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Medieval Sourcebook:
The Dialogue of the Exchequer: On The Forests, 1177


Book I, C.12.

Disciple: What is the forest of the King, and what is the reason for this name?

Master: The forest of the King is a safe lair for wild beasts; not of any kind of beast but of those of the woods only; not in any place whatsoever but only in certain places and in those suitable to the purpose; whence such a place is called a forest, the "o" having been changed from "e" as it was in "feresta," i.e., the place of wild beasts.

Disciple: Is there a forest of the King in every county?

Master: No. But in wooded counties where there are lairs for wild beasts and forage in abundance; it is immaterial who owns the woods, whether the King or a noble, the wild beasts are safe and may roam at will anywhere.

 


Source.

From: William Stubbs & H. W. C. Davis, eds., Select Charters of English Constitutional History, (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1913), p. 222, reprinted in Roy C. Cave & Herbert H. Coulson, A Source Book for Medieval Economic History, (Milwaukee: The Bruce Publishing Co., 1936; reprint ed., New York: Biblo & Tannen, 1965), pp. 73-74.

Scanned by Jerome S. Arkenberg, Cal. State Fullerton. The text has been modernized by Prof. Arkenberg.


This text is part of the Internet Medieval Source Book. The Sourcebook is a collection of public domain and copy-permitted texts related to medieval and Byzantine history.

Unless otherwise indicated the specific electronic form of the document is copyright. Permission is granted for electronic copying, distribution in print form for educational purposes and personal use. If you do reduplicate the document, indicate the source. No permission is granted for commercial use.

© Paul Halsall, September 1998
halsall@murray.fordham.edu