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A medieval book and early-modern law: Bracton's authority and application in the common law c. 1550–1640

Williams, I; (2011) A medieval book and early-modern law: Bracton's authority and application in the common law c. 1550–1640. Tijdschrift voor Rechtsgeschiedenis / Revue d'Histoire du Droit / The Legal History Review , 79 (1) 47 - 80. 10.1163/157181911X563057. Green open access

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Abstract

This article considers the place of the thirteenth-century book known as Bracton in the early-modern common law. The article examines both the uses made of Bracton and the evidence to be found in the surviving copies of the first printed edition. It addresses the impediments to the use of Bracton, the printing of the first edition, the text's readership and place in the early-modern common-law canon and material in Bracton which seems to have been of particular interest. Bracton was a recognised source for criminal law and there is some evidence of impact on the law of evidence, servitudes and a little for contract law. An examination of the law of treason shows that Bracton had an important role in changing the concept of treason from a crime against the monarch to something like the classical crimen laesae maiestatis - closer to a crime against the State.

Type: Article
Title: A medieval book and early-modern law: Bracton's authority and application in the common law c. 1550–1640
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1163/157181911X563057
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/157181911X563057
Language: English
Additional information: © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2011.
Keywords: Common law, History of reading, Treason, Reception, Crimen laesae maiestatis
UCL classification: UCL > School of Arts and Social Sciences > Faculty of Laws
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1311570
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