The Assizes of Clarendon (1166) and Northampton (1176)

Refers to AQA A2 History

Angevin Kings Module

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  • Created by: Bethany
  • Created on: 17-04-14 20:43
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  • The Assizes of Clarendon (1166) and Northampton (1176)
    • Clarendon
      • Background
        • Royal justice in the first decade in Henry II's reign was no different to that in Henry I's reign.
        • It was not until the King and his barons met at Clarendon in 1166 that they made substantial modifications to customary law.
        • Sheriffs and justices were ordered to enquire into those supspected of murder, robbery or theft, through juries consisting of representatives of village communities.
          • They testified under oath to all crimes committed in their neighborhood
          • BUT Juries were NOT NEW
      • What was new?
        • Insisted testifying under oath should become standard procedure everywhere.
        • Insisted juries should testify about crimes commited since Henry II became King.
        • Serious crimes were to be but on trail by water, no the shire court. This was hardly fair of just.
        • Once a criminal was convicted, his lands passed back to his lords, but his homes and belongings were sold off by the sheriff and the money was sent to the treasury.
    • Northampton
      • The Assizes of Clarendon remained in force as long as they pleased the King,
      • Ten years after Clarendon, the assizes were re-enacted at the Assize of Northampton.
      • The procedures were gradually accepted as normal administration.


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