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The Fourth AmendmentOrigins and Original Meaning 602 - 1791$
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William J. Cuddihy

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195367195

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195367195.001.0001

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Search and Seizure in England, 1642–1700: The Legal Background to the English Critique of General Warrants

Search and Seizure in England, 1642–1700: The Legal Background to the English Critique of General Warrants

Chapter:
(p.147) Chapter 7 Search and Seizure in England, 1642–1700: The Legal Background to the English Critique of General Warrants
Source:
The Fourth Amendment
Author(s):

William J. Cuddihy

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195367195.003.0007

This chapter discusses England's laws and uses of search and seizure between 1642 and 1700. During this period, belief and law on search and seizure clashed because the general warrant continued to flourish even as Coke's Institutes and other treatises proclaimed its illegality. General warrants, searches, and arrests continued to be used to apprehend felons, recover stolen property, collect taxes, control weapons, muzzle the press, regulate the guilds, and to discourage vagrancy, game poaching, religious deviance, and political dissent. The thesis against general warrants that evolved between 1642 and 1700 was not a legal reality but a belief that reality contradicted. Conversely, the roots of the amendment grew less from English law than from inherited legal theories about that law.

Keywords:   English law, searches, seizures, excise legislation, common law, general warrants

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