1379: 2 Richard 2 c. 3: Debtors’ fraudulent deeds.

1379: 2 Richard 2 c. 3: Fraudulent deeds made by debtors to avoid their creditors, shall be void.

ITEM, in case of debt, where the debtors make feigned gifts and feoffments of their goods and lands to their friends and other, and after withdraw themselves, and flee into places of holy church privileged, and there hold them a long time, and take the profit of their said lands and goods so given by fraud and collusion, whereby their creditors have been long and yet be delayed of their debts and recovery, wrongfully and against good faith and reason: it is ordained and established, That after that the said creditors have thereof brought their writs of debt, and thereupon a Capias awarded, and the sheriff shall make his return, that he hath not taken the said persons because of such places privileged, in which they be or shall be entered, then after such return made, another writ shall be granted and made to the sheriff, in which writ shall be comprised, that proclamation be made openly at the gate of the place so privileged, where such persons be entered, by five weeks continually, every week once, that the same person be at a certain day, comprised in the same writ, before the King’s justices, there to answer to the plaintiff of his demand: and upon this writ returned by the said sheriff, that proclamation is made in the said form, if the said persons called, come not in proper person nor by attorney, judgement shall be given against them upon the principal for their default. And out of the same judgement execution shall be, made of their goods and lands, being out of the place privileged, as well that is to say, of those lands and goods so given by collusion, as of any other out of the same franchise, after that such collusion or fraud be duly found in the same manner as that ought to have been, if no devise had been thereof made, notwithstanding the same devise.

But it is not the King’s mind, that by virtue of this statute any man be barred of his suit against such debtors by the common course of the law, before this present statute used.

Source: Pickering, Statutes at Large, volume 2.