The word treason, as transmitted to the English language from the Latin through the French, means "giving or delivering up." The common law understood treason as treachery or breach of faith. It was therefore a crime committed between parties who enjoyed an established relationship of mutual benefit and trust. Petit treason referred to a wife killing her husband, or a servant or ecclesiastic killing his lord or master. High treason involved a breach between subject and sovereign, a betrayal of (or neglect of duty or renunciation of allegiance to, in word or deed) a sovereign to whom a subject owes allegiance by birth or residence. Sir Edward Coke, Baron de Montesquieu, Sir Matthew Hale, and Sir William Blackstone considered treason the highest of crimes and declared that it must be precisely defined to prevent its abuse by governmental authorities. In England, commencing during the reign of Edward III, Parliament narrowed the definition of treason but later widened it according to political exigencies.