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Hunters and PoachersA Social and Cultural History of Unlawful Hunting in England 1485-1640$
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Roger B. Manning

Print publication date: 1993

Print ISBN-13: 9780198203247

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198203247.001.0001

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The Purlieu Men and the Ancient Constitution

The Purlieu Men and the Ancient Constitution

(p.83) 4 The Purlieu Men and the Ancient Constitution
Hunters and Poachers


Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the issue of lawful and unlawful hunting in medieval England in the case of the purlieu men. It explains that Tudor monarchs had respected the rights of purlieu men and understood the legal constitution imperatives for limiting forest jurisdiction, despite the fact that their rangers often had less respect for those rights. The chapter discusses the purlieu men's assertion of their rights by hunting the royal deer and resisting the royal rangers and keepers, while following a parallel course of litigation against forest and game officials who trespassed upon their property. It suggests that the cases of the Waltham Forest and Cranborne Chase purlieu men clearly demonstrate that the prerogative and equity court were clearly more responsive to royal pressure to protect the game prerogative.

Keywords:   hunting, medieval England, purlieu men, forest jurisdiction, royal deer, litigation, Waltham Forest, Cranborne Chase, game prerogative

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