English Justice: Between the Norman Conquest and the Great Charter, 1066-1215, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

English Justice

Between the Norman Conquest and the Great Charter, 1066-1215, 1st Edition

By Doris M. Stenton


248 pages

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Hardback: 9780367180034
pub: 2019-07-09
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Originally published in 1965, English Justice between the Norman Conquest and the Great Charter discusses the history of English justice in the period of the Norman Conquest, of the Angevin achievements, and of the contrasting reigns of Richard I and John. This book looks at this period in light of the great work done by Felix Liebermann and others on Anglo-Saxon law, which made possible a new estimate of the inheritance entered upon by the Norman conquerors. The book discusses how the writ and sworn inquest can now be safely recognised as arising in the years when the communal courts of the hundred and the shire - under royal surveillance - administered justice to the English people. The book also looks at the vigour of the conquerors and how, through the exertion of the king’s writ, the sworn inquest was developed into the jury. The book discusses how Henry II, not the West Saxon kings devised the returnable writ from which later developments in English judicial administration grew, and how he built up a permanent bench of judges based at Westminster, from there making periodic journeys to administer justice throughout the land. With all their many faults, the early Angevin rulers, King John as well as his father, were concerned to play their part as kings who provided justice and judgment for their subjects.

Table of Contents


1. The Anglo-Saxon Inheritance

2. The Angevin Leap Forward

3. Courts of Justice and the Beginning of the Legal Profession

4. King John and the Courts of Justice (Raleigh Lecture of the British Academy, 1958)

Appendix of Illustrative Material

1. The Sandwich Plea of 1127

2. Documents Illustrating the Office of Sacrabar

3. The Charwelton Case. An Early Reference to the Process of Tolt

4. The Case Concerning Yaxley and Sibson Brought by the Abbot of Thornley against Robert of Yaxley, 1113-1127

5. The Case of Concerning the Marsh Lying Between the Abbey of Croyland and the Priory of Spalding, 1189-1202

6. Writs Relating to the Eyre of August, 1210



About the Series

Routledge Library Editions: The Medieval World

The volumes in this set, originally published between 1938 and 1994, draw together research by leading academics in the area of medieval history and medieval literature, and provide a rigorous examination of related key issues. The volume examines medieval history from the early Middle Ages, right up until the Reformation, as well as the effect of the medieval period on later cultures, such as the Victorians. This collection draws together books on the monarchy, medieval philosophy, religion, art, music, psychology and architecture as well as volumes on medieval archeology. The collection also brings together key volumes on medieval literature of the period, with formative works examining medieval religious literature, medieval legends and oral tradition. The collection also includes titles examining specific poems from the period such as Piers Plowman, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and The Pearl, as well as volumes on influential writers of the period such as Jean Froissant, John Lydgate and Margery Kempe. This collection brings back into print a collection of insightful and detailed books on the diverse medieval period and will be a must have resource for academics and students, not only of history and literature, but of anthropology, music, psychology and religion.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General