us summoneri in generali per vicecomites et ballivos nostros omnes alios qui in capite tenent de nobis. Thus the barons are distinguished from other tenants in chief, as if the former name were only applicable to a particular number of the king's immediate vassals. But it is reasonable to think that, before this charter was made, it had been settled by the law of some other parliament, how these greater barons should be distinguished from the lesser tenants in chief; else what certainty could there be in an expression so general and indefinite? And this is likely to have proceeded from the pride with which the ancient and wealthy barons of the realm would regard those newly created by grants of escheated honours, or those decayed in estate, who yet were by their tenures on an equality with themselves. They procured therefore two innovations in their condition; first that these inferior barons should be summoned generally by the sheriff, instead of receiving their particular writs, which made an honorary disti
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