The Doctor and Student (1518)

Christopher St. Germain

If it were enacted, that if one call another thief or murderer, that the suit should be taken in the king’s court, and not in the spiritual court, I think the statute were good

Stud. If it were enacted by the parliament, that if a man call another a thief or a murderer, that an action should lie thereupon at the Common law, and that no suit should lie thereupon at the Spiritual law; I think it were a good statute, for the matters whereupon the words rise are only to be determined by the Common law. And so it is if a man, call another villain, an action lieth thereon at Common law if he be free, and not at the Spiritual law; because the right of the villainage may not be tried but at the Common law; and most men say, that if there be an indictment of felony at the Common law, that then there lieth no suit there of ill the Spiritual law, so that there needeth no statute to be make in that point.

Doct. If a statute were made, that an action should lie at the Common law of such words as a man hath any loss or worldly hindrance by, though they have before time been used to be sued only in the spiritual court, thinkest thou the statute were good?

Stud. I think the statute were good; and most commonly upon such words some worldly loss or hindrance one way ,or other doth follow; but I think that in those cases the parliament may not, prohibit, but that they that list may also take their suits at the Spiritual law, if they will, so that the Spiritual law make no recompence to the party. Also of all annuities, whether they have beginning by prescription, composition real or otherwise, I suppose it may be enacted, that the suit shall be taken only in the king’s, court, and not in the spiritual court, for nothing is to be recovered in such suits but money, which is temporal in whose hands soever it come, spiritual to temporal.