Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A writ directed to the sheriff, commanding him to take sureties, called mainpernors, for the prisoner's appearance, and to let him go at large.
  • n. Deliverance of a prisoner on security for his appearance at a day.
  • v. To allow (a prisoner) to go at large, on his finding sureties, or mainpernors, for his appearance on a given day.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A writ directed to the sheriff, commanding him to take sureties, called mainpernors, for the prisoner's appearance, and to let him go at large. This writ is now obsolete.
  • n. Deliverance of a prisoner on security for his appearance at a day.
  • transitive v. To suffer to go at large, on his finding sureties, or mainpernors, for his appearance at a day; -- said of a prisoner.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In law
  • n. Surety; bail.
  • n. Deliverance of a prisoner on security for his appearance at a future day.
  • n. A writ formerly directed to the sheriff, commanding him to take sureties (called mainpernors) for a prisoner's appearance, and to let him go at large. This writ is now generally superseded by bail and habeas corpus.
  • To suffer to go at large, as a prisoner, on his finding sureties or mainpernors for his appearance at a future day.

Etymologies

From French main ("hand") + prise ("a taking"), from prendre ("to take"), from Latin prehendo ("I take") (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • And they shackled him hand and foot and would take of him ne bail ne mainprise but preferred a charge against him for he was a malefactor. —

    Ulysses

  • Then the earle desired that he might put in mainprise, which was granted: and so the earle of Kent, sir Rafe Ferrers, sir Iohn Roch, & sir Iohn Draiton knights, mainprised the said earle bodie for bodie.

    Chronicles (3 of 6): Historie of England (1 of 9) Henrie IV

  • And they shackled him hand and foot and would take of him ne bail ne mainprise but preferred a charge against him for he was a malefactor.

    Ulysses

  • No man’s person shall be restrained or imprisoned by any authority whatsoever, before the law hath sentenced him thereto, if he can put in sufficient security, bail or mainprise, for his appearance, and good behaviour in the mean time, unless it be in Crimes Capital, and Contempts in open Court, and in such cases where some express act of Court doth allow it.

    The Massachusetts Body of Liberties

  • [180] On the very day of Laud's attainder, Jan. 6th, 1645, - L-5 for the first offence; - L-10 for the second; a year's imprisonment without bail or mainprise for the third.

    Studies in the Book of Common Prayer

  • Then 1 James I.c. 29 awarded three months 'imprisonment "without bail or mainprise" to any person who should "shoot at, kill, or destroy with any gun, crossbow, stonebow, or longbow, any house-dove or pigeon," but allowed an alternative fine of twenty shillings to be paid to the churchwardens of the parish for the benefit of the poor.

    Daddy Darwin's Dovecot: A Country Tale

  • Penalties or forfeitures ordered by this Act; shall for every such offence suffer Twelve months 'imprisonment without Bail or mainprise.

    History of the Negro Race in America From 1619 to 1880. Vol 1 Negroes as Slaves, as Soldiers, and as Citizens

  • Nevertheless, seeing Fillet retire to execute the knight's commands, he recollected himself so far as to tell the prisoners, there was no occasion to give themselves any farther trouble, for he would release them without bail or mainprise.

    The Adventures of Sir Launcelot Greaves

  • _ viij_d. _, and for the third offence x_s. _, and for every other offence after such third time to forfeit and lose like sum, and to suffer imprisonment by the space of two whole days and nights without bail or mainprise.

    Old St. Paul's Cathedral

  • Nevertheless, seeing Fillet retire to execute the knight’s commands, he recollected himself so far as to tell the prisoners, there was no occasion to give themselves any farther trouble, for he would release them without bail or mainprise.

    The Life and Adventures of Sir Launcelot Greaves

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