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F. LOCAL GOVERNMENT OUTSIDE THE TOWNS
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That in each county of England some of the greater men of the shire should be assigned keepers of the shire by the king’s commission, and that the ordinary keepers of the peace at present assigned, sheriffs, and all the people of the shires where they are assigned, shall be responsible to the great men to keep the peace, as if they were responsible to the body of the king himself. And that the great men should cause to come before them four men, and the provost of each town, and cause them to array the people of the towns, so that if armed men, or others of whom people have cause to be suspicious, pass through the town in companies, or otherwise, the townsmen should cause the hue and cry to be raised, and pursue them from town to town, and hundred to hundred, and from shire to shire, and arrest them and keep them safe, and shall certify the great men of this. And if it should happen that the men of the towns cannot arrest such wrong-doers, that they should certify the great men where they can be found; and the great men, with all the power of the shire, shall pursue them from shire to shire until they are taken. And let the great men have power to hear and determine both felonies committed by those who are thus arrested and taken, and also by those who are indicted before them. And they are also to punish those who disobey them…. These points were ordained by the earls, barons, and other great men, and read before our lord the king, and the prelates, knights of the shire, and people of the commons, and were pleasing to them all, and were fully assented and agreed by our lord the king, and the prelates, earls, barons, and other

great men, and also by the knights of the shire, and people of the commons. And also it was agreed and assented by our lord the king…that a proclamation should be made by the prelates and clergy in St Paul’s Church in London, and should be sent to all the bishops of England to proclaim, the form of which proclamation here follows.