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Wendy J. Turner

2 CONCEPTUALIZATION OF INTELLECTUAL DISABILITY IN MEDIEVAL ENGLISH LAW Wendy J. Turner In 1286, the Exchequer sent an escheator – an investigator of escheats, lands that could revert to the king – to inquire about Peter Seyvill, a man said to be ‘incapable of managing his lands or affairs’, a freneticus idiota. If Peter was mentally ‘incapable’, the escheator was to grant guardianship of Peter, his wife, children, and property to Peter’s brother-in-law, John Dychton. The escheator found Peter to be ‘unable to manage’, a condition that in the twenty

in Intellectual disability

Children born even one day before their parents' marriage remained illegitimate for life, while those born one day after a wedding had the full benefits of legitimacy. This book explores the legal and social consequences of growing up illegitimate in England and Wales. It concentrates on the late-Victorian period and the early twentieth century, and takes the child's point of view rather than that of the mother or of 'child-saving' groups. An extended analysis of criminal and civil cases involving illegitimacy, including less-studied aspects such as affiliation suits, the poor law and war pensions is presented. In the twentieth century, illegitimate children gained more family, and adoption became an option after 1926. Women had choices when faced with unwanted children, and many chose to suffer in the workhouse rather than harm their babies. Though the criminal courts were harder on non-maternal defendants, mothers were collusive in many crimes. The two legal processes illegitimate children were most likely to inspire were often entwined - affiliation proceedings and the poor law. Problems with the bastardy laws abounded, legislative successes were few in the nineteenth century. Fostering encouraged child circulation because of its temporary nature. The effects of social discrimination changed when children went to their jobs, dividing those with family from those without. Differences of class and gender also influenced the scope of illegitimacy's reach. Placing the stigma on Victorian children was simple, but ridding the law of the term was painfully slow, and abolishing its power even slower.


Archbishop Wulfstan of York is among the most important legal and political thinkers of the early Middle Ages. A leading ecclesiastic, innovative legislator, and influential royal councilor, Wulfstan witnessed firsthand the violence and social unrest that culminated in the fall of the English monarchy before the invading armies of Cnut in 1016. This book introduces the range of Wulfstan's political writings and sheds light on the development of English law during the early eleventh century. In his homilies and legal tracts, Wulfstan offered a searing indictment of the moral failures that led to England’s collapse and formulated a vision of an ideal Christian community that would influence English political thought long after the Anglo-Saxon period had ended. More than just dry political theory, however, Wulfstan’s works are composed in the distinctive voice of someone who was both a confidante of kings and a preacher of apocalyptic fervour. No other source so vividly portrays the political life of eleventh-century England: what it was, and what one man believed it could be.

Custody, inheritance, and taxation
Ginger S. Frost

1 ‘Strangers in the blood’: custody, inheritance, and taxation I am far from defending the law of England … On the contrary, I think it is a disgrace to the nation. It visits the sins of the parents on the children; it encourages vice by depriving fathers and mothers of the strongest of all motives for making the atonement of marriage; and it claims to produce these two abominable results in the names of morality and religion.1 This passage from Wilkie Collins’s 1862 novel, No Name, encapsulates the contradictions in the English law of illegitimacy. Children

in Illegitimacy in English law and society,1860–1930
Rachel Foxley

founded this novel claim on the supposedly ancient ‘birthright’ of the common law. This chapter traces Lilburne’s development of this language and the thinking which it expressed, and after considering the attitudes of Lilburne and the other Leveller leaders to the status of English law, it concludes by examining Lilburne’s argument for political inclusiveness as a basis for the expansion of the franchise. In the debate over the historical or theoretical basis of early modern and Leveller thought, the common law has tended to be consigned to the ‘conservative’ and

in The Levellers
David Armitage

introductive of any new rule, but merely as declaratory of the old fundamental constitutions of the kingdom; without which it must cease to be part of the civilized world.29 Blackstone’s judgment affirmed the supremacy of statute and the integrity of the common law by encompassing the law of nations within them rather than erecting it as a higher law above them. It did not imply that the law of nations could be used to overturn English law, nor that explicit references to the law of nations in legislation could be deemed to graft alien principles onto English statutes

in Parliaments, nations and identities in Britain and Ireland, 1660–1850
Margaret Brazier
Emma Cave

, and donation of bodies to train doctors has an even greater role in saving lives and preserving health than the better known practice of organ transplantation. In this chapter, we examine how (outwith the context of transplantation) English law regulates the removal, retention and uses of human body parts and we consider briefly how far (if at all) we own our own bodies. We examine the relevant provisions of the Human Tissue Act 2004 and the role of the Human Tissue Authority (HTA). In addition we address some aspects of the role of the coroner; a key actor

in Medicine, patients and the law (sixth edition)
Margaret Brazier
Emma Cave
, and
Rob Heywood

preserving health than the better-known practice of organ transplantation. In this chapter, we examine how (outwith the context of transplantation) English law regulates the removal, retention and uses of human body parts and we consider briefly how far (if at all) we own our own bodies. We examine the relevant provisions of the Human Tissue Act 2004 and the role of the

in Medicine, patients and the law
John Curtice

expected to be particularly ready to question the right of Scottish MPs to vote on ‘Englishlaws and to wonder why Scotland and Wales enjoy higher levels of public spending. And even if English national identity were not to become more commonplace following the introduction of devolution, identity might still play an important role in fostering resentment. For it might well be

in These Englands
Margaret Brazier

. In debates on abortion, the reproductive technologies, the treatment of neonates, assisted dying and euthanasia, there is little common ground between philosophers, lawyers, health professionals, pressure groups and families who are drawn into high-profile controversies. ‘Sanctity of life’ is often invoked as a fundamental precept of English law. Put briefly, appeals to ‘sanctity of life’ usually

in Law and healing