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Professors of the LawBarristers and English Legal Culture in the Eighteenth
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David Lemmings

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780198207214

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198207214.001.0001

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Introduction: Two Stories of Law

Introduction: Two Stories of Law

(p.1) 1 Introduction: Two Stories of Law
Professors of the Law

David Lemmings

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents two stories of the law in two sections. The first section is about the historians, the law, and eighteenth-century society. Appreciation of the common law, as the foundation and guarantor of those historic liberties which helped to distinguish the English from less fortunate peoples, was central to political thinking and national consciousness in the middle of eighteenth-century England. In modern studies of the eighteenth century, law most often seems to appear in the context of social conflict. The second section presents another story of law, based on the reputation of lawyers and the courts. It notes that it is important to put the barristers into the context of opinion and reputation. By studying the English bar and the courts, this book aims to supplement and substantially develop the understanding of the role and reputation of English common law during the eighteenth century.

Keywords:   historians, lawyers, barristers, court, common law, eighteenth century

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