1392: 16 Richard c.5: Statute of Praemunire

1392: 16 Richard c.5: Praemunire for purchasing bulls from Rome. The crown of England subject to none.

ITEM, Whereas the commons of the realm in this present parliament have shewed to our redoubted lord the King, grievously complaining, That whereas the said our lord the King, and all his liege people, ought of right, and of old time were wont to sue in the King’s court, to recover their presentments to churches, prebends, and other benefices of holy church, to the which they had right to present, the cognisance of plea, of which preferment belongeth only to the King’s court of the old right of his crown, used and approved in the time of all his progenitors Kings of England;

(2) and when judgment shall be given in the same court upon such a plea and presentment, the archbishops, bishops, and other spiritual persons which have institution of such benefices within their jurisdiction, be bound, and have made execution of such judgments by the King’s commandments of all the time aforesaid without interruption (for another lay-person cannot make such execution) and also be bound of right to make execution of many other of the Kings commandments, of which right the crown of England hath been peaceably seised, as well in the time of our said lord the King that now is, as in the time of all his progenitors till this day:

(3) but now of late divers processes be made by the bishop of Rome, and censures of excommunication upon certain bishops of England, because hey have made execution of such commandments, to the open dishersion of the said crown and destruction of our said lord the King, his law, and all his realm, if remedy be not provided.

(4) And also it is said, and a common clamour is made, that the said bishop of Rome hath ordained and purposed to translate some prelates of the same realm, some out of the realm, and some from one bishoprick into another within the same realm, without the King’s assent and knowledge, and without the assent of the prelates, which so shall be translated, which prelates be much profitable and necessary to our said lord the King, and to all his realm;

(5) by which translations (if they should be suffered) the statutes of the realm should be defeated and made void; and his said liege sages of his council, without his assent, and against his will, carried away and gotten out of his realm, and the substance and treasure of the realm shall be carried away, and so the realm destitute as well of council as of substance, to the final destruction of the same realm;

(6) and so the crown of England, which hath been so free at all times, that it hath been in no earthly subjection, but immediately subject to God in all things touching the regalty of the same crown, and to none other, should be submitted to the pope, and the laws and statutes of the realm by him defeated and avoided at his will, in perpetual destruction of the sovereignty of the King our lord, his crown, his regalty, and of all his realm, which God defend.

II. And moreover, the commons aforesaid say, That the said things so attempted be clearly against the Kings crown and his regalty, used and approved of the time of all his progenitors; wherefore they and all the liege commons of the same realm will stand with our said lord the King, and his said crown and his regalty, in the cases aforesaid, and in all other cases attempted against him, his crown, and his regalty in all points, to live and to die.

(2) And moreover they pray the King, and him require by way of justice, that he would examine all the lords in the parliament, as well spiritual as temporal severally, and all the states of the parliament, how they think of the cases aforesaid, which be so openly against the King’s crown, and in derogation of his regalty, and how they will stand the same cases with our lord the King, in upholding the rights of the said crown end regalty.

(3) Whereupon the lords temporal sorting demanded, have answered every one by himself, that the cases aforesaid be clearly in derogation of the King’s crown, and of his regalty, as it is well known, and hath been of a long time known, and that they will be with the same crown and regalty in these cases specially. And in all other cases which shall be attempted against the same crown and regalty in all points with all their power.

(4) And moreover it was demanded of the lords spiritual there being, and the procurators of others being absent, their advice and will in all these cases; which lords, that is to say, the archbhops, bishops, and other prelates, being in the said parliament severally examined, making protestations, that it is not their mind to deny, nor affirm, that the bishop of Rome may not excommunicate bishops, nor that he may make translation of prelates after the law of holy church, answered and said, That if any executions of processes made in the Kings court as before be made by any, and censures of excommunications to be made against any bishops of England, or any other of the King’s liege people, for that they have made execution of such commandments; and that if any executions of such translations be made of any prelates of the same realm, which prelates be very profitable and necessary to our said lord the King, and to his said realm, or that the sage people of his council, without his assent, and against his will, be removed and carried out of the realm, so that the substance and treasure of the realm may be consumed, that the same is against the King and his crown, as it is contained in the petition before named.

(5) And likewise the same procurators, every one by himself examined upon the said matters, have answered and said. in the name, and for their lords, as the said bishops have said and answered, and that the said lords spiritual will and ought to be with the King in these cases in lawfully maintaining of his crown, and in all other cases touching his crown and his regalty, as they be bound by their liegeance;

(6) whereupon our said lord the King, by the assent aforesaid, and at the request of his said commons, hath ordained and established, That if any purchase or pursue, or cause to be purchased or pursued in the court of Rome, or elsewhere, by any such translations, processes, and sentences of excommunications, bulls, instruments, or any other things whatsoever which touch the King, against him, his crown, and his regalty, or his realm, as is aforesaid, and they which bring within the realm, or them receive, or make thereof notification, or any other execution whatsoever within the same realm or without, that they, their notaries, procurators, maintainers, abettors, fautors, and counsellors, shall be put out of the King’s protection,

(7) and their lands and tenements, goods and chattels, forfeit to our lord the King;

(8) and that they be attached by their bodies, if they may be found, and brought before the King and his council, there to answer to the cases aforesaid,

(9) or that process be made against them by Premunire facias, in manner as it is ordained in other statutes of provisors,

(10) and other which do sue in any other court in derogation of the regalty of our lord the King.

Source: Pickering, Statutes At Large, volume 2.

Further reading: Wikipedia.