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The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume VIII. The Age of Dryden.

XIII. Legal Literature

§ 17. Revival of the Common Law, and of the Use of Latin and French

The restoration of 1660 heralded a notable revival of the common law, and with it came back its old languages, Latin and French, which it was not able wholly to discard till near the middle of the eighteenth century. One of the signs of this revival was the publication, in 1668, of a new Abridgment des plusiers Cases et Resolutions del Commun Ley. It was the work of Henry Rolle, once chief justice of the king’s bench and a friend of Selden. Its compiler had died in 1656, and it fell to Sir Matthew Hale to see it through the press. Hale himself was a voluminous writer on legal themes; but he seemed to have little desire for the renown of authorship. His valuable introduction to Rolle is anonymous, and the bulk of his writings were still in manuscript at the time of his death (1676); indeed, a good deal remains even now unpublished, stored in the libraries of the British Museum and Lincoln’s inn. His most notable works were his fragmentary History of the Common Law of England (printed 1713), and his Historia Placitorum Coronae (printed 1739). Both these books deal, to some extent, with legal antiquities.