The Magna Carta | Study Guide

King John

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The Magna Carta | Section 44 | Summary



People who live outside the forest are not required to respond to a general summons by forest officials. The exception is if they are representing someone who broke a forest law.


Along with Sections 47 and 48, this section concerns the king's forests. A forest was a natural area, not necessarily wooded, designated for the king's use. It could be used for hunting and leisure and for revenue. The forest areas often included towns and villages. However, different, stricter laws applied within forests than outside them. There was even less restriction on the king's power. The laws of the forests protected the game of the forest for the king's hunt and restricted the ways residents could use the land. These laws were enforced by a separate class of the king's officers who had their own system of courts.

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