statute penalties papal
PRAMONSTRATENSIANS. See ABBEY, V01. p. 20, and MONACITTSY, VOI. xvi. p. 709.
PRAniUNIRE, the name given to a writ originating in the llth century in the attempt to put restraint on the action of the papal authority in regard to the disposal of ecclesiastical benefices in England before the same became vacant, and subsequently, to the prejudice of the rightful patron, and also in the encouragement of resort to the Roman curia rather than to the courts of the country, in disregard of the authority of the crown, leading thereby to the creation of an imperium in imperio and the paying that obedience to papal process which constitutionally belonged to the king alone. The word "prwmunire"' is applied also to the offence for which the writ is granted, and furthermore to the penalty it incurs. The range and description of offences made liable to the penalties of priremunire became greatly widened subsequently to the Reformation, so that acts of a very miscellaneous character were from time to time brought within the scope of enactments passed for a very different purpose. The offence is of a nature highly criminal, though not capital, and more immediately affects the crown and Government. The statute 16 Rich. II. c. 5 (1392) is usually designated the Statute of Prfemunire; it is, however, but one only of numerous stringent measures (many of which are still unrepealed) resulting from the enactment of the Statute of Provisors (35 Edw. I. c, 1), passed in a previous reign, which according to Coke (instil.) was the foundation of all the subsequent statutes of proemunire. Cowel (Law Did.) describes a provisor as one who sued to the court of Rome for a provision which was called gratia expectiva.
The penalties of prcemunire involved the loss of all civil rights, forfeiture of lands, goods, and chattels, and im-prisonment during the royal ple,asure. In the Habeas Corpus Act (31 Car. II. c. 2, 1679) the committing of any man to prison out of the reahn was made praarnunire unpardonable even by the king. It thus appears that, whilst the crown by its prerogative might at any time remit the whole or any part of the punishment incurred by a prreinunire, an exception was made in transgressions of the Statute of Habeas Corpus. The Royal Marriage .Act (12 Geo. III. c. 11) of 1772 is the last statute which sub-jects any one to the penalties of a, priremunire as ordained by 16 Bich. II.
It cannot be doubted that the legislation exemplified in the Statutes of Prannunire and Provisors was felt by the popes to be a great check on their freedom of action. In the hands of Henry VIII. prwmunire became eventually a lever for the overthrow of papal supremacy. The last ancient statute concerning prwinunire, until the Reforma-tion, was the 2 Hen. IV. c. 3 (1400), by which all persons who accepted any provision from the pope to be exempt from canonical obedience to their proper ordina-ry were subjected to the penalties prescribed. Bishop Stubbs,3 in summing up his account of the various statutes of Fie-munire, succinctly says of them that they were intended to prevent encroachments on and usurpations of jurisdiction on the part of the pope, and he adds that the more import-ant statute was that of 16 Rich. II. c. 5 (1392), which he describes as one of the strongest defensive mea.,sures taken durino. the Middle Ages against Rome, amd which was callecrfor in consequence of the conduct of the pope, who bad forbidden the bishops to execute the sentences of the roy-al courts in suits connected with ecclesiastical patron-age. Tomlins (Law Diet.) states that there is only one instance of a prosecution on a priuunire to be found in the state trials, in which case the penalties were inflicted upon some persons for refusing to take the oath of allegi-ance to Charles II. It may be added that on an indict-inent for prwmunire a peer might not be tried by- his peers.
See Coke, Instit. ; Collier, Eccl. Hist., 170S; Hallam, .illit/d/c Ageg, 1868 ; Stephen, Comm., 1853, and Ifist. Crim. Lau, ; and Stubbs, Const it. ifio.t., iS so.