Early in Henry II.'s time it had become the custom of England for the court Christian: to "signify" its sentence of excommunication to the king and to demand from him a writ of significavit to the sheriff, to imprison the person excommunicated.
In some sense the king's writ of significavit was discretionary; but its issue could be enforced by excommunication or interdict.
Monitions to amend may be decreed and be enforced by significavit and writ de contumace capiendo, or by excommunication with imprisonment not to exceed six months (53 Geo.
Thus when a writ of significavit issued on the mandate of a bishop, an appeal to Rome availed not to stay execution; but if there were an appeal to the archbishop it was otherwise.
There seems to have been no machinery for assisting the original or appellate jurisdiction of the pope by secular process, - by significavit or otherwise.