American law and culture is to a great extent grounded in English Common Law and English history. Here also, we can find examples to support an American right to keep and bear arms. King Henry II signed, in 1181 C.E., a law called the Assize of Arms. This law was passed in great part to allow for the rapid formation and collection of a militia for defense of the realm. It also allowed for the carrying and use of arms for self-defense.Plato, in his Republic, maintained that disarming the citizenry was essential to keeping a properly ordered society. Seventeenth-century England saw the confiscation of any weapons owned by Roman Catholics as well as passage of the Game Act of 1676. n7 But in America, there was never enough scholarship, legislation, or public interest in firearms regulation to constitute, or perhaps even permit, an American social debate on guns or gun ownership, until the twentieth century.Aristotle thought that bearing arms was an essential part of true citizenship. Cicero encouraged an armed Roman citizenry. Machiavelli viewed an armed citizen as a necessary defense against rulers whose interests were their own and not those of their people.2. The first limitation in England on the right of a law-abiding person to keep and bear arms was enacted as one of the provisions in the 1181 Statute of Assize of Arms. It prohibited the possession and ordered the disposition of all coats of mail or breastplates in the hands of Jews. The next prohibition apparently came in the 1328 Statute of Northampton under King Edward III, and banned all private persons from using any force in public "in affray of the peace," or from going or riding armed in public at all. This Statute of Northampton was re-enacted with increased penalties under Richard II: In its re-enacted version the statute focused solely on going or riding armed, that is, regardless of an affray of the peace.
Returned to Hugh Bigod in 1163. Bigod had acceded to Stephen.
It was built between 1165 and 1173 by Henry II of England to consolidate royal power in the region.
6. S2013 Henry II and the Angevin Empire
Language of the Court• Written decisions, charters – Latin Later with French translation• Oral arguments, decisions – French• Informal exchanges – English
Legal French• Retention of Anglo-Norman terms• French word order – Attorney general, heir apparent, court martial, body politic – Fee simple, sum certain
Military Reform• 1166 Baronial Charters• 1181 Assize of Arms – Categories of freemen and their requirements to supply arms – Ready reserve – Prohibitions on export
1181 Assize of Arms1. Knights shall have a shirt of mail, ahelmet, a shield, and a lance;2. Free layman who possesses chattelsor rents to the value of 16m. shall havea shirt of mail, a helmet, a shield, and alance;3. Item, all burgesses and the wholecommunity of freemen shall have agambeson, an iron cap, and a lance
KnightAlso Layman with > 16 marks• shirt of mail-hauberk• helmet• shield• lance
Assize of Arms8. Item, no one shall carry arms out ofEngland except by the command of the lordking: no one is to sell arms to another tocarry out of England; nor shall a merchant orany other man carry them out of England.12 . . . no one, as he loves his life and allthat he has, shall buy or sell any ship to betaken away from England, and that no oneshall carry any timber or cause it to becarried out of England.
Assize of Arms6. Any burgess who has more arms than heought to have by this assize shall sellthem, or give them away . . . And none ofthem shall keep more arms than he ought tohave by this assize.7. Item, no Jew shall keep in his possessiona shirt of mail or a hauberk, but he shall sellit or give it away or alienate it in some otherway, so that it shall remain in the kingsservice.
Legal Citations1. Rudolf B. Lamy “The Influence of History Upon a Plain Text Reading of the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States” 49 Am. J. Legal Hist. 217, 20072. David I. Caplan “The Right of the Individual to Bear Arms: A Recent Judicial Trend” Detroit College of Law Review 1982, Winter, Issue 4
Alfred the Great (?) and ArmsIt is the great natural law of selfpreservation, which, as we haveseen, cannot be repealed, or superseded, orsuspended by any human institution. Thislaw, however, is expressly recognised in theconstitution of Pennsylvania. "The right ofthe citizens to bear arms in the defence ofthemselves shall not be questioned." This isone of our many renewals of the Saxonregulations. James Wilson, Lectures on Law
Rebellion in the Family - 1173• Marriage alliance for 5 year old John marred by Henry the Younger• Eleanor and her sons go to Paris• Henry offers arbitration
Peter of Blois to EleanorMarriage is a firm and indissoluble union. …From thebeginning biblical truth has verified that marriage onceentered into cannot be separated. Truth cannotdeceive: it says, "What God has joined let us not putasunder [Matt 19]."So the woman is at fault who leaves her husband andfails to keep the trust of this social bond. …We knowthat unless you return to your husband, you will be thecause of widespread disaster.
Rebellion in the Family - 1173• Eleanor captured? Richard Henry Eleanor Joan Henry II Wall painting from the chapel in Chinon. interpreted to represent the departure of Eleanor of Aquitaine into captivity
Rebellion in England• Many barons declare for Henry the Younger – William the Lion of Scotland – William captured at Alnwick• Vassalage• Henry II – castles and cathedrals
Geography of Rebellion William the Lion Earl of Leicester and Flemish
William surprised at AlnwickResults Defeat in the Fens
Reconciliation• Henry the Younger given castles and money• Richard given half income of Poitou• Geoffrey given half of Brittany• Eleanor comfortable captivity
The Angevin Empire• Ireland – Irish laws different from Anglo-Saxon and Norman – 1167 Irish King Dermot asks Henry for support against Connacht – 1171 Invasion as show of force – 1175 Treaty of Windsor
Vassalage• King of France – Henry the Younger (betrothed in 1157, married in 1160 to Margaret of France) Basis of claim by Philip of France to parts of Normandy • Geoffrey – Richard (offer of marriage to Alice of France in 1169)
Henry II - Patronage• Penance for murder of Thomas a Becket – Waltham – reform as Augustinian monastery – Ambresbury – replacement w. nuns from Fontevraud – Witham – Carthusian monastery – Promise to join Crusade
Last Days of Henry II• 1184 Assize of the Forest (Woodstock)• Philip of France incites Richard vs. Henry – Truce• Movement for new Crusade• An ill Henry submits to a treaty with Philip• Henry dies at Chinon