Westminster, Statutes of

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Westminster, Statutes of

Statutes of Westminster, in medieval English history, legislative promulgations made by Edward I in Parliament at Westminster. Westminster I (1275) practically constitutes a code of law; it covers a wide range, incorporating much unwritten law into the written code, and is a sweeping ordinance against administrative abuses. Westminster II (1285) is similar in purpose and scope; it is especially remarkable for its judicial reforms and for the clause De donis conditionalibus, which fostered the entailing of estates (see entail) and thus fundamentally altered English landholding. Westminster III (1290), also called Quia emptores, provided that in the case of alienation of an estate or part of an estate the new holder should hold directly from the overlord rather than from the old holder. Thus, the statute stopped the process of subinfeudation.

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