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Introduction to English Legal History$
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John Baker

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198812609

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198812609.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 20 November 2019

Legal Literature

Legal Literature

Chapter:
(p.185) 11 Legal Literature
Source:
Introduction to English Legal History
Author(s):

John Baker

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198812609.003.0011

This chapter surveys the development of English legal literature. It begins with the Latin treatises called Glanvill and Bracton, which by the end of the thirteenth century had given way to more accessible practical works in French. The most important of the new writings were the reports of real cases taken in court, the year books. The evolution of law reporting is traced, and there is an assessment of the changes in the Tudor period, particularly Plowden’s innovative Commentaries. The effect of printing is also considered. Access to case-law was at first primarily via abridgments rather than treatises, but Littleton’s student textbook on Tenures marked a new departure in the fifteenth century. Treatises of comparable importance to Littleton were few, but notable among legal authors were St German, Coke (also a major law reporter), Hale, and Blackstone.

Keywords:   Glanvill, Bracton, books of entries, law reports, year books, abridgments, Littleton, Coke, Hale, Blackstone

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