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Woodstock, Assize of

Woodstock, Assize of, 1184. The king's hunting in royal forests was protected in the Norman period by severe laws. Henry II enforced them fiercely, partly because of his own love of the chase, partly to raise revenue. This assize, also known as the Assize of the Forest, summarized previous laws. Stubbs suggested that it was milder than previous practice, but since punishments included blinding, mutilation, and castration, that is not easy to credit. By clause 9, the clergy were brought into the sway of the forest laws and Henry encouraged foresters ‘not to hesitate’ to arrest them.

J. A. Cannon

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