January 30-31, 1164
Si tratta di sedici articoli che Enrico II fa approvare da un’assemblea di baroni e di dignitari laici ed ecclesiastici, riunita a Parlamento a Clarendon il 30 e il 31 gennaio 1164: un vero e proprio atto normativo, che innova al diritto consuetudinario vigente, nello spirito di regolamentare in modo autoritativo e unilaterale i rapporti tra la comunitŕ (espressa dal re e dall’assemblea) ed il clero: con una forte limitazione, sia di principio che pratica, dell’autonomia della Chiesa all’interno delle istituzioni inglesi.
In the year 1164 from our Lord’s Incarnation, being the fourth of the pontificate of Alexander, and the tenth of Henry II, most illustrious king of the English, in the presence of the said king was made this record and declaration of a certain part of the customs, liberties and privileges of his ancestors, that is, of King Henry, his grandfather, and of other things which ought to be observed and maintained in the realm. And by reason of the dissensions and discords which had arisen between the clergy and the justices of the lord king and the barons of the realm concerning the customs and privileges of the realm, this declaration was made in the presence of the archbishops, bishops and clergy, and of the earls, barons and magnates of the realm. And these same customs were acknowledged by the archbishops and bishops, and the earls, barons, nobles and elders of the realm: Thomas, archbishop of Canterbury; and Roger, archbishop of York; Gilbert, bishop of London; Henry, bishop of Winchester; Nigcl, bishop of Ely; William, bishop of Norwich; Robert, bishop of Lincoln; Hilary, bishop of Chichester; Jocelyn, bishop of Salisbury; Richard, bishop of Chester; Bartholomew, bishop of Exeter; Robert, bishop of Hereford; David, bishop of St. David’s; and Roger, bishop-elect of Worcester; agreed to, and by word of moutll stcadfastly promised on the word of trudl to the lord king and his heirs, that these customs should be kept and observed in good faith and without evil intent. There were present: Robert, earl of Leicester; 2 Reginald, earl of Cornwall; Conan, count of Brittany; Jolm, count of Eu; Roger of Clare, the earl; 3 Geoffrey of Marme-; villc, the earl; 4 Hugll, earl of Chester; William,6 earl of Arundel; Earl Patrick;~ williaIn of Fcrriercs, the earl ; Richard of Luce; Reginald of Saint-Valery; Roger Bigot; Reginald ' de Waremle '; Richer of Laigle ;8 William of Briouze; Richard 'dc Gmville'; Nigel 'dc Moubrai'; Simoll' de Beaucllamp'; Humphrey 'de Bohun'; Mattllcw of Hercford; Walter of Mayemle; Manasser Bissett the steward; William Malct; William of Courcy; Robert of Dunstaville; Jocelyn 'de Balliol'; William 'de Lanvalis'; William 'de Chesney'; Geoffrey 'de Ver'; William of Hastings; Hugh of Morville; Alan 'de Neville'; Simon fitz Peter; William Maudit dle chamberlain; Johll Maudit; John the Marshal; Peter 'de Mara'; and many other magnates and nobles of the realm, both clerks and laymen.}
Now of the acknowledged customs and privileges of the realm a certain part is contained in the present document, of which part these are the heads:
1. If a dispute shall arise between laymen, or between clerks and laymen, or between clerks, concerning advowson and presentation to churches, let it be treated and concluded in the court of the lord king.
2. Churches within the fief of the lord king cannot be granted in perpetuity without his consent and concession.
3. Clerks cited and accused of any matter shall, when summoned by the king’s justice, come before the king’s court to answer there concerning matters which shall seem to the king’s court to be answerable there, and before the ecclesiastical court for what shall seem to be answerable there, but in such a way that the justice of the king shall send to the court of holy Church to see how the case is there tried. And if the clerk be convicted or shall confess, the Church ought no longer to protect him.
4. It is not lawful for archbishops, bishops and beneficed clergy of the realm to depart from the kingdom without the lord king’s leave. And if they do so depart, they shall, if the king so please, give security that neither in going, nor in tarrying, nor in returning will they contrive evil or injury against the king or the kingdom.
5. Excommunicates ought not to give pledges of security for future good behaviour nor take oaths, but only to give sufficient pledge of security to abide by the judgment of the Church in order to obtain absolution.
6. Laymen ought not to be accused save by accredited and lawful accusers and witnesses in the presence of the bishop, in such wise, however, that the archdeacon may not lose his right nor anything due to him thereby. And if the accused persons be such that no one either wishes or dares to prefer a charge against them, the sheriff, when requested by the bishop, shall cause twelve lawful men of the neighbourhood or township to swear before the bishop that they will manifest the truth of the matter to the best of their knowledge.
7. No one who holds of the king in chief nor any of the officers of his demesne shall be excommunicated, nor the lands of any one of them placed under interdict, unless application shall first be made to the lord king, if he be in the realm, or to his chief justice, if he be abroad, that right may be done him; in such wise that matters pertaining to the royal court shall be concluded there, and matters pertaining to the ecclesiastical court shall be sent thither to be dealt with.
8. With regard to appeals, if they should arise, they should proceed from the archdeacon to the bishop, and from the bishop to the archbishop. And if the archbishop should fail to do justice, the case must finally be brought to the lord king, in order that by his command the dispute may be determined in the archbishop’s court, in such wise that it may proceed no further without the assent of the lord king.
9. If a dispute shall arise between a clerk and a layman, or between a layman and a clerk, in respect of any holding which the clerk desires to treat as free alms, but the layman as lay fee, it shall be determined by the recognition of twelve lawful men through the deliberation, and in the presence of the king’s chief justice, whether the holding pertains to free alms or to lay fee. And if it be judged to pertain to free alms, the plea shall be heard in the ecclesiastical court; but if to lay fee, it shall be heard in the king’s court, unless both of them shall claim from the same bishop or baron. But if each of them appeal concerning this fief to the same bishop or baron, the plea shall be heard in the latter’s court, in such wise that he who was originally in possession shall not lose possession by reason of the recognition that has been made, until the matter has been settled by the plea.
10. If any one of a city or castle or borough or demesne manor of the lord king be cited by archdeacon or bishop for any offence for which he is obliged to make answer to them, and he refuse to give satisfaction at their citations, it is highly proper to place him under interdict; but he ought not to be excommunicated until application has been made to the chief officer of the lord king in that town, in order that it may be adjudged meet for him to make satisfaction. But if the king’s officer fail to act in this, he himself shall be at the mercy of the lord king, and thereafter the bishop shall be allowed to coerce thc accused by ecclesiastical justice.
11. Archbishops, bishops and all beneficed clergy of the realm, who hold of the king in chief, have their possessions from the lord king by barony and are answerable for them to the king’s justices and officers; they observe and perform all royal rights and customs and, like other barons, ought to be present at the judgments of the king’s court together with the barons, until a case shall arise of judgment concerning mutilation or death.
12. Whell an archbishopric or bishopric is vacant, or any abbey or priory of the king’s demesne, it ought to be in his own hand, and he shall receive from it a revenues and profits as part of his demesne. And when the time has come to provide for the church, the lord king ought to summon the more important of the beneficed clergy of the church, and the election ought to take place in the lord king’s chapel with the assent of the lord king and the advice of the clergy of the realm whom he shall summon for this purpose. And the clerk elected shall there do homage and fealty to the lord king as his liege lord for his life and limbs and his earthly honour, saving his order, before he is consecrated.
13 . If any of the magnates of the realm should forcibly prevent an archbishop or bishop or archdeacon from doing justice to himself or to his people, the lord king ought to bring him to justice. And if perchance anyone should forcibly dispossess the lord king of his right, the archbishops, bishops and archdeacons ought to bring him to justice, so that he may make satisfaction to the lord king.
14. The chattels of those who are under forfeiture to the king may not be retained by any church or cemetery against the king’s justice, because they belong to the king, whether they be found within the churches or without.
15. Pleas of debt due under pledge of faith, or even without pledge of faith, are to lie in the justice of the king.
16. Sons of villeins ought not to be ordained without the consent of the lord on whose land they are known to have been born. This record of the aforesaid customs and privileges of the crown was drawn up by the archbishops, bishops, earls, barons, nobles and elders of the realm at Clarendon on the fourth day previous to the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the presence of the lord, Henry, and of his father the lord king. There are, moreover, many other great customs and privileges pertaining to holy Mother-Church and to the lord king and his barons of the realm which are not contained in this document. Let them be safe for holy Church and for our lord the king and his heirs and the barons of the realm. And let them be inviolably observed for ever and ever.