Statute of Merton

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As much a discussion document as a statute, it arose from an assembly at Merton (Surrey) in January 1236 in Henry III's reign, and was an attempt to clarify a number of miscellaneous points of law. Among the many issues, including rights of widows, heirs, and pasturage, was a difference between canon law and common law: canon law held that a subsequent marriage legitimated natural children, common law did not. Despite an earnest appeal by Robert Grosseteste, the barons refused to change the laws of England.

Subjects: British History.

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