English Legal History and its Materials
Leges Henrici Primi (c. 1118) Collection of "ill-digested Anglo-Saxon laws with scraps of Canon law and personal observations" from the fifty or so years following 1066. Reflects the many coexisting systems of the time: the law of Wessex; the law of Mercia; and the Danelaw, including myriad local variants of all three. Includes one-liner comparing litigation to a roll of the dice. Baker at 12-13.

Glanvill (c. 1187-89) Attributed to Sir Ranulf de Glanvill Focused on the royal court, specifically procedures for how to get there and what to do once you were there. Also called Tractatus de legibus et consuetudinibus regni Angliae. Baker at 13-14, 175-177.

Bracton (c. 1250-1260) Treatise drawing on early 13th C plea rolls. Also called De Legibus et Consuetudinibus Angliae. Baker at 176-179. More at Bracton

Les Tres Ancien Coutumier de Normandie (c. 1199-1220) and Le Grand Coutumier (c. 1235-1250): Complications of Norman customary law.

The Law of Hywel Dda (c. 945) Written codification of Welsh law. Named for Welsh King Hywel the Good.

Senchas Mar Compilation of Irish law going back to the Eighth Century. Baker at 32.

Novae Narrationes (c. 1285-1310) Compilations of model formal opening statements ("counts") made by plaintiffs. Thirty eight manuscripts in total.

Littleton (1481). Treatise on "Tenures" by Judge Thomas de Littleton. Framed as advice to author's son Richard. First printed law book and first book on property in English. By 1550, was more reprinted than the Bible. Baker at 181, 187-88.

Plowden (1570s) Commentaries of Edmund Plowden, described by Baker as "a reasoned exposition of the law, with learned gloss." Reported cases from 1550-1570. Baker at 183.

Coke's Reports Eleven volumes of cases with commentary printed 1600-1616. Influenced by Plowden.

Coke's Commentary on Littleton (1628) Coke's digressive gloss on Littleton in which the author, in Maitland's description, "shoveled out his enormous learning in vast disorderly heaps." Baker at 189.

Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England (1765-1769)


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r3 - 23 Aug 2014 - 20:38:58 - EbenMoglen
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