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STATUTUM WEST' PRIMUM. The Statute of WESTMINSTER, the First, Made at Westminster 25 die Aprilis, Anno 3 EDWARDI I. and Anno Dom. 1275.


Benefit of Clergy Act 1275


1275 (3 Edw. 1) C A P. II.


THESE be the Acts of King EDWARD, Son to King HENRY, made at Westminster at his first Parliament general after his Coronation, on the Mondayof Easter Utas, the third Year of his Reign, by his Council, and the Assent of Archbishops, Bishops, Abbots, Priors, Earls, Barons, and all the Commonalty of the Realm being thither summoned, because our Lord the King had great Zeal and Desire to redress the State of the Realm in such Things as required Amendment, for the common Profit of holy Church, and of the Realm: And because the State of[1] the holy Church had been evil kept, and the Prelates and religious Persons of the Land grieved many ways, and the People otherwise intreated than they ought to be, and the Peace less kept, and the Laws less used, and the Offenders less punished than they ought to be, by reason where of the People of the Land feared the less to offend; the King hath ordained and established these Acts underwritten, which he intendeth to be necessary and profitable unto the whole Realm.


A Clerk convict of Felony, delivered to the Ordinary, shall not depart without Purgation.


18 El. c. 7. Hob. 288. Chart. de Pardon, Br. 21.

Enforced in Part by 23. H. 8. c. 11. And altered by 28 H. 8. c. 1. which ordains that Persons in holy Orders shall be subject to the same Pains that others be. 2 Inst. 164.

IT is provided also, That when a Clerk is taken for guilty of Felony, and is demanded by the Ordinary, he shall be delivered to him according to the Privilege of Holy Church, on such Peril as belongeth to it, after the Custom aforetimes used.

(2) And the King admonisheth the Prelates, and enjoineth them upon the Faith that they owe to him, and for the common Profit and Peace of the Realm, that they which be indicted of such Offences by solemn Inquest of lawful Men in the King's Court in no manner shall be delivered without due Purgation, so that the King shall not need to provide any other Remedy therein.'


Note : this act is listed in the Chronological Table of Statutes as theBenefit of Clergy Act, 1275

  1. For because the State of the holy Church, readbecause the State of his Kingdom and of the holy Church, &c.


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