WALES. Vol. II] SEPTEMBER, 1895. [No. 17. THE WELSH ORDINANCES OF EDWARD THE SECOND. By His Honour Judge David Lewis. I—AMOBR, SPADONES, MEN OF AVOWRY. HE original ordinances whose translations ap¬ pear, that relating to West and South Wales in the July number of Wales, and that for North Wales in the August number, are among the Patent Rolls at the Record office. Copies may be found printed in Rymer's Foedera, but the transla¬ tions themselves have been made from copies in the Pettyt MSS. at the Inner Temple Library. Although references to these ordinances are frequently found in works relating to Welsh history, I cannot find that they have ever been translated; and as legal documents of this age and character are not easily intelligible to the layman, it appeared to me that their translations, with a few notes of a general character, would be acceptable to students of Welsh history, and readers of Wales in particular, as a further contribution to the laudable efforts of the editor to put before his readers in a convenient and intelligible form the whole of the legisla¬ tion relating to Wales from the Statutes of Wales down. And here, as what we are dealing with are called ordinances and not statutes, the reader who is not a lawyer will naturally ask,—what is the difference between an ordinance and a statute or Act of Parlia¬ ment ? In early times, before the reign of Edward I., the English laws were put in various forms, in the form of charters, edicts, assizes, articles proposed and accepted, and provisions. " From the reign "of Edward I., the forms are those of " statutes and ordinances, differing in some " respects; the former fonrally accepted in " the parliament as laws of perpetual " obligation; the latter proceeding from " the king and his council rather than from " the king and his parliament, being more " temporary in character and not enrolled " among the statutes."* From Bishop Stubbs' description of statutes and ordinances, it will appear that the " Statute of Wales," being passed for the king "by the council of his peers" only, was not a solemn statute, but a less solemn ordinance. Although called a statute in the last paragraph but one, it reserves to the king at his own free will the power of declaring, interpreting, adding to, and diminishing it, which he certainly could not do if it had been a real statute. Thus the ordinances under consideration are therefore enactments altering and amending, in certain particulars, some of the provisions of the " Statute of Wales," itself an ordinance, in matters of legal procedure, and in matters of custom, and establishing other provisions for the government of Wales. Circumstances having delayed the pub¬ lication of these notes for such a long time after the publication of the translation of the ordinances, it will tend to their better understanding if I begin with a summary of the ordinance for " South and West Wales." It begins by reciting that the people of West Wales and South Wales had presented petitions for the removal of certain grievances to the king at the * Stubbs' Select Charters, p. 47. 25 385