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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



Brunner, H. Überblick über die Geschichte der französischen, normannischen und englischen Rechtsquellen. In Holtzendorff’s Encyclopädie der Rechtswissenschaft, 1880. Translated by Hastie, W., under title Essay on the Sources of the Law of England, 1888.

—— Deutsche Rechtsgeschichte. 2 vols. 1887–92.

Crabb, G. History of the English Law. 1829.

Dugdale, Sir W. Origines Juridiciales. 1666, 1671, 1680.

Glasson, E. Histoire du Droit et des Institutions politiques, civiles et judiciaires de l’Angleterre. 6 vols. 1882–3.

Holdsworth, W. S. A History of English Law. 1903. (In progress.)

Kent, J. Commentaries on American Law. 4 vols. 1826–30. 12th ed. Ed. Holmes, O. W. 1873.

Pollock, Sir F., and Maitland, F. W. History of English Law before the time of Edward I. 2nd ed. 2 vols. 1898.

Reeves, John. History of English Law, to the death of Elizabeth. 3rd ed. 5 vols. 1814–29. Ed. Finlason, W. F. 3 vols. 1869.

Select Essays in Anglo-American Legal History. 3 vols. Cambridge and Boston. 1908–10.


Arber, Edward. The Term Catalogues, 1668–1709. 3 vols. 1903–6.

Basset, Thomas. Catalogue of Common and Statute Law Books. 1673. Other eds. 1682, 1684, 1694, 1699, 1700.

Bridgman, R. W. A Short View of Legal Bibliography, containing some critical observations on the Authority of the Reporters and other Law Writers. 1807.

Encyclopaedia of the Laws of England. 2nd ed. 15 vols. 1906–9.

Gives bibliographies to all the principal articles and a list of Law Reports, vol. VIII, sub tit.

Fulbecke, W. A Direction or Preparative to the Study of Law. 1600. [Contains a chapter on standard authors.]

Harvard University. Catalogue of the Library of the Law School. 2 vols. 1909.

London, W. A catalogue of the most vendible Books in England. 1658. Supplement. 1660.

Contains a section on Books of the Common and Civil Law.

Maitland, F. W. English Law and the Renaissance. 1901.

Contains, among the notes pp. 90–94, lists of law books available 1550 and 1600.

Middle Temple. Bibliotheca … Societatis in Ordinem juxta rerum naturam Redacta ac digesta: V Iduum Sept. MDCC. Auspicio et Sumptu Barth. Shower, Militis. 1700.

Soule, C. C. The Lawyer’s Reference Manual of Law Books and Citations. Boston, 1883.

An indispensable work of reference for bibliographical information about the reports both old and new.

—— Year Book Bibliography. Harvard Law Review, vol. XIV. 1901.

Wallace, J. W. The Reporters. 4th ed. 1882.

I. Anglo-Saxon

The chief remains of the period will be found in:

Liebermann, F. Die Gesetze der Angelsachsen. Halle, 1898–1903.

Schmid, R. Die Gesetze der Angelsachsen. 1832. 2nd ed. 1858.

Thorpe, B. Ancient Laws and Institutes of England. 1840.

II. Norman and Angevin

Bracton and Azo. Ed. Maitland, F. W. Selden Society. 1895.

Bracton, H. de. Tractatus de Legibus et Consuetudinibus Angliae. Written c. 1256; printed 1569, 1640. Ed. Twiss, T. 6 vols. 1878–83.

Bracton’s Note Book. Ed. Maitland, F. W. 3 vols. 1887.

Britton. Written c. 1290; printed c. 1530. Under superintendence of Wingate, E. 1640. Ed. Nichols, F. M. 2 vols. 1855. With an introduction by Baldwin, S. E. Washington, 1901.

Fleta. Written c. 1290; printed with a preliminary dissertation by Selden, John, 1647, 1685.

Four Thirteenth Century Law Tracts, by Woodbine, G. E. 1910.

Their titles are: Fet Asaver, Judicium Essoniorum, Modus Componendi Brevia and Exceptiones ad Cassandum Brevia.

Glanvil. Tractatus de Legibus et Consuetudinibus Regni Angliae. Written c. 1189; printed 1554 (?), 1557, 1604; 1673 ff. Translated by Beames 1812, with introduction by Beale, J. H. Washington, 1900.

Hengham, R. de. Summa Magna and Summa Parva, prefixed to editions of Fortescue, De Laudibus Legum Angliae.

Horne, A. The Mirror of Justices. Written in the 13th century; printed 1642.

Modern ed. by Whittaker, W. J., with critical introduction by Maitland, F. W. Selden Society. 1895.

Leges Anglorum saeculo XIII ineunte Londiniis collectae. Ed. Liebermann, F. 1894.

Leges Edwardi Confessoris. Ed. Liebermann, F. 1896.

Leges Henrici I. Ed. Liebermann, F. 1901.

Leges Willelmi I. Ed. Schmid, R. 1858.

Magna Carta … with an historical introduction by McKechnie, W. S. 1905. Part V contains a descriptive account of original versions, printed editions and commentaries.

Novae Narrationes. Written early in Edward III’s regin; first printed about 1515 and again in 1561 with Articuli ad Novas Narrationes and the Booke of Diversities of Courtes.

Olde Tenures. Written probably in Edward III’s reign; first published in 1525 and several times in 16th century; is included in Coke’s Tracts and other modern works.

Placita Anglo-Normannica: Law Cases from William I. to Richard I. Ed. Bigelow, M. M. 1879.

Quadripartitus, ein Englisches Rechtsbuch von 1114. Ed. Liebermann, F. 1892.

Rectitudines Singularum Personarum. Ed. Schmid, R. 1858.

The Year Books. For early eds., see Soule’s Year Book Bibliography, modern editions of selected years in Rolls Series and Selden Society’s publications, and edition collected by Maynard, Sir John, 1678–80.

III. Fifteenth Century

Articuli ad Novas Narrationes. Written in earlier half of the century; first printed about 1525, again in 1528 and 1545, and see Novae Narrationes, ante.

Fortescue, Sir John. De Laudibus Legum Angliae. Written c. 1470; printed 1537. Many editions during 16th and 17th centuries. Translated 1573. Commentary by Waterhouse, E. 1663.

—— De Natura Legis Naturae. Written c. 1462; first published by lord Clermont in 1864.

—— On the Governance of the Kingdom of England. Written c. 1471; first published in 1714. Ed. Plummer, C. 1885.

Littleton, Sir Thomas. Tenures. Written c. 1475–80; printed c. 1481. Many editions during 16th and 17th centuries. Commentary by Coke. 1628. Ed. Wambaugh, E. 1901. [Contains detailed bibliography.]

Lyndewood, William. Constitutiones Provinciales Ecclesiae Anglicanae. Written c. 1433; printed c. 1480. Many editions during 16th and 17th centuries.

Statham, Nicholas. Abridgment of Cases. Written c. 1490; printed c. 1495, 1585, 1679.

Statutes. For particulars of early printed editions, translations and abridgements of the Statutes see the first volume of the Statutes of the Realm (1235–1713) printed by the Record Commissioners, II vols., 1810–28.

The Year Books. See ante.

IV. Sixteenth Century

Bekinsan, J. de. De supremo et absoluto regis imperio. 1546.

Brooke, Sir Robert. Le Graunde Abridgement. 1568.

—— A Reading upon the Statute of Magna Charta cap. 16. 1641.

—— A Reading on the Statute of Limitations. 1647.

Crompton, Richard. Office et Aucthoritie de Justices de Peace. 1583.

—— L’Authoritie et Jurisdiction des Courts de la Majestie de la Roygne. 1594, 1637.

Diversite des Courtes. Attributed to Fitzherbert, Sir Anthony. Printed in 1523, 1526, 1530 (?), 1535 ff.

Dyer, Sir J. Reports in Law French. 1585 ff. Translation by Vaillant, J. 3 vols. 1794.

Entries. Intrationum liber omnibus legum Angliae studiosis apprime necessarius in se complectens diversas formas placitorum. 1546.

Fitzherbert, Sir Anthony. Le Graunde Abridgement. 1516.

—— La Nouvelle Natura Brevium. 1534.

—— L’Office et Auctoritie de Justices de Peace. 1538. Translation with commentary by Hale, Sir M. 1635.

—— L’Office de Viconts, Bailiffes, Escheators, Constables, Coroners. 1538; and included with some editions of the preceding.

Gentili, Alberico. De Legationibus. 1585.

—— De Jure Belli. 1588–9.

—— Hispanicae Advocationis Libri Duo. 1613.

For an estimate and the scheme of these three works, see Walker’s History of the Law of Nations, vol. 1, pp. 249–274. The Dictionary of National Biography contains a complete list of Gentili’s writings published and unpublished.

Lambard, William. Archaionomia, sive de priscis Anglorum Legibus libri. 1568. Republished with Bede’s Historia Ecclesiastica, 1644.

—— Eirenarcha, or the Office of Justices of the Peace. 1581.

—— The Duty of Constables. 1582.

—— Archeion, or a commentary upon the High Courts of Justice. 1635.

Manwood, John. A Brefe Collection of the Lawes of the Forest. 1592.

Perkins, John. The “Profitable Book” (“perutilis tractatus magistri Jo. Parkins”). 1532.

Plowden, Edmund. Les commentaires ou les Reportes. 1571 ff.

—— Les Quaeres. Included in some editions of the Reports. Translated into English. 1662, 1761, 1779, 1816.

Pulton, Ferdinando. An Abstract of all the Penal Statutes. 1579, 1586.

—— Collection of Statutes. Published in several editions between 1606 and 1615.

—— De Pace Regis et Regni, viz. A Treatise declaring which be the great and general offences of the realm. 1609, 1610, 1615.

Rastell, John. Exposiciones Terminorum Legum Anglorum. 1527. Sometimes attributed to his son William who published an English translation 1567, rptd. several times and known in the 17th century as Les Termes de la Ley.

Rastell, William. A Collection of all the Statutes from the beginning of Magna Carta until the yere of our Lord 1557. 1559. Continued by Pulton (q.v.).

—— A Collection of Entrees, of Declarations, Barres, Replications … and divers other matters. 1556, 1574, 1596.

Registrum Omnium Brevium, tam Originalium, quam Judicialium. 1531, 1553 and various later eds.

St. German, Christopher. Doctor and Student. First published under the title Dialogus de Fundamentis Legum et de Conscientia. 1523. Many later editions down to 1874.

Smith, Sir Thomas. De Republica Anglorum. 1583 ff. Ed. Maitland, F. W. and Alston, L. Cambridge, 1907.

Statutes of the Realm. See ante.

Staundford, Sir W. Les Plees del Coron. 1560, 1567, 1574, 1583.

—— An Exposicion of the Kinge’s Prerogative. 1567, 1568, 1577, 1590.

Swinburne, Henry. A Briefe treatise of Testaments and Last Willes. 1590.

Swinburne, Henry. A Treatise of Spousals or Matrimonial Contracts. 1686, 1711.

Theloall, S. Le Digest des Briefes Originals. 1579.

West, W. Symboleographie. 1590.

V. Seventeenth Century

Aston, R. Placita Latine Rediviva: A Book of Entries. 1661. 3rd ed. 1673.

Bacon, Sir Francis (viscount St. Albans). See Works edited by Ellis, Spedding and Heath, 2nd ed., 7 vols., 1870.

—— The Use of the Law. 1629.

—— Maxims of the Law. 1630.

—— Reading of the Statute of Uses. 1642.

—— Ordinances for the better … administration of Justice in Chancery. 1642.

Bacon, Nathaniel. An historical discourse of the Uniformity of the Government of England. 1647–51.

Blount, Thomas. A Law Dictionary interpreting such difficult and obscure Words and Terms as are found either in our Common or Statute, Ancient and Modern Lawes. 1670, 1690, 1717.

Bridall, John. Speculum Juris Anglicani. 1673. And many other works, down to 1704.

Bridgman, Sir O. Conveyances. 1682.

Brown, William. Formulae bene Placitandi. A Book of Entries. 1671.

—— Praxis Almae Curiae Cancellariae. A Collection of Precedents. 1694–5. 4th ed. 1725. And numerous other works.

Callis, Robert. Reading upon the Statute 23 H. VIII, cap. 5, of Sewers. 1647, 1685; latest ed. 1824.

Carew, Sir George (d. 1612). Reports on Causes in Chancery. 1650, 1665, 1820.

Clayton, J. Topicks in the Laws of England. 1646.

Coke, Sir E. Reports. II vols. 1600–15. Vol. XII. 1656. Vol. XIII. 1659. Numerous eds.

—— A Booke of Entries. 1614, 1671.

—— Institutes. Part 1. 1628. Part II. 1642. Parts III and IV. 1644. Numerous eds.

—— The Compleat Copyholder. 1630.

—— A Little Treatise of Bail and Mainprize. 1635.

—— Reading on the Statute 27 Edward I. 1662.

Commonwealth Acts. See Scobell.

Cowell, John. Institutiones Juris Anglicani ad Methodum Institutionum Justiniani compositae et digestae. 1605, 1630.

—— Interpreter. 1607. Expurgated eds. 1637, 1672, 1684, 1701, 1709, 1727.

Cumberland, Richard. De Legibus Naturae disquisitio philosophica. 1672.

Dalrymple, Sir James (1619–1695). Decisions of the Lords of Council and Session. 1683–7.

—— Institutions of the Law of Scotland. 1693, 1759, 1832.

Dalton, Michael. The Countrey Justice. 1618 and various subsequent eds. down to 1742.

—— Officium Vicecomitum, or the Office and Authoritie of Sheriffs. 1623.

Degge, Sir Simon. The Parson’s Counsellor and Law of Tithes. 1676. 7th ed. 1820.

Doderidge, Sir John. The Lawyer’s Light, or a true direction for the study of the Law. 1629.

Doderidge, Sir John. The English Lawyer. 1631.

Duck, Sir Arthur. De Usu et Authoritate Juris Civilis Romanorum. 1653. Translated. 1742.

Finch, Sir Henry. Nomotechnia, c’est a scavoir un description del common Leys d’Angleterre. 1613. Translated 1627 and issued in several editions.

Fulbecke, William. A Direction or Preparative to the Study of the Law. 1600. Rptd. 1620. 2nd ed. 1820.

—— A Parallele or Conference of the Civill Law, the Canon Law, and the Common Law of the Realme of England. 1601, 1618.

Godolphin, John. A View of the Admiralty Jurisdiction. 1661, 1685.

—— The Orphan’s Legacy or a Testamentary Abridgement. 1674, 1677, 1685, 1701.

—— Repertorium Canonicum, or an Abridgment of the Ecclesiastical Laws. 1678, 1680, 1687.

—— Laws, Ordinances and Institutions of the Admiralty. 1746, 1747.

Hale, Sir Matthew. London’s Liberties. 1650.

—— Pleas of the Crown. 1678.

—— Jurisdiction of the House of Lords. 1707. Rptd. 1796.

Hale, Sir Matthew. History of the Common Law. 1713.

A chapter of this had been published in 1700 with the title De Successionibus apud Anglos.

—— Historia Placitorum Coronae. 1736.

For particulars of his manuscripts and treatises ascribed to him, see D. of N. B.

Hawke, Michael. The Groundes of the Laws of England. 1657.

Hawke, Sir John. The Englishman’s Right. 1680.

Hobbes, Thomas. The Elements of Law. 1650. Ed. Tonnies, F. 1889.

—— Dialogue between a Philosopher and a Student of the Common Law of England. 1681.

Hughes, W. Abridgment. 3 vols. 1660–2.

Kitchin, John. Jurisdictions, or the lawful authority of the Courts Leet, Courts Baron, Court of Marshalseyes, Court of Pypowder and Ancient Demesne. 1605. 4th ed. 1663.

1st ed. in French, undated, but c. 1579.

Malynes, Gerard. Lex Mercatoria, or the Ancient Law Merchant. 1622, 1629 and later eds.

Prynne, William. The Sovereign Power of Parliaments and Kingdoms. 1643.

—— A … Collection of the good old Fundamentall Liberties … Laws of all English Freemen. 1654–5.

—— A Brief Register of the Several Kinds of Parliamentary Writs. 1659–64.

—— Brief Animadversions on the fourth part of the Institutes of Sir Edward Coke. 1669.

Regula placitandi: a collection of Special Rules for Pleading. 1691, 1694.

Rolle, Henry. Abridgment. With introduction by Hale, Sir Matthew. 2 vols. 1668.

Saunders, Sir Edmund. Reports 1666 to 1672. 1686, 1722. 3rd ed. 1799–1802, and later eds., with notes by Serjeant Williams.

Scobell, Henry. A Collection of Acts and Ordinances, 1640 to 1656. 1658. In continuation of Pulton’s (q.v.) collection.

Selden, John. Opera Omnia. Ed. Wilkins, D. 3 vols. 1726. [The standard ed.]

—— Jani Anglorum Facies Altera. 1610, 1681.

Selden, John. England’s Epinomis. 1610, 1683.

—— Fortescue’s De Laudibus. 1616.

—— Hengham’s Summae. 1616.

—— Mare Clausum. 1635.

—— Fleta, with introductory Dissertation. 1647.

—— Brief Discourse touching the office of Lord Chancellor. Ed. Dugdale, W. 1671.

Sheppard, William. The Precedent of Precedents. 1655. Ed. Williams, T. W. 1825.

—— Abridgment of the Common and Statute Law. 3 vols. 1675.

And numerous other legal works. The Touchstone of Common Assurances, 1641, is also known by his name.

Spelman, Sir Henry. Archaeologus in modum Glossarii. Vol. 1. 1626. Vol. II. Ed. Dugdale, W. 1664.

—— Concilia, Decreta, Leges, Constitutiones, in re Ecclesiarum orbis Britannici. Vol. 1. 1639. Vol. II. Ed. Dugdale, W. 1664.

—— Reliquiae Spelmannianae. Ed. Gibson, E. 1695.

Termes de la Ley. See Rastell, John, ante.

Waterhouse, Edward. Fortescutus Illustratus, or a commentary on De Laudibus Legum Angliae. 1663.

Wentworth, Thomas. The Office and Duty of Executors. 1641.

This work has been ascribed to Sir John Dodridge.

Williams, T. The Excellency and Praeheminence of the Law of England. 1680.

Winch, Sir Humphrey. Le Beau-Pledeur. A Book of Entries compiled before 1625, published 1680.

Wingate, Edmund. An Exact abridgment of all the statutes in force. 1642 and numerous eds. down to 1708.

—— The Body of the Common Law of England. 1655.

—— Maxims of Reason, or the Reason of the Common Law of England. 1658.

—— The Exact Constable. 1660.

Wiseman, Sir Robert. The Law of Laws, or the excellence of the Civil Law above all other human laws whatsoever, shewing of how great use and necessity the law is to this nation. 1686.

Zouche, Richard. Elementa Jurisprudentiae. 1629.

—— Descriptio Juris et judicii feudalis. 1634.

—— Descriptio Juris et judicii temporalis. 1636.

—— Descriptio Juris et judicii ecclesiastici. 1636.

—— Descriptio Juris et judicii sacri. 1640.

—— Descriptio Juris et judicii militaris. 1640.

—— Descriptio Juris et judicii maritimi. 1640.

—— Descriptio Juris et judicii fecialis. 1650.

—— Cases and Questions resolved in the Civil Law. 1652.

—— Specimen Questionum Juris Civilis. 1653.

—— The Jurisdiction of the Admiralty. 1663.

A. Editions

Table-Talk: being the Discourses of John Selden, Esq. Being His Sense of various Matters of Weight and High Consequence; relating especially to Religion and State. 1689. (With Ri. Milward’s Dedication to Mr. Justice Hales, and to the much Honoured Edward Heywood, John Vaughan and Rowland Jewks, Esq.) Ed. Singer, S. W. 1847. Ed. Irving, David. Edinburgh, 1854.

Ed. Reynolds, Samuel Harvey. Oxford, 1892. Ed. Gollancz, I. 1899.

Coleridge, S. T. On Selden’s Table Talk. Literary Remains, vol. II. 1836.

B. Earlier English

Worcesters Apophthegmes; or, Witty sayings of Henry, late Marquees of Worcester. 1650.

Regales Aphorismi; or, A Royal Chain of Golden Sentences delivered by King James I. 1650.

Cottoni Posthuma. 1651.

The Speeches and prayers of Major General Harrison, Mr. John Carew, Mr. Justice Cooke, Mr. Hugh Peters, Mr. Tho. Scott, Mr. Gregory Clement, Col. Adrian Scroop, Col. John Jones, Col. Daniel Axtell and Col. Fran. Hacker. The times of their Death. Together with several occasional Speeches and Passages in their Imprisonment. 1660.

Fragmenta Aulica, or Court and State Jests in Noble Drollery. True and Reall. Ascertained to their Times, Places and Persons. By T. S. Gent. 1662.