The Doctor and Student (1518)

Christopher St. Germain

The twelfth question of the student, whether a claim be barred in conscience as in law

Stud. A man seised of certain lands, knowing that another hath good right and title to them. levieth a fine with proclamation, to the intent he would extinct the right of the other man, and the other man maketh no claim within the five years: whether may he that levied the fine hold the land in conscience, as he may do by the law?

Doct. By this question it seemeth that thou dost agree, that if he that levied the fine had no knowledge of the other man’s right, that his right should then be extincted by the fine in conscience.

Stud. Yes, verily; for thou didst shew a reasonable cause why it should be so, in our first dialogue in Latin, the twenty-fourth chapter, as there appeareth. But if he that levied a fine, and that would extinct the right of another, knew that the other had more right than he, then I doubt therein: for I take thine opinion in the first dialogue to be understood in conscience, where he that would extinct former rights by such a fine by proclamation, knoweth not of any former title, but for his more surety, if any such former right be, taketh the remedy that is ordained by the law.

Doct. Whether dost thou mean in this case that thou puttest now, that he that hath right knoweth of the fine, wilfully letting the five years pass without claim, or that lie knoweth, not anything of the fine?

Stud. I pray thee let me know thine opinion in both cases, and whether thou think that lie that hath right be barred in either of the said cases by conscience, as he is by the law, or not?

Doct. I will with good-will hereafter shew thee my mind therein: but at this time I pray thee give a little sparing, and proceed now for this time to some other question.