Granted November 5th, 1297,


Translated from the French original

EDWARD, by the Grace of God, King of England, Lord of Ireland, and Duke of Acquitaine, to all those whom these present letters shall hear or see, Salutation.

Know ye, that we, for the honour of God, and of the Holy Church, and for the benefit of our whole kingdom, have granted for us and our heirs:—

[1] That the Great Charter of Liberties, and the Charter of the Forests, the which were made by the common assent of all the kingdom in the time of King Henry our father; shall be held in all their parts, without any blemish.And we will that these same Charters under our seal,be sent to our justices, as well to those of the Forest, as to others; and to all the sheriffs of Counties, and to all our other ministers; and to all our cities throughout the land, together with our writs, in the which shall be contuned, that they shall make public the aforesaid Charters, and declare to the people, that we have granted to them to hold them in all their particulars: and to our justiciaries, sheriffs, mayors, and other ministers who are of the law of this land under us, and from us having the care of it, the same Charters in every part shall be allowed in Pleas before them, and in their giving of judgment; that is to wit, the Great Charter of Liberties as the Common Law, and the Charter of the Forest for the Assizes of the Forests only, to the amendment of our subjects.

[2] And we will, that if any judgment shall be given for the future, against the ordinances of the aforesaid Charters by the justices, or by others our officers, who, contrary to the particulars of the Charters, do hold Pleas before them, it shall be done away with, and held by none.

[3] And we will that these same Charters under our seal, be sent to the Cathedral churches throughout our kingdom, there to remain; and that they shall be twice in the year read before the people.

[4] And that the archbishops and bishops shall pronounce the Sentence of Great Excommunication against all those who shall offend against the aforesaid Charters, by word, deed, or counsel, or in any point break or infringe them. And that these Sentences shall be denounced and published twice in the year by the aforesaid prelates; and if the same Prelates, bishops, or any of them, shall be remiss in the denunciation of the aforesaid, the archbishops of Canterbury and Everwyk (York) for the time being, shall compel and distrain them, that the denunciation shall be made in the form aforesaid.

[5] And forasmuch as that divers people of our realm are in fear, that the aids and tasks the which they have given to us before time, for our wars and other business, of their own grant and good will, in whatever way they were made, might turn into bondage to them and their heirs, because they might at another time be found on the rolls; and likewise for the taxes which have been taken throughout the realm by our officers in our name: We have granted for us and our heirs, that we shall not draw such aids, tasks, or taxes, into a custom for any thing that hath been done heretofore, be it by roll or in any other manner that can be found.

[6] And also we have granted for us and our heirs, as well to archbishops, bishops, abbots, priors, and to other persons of the Holy Church, as to earls and barons, and to all the commonalty of the land; that for no business from henoeforth, shall we take such manner of aids, tasks, and taxes of our kingdom, but by the common consent of all the realm, and for the common profit thereof; saying the ancient aids and taxes accustomed.

[7] And forasmuch as that all the greater part of the commonalty of the kingdom find themselves hardly oppressed with the Maletout of wools, that is to wit, for every sack of wool a toll of forty shillings, and have prayed us that we would release them from it. We to their petition have fully released it, and have granted that we shall not take that, nor any other without their common consent and goo4 will; saving to us and to our heirs the customs of wools, skins, and leathers, before granted by the commonalty of the realm aforesaid. In witness of which things, we have caused these our letters to be made patent. Witness, our son Edward at London, the tenth day of October, in the twenty-fifth year of our reign.

And be it remembered, that this same Charter, in the same terms, word for word, was sealed in Flanders under the King’s Great Seal; that is to say, at Ghent, the fifth day of November, in the twenty-fifth year of the reign of our aforesaid Lord the King, and sent into England.