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Secret Societies of the Middle Ages

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Author Topic: Secret Societies of the Middle Ages  (Read 2213 times)
Trena Alloway
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« Reply #180 on: February 04, 2009, 01:22:34 pm »

sitting. This, however, is all mere fiction; for the place where the court was to be held was expressly mentioned in every summons.

The Fehm-courts (like the German courts in general) were holden on a Tuesday *. If on this day the accused, or his attorney, appeared at the appointed place, and no court was holden, the summons abated or lost its force; the same was the case when admission was refused to him and his suite, a circumstance which sometimes occurred. But should he not appear to the first summons, he was fined the first time thirty shillings, the second time sixty, the third time he was forfehmed. The court had however the power of granting a further respite of six weeks and three days previous to passing this last severe sentence. This term of grace was called the King's Dag, or the Emperor Charles's Day of Grace.

The plea of necessary and unavoidable absence was, however, admitted in all cases, and the Fehm-law distinctly recognised four legal impediments to appearance, namely, imprisonment, sickness, the service of God (that is, pilgrimage), and the public service. The law also justly added the following cases:--inability to cross a river for want of a bridge or a boat, or on account of a storm; the loss of his horse when the accused was riding to the court, so that he could not arrive in time; absence from the country on knightly, mercantile, or other honest occasions; and lastly, the service of his lord or master. In short, any just excuse was admitted. As long as the impediment continued in operation all proceedings against the accused were void. If the impediment arose from his being in prison, or in the public service, or that of his master, he was to notify the same., by letter sealed with his seal, or else by his own oath


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