1st Edition

Cultures of Law in Urban Northern Europe Scotland and its Neighbours c.1350–c.1650

Edited By Jackson W. Armstrong, Edda Frankot Copyright 2021
    304 Pages
    by Routledge

    304 Pages
    by Routledge

    Drawing together an international team of historians, lawyers and historical sociolinguists, this volume investigates urban cultures of law in Scotland, with a special focus on Aberdeen and its rich civic archive, the Low Countries, Norway, Germany and Poland from c. 1350 to c. 1650.

    In these essays, the contributors seek to understand how law works in its cultural and social contexts by focusing specifically on the urban experience and, to a great extent, on urban records. The contributions are concerned with understanding late medieval and early modern legal experts as well as the users of courts and legal services, the languages and records of law, and legal activities occurring inside and outside of official legal fora. This volume considers what the expectations of people at different status levels were for the use of the law, what perceptions of justice and authority existed among different groups, and what their knowledge was of law and legal procedure. By examining how different aspects of legal culture came to be recorded in writing, the contributors reveal how that writing itself then became part of a culture of law.

    Cultures of Law in Urban Northern Europe: Scotland and its Neighbours c.1350–c.1650 combines the historical study of law, towns, language and politics in a way that will be accessible and compelling for advanced level undergraduates and postgraduate to postdoctoral researchers and academics in medieval and early modern, urban, legal, political and linguistic history.


    Investigating cultures of law in urban northern Europe

    Jackson W. Armstrong and Edda Frankot


    Chapter 1: Telling tales: maritime law in Aberdeen in the early sixteenth century

    J.D. Ford


    Chapter 2: Common books in Aberdeen, c. 1398–c. 1511

    William Hepburn and Graeme Small

    Chapter 3: The language of medieval legal record as a complex multilingual code

    Joanna Kopaczyk

    Chapter 4: The vernacularisation of the Aberdeen Council Registers (1398–1511)

    Anna D. Havinga


    Chapter 5: Urban law in Norwegian market towns: legal culture in a long fourteenth century

    Miriam Tveit

    Chapter 6: The burgh and the forest: burgesses and officers in fifteenth-century Scotland

    Michael H. Brown

    Chapter 7: Pax urbana. The use of law for the achievement of political goals

    Jörg Rogge

    Chapter 8: Recalcitrant brides and grooms: jurisdiction, marriage and conflicts with parents in fifteenth-century Ghent

    Chanelle Delameillieure and Jelle Haemers


    Chapter 9: Legal business outside the courts: private and public houses as spaces of law in the fifteenth century

    Edda Frankot

    Chapter 10: Conflicts about property: ships and inheritances in Danzig and in the Hanse area (fifteenth to sixteenth centuries)

    Justyna Wubs-Mrozewicz

    Chapter 11: ‘Malice’ and motivation for hostility in the burgh courts of late medieval Aberdeen

    Jackson W. Armstrong


    Chapter 12: Bells, clocks and the beginnings of ‘lawyer time’ in late medieval Scotland

    David Ditchburn

    Chapter 13: Andrew Alanson: man of law in the Aberdeen Council Register, c. 1440–c. 1475?

    Andrew R.C. Simpson

    Chapter 14: Notaries and advocates in early modern Aberdeen

    Adelyn L.M. Wilson


    Jackson W. Armstrong is a Senior Lecturer in History at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. He is the author of England’s Northern Frontier: Conflict and Local Society in the Fifteenth-Century Scottish Marches (2020).

    Edda Frankot is Associate Professor in History at Nord University in Bodø, Norway. She specialises in late medieval urban, maritime and legal history. She is the author of ‘Of Laws of Ships and Shipmen’. Medieval Maritime Law and its Practice in Urban Northern Europe (2012).

    John Cairns, The Edinburgh Legal History Blog, on Cultures of Law in Urban Northern Europe - https://www.elhblog.law.ed.ac.uk/2020/11/29/new-innovative-legal-histories-armstrong-frankot-laske/

    "This work is a testament to the value of these digital records and the work behind transcribing them. Similarly, it is itself evidence of how a diverse range of voices, accounts, and approaches can all be unified by reference to one particular source. The work not only seeks to understand a historical legal culture but also represents something of a new scholarly culture that highlights the individual and the particular in legal history." Jasmin Hepburn (2021) Comparative Legal History, 9:2, 247-250, DOI: 10.1080/2049677X.2021.1997381.