The Overlaw of the Banded Folkdoms (B. F. Overlaw; in the tongue of its springing: Constitution of the United States) is the highest law of the Banded Folkdoms of America. The Overlaw was written in 1787, stampbound in 1788, and reared up in 1789. It has been amended twenty-seven times, last in 1992, and is by now the oldest of all written overlaws. The Overlaw is well-known for sundering the might of reveship between three branches: the Lawmaking, Wardkeeping, and Hapdeeming.
We the Folk of the Banded Folkdoms, for the end of shaping a more flawless Oneband, building up the Right, bulwarking the Frith of our Homeland, furnishing a shared guardianship, furthering the Folkish welfare, and making sound the Blessings of Freedom for ourselves and our Offspring, do set forth and rear up this Overlaw for the Banded Folkdoms of America.
Writ-thing One Edit
First CleavingAll lawmaking Rights herein given shall be entrusted to an Althing of the Banded Folkdoms, which shall be made up of an Eldermoot and a House of Betokeners.
Second CleavingThe House of Betokeners shall be made up of fellows chosen every second Year by the Folk of the sundry Folkdoms, and the Chusers in each Folkdom shall have the fittings sought after in Chusers of the most manyfellowed branch of that Folkdom’s Lawmoot.
No man shall be a Betokener who shall not have reached the Age of twenty-five Years, and been seven Years a boroughman of the Banded Folkdoms, and who shall not, when chosen, be an Indweller of that Folkdom in which he shall be chosen.
Betokeners and forthright revefares shall be allotted among the sundry Folkdoms which may be within this Oneband, by weight of their sundry Tallies, which shall be found by casting together the whole Tally of free Men, with those bound to Besteading for a Time of Years, and leaving out Indians not begelded, with three fifths of all other men. The true tallying shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Althing of the Banded Folkdoms, and within every following Tide of ten Years, by such Means as they shall by Law set forth. The Tally of Betokeners shall not rise beyond one for every thirty Thousand, but each Folkdom shall have at Least on Betokener; and until such tallying shall be made, the Folkdom of New Hampshire shall by right chuse three, Massachusetts eight, Rhode-Island and Boon-Pouring Farmsteads one, Connecticut five, New-York six, New Jersey four, Pennsylvania eight, Deleware one, Maryland six, Maidenland ten, North Carolina five, South Carolina five, and Georgia three.
When openings happen in the Betokening from any Folkdom, the Wardkeeper thereof shall send forth Writs of Chusing to fill such Openings.
The House of Betokeners shall chuse their Speaker and other Ambighters, and it alone shall have the Right of Downthrowing.
Third CleavingThe Eldermoot of the Banded Folkdoms shall be made up of two Elders from each Folkdom, chosen by the Lawmoot thereof, for six Years; and each Elder shall have one Yea or Nay.
As soon as they shall be brought together in Upshot of the first Chusing, they shall be sundered as evenly as may be into three Sets. The Seats of the Elders of the first Set shall open at the End of the second Year, of the second Set at the End of the fourth Year, and of the third Set at the End of the sixth Year, so that one third may be chosen every second Year; and if Openings happen by Stepping Down, or otherwise, within the Awaytime of the Lawmoot of any Folkdom, the Wardkeeper thereof may make unabiding Choices until the next Meeting of the Lawmoot, which shall then fill such Openings.
No Man shall be an Elder who shall not have reached the Age of thirty Years, and been nine Years a Boroughman of the Banded Folkdoms, and who shall not, when chosen, be an Indweller of that Folkdom for which he shall be chosen.
The Under-Foresitter of the Banded Folkdoms shall be Foresitter of the Eldermoot, but shall have no Yea or Nay, unless they be evenly sundered.
The Eldermoot shall chuse their other Ambighters, and also a Foresitter-for-a-time, in the wanting of the Under-Foresitter, or when he shall take up the Ambight of Foresitter of the Banded Folkdoms.
The Eldermoot alone shall have the Right to try all Downthrowings. When sitting for that End, they shall be on Oath or Ayeword. When the Foresitter of the Banded Folkdoms is tried, the High Lawspeaker shall sit afore them: and no Man shall be cast down without the Yeas of two thirds of the Fellows present.
Doom in Trials of downthrowing shall not go further than to casting out from Ambight, and unfitness to hold and wield any Ambight of uprightness, Trust or Gain under the Banded Folkdoms; but he who is thrown down shall nevertheless be linkworthy and under threat of Beguiltment, Trial, Doom, and Bestrifing, by means of Law.
Fourth CleavingThe Times, Steads, and Means of holding Chusings for Elders and Betokeners, shall be set forth in each Folkdom by the Lawmoot thereof; but the Althing may at any time by Law make or overmake such Rules, save as to the Steads of chusing Elders.
The Althing shall gather together at least once in every Year, and such Meeting shall be on the first Monday in Yulemonth, unless they shall by Law choose some other Day.
Fifth CleavingEach House shall be Deemer of the Chusings, Backwrits and Fitness of its own Fellows, and the Mostness of each shall make a Wholegroup for their Dealings; but a smaller Tally may take leave from day to day, and may be given reveship to thrust the missing Fellows into the Meetings, by such Means, and under such Bestrifings as each House may set forth.
Each House may set the Rules of its Doings, bestrife its Fellows for Behaviour unbecoming of them, and, with the Yeas of two thirds, cast out a Fellow.
Each House shall keep a Journal of its Doings, and from time to time send forth the same, save such Bits as may in their Deeming need Hiding; and the Yeas and Nays of the Fellows of either House on any happening shall, at the Asking of one fifth of the Fellows there, be put into the Journal.
Neither House, within the Sitting of the Althing, shall, without Leave of the other, be gone for more than three days, nor to any other Stead than that in which the two Houses shall be sitting.
Sixth CleavingThe Elders and Betokeners shall earn a Wage for their Besteadings, to be made sound by Law, and yielded out of the Wealthhoard of the Banded Folkdoms. They shall in all Things, save Backstabbing, Felony, and Breach of the Frith, be free from Lawhalt throughout the time of their Hearkening at the Sitting of their own Houses, and in going to and coming back from the same; and for any Speech or Wordwrestle in either House, they shall be neither bidden nor searched in any other Stead.
No Elder or Betokener shall, within the Time for which he was Chosen, be named to any ethelish Ambight under the Reveship of the Banded Folkdoms, which shall have been set up, or the Gainings whereof shall have been swollen within such time; and no Man holding any Ambight under the Banded Folkdoms, shall be a Fellow of either House within his Staying in Ambight.
Seventh CleavingAll Writs for raising Geld shall spring up in the House of Betokeners; but the Eldermoot may put forth or give leave to Amendings as on other Writs.
Every Writ which shall have gained the Yea in the House of Betokeners and the Eldermoot shall, ere it become Law, be laid before the Foresitter of the Banded Folkdoms; If he think well of it, he shall underwrite it, but if not he shall send it back, with his Naysayings to that House in which it shall have sprung up, who shall pen in the Naysayings at large on their Journal, and go on to again bethink it. If after such second Bethinking two thirds of that House shall say Yea to the Writ, it shall be sent, together with the Naysayings, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be again bethought, and if upheld by two thirds of that House, it shall become a Law. But in all such Things the Yeas and Nays of both Houses shall be reckoned, and the Names of the Men standing for and against the Writ shall be penned in on the Journal of their own Houses. If any Writ shall not be sent back by the Foresitter within ten Days (save Sundays) after it shall have been laid before him, the Same shall be a Law, in like Way as if he had underwritten it, unless the Althing by their taking Leave forestall its Comeback, for then it shall not be a Law.
Every Behest, Setting, or Poll to which the Yea of the Eldermoot or House of Betokeners may be needful (save on a tussle over taking Leave) shall be laid before the Foresitter of the Banded Folkdoms, and ere the Same shall gain Sway, shall be upheld by him, or being turn down by him, shall again be sent onward by two thirds of the Eldermoot and House of Betokeners, by means of of the Rules and Bounds set forth for a Writ.
Eighth CleavingThe Althing shall have the Right to lay and gather Revefares, Must-yields, Put-upons, and Sharecuts, to pay the Owings and furnish the shared guardianship and Folkish welfare of the Banded Folkdoms, but all Must-yields, Put-upons and Sharecuts shall be samewise throughout the Banded Folkdoms;
To borrow Geld on the fastness of the Banded Folkdoms;
To oversee Trade with Outlands, and among the sundry Folkdoms, and with the Indian Thedes;
To set up a samewise Rule of Insplicing, and samewise Laws on the Working of Geldfounderings throughout the Banded Folkdoms;
To mint Geld, set forth the Worth thereof, and of outlandish fee, and fix the Likeholds of Weights and Reckonings;
To set out the Bestrifing of crookminting the Soundscores and running Mintgeld of the Banded Folkdoms.
To set up Mail Houses and mail Roads;
To further the Forthstride of Worldken and the handy Crafts, by making sound for bounded Times to Writers and Firstwrights the one-off Right to their sundry Writings and Findings;
To frame Hoves beneath the Most High Hove;
To mark out and bestrife Raidthefts and Felonies done on the high Seas, and Sins against the Law of Thedes;
To cry out ‘War!’, give Writs of Mark and Backstriking, and make Rules over Takings on Land and Water;
To raise and furnish Landfyrds, but no Outdealing of Geld to that End shall be for a longer Time than two Years.
To furnish and do upkeep on a Strikefleet;
To make Rules for the Reveship and Oversight of the land and sea Warmights;
To furnish for the calling forth of the Fyrd to wardkeep the Laws of the Oneband, put down uprisings and drive off landraids;
To furnish for the Outlaying, Beweaponing, and Oversight of the Fyrd, and for holding reveship over such a share of them as may be beworked in the Besteading of the Banded Folkdoms, keeping back to the sundry Folkdoms, the Naming of the Leadmen, and the Craft of drilling the Fyrd in line with the means set forth by the Althing;
To wield full Lawcraft in all Things whatsoever, over such Shire (not growing beyond ten Miles fourside), as may, by the upgiving of some Folkdoms, and the uptaking of the Althing, become the Seat of the Reveship of the Banded Folkdoms, and to wield like Reveship over all Steads bought by the Yea of the Lawmoot of the Folkdom in which the Same shall be, for the raising up of Strongholds, Stockhouses, Weaponhoards, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings;–
To make all Laws which shall be needful and fitting for bringing into Wardkeep the foregoing Rights, and all other Rights entrusted by this Overlaw in the Reveship of the Banded Folkdoms, or in any Stewardship or Ambighter thereof;
Ninth CleavingThe inwandering or inbringing of such Men as any of the Folkdoms now being shall think right to let in, shall not be forbidden by the Althing ere the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a Fare or Must-yield may be put upon such inbringing, not going beyond ten dollars for each Man.
The Right of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be put on hold, unless when in Times of Uprising or Landraid the Folkish Frith may need it.
No Writ of Fore-Doom or after-the-deed Law shall be made.
No Headfare, or other forthright Revefare, shall be laid, unless done in Evenness with the Tallying which earlier was bidden to be taken.
No Revefare or Must-yield shall be laid on Things carried out from any Folkdom.
No Forechoice shall be given by any Rule of Trade or Begelding to the Docks of one Folkdom over those of another: nor shall ships bounds to, or from, one Folkdom, be made to come into, clear, or give up Must-yields in another.
No Geld shall be drawn from the Wealthhoard, but as the Upshot of Outdealings made by Law; and a steady Bewriting and Reckoning of the Backwrits and Yieldings of all folkish Geld shall be sent forth from time to time.
No Highness-Name shall be given by the Banded Folkdoms: And no Man holding any Ambight of Gain or Trust under them, shall, without the Leave of the Althing, take any Gift, Gaining, Ambight, or Highness-Name, of any kind whatever, from any King, Atheling, or outlandish Rike.
Tenth CleavingNo Folkdom shall go into any Landtie, Edfriending, or Rikeband; give Writs of Mark and Backstriking; mint Geld; send forth Writs of Fastness; make any Thing but gold and silver mintage a Handaway in the filling of Bonds; make any Writ of Fore-Doom, after-the-deed Law, or Law forestalling the heading of Bonds, or give any Highness-Name.
No Folkdom shall, without the Yea of the Althing, lay any Put-upon or Must-yield on Intrades or Outtrades, save what may be wholly needful for wardkeeping its inlooking Laws: and the net Gain of all Put-upons and Must-yields, laid by any Folkdom on Intrades or Outtrades, shall be for the brooking of the Wealthhoard of the Banded Folkdoms; and all such laws shall be beneath the overwriting and steering of the Althing.
No Folkdom shall, without the Yea of the Althing, lay any Must-yield of Tonnage, keep Warriors, or Ships of War in time of Frith, go into any behight or fellowship with another Folkdom, or with an outlandish Rike, or make war, unless truly landraided, or in a plight so near-at-hand as to not brook any holdup.
Writ-thing Two Edit
First CleavingThe wardkeeping Right shall be entrusted to a Foresitter of the Banded Folkdoms. He shall hold his Ambight for the Time of four Years, and together with the Under-Foresitter, chosen for the same Time, be chosen, as follows
Each Folkdom shall name, by such Means as the Legislature thereof may set forth, a Tally of Chusers, even with the whole Tally of Elders and Betokeners to which the Folkdom may by right send to the Althing: but no Elder or Betokener, or Man holding an Ambight of Trust or Gain under the Banded Folkdoms, shall be named as a Chuser.
The Chusers shall meet in their sundry Folkdoms, and be polled by Pollwrit for two Men, of whom one at least shall not be an Indweller of the same Folkdom with themselves. And they shall make a List of all the Men for whom Pollwrits were cast, and the Tally of Pollwrits for each; which List they shall underwrite and betruth, and send sealed to the Seat of the Reveship of the Banded Folkdoms, forthright to the Foresitter of the Eldermoot. The Foresitter of the Eldermoot shall, before the Eldermoot and House of Betokeners, open all the Truthbonds, and the Pollwrits shall then be tallied. The Man having the greatest Tally of Pollwrits shall be the Foresitter, if such a Tally be a Mostness of the whole Tally of Chusers named; and if there be more than one who have such Mostness, and have the same Tally of Choicewrits, then the House of Betokeners shall forthright chuse by Pollwrit one of them for Foresitter; and if no Man have a Mostness, then from the five highest on the List the said House shall by like Means chuse the Foresitter. But in chusing the Foresitter, the Poll shall be taken by Folkdoms, the Betokening from each Folkdom having one Say; A wholegroup for this End shall be made up of a Fellow or Fellows from two thirds of the Folkdoms, and a Mostness of all the Folkdoms shall be needful for a Choice. In every Happening, after the Choice of the Foresitter, the Man having the greatest Tally of Pollwrits of the Chusers shall be the Under-Foresitter. But if there should still be two or more who have even Pollwrits, the Eldermoot shall chuse from them by Pollwrit the Under-Foresitter.
The Althing may set forth the Time of chusing the Chusers, and the Day on which they shall give their Pollwrits; which Day shall be the same throughout the Banded Folkdoms.
No Man save an inborn Boroughman, or a Boroughman of the Banded Folkdoms, at the time of the Taking up of this Overlaw, shall be fit for the Ambight of Foresitter; neither shall any Man be fit for that Ambight who shall not have reached the Age of thirty-five Years, and been fourteen Years an Indweller within the Banded Folkdoms.
In Times of the Casting out of the Foresitter from Ambight, or of his Death, Stepping down, or Unfitness to carry out the Strengths and Must-dos of the said Ambight, the Same shall go down to the Under-Foresitter, and the Althing may by Law make ready for the Happening of Casting-out, Death, Stepping down, or Unfitness, both of the Foresitter and Under-Foresitter, setting forth what Ambighter shall then work the deeds of the Foresitter, and such Ambighter shall do such, until the Unfitness go away, or a Foresitter shall be chosen.
The Foresitter shall, at forthset Times, get for his Besteading, a Wage, which shall neither be swollen nor dwindled during the Time for which he shall have been chosen, and he shall not get within that Time any other Gain from the Banded Folkdoms, or any of them.
Ere he begin the Wardkeeping of his Ambight, he shall take the following Oath or Ayeword: — “I do earnestly swear (or give my ayeword) that I will steadfastly keep the Ambight of Foresitter of the Banded Folkdoms, and will to the best of my Fitness, keep, guard, and beshield the Overlaw of the Banded Folkdoms.”
Second CleavingThe Foresitter shall be High Leader of the Landfurth and Strikefleet of the Banded Folkdoms, and of the Fyrds of the sundry Folkdoms, when called into the true Besteading of the Banded Folkdoms; he may get the Thoughts, in writing, of the main Ambighter in each of the wardkeeping Stewardships, upon any Thing linking with the Must-does of their sundry Ambights, and he shall have the Right to grant Stays and Forgivenesses for Sins against the Banded Folkdoms, save in Happenings of Downthrowing.
He shall have the Right, by and with the Rede and Leave of the Eldermoot, to make Landties, so long as two thirds of the Elders there say Yea; and he shall name, and by and with the Rede and Leave of the Eldermoot, shall rear up Rikesboders, other ethelish Stewards and Ambighters, Lawspeakers of the Most High Hove, and all other Ambighters of the Banded Folkdoms, whose Chusings are not herein otherwise furnished, and which shall be set up by Law: but the Althing may by Law entrust the Chusing of such lesser Ambighters, as they think right, in the Foresitter alone, in the Hoves of Law, or in the Heads of Stewardships.
The Foresitter shall have the Right to fill up all Openings that may happen during the Awaytime of the Eldermoot, by giving Warrants which shall fade at the End of their next Sitting.
Third CleavingHe shall from time to time give to the Althing Tidings on the Onlay of the Oneband, and call to their Bethinking such Means as he shall deem needful and hasteworthy; he may, at amazing Times, call together both Houses, or either of them, and lest there be Strife between them, over the Time of Leavetaking, he may put them to leave til such Time as he shall think right; he shall take in Rikesboders and other ethelish Stewards; he shall take Care that the Laws be steadfastly wardkept, and shall Bewarrant all the Ambighters of the Banded Folkdoms.
Fourth CleavingThe Foresitter, Under-Foresitter and all ethilish Ambighters of the Banded Folkdoms, shall be cast out of Ambight on Downthrowing for, and Guiltfinding of, Backstabbing, Crookgifting, or other High Sins or Wrongdoings.
Writ-thing Three Edit
First CleavingThe hapdeeming Might of the Banded Folkdoms, shall be entrusted in one Most High Hove, and in such lesser Hoves as the Althing may from time to time set forth and rear up. The Lawspeakers, both of the Most High and lesser Hoves, shall hold their Ambights during good Behaviour, and shall, at forethset Times, get for their Besteadings, a Wage, which shall not be dwindled during their Staying in Ambight.
Second CleavingThe hapdeeming Might shall go to all Happenings, in Law and Evenhood, arising under this Overlaw, the Laws of the Banded Folkdoms, and Landties made, or which shall be made, under their Reveship;—to all Happenings dealing with Rikesboders, other ethelish Stewards and Ambighters;—to Struggles to which the Banded Folkdoms shall be a Side;—to Struggles between two or more Folkdoms;—between a Folkdom and Boroughmen of another Folkdom;—between boroughmen of unsame Folkdoms,—between Boroughmen of the same Folkdom staking Lands under Bestowings of unsame Folkdoms, and between a Folkdom, or the boroughmen thereof, and outlandish Thedes, Boroughmen, or Rikemen.
In all Happenings dealing with Rikesboders, other ethelish Stewards and Ambighters, and those in which a Folkdom shall be a Side, the Most High Hove shall have first Deemright. In all other Happenings before written of, the Most High Hove shall have afterpleaing Deemright, both as to Law and Deedsake, with such Outlayings, and under such Rules as the Althing shall make.
The Trial of all Sins, save in Trials of Downthrowing, shall be by Oathmen; and such Trial shall be held in the Folkdom where the said Sins shall have been done; but when not done within any Folkdom, the Trial shall be at such Stead or Steads as the Althing may by law have set forth.
Third CleavingBackstabbing against the Banded Folkdoms, shall be made up only of making War against them, or in cleaving to their Foes, giving them Help and Strengthening. No Man shall be found guilty of Backstabbing unless on the Word of two Witnesses to the same open Deed, or on Acknowledging in open Lawhove.
The Althing shall have the Right to set forth the Bestrifing of Backstabbing, but no Doom of Backstabbing shall work Befouling of Blood, or Landloss save within the Life of the doomed Man.
Writ-thing Four Edit
First CleavingFull Steadfastness shall be given in each Folkdom to the folkish Deeds, Logs, and hapdeemish Doings of every other Folkdom. And the Althing may by overall Laws set forth the Means by which such Deeds, Longs, and Doings shall be made known, and the Upshot thereof.
Second CleavingThe Boroughmen of each Folkdom shall by right have all the Boons and Setguards of Boroughmen in the sundry Folkdoms.
A man beguilted in any Folkdom for Backstabbing, Felony, or other Sin, who shall flee from Righthood, and be found in another Folkdom, shall on the Asking of the wardkeeping Revedom of the Folkdom from which he fled, be yielded up, to be taken to the State having Deemright of the Sin.
No Man held to Besteading or Work in one Folkdom, under the Laws thereof, fleeing into another, shall, in Upshot to any Law or Rule therein, be set free from such Besteading or Work, but shall be yielded up on the Calling of him to whom such Besteading or Work may be owed.
Third CleavingNew Folkdoms may be welcomed by the Althing into this Oneband; but no new Folkdom shall be shaped or reared within the Deemright of any other Folkdom; nor any Folkdom be shaped by the Linking of two or more Folkdoms, or Bits of Folkdoms, without Leave of the Lawmoots of the Folkdoms dealt with as well as of the Althing.
The Althing shall have the Right to work out and make all needful Rules and Oversight dealing with the Land or other Goods belonging to the Banded Folkdoms; and nothing in this Overlaw shall be so laid out as to fordeem any Stakes of the Banded Folkdoms, or of any one Folkdom.
Fourth CleavingThe Banded Folkdoms shall guarantee to every Folkdom in this Oneband a Mootrikish Shape of Reveship, and shall guard each of them against Landraiding; and at the Behest of the Lawmoot, or the Wardkeeper (when the Lawmoot cannot be gathered) against homelandish clash-work.
Writ-thing Five Edit
Althing, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall put forth Amendings to this Overlaw, or, at the Behest of the Lawmoots of two thirds of the sundry Folkdoms, shall call a Oncemoot for putting forth Amendings, which, in either Happening, shall be true to all Meanings and Ends, as Bits of this Overlaw, when stampbound by the Lawmoots of three fourths of the sundry Folkdoms, or by Oncemoots in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Means of Stampbinding may be called for by the Althing; So long as no Amending which may be made ere the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall by any Means deal with the first and fourth Worddeals in the Ninth Cleaving of the first Writ-thing; and that no Folkdom, without its Leave, shall have its even Polling in the Eldermoot taken away.
Writ-thing Six Edit
All Owings bonded and Oathwords gone into, ere the taking up of this Overlaw, shall be as strong against the Banded Folkdomes under this Overlaw, as under the Rikeband.
This Overlaw, and the Laws of the Banded Folkdoms which shall be made in the Following thereof, and all Landties made, or which shall be made, under the Reveship of the Banded Folkdoms, shall be the Most High Law of the Land; and the Lawspeakers in every Folkdom shall be bound thereby, any Thing otherwise in the Overlaw or Laws of any Folkdom notwithstanding.
The Elders and Betokeners before written of, and the Fellows of the sundry Folkdom Lawmoots, and all wardkeeping and hapdeeming Ambighters, both of the Banded Folkdoms and of the sundry Folkdoms, shall be bound by Oath or Ayeword, to uphold this Overlaw, but no Trial of Beliefs shall ever be needed as a befitting to any Ambight or folkish Trust under the Banded Folkdoms.
Writ-thing Seven Edit
The Stampbinding of the Oncemoots of nine Folkdoms, shall be enough for the Rearing up of this Overlaw between the Folkdoms so stampbinding the Same.
Names Underwritten Edit
Done in Oncemoot by the Alminded Yea of the Folkdoms in their steads, the Seventeenth Day of Harvestmonth in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven and of the Selfhood of the Banded Folkdoms of America the Twelfth In witness whereof We have hereunto underwritten our Names:
George Washington - Foresitter and reveholder from Virginia
- George Read
- Gunning Bedford the Yonger
- John Dickinson
- Richard Bassett
- Jacob Broom
- James McHenry
- Dan of St. Thomas Jenifer
- Daniel Carroll
- John Blair
- James Madison the Younger
- William Blount
- Richard Dobbs Spaight
- Hugh Williamson
- John Rutledge
- Charles Cotesworth Pinckney
- Charles Pinckney
- Pierce Butler
- William Few
- Abraham Baldwin
- New Hampshire
- John Langdon
- Nicholas Gilman
- Nathaniel Gorham
- Rufus King
- William Samuel Johnson
- Roger Sherman
- Alexander Hamilton
- William Livingston
- David Brearley
- Wmliam Paterson
- Jonah Dayton
- Benjamin Franklin
- Thomas Mifflin
- Robert Morris
- George Clymer
- Thomas FitzSimons
- Jared Ingersoll
- James Wilson
- Gouverneur Morris
The Writ of Rights Edit
The First AmendingThe Althing shall make no law heading a rearing-up of beliefs, or forbidding the free workings thereof; or cutting back the freedom of speech, or of the wordthrutch; or of the right of the folk frithfully to gather, and to plead with the Reveship for an easing of burdens.
The Second AmendingA well steered Fyrd, being needful to the soundness of a free Folkdom, the right of the Folk to keep and bear Weapons, shall not be broken in upon.
The Third AmendingNo Warrior shall, in time of frith be lodged in any house, without the leave of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a way to be set forth by law.
The Fourth AmendingThe right of the folk to be sound in their bodies, houses, leaves, and belongings, against ungrounded lookings and takings, shall not be done in, and no Warrants shall come forth, but upon likely grounds, upheld by Oath or ayeword, and sunderingly setting out the stead to be looked in, and the men or things to be taken.
The Fifth AmendingNo man shall be held to answer for a deathworthy, or otherwise ghastly sin, unless on a showing forth or beguiltment of a Grand Oathmanhood, save in happenings arising in the land or sea weaponmights, or in the Fyrd, when in true besteading in time of War or folkish Plight; nor shall any man be made for the same wrongdoing to be twice put in a gamble for life or branch; nor shall he be made in any sinwise trial to be a witness against himself, nor shall his life, freedom, or belongings be taken away, without the right-owed workings of law; nor shall sunderfee be taken for folkish brook, without fair backgeld.
The Sixth AmendingIn all sinwise trials, the beguilted shall have the right to a speedy and open trial, by an evenminded Oathmanhood of the Folkdom and Shire wherein the sin shall have been done, which shire shall have been previously made sound by law, and to be told of the kind and grounds of the beguilting; to stand up against the witnesses against him; to have binding means for getting witnesses on his side, and to have the Help of Redeship for his beshielding.
The Seven AmendingIn Beseechings at Gatheredlaw, where the worth struggled over shall be greater than twenty dollars, the right of trial by oathmen shall be upheld, and no deedsake tried by an Oathmanhood, shall be otherwise again-tried in any Hove of the Banded Folkdoms, save it be in holding to the rules of the Gatheredlaw.
The Eight AmendingOverly great bail shall not be sought, nor overly great fares taken, nor ruthless and weird bestrifings meted out.
The Ninth AmendingThe telling in the Overlaw of sundry rights, shall not be laid out so as to withhold or put down others yet held by the folk.
The Tenth AmendingThe rights not entrusted to the Banded Folkdoms by the Overlaw, nor forbidden by it to the Folkdoms, are kept back to the sundry Folkdoms, or to the Folk.
Later Amendings Edit
The Eleventh AmendingThe Hapdeeming might of the Banded Folkdoms shall not be laid out to reach to any behesting in law or evenhood, begun or followed upon against one of the Banded Follkdoms by Boroughmen of another Folkdom, or by Boroughmen or Rikemen of any Outlandish Folkdom.
The Twelfth AmendingThe Chusers shall meet in their sundry folkdoms, and be polled by pollwrit for Foresitter and Under-Foresitter, one of whom, at least, shall not be an indweller of the same folkdom with themselves; they shall name in their pollwrits the man polled for as Foresitter, and in other pollwrits the man polled for as Under-Foresitter, and they shall make cloven lists of all men polled for as Foresitter, and of all persons polled for as Under-Foresitter, and of the tally for each, which lists they shall underwrite and betruth, and send sealed to the seat of the reveship of the Banded Folkdoms, forthright to the Foresitter of the Eldermoot;—The Foresitter of the Eldermoot shall, before the Eldermoot and House of Betokeners, open all the truthbonds and the pollwrits shall then be tallied;—The man having the greatest tally of pollwrits for Foresitter, shall be the Foresitter, if such number be a mostness of the whole tally of Chusers named; and if no man have such mostness, then from the men having the highest tallies not going beyond three on the list of those polled for as Foresitter, the House of Betokeners shall choose forthright, by pollwrit, the Foresitter. But in choosing the Forsitter, the polls shall be taken by folkdoms, the betokening from each folkdom having one say; a wholegroup for this end shall be made up of a fellow or fellows from two-thirds of the folkdoms, and a mostness of all the folkdoms shall be needful for a choice. And if the House of Betokeners shall not choose a Foresitter whenever the right of choice shall come down to them, ere the fourth day of Rethmonth next following, then the Under-Foresitter shall act as Foresitter, as in the case of the death or other overlawful unfitness of the Foresitter. — The man having the greatest tally of pollwrits as Under-foresitter, shall be the Under-foresitter, if such tally be a mostness of the whole tally of Chusers named, and if no man have a mostness, then from the two highest tallies on the list, the Eldermoot shall choose the Under-foresitter; a wholegroup for this end shall be made up of two-thirds of the whole tally of Elders, and a mostness of the whole tally shall be needful for a choice. But no man overlawfully unfit for the ambight of Foresitter shall be fit for that of Under-Foresitter of the Banded Folkdoms.
The Thirteenth AmendingNeither thralldom nor unwillful besteading, save as a bestrifing for sin whereof the thrall shall have been found guilty, shall be within the Banded Folkdoms, or any stead beneath their deemright.
The Fourteenth AmendingFirst Cleaving: All men born or inspliced in the Banded Folkdoms, and beneath the deemright thereof, are boroughmen of the Banded Folkdoms and of the Folkdom wherein they dwell. No Folkdom shall make or keep any law which shall cut back the boons or setguards of boroughmen of the Banded Folkdoms, nor shall any Folkdom take away from any man life, freedom, or belongings, without the right-owed workings of law; nor withhold from any man within its deemright the evenguard of the laws.
Second Cleaving: Betokeners shall be allotted among the sundry Folkdoms by weight of their sundry tallies, tallying the whole tale of free men in each Folkdom, save Indians not begelded. But when the right to be polled at any chusing for the choice of chusers for Foresitter and Under-Foresitter of the Banded Folkdoms, Betokeners in the Althing, the Wardkeeping and Hapdeeming ambighters of a Folkdom, or the fellows of the Lawmoot thereof, is withheld from any of the he-folk dwelling in such a Folkdom, being twenty-one years of age, and boroughmen of the Banded Folkdoms, or in any way cut back, save for works of uprising, or other sin, the grounds for betokening therein shall wane in the same weight which the tally of such he-boroughmen shall bear to the whole tally of he-boroughmen twenty-one years of age in such a Folkdom.
Third Cleaving: No man shall be an Elder or Betokener in the Althing, or Chuser of the Foresitter and Under-Foresitter, or hold any ambight, ethelish or weaponmightly, under the Banded Folkdoms, or under any Folkdom, who, having aforetime taken an oath, as a fellow of the Althing, or as an ambighter of the Banded Folkdoms, or as a fellow of any Folkdom's lawmoot, or as a wardkeeping or hapdeeming ambighter of any Folkdom, to uphold the Overlaw of the Banded Folkdoms, shall have worked uprising or outbreaking against the same, or given help or strengthening to the foes thereof. But the Althing may by the Yea of two-thirds of each House, take away such unfitness.
Fourth Cleaving: The soundness of the folkish owings of the Banded Folkdoms, bemighted by law, with owings taken up for furnishing of geldlettings and warboons for besteadings in putting down uprising and outbreaking, shall not be put under asking. But neither the Banded Folkdoms nor any Folkdom shall take up or yield any owing or binding taken on in the helping of uprising and outbreaking against the Banded Folkdoms, or any staking for the loss or freeing of any thrall, but all such owings, bindings, and stakings shall be held unlawful and empty.
The Althing shall have the right to keep, by lawmaking befitting them, the furnishings of this writ-thing.
The Fifteenth AmendingThe right of boroughmen of the Banded Folkdoms to be polled shall not be withheld or cut back by the Banded Folkdoms or by any Folkdom for the sake of stock, hue, or earlier onlay of thralldom.
The Althing shall have the right to keep this writ-thing by lawmaking befitting it.
The Sixteenth AmendingThe Althing shall have the right to lay and gather begeldings on incomes, coming from whatever spring, without allotment among the sundry Folkdoms, and without care for any reckoning or tallying.
The Seventeenth AmendingFirst Cleaving: The Eldermoot of the Banded Folkdoms shall be made up of two Elders from each Folkdoms, chosen by the folk thereof, for six years; and each Elder shall have one year or nay. The chusers in each Folkdom shall have the fittings sought after in chusers of the most manyfellowed branch of the Folkdoms' Lawmoots.
Second Cleaving: When openings happen in the betokening of any Folkdom in the Eldermoot, the wardkeeper of such Folkdom shall send forth writs of chusing to fill such openings: Furnished, That the lawmoot of any Folkdom may bemight the wardkeeper thereof to make unabiding choices until the folk fill the openings by polling as the lawmoot may set forth.
Third Cleaving: This amending shall not be laid out so as to deal with the chusing or time of any Elder chosen ere it becomes sound as a bit of the Overlaw.
The Eighteenth AmendingFirst Cleaving: After one year from the stampbinding of this writ-thing the making, sale, or carrying about of heady ales within, the incarrying thereof into, or the outcarrying thereof from the Banded Folkdoms and all land beneath the deemright thereof to the end of drinking them is hereby forbidden.
Second Cleaving: The Althing and the sundry Folkdoms shall have likerunning might to week with writ-thing by lawmaking befitting it.
Third Cleaving: This writ-thing shall be unworking unless is shall have been stampbound as an amending to the Overlaw by the lawmoots of the sundry Falkdoms, as furnished in the Overlaw, within seven years from the day of the sending hereof to the Folkdoms by the Althing.
The Nineteenth AmendingThe right of boroughmen of the Banded Folkdoms to be polled shall not be withheld or cut back by the Banded Folkdoms or by any Folkdom for the sake of their being he-kind or she-kind.
The althing shall have the right to keep this writ-thing by lawmaking befitting it.
The Twentieth AmendingFirst Cleaving: The times of ambight of the Foresitter and Under-Foresitter shall end at noon on the twentieth day of Afteryule, and the times of the Elders and Betokeners at noon on the third day of Afteryule, of the years in which such times would have ended if this writ-thing had not be stampbound; and the times of their followers shall then begin.
Second Cleaving: The Althing shall gather together at least once in every year, and such meeting shall begin at noon on the third day of Afteryule, unless they shall by law set out some other day.'
Third Cleaving: If, at the time set for the beginning of the time in ambight of the Foresitter, the newly-chosen Foresitter shall have died, the newly-chosen Under-Foresitter shall become Foresitter. If a Foresitter shall not have been chosen ere the time set for the beginning of his time in ambight, or if the newly-chosen Foresitter shall have failed to be fit, then the newly-chosen Under-Foresitter shall work the deeds of the Foresitter until a Foresitter shall have been fitted; and the Althing may by law furnish for the happening wherein neither a newly-chosen Foresitter nor a new-chosen Under-Foresitter shall have been fit, setting forth who shall then work the deeds of the Foresitter, or the Means by which one who is to work shall be chosen, and such man shall thus work until a Foresitter or Under-Foresitter shall have been fitted.
Fourth Cleaving: The Althing may by law furnish for the happening of the death of any of the men from whom the House of Betokeners may choose a Foresitter whenever the right of choice shall have come down to them, and for the case of the death of any of the men from whom the Eldermoot may choose an Under-Foresitter whenever the right of choice shall have come down to them.
Fifth Cleaving: The first and second cleavings shall gain sway on the fifteenth day of Winterfulth following the stampbinding of this writ-thing,
Sixth Cleaving: The writ-thing shall be unworking unless it shall have been stampbound as an amending to the Overlaw by the lawmoots of three-fourths of the sundry Folkdoms within seven years from the day of its sending forth.
The Twenty-First AmendingFirst Cleaving: The eighteenth writ-thing of amending to the Overlaw of the Bounded Folkdoms is hereby taken back.
Second Cleaving: The carrying or incarrying into any Folkdom, Land, or Belonging of the Banded Folkdoms for handing over or brooking therein of heady ales, against the laws thereof, is hereby forbidden.
Third Cleaving: This writ-thing shall be unworking unless it shall have been stampbound as an amending to the Overlaw by oncemoots in the sundry States, as furnished in the Overlaw, within seven years from the day of the sending forth hereof to the Folkdoms by the Althing.
The Twenty-Second AmendingFirst Cleaving: No man shall be chosen for the ambight of Foresitter more than twice, and no man who has held the ambight of Foresitter, or worked as Foresitter, for more than two years of a time to which some other man was chosen Foresitter shall be chosen for the ambight of Foresitter more than once. But this writ-thing shall not deal with any man holding the ambight of Foresitter when this writ-thing was sent forth by the Althing, and shall not hinder any man who may be holding the abmight of Foresitter, or working as Foresitter, within the time within which this writ-thing becomes working from holding the ambight of Foresitter or working the deeds of the Foresitter within what is left of such term.
Second Cleaving: This writ-thing shall be unworking unless it shall have been stampbound as an amending to the Overlaw by the lowmoots of three-fourths of the sundry states within seven years from the day of its sending forth to the folkdoms by the Althing.
The Twenty-Third AmendingFirst Cleaving: The Shire making up the seat of reveship of the Banded Folkdoms shall choose by such means as the Althing may direct: a tally of chusers of Foresitter and Under-Foresitter that is the same as the whole tally of Elders and Betokeners in Althing which the Shire would have by right if it were a folkdom, but never more than the least befolked folkdom; they shall be beyond those chosen by the Folkdoms, but they shall be heeded, for the ends of the chusing of Foresitter and Under-Foresitter, to be chusers chosen by a Folkdom, and they shall meet in the Shire and do such deeds as bidden by the twelfth writ-thing of amending.
Second Cleaving: The Althing shall have the right to keep this writ-thing by lawmaking befitting it.
The Twenty-Fourth AmendingFirst Cleaving: The right of boroughmen of the Banded Folkdoms to be polled in any firstheld or other chusing for Foresitter or Under-Foresitter, for Chusers for Foresitter and Under-Foresitter, or for Elders or for Betokeners in the Althing, shall not be withheld or cut back by the Banded Folkdoms or any Folkdom on grounds of not yielding up any pollfare or other fare.
Second Cleaving: The Althing shall have the right to keep this writ-thing by lawmaking befitting it.
The Twenty-Fifth AmendingFirst Cleaving: In the happening of the casting-out of the Foresitter from Ambight or of his death or stepping down, the Under-Foresitter shall become Foresitter.
Second Cleaving: Whenever there is an opening in the ambight of Under-Foresitter, the Foresitter shall name an Under-Foresitter who shall take ambight upon the Yea of a mostness in a poll of both houses of the Althing.
Third Cleaving: Whenever the Foresitter sends to the Foresitter-for-a-time of the Eldermoot and the Speaker of the House of Betokeners his written setting-forth that he is unfit to carry out the mights and doings of his ambight, and until he sends to them a written setting-forth otherwise, such mights and doings shall be carried out by the Under-Foresitter as Working Foresitter.
Fourth Cleaving: Whenever the Under-Foresitter and a mostness of either the main stewards of the wardkeeping stewardships or of such other body as the Althing may by law furnish, send to the Foresitter-for-a-time of the Eldermoot and the Speaker of the House of Betokeners their written setting-forth that the Foresitter is unfit to carry out the mights and doings of his ambight, the Under-Foresitter shall at once take up the mights and doings of the ambight as Working Foresitter.
Thereafter, when the Foresitter sends to the Foresitter-for-a-time of the Eldermoot and the Speaker of the House of Betokeners his written setting-forth that there is no unfitness, he shall again take up the mights and doings of his ambight unless the Under-Foresitter and a mostness of either the main stewards of the wardkeeping stewardship or of such other body as the Althing may by law furnish, send within four days to the Foresitter-for-a-time of the Eldermoot and the Speaker of the House of Betokeners their written setting-forth that the Foresitter is unfit to carry out the mights and doings of his ambight. Thereupon the Althing shall deem the thing, gathering together within forty-eight hours for that end if not in sitting. If the Althing, within twenty-one days after getting the latter written setting-forth, or, if the Althing is not sitting, within twenty-one days after the Althing is made to gather together, deems by a two-thirds poll of both Houses that the Foresitter is unfit to carry out the mights and doings of his ambight, the Under-Foresitter shall yet carry out the same as Working Foresitter; otherwise, the Foresitter shall again take up the mights and doings of his ambight.
The Twenty-Sixth AmendingFirst Cleaving: The right of boroughmen of the Banded Folkdoms, who are eighteen years of age or older, to be polled, shall not be withheld or cut back by the Banded Folkdoms or any folkdom for the sake of of age.
Second Cleaving: The Althing shall have the right to keep this writ-thing by lawmaking befitting it.
The Twenty-Seventh AmendingNo law shifting the wage for the besteadings of the Elders and Betokeners shall take sway until a chusing of the Betokeners shall have come between.