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The following string appears in Jenks, E. "The prerogative writs in English law" Yale Law Journal 32:6 (1923):

...the accused in the meanwhile [was] to be kept in one of the new gaols ordered...to be built...in every county, in some borough or royal castle, at the King's expense, and if possible of the King's timber.

What does it mean for a prisoner to be lodged "at the King's timber"? Does it mean that the King pays for firewood?

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This question appears to be off-topic because it is about the misreading of [constructed] of the King's timber. The quoted text doesn't say ...at the King's timber. –  FumbleFingers Jan 4 at 22:21

1 Answer 1

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Re-read the sentence. The of refers to the gaols, not the prisoner. It means that the jails (gaols) are to be built of the King's timber (wood).

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+1 And the gaols are likewise to be built at the King's expense. The King's timber is timber drawn from forests belonging to the King -- –  StoneyB Jan 4 at 17:31
    
@StoneyB precisely. –  Newb Jan 4 at 17:32
    
yes, that clears it up. it did seem odd to me that a mediaeval king would be feeding the prisoners! –  jlovegren Jan 4 at 17:33

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