Rape Act 1275
the English Parliament

Part of the First Statute of Westminster

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

Rape Act 1275

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

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.

That Punishment of him that doth ravish a Woman.

22 Ed. 4. 22. Co. Lit. 123. b. 2 Inst. 180. 12 Co. 37. Hob. 91.

Altered by 13 Ed. 1. stat. 1. c. 34. which makes it Felony. And farther, by 6 R. 2. stat. 1. c. 6. which ordains the Penalties where a Woman consents. And see 18 Eliz. c. 7. which takes away Clergy from this Offence: Likewise the 4th Sect. of the same Stat. which makes it Felony without Clergy to have carnal Knowledge of Woman Child under ten Years of Age.

AND the King prohibiteth that none do ravish, nor take away by Force, any Maiden within Age (neither by her own Consent, nor without) nor any Wife or Maiden of full Age, nor any other Woman against her Will;

(2) and if any do, at his Suit that will sue within fourty Days, the King shall do common Right;

(3) and if none commence his Suit within fourty Days, the King shall sue;

(4) and such as be found culpable, shall have two Years Imprisonment, and after shall fine at the King's Pleasure;

(5) and if they have not whereof, they shall be punished by longer Imprisonment, according as the Trespass requireth.

  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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