In pleas initiated by the king's writ where essoins are permitted and a party provides an excuse why he is unable to appear, he is to be given a week's postponement. The same applies in pleas of debt begun by writ in which a peer of the city is defendant. If a plea between peers is begun without writ, the extent of the postponement is to be at the discretion of the bailiffs. If the defendant, after he has been attached [to answer a charge] gives the excuse that he is busy performing a service for the king he must present documentary proof of this on the date to which the case is postponed or face being heavily amerced (and must still answer the charge).
[Some situations, such as the borough equivalent of novel disseisin required quick remedy, which precluded the delay involved in obtaining a royal writ to initiate legal proceedings. In such cases, the bailiffs would need to set briefer postponements in response to essoins.]