembrer ke le commun eslise xii. prodes homes, ke vendrunt as parlemenz et autre fez quant mester serra, quant le rei u sun cunseil les mandera pur treter de bosoingnes le rei et del reaume. E ke le comun tendra pur estable ceo ke ces xii. frunt. E ceo serra fet pur esparnier le cust del commun."

The names of the first twelve thus elected are given in Ann. Mon. 1, 449, as follows:—

"Ces sunt les duze ke sunt eslu par les baruns a treter a treis parlemenz per an oveke le cunseil le rei pur tut le comun de la terre de commun bosoine. Episcopus Londoniensis. Comes Wintoniensis. Comes Herefordensis. Philippus Basset. Johannes de Bailol. Johannes de Verdun. Johannes de Gray. Rogerus de Sumery. Rogerus de de Monte Alto. Hugo Dispensarius. Thomas de Gresley. Ægidius de Argenten."

It was apparently at the meeting of this so-called parliament at Westminster in October 1258, that the proclamation now under consideration was issued. The object of this proclamation was to bind every man in the kingdom to obey the council of Twenty-four. The people were not only to keep the ordinances of the majority of the council, but to swear to keep them, as the king and prince had already done. The king nominally, the committee of council actually, ordered every one in the country in virtue of his oath, to take part in supporting these ordinances, against all others, doing and receiving justice." No one was to make use of any land or other possessions to the detriment of the ordinances, and those who opposed them were to be held mortal enemies of the people. This proclamation was issued in the form of letters patent, and sent into every county to be preserved among the archives, and also into Ireland.

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The Council itself was first sworn, in the following terms, Ann. Mon. 1, 448.

"Ceo est le serment a vint e quatre. Chescun jura sur seintes Euuangeles, ke il al honur de Deu, e a la fei le rei, e al profit del reaume, ordenera e tretera ovekes les avant dit jures sur le refurmement e le amendement del estat del reaume. E ke ne lerra pur dun, ne pur premesse, pur amur, ne pur hange, ne pur pour de nulli, ne pur gain, ne pur perte, ke leaument ne face solum la tenur de la lettre, ke le rei ad sur ceo done et sun fez ensement."

And then the oath administered to the Commons at Oxford, and hence probably the oath which every one was to take according to this proclamation was as follows, Ann. Mon. 1, 447:

“Ceo jura le commun de Engleterre a Oxeneford. Nus tels et tels fesum a saver a tute genz, ke nus avum jure sur seintes Euuangeles, e sumus tenuz ensemble par tel serment, e promettuns en bone fei, ke chesun de nus e tuz ensemble nus entre eiderums, e nus e les nos cuntre tute genz, dreit fesant, et rens pernant ke nus ne purrum sanz mef fere, salve la fei le rei e de la corune. E premettuns sur meime le serment, ke nus de nus ja ren ne prendra de tere ne de moeble, par que cest serment purra estre desturbe, u en nule ren empeyre. E si nul fet encontre ceo, nus le tendrums a enemi mortel.

To be effective this proclamation had to be made intelligible to the whole community, both gentle and simple, lay and clerical. Hence appears to have arisen the conception that it should be couched in the language of the nobles, and the language of the people, in Norman French and English.1 The French was addressed in general terms, "A tuz ses feaus Clers et Lays." The English was directed to particular counties, and the copy preserved is that written, “To alle hise holde ilærde and ileawede on Huntendon'schir'."

This

1 I can find no mention of any but the English and French versions in the Kalendar of the Patent Rolls of 42 and 43 Henry; but in Ann. Mon. 1, 453, it is stated that the proclamation was also written in Latin, and that it had to be read by the sheriffs. The words are:-"Eodem tempore de communi domini regis et communitatis consilio facta sunt chartæ domini regis subsequentes, et scriptæ Latine, Gallice, et Anglice, et per totum regnum Angliæ ad omnes comitatus transmissæ, ut ibidem per vicecomites lectæ, et intellectæ firmiter ab omnibus in posterum observarentur illæsæ."

2 Mr. Maule, the clerk to the magistrates of Huntingdonshire, at my request, obligingly made a search to see if any record of this letter patent existed in the archives of the county, but he found none. It is most probable that other copies may still exist in some of the county archives, and any gentleman who could find them would be conferring a benefit upon our Early English Literature, as no

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