Legal Records

  • Baildon, William Paley, ed. Select Cases in Chancery A.D. 1364 to 1471. Selden Society, 10, 1896. TEXT PAGES: 128. ORIGINAL LANGUAGE: Anglo-Norman. TRANSLATION: Yes, facing page. RECORD AUTHORITY: Central Govt-Courts. RECORD TYPE: Chancery Petitions. DATES COVERED: 1364-1471. ARCHIVAL REF: PRO, Ancient Petitions (SC8/3 and others). COMMENTS: Petitions (bills) addressed to Chancellor asking for a remedy (a writ) to help the complainant bring a defendant to court. The procedure includes the bill and writ; by the 1440s, it also includes the written answer of the defendant. The bills are almost always in French until the reign of Henry V when English becomes the norm. The petitions cover a wide array of problems, including mercantile reprisals, piracy, a surgeon’s incompetence, and suits against foreigners. Extensive Introduction (xi-xlvi) explains the procedures involved. Part I (1-101) contains early Chancery petitions from 1383 to 1412. Part II (103-58) contains selected petitions, most in French. There is also a Glossary and Index.
  • Keen, M. H. and Mark Warner, eds. “Morley vs Montagu (1399): A Case in the Court of Chivalry,” in Camden Miscellany XXXIV. Camden 5th series, 10, 1997, pp. 141-95. TEXT PAGES: 26. ORIGINAL LANGUAGE: Anglo-Norman. TRANSLATION: No. RECORD AUTHORITY: Central Govt-Court of Chivalry. RECORD TYPE: Court Roll. DATES COVERED: 1399. ARCHIVAL REF: PRO, State Papers Misc. 9/10.
    COMMENTS: Records the appeal (charge) of treason brought by Thomas Lord Morley against John Montagu, Early of Salisbury, who was accused of betraying the Duke of Gloucester to Richard II. The text is from a 17C transcript. The Introduction (pp. 141-68) sets the case and the procedures of this court in context.
  • Leadam, I. S. and J. F. Baldwin, eds. Select Cases before the King’s Council 1243-1482. Selden Society, 35, 1918. TEXT PAGES: ORIGINAL LANGUAGE: Anglo-Norman and Latin. TRANSLATION: Yes, facing page. RECORD AUTHORITY: Central Govt-Courts. RECORD TYPE: Petitions to the King’s Council. DATES COVERED: 1243-1482. ARCHIVAL REF: PRO, Ancient Petitions and
    COMMENTS: Extensive Introduction covers procedure before the King’s Council and discusses many cases in depth. The text includes the original petitions to the Council (almost always in French), the answers of the defendants (in French), the advice of the Council (also in French), and the examination of parties involved (often in Latin). The cases include a dispute between Yarmouth and Lowestoft over the right to collect tolls from ships.
  • Marsden, Reginald G., ed. Select Pleas in the Court of Admiralty. Vol. I. Selden Society, 6, 1894. TEXT PAGES: 17. ORIGINAL LANGUAGE: Anglo-Norman, Latin, and ME. TRANSLATION: Yes. RECORD AUTHORITY: Central Govt.—Admiralty. RECORD TYPE: Court Rolls. DATES COVERED: ARCHIVAL REF: PRO, C47/18/10.
    COMMENTS: Extensive Introduction (pp. xi-lxxxxvii) traces the development of the Admiralty court and its powers. The earliest case records the testimony in Anglo-Norman and court proceedings in Latin; “Sampson v. Curteys” (pp. 1-17, with translations on pp. 149-65).
  • Year Books for the Reign of Edward I. 20-22 and 30-35 Edward I. ed. Alfred J. Horwood. 5 vols. London: Rolls Series, 1866-79. ORIGINAL LANGUAGE: Anglo-Norman. TRANSLATION: No? RECORD AUTHORITY: Law Courts. RECORD TYPE: Legal notes. DATES COVERED: 1346-48, 1356-61.
    COMMENTS: The Year Books are notes on cases heard before the Court of Common Bench (and, on occasion, the Eyre Courts) from 1292 to 1535. Written in dialogue form and highly abbreviated, they were composed to provide instruction to lawyers by showing different arguments and legal points. After c. 1363, the court arguments were more often conducted in English, so the Anglo-Norman used in the Year Books tends to deteriorate. Cases usually begin with the action or writ beginning the suit, a brief discussion of the case, and then a verbatim or paraphrased account of the lawyers’ arguments and the Justices’ responses.
  • Year Books for the Reign of Edward II. London, Selden Society, 1903-in progress.
    ORIGINAL LANGUAGE: Anglo-Norman. TRANSLATION: Yes, facing page. RECORD AUTHORITY: Law Courts. RECORD TYPE: Legal notes. DATES COVERED: 1307-1341.
    COMMENTS: The Year Books are notes on cases heard before the Court of Common Bench (and, on occasion, the Eyre Courts) from 1292 to 1535. Written in dialogue form and highly abbreviated, they were composed to provide instruction to lawyers by showing different arguments and legal points. After c. 1363, the court arguments were more often conducted in English so the Anglo-Norman used in the Year Books tends to deteriorate. Cases usually begin with the action or writ beginning the suit, a brief discussion of the case, and then a verbatim or paraphrased account of the lawyers’ arguments and the Justices’ responses. All the Selden Society volumes contain Introductions to the material. The volumes include:

    • Bolland, W. C., ed. Year Books 5-8 Edward II. 7 vols. Selden Society, 31, 33, 36, 37, 39, 41, 43, 1915-26.
    • Cam, Helen M., ed. The Eyre of London, 14 Edward II. 2 vols. Selden Society, 85, 86, 1968-69.
    • Collas, J. P., ed. Year Book of 12 Edward II. Easter and Trinity 1319. Selden Society, 25.
    • Collas, J.P., W. Holdsworth and T.F.T. Plucknett, eds. Year Book 11-12 Edward II. 4 vols. Selden Society, 61, 65, 70, 81, 1942-64.
    • Legge, M.D. and W. Holdsworth, eds. Year Book 10 Edward II. 2 vols. Selden Society, 52, 55, 1934-35. The Introductions to vols. 52 and 54 discuss the Anglo-Norman used in the Year Books.
    • Maitland, F. W., ed. Year Books 1-4 Edward II. Selden Society, vols. 17, 19, 20, 22, 1903-07. Introduction of vol. 17 provides a good introduction to the genre, including historical and linguistic background.
    • Maitland, F. W., L. Harcourt and W. C. Bolland, eds. Year Book of the Eyre of Kent, 6 and 7 Edward II. Selden Society, 24, 25, 1909-1912.
    • Stoljar, S. J. and L.J. Downer, eds. Year Books of Edward II, 14 Edward II Michaelmas 1320. Selden Society, 104, 1988.
    • Turner, G. J. and W. C. Bolland, eds. Year Book 4, 5, 9 Edward II. 4 vols. Selden Society, 26, 42, 45, 63, 1911, 1925, 1928, 1944.
    • Vinagradoff, P. and L. Ehrlich, eds. Year Book 6 Edward II. 2 vols. Selden Soicety, 34, 38, 1917-21.
  • Year Books for the Reign of Edward III. London, Rolls Series, 1883, 1885-1911.
    ORIGINAL LANGUAGE: Anglo-Norman. TRANSLATION: No.? RECORD AUTHORITY: Law Courts. RECORD TYPE: Legal notes. DATES COVERED: 1337-46.
    COMMENTS: The Introductions to Pike’s volumes are among the best in providing commentary and analysis on the Year Books, which are notes on cases heard before the Court of Common Bench (and, on occasion, the Eyre Courts) from 1292 to 1535. Written in dialogue form and highly abbreviated, they were composed to provide instruction to lawyers by showing different arguments and legal points. After c. 1363, the court arguments were more often conducted in English, so the Anglo-Norman used in the Year Books tends to deteriorate. Cases usually begin with the action or writ beginning the suit, a brief discussion of the case, and then a verbatim or paraphrased account of the lawyers’ arguments and the Justices’ responses. Volumes published by the Rolls Series are:

    • Horwood, Alfred J., ed. Year Books, 11-12 Edward III. 1 vol. London, 1883.
    • Pike, L. O., ed. Year Books, 12-20 Edward III. 14 vols. London, 1885-1911.
  • Year Books of the Reign of Richard II. London and Cambridge, MA, Ames Foundation, 1914 -in progress. ORIGINAL LANGUAGE: Anglo-Norman. TRANSLATION: Yes, facing page. RECORD AUTHORITY: Law Courts. RECORD TYPE: Legal notes. DATES COVERED: 1378-88.
    COMMENTS: The Year Books are notes on cases heard before the Court of Common Bench (and, on occasion, the Eyre Courts) from 1292 to 1535. Written in dialogue form and highly abbreviated, they were composed to provide instruction to lawyers by showing different arguments and legal points. After c. 1363, the court arguments were more often conducted in English so the Anglo-Norman used in the Year Books tends to deteriorate. Cases usually begin with the action or writ beginning the suit, a brief discussion of the case, and then a verbatim or paraphrased account of the lawyers’ arguments and the Justices’ responses. All volumes contain Introductions to the material. Other Year Books of the reign of Richard II also published by the Ames Foundation include:

    • Arnold, M. S., ed. Year Books of Richard II, 1378-1379, Cambridge, MA, 1975.
    • Deiser, G., ed. Year Books of Richard II. 12 Richard II. Cambridge, MA, 1914. Introduction examines Year Book MSS of Richard’s reign, their arrangement and origin.
    • Hector, L.C. and M. Hager, eds. Year Books of Richard II, 8-10 Richard II. Cambridge, MA, 1987.
    • Plucknett, T.F.T., ed. Year Books of Richard II: 13 Richard II 1389-90. London, 1929.
    • Thornley, Isobel D., ed. Year Books of Richard II. 11 Richard II, 1387-88. London, 1937.
  • Year Books of the Reigns of Henry V, Henry VI, Edward IV and Henry VI. ORIGINAL LANGUAGE: Anglo-Norman. TRANSLATION: Yes, facing page. RECORD AUTHORITY: Law Courts. RECORD TYPE: Legal notes. DATES COVERED: 1421-22 and 1470.
    COMMENTS: The Year Books are notes on cases heard before the Court of Common Bench (and, on occasion, the Eyre Courts) from 1292 to 1535. Written in dialogue form and highly abbreviated, they were composed to provide instruction to lawyers by showing different arguments and legal points. After c. 1363, the court arguments were more often conducted in English so the Anglo-Norman used in the Year Books tends to deteriorate. Cases usually begin with the action or writ beginning the suit, a brief discussion of the case, and then a verbatim or paraphrased account of the lawyers’ arguments and the Justices’ responses

    • Rogers, Ralph V., ed. Year Book 9-10 Henry V (1421-2). Privately printed, 1948.
    • Williams, C. H., ed. Year Book 1 Henry VI (1422). Selden Society. 1, 1933.
    • Neilson, Nellie, ed. Year Book 10 Edward IV and 49 Henry VI (1470). Selden Society, 47, 1931.