British Legal History

A History of English Law

Holdsworth's 17 volume History of English Law treatise, published between 1903 and 1966, starts its account of English legal history with Anglo-Saxon times and ends with the major reforms brought about by the Judicature Acts of 1875. It covers a wide range of specific subject areas including: the origins of the common law, Magna Carta and the medieval monarchy, the historical development of the courts of law and equity, legal and equitable procedures, the rise of the legal profession, the growth of parliamentary and representative institutions of government, and principal developmental phases of English substantive law. Although it has been critiqued as lacking the precision of current historical scholarship produced by period and subject specialists, it is nonetheless still an excellent starting point for research into the many subjects and periods of over a thousand years of English legal history. Volume 17 is a general index to volumes 1 to 16.
Sir William Holdsworth

A History of Private Law in Scotland

This exceptional two-volume treatise is a compilation of introductory, doctrinal, and topical chapters by 30 esteemed Scottish, European, and South African legal historians. It covers the historical development of the entire field of Scots private law, including: real and movable property, transfer of ownership, inheritance and succession, servitudes, leases, riparian rights, trusts, contracts, sale, insurance, delicts, negligence, strict and vicarious liability, and defamation. Each volume is rich in original and secondary sources, with indexes of names and subjects, lists of abbreviations, and tables of cases, as well as a list Scots monarchs and a chronological timeline of Scot legal history in volume one.
Kenneth Reid and Reinhard Zimmermann, eds.

A Legal History of Scotland

Walker's seven volumes of A Legal History of Scotland is so far the only attempt made to compile a chronological exploration of the development of the Scottish legal system from early times through the 20th century. Attention is given throughout to secondary sources and legal literature with extensive reference to original sources. Each volume covers the historical development and roles of the monarch, the Privy Council, Parliament, and the judiciary, the legal profession, as well as the substantive and procedural details of public, criminal and private law, and the influences of other legal systems and cultures (especially those of England). The periods covered by each volume are as follows: v. 1. Beginnings to A.D. 1286; v. 2. Later middle ages; v. 3. Sixteenth Century; v. 4. Seventeenth century; v. 5. Eighteenth century; v. 6. Nineteenth century; and, v. 7. Twentieth century
David M. Walker

An Introduction to English Legal History

Now in its 4th edition, this text was written to provide students with a basic knowledge of the historical development of England’s common law, legal institutions, and legal culture from Anglo-Saxon times to the early 21st century. It is a touchstone introductory work for the study of English legal history. The individual chapters provide chronological accounts of the principal developments in specific institutional, substantive, and procedural subjects of English legal history; each chapter closes with a bibliography of further readings.
John H. Baker

Anglo-American Legal Heritage

This book covers the historical development of modern Anglo-American law. It explores medieval English feudalism, the early development of the modern nation state in the Early Modern period, the development of English and American law through the end of the nineteenth century. It concludes with discussions of twentieth century developments in Anglo-American jurisprudential theories. This texts's mix of narrative discussions, excerpts from original sources and secondary scholarship, illustrations, and facsimiles of original materials provides an edifying and entertaining introduction to Anglo-American legal history.
Daniel R. Coquillette

Historical Introduction to Anglo-American Law in a Nutshell

This book is an introduction to Anglo-American legal history. It has chapters on: courts, the jury, the bench and bar, customs and cases, legislation and codification, doctrinal writings (e.g., Littleton, Kent and Story), real property, torts, contracts, law and commerce, negotiable instruments, and business organizations.
Frederick G. Kempin

History of the Common Law : The Development of Anglo-American Legal Institutions

This treatise explores the origins and historical development of the legal systems and cultures of England and America. Beginning with the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms and ending with early 21st century America this wide-ranging text covers the histories of trial by jury, civil and criminal procedure, bench and bar, law and equity, legal education and legal literature, and the rise of the modern profession of law. Combining narrative discussions, excerpts from historical sources and modern scholarship, and discussion notes and questions, as well as over 250 illustrations, this book is an excellent and comprehensive introduction to Anglo-American legal history.
John H. Langbein, Renee Lettow Lerner, Bruce P. Smith

Islands of Law : A Legal History of the British Isles

This singular treatise provides an invaluable corrective to standard Anglo-centric British legal histories by examining the insular yet interactive legal and constitutional relationships among the various nations of the British Isles. While focused primarily on England, Scotland, and Ireland from 1660 to 1990, Islands of Law also includes an excellent summary introduction of the theme of insularity and interaction from ancient times through the Cromwellian Commonwealth period. Written in an accessible narrative style, this book is an excellent introductory transnational account of British legal history.
Richard S. Tompson

The Atlantic Archipelago : A Political History of the British Isles

This treatise presents a transnational survey of the political and constitutional history of the British Isles from antiquity up to 1985. Inspired by late 20th century scholarship in British history known variously as "New", "Three Kingdoms", and "Four Nations" history, The Atlantic Archipelago challenges the traditional model that portrays the history of England as comprising the only essential narrative necessary for understanding the historical development of the British Isles. An appendix provides an introductory discussion of how Anglocentric historiography became the default paradigm for the writing of British histories by the early 20th century.
Richard S. Tompson

The Legal History of Wales

This outstanding book traces the various strands of Wales' legal history from its beginnings to the present day, identifying and assessing the importance of the native Welsh, Roman and English influences to Wales's legal social identity. Alongside these influences, the customs of the native Welsh people maintained an important role not only until Wales was united legally with England in the sixteenth century but through to the nineteenth-century abolition of Wales's own law courts, the Great Sessions. Since then, the separate legal identity of Wales as witnessed by its legal history has played a significant part in the rise of national consciousness and the emergence of new, distinctly Welsh, legal institutions such as the National Assembly at the end of the twentieth century. Written throughout in an engaging and comparative narrative style, this treatise provides an excellent introduction to not only Welsh legal history but to the legal histories of England and ancient Rome as well. It includes a glossary of native Welsh legal terms.
Thomas Glyn Watkin