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This book provides an introduction to the English legal system and its development during the period c 1215-1485. It affords a valuable insight into the character of medieval governance as well as revealing the complex nexus of interests, attitudes and relationships prevailing in society during the later Middle Ages. The book considers the theoretical and ideological aspects of medieval law and justice, examining the concepts and discourses to be found in official and non-official circles. It concentrates on manifestations of crime and disorder and the royal response to this in the form of the development of judicial institutions. The book then looks at the dispensation of justice both inside and outside the courtroom. It examines in detail the machinery and functioning of criminal justice both in the royal courts and in those autonomous areas exercising delegated powers. The book also considers the use of extra-judicial methods, such as arbitration and 'self-help', to illustrate the interaction of formal and informal methods of dispute settlement. It focuses on the personnel of justice, the justices of the central courts and the local officials who carried out the day-to-day administrative tasks. The smooth and successful operation of the judicial system was challenged and sometimes hindered by the existence of corrupt practices and abuse of its procedures.

Property, patriarchy and women’s legal status in England and America
Lindsay R. Moore

1 The varieties of Anglo-American law: property, patriarchy and women’s legal status in England and America T he English legal system was the subject of much controversy and debate in the seventeenth century. Some contemporary writers decried the dilatory proceedings, high costs and obscure language which characterised litigation and legal procedures, while others believed that the legal system had become so cumbersome and labyrinthine as to make it all but inaccessible to the average person seeking justice and legal redress in the courts.1 According to

in Women before the court
Abstract only
Anthony Musson
Edward Powell

material and point the way towards further avenues is thus long overdue. 7 This book provides an introduction to the English legal system and its development during the period c 1215-1485. The opening section considers the theoretical and ideological aspects of medieval law and justice, examining (in Chapters 1 and 2 respectively) the concepts and discourses to be found in official and non

in Crime, Law and Society in the Later Middle Ages
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‘When Women goe to Law, the Devill is full of Businesse’
Lindsay R. Moore

expanded married women’s ability to own property separately from their husbands. Colonies with strong equity jurisdictions, such as Maryland, Virginia and South Carolina, adopted these principles; as a result, women  3  WOMEN BEFORE THE COURT appeared frequently in the equity courts as they prosecuted and defended cases concerning their property. One of the reasons the English legal system was effective at home and worthy of emulation in the colonies is that it had the capability to meet the needs of different populations. It provided a number of different avenues

in Women before the court
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Murder, proof and confession in early modern revenge
Jessica Apolloni

, motive, or character in a case given that they are often circumstantial proofs obtained in uncertain ways and open to multiple interpretation. 3 Revenge tragedies especially investigate such intangible proof at a time when the English legal system was developing a more forensic method of analysing the facts of a given case. As poison is a prominent element of plays in the revenge tragedy genre, it is important to first consider

in Poison on the early modern English stage
George Brown’s narrative defence of the ‘New Britain raid’
Helen Gardner

acknowledgement of compliments. 30 Powell acknowledged that the payment of shell money for murder did not readily ‘fit’ the English legal system: ‘This request for payment may sound strange to civilised ears, and seem a somewhat savage way of compensating for murder, but in reality it is not so to those who understand these natives.’ 31 Brown implied that the shell money was offered freely

in Law, history, colonialism
The common law, equity and ecclesiastical jurisdictions
Lindsay R. Moore

jurisdiction in the Anglo-American world. In comparison to their English counterparts, colonial women’s options were more limited. While colonies such as Maryland, New York and Pennsylvania had courts of equity that protected married women’s separate estates, none of the colonies established an ecclesiastical jurisdiction that allowed married women complete freedom to initiate litigation in their own names. The variety of different legal jurisdictions in England made the English legal system more complex than those of the colonies, but it was also more capable in meeting the

in Women before the court
Abstract only
Ginger S. Frost

. Neale had lived with an aunt until she was ten, then transferred to her mother’s house, presumably when her mother was widowed. Neale then became the drudge of the house. Until the trial, she had not known Caltman was her mother; indeed, in her testimony, Elizabeth referred to Ann as ‘her mistress’. The magistrate gave Caltman six months at hard labour, saying ‘no one could … witness the state of the child without shedding tears’.1 Caltman’s cruelty earned her a gaol sentence, but her refusal to acknowledge her daughter agreed with the English legal system. According

in Illegitimacy in English law and society,1860–1930
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Sam Warner

arose about the appropriateness of injecting a novel legal framework into long-standing collective bargaining arrangements. Conservative Party politicians believed respect for the English legal system would ensure compliance with the ‘non-political’ courts (Barnett, 1973 ; Clarke, 1991 ; Crouch, 1977 ; Warner, 2020 ). As the argument unfolds, the fragility of ‘depoliticised’ governing becomes apparent as long-held suspicions about the role of the law in industrial relations rendered the Act a liability. By conceptualising the Act in this way – a tool to straddle

in Who governs Britain?
The courts
Philippa Byrne

be wholly regularised, as the reason for pardon always depended on special circumstances. The act of pardon was the act of ‘substituting administrative discretion for judicial decision, uncertainty for predictability of punishment’. 21 Pardon, it must be noted, did not necessarily mean the abrogation of all punishment, but the substitution of capital punishment for a lesser one, typically a fine. In Hurnard’s view, it was not until the reign of Edward III that the place of pardon within the English legal system could be described with any precision or clarity. 22

in Justice and mercy