Merton, Council of

In 1236 there was a clash between common law and *canon law over the matter of illegitimacy. Common law said that illegitimacy could not be undone by marriage; that bastards had no rights of inheritance over children born in wedlock. Canon law affirmed that marriage was potent enough to legitimise bastard children. At this council the earls and barons ignored ecclesiastical pressure and did not change common law.

Dictionary of Medieval Terms and Phrases. .

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