English Legal History and its Materials
I came across this article today in the New Yorker about legal guardians and elder abuse. One thing I found interesting is that the article attributes the guardianship power of the state to a 1324 statute called De Prerogative Regis and the notion of parens patriae. Some initial questions I have are:

Is the article right that this is the origin of guardianship? What is this statute? How was it used? How did the parens patriae power develop afterwards? Was it always a source of abuse?

It appears that the "Prerogative Regis" is not actually a statute. Plucknett in Statutes and Their Interpretation p. 12 says it is suspicious and uncanonical. Maitland gives a longer treatment of the issue in his collected papers (p 182) and discusses the "Natural Fools" provision from the bottom of p. 184 to the top of p. 187. It looks like guardianship as a concept appears sometime between Bracton and Britton/Fleta.

-- MattConroy - 08 Oct 2017

Matt - thanks for sharing this article. Statute aside, I was admittedly unaware that this form of elder abuse was so prevalent, so I thank you for the enlightenment.

As to "Prerogative Regis," my cursory look at Maitland and another source (pdf pg. 43) lead me to agree that it indeed was not a statute, and instead became law through some combination of custom and opinio juris.

-- MalcolmEvans - 16 Oct 2017



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r3 - 16 Oct 2017 - 06:53:24 - MalcolmEvans
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