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Acton Burnell, statute of

Acton Burnell, statute of, 1283. Edward I's chancellor, Robert Burnell, owned the castle of Acton Burnell in Shropshire. A Parliament there in 1283 provided for the easier recovery of debts by merchants by authorizing the mayors of London, York, and Bristol to take action. The intention was to encourage foreign merchants to trade in England by affording fair treatment. Defaulting debtors could be kept in prison on bread and water at their own expense. The statute was amended two years later by the statute of Merchants.

J. A. Cannon

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