Statute of Gloucester
Statute of Gloucester is one of the most important pieces of legislation enacted in the Parliament of England
Parliament of England
The Parliament of England was the legislature of the Kingdom of England. In 1066, William of Normandy introduced a feudal system, by which he sought the advice of a council of tenants-in-chief and ecclesiastics before making laws...

 during the reign of Edward I. The Statute, proclaimed at Gloucester
Gloucester is a city, district and county town of Gloucestershire in the South West region of England. Gloucester lies close to the Welsh border, and on the River Severn, approximately north-east of Bristol, and south-southwest of Birmingham....

 in August 1278, was crucial to the development of English law
English law
English law is the legal system of England and Wales, and is the basis of common law legal systems used in most Commonwealth countries and the United States except Louisiana...


The Statute of Gloucester, and the ensuing legal hearings, were a means by which Edward I tried to recover regal authority that had been alienated during the reign of his father, King Henry III
Henry III of England
Henry III was the son and successor of John as King of England, reigning for 56 years from 1216 until his death. His contemporaries knew him as Henry of Winchester. He was the first child king in England since the reign of Æthelred the Unready...

 (1216-1272) who had been made a virtual tool of the baron
Baron is a title of nobility. The word baron comes from Old French baron, itself from Old High German and Latin baro meaning " man, warrior"; it merged with cognate Old English beorn meaning "nobleman"...

ial party led by Simon de Montfort
Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester
Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester, 1st Earl of Chester , sometimes referred to as Simon V de Montfort to distinguish him from other Simon de Montforts, was an Anglo-Norman nobleman. He led the barons' rebellion against King Henry III of England during the Second Barons' War of 1263-4, and...

. Edward I recognized the need for the legal “reform,” and considered the Parliament as a means of buying popular support by encouraging loyal subjects to petition the King against his own barons and ministers.

The Statute of 1278 provided for several important legal amendments, including a modification of novel disseisin (one of the most popular forms of action for the recovery of land which had been seized illegally). It challenged baronial rights through a revival of the system of general eyres (royal justices to go on tour throughout the land), and through a significant increase in the number of pleas of quo warranto (literally “By what warrant?”) to be heard by such eyres. In such proceedings individual barons and franchise holders were expected either to show the King’s judges proper legal title by which they possessed their rights to private jurisdiction
Private jurisdiction
Private jurisdiction is the right of an indiviual or a legal entity to establish courts of law. It was prevalent during feudalism.A franchise, such as a corporation, a jurisdiction, or a right to collect certain tolls or taxes, was, in effect, a kind of property: an "incorporeal hereditament"...

s, or to lose such rights.

It is the first statute recorded in a Statute Roll
Statute Roll
Statute Roll is a manuscript parchment roll with the text of statutes passed by the medieval Parliament of England. Statute Rolls are also called Tower Rolls since they were kept in Wakefield Tower of the Tower of London until the 1850s....


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