This book is intended as both a history of judicial developments in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries and as a contribution to the intellectual history of the period. The dates 1215 and 1381 mark significant turning points in English history. The product of legal culture and experiences, 'legal consciousness' can be seen both as an active element shaping people's values, beliefs and aspirations and also as a passive agent providing a reserve of knowledge, memory and reflective thought, influencing not simply the development of the law and legal system, but also political attitudes. Focusing on the different contexts of law and legal relations, the book aims to shift the traditional conceptual boundaries of 'law', portraying both the law's inherent diversity and its multi-dimensional character. By offering a re-conceptualisation of the role of the law in medieval England, the book aims to engage the reader in new ways of thinking about the political events occurring during these centuries. It considers the long-term effects of civil lawyer, Master John Appleby's encounter with forces questioning royal government and provides a new explanation for the dangerous state of affairs faced by the boy-king during the Peasants' Revolt over a century and a half later. The book puts forward the view that the years subsequent to the signing of Magna Carta yielded a new (and shifting) perspective, both in terms of prevailing concepts of 'law' and 'justice' and with regard to political life in general.
This book explores the legal actions of women living in three English towns – Nottingham, Chester and Winchester – during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. For the first time, it brings together women’s involvement in a wide range of litigation, including pleas of debt and trespass, as well as the actions for which they were punished under local policing and regulations. The book details the multiple reasons that women engaged with the law in their local communities, all arising from their interpersonal relationships and everyday work and trade. Through the examination of thousands of original court cases, it reveals the identities of hundreds of ordinary urban women and the wide range of legal actions that they participated in. This wide-ranging, comparative study examines the differing ways that women’s legal status was defined in multiple towns, and according to different situations and pleas. It pays close attention to the experiences of married women and the complex and malleable nature of coverture, which did not always make them completely invisible. The book offers new perspectives on women’s legal position and engagement with the law, their work and commercial roles, the gendering of violence and honour, and the practical implications of coverture and marital status, highlighting the importance of examining the legal roles and experiences of individual women. Its basis in the records of medieval town courts also offers a valuable insight into the workings of these courts and the lives and identities of those that used them.
and government in the tenth century as they were in the thirteenth’. 3 Many fewer texts survive from the tenth century than from the thirteenth; historians should acknowledge this and not attempt to fill what is a vacuum in the evidence with unproven presumptions about early medieval people being primitive in mentality. The argument from mentalities is circular, as Reynolds points out. The interpretation of early medieval law as ‘essentially formal and ritualised depends on assuming that it must have been, because primitive law must by definition be formal and
Public Works in Medieval Law (1915 and 1923) have a rich collection of contemporary accounts of the maintenance of bridges, ditches and rivers as well as roads. He coined the memorable phrase that ‘the King’s Highway made and maintained itself’,6 and noted that there was no legal distinction between a king’s highway (via regia) and a common road (via communis). The first article to attempt to study the road network (by Sir Frank Stenton) was not published until 1936.7 A few new roads were built; for example, in 1278 Roger Mortimer was charged by Edward I to enlarge and
did not state so explicitly, the lumping together of the deaf or dumb, insane, intoxicated and children as unsuitable prefigures the wider cross-cultural practice – later Roman or medieval laws – of excluding such persons deemed insufficiently mature or mentally adept enough to perform tasks related to legal or religious offices. According to the Babylonian Talmud , a person who was, in modern parlance, either mentally ill or intellectually disabled was considered a person without reason and, by extension, mentally and legally incompetent, which is why under
assume that an expropriation apparently done by a king or lord was not thought at the time to be done on behalf of the community he ruled and after consultation with men who spoke on its behalf. The early medieval law codes do not seem to say anything about expropriation, but one reason for that may be that there was relatively little need for direct, total expropriation, as opposed, for instance, to the
of Edward the Black Prince , pp. 1–3. 17 Giuseppi, ‘Alien merchants’; Cunningham, Alien Immigrants , pp. 65–134. Note that Cunningham remained unaware of the alien subsidies. 18 Parry, British Nationality Law . 19 Kim, Aliens in Medieval Law ; Summerson, ‘Foreigners and felony’; Jenks, ‘Justice for strangers’. 20 Thrupp, ‘Survey’. For an earlier case study, see Redstone, ‘Alien settlers in Ipswich’. 21 Thrupp, ‘Aliens in and around
. McKitterick, ‘Some Carolingian law-books and their function’, in B. Tierney and P. Linehan (eds), Authority and Power: Studies on Medieval Law and Government presented to Walter Ullmann on his Seventieth Birthday (Cambridge, 1980), pp. 13–28. On legal practice in Carolingian Francia, see also J. L. Nelson, ‘On the limits of the Carolingian renaissance
, Llywelyn ap Gruffudd , pp. 5 – 6. 92 R. R. Davies, ‘The peoples of Britain and Ireland, 1100 –1400, III: Laws and customs’, TRHS ,6th ser., 6 (1996), 1– 23, at p. 6; Alan Harding, ‘ Regiam Majestatem amongst medieval law books’, The Juridical Review , 29 (1984), 97 –111; Robin C. Stacey, ‘Law and order in the very old West: England and Ireland in the early middle ages’, in Benjamin Hudson and Vickie Ziegler (eds), Crossed Paths: Methodological Approaches to the Celtic Aspect of the European Middle Ages (Lanham: University Press of America
., Welsh Medieval Law (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1909; repr. Aalen: Scientia Verlag, 1979), 116. 30 Owen, ‘Gwentian Code’, 2.40.23. 31 Dieter Bitterli, Say What I Am Called: The Old English Riddles of the Exeter Book and the Anglo-Latin Riddle Tradition, Toronto Anglo-Saxon Series 2 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2009), 31. 32 See the entry for wealh, in Joseph Bosworth and T. Northcote Toller, An AngloSaxon Dictionary (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1898) and T. Northcote Toller, An Anglo-Saxon Dictionary Supplement (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1921), Ia, II. For