First published in 1973, The Birth of the English Common Law has come to enjoy classic status. In a new preface, Professor van Caenegem discusses some recent developments in the study of English law under the Norman and earliest Angevin kings. The book provides a challenging interpretation of the emergence of the Common Law in Anglo-Norman England, against the background of the general development of legal institutions in Europe.
A new approach to the telling of legal history, devoid of jargon and replete with good stories, which will be of interest to anyone wishing to know more about the common law - the spinal cord of the English body politic.
In this collection of essays, leading legal historians address significant topics in the history of judges and judging, with comparisons not only between British, American and Commonwealth experience, but also with the judiciary in civil law countries. It is not the law itself, but the process of law-making in courts that is the focus of inquiry. Contributors describe and analyse aspects of judicial activity, in the widest possible legal and social contexts, across two millennia. The essays cover English common law, continental customary law and ius commune, and aspects of the common law system in the British Empire. The volume is innovative in its approach to legal history. None of the essays offer straight doctrinal exegesis; none take refuge in old-fashioned judicial biography. The volume is a selection of the best papers from the 18th British Legal History Conference.
Law and Society in England from King Alfred to Magna Carta
Author: John Hudson
The Formation of English Common Law provides a comprehensive overview of the development of early English law, one of the classic subjects of medieval history. This much expanded second edition spans the centuries from King Alfred to Magna Carta, abandoning the traditional but restrictive break at the Norman Conquest. Within a strong interpretative framework, it also integrates legal developments with wider changes in the thought, society, and politics of the time. Rather than simply tracing elements of the common law back to their Anglo-Saxon, Norman or other origins, John Hudson examines and analyses the emergence of the common law from the interaction of various elements that developed over time, such as the powerful royal government inherited from Anglo-Saxon England and land holding customs arising from the Norman Conquest. Containing a new chapter charting the Anglo-Saxon period, as well as a fully revised Further Reading section, this new edition is an authoritative yet highly accessible introduction to the formation of the English common law and is ideal for students of history and law.
Plucknett, Theodore F.T. A Concise History of the Common Law. Fifth Edition. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1956. Reprinted 2001 by The Lawbook Exchange, Ltd. LCCN 00-067821. ISBN 1-58477-137-2. Cloth. $125. * "Professor Plucknett has such a solid reputation on both sides of the Atlantic that one expects from his pen only what is scholarly and accurate...Nor is the expectation likely to be disappointed in this book. Plucknett's book is not...a mere epitome of what is to be found elsewhere. He has explored on his own account many regions of legal history and, even where the ground has been already quartered, he has fresh methods of mapping it. The title which he has chosen is, in view of the contents of the volume, rather a narrow one. It might equally well have been A Concise History of English Law...In conjunction with Readings on the History and System of the Common Law by Dean Pound...this book will give an excellent grounding to the student of English legal history." Percy H. Winfield. Harv. L. Rev. 43:339-340.
Tamar Herzog offers a road map to European law across 2,500 years that reveals underlying patterns and unexpected connections. By showing what European law was, where its iterations were found, who made and implemented it, and what the results were, she ties legal norms to their historical circumstances and reveals the law’s fragile malleability.
Maitland, Frederic William. The Constitutional History of England. A Course of Lectures Delivered. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1908. xxviii, 547 pp. Reprinted 2001 by The Lawbook Exchange, Ltd. LCCN 00-068895. ISBN 1-58477-148-8. Cloth. $95. * Although Maitland reportedly never desired these lectures to be published, they have long been regarded by scholars as among the best of introductions to the subject. They cover the period from 1066 to the end of the nineteenth century, but rather than a narrative historical format, focus on describing the work of the constitution during five distinct periods in English history (1307, 1509, 1625, 1702, 1887). The lectures were delivered in the winter of 1887 and spring of 1888, and provide an entry to some of the major concepts he later expounded on in his seminal work written with Sir Frederick Pollock, The History of English Law. This volume was compiled and edited two years after Maitland's death by one of his students, Herbert A.L. Fisher. Marke, A Catalogue of the Law Collection at New York University (1953) 367.
With a vigor and passion rarely found in a scholarly text, Manlio Bellomo has written a broad history of the western European legal tradition. It is now made available to an English-speaking audience in an elegant and lucid translation from the original Italian.
The office of coroner was established in England in 1194; it has had an unbroken history, and has been exported to many countries, including the United States. At the zenith of his power, in the thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries, the coroner was concerned with many aspects of law and local administration, and with some of the most tragic and dramatic episodes of medieval life. Coroners - 'keepers of the pleas of the crown' - had to be knights or substantial landowners; they were required to hold inquests on victims of suicide or violent death, receive abjurations of the realm (ceremonial undertakings by felons in sanctuary to leave the country), hear appeals and confessions of felony, and legalise any exactions, outlawries or subsequent pardons. Their responsibilities included the arrest of suspects and the safeguarding of property subject to forfeit; the coroners' rolls contained the written records of many official proceedings.
This richly detailed 1981 biography captures both the personal life and the scientific career of Isaac Newton, presenting a fully rounded picture of Newton the man, the scientist, the philosopher, the theologian, and the public figure. Professor Westfall treats all aspects of Newton's career, but his account centres on a full description of Newton's achievements in science. Thus the core of the work describes the development of the calculus, the experimentation that altered the direction of the science of optics, and especially the investigations in celestial dynamics that led to the law of universal gravitation.
In The Law of Evidence in Victorian England, which was originally published in 1997, Christopher Allen provides a fascinating account of the political, social and intellectual influences on the development of evidence law during the Victorian period. His book sets out to challenge the traditional view of the significance of Jeremy Bentham's critique of the state of contemporary evidence law, and shows how statutory reforms were achieved for reasons that had little to do with Bentham's radical programme, and how evidence law was developed by common law judges in a way diametrically opposed to that advocated by Bentham. Dr Allen's meticulous account provides a wealth of detail into the functioning of courts in Victorian England, and will appeal to everyone interested in the English legal system during this period.
This book argues for a change in our understanding of the relationships among law, politics and history. Since the turn of the nineteenth century, a certain anti-foundational conception of history has served to undermine law's foundations, such that we tend to think of law as nothing other than a species of politics. Thus viewed, the activity of unelected, common law judges appears to be an encroachment on the space of democracy. However, Kunal M. Parker shows that the world of the nineteenth century looked rather different. Democracy was itself constrained by a sense that history possessed a logic, meaning and direction that democracy could not contravene. In such a world, far from law being seen in opposition to democracy, it was possible to argue that law - specifically, the common law - did a better job than democracy of guiding America along history's path.
From the Early Middle Ages to the Twentieth Century
Author: Antonio Padoa-Schioppa
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
The first English translation of a comprehensive legal history of Europe from the early middle ages to the twentieth century, encompassing both the common aspects and the original developments of different countries. As well as legal scholars and professionals, it will appeal to those interested in the general history of European civilisation.
This new account of the influence of Magna Carta on the development of English public law is based largely on unpublished manuscripts. The story was discontinuous. Between the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries the charter was practically a spent force. Late-medieval law lectures gave no hint of its later importance, and even in the 1550s a commentary on Magna Carta by William Fleetwood was still cast in the late-medieval mould. Constitutional issues rarely surfaced in the courts. But a new impetus was given to chapter 29 in 1581 by the 'Puritan' barrister Robert Snagge, and by the speeches and tracts of his colleagues, and by 1587 it was being exploited by lawyers in a variety of contexts. Edward Coke seized on the new learning at once. He made extensive claims for chapter 29 while at the bar, linking it with habeas corpus, and then as a judge (1606–16) he deployed it with effect in challenging encroachments on the common law. The book ends in 1616 with the lectures of Francis Ashley, summarising the new learning, and (a few weeks later) Coke's dismissal for defending too vigorously the liberty of the subject under the common law.
Being a Study in the History of the Book Trade in the Reigns of James I and Charles I
Author: H. S. Bennett
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Category: Business & Economics
This third volume of English Books and Readers, first published in 1970, carries the story of the English book trade down to the eve of the Civil War. The author gives an account of the total output of books and pamphlets in the period, irrespective of their qualities as literature.