Fairfax County Resolves

2018-07-14T00:19:32+00:00July 14, 2018|Historical Documents|


First page of the Fairfax Resolves

Fairfax County Resolves

July 18, 1774

At a general Meeting of the Freeholders and Inhabitants of the County of Fairfax on Monday the 18th day of July 1774, at the Court House, George Washington Esquire Chairman, and Robert Harrison Gent. Clerk of the said Meeting —

  1. Resolved that this Colony and Dominion of Virginia can not be considered as a conquered Country; and if it was, that the present Inhabitants are the Descendants not of the Conquered, but of the Conquerors. That the same was not setled at the national Expence of England, but at the private Expence of the Adventurers, our Ancestors, by solemn Compact with, and under the Auspices and Protection of the British Crown; upon which we are in every Respect as dependant, as the People of Great Britain, and in the same Manner subject to all his Majesty’s just, legal, and constitutional Prerogatives. That our Ancestors, when they left their native Land, and setled in America, brought with them (even if the same had not been confirmed by Charters) the Civil-Constitution and Form of Government of the Country they came from; and were by the Laws of Nature and Nations, entitiled to all it’s Privileges, Immunities and Advantages; which have descended to us their Posterity, and ought of Right to be as fully enjoyed, as if we had still continued within the Realm of England.
  2. Resolved that the most important and valuable Part of the British Constitution, upon which it’s very Existence depends, is the fundamental Principle of the People’s being governed by no Laws, to which they have not given their Consent, by Representatives freely chosen by themselves; who are affected by the Laws they enact equally with their Constituents; to whom they are accountable, and whose Burthens they share; in which consists the Safety and Happiness of the Community: for if this Part of the Constitution was taken away, or materially altered, the Government must degenerate either into an absolute and despotic Monarchy, or a tyrannical Aristocracy, and the Freedom of the People be annihilated.
  3. Resolved therefore, as the Inhabitants of the american Colonies are not, and from their Situation can not be represented in the British Parliament, that the legislative Power here can of Right be exercised only by (our) own Provincial Assemblys or Parliaments, subject to the Assent or Negative of the British Crown, to be declared within some proper limited Time. But as it was thought just and reasonable that the People of Great Britain shou’d reap Advantages from these Colonies adequate to the Protection they afforded them, the British Parliament have claimed and exercised the Power of regulating our Trade and Commerce, so as to restrain our importing from foreign Countrys, such Articles as they cou’d furnish us with, of their own Growth or Manufacture, or exporting to foreign Countrys such Articles and Portions of our Produce, as Great Britain stood in Need of, for her own Consumption or Manufactures. Such a Power directed with Wisdom and Moderation, seems necessary for the general Good of that great Body-politic of which we are a Part; altho’ in some Degree repugnant to the Principles of the Constitution. Under this Idea our Ancestors submitted to it: the Experience of more than a Century, during the government of his Majesty’s Royal Predecessors, hath proved it’s Utility, and the reciprocal Benefits flowing from it produced mutual uninterrupted Harmony and Good-Will, between the Inhabitants of Great Britain and her Colonies; who during that long Period, always considered themselves as one and the same People: and tho’ such a Power is capable of Abuse, and in some Instances hath been stretched beyond the original Design and Institution. Yet to avoid Strife and Contention with our fellow-Subjects, and strongly impressed with the Experience of mutual Benefits, we always Chearfully acquiesced in it, while the entire Regulation of our internal Policy, and giving and granting our own Money were preserved to our own provincial Legislatures.
  4. Resolved that it is the Duty of these Colonies, on all Emergencies, to contribute, in Proportion to their Abilities, Situation and Circumstances, to the necessary Charge of supporting and defending the British Empire, of which they are Part; that while we are treated upon an equal Footing with our fellow Subjects, the Motives of Self-Interest and Preservation will be a sufficient Obligation; as was evident thro’ the Course of the last War; and that no Argument can be fairly applyed to the British Parliament’s taxing us, upon a Presumption that we shou’d refuse a just and reasonable Contribution, but will equally operate in Justification of the Executive-Power taxing the People of England, upon a Supposition of their Representatives refusing to grant the necessary Supplies.
  5. Resolved that the Claim lately assumed and exercised by the British Parliament, of making all such Laws as they think fit, to govern the People of these Colonies, and to extort from us our Money with out our Consent, is not only diametrically contrary to the first Principles of the Constitution, and the original Compacts by which we are dependant upon the British Crown and Government; but is totally incompatible with the Privileges of a free People, and the natural Rights of Mankind; will render our own Legislatures merely nominal and nugatory, and is calculated to reduce us from a State of Freedom and Happiness to Slavery and Misery.
  6. Resolved that Taxation and Representation are in their Nature inseperable; that the Right of withholding, or of giving and granting their own Money is the only effectual Security to a free People, against the Incroachments of Despotism and Tyranny; and that whenever they yield the One, they must quickly fall a Prey to the other.
  7. Resolved that the Powers over the People of America now claimed by the British House of Commons, in whose Election we have no Share, on whose Determinations we can have no Influence, whose Information mush be always defective and often false, who in many Instances may have a seperate, and in some an opposite Interest to ours, and who are removed from those Impressions of tenderness and compassion arising from personal intercourse and Connections, which soften the Rigours of the most despotic Governments, must if continued, establish the most grievous and intollerable Species of Tyranny and Oppression, that ever was inflicted upon Mankind.
  8. Resolved that it is our greatest Wish and Inclination, as well as Interest, to continue our Connection with, and Dependance upon the British Government; but tho’ we are it’s Subjects, we will use every Means which Heaven hath given us to prevent our becoming it’s Slaves.
  9. Resolved that there is a premeditated Design and System, formed and pursued by the British Ministry, to introduce an arbitrary Government into his Majesty’s American Dominions; to which End they are artfully prejudicing our Sovereign, and inflaming the Minds of our fellow-Subjects in Great Britain, by propagating the most malevolent Falsehoods; particularly that there is an Intention in the American Colonies to set up for independant States; endeavouring at the same Time, by various Acts of Violence and Oppression, by sudden and repeated Dissolutions of our Assemblies, whenever they presume to examine the Illegality of ministerial Mandates, or deliberate on the violated Rights of their Constituents, and by breaking in upon the American Charters, to reduce us to a State of Desperation, and dissolve the original Compacts by which our Ancestors bound themselves and their Posterity to remain dependant upon the British Crown: which Measures, unless effectually counteracted, will end in the Ruin both of Great Britain and her Colonies.
  10. Resolved that the several Acts of Parliament for raising a Revenue upon the People of America without their Consent, the creating new and dangerous Jurisdictions here, the taking away our Trials by Jurys, the ordering Persons upon Criminal Accusations, to be tried in another Country than that in which the Fact is charged to have been committed, the Act inflicting ministerial Vengeance upon the Town of Boston, and the two Bills lately brought into Parliament for abrogating the Charter of the Province of Massachusetts Bay, and for the Protection and Encouragement of Murderers in the said Province, are Part of the above mentioned iniquitous System. That the Inhabitants of the Town of Boston are now suffering in the common Cause of all British America, and are justly entitled to it’s Support and Assistance; and therefore that a Subscription ought imediatly to be opened, and proper Persons appointed, in every County of this Colony to purchase Provisions, and consign them to some Gentleman of Character in Boston, to be distributed among the poorer Sort of People there.
  11. Resolved that we will cordially join with our Friends and Brethren of this and the other Colonies, in such Measures as shall be judged most effectual for procuring Redress of our Grievances, and that upon obtaining such Redress if the Destruction of the Tea at Boston be regarded as an Invasion of private Property, we shall be willing to contribute towards paying the East India Company the Value: but as we consider the said Company as the Tools and Instrument of Oppression in the Hands of Government and the Cause of our present Distress, it is the Opinion of this Meeting that the People of these Colonies shou’d forbear all further Dealings with them, by refusing to purchase their Merchandize, until that Peace Safety and Good-order, which they have disturbed, be perfectly restored. And that all Tea now in this Colony, or which shall be imported into it shiped before the first Day of September next, shou’d be deposited in some Store-house to be appointed by the respective Committees of each County, until a sufficient Sum of Money be raised by Subscription to reimburse the Owners the Value, and then to be publickly burn’d and destroyed; and if the same is not paid for and destroyed as aforesaid, that it remain in the Custody of the said Committees, at the Risque of the Owners, until the Act of Parliament imposing a Duty upon Tea for raising a Revenue in America be repealed; and imediatly afterwards be delivered unto the several Proprietors thereof, their Agents or Attorneys.
  12. Resolved that Nothing will so much contribute to defeat the pernicious Designs of the common Enemies of Great Britain and her Colonies as a firm Union of the latter; who ought to regard every Act of Violence or Oppression inflicted upon any one of them, as aimed at all; and to effect this desireable Purpose, that a Congress shou’d be appointed, to consist of Deputies from all the Colonies, to concert a general and uniform Plan for the Defence and Preservation of our common Rights, and continueing the Connection and Dependance of the said Colonies upon Great Britain under a just, lenient, permanent, and constitutional Form of Government.
  13. Resolved that our most sincere and cordial Thanks be given to the Patrons and Friends of Liberty in Great Britain, for their spirited and patriotick Conduct in Support of our constitutional Rights and Privledges, and their generous Efforts to prevent the present Distress and Calamity of America.
  14. Resolved that every little jarring Interest and Dispute, which has ever happened between these Colonies, shou’d be buried in eternal Oblivion; that all Manner of Luxury and Extravagance ought imediatly to be laid aside, as totally inconsistent with the threatening and gloomy Prospect before us; that it is the indispensable Duty of all the Gentlemen and Men of Fortune to set Examples of Temperance, Fortitude, Frugality and Industry; and give every Encouragement in their Power, particulary by Subscriptions and Premiums, to the Improvement of Arts and Manufactures in America; that great Care and Attention shou’d be had to the Cultivation of Flax, Cotton, and other Materials for Manufactures; and we recommend it to such of the Inhabitants who have large Stocks of Sheep, to sell to their Neighbors at a moderate Price, as the most certain Means of speedily increasing our Breed of Sheep, and Quantity of Wool.
  15. Resolved that until American Grievances be redressed, by Restoration of our just Rights and Privileges, no Goods or Merchandize whatsoever ought to be imported into this Colony, which shall be shiped from Great Britain or Ireland after the first Day of September next, except Linnens not exceeding fifteen Pence [per] yard, (German Oznabrigs) coarse woolen Cloth, not exceeding two Shillings sterling [per] Yard, Nails Wire, and Wire-Cards, Needles & Pins, Paper, Salt Petre, and Medicines; which [three Articles only] may be imported until the first Day of September, one thousand seven hundred and seventy six; and if any Goods or Merchandize, othe[r] than those hereby excepted, shou’d be ship’d from Great Britain, {or Ireland} after the time aforesaid, to this Colony, that the same, immediately upon their Arrival, shou’d either be sent back again, by the Owners their Agents or Attorn[ey]s, or stored and deposited in some Ware-house, to be appointed by the Committee for each respective County, and there kept, at the Risque and Charge of the Owners, to be delivered to them, when a free Importation of Goods hither shall again take Place. And that the Merchants and Venders of Goods and Merchandize within this Colony ought not to take Advantage of our present Distress b[u]t continue to sell the Goods and Merchandize which they now have, or which may be shiped to them before the first Day of September next, at the same Rates and Prices they have been accustomed to do, within one Year last past; and if any Person shall sell such Goods on any other Terms than above expressed, that no Inhabitant of this Colony shou’d at any time, for ever thereafter, deal with him, his Agent, Factor, or Store keepers for any Commodity whatsoever.
  16. Resolved that it is the Opinion of this Meeting, that the Merchants and Venders of Goods and Merchandize within this Colony shou’d take an Oath, not to sell or dispose of any Goods or Merchandize whatsoever, which may be shiped from Great Britain {or Ireland} after the first Day of September next as afoes, except the (three) Articles before excepted, and that they will, upon Receipt of such prohibited Goods, either send the same back again by the first Opportunity, or deliver them to the Committees in the respective Countys, to be deposited in some Warehouse, at the Risque and Charge of the Owners, until they, their Agents or Factors be permitted to take them away by the said Committees: the Names of those who refuse to take such Oath to be advertized by the respective Committees in the Countys wherein they reside. And to the End that the Inhabitants of this Colony may know what Merchants, and Venders of Goods and Merchandize have taken such Oath, that the respective Committees shou’d grant a Certificate thereof to every such Person who shall take the same.
  17. Resolved that it is the Opinion of this Meeting, that during our present Difficulties and Distress, no Slaves ought to be imported into any of the British Colonies on this Continent; and we take this Opportunity of declaring our most earnest Wishes to see an entire Stop for ever put to such a wicked cruel and unnatural Trade.
  18. Resolved that no kind of Lumber shou’d be exported from this Colony to the West Indies, until America be restored to her constitutional Rights and Liberties if the other Colonies will accede to a like Resolution; and that it be recommended to the general Congress to appoint as early a Day as possible for stopping such Export.
  19. Resolved that it is the Opinion of this Meeting, if American Grievances be not redressed before the first Day of November one thousand seven hundred and seventy five, that all Exports of Produce from the several Colonies to Great Britain {or Ireland} shou’d cease; and to carry the said Resolution more effectually into Execution, that we will not plant or cultivate any Tobacco, after the Crop now growing; provided the same Measure shall be adopted by the other Colonies on this Continent, as well those who have heretofore made Tobacco, as those who have n[o]t. And it is our Opinion also, if the Congress of Deputies from the several Colonies shall adopt the Measure of Non-exportation to Great Britain, as the People will be thereby disabled from paying their Debts, that no Judgements shou’d be rendered by the Courts in the said Colonies for any Debt, after Information of the said Measure’s being determined upon.
  20. Resolved that it is the Opinion of this Meeting that a solemn Covenant and Association shou’d be entered into by the Inhabitants of all the Colonies upon Oath, that they will not, after the Times which shall be respectively agreed on at the general Congress, export any Manner of Lumber to the West Indies, nor any of their Produce to Great Britain {or Ireland}, or sell or dispose of the same to any Person who shall not have entered into the said Covenant and Association; and also that they will no import or receive any Goods or Merchandize which shall be ship’d from Great Britain {or Ireland} after the first Day of September next, other than the before enumerated Articles, nor buy or purchase any Goods, except as before excepted, of any Person whatsoever, who shall not have taken the Oath herein before recommended to be taken by the Merchants and Venders of Goods nor buy or purchase any Slaves hereafter imported into any Part of this Continent until a free Exportation and Importation be again resolved on by a Majority of the Representatives or Deputies of the Colonies. And that the respective Committees of the Countys, in each Colony so soon as the Covenant and Association becomes general, publish by Advertisements in their several Counties {and Gazettes of their Colonies}, a List of the Names of those (if any such there be) who will not accede thereto; that such Traitors to their Country may be publickly known and detested.
  21. Resolved that it is the Opinion of this Meeting, that this and the other associating Colonies shou’d break off all Trade, Intercourse, and Dealings, with that Colony Province or Town which shall decline or refuse to agree to the Plan which shall be adopted by the general Congress.
  22. Resolved that shou’d the Town of Boston be forced to submit to the late cruel and oppressive Measures of Government, that we shall not hold the same to be binding upon us, but will, notwithstanding, religiously maintain, and inviolably adhere to such Measures as shall be concerted by the general Congress, for the preservation of our Lives, Liberties and Fortunes.
  23. Resolved that it be recommended to the Deputies of the general Congress to draw up and transmit an humble and dutiful Petition and Remonstrance to his Majesty, asserting with decent Firmness our just and constitutional Rights and Privileg[es,] lamenting the fatal Necessity of being compelled to enter into Measur[es] disgusting to his Majesty and his Parliament, or injurious to our fellow Subjects in Great Britain; declaring, in the strongest Terms, ou[r] Duty and Affection to his Majesty’s Person, Family [an]d Government, and our Desire to continue our Dependance upon Great Bri[tai]n; and most humbly conjuring and besecching his Majesty, not to reduce his faithful Subjects of America to a State of desperation, and to reflect, that from our Sovereign there can be but one Appeal. And it is the Opinion of this Meeting, that after such Petition and Remonstrance shall have been presented to his Majesty, the same shou’d be printed in the public Papers, in all the principal Towns in Great Britain.
  24. Resolved that George Washington Esquire, and George Broadwater Gent. lately elected our Representatives to serve in the general Assembly, be appointed to attend the Convention at Williamsburg on the first Day of August next, and present these Resolves, as the Sense of the People of this County, upon the Measures proper to be taken in the present alarming and dangerous Situation of America.

Magna Carta, AD 1215

2018-07-14T00:37:48+00:00June 8, 2018|Historical Documents|

Magna Carta

Full text of the Magna Carta, signed by King John at Runnymede
June 15, AD. 1215
Translated from the original Latin

[Johannes Dei gratia rex Anglie, dominus Hibernie dux Normannie, Aquitannie et comes Andegavie, archiepiscopis, episcopis, abbatibus, comitibus, baronibus, justiciariis, forestariis, vicecomitibus, prepositis, ministris et omnibus ballivis et fidelibus suis salutem…]


JOHN, by the Grace of God, King of England, Lord of Ireland, Duke of Normandy and Aquitaine, and Earl of Anjou, to his archbishops, bishops, abbots, earls, barons, justiciaries, foresters, sheriffs, governors, officers, and to all bailiffs, and his faithful subjects, Greeting.

Know ye, that we, in the presence of God, and for the salvation of our own soul, and of the souls of all our ancestors, and of our heirs, to the honour of God, and the exaltation of the Holy Church and amendment of our Kingdom, by the counsel of our venerable fathers, Stephen Archbishop of Canterbury, Primate of all England, and Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church, Henry Archbishop of Dublin, William of London, Peter of Winchester, Joceline of Bath and Glastonbury, Hugh of Lincoln, Walter of Worcester, William of Coventry, and Benedict of Rochester, Bishops; Master Pandulph our Lord the Pope’s Subdeacon and familiar, Brother Almeric, Master of the Knights-Templars in England, and of these noble persons, William Mareschal Earl of Pembroke, William Earl of Salisbury, William Earl of Warren, William Earl of Arundel, Alan de Galloway Constable of Scotland, Warin Fitz-Gerald, Hubert de Burgh Seneschal of Poictou, Peter Fitz-Herbert, Hugh de Nevil, Matthew Fitz-Herbert, Thomas Basset, Alan Basset, Philip de Albiniac, Robert de Roppel, John Mareschal, John Fitz-Hugh, and others our liegemen; have in the first place granted to God, and by this our present Charter, have confirmed, for us and our heirs for ever:

Article 1:
That the English Church shall be free, and shall have her whole rights and her liberties inviolable; and we will this to be observed in such a manner, that it may appear from thence, that the freedom of elections, which was reputed most requisite to the English Church, which we granted, and by our Charter confirmed, and obtained the Confirmation of the same, from our Lord Pope Innocent the Third, before the rupture between us and our barons, was of our own free will: which Charter we shall observe, and we will it to be observed with good faith, by our heirs forever.

Article 2:
We have also granted to all the free-men of our kingdom, for us and our heirs for ever, all the liberties written out below, to have and to keep for them and their heirs, of us and our heirs.

Article 3:
If any of our earls, barons, or others who hold of us in chief by military service, shall die, and at his death his heir shall be of full age, and shall owe a relief, he shall have his inheritance by the ancient relief; that is to say, the heir or heirs of an earl, for a whole earl’s barony shall pay one hundred pounds: the heir or heirs of a knight, for a whole knight’s fee, one hundred shillings at most: and he who owes less, shall give less, according to the ancient custom of fees.

But if the heir of any such be under age, and in wardship, when he comes to age he shall have his inheritance without relief and without fine.

Article 4:
The warden of the land of such heir who shall be under age, shall not take from the lands of the heir any but reasonable issues, and reasonable customs, and reasonable services, and that without destruction and waste of the men or goods, and if we commit the custody of any such lands to a Sheriff, or any other person who is bound to us for the issues of them, and he shall make destruction or waste upon the ward-lands we will recover damages from him, and the lands shall be committed to two lawful and discreet men of that fee, who shall answer for the issues to us, or to him to whom we have assigned them. And if we shall give or sell to any one the custody of any such lands, and he shall make destruction or waste upon them, he shall lose the custody; and it shall be committed to two lawful and discreet men of that fee, who shall answer to us in like manner as it is said before.

Article 5:
But the warden, as long as he has the custody of the lands, shall keep up and maintain the houses, parks, warrens, ponds, mills, and other things belonging to them, out of their issues; and shall restore to the heir when he comes of full age, his whole estate, provided with ploughs and other implements of husbandry, according as the time of wainage shall require, and the issues of the lands can reasonably afford.

Article 6:
Heirs shall be married without disparagement, so that before the marriage be contracted, it shall be notified to the relations of the heir by consanguinity.

Article 7:
At her husband’s death, a widow may have her marriage portion and inheritance at once and without trouble. She shall pay nothing for her dower, marriage portion, or any inheritance that she and her husband held jointly on the day of his death. She may remain in her husband’s house for forty days after his death, and within this period her dower shall be assigned to her.

Article 8:
No widow shall be compelled to marry, so long as she wishes to remain without a husband. But she must give security that she will not marry without royal consent, if she holds her lands of the Crown, or without the consent of whatever other lord she may hold them of.

Article 9:
Neither we nor our bailiffs will seize any land or rent in payment of a debt, so long as the debtor has movable goods sufficient to discharge the debt; nor shall the sureties of the debtor be distrained, while the principal debtor is able to pay the debt; and if the principal debtor fail in payment of the debt, not having wherewith to discharge it, the sureties shall answer for the debt; and if they be willing, they shall have the debtor’s lands and rents until satisfaction be made to them for the debt which they had before paid for him, unless the principal debtor can show himself acquitted against the said sureties.

Article 10:
If anyone has borrowed anything from the Jews, more or less, and die before that debt be paid, the debt shall pay no interest so long as his heir shall be under age, of whomsoever he may hold; and if that debt shall fall into our hands, we will not take anything except the chattel contained in the bond.

Article 11:
And if any one shall die indebted to the Jews, his wife shall have her dower and shall pay nothing of that debt; and if children of the deceased shall remain who are under age, necessaries shall be provided for them, according to the tenement which belonged to the deceased: and out of the residue the debt shall be paid, saving the rights of the lords. In like manner let it be with debts owing to others than Jews.

Article 12:
No scutage nor aid shall he imposed in our kingdom, unless by the common council of our kingdom; excepting to redeem our person, to make our eldest son a knight, and, once, to marry our eldest daughter, and not for these, unless a reasonable aid shall be demanded.

Article 13:
In like manner let it be concerning the aids of the City of London. And the City of London should have all it’s ancient liberties, and it’s free customs, as well by land as by water. Furthermore, we will and grant that all other cities, and burghs, and towns, and ports, should have all their liberties and free customs.

Article 14:
And also to have the common council of the kingdom, to assess an ‘aid’, otherwise than in the three cases aforesaid: and for the assessing of scutages, we will cause to he summoned the archbishops, bishops, abbots, earls, and greater barons, individually, by our letters. And besides, we will cause to he summoned in general by our sheriffs and bailiffs, all those who hold of us in chief, at a certain day, that is to say at the distance of forty days, at the least, and to a certain place; and in all the letters of summons, we will express the cause of the summons: and the summons being thus made, the business shall proceed on the day appointed, according to the counsel of those who shall be present, although all who had been summoned have not come.

Article 15:
We will not give leave to any one, for the future, to take an aid from his own free-men, except for redeeming his own body, and for making his eldest son a knight, and for marrying, once, his eldest daughter; and not that unless it be a reasonable aid.

Article 16:
None shall be distrained to do more service for a knight’s fee, nor for any other free tenement, than what is due from thence.

Article 17:
Common Pleas shall not follow our court, but shall be held in a fixed place.

Article 18:
Trials upon the writs of ‘novel disseisin’, of ‘mort d’ancestre’, and ‘darrein presentment’, shall not be taken but in their proper counties, and in this manner:- we, or our Chief Justiciary, if we are out of the kingdom, will send two justiciaries into each county, four times in the year, who, with four knights of each county, chosen by the county, shall hold the aforesaid assizes, within the county on the day, and at the place appointed.

Article 19:
And if the aforesaid assizes cannot be taken on the day of the county court, let as many knights and freeholders, of those who were present at the county court remain behind, as shall be sufficient to do justice, according to the great or less importance of the business.

Article 20:
A free-man shall not be amerced for a small offence, but only according to the degree of the offence; and for a great delinquency, according to the magnitude of the delinquency, saving his contenement: a merchant shall be amerced in the same manner, saving his merchandise, and a villein shall be amerced after the same manner, saving to him his wainage, if he shall fall into our mercy; and none of the aforesaid amercements shall he assessed, but by the oath of honest men of the neighbourhood.

Article 21:
Earls and barons shall not be amerced but by their peers, and that only according to the degree of their delinquency.

Article 22:
No clerk shall be amerced for his lay-tenement, but according to the manner of the others as aforesaid, and not according to the quantity of his ecclesiastical benefice.

Article 23:
Neither a town nor any person shall be distrained to build bridges or embankments, excepting those which anciently, and of right, are bound to do it.

Article 24:
No sheriff, constable, coroners, nor other of our bailiffs, shall hold pleas of our Crown.

Article 25:
All counties, and hundreds, tithings, and wapentakes, shall he at the ancient rent, without any increase, excepting in our demesne manors.

Article 26:
If any one holding of us a lay fee dies, and the sheriff or our bailiff, shall show our letters-patent of summons concerning the debt which the deceased owed to us, it shall he lawful for the sheriff or our bailiff to attach and register the chattels of the deceased found on that lay fee, to the amount of that debt, by the view of lawful men, so that nothing shall he removed from thence until our debt he paid to us; and the rest shall he left to the executors to fulfil the will of the deceased; and if nothing be owing to us by him, all the chattels shall fall to the deceased, saving to his wife and children their reasonable shares.

Article 27:
If any free-man shall die intestate, his chattels shall he distributed by the hands of his nearest relations and friends, by the view of the Church, saving to every one the debts which the deceased owed.

Article 28:
No constable nor other bailiff of ours shall take the corn or other goods of any one, without instantly paying money for them, unless he can obtain respite from the free will of the seller.

Article 29:
No constable shall distrain any knight to give money for castle-guard, if he be willing to perform it in his own person, or by another able man, if he cannot perform it himself, for a reasonable cause: and if we have carried or sent him into the army, he shall he excused from castle-guard, according to the time that he shall be in the army by our command.

Article 30:
No sheriff nor bailiff of ours, nor any other person shall take the horses or carts of any free-man, for the purpose of carriage, without the consent of the said free-man.

Article 31:
Neither we, nor our bailiffs, will take another man’s wood, for our castles or other uses, unless by the consent of him to whom the wood belongs.

Article 32:
We will not retain the lands of those who have been convicted of felony, excepting for one year and one day, and then they shall he given up to the lord of the fee concerned.

Article 33:
All kydells for the future shall be quite removed out of the Thames, and the Medway, and through all England, except upon the sea-coast.

Article 34:
The writ which is called ‘præcipe’, for the future shall not be granted to anyone of any tenement, by which a free-man may lose his court.

Article 35:
There shall he one measure of wine throughout all our kingdom, and one measure of ale, and one measure of corn, namely the quarter of London; and one breadth of dyed cloth, and of russets, and of halberjects, namely, two ells within the selvedges. Also it shall he the same with weights as with measures.

Article 36:
Nothing shall he given or taken for the future for the writ of inquisition of life or limb; this shall he given without charge, and not denied.

Article 37:
If any hold of us by fee-farm, or socage, or burgage, and hold land of another by military service, we will not have the custody of the heir, nor of his lands, which are of the fee of another, on account of that fee-farm, or socage, or burgage; nor will we have the custody of the fee-farm, socage, or burgage, unless the fee-farm owe military service. We will not have the custody of the heir, nor of the lands of anyone, which he holds of another by military service, on account of any petty-sergeantry which he holds of us by the service of giving us daggers, or arrows, or the like.

Article 38:
No bailiff, for the future, shall put any man to his law, upon his own simple affirmation, without credible witnesses produced for that purpose.

Article 39:
No free-man shall he seized, or imprisoned, or dispossessed, or outlawed, or in any way destroyed; nor will we condemn him, nor will we commit him to prison, excepting by the legal judgment of his peers, or by the laws of the land.

Article 40:
To none will we sell, to none will we deny, to none will we delay right or justice.

Article 41:
All merchants shall have safety and security in coming into England, and going out of England, and in staying and in travelling through England, as well by land as by water, to buy and sell, without any unjust exactions, according to ancient and right customs, excepting in the time of war, and if they he of a country at war against us: and if such are found in our land at the beginning of a war, they shall he apprehended without injury of their bodies and goods, until it he known to us, or to our Chief Justiciary, how the merchants of our country are treated who are found in the country at war against us; and if ours be in safety there, the others shall be in safety in our land.

Article 42:
It shall be lawful to any person, for the future, to go out of our kingdom, and to return, safely and securely, by land or by water, saving his allegiance to us, unless it be in time of war, for some short space, for the common good of the kingdom: excepting prisoners and outlaws, according to the laws of the land, and of the people of the nation at war against us, and merchants who shall he treated as it is said above.

Article 43:
If any hold of any escheat, as of the honour of Wallingford, Nottingham, Boulogne, Lancaster, or of other escheats which are in our hand, and are baronies, and shall die, his heir shall not give any other relief, nor do any other service to us, than he should have done to the baron, if that barony had been in the hands of the baron; and we will hold it in the same manner that the baron held it.

Article 44:
Men who dwell outside the forest, shall not come, for the future, before our justiciaries of the Forest on a common summons; unless they be parties in a plea, or sureties for some person or persons who are attached for the forest.

Article 45:
We will not make justiciaries, constables, sheriffs, or bailiffs, excepting of such as know the laws of the land, and are well disposed to observe them.

Article 46:
All barons who have founded abbeys, which they hold by charters from the Kings of England, or by ancient tenure, shall have the custody of them when they become vacant, as they ought to have.

Article 47:
All forests which have been created in our reign, shall be immediately disafforested; and it shall be so done with river-banks, which have been taken or fenced in by us during our reign.

Article 48:
All evil customs of forests and warrens, and of foresters and warreners, sheriffs and their officers, river-banks and their keepers, shall immediately be inquired into by twelve knights of the same county, upon oath, who shall be elected by good men of the same county; and within forty days after the inquisition is made, they shall be altogether destroyed by them never to be restored; provided that this is notified to us before it is done, or our judiciary, if we are not in England.

Article 49:
We will immediately restore all hostages and charters, which have been delivered to us by the English, in security of the peace and of their faithful service.

Article 50:
We will remove from their bailiwicks the relations of Gérard de Athée, so that, for the future, they shall have no bailiwick in England; Engelard de Cigogneacute;, Peter, Guy and Andrew de Chanceaux, Guy de Cigogné, Geoffrey de Martigny, and his brothers, Philip Mark, and his brothers, and Geoffrey his nephew, and all their followers.

Article 51:
And immediately after the conclusion of the peace, we will remove out of the kingdom all foreign knights, cross-bow-men, and stipendiary soldiers, who have come with horses and arms to the molestation of the kingdom.

Article 52:
If any have been disseised or dispossessed by us, without a legal verdict of their peers, of their lands, castles, liberties, or rights, we will immediately restore these things to them; and if any dispute shall arise on this head, then it shall he determined by the verdict of the twenty-five barons, of whom mention is made below, for the security of the peace. Concerning all those things of which any one hath been disseised or dispossessed, without the legal verdict of his peers by King Henry our father, or King Richard our brother, which we have in our hand, or others hold with our warrants, we shall have respite, until the common term of the Crusaders, excepting those concerning which a plea had been moved, or an inquisition taken, by our precept, before our taking the Cross; but as soon as we shall return from our expedition, or if, by chance, we should not go upon our expedition, we will immediately do complete justice therein.

Article 53:
The same respite will we have, and the same justice shall he done, concerning the disafforestation of the forests, or the forests which remain to he disafforested, which Henry our father, or Richard our brother, have afforested; and the same concerning the wardship of lands which are in another’s fee, but the wardship of which we have hitherto had, occasioned by any of our fees held by military service; and for abbeys founded in any other ‘fee’ than our own, in which the lord of the fee hath claimed a right; and when we shall have returned, or if we shall stay from our expedition, we shall immediately do complete justice in all these pleas.

Article 54:
No man shall he apprehended or imprisoned on the appeal of a woman, for the death of any other man except her husband.

Article 55:
All fines that have been made by us unjustly, or contrary to the laws of the land; and all amercements that have been imposed unjustly, or contrary to the laws of the land, shall he wholly remitted, or ordered by the verdict of the twenty-five barons, of whom mention is made below, for the security of the peace, or by the verdict of the greater part of them, together with the aforesaid Stephen, Archbishop of Canterbury, if he can be present, and others whom he may think fit to bring with him: and if he cannot be present, the business shall proceed, notwithstanding, without him; but so, that if any one or more of the aforesaid twenty-five barons have a similar plea, let them be removed from that particular trial, and others elected and sworn by the residue of the same twenty-five, be substituted in their room, only for that trial.

Article 56:
If we have disseised or dispossessed any Welshmen of their lands, or liberties, or other things, without a legal verdict of their peers, in England or in Wales, they shall be immediately restored to them; and if any dispute shall arise upon this head, then let it be determined in the Marches by the verdict of their peers: for a tenement of England, according to the law of England; for a tenement of Wales, according to the law of Wales; for a tenement of the Marches, according to the law of the Marches. The Welsh shall do the same to us and to our subjects.

Article 57:
Also concerning those things of which any Welshman hath been disseised or dispossessed without the legal verdict of his peers, by King Henry our father, or King Richard our brother, which we have in our hand, or others hold with our warrant, we shall have respite for the period commonly allowed to Crusaders, excepting for those concerning which a plea had been moved, or an inquisition made, by our precept, before our taking the cross. But as soon as we shall return from our expedition, or if, by chance, we should not go upon our expedition, we shall immediately do complete justice therein, according to the laws of Wales, and the parts aforesaid.

Article 58:
We will immediately deliver up the son of Llewelyn, and all the hostages of Wales, and release them from their engagements which were made with us, for the security of the peace.

Article 59:
We shall do to Alexander King of Scotland, concerning the restoration of his sisters and hostages, and his liberties and rights, according to the form in which we act to our other barons of England, unless it ought to he otherwise by the charters which we have from his father William, the late King of Scotland; and this shall be by the verdict of his peers in our court.

Article 60:
Also all these customs and liberties aforesaid, which we have granted to he held in our kingdom, for so much of it as belongs to us, all our subjects, as well clergy as laity, shall observe towards their tenants as far as concerns them.

Article 61:
But since we have granted all these things aforesaid, for God, and for the amendment of our kingdom, and for the better extinguishing the discord which has arisen between us and our barons, we being desirous that these things should possess entire and unshaken stability for ever, give and grant to them the security underwritten; namely, that the barons may elect twenty-five barons of the kingdom, whom they please, who shall with their whole power, observe, keep, and cause to be observed, the peace and liberties which we have granted to them, and have confirmed by this our present charter, in this manner: that is to say, if we, or our justiciary, or our bailiffs, or any of our officers, shall have injured anyone in anything , or shall have violated any Article of the peace or security, and the injury shall have been shown to four of the aforesaid twenty-five barons, the said four barons shall come to us, or to our Justiciary if we be out of the kingdom, and making known to us the excess committed, petition that we cause that excess to be redressed without delay.

And if we shall not have redressed the excess, or, if we have been out of the kingdom, our justiciary shall not have redressed it within the term of forty days, computing from the time when it shall have been made known to us, or to our justiciary if we have been out of the kingdom, the aforesaid four barons, shall lay that cause before the residue of the twenty-five barons; and they, the twenty-five barons, with the community of the whole land, shall distress and harass us by all the ways in which they are able; that is to say, by the taking of our castles, lands, and possessions, and by any other means in their power, until the excess shall have been redressed, according to their verdict; saving harmless our person, and the persons of our Queen and children; and when it hath been redressed, they shall behave to us as they have done before.

And whoever of our land pleaseth, may swear, that he will obey the commands of the aforesaid twenty-five barons, in accomplishing all the things aforesaid, and that with them he will harass us to the utmost of his power: and we publicly and freely give leave to every one to swear who is willing to swear; and we will never forbid any to swear. But all those of our land, who, of themselves, and of their own accord, are unwilling to swear to the twenty-five barons, to distress and harass us together with them, we will compel them by our command, to swear as aforesaid.

And if any one of the twenty-five barons shall die, or remove out of the land, or in any other way shall he prevented from executing the things above said, they who remain of the twenty-five barons shall elect another in his place, according to their own pleasure, who shall he sworn in the same manner as the rest. In all those things which are appointed to be done by these twenty-five barons, if it happen that all the twenty-five have been present, and have differed in their opinions about anything , or if some of them who had been summoned, would not, or could not he present, that which the greater part of those who were present shall have provided and decreed, shall he held as firm and as valid, as if all the twenty-five had agreed in it: and the aforesaid twenty-five shall swear, that they will faithfully observe, and, with all their power, cause to be observed, all the things mentioned above. And we will obtain nothing from any one, by ourselves, nor by another, by which any of these concessions and liberties may he revoked or diminished. And if any such thing shall have been obtained, let it he void and null: and we will never use it, neither by ourselves nor by another.

Article 62:
And we have fully remitted and pardoned to all men, all the ill-will, rancour, and resentments, which have arisen between us and our subjects, both clergy and laity, from the commencement of the discord. Moreover, we have fully remitted to all the clergy and laity, and as far as belongs to us, have fully pardoned all transgressions committed by occasion of the said discord, from Easter, in the sixteenth year of our reign, until the conclusion of the peace. And, moreover, we have caused to he made to them testimonial letters-patent of the Lord Stephen, Archbishop of Canterbury, the Lord Henry, Archbishop of Dublin, and of the aforesaid Bishops, and of Master Pandulph concerning this security, and the aforesaid concessions.

Article 63:
Wherefore, our will is, and we firmly command that the Church of England be free, and that the men in our kingdom have and hold the aforesaid liberties, rights, and concessions, well and in peace, freely and quietly, fully and entirely, to them and their heirs, of us and our heirs, in all things and places, for ever as is aforesaid. It is also sworn, both on our part, and on that of the barons, that all the aforesaid shall he observed in good faith and without any evil intention.

Witnessed by the above and many others. Given by our hand in the meadow which is called Runnymede between Windsor and Staines, this fifteenth day of June in the seventeenth year of our reign.