He was sent to the Marshalsea, and a few years later was indicted on a charge of praemunire on refusing the oath when tendered him by his diocesan, Bishop Home of Winchester.
He protested against the confirmation of the statute of provisors in 1390, and he was successful in slightly modifying the statute of praemunire in 1393.
The first case was an action of praemunire against the court of chancery, evidently instigated by him, but brought at the instance of certain parties whose adversaries had obtained redress in the chancellor's court after the cause had been tried in the court of king's bench.
A licence under the Great Seal to proceed to the election of a bishop, known as the conge d'eslire, together with a letter missive containing the name of the king's nominee, is thereupon sent to the dean and chapter, who are bound under the penalties of Praemunire to proceed within twelve days to the election of the person named in it.
Henry's next move was to bring a monstrous charge against the clergy, accusing them of having violated the ancient laws of praemunire in submitting to the authority of papal legates (although he himself had ratified the appoint m ent of Wolsey as legate a latere).
About this time Gloucester made another attempt to deprive Beaufort of his see, and it was argued in the council that as a cardinal he could not hold an English bishopric. The general council was not inclined to press the case against him; but the privy council, more clerical and more hostile, sealed writs of praemunire and attachment against him, and some of his jewels were seized.
The Council accordingly listened to the accusations of Ferrar's chapter, and in 1552 he was summoned to London and imprisoned on a charge of praemunire incurred by omitting the king's authority in a commission which he issued for the visitation of his diocese.