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be in the custody of the prior, which is under the abbot, and four others of the discreetest of the house ; and that any deed sealed with the common seal, that. is not so kept, shall be void. And the opinion in the 27 H. VI. tit. Annuity 41, was, that this statute is void; for the words of the book are, it is impertinent to be observed : for the seal being in their custody, the abbot cannot seal any thing with it ; and when it is in the hands of the abbot, it is out of their custody“ ipso facto." And if the statute should be observed, every common seal might be defeated by a simple surmise, which cannot be. Note, reader, the words of the said statute made at Carlisle, anno 35 E. I. which is called “ Statutum Religiosorum,” are these : “ Et insuper ordinavit dominus rex et statuit, quod abbates Cistercienses et Præmonstratenses ordinum religiosorum, etc. de cetero habeant sigillum commune, et illud in custodia prioris monasterii seu domus et quatuor de dignioribus et discretioribus ejusdem loci conventus sub privato sigillo abbatis ipsius loci custod. deponend. Et si forsan aliqua scripta obligationum, donationum, emptionum, venditionum, alienationum, seu aliorum quorumcunque contractuum alio sigillo quam tali sigillo communi sicut præmittitur custodit, inveniatur amodo, sigillata pro nullo penitus habeantur, omnique careant firmitate.” So the statute of 1 E. VI. cap. 14, gives chanteries, ete. to the king, saving to the donor, etc. all such rents, services, etc. and the common law controls this, and adjudges it void as to the services; and the donor shall have the rent as a rent-seck to distrain of common right ; for it should be against common right and reason, that the king should hold of any, or do suit to any of his subjects, 14 Eliz. Dyer, 313. And so it was adjudged Mich. 16 and 17 Eliz. in the common place in Stroud's case. So if any act of parliament give to any to hold, or to have conusance of all manner of pleas before him arising within his manor of D. yet he shall hold no plea, whereunto himself is a paty, for “ Iniquum est aliquem suæ rei esse judicem."

Which cases being cited in the argument of this case, and I finding them truly vouched, I reported them in this case, as my part was, and had no other meaning than so far as those particular cases there cited do extend unto. And therefore the beginning is, It appeareth in our books, etc. And so it


be explained, as it was truly intended.

In all which I most humbly submit myself to your majesty's princely censure and judgment.

Edw. COKE.



It was resolved, that to this court of the King's Bench belongeth authority not only to correct errors in judicial proceedings, but other errors and misdemeanors tending to the breach of the peace, or oppression of the subjects, or to the raising of faction or other misgovernment: so that no wrong or

injury either public or private can be done, but it shall be reformed and punished by law.

Being commanded to explain myself concerning these words, and principally concerning this word, "misgovernment;"

I answer, that the subject matter of that case concerned the misgovernment of the mayors and other the magistrates of Plymouth.

And I intended for the persons the misgovernment of such inferior magistrates for the matters in committing wrong or injury, either public or private, punishable by law, and therefore the last clause was added, “and so no wrong or injury, either public or private, can be done, but it shall be reformed and punished by law;" and the rule is “ verba intelligenda sunt secundum subjectam materiam."

And that they and other corporations might know, that factions and other misgovernments amongst them, either by oppression, bribery, unjust disfranchisements, or other wrong or injury, public or private, are to be redressed and punished by law, it was so reported.

But if any scruple remains to clear it, these words


be added “ by inferior magistrates;" and so the sense shall be by faction or misgovernment of inferior magistrates, so as no wrong or injury, etc.

All which I most humbly submit to your majesty's princely judgment,

Edw. COKE,

MAY IT PLEASE YOUR LORDSHIP, Above a year past, in my late lord chancellor's time, information was given to his majesty, that I having published in eleven works or books of reports, containing above 600 cases one with another, had written many things against his majesty's prerogative. And I being by his majesty's gracious favour called thereunto, all the exceptions, that could be taken to so many cases in so many books, fell to five, and the most of them too were by passages in general words; all which I offered to explain in such sort, as no shadow should remain against his majesty's prerogative, as in truth there did not ; which whether it were related to his majesty, I know not. But thereupon the matter hath slept all this time; and now the matter, after this ever blessed marriage, is revived, and two judges are called by my lord keeper to the former, that were named. My humble suit to your lordship is, that if his majesty shall not be satisfied with my former offer, viz. by advice of the judges to explain and publish as is aforesaid those five points, so as no shadow may remain against his prerogative; that then all the judges of England may be called hereunto. 2. That they may certify also what cases I have published for his majesty's prerogative and benefit, for the good of the Church, and quieting of men's inheritances, and good of the commonwealth; for which purpose I have drawn a minute of a letter to the judges, which I assure myself your lord

ship will judge reasonable; and so reposing myself upon your lordship’s protection I shall ever remain Your most bounden servant,

Edw, COKE.


To the right honourable his singular good lord the earl of

Buckingham, of his majesty's privy council.


WHEREAS in the time of the late lord chancellor intimation was given unto us, that divers cases were published in Sir Edward Coke's reports, tending to the prejudice of our prerogative royal ; whereupon we caring for nothing more, as by our kingly office we are bounden, than the preservation of prerogative royal, referred the same ; and thereupon, as we are informed, the said Sir Edward Coke being called thereunto, the objections were reduced to five only, and most of them consisting in general terms; all which Sir Edward offered, as we are informed, to explain and publish, so as no shadow might remain against our prerogative. And whereas of late two other judges are called to the others formerly named. Now our pleasure and intention being to be informed of the whole truth, and that right be done to all, do think it fit, that all the judges of England, and barọns of the Exchequer, who have

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