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The Devil's Daughter of Hell Fire: Anger's Role in Medieval English Felony Cases

Abstract

During the period at issue in this paper–the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, when trial juries were first employed in English felony cases–felonious homicide was a catch-all category, with no formal distinction drawn between murder and manslaughter. Nevertheless, juries did distinguish among different types of homicide as they sorted the guilty from the innocent, and the irremediably guilty from those worthy of pardon. Anger was one of the factors that informed this sorting process. This paper builds upon an earlier analysis of the meaning of felony, which posited that the medieval paradigm of felony was an act that involved deliberation and forethought, an exercise of a person's reasoning capacity and volition in the absence of necessity, and moral blameworthiness. Anger complicates this scenario. On the one hand, anger was seen to be a product of an ill-formed conscience. This potentially placed anger within the felonious area of moral blameworthiness. On the other hand, anger in its more extreme manifestations was seen to inhibit a person's ability to reason and to inspire behavior resembling insanity, thereby possibly pointing toward a partial excuse. This paper takes a fresh methodological approach for the study of emotion in the common law, placing legal texts within a broader cultural context in order to illuminate the concerns and priorities of jurors.

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ekamali@law.harvard.edu
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She thanks the anonymous reviewers at Law and History Review and the participants in the Stanford Law and Humanities Colloquium in 2016, the conference on Law and Governance in Pre-Modern Britain held at the University of Western Ontario, the Premodern Colloquium at the University of Michigan, the panel on Criminal Intent in English Literature and Law at the 50th International Congress on Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo, the symposium on Emotions in the Courtroom at the University of St Andrews, and the Yale Legal History Forum, all in 2015; as well as the Preconference Workshop on Medieval Legal History at the 2014 American Society for Legal History meeting in Denver, and the Medieval and Early Modern Studies dissertation workshop at the University of Michigan. She particularly thanks Thomas Green, Charles Donahue, Kit French, Catherine Sanok, Diane Owen Hughes, Bill Miller, Krista Kesselring, Alison Cornish, Lena Salaymeh, David Seipp, Rowan Dorin, Thomas McSweeney, Jonathan Rose, Kimberley Knight, John Hudson, Stephen White, Sara Butler, Steven Bednarski, Jim Whitman, John Langbein, Sara McDougall, Adriaan Lanni, Charles Bartlett, Amalia Kessler, Bernie Meyler, Rabia Belt, Morgan Weiland, Andrew Crespo, and Daphna Renan for feedback on earlier drafts. She also thanks her wonderful research assistants, Cassandra Rasmussen, Michael Reiterman, and Theresa Smith. Unless otherwise indicated, all translations and modernizations are the author's own. Citations to National Archives documents (e.g., JUST 1, KB 27) refer to the digital archive assembled by Robert C. Palmer, Elspeth Palmer Rosbrook, and Susanne Brand, The Anglo-American Legal Tradition, available at aalt.law.uh.edu/aalt.html (hereafter AALT). In quoting secondary sources, she has altered the spelling of words to reflect standard United States writing conventions.
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1. Mannyng Robert (ed. Furnivall Frederick J.) Handlyng Synne, (London: K. Paul, Trench, Trübner & Co., 1901), 127 (“The touþer synne men callë yre, / Þe deuylys doghtyr of hellë fyre”).

2. Our chronicle source tells us that the dispute was over a manor (super quodam manerio) and that the two men appeared personally in the Westminster courtroom to pursue the litigation (in aula Westmonasteriensi personaliter litigantibus). Chronicon vulgo dictum chronicon Thomae Wykes,” in Annales Monastici, ed. Luard Henry Richards, vol. 4 (London: Longmans, Green, Reader, and Dyer, 1869), 234 . I thank Michael Reiterman for his assistance with interpreting some of the fine points of this narrative. For Paul Hyams' analysis of this encounter, see What Did Henry III of England Think in Bed and in French about Kingship and Anger?” in Anger's Past: The Social Uses of an Emotion in the Middle Ages, ed. Rosenwein Barbara H. (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1998), 121–22.

3. See Waugh Scott L., “Warenne, John de, sixth earl of Surrey (1231–1304),” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004).

4. This is not to suggest that elites did not engage in violence. The frequent theme of aristocratic intrigue and treachery in the chansons de geste would suggest otherwise. See, for example, White Stephen G., “The Evils of the Court: Judicial Melodramas in Medieval French Literature,” in The Making of Europe: Essays in Honour of Robert Bartlett, ed. Hudson John and Crumplin Sally (Leiden: Brill, 2016), 184204 .

5. See Maitland Frederic William (ed. Fisher H. A. L.) Collected Papers, vol. 1, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1911), 308–9.

6. See, generally, Green Thomas A., “The Jury and the English Law of Homicide, 1200–1600,” Michigan Law Review 74 (1976): 473–87, esp. 475–76 (discussing the 1512 benefit of clergy statute).

7. See Horder Jeremy, Provocation and Responsibility (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992), 5 .

8. Thomas A. Green has made this argument about delayed doctrinal development caused by jury sorting in Verdict According to Conscience: Perspectives on the English Criminal Trial Jury, 1200–1800 (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1985). I here extend this notion specifically to the issue of anger. By “formal law,” I refer not to black-letter law in the form of statutes, but rather to the understandings of the bounds of felony shared by medieval English justices, reflected in the plea roll records of pardons, and also outlined in treatises, most notably Bracton.

9. Individuals also sought pardon on other grounds, such as insanity and accidental death. Here my focus is on self-defense, the closest point of comparison with later provocation doctrine. It bears noting that Susanne Pohl Zucker has unearthed a strikingly different transition from notions of “honorable manslaughter” driven by provocation in the mid fourteenth century toward a new rhetoric emphasizing the self-defender's blamelessness and resort to homicide only as a last resort by the sixteenth century in Zürich and southwest Germany. See Susanne Pohl, “Negotiating Honor and State Authority: The Prosecution and Punishment of Manslaughter in Zürich and Southwest Germany, 1350–1600” (PhD diss., University of Michigan, 1997).

10. de Bracton Henry (transl. Thorne Samuel E.), On the Laws and Customs of England, (Cambridge: Belknap, 1968) (hereafter Bracton), vol. 2, 341. It is noteworthy that Bracton speaks of anger in the context of a deliberate, premeditated attack, as opposed to sudden anger. However, defendants were also hanged for homicides arising out of sudden quarrels. See notes 85–87.

11. See, for example, the 1231 eyre case in which a man who struck his wife while throwing a staff at a horse was said not to have acted “out of any anger or hatred but by accident” (aliquo odio vel atya sed per infortunium). Hurnard Naomi D., The King's Pardon for Homicide Before AD 1307 (Oxford: Clarendon, 1969), 76 .

12. On the informal sorting of homicide cases by trial juries, see, generally, Green, Verdict According to Conscience.

13. See Kamali Elizabeth Papp, “ Felonia felonice facta: Felony and Intentionality in Medieval England,” Journal of Criminal Law and Philosophy 9 (2015): 397421 . See also Kamali, “A Felonious State of Mind: Mens Rea in Thirteenth- and Fourteenth-Century England” (PhD diss., University of Michigan, 2015), ch. 2.

14. This is not to imply that felony law explicitly included these factors. As noted, there was no “general part” of medieval English felony law. Nevertheless, close analysis of verdicts and jury narratives makes it possible to discern patterns pointing to what one might describe as a paradigm of felony. On the acknowledged dangers of approaching premodern common law history through the distorting lens of modern positivism, see Millon David, “Positivism in the Historiography of the Common Law,” Wisconsin Law Review 1989 (1989): 669714 .

15. I include continental Europe to emphasize that what I am describing in England is not unique to this insular setting, but can be found as well in continental criminal law sources. Fourteenth century Provençal cases, for example, might describe a defendant as having acted animo irato, or with an irate spirit. See, for example, the case of Hugo Rocha da Dalfino in Bednarski Steven, Curia: A Social History of a Provençal Criminal Court in the Fourteenth Century (Montpellier: Presses universitaires de la Méditerranée, 2013), 122 . An exploration of continental criminal cases falls outside the scope of this article.

16. See, generally, Aquinas Thomas (transl. Fathers of the English Dominican Province), Summa Theologica, (New York: Benziger, 1948), vol. 4, 1793–96 (Pt. II–II Q. 150, Art. 1–4). Aquinas argues that drunkenness can occur with or without sin, and with sin that is either venial or mortal, depending upon the circumstances. At the most extreme, drunkenness resulting from “inordinate concupiscence” was a form of gluttony, and could rise to the level of mortal sin if the act of immoderate drinking was undertaken “willingly and knowingly.” If a person engaged in drinking sinfully, then that person might not be excused from subsequent sinful acts, in contrast to a person who became drunk by no fault of his or her own. For the treatment of drunkenness in the plea rolls, see Hurnard, King's Pardon for Homicide, 98 (describing how drunkenness was not generally relied upon as an excuse even by self-defenders, who tended to present themselves as “cold sober” possibly because of the lack of receptivity of jurors or justices to requests for leniency based on claims of intoxication).

17. On the development of provocation doctrine, see Horder, Provocation and Responsibility; Ashworth A. J., “The Doctrine of Provocation,” Cambridge Law Journal 35 (1976): 292–97; and Brown Bernard J., “The Demise of Chance Medley and the Recognition of Provocation as a Defence to Murder in English Law,” American Journal of Legal History 7 (1963): 312–18.

18. Elsewhere I am working on a lengthier treatment of anger that will draw upon scholarship related to the blood feud and provocation doctrine to analyze the role of extreme passion, honor, gender, and socioeconomic status in the treatment of anger in felony adjudication. For an introduction to the literature on medieval feud in England and beyond, see, especially, Miller William Ian, Bloodtaking and Peacemaking: Feud, Law, and Society in Saga Iceland (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1990); Hyams Paul, Rancor and Reconciliation in Medieval England (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2003); and White Stephen D., “Feuding and Peace-Making in the Touraine Around the Year 1100,” Traditio 42 (1986): 195263 .

19. This is, of course, an oversimplification. For example, medieval Icelandic sagas, including the famous Njal's Saga, demonstrate that blood feud operated in the shadow of the law, with vengeance killings often taking place only after attempts to work out a solution through legal means at the Althing had failed. Moreover, vengeance might be sought through litigation, as demonstrated in Hyams, Rancor and Reconciliation, and Smail Daniel Lord, The Consumption of Justice: Emotions, Publicity, and Legal Culture in Marseille, 1264–1423 (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2003), and as further indicated by the use of the common maneuver by medieval English felony defendants of claiming that they had been accused out of hate and spite, de odio et atia. For an example of a cuckolded husband's vengeance carried out by means of a court case, see Lynch Margaret E., ed., Crown Pleas of the Lancashire Eyre, 1292, vol. 2 (Chester: Record Society of Lancashire and Cheshire, 2015), 100101 . For a critique of the Hyams/Smail approach to the study of vengeance in medieval law and literature, see White Stephen D., “The Feelings in the Feud: The Emotional Turn in the Study of Medieval Vengeance,” in Disputing Strategies in Medieval Scandinavia, ed. Esmark Kim, Hermanson Lars, Orning Hans Jacob, and Vogt Helle (Leiden: Brill, 2013), 281311 .

20. On this notion of doctrinal development being stymied by jury sorting, with the law only slowly catching up to reflect what juries had been doing all along, see Green, Verdict According to Conscience, 98–100.

21. Or cursing a fig tree in the less famous gospel narrative, helpfully pointed out to me by Bill Miller. See Mark 11:12–14 and 20–25.

22. See, for example, Rosenwein Barbara H., “Worrying about Emotions in History,” American Historical Review 107 (2002): 821–45; Stearns Carol Zisowitz and Stearns Peter N., Anger: The Struggle for Emotional Control in America's History (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1989); Bartlett Robert, “‘Mortal Enmities': The Legal Aspect of Hostility in the Middle Ages,” in Feud, Violence and Practice: Essays in Medieval Studies in Honor of Stephen White, ed. Tuten Belle S. and Billado Tracey L. (Farnham: Ashgate, 2010), 197212 ; Gerd Althoff, “Ira regis: Prolegomena to a History of Royal Anger,” in Anger's Past, 59–74; Stephen D. White, “The Politics of Anger,” in ibid., 127–52; and Harris William V., Restraining Rage: The Ideology of Anger Control in Classical Antiquity (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2002).

23. On royal anger, see, for example, Hyams, “What did Henry III of England Think?” in Anger's Past, 92–126. And on monastic anger in England and on the continent, see Jordan William Chester, “The Anger of the Abbots in the Thirteenth Century,” Catholic Historical Review 96 (2010): 219–33. But also see Hyams, Rancor and Reconciliation, which posits that the desire for vengeance transcended social class.

24. See, generally, Hurnard, King's Pardon for Homicide; and Lacey Helen, The Royal Pardon: Access to Mercy in Fourteenth-Century England (York: York Medieval Press, 2009).

25. For a comprehensive introduction to the role of the coroner, see Butler Sara, Forensic Medicine and Death Investigation in Medieval England (New York: Routledge, 2015); and Hunnisett R. F., The Medieval Coroner (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1961).

26. For example, describing an accused individual as a “felon” might signal the inquest jurors' estimation of his or her likely guilt. A legal historian can never be sure that such signals were voiced by inquest jurors themselves, or whether they were instead introduced by the scribes who had to distill presumably lengthier narratives into pithy records. This is a difficulty that one encounters with all kinds of administrative and legal records in this period.

27. See, for example, Cels Marc B., “Interrogating Anger in the New Penitential Literature of the Thirteenth Century,” Viator 45 (2014): 212–13.

28. For an etymological analysis of “felony,” see Kamali, “Felonia felonice facta,” 400–403.

29. See, generally, Aquinas, Summa Theologica, vol. 2, 782 (I–II Q. 46, Art. 6). See also Miner Robert, Thomas Aquinas on the Passions (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009), 276 .

30. See, generally, Gower John (transl. Wilson William Burton), Mirour de l'Omme (The Mirror of Mankind) (East Lansing: Colleagues Press, 1992), 57 ff.

31. Middle English Dictionary (hereafter MED), s.v. “ire.”

32. Dictionary of Medieval Latin from British Sources (hereafter DMLBS), s.v. “ira.”

33. Anglo-Norman Dictionary (hereafter AND), s.v. “ire.”

34. MED, s.v. “ire” and “wrath;” and Oxford English Dictionary, 3rd ed. (hereafter OED), s.v. “wrath.”

35. MED, s.v. “anger;” and OED, s.v. “anger.”

36. MED, s.v. “hate;” and AND, s.v. “haine.” A person accused of felony might allege that he or she had been charged with a crime out of “odio et atia,” or hate and spite. See, for example, Pugh Ralph B., ed., Wiltshire Gaol Delivery and Trailbaston Trials (Devizes: Wiltshire Record Society, 1978), 46 ; and Stewart Susan, ed., The 1263 Surrey Eyre (Woking: Surrey Record Society, 2006), 268 . On the writ de odio et atia, see Hurnard, King's Pardon for Homicide, 79–83, 339–74. On the role of hatred (inimicitia) in medieval Marseilles, see Smail Daniel Lord, “Hatred as a Social Institution in Late-Medieval Society,” Speculum 76 (2001): 90126 . See also Miller William Ian, “Hatred,” in The Oxford Companion to Emotion and the Affective Sciences, ed. Sander David and Scherer Klaus R. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009), 204 (observing that hatred, not always easily distinguished from anger, can mean simple aversion or intense detestation).

37. See DMLBS, s.v. “rixa.”

38. But see Green, Verdict According to Conscience, for the implicit effect of emotion and other sympathetic factors on medieval English jury verdicts.

39. The language of anger and hatred also appears frequently in continental criminal law narratives, albeit with a different range of vocabulary. See, for example, Smail, Consumption of Justice, 90, 105. Steven Bednarski (personal correspondence) observes the use of the language of anger to inculpate defendants in the medieval records of Manosque in southern France, such as describing a person as having acted with an angry spirit (animo irato). For an introduction to this criminal law setting, see Bednarski, Curia.

40. Zephaniah 1:15.

41. Phrases borrowed from Luke 3:17, Matthew 25:32, and the thirteenth century Franciscan poem, Dies Irae,” in Dies Irae in Thirteen Original Versions, ed. Coles Abraham (New York: Appleton, 1859), 1 . (Mors stupebit et natura, / Cum resurget creatura, / Judicanti responsura.)

42. “Dies Irae,” 1. (Quantus tremor est futurus, / Quando Judex est venturus, / Cuncta stricte discussurus!)

43. See, for example, Ephesians 4:26 for the well-known caution against letting the sun set upon one's wrath.

44. Mannyng, Handlyng Synne, 128. “Blinn” means “to cease.” (Ȝyf þou yn yre a man hate, / And þat wraþþë wylt nat late, / Greuusly þou art yn synne, / But þou forȝeue, and þer-of blynne.)

45. See ibid., 127, for the phrase “Þe deuylys doghtyr of hellë fyre.”

46. Ibid., 128. See also Holmstedt Gustaf, ed., Speculum Christiani: A Middle English Religious Treatise of the 14th Century (London: Oxford University Press, 1933), 26 . On felonious hatred, see Mannyng, Handlyng Synne, 172.

47. Robert of Flamborough, Liber poenitentialis (Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 1971), 181 (Liber quartus, §4, De ira).

48. Myrc John (ed. Peacock Edward), Instructions for Parish Priests (London: K. Paul, Trench, Trübner, 1902), 35 .

49. For the original Latin and an English translation, see, respectively, Somerset Alan B., ed., Records of Early English Drama: Shropshire (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1994), vol. 1 (The Records), 1011, and vol. 2 (Editorial Apparatus), 519–20.

50. Somerset, Records of Early English Drama: Shropshire, vol. 1, 10, and vol. 2, 519. “He hated him because he sang well and desired to have the love of certain women whose love the said Hugh very much wished to have.” (odio habebat eo quod bene cantauit & habere voluit amorem quarumdam mulierum quarum dictus Hugo amorem multum habere affectauit).

51. For pardons based on self-defense, see, for example, Calendar of the Patent Rolls, Henry III (A.D. 1258–1266) (London: His Majesty's Stationery Office, 1910), 44 (Roger de Tatington), 45 (Ralph de Burstal), 72 (Ellis de Sancta Agatha, Ellis son of John de Croudecot). This particular run of patent rolls contains many pardons for accidental killings as well.

52. See, generally, Kamali, “Felonia felonice facta.”

53. Aquinas, Summa Theologica, vol. 2, 697 (I–II, Q. 24, Art. 1).

54. Ibid., 780 (I–II Q. 46, Art. 4).

55. Ibid. See also ibid., 784–85 (I–II, Q. 47, Art. 1).

56. Ibid., 780 (I–II Q. 46, Art. 4).

57. The writings of Seneca appear with some frequency here given his influence on medieval thought, particularly with regard to theories of the passions propounded by theologians such as Aquinas and vernacular authors such as Chaucer. For Seneca's reception in medieval England, see generally, Smalley Beryl, English Friars and Antiquity in the Early Fourteenth Century (Oxford: Blackwell, 1960), esp. ch. 3; and Wilson Grace G., “Amonges Othere Wordes Wyse”: The Medieval Seneca and the Canterbury Tales ,” The Chaucer Review 28 (1993): 135–45.

58. Seneca (transl. Basore John W.), “De Ira,” in Moral Essays, (London: Heinemann, 1928), 169 . “Our opinion,” wrote Seneca, “is that [anger] ventures nothing by itself, but acts only with the approval of the mind.” A similar Stoicism may be found in the medieval blood feud, which had never given license to striking out in unreflective hot blood against one's enemy. See Miller William Ian, “Choosing the Avenger: Some Aspects of the Bloodfeud in Medieval Iceland and England,” Law and History Review 1 (1983): 160–61; White, “Feuding and Peacemaking,” 247–48; and Hyams, Rancor and Reconciliation, 8–9.

59. Aquinas, Summa Theologica, vol. 2, 780–81 (I–II Q. 46, Art. 4, Reply Obj. 3); 781 (I–II, Q. 46, Art. 5, Reply Obj. 1). For an application of this concept to the doctrine of provocation, see Horder, Provocation and Responsibility, 105.

60. Aquinas, Summa Theologica, vol. 2, 789 (I–II Q. 48, Art. 3, Reply Obj. 1). See also ibid., 790 (I–II Q. 48, Art. 4) (“anger both follows an act of reason, and hinders the reason”).

61. Ibid., 789 (I–II Q. 48, Art. 3). Aquinas is quoting from the Moralia of Gregory the Great. For a mid-fourteenth century literary example of the importance of reason in containing anger, see Michel Dan (ed. Gradon Pamela), Ayenbite of Inwyt or Remorse of Conscience, vol. 1, (London: Oxford University Press, 1965), 261 . See also Morris Richard, ed., Cursor Mundi: A Northumbrian Poem of the XIVth Century, Part 5 (London: K. Paul, Trench, Trübner, 1966), 1537–39.

62. Aquinas, Summa Theologica, vol. 2, 789 (I–II Q. 48, Art. 3, Reply Obj. 2). Seneca makes a similar point. See Seneca, “De Ira,” 108–9.

63. de Chobham Thomas (ed. Broomfield F.), Summa confessorum, (Louvain: Editions Nauwelaerts, 1968), 414 . “Such perturbation never existed in Christ, because he never had perturbed reason, but in all men reason is often disturbed due to the fragility of flesh and by the disturbance that is born from gall.” (Talis perturbatio nunquam fuit in Christo, quia nunquam habuit rationem perturbatam, sed in aliis hominibus sepe perturbatur ratio per fragilitatem carnalem et per motus qui nascuntur ex felle.)

64. Millett Bella, transl., Ancrene Wisse, Part 3 (Exeter: University of Exeter Press, 2009), 49 . A wrathful person lost touch with his humanity (“monnes cunde”), as “wrath…transformed him into a beast” (“wreaððe… forschuppeð him into beast”).

65. Wright Sharon, “Broken Cups, Men's Wrath, and the Neighbours' Revenge: The Case of Thomas and Alice Dey of Alverthorpe (1383),” Canadian Journal of History 43 (2008): 241–51, esp. 244–47. See also Robert of Flamborough, Liber poenitentialis, 181 (Liber quartus, §4, De ira), describing the effect of rage (furor), “when a person is in fury in his home or wherever he is in charge; he strikes this one, he beats that one.” (quando homo se habet furiose in domo sua vel ubi ipse praeest; istum percutit, illum verberat).

66. Francis W. Nelson, ed., The Book of Vices and Virtues: A Fourteenth Century English Translation of the Somme le Roi of Lorens d'Orléans (London: Oxford University Press, 1942), 25 (“for suche a man is oþerwhile wod þat he smyt and beteþ his wif, his children, his seruauntes, and brekeþ pottes, coppes, and disches, and al þat he may sette hond on, as a man þat were out of his witte.”)

67. Millett, Ancrene Wisse, Part 3, 48.

68. Ibid. (“so wreaðful þet hit sleað ofte o grome his ahne briddes”)

69. Holmstedt, Speculum Christiani, 62 (Wreth of man werkeȝ noght ryghtfulnes of god, whyche trobleȝ so the mynde that it semeȝ to be pure wodneȝ or madnes).

70. Dorothy F. Troendle, ed., “John Gower's Mirour de l'Omme,” (PhD diss., Brown University, 1960), 158 (Car l'ire sourt deinz son penser / Comme du fontaine la buillie); 188 (De nulle resoun est pensive, / Tant a combatre est coragouse).

71. For an example of the phrasing “lite mota,” lite being a form of lis, meaning lawsuit or quarrel, see Harding Alan, ed., The Roll of the Shropshire Eyre of 1256 (London: Selden Society, 1981), 225–26. For examples of entries employing “orta” or “mota” combined with a reference to “contentio” or “lis,” see Brenda Farr and Christopher Erlington, eds., Crown Pleas of the Wiltshire Eyre, 1268 (Chippenham: Wiltshire Record Society, 2012), nos. 15, 16, 18, 68, 70, 95, 100, 104, 117, 121, 166, 179, 209, 231, 251, 302, 316, 325, 331, 356, 392, 444, 464, 479, 506, and 559. Although this volume provides only an English translation, the original Latin plea rolls can be accessed through Anglo-American Legal Tradition (AALT), beginning at JUST1/998A AALT 0355 (1268), http://aalt.law.uh.edu/AALT4/JUST1/JUST1no998A/aJUST1no998Afronts/IMG_0355.htm (November 22, 2016).

72. William may be the son of the Cambridgeshire sheriff. See, for example, JUST3/7 AALT 0177 (1337), http://aalt.law.uh.edu/AALT7/JUST3/JUST3no7_3/bJUST3no7_3dorses/IMG_0177.htm (November 22, 2016), for an order from the justices at gaol delivery directed toward a sheriff identified as William Muschet (entry beginning “Preceptum fuit Willelmo Muschet”). See also the list of Cambridgeshire sheriffs, including a “William Muchet” in 1336, in List of Original Ministers' Accounts Preserved in the Public Record Office: Appendix, Corrigenda, and Index to Part I (London: Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1897), 12 .

73. For an image of the original Latin record, see JUST2/17 AALT 0012 (1336), http://aalt.law.uh.edu/AALT7/JUST2/JUST2no17/aJUST2no17fronts/IMG_0012.htm (November 22, 2016). For an early case involving this phrasing, dating to 1221, see Maitland Frederic William, ed., Select Pleas of the Crown (London: Selden Society, 1887), 93 .

74. For a similar case from the 1279 Surrey Eyre, see JUST1/876 AALT 9663 (1279), http://aalt.law.uh.edu/AALT4/JUST1/JUST1no876/aJUST1no876fronts/IMG_9663.htm (November 22, 2016) (penultimate entry). See also JUST1/664 AALT 3768 (1280), http://aalt.law.uh.edu/AALT4/JUST1/JUST1no664/aJUST1no664fronts/IMG_3768.htm (November 22, 2016) (Nottinghamshire Eyre case, beginning“Rogerus filius Ricardi de Gyngoley,” involving an argument arising among three men at a tavern.

75. For examples of narratives altered between the time of a coroner's inquest and the time of trial in order to exculpate a defendant, see Green, Verdict According to Conscience, 36–46.

76. See Hurnard, King's Pardon for Homicide, 92–93. Susanne Pohl Zucker has highlighted the use of this principle in canon law by the fourteenth century Italian jurist Baldus de Ubaldis. See Pohl, Negotiating Honor and State Authority, 236.

77. See Lewis & Short, s.v. “moveo.” Stephen White (personal correspondence) observes that this wording bears a striking similarity to phrases such as “mota guerra” used to describe the outbreak of private warfare in French chronicles. In French, “mover contençon” might refer specifically to the commencement of war. AND, s.v. “contençon.”

78. Hurnard also suggests that phrases such as “mota contentione” and “orta lite” left some ambiguity. See Hurnard, King's Pardon for Homicide, 240.

79. At the 1268 Wiltshire Eyre, for example, for cases in which two or more individuals encountered one another on the road or in a field (typically described with a perfect past tense form of the verb “obviare”), the roll routinely uses a phrase such as “mota/orta contentione/lite inter eos” to describe the ensuing confrontation). See Wiltshire Eyre of 1268, nos. 16, 18, 104, 231, 325, 331, and 506.

80. Blackstone William, Commentaries, Book 4 (London: Cavendish, 2001), 184 .

81. Ibid.

82. See JUST3/7 AALT 0176 (1377), http://aalt.law.uh.edu/AALT7/JUST3/JUST3no7_3/bJUST3no7_3dorses/IMG_0176.htm (November 22, 2016).

83. See the dating clause on the coroner's roll at JUST2/17 AALT (1336), http://aalt.law.uh.edu/AALT7/JUST2/JUST2no17/aJUST2no17fronts/IMG_0012.htm (November 22, 2016).

84. The entry seems to indicate that Thomas was remanded to gaol at an earlier gaol delivery session because of a deficiency in the indictment, all of which is corroborated by the earlier entry. However, the remainder of the text is difficult to decipher. See JUST3/7 AALT 0178 (1337), http://aalt.law.uh.edu/AALT7/JUST3/JUST3no7_3/bJUST3no7_3dorses/IMG_0178.htm (November 22, 2016) (the final entry at the bottom of the membrane).

85. Wiltshire Eyre of 1268, no. 70. For the manuscript image, see JUST1/998A AALT 0359 (1268), http://aalt.law.uh.edu/AALT4/JUST1/JUST1no998A/aJUST1no998Afronts/IMG_0359.htm (November 22, 2016).

86. Ibid., no. 117 (using the language “oriebatur lis inter eos”). For the manuscript image, see JUST1/998A AALT 0362 (1268), http://aalt.law.uh.edu/AALT4/JUST1/JUST1no998A/aJUST1no998Afronts/IMG_0362.htm (November 22, 2016).

87. Ibid., no. 479 (using the language “orta lite inter eos”). For the manuscript image, see JUST1/998A AALT 0382 (1268), http://aalt.law.uh.edu/AALT4/JUST1/JUST1no998A/aJUST1no998Afronts/IMG_0382.htm (November 22, 2016).

88. Hurnard, King's Pardon for Homicide, 240–41.

89. Ibid., 94.

90. Ibid., 95.

91. For examples of mota contentione cases involving familiars, see Hunnisett R. F., ed., Bedfordshire Coroners' Rolls (Streatley: Bedfordshire Historical Record Society, 1961), 24, 48, 5051 ; and Page William, ed., Three Early Assize Rolls for the County of Northumberland (Durham: Andrews, 1891), 97 . This is most emphatically demonstrated by cases involving violent disputes between spouses. See, for example, Wiltshire Eyre of 1268, no. 95 (“contentio mota fuit,” describing an argument between husband and wife resulting in the husband killing the wife's brother, who tried to intervene).

92. Admittedly, one might imagine a sudden argument arising in a context of long-standing enmity as well. However, it appeared to be common practice in the plea rolls for long-standing enmity to be highlighted with references to “ancient hatred” or the like.

93. DMLBS, s.v. “litigare.” For other examples of this verb, see Wiltshire Eyre of 1268, nos. 13, 49, 125, 138, 171, 182, 196, 207, 208, 210, 232, 233, 244, 247, 289, 292, 293, 296, 380, 433, 434, and 463. Other phrases that appear in felony records include “inter se certaverunt,” or “they fought among themselves,” and “contendebant adinvicem,” or “they were disputing together.” See, for example, Harding, Shropshire Eyre of 1256, nos. 226–28, 234–35, 239, 241–43, and 265–66. In cases of dispute-related homicide at the 1268 Wiltshire Eyre, the vast majority of records either employed some form of “litigare,” or relied instead on “mota” or “orta” in combination with “contentio” or “lis.” A small minority of cases describe matters using verbs such as “rixari,” “contendere,” or “pugnare,” or alternatively describe the operation of “ira.” See Wiltshire Eyre of 1268, nos. 69, 80, 314, 532, 533, 614, 616, and 618.

94. Of those seven cases, two resulted in capture and hanging at gaol delivery; two in capture and being handed over to the bishop as a cleric; one in capture, imprisonment, and an eventual acquittal; another in capture, imprisonment, followed by escape; and in one gruesome case, the suspect was arrested, drawn, and hanged for having killed his master, a form of petty treason. In one case of flight, the suspect returned but was acquitted when it was found that the man he had struck had died of an unrelated illness. For these examples, see Wiltshire Eyre of 1268, nos. 70, 80, 233, 292, 479, 506, 614, and 618.

95. Ibid., no. 233. For the manuscript image, see JUST1/998A AALT 0368 (1268), http://aalt.law.uh.edu/AALT4/JUST1/JUST1no998A/aJUST1no998Afronts/IMG_0368.htm (November 22, 2016).

96. For the manuscript image, see JUST1/876 AALT 9658 (1279), http://aalt.law.uh.edu/AALT4/JUST1/JUST1no876/aJUST1no876fronts/IMG_9658.htm (November 22, 2016). For other examples of felony cases employing the verb “litigare,” see JUST1/876 AALT 9663 (1279), http://aalt.law.uh.edu/AALT4/JUST1/JUST1no876/aJUST1no876fronts/IMG_9663.htm (November 22, 2016) (Surrey Eyre, beginning “Willelmus Wolgar et Radulphus”); JUST1/664 AALT 3769 (1280), http://aalt.law.uh.edu/AALT4/JUST1/JUST1no664/aJUST1no664fronts/IMG_3769.htm (November 22, 2016). (Nottinghamshire Eyre of 1280–81, beginning “Robertus filius Andrei” and another beginning “Radulphus filius Rogeri”). See also Gross Charles, ed., Select Cases from the Coroners' Rolls (London: Selden Society, 1895), 1112 .

97. Coroners' rolls frequently do indicate when a homicide victim managed to receive the sacrament of last rites. The explanation typically given by legal historians is that this was worth noting in the rolls because it meant that the victim, in addition to confessing, could have relayed his or her side of the story, thereby exculpating the first finder or other suspects and pointing a finger at the actually guilty party. It is possible that a further factor drove scribes to note the receipt of last rites: the fact that some victims had died “bad deaths” (that is, dying without having had a chance to confess) might have served as an aggravating factor in evaluating the culpability of their killers. I leave to others the admittedly monumental (and possibly unworkable) task of an empirical analysis of verdicts in cases of immediate death compared with the deaths of individuals who languished long enough to make a last confession. On the requirement that manslayers offer monetary compensation and prayer for the souls of homicide victims who had died without last rites in late medieval German practice, see Pohl, Negotiating Honor and State Authority, 35.

98. See, for example, the 1263 Surrey case over the death of Johannes de Denenesbire, who been fighting (litigando) with Thomas le Soper. Thomas immediately fled to a church, admitted the homicide, and abjured the realm. Stewart, 1263 Surrey Eyre, 250. See also JUST1/664 AALT 3777 (1280), http://aalt.law.uh.edu/AALT4/JUST1/JUST1no664/aJUST1no664fronts/IMG_3777.htm (November 22, 2016) (case beginning “Willelmus Cotus de Clyda”); JUST1/664 AALT 3782 (1280), http://aalt.law.uh.edu/AALT4/JUST1/JUST1no664/aJUST1no664fronts/IMG_3782.htm (November 22, 2016) (case beginning “Hugo filius Syman de Cotum”); Stewart, 1263 Surrey Eyre, 313; and Page, Three Early Assize Rolls, 95. See also note 94.

99. For a 1256 “litigaverunt” case involving a chance meeting resulting in a scuffle, see Page, Three Early Assize Rolls, 70.

100. Sutherland Donald W., ed., The Eyre of Northamptonshire: 3–4 Edward III, 1329–1330, vol. 1 (London: Selden Society, 1983), 164 .

101. See Lib. Ass. 26 Edw. 3, fol. 123b, no. 27 (1352), available at David Seipp, An Index and Paraphrase of Printed Year Book Reports, 1268–1535, no. 1352.091, www.bu.edu/law/seipp/. See also KB27/471 AALT 362 (1378), http://aalt.law.uh.edu/AALT3/R2/KB27no471/bKB27no471dorses/IMG_0362.htm (November 22, 2016). I thank Jonathan Rose for the latter citation. For a taxonomy of mental illness terms in administrative and legal records, see Turner Wendy J., “Defining Mental Afflictions in Medieval English Administrative Records,” in Disability and Medieval Law: History, Literature, Society, ed. Rushton Cory James (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars, 2013), 134–56. Sara Butler points out the use of terms connoting frenzy, fury, lunacy, madness, insanity, and dementia to describe those with mental illness in medieval English criminal records. Butler Sara M., “Representing the Middle Ages: The Insanity Defense in Medieval England,” in The Treatment of Disabled Persons in Medieval Europe, ed. Turner Wendy J. and Pearman Tory Vandeventer (Lewiston: Edwin Mellen, 2010), 125 .

102. See Bellamy John, The Criminal Trial in Later Medieval England (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1998), 2930 .

103. Thomas de Chobham, Summa confessorum, 414–15. (Est iterum ira per vitium quando aliquis movetur ad nocendum alii vel ad iniuriandum, et si ratio statim refrenat motum illum ne procedat ad iniurias, tunc est veniale peccatum.)

104. Ibid., 415. (Si autem motus ille procedat usque ad contumeliam vel iniuriam, tunc est illa ira mortale peccatum.)

105. John Gaytryge's Sermon,” in Middle English Religious Prose, ed. Blake Norman Francis (Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1972), 85 . The 1357 sermon is a translation of and expansion upon the Latin catechism of Archbishop Thoresby of York. See ibid., 73.

106. See, for example, McNeill John T. and Gamer Helena M., eds., Medieval Handbooks of Penance: A Translation of the Principal Libri Poenitentiales (New York: Columbia University Press, 1990), 91, §23–24. This privileging of sudden over long-held anger has a long legacy in the common law, as evidenced by twentieth century calls for reform of provocation doctrine because of its failure to capture alternative emotion-driven homicides, such as those related to battered woman syndrome. For an introduction to this literature, see Gillespie Cynthia K., Justifiable Homicide: Battered Women, Self-Defense, and the Law (Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1989).

107. Gower goes so far as to equate “sudden chance” and the impatience it inspires with the deadly sin of ire. See Gower John (ed. Peck Russell A.), Confessio Amantis, vol. 2, (Kalamazoo: Medieval Institute Publications, 2003), 150 (Book 3, lines 617).

108. JUST1/876 AALT 9669 (1279), http://aalt.law.uh.edu/AALT4/JUST1/JUST1no876/aJUST1no876fronts/IMG_9669.htm (November 22, 2016).

109. Mannyng, Handlyng Synne, 127.

110. Holmstedt, Speculum Christiani, 62 (Hatful wreth es the gate of al vices). For a similar vision of unmitigated ire but in a Latin poem likely penned shortly after the 1298 Battle of Falkirk, see Song on the Scottish Wars,” in Political Songs of England, ed. Wright Thomas (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996), 161 .

111. Holmstedt, Speculum Christiani, 62 (Right as a boore rynnes of wodnes a-ȝeyns a swerde, so renneȝ an ireful man to synne.)

112. Parson's Tale,” in The Riverside Chaucer, ed. Benson Larry D. (New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1987), 305 . (Looke how that fir of smale gleedes that been almost dede under asshen wollen quike agayn whan they been touched with brymstoon; right so Ire wol everemo quyken agayn whan it is touched by the pride that is covered in mannes herte.) For an introduction to literary debates about the peculiarity of the Parson's Tale within Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, see Patterson Lee W., “The ‘Parson's Tale’ and the Quitting of the Canterbury Tales,” Traditio 34 (1978): 331–80.

113. Wenzel Siegfried, ed. and transl., Fasciculus Morum: A Fourteenth-Century Preacher's Handbook (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1989), 116–17. For another vernacular example of this conflation of ire with hot coals, see Gower, Confessio Amantis, vol. 2, 151 (Book 3, lines 37–40).

114. Troendle, Gower's Mirour de l'Omme, 176 (Ainz nuyt et jour sur ce conspire, / Jusques atant que la ruine / Do son voisin ou sa voisine.)

115. See Aquinas, Summa Theologica, vol. 2, 782 (I–II Q. 46, Art. 6, Reply Obj. 1).

116. Troendle, Gower's Mirour de l'Omme, 177. (Cil a'ad ce vice est sanz amour, / Car l'Ire q'est interiour / Ne souffre pas que l'amour dure).

117. Ibid., 185–86.

118. Gower, Confessio Amantis, vol. 2, 173–74 (Book 3, lines 857–863).

119. JUST3/1_1 AALT 0050 (1309), http://aalt.law.uh.edu/AALT7/JUST3/JUST3no1_1/bJUST3no1_1dorses/IMG_0050.htm (November 22, 2016). For a 1256 case framed as self-defense based on an attack by the deceased, motivated by sudden yet long-standing conflict (“quadam contentione inter eos mota ex antiquo”), see Three Early Assize Rolls, 322–23.

120. See Just2/4 AALT 0099 (1275/6), http://aalt.law.uh.edu/AALT7/JUST2/JUST2no4/IMG_0099.htm (November 22, 2016) (case beginning “Contigit apud Scotfolde”). This case is also included in Hunnisett, Bedfordshire Coroners' Rolls, 98–99, which notes that Geoffrey was later outlawed at a subsequent eyre. The killer may have been incensed by the fact that the deceased was carrying home irons crafted by another local smith.

121. Hunnisett, Bedfordshire Coroners' Rolls, 26. See also ibid., 37–38, for a case in which two men were suspected of a brutal homicide by an inquest jury because one of the men had threatened the deceased's life less than a week prior to the incident.

122. On this tactic generally, see Hyams, Rancor and Reconciliation, and, for a southern French comparison, see also Smail, Consumption of Justice.

123. For an appeal of rape leading to acquittal because of a countercharge that the appeal was inspired by “odium,” see Stenton Doris Mary, ed., Rolls of the Justices in Eyre for Yorkshire in 3 Henry III (1218–1219) (London: Selden Society, 1937), 250–51. See also ibid., 266–67 (for an appeal of maiming in which the accused said that the appeal was brought “per odium et atyam” on account of a pending case of novel disseisin), 268–72 and 273–74 (for additional accusations that an appeal was undertaken “for hatred and spite”).

124. Aquinas describes the prevalence of anger among men of “excellence.” See Aquinas, Summa Theologica, vol. 2, 786 (I–II Q. 47, Art. 3). On anger and medieval rulership, see the essays by Althoff, Hyams, and White in Rosenwein, Anger's Past.

125. Francis, Book of Vices and Virtues (“whan þer is werre bitwen tweie grete lords, it falleþ ofte þat þer beþ many dede þat haue no gilt”).

126. Seneca, “De Ira,” 266–67. On the presence of “male peasant honor” in early modern France, see Davis Natalie Zemon, Fiction in the Archives: Pardon Tales and Their Tellers in Sixteenth-Century France (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1987), 3839 .

127. A distinction is drawn between “pugnando,” presumably physical fighting, and “rixando.” See Friedman John B., ed., John de Foxton's Liber cosmographiae (1408): An Edition and Codicological Study (Leiden: Brill, 1988), 74 (“mulieres naturaliter sunt timide et sunt timide ad pugnandum sed non ad eloquendum vel ad rixandum,” or “women are naturally timid and are timid to fight, but not to speak or to dispute noisily.”) But also see Wiltshire Eyre of 1268, no. 614, where “rixati fuerunt” is used to describe a brawl involving several men. For the manuscript image, see JUST1/998A AALT 0392 (1268), http://aalt.law.uh.edu/AALT4/JUST1/JUST1no998A/aJUST1no998Afronts/IMG_0392.htm (November 22, 2016). See also DMLBS, s.v. “rixari, ~are.” For a compelling treatment of the gendered differences in homicide cases in early modern England, including the prevalence of women being accused of “cold-blooded,” premeditated killings, see Kesselring K. J., “Bodies of Evidence: Sex and Murder (or Gender and Homicide) in Early Modern England, c. 1500–1680,” Gender & History 27 (2015): 245–62.

128. See, generally, Gower, Confessio Amantis, vol. 2, 167–69 (Book 3, lines 639–98). Bill Miller correctly points out that some versions of this tale involve a chamber pot.

129. See, generally, ibid., 160 (Book 3, lines 361–80).

130. Ibid., 170–71 (Book 3, lines 736–67).

131. For several accounts of Isabel's trial, see Cam Helen M., ed., The Eyre of London, 14 Edward II, A.D. 1321, vol. 1 (London: Bernard Quaritch, 1968), 7376 .

132. For another colorful exception, see Lynch, ed., Crown Pleas of the Lancashire Eyre, 1292, vol. 2, 106–7, a case involving a wife named Almaria accused of hiring three people to kill her husband, Alexander de Wood, in revenge for his adultery with another woman, who also happened to be named Almaria. Brought before the eyre justices, the wife claimed to have been acquitted earlier and was eventually released on bail while the case was investigated further.

133. Aquinas, Summa Theologica, vol. 2, 315 (I, Q. 63, Art. 4).

134. Ibid., 781 (I–II Q. 46, Art. 5). For the application of these ideas of hot bile in early modern France, see Davis, Fiction in the Archives, 37.

135. Aquinas, Summa Theologica, vol. 2, 788 (I–II Q. 48, Art. 2).

136. Konrath Matthias, ed., Poems of William of Shoreham, Part I (London: K. Paul, Trench, Trübner, 1902), 110–11. It is unclear whether “god” here refers to God or good.

137. Myrc, Instructions for Parish Priests, 48–49.

138. See, for example, Seneca's discussion of the heating of the blood and the gendered nature of anger in “De Ira,” 204–5. See also Aquinas, Summa Theologica, vol. 2, 781 (I–II Q. 46, Art. 5). On Carolingian conceptions of the heart as a locus of emotion, see Firey Abigail, The Contrite Heart: Prosecution and Redemption in the Carolingian Empire (Leiden: Brill, 2009). On anger and gender in early modern France, see Davis, Fiction in the Archives, 79–81.

139. See Kamali, “Felonia felonice facta,” 400. Felony's etymology is complex, and at a certain point it connoted a violation of the feudal bond. The word's connection with the bodily humor of gall was maintained in literary sources throughout the Middle Ages, in part because of the alliterative possibilities of fell, or gall, and felony.

140. See Green Monica, ed. and transl., The Trotula: A Medieval Compendium of Women's Medicine (Philadelphia: University of Pennslyvania Press, 2001), 8081 .

141. Mirk John (ed. Powell Susan), Festial (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009), 52 (he wold freþon at þ[e] nese and at þe mowþe for angur, þretyng and manaschyng so heghly toward ham þat vch cryston mon was wondur sore aferd of hym). Chaucer introduces this idea of the angered man frothing at the mouth: “And as a crueel tigre was Arcite; / As wilde bores gonne they to smyte / That frothen whit as foom for ire wood / Up to the ancle foghte they in hir blood.” “Knight's Tale,” in Riverside Chaucer, 47.

142. Troendle, Gower's Mirour de l'Omme, 157. See also Konrath, Poems of William of Shoreham, Part I, 111 (situating wrath in the heart); and “Parson's Tale,” in Riverside Chaucer, 305 (“Ire after the Philosophre, is the fervent blood of man yquyked [i.e., quickened] in his herte, thurgh which he wole harm to hym that he hateth.”)

143. JUST3/1_1 AALT 0055 (1311), http://aalt.law.uh.edu/AALT7/JUST3/JUST3no1_1/bJUST3no1_1dorses/IMG_0055.htm (November 22, 2016) (absconditos et illicite et inhoneste adinvicem consedentes et colloquentes.)

144. Ibid. (causa castigacionis cum palma sua semel percussit ipsam Aliciam uxorem suam in facie…exclamando petiit auxilium a predicto Ricardo.)

145. See, generally, Green, Verdict According to Conscience, chapter 2.

146. This is a reverse of the Stoic views of Seneca, who argued that fear (timor) led to flight (fugam), whereas anger led to assault (impetum). Seneca, “De Ira,” 172–73. For the reception of Senecan ideas in medieval England, see note 57. Requiring self-defenders to claim to have run away and to have acted out of fear rather than anger potentially placed them in the position of confessing to a dishonorable emotional response to a provocative circumstance. On this kind of dynamic of public abasement in atoning for an honorable slaying in late medieval German tradition, see Pohl, Negotiating Honor and State Authority, 39.

147. Attempts to distrain cattle or otherwise exact payment of a fine are not uncommonly the source of violent action in the plea rolls. See, for example, Wiltshire Eyre of 1268, nos. 179, 237, 325, 433, and 444 (all using the language of “volens/voluit denadiare,” (I believe this may be a mistranscription of “devadiare,” to distrain) with the exception of 237, which involved an attempt to impound sheep.

148. Hunnisett, Bedfordshire Coroners' Rolls, 29–31. I rely here on Hunnisett's synopsis of the records. One faded eyre entry regarding this case may be found at JUST1/10 AALT 0802 (1272), http://aalt.law.uh.edu/AALT4/JUST1/JUST1no10/aJUST1no10fronts/IMG_0802.htm (November 22, 2016). For another case of “mota contencione” inspired by a fight over livestock, in this instance the impounding of pigs, see Harding, Shropshire Eyre of 1256, 261–62.

149. See Hunnisett's notes on the case at Bedfordshire Coroners' Rolls, 30.

150. Ibid., 100–101.

151. This is one of those rare instances in which there is a coroner's roll as well as the corresponding record from the eyre, a later judicial visitation to the locality. For the language in Bracton describing accidental homicide resulting from joking play, see Bracton, vol. 2, 384.

152. de Montibus William, “De septem vitiis,” in Goering Joseph, William de Montibus: The Schools and the Literature of Pastoral Care (Toronto: Pontifical Institute, 1992), 177 . (Ira coquit coruum, coctus color indicat iram, / Erumpitque foras fellis amara lues.)

153. “Knight's Tale,” in Riverside Chaucer, 52. (“Ther saugh I first the derke ymaginyng / Of Felonye, and al the compassyng; / The crueel Ire, reed as any gleede.”)

154. A phenomenon to be found not only in religious and literary tracts, but even in physiological manuals describing redness as an indicator of an easy tendency to break forth in ire. See Friedman, John de Foxton's Liber cosmographiae, 93 (Rubea significat levem, mobilem et in iras facile prorumpentem.)

155. For a similar reliance on self-defense to mitigate honor-based killings by medieval Italian lawyers, see Pohl, Negotiating Honor and State Authority, 10–11.

156. See Horder, Provocation and Responsibility, 23–24, 31–39.

157. See Green, Verdict According to Conscience, 35–46.

158. On anger's connection with defamation, see Helmholz Richard H., ed., Select Cases on Defamation to 1600 (London: Selden Society, 1985), xxxii–xxxiii (describing how anger might be used to counter an allegation of malice). Anger was not exculpatory, however, as demonstrated by the fact that a person accused of defamation might offer anger as a partial excuse, but only in the context of making public penance for his or her spoken words. See ibid., xl.

159. See, for example, Horder, Provocation and Responsibility, 8–9, 21, n. 71.

160. See, for example, Gower's oblique comparison between extreme anger and drunkenness in his Confessio Amantis, in which the confessor describes the “mischief” that results from a person failing to control his anger, thereby falling into sinful acts that would be recalled with regret upon returning to a calmer state: “My son, for your heart's ease / I shall fulfill this prayer (i.e., request for an explanation of ire's effects), / So that you might the better learn / What mischief this vice causes, / When one in his anger does not forebear, / Such that he regrets, / When he is sober and thinks / About the folly of his deed.” Gower, Confessio Amantis, vol. 2, 154 (Book 3, lines 134–41).

161. Mannyng, Handlyng Synne, 128. (Ȝyf þou for yre a man slogh / Þat myghtyst haue lefte weyl ynogh,–– / Þat hyt was nat þe defendyng, / But for wraþþe and yre brennyng,–– / Al þat euer God shope to be / Shal come and fyȝt aȝens þe / At þe day of iugëment, / And aȝens alle þou shalt be shent.)

She thanks the anonymous reviewers at Law and History Review and the participants in the Stanford Law and Humanities Colloquium in 2016, the conference on Law and Governance in Pre-Modern Britain held at the University of Western Ontario, the Premodern Colloquium at the University of Michigan, the panel on Criminal Intent in English Literature and Law at the 50th International Congress on Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo, the symposium on Emotions in the Courtroom at the University of St Andrews, and the Yale Legal History Forum, all in 2015; as well as the Preconference Workshop on Medieval Legal History at the 2014 American Society for Legal History meeting in Denver, and the Medieval and Early Modern Studies dissertation workshop at the University of Michigan. She particularly thanks Thomas Green, Charles Donahue, Kit French, Catherine Sanok, Diane Owen Hughes, Bill Miller, Krista Kesselring, Alison Cornish, Lena Salaymeh, David Seipp, Rowan Dorin, Thomas McSweeney, Jonathan Rose, Kimberley Knight, John Hudson, Stephen White, Sara Butler, Steven Bednarski, Jim Whitman, John Langbein, Sara McDougall, Adriaan Lanni, Charles Bartlett, Amalia Kessler, Bernie Meyler, Rabia Belt, Morgan Weiland, Andrew Crespo, and Daphna Renan for feedback on earlier drafts. She also thanks her wonderful research assistants, Cassandra Rasmussen, Michael Reiterman, and Theresa Smith. Unless otherwise indicated, all translations and modernizations are the author's own. Citations to National Archives documents (e.g., JUST 1, KB 27) refer to the digital archive assembled by Robert C. Palmer, Elspeth Palmer Rosbrook, and Susanne Brand, The Anglo-American Legal Tradition, available at aalt.law.uh.edu/aalt.html (hereafter AALT). In quoting secondary sources, she has altered the spelling of words to reflect standard United States writing conventions.

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