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froin the vassal in cases of distress happening to furnish a certain number for the service of the his lord, now became an unavoidable tax. An sovereign; and in those from the nobility to their aid formerly was demanded when the superior's vassals, the like service was required. Even the eldest daughter was married, when his eldest son commons who had grants from the crown fur was knighted, or when he himself was taken pri- nished a certain proportion of knights. The soner in battle. These were the only legal causes force of the nation was called into action by of making a demand of this kind : but in the grants in capite, or from the sovereign and no subsequent times of degeneracy, the most fri. bility. A numerous and powerful army was in volous pretences were made use of by the prince stantly assembled, and at once ready for action to oppress the lords, and by the lords to oppress Of this army the king was the general, the no their vassals; demanding subsidies at pleasure, bility the officers, and the vassals soldiers; the which their inferiors were always obliged to com- whole being exactly arranged, and capable o ply with. Lastly, the escheat, which in former entering upon any expedition withou' the least times, took place only in cases of cowardice, delay. Thus a remedy was found in some mea. treachery, or some other heinous crime, was now sure for the weakness of the feudal sovereigns inflicted on the most trifling occasions. If the but though the knight's tenure could accomplis! vassal happened to be too long in attending the this, it could not bring back the former affection court of his superior to take the oath of fealty; and cordiality, which had subsisted between the if he committed any action which could in the various ranks of people. On the contrary, by least be construed an infringement of the oath; uniting them more firmly to one another by legali if he neglected to give his lord warning of any ties, it rendered matters rather worse. But the op misfortune which he might suppose was about to pression originating from the operation of the befal him; revealed any thing concerning him; feudal incidents, still continued with unremitting made love to his sister or daughter, &c.; or violence. The grants of knight's tenure were even if he should grant a tenure of land to ano- attended with the same oaths of homage and ther person in form different from that in which fealty ; the same incidents of relief, wardship he held his own; all these, nay others still more marriage, aid, and escheat, with the feudal tenures ridiculous, were judged sufficient reasons for the The princes promised to abate somewhat of thei: superior to seize on the estate of the vassal, and rigor in demanding the feudal perquisites, bu involve him and his family in ruin. Notwith- did not keep their word. Laws were occa standing these oppressions, however, the vassal sionally promulgated, and for some time had ar: was still obliged to submit to his lord; to own effect; but palliatives soon became ineffectual bim as his superior; and even, in appearance, to and a new state of weakness began to commence pay him the same respect as formerly, when the The two remarkable eras in the feudal history greatest unanimity and cordial affection subsisted are, the time before the invention of knight-ser between them. Still he was obliged to perform vice (See Knight), and that during which is 1 the same military service; because failure in that continued. Fiefs were in a state of Aluctuatior respect would have subjected him to a forfeiture from the destruction of the Roman empire till of lands according to the original agreement. A the ninth century; but they were rendered pervast difference, however, now took place in the petual in France about A. D. 877, and wert valor and activity which inspired the army. The generally become so in every country of Europe vassals, forced into the field with desponding about the beginning of the tenth. Du Cange hearts, were indifferent as to the success of the vocc Militia, gives us an example of a knight-fee cause in which they were engaged, and fre- in A. D. 880. By the year 987, when Hugh quently obstructed instead of forwarding the ope- Capet was raised to the throne of France, knight rations of the field. Hence the sovereign found service was become general all over Europe, and himself embarrassed; and, though nominally at was introduced into England after having made the head of a martial and powerful people, was its appearance in other countries. Dr. Stuart frequently unable to effect any thing by reason of informs us, that it appears from the records of. the mutual hatred and dissension which every Malcolm IV. in 1153, that knight-service was where prevailed.
known in Scotland, and that it was a novelty at Thus the feudal states of Europe became un- that time. He thinks it even probable that it was naturally weak: a remedy was necessary; and known in the time of David I. In England, it is remarkable, that the same remedy was ap- however, there have been several doubts and plied all over the continent. This was, the enquiries among the learned concerning the inmaking fiefs hereditary, which till now had only troduction of the feudal laws. Many are of been granted for a long term of years; and, in opinion that they were first introduced by William return, burdening the lands with a certain num- the Conqueror; and, consequently, that they ber of soldiers, which were not to be refused were entirely unknown to the Anglo-Saxons: but upon any pretence whatever. Hence was de- others think, that they existed among the latter rived the tenure of knight-service. A certain in the same form under which they were conportion of land, burdened with the service of tinued by the Normans. Dr. Stuart is of opinion one soldier or knight, was called a knight's fee; that the Saxons who settled in England could and thus an estate, furnishing any number of not be strangers to fiefs. He supposes the con. soldiers, was said to contain as many knight's formity of manners, which undoubtedly prevailed fees; so that now the manors, baronies, &c., be-between the Saxons and other barbarians, a suihcame powerful according to the number of sol- cient proof that the hereditary grant of land, as cliers they were bound to furnish. In the grants well as the Auctuating state of feudal tenures from the crown, the nobility were obliged to which preceded it, was known to the former.
Collateral proofs are derived from the spirit and an exact account o all the landed property of
tenure of the Anglo-Saxon laws, but especially the kingdom. Hence it is to be concluded, not at
frota the grants of hereditary estates on condition that William introduced fiefs into England, as of military service. The condition of fiefs under some have imagined, but that he brought them the Anglo-Saxons was very different from what it to their ultimate state of perfectiou by the introwas afterwards. In their times we find no men duction of knight-service. This is evident from tion made of those oppressions of which so much the laws enacted during his reign. In these it
notice has already been taken ; and this may is not only mentioned that knight-service was enprie basily be accounted for from the alteration of acted, but that it was done expressly with the con*** the feudal spirit in different ages. During the sent of the common council of the nation; which ***** time that a warm and generous affection sub at that time was equivalent to an act of parlia€ 15.- sisted between the feudas superiors and vassals, ment. The invention of knight-service proved me the incidents were marks of generosity on the generally agreeable; for, as only a few of the
ore part and gratitude on the other; but as soon Anglo Saxon fiefs were hereditary, the advanceas fc' as variance had taken place, by reason of the ment of the rest to perpetuity, under the tenure of de los interested disposition which the introduction of knight-service, must have been accounted an acCreilusury produced, the same incidents became quisition of some importance; as not only aug
sources of the most flagrant oppression. This menting the grandeur and dignity of the sovereign,
#23 remarkably the case in the time of William but securing the independence of the subject, and (kb the Conqueror; and, during the reign of king improving his property, In the happy state of OLE E John, matters were come to such a crisis, that the feudal association, there was indeed no ne2. the people every where complained loudly, and cessity for the knight's fee; but when the dis
demanded the restoration of the laws of Edward cordance and oppression so often mentioned the Confessor. "What the laws of Edward the began to take place, it became then necessary to Confessor were,' says Mr. Hume, which the point out particularly every duty of the vassal,
English every reign, during a century and a half, as well as of the lord; and this was fully done che desired so passionately to have restored, is much by the invention of knight-service. The nobles
disputed by antiquarians; and our ignorance of possessed duchies, baronies, and earldoms; to them seems one of the greatest defects of the which extensive possessions were divided into as 21 - English history. Dr. Stuart has offered an ex many fees, each of them to furnish a knight for Laita planation, in a conjecture, that by the laws or the service of the king, or of the superior : so that
customs of the Confessor, that condition of every feudal state could command a numerous er det er felicity was expressed which had been enjoyed army and militia to support and defend it in case
danng the fortunate state of the feudal associ of any emergency. The knights were also bound Baton. The cordiality, equality, and indepen- to assemble in complete armour whenever the
dence which then prevailed among all ranks in superior thought proper to call, and to hold society continued to be remembered in less pros
themselves in readiness whenever the king or perous times, and occasioned an ardent desire superior found it convenient to take the field; for the revival of those laws and usages which were so that thus the militia might be marched at the the sources of so much happiness. Besides the shortest notice to defend or support the honor of great distinction between the state of fiefs under the nation. The knights were usually armed with
the Anglo-Saxons and under the Normans, they a helmet, sword, lance, and shield; and each My were no less distinguished by the introduction of was obliged to keep a horse. This last requisite
kuch-service. Hitherto the refinement of the was owing to the contempt into which the infanLaglis' had been obstructed by the invasion of try had fallen, through the prevalence of tournathe Danes, and the insular situation of the king- ments and luxuries of various kinds, though it dom; but after the Norman conquest the fiefs was by means of the infantry that the barbarians were made perpetual. Still, however, the knight's had criginally distinguished themselves in their bee and knight-service were altogether unknown. war, with the Romans, and become able to cope William, the sixth duke of Normandy, was well with these celebrated warriors. All proprietors aquainted with every thing relating to fiefs; of fees or tenants by knight-service fought on for that duchy had experienced all the variety foot : the cavalry were distinguished by the name inodental to them from the time of its being of battle ; and the success of every encounter was Tatted to Rollo by Charles the Simple, A.D. supposed to depend on them alone. They only 12 80 1066, when William conquered England. were completely armed ; the infantry, being furOn this event a number of forfeitures took place nished by the villages under the jurisdiction of unong those who had followed the fortune of the barons, had at first only bows and slings; Harold II. Their estates were to be disposed though afterwards they were found worthy of * at the pleasure of the conqueror; and it was much greater attention. While the feudal assam meitura) to suppose that he would follow the ciation remained in perfection, the superior could method practised in his own country. Hence at any time command the military service of his the origin of knight-service in England. A grant vassals ; but in the subsequent degeneracy this or tand, to any person whatever, was estimated service could neither be depended upon when
a certain number of knights' fees; and each wanted, nor was it of the same advantage when if these required the service of a knight. The obtained as formerly. The invention of knightJunts of lands were even renewed to the old te- service tended in a great degree to remedy this Bänts under this tenure ; so that by degrees the inconvenience. Those who were possessed of whole military people in the kingdom acquiesced knight's fees were now obliged to remain forty
11. To accomplish this, Domesday Book is days in the field at their own expense; and this supposed to have been compiled, which contained without exception, from the great crown vassals
10 the smallest feudatories; but, if longer service king, as the most dignified person in the conu- si le port was required, the prince was obliged to pay his munity, and this allotment was styled his da ei saan troops. In those times, however, when the fate main; while the shares of citizens and warrior, det, de of nations was frequently decided by a single which were likewise in proportion to the meri battle, a continuance in the field for forty days or dignity of each, constituted what was called dol was sufficient for ordinary occasions Thus mat- allodiality. But, as it often happened that all the 3 prises ters seemed once more to be restored nearly to land was not exhausted by these partitions, what pada their former state. It was now, as much as ever, the remained was considered as the property of the interest of the nation to act with unanimity in community; and in the barbaric codes was called its defence, not only against foreign enemies, but the lands of the fisc. In such German nations against the tyranny of the prince over his sub-as had thus obtained a settlement, it was ne di jects, or of one part of the subjects over the cessary that there should be a more close connexother. New inconveniencies, however, soon be- ion betwixt the sovereign and the chiefs, as well gan to take place, owing to the gradual improve- as between the chiefs and people, than in others
. on ments in life and the refinement of manners. This was effected by means of the lands of the From the first institution of military service, a fisc; for of these the sovereign took possession, we fine had been accepted instead of actual appear- dealing them out to the chiefs under the burdea ance in the field. In the times of barbarity, of appearing in arms whenever he should please 1 however, when men accounted rapine and blood- to call; while the chiefs in like manner dealt out shed their only glory, there were but few who lands to those called their retainers, who were made an offer of this compensation; but as wealth also obliged to supply them with military assistand luxury increased, and the manners of the ance in cases oi necessity. Hence a political unei sale people became softer, a general unwillingness of system was founded, which had a prodigious meiner following the army into the field became also effect on society in all those countries where it prevalent. A new tenure, called escuage, was prevailed. The intention and tendency of this therefore introduced ; by which the vassal was system was to render the nation independent both only obliged to pay his superior a sum of money at home and ab ad; for, while the people were annually instead of attending him into the field. all armed in their common defence, individuals See Escuage, and KNIGHT-SERVICE. Hence were also properly guarded against the attacks of originated taxes and their misapplication; for, as despotisn. The power of the chiefs, who formal the king was lord paramount of the whole king- a regular nobility, was a counterpoise to that of dom, it thence happened that the whole escuage the sovereign; while the number of the retainers money collected throughout the nation centered and vassals, constituting the greatness and power in him. The princes, then, instead of recruiting of the nobility, was a proper barrier against aris their armies, frequently filled their coffers with tocratical oppression; for a chief who oppressal the money, or dissipated it otherwise, hiring his vassals evidently acted against his own irmercenaries to defend their territories when tercst. threatened with danger. These being composed The feudal system, it has been well observal of the dregs of the people, and dishanded at the by another writer, was originally grounded ou end of every campaign, filled all Europe with a the universal principles of self-defence, and the disorderly banditii, who frequently proved very necessity of relinquishing a portion of our indidangerous to society. To avoid such inconve- vidual rights for the public security. Every niencies, standing armies were introduced, and freeman, therefore, under this system, upon taxations began to be raised in every European ceiving a portion of the lands which were divided, kingdom. New inconveniencies, however, arose. bound himself to appear in arms against the The sovereigns in most of these kingdoms having enemies of the community. This military service acquired the right of taxation, as well as the com was the condition upon which he received and mand of the military power, became completely held his lands ; and, as they were exempted from despotic : but in England the sovereign was de- every other burden, that tenure, among a war: prived of this right by Magna Charta, which was like people, was deemed both easy extorted from him (See ENGLAND), so that though The king, or general, who led them to conquest
, allowed to command his armies, he could only pay had the largest portion allotted to him; and be them by the voluntary contributions of the people, parcelled it out among those who entered into an or their submitting to such taxations as were obligation to bear arms in his defence. Ils virtually imposed by themselves.
chief officers imitated his example, in disunThe author of A View of Society in Europe, buting portions of lands among their depen(book I. chap. ii. sect. 1). has traced the remote dents, upon the same condition. Thus a feudal sources of the feudal laws in an elegant and con- kingdom resembled a military establishment cise manner. Tacitus informs us, he observes, rather than a civil institution.
The names that the individuals of each of the German na of a soldier and a freeman were synony tions cultivated by turns a tract of land pro- mous. Every proprietor of land, gist with a portionable to their number, for the use of the sword, was ready to march at the summons of whole; after which each individual received such bis superior, and to take the field against the an allotment of the cultivated tract as his dignity common enemy. The
, howrequired. These nations had not altered their
ever, though admirably calculated for defence political principles at the time they nverran the against the assaults of any foreign power, was Roman empire and hence the provinces of it defective in its provisions for the interior ander were then divided after the same manner.
The of society. The bond of political union was er most considerable allotment was bestowed on the tremely feeble; and the sources of anarchy were
fel a singumerable. The powerful vassals of the crown bours. It was this inefficiency of the feudal
soon extorted a confirmation for life of those militia, perhaps, that saved Europe during the con grants of land which, being at first purely gra- middle ages from the danger of universal monarPapatuitous
, had been bestowed only during pleasure. chy. In times, when princes had little notion that They then succeeded in having them converted of confederacies for mutual protection, it is hard tem into hereditary possessions; and at length in to say, what might not have been the successes brote rendering them unalienable. The crown vassals, of an Otho the Great, a Frederic Barbarossa, or 12 añer having secured the possession of their lands a Philip Augustus, if they could have wielded
and dignities, were led by the feudal institutions the whole force of their subjects whenever their 2010 new, and still more dangerous encroachments ambition required. If an empire equally exten
on the prerogatives of the sovereign. They ob- sive with that of Charlemagne, and supported by beans tained the
supreme jurisdiction, both military despotism, had been formed about the a ce civil and criminal
, within their own territories; twelfth or thirteenth centuries, the seeds of compeople the right of coining money ; together with the merce and liberty, just then beginning to shoot, At za privilege of carrying on war against their private would have perished; and Europe, reduced to a
enemies in their own name, and by their own barbarous servitude, might have fallen before es canthority. Subordination was almost lost, and the free barbarians of Tartary. eredes i persons of superior rank aspired at indepen If we look at the feudal polity as a scheme
dence. Hence a kingdom, considerable in name of civil freedom, it bears a noble countenance. ROX and extent, was broken into as many separate To the feudal law it is owing, that the very de principalities as it contained powerful barons. names of right and privilege were not swept
A thousand causes of jealousy and discord sprang away, as in Asia, by the desolating hand ca ap araong them, and gave rise to as many wars. power. The tyranny which, on every favorable
Every country in Europe, wasted or kept in con- moment, was breaking through all barriers, dentinual alarm during these endless contests, was would have rioted without control, if, when the
billed with castles and places of strength, erected people were poor and disunited, the nobility had for the security of the inhabitants, not against not been brave and free. So far as the sphere foreign force, but against internal hostilities. of feudality extended, it diffused the spirit of lateed an almost universal anarchy prevailed. liberty, and the notions of private right. Every The guilty escaped punishment, and the innocent one, I think, will acknowledge this, who consicould not find protection. Such was the state of ders the limitations of the services of vassalage, Europe with
respect to the interior administra- so cautiously marked in those law-books which tion of government from the seventh to the are the records of customs, the reciprocity of obeleventh century. This system likewise prevented ligation between the lord and his tenant, the nations from acting with vigor in their external consent required in every measure of a legislaoperations. Besides, the feudal anarchy had a tive or general nature, the security, above all, fatal influence on the character and improvement which every vassal found in the administration of the human mind. Without the protection of of justice by his peers, and even (we may in this a regular government, and the certainty of per- sense say) in the trial by combat. The bulk of sogal security, it cannot be expected that men the people, it is true, were degraded by serviwill make any progress in the arts and sciences, tude; but this had no connexion with the feudal cap aim at attaining refinement in taste or manners. la less than a century after the barbarous na “The peace and good order of society were trois settled in their new conquests, almost all not promoted by this system. Though private the effects of the knowledge and civility which wars did not originate in the feudal customs, it Lie Romans had spread through Europe dis- is impossible to doubt that they were perappeared. The human mind, neglected, un- petuated by so convenient an institution, which cultivated, and depressed, sunk into the most indeed owed its universal establishment to no profound ignorance. The inhabitants of Europe other cause. And as predominant habits of during this period were not only strangers to the warfare are totally ireconcileable with those of its which embellish a polished age, but desti- industry, not merely by the immediate works of tule of the virtues which abound among people destruction which render its efforts unavailing, to continue in a simple state.
but through that contempt of peaceful occupaThe ablest modern picture of the advantages
tions which they produce, the feudal system al disadvantages of the feudal system is found must have been intrinsically adverse to the acperhaps in Mr. Hallar's work on the Middle cumulation of wealth, and the improvement of ps. He thus exhibits both sides of the subject. those arts, which mitigate the evil or abridge The utility of any form of polity may be es- the labors of mankind. tunated, hy its effect upon national greatness
• But as a school of moral discipline, the feuand security, upon civil liberty and private dal institutions were perhaps most to be value:1. fants, upon the tranquillity and order of society, Society had sunk, for several centuries after the up a the increase and disfusion of wealth, or dissolution of the Roman empire, into a condiupon the general tone of moral sentiment and tion of utter depravity; where, if any vices could terwy; The feudal constitution was certainly, be selected as more eminently characteristic than as has been observed already, little adapted for others, they were falsehood, treachery, and inthe defence of a mighty kingdom, far less for gratitude. In slowly purging off the lees of this schemes of conquest. But, as it prevailed alike extreme corruption, the feudal spirit exerted its in several adjacent countries, none had any thing ameliorating influence. Violation of faith stud to lear from the military superiority of its neigh
jrst in the catalogue of crimes, most repugnant
to the very essence of a feudal tenure, most into the hous of Symount, and modir of Symoundis severely and promptly avenged, most branded wiif • was holdun with grete feveris. Wiclif. Luk. 4. by general infamy. The feudal law-books
Duncan is in his grave; breathe throughout a spirit of honorable obli After life's fitful fever he sleeps well. gation. The feudal course of jurisdiction pro
Shakspeare. moted, what trial by peers is peculiarly calculated
The white band of a lady fever thee!
Shake to look on't. to promote, a keener feeling and readier percep
Id. Antony and Cleopatra, tion of moral as well as of legal distinctions.
Thou madest thine enemies shake, as if the world
Were feverous, and did tremble. Id. Coriolanus. And as the judgment and sympathy of mankind
It hath been noted by the ancients, that southern are seldom mistaken in these great points of
winds, blowing much, without rain, do cause a fecer. veracity and justice, except through the tempo- ous disposition of the year; but with rain not. rary success of crimes, or the want of a definite
Bacon's Natural History. standard of right, they gradually recovered them
O Rome, thy head selves, when law precluded the one, and supplied Is drowned in sleep, and all thy body fev'ry. the other. In the reciprocal services of lord
Ben Jonson's Catiline. and vassal, there was ample scope for every Those patients that have inured themselves to a set magnanimous and disinterested energy. The course of me icinal evacuations, if they intermit their heart of man, when placed in circumstances
springs and falls, fall into feverous distempers. which have a tendency to excite them, will sel
Bp. Hall. dom be deficient in such sentiments. No occa
All feverous kinds, sions could be more favorable, than the pro
Convulsions, epilepsies, fierce catarrhs. Milton.
Should not a lingering fever be removed, tection of a faithful supporter, or the defence of
Because it long has raged within my blood ? a beneficent suzerain, against such powerful ag
Dryden. gression, as left little prospect except of sharing Her blood all fevered, with a furious leap, in his ruin.
She sprung from bed distracted in her mind. Id. From these feelings, engendered by the feu
We toss and turn about our feverish will, dal relation, has sprung up the peculiar senti When all our ease must come by lying still; ment of personal reverence and attachment
For all the happiness mankind can gain, towards a sovereign, which we denominate
Is not in pleasure, but in rest from pain. Id. loyalty; alike distinguishable from the stupid : More fevers and surfeits are got by people's drinkdevotion of eastern slaves, and from the abstracting when they are bot than by any one thing I know.
Locke. respect with which free citizens regard their
To other climates beasts and birds retire, chief magistrate. Men who had been used to
And feverish nature burns in her own fire. swear fealty, to profess subjection, to follow, at
Creech. home and in the field, a feudal superior and his When an animal that gives suck turns feverish, that family, easily transferred the same allegiance to is, its juices more alkaline, the milk turns from its nathe monarch. It was a very powerful feeling, tive genuine whiteness to yellow. which could make the bravest men put up with
Arbuthnot on Aliments. slights and ill treatment at the hands of their A feverish disorder disabled me. Swift to Pope. sovereign; or call forth all the energies of dis Common fever few is the sort used in medicine, and interested exertion for one whom they never is found wild in many parts of England. Miller. saw, and in whose character there was nothing A light feveret, or an old quartan ague, is not a to esteem. In ages when the rights of the com- sufficient excuse for non-appearance. Ayliffe. munity were unfelt, this sentiment was one great Sincere the unaltered bliss her charms impart, preservative of society; and, though collateral Sedate the enlivening ardours they inspire ; or even subservient to more enlarged principles. She bids no transient rapture thrill the heart, it is still indispensable to the tranquillity and
She wakes no feveri:h gust of fierce desire.
Beattie. permanence of every monarchy. In a moral view, loyalty has scarcely perhaps less tendency Fever. See MEDICINE, Index. The ancients to refine and elevate the heart than patriotism deified the diseases as well as the passions and itself; and holds a middle place in the scale of affections of men. Virgil places them in the human inotives, as they ascend from the grosser entrance into hell, En. vi. 273. See. FEBRIS. inducements of self-interest, to the furtherance FEVERSHAM, or FavERSUAM, a marketof general happiness, and conformity to the pur- town of Kent, seated on a branch of the river poses of Infinite Wisdom.'
Thames, which is navigable for boys. It was a
royal demesne A. D. 811, and called in Kenulf's FE’VER, n. s. & v. a.) Sax. fefen; French, charter the King's Little Town. It was inhabited FE'VER-COOLING, adj. fuvre, fiebure ; Latin, by the Britons long before the invasion by FE'VER-WEAKENED 1.febris. 'Adisease cha
Cæsar. In 903 king Athelstan held a great FE'VERET, n. S. racterised by an in
council here. King Stephen erected a stately FE'VERFEW, crease of heat, an ac
abbey, in 1147, whose abbots sat in parliaFE'VERISH, adj. celerated pulse, a foul
ment; and, he was buried in it, with Maud, FE'VERISHNESS, n. s. tongue, and an imFE'VEROUS, adj.
his queen, and Eustace his son. Two mean gate! paired state of several
houses are all that now remain of it. The town FE'VERY.
I functions of the body was first incorporated by the title of the Barons -Ilooper. See Medicine. Feveret is a diminutive of fever; a slight fever. Feverfew, a
of Feversham, afterwards by llenry VIII., with
that of the mayor, jurats, and commonalty. I plant, a species of matricaria.
mayor holds a court of session twice a year, at And Jhesus roos up fro the synagoge : and entrido which all offenders committed within the limits