This document, which was issued at Woodstock, is recorded in the two works (Chronica and Gesta Regis Henrici Secundi) written by the chronicler Roger of Howden (fl. 1170-1201). It is a summary of previous laws concerning the rights and customs pertaining to the royal forest. The assize was passed in 1184/5, when Roger himself served as a justice of the forest and was in the sort of position that he had access to and could enter into his chronicle accurate texts of Henry II’s assizes. The Woodstock assize represents a second version of the first forest assize which became necessary because of problems of implementation encountered by justices once the eyre was under way.

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Edited by Nicholas Vincent