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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.


Pursuit of Felons Act 1275


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


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.


All Men shall be ready to pursue Felons.


2 Inst. 171.

Enforced by 4 Ed. 1. stat. 2. Officium Coron.

Enforced by 13 Ed. 1. stat. 2. c. 1, 2, & 6. 28 Ed. 3. c. 11. 7 R. 2. c. 6. Altered by 27 El. c. 13. 39 El. c. 25.

AND forasmuch as the Peace of this Realm hath been evil observed heretofore for lack of quick and fresh Suit making after Felons in due manner, and namely because of Franchises, where Felons are received;

(2) it is provided, That all generally be 'ready and apparelled, at the Commandment and Summons of Sheriffs, and at the Cry of the Country, to sue and arrest Felons, when any need is, as well within Franchise as without;

(3) and they that will not so do, and thereof be attainted, shall make a grievous Fine to the King:

(4) And if Default be found in the Lord of the Franchise, the King shall take the same Franchise to himself;

(5) and if Default be in the Bailiff, he shall have one Year's Imprisonment, and after shall make a grievous Fine; and if he have not whereof, he shall have Imprisonment of two Years.

(6) And if the Sheriff, Coroner, or any other Bailiff within such Franchise, or without, for Reward, or for Prayer, or for Fear, or for any manner of Affinity, conceal, consent, or procure to conceal, the Felonies done in their Liberties, or otherwise will not attach nor arrest such Felons there, as they may, or otherwise will not do their Office for Favour born to such Misdoers, and[2] be attainted thereof; they shall have one Year's Imprisonment, and after make a grievous Fine at the King's Pleasure, if they have wherewith; and if they have not whereof, they shall have Imprisonment of three Years.


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

  1. For because the State of the holy Church, readbecause the State of his Kingdom and of the holy Church, &c.
  2. To these References may be added the 8 Geo. 2.c. 16. giving Directions for Pursuit of Hue and Cry; and 22 Geo. c. 24. which amends the former.


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