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Public Record Office before that volume was published in the year 1883, but what has since become of it I have tried in vain to discover. I am informed by the Secretary that it remained in the Record Office until the 27th of September, 1887, when it was delivered to Sir Charles Isham's agent. It is, however, no longer in the library at Lamport, and Sir Were Isham tells me that many of the most valuable documents were sold by Sir Charles. I have enquired in various directions but have been unable to trace the MS. further. - &

The transcript which I have mentioned could not have been made from the Lincoln's Inn M.S., the Harleian, or the Cambridge MS. of the reports of the year 20 Edward III., as it differs from all of them. It must therefore have been made either from the Isham MS. or from some other MS, of which nothing is known. It has been of some service, though the original cannot have been quite the best of the MSS. I have referred to it as “I.”

The reports of Hilary Term are in the same form in all the MSS. in which they occur. They are evidently all from a common source, and present only the usual variations of reading or clerical errors. and omissions. From Easter Term, however, to the end of the year there are two sets of reports, one of which is found in the Lincoln's Inn and Cambridge MSS., the other in the Harleian M.S. and in that which I have called the Isham transcript. In many instances there are thus two independent reports of the same case ; in some instances there are cases in one pair of manuscripts which are not found in the other pair.

The cor- The reports found in the manuscripts have, as :

.* usual, been compared with the corresponding records. compared The system on which the comparison has been :* made, the manner in which the records have been

used when found, and the difficulties attending the

search have been explained in the volume of Year


Books (Rolls edition) containing the reports of Easter
and Trinity Terms 18 Edward III.” *- &
As in all previous volumes edited by me, every *
case which occurs in Fitzherbert's Abridgment has jo,
been traced and noted. The printed Liber A88isarum 4bridg-
has also been carefully searched, but does not appear nvent.
to contain any of the cases which are in the present

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Reports of cases in the Exchequer of Pleas are o, Of of somewhat rare occurrence in the Year Books. the Éx. There are, however, two in the present volume. In too. the first" it appears that one Barton was a prisoner King's in the Fleet prison, as the King's debtor for the or - o and the balance of his account touching wools bought of Queen's the King. The wools were part of a certain number * of sacks granted to the King in the fifteenth year of his reign. In respect of a hundred and six sacks, three quarters, five stones, and ten pounds and a half of the wools with which he was charged he appeared in the Exchequer, in the custody of the Warden of the Fleet, and gave the Court to understand that one “Guillelmus Pouche” or “Ponche,” who was a prisoner in the Tower of London, owed him £241 138. This “Guillelmus ” is mentioned elsewhere in the records, and seems to have been an Italian merchant, “Guillelmus ” is probably the form in which English scribes presented in Latin the Italian Guglielmo. An Englishman named William would have appeared as “Willelmus.” “Pouche * or “Ponche ’’ can hardly be the original Italian form. “Pucei" and “Ponci " are well-known Italian names, and one or other of them may have been written phonetically. Be that as it may, the name in the record looks more like Pouche than

‘Introd., pp. xviii-xxxiv. Hilary Term, No. 4, pp. 16-21.

anything else, and, after the above words of caution,

he may, perhaps, for want of certainty, be called

Wager of law proffered as to the facts, but not allowed.

by it.
Barton prayed that Pouche might appear and

answer to the King in respect of the £241 138., in

part payment of his own debt, juxta prerogativam
Regis in hac parte. A precept thereupon issued to
the Constable of the Tower to cause Pouche to
come and answer to the King in respect of that
Pouche accordingly appeared in custody of the
Lieutenant of the Constable of the Tower. Barton
then said that he had bought of the King the one
hundred and six sacks, &c., of wool for a certain
sum of money, and the wools had been delivered to
him by virtue of the King's writ under the great
seal, in accordance with the form of the covenants
agreed between him and the King, and that he was
charged to the King for the same wools, as appeared
in the remembrances of the Exchequer. Afterwards,
the same wools were assigned to Queen Philippa,
the King's Consort, in accordance with certain terms
agreed between Barton and Pouche, who was the
Queen's attorney for that purpose. The agreement
was that Barton should have the wools by grant
from the Queen, in virtue of the assignment made
to her, for £641 138. Of this sum Pouche received
#241 138. at certain stated times and places. Barton
therefore prayed that, as he was still charged to the
King with the entirety of the said wools, Pouche
might answer to the King for the £241 13s.
received by him, in part payment of Barton's debt.
That Pouche owed that amount, for the cause afore-

said, he was ready to verify in any way the Court

might direct. &

Pouche thereupon proffered the wager of law that he did not owe the £241 13s., or any part of it, by reason of the said contract relating to the Wools.

Barton, on behalf of the King and himself, counterpleaded the wager of law. He said that he had fendered an averment, on behalf of the King and of himself, to the effect that Pouche had received the money in the manner alleged, that the contract and receipt lay within the cognisance of the country, and could be verified by the country, that Pouche alleged nothing on his own behalf, but only proffered the wager of law that he did not owe the money, and that this issue of a plea affecting the King ought not in this case to be admitted in this Court against the King. Barton therefore prayed judgment.

Pouche replied that Barton had not produced any specialty to show the contract and the payment of the money, that Pouche had himself proffered the wager of law that he did not owe the money by reason of the said contract, and that this issue was admissible according to the common law in such a case, because the King could not have an action independently of Barton. He therefore prayed judgment. Barton joined issue on the point of law ; and the Court adjourned to consider its decision.

The wager of law was held to be inadmissible. SooOn the re-appearance of the parties in Court, soon. Pouche, according to the report, tendered an aver- * ment to the country that he did not owe anything country as to the defendant. This, however, could not be to the

same facts

admitted after the proffer of the wager of not law. allowed.

According to the record judgment was given that Judgment the King should recover against Pouche the . floor £241 18s. in part payment of Barton's debt, and King's that Pouche, who had been removed from the debtor. Tower to the Fleet prison by the King's command, should remain there until he had made Satisfaction. The case illustrates both the Exchequer practice, and the doctrine which prevailed with regard to the

Privilege of the Exchequer.

wager of law. In an action of Debt brought in the
Common Bench simply by one subject against
another the wager of law would certainly have been
allowed in the absence of any specialty, and where
there was nothing in support of the claim but the
plaintiff's word. This was, no doubt, the reason for
the hesitation of the Barons of the Exchequer, and
for their adjournment to consider the point. The dis-
pute was, however, not merely one between party and
party, but one in which the King might be a loser,
if the wager of law should be successful, and the
King's debtor failed to have allowance of that which
he alleged to be owing to him. Therefore judgment
was given in favour of the King's debtor with
regard to the proffered wager of law, and this had
the effect of final judgment against the person who
owed him money. It seems, however, that if the
latter had at once put himself upon the country
instead of tendering the wager of law, the issue
would have been tried by a jury.
The second case in the Exchequer of Pleas" is

one relating to the privilege of the Exchequer. It

was claimed by the Barons of the Exchequer that, according to the “leges 8peciales, consuetudines, et “statuta Scaccarii " beginning in the time of William

the Conqueror, the officers of the Exchequer had

been accustomed to plead and be impleaded therein, without question, in respect of all torts and tres

passes with which they were concerned as plaintiffs

or defendants.” These statuta are not to be confounded with Les Estatuz del Eschekere assigned to the 51st year of the reign of Henry III. in Ruffhead’s edition of the Statutes, and described as temporis

incerti in the Statutes of the Realm, but were alleged

1 Easter Term, No. 24, p. 202. corresponding entry on the K.R. * L.T.R. Remembrance Roll, Remembrance Roll, and printed

Communia, Hil., 11 Edw. III., | Y.B., Easter-Trim., 14 Edw. III., i

Adhuc recorda, collated with the Introd., pp. xxiv-xxv.

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