Westminster, Statutes of

Westminster, Statutes of,

in medieval English history, legislative promulgations made by Edward IEdward I,
1239–1307, king of England (1272–1307), son of and successor to Henry III. Early Life

By his marriage (1254) to Eleanor of Castile Edward gained new claims in France and strengthened the English rights to Gascony.
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 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 entailentail,
in law, restriction of inheritance to a limited class of descendants for at least several generations. The object of entail is to preserve large estates in land from the disintegration that is caused by equal inheritance by all the heirs and by the ordinary right of free
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) 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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