English Medieval Legal Documents ›
10.1 - Research Guides

Sweet and Maxwell's Guide to Law Reports and Statutes. 4th ed. London: Sweet & Maxwell, 1962.

Baker, John H. Manual of Law French. 2nd ed. Aldershot, Hants: Scolar Press, 1990.
Bolland, William C. A Manual of Year Book Studies . Cambridge Studies in English Legal History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1925.
Abstract: Based on lectures delivered at Cambridge University. An introduction to the subject of the MSS. and printed editions of the year books. An appendix provides 11 facsimiles of selected pages from year book manuscripts of various dates written in various scripts, with transcripts and English translations from the law French.

Brunner, Heinrich. The Sources of the Law of England: an Historical Introduction to the Study of English Law. Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1888.

Cheney, Christopher R. Handbook of Dates for Students of English History. London: Royal Historical Society, 1955.
Abstract: List of regnal years, 12-32, and legal chronology, 65-74.

Crook, David. Records of the General Eyre. Public Record Office Handbooks Number 20. London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1982.
Abstract: A convenient guide to the eyre records, this handbook is based largely on the work of C. A. F. Meekings. Gives a brief description of each eyre, followed by a listing of the manuscript records for each including the plea rolls, feet of fines, writs, and coroners rolls. Describes the preservation of the plea rolls, 12-30.

Donahue, Charles, ed. The Records of the Medieval Ecclesiastical Courts: Part II England. Comparative Studies in Continental and Anglo-American Legal History ed. Berlin: Dunker & Humblot, 1994-.
Abstract: Reports of the Working Group on Church Court Records, this provides a comprehensive analytical guide to the surviving records of proceedings in English church courts up to the mid-sixteenth century.

Flower, Cyril T. Introduction to the Curia Regis Rolls, 1199-1230. SS, 62 for 1943. London: Quaritch, 1943.
Abstract: "Consists of an analytical introduction to the series of printed Curia Regis Rolls of the reigns of Richard I, John, and part of Henry III. The remainder is a summary and index to the contents of these numerous volumes of rolls." Gives numerous illustrations of the various types of actions heard in the royal courts, drawn from the Curia Regis rolls.

Freeman, Peter. Curia Regis & Assize Rolls for the Reigns of Richard I and John: a Handlist and Finding Aid. Rev. ed. Leeds: s.n., 2001.
Notes: Available online at http://www.medievalgenealogy.org.uk/guide/curiaregis.shtml (accessed June 5, 2007)
Abstract: A bibliography of curia regis rolls, including eyre rolls, and the sources in which they have been published, primarily the Curia Regis Rolls series and publications of the Pipe Roll Society and the Selden Society. Includes an appendix on the "Coram Rege" numbering system.

Galbraith, Vivian H. An Introduction to the Use of the Public Records. London: Oxford University Press, 1934.
Abstract: Based on five lectures given to graduate students who were beginning original research.

---. Studies in the Public Records . University of Oxford. Ford lectures, 1941. London, New York : T. Nelson , 1948.

Great Britain. Public Record Office. Guide to the Contents of the Public Record Office. 3 Vols. London: HMSO, 1963-1968.
Abstract: Guide to the manuscripts preserved in the PRO . vol. 1, Legal records, etc.; vol. 2, State papers and departmental records; vol. 3, Documents transferred 1960-1966.

Hall, Hubert. Introduction to the Study of the Pipe Rolls. The Publications of the Pipe Roll Society, 3. London: Wyman, 1884.

Hardy, Thomas D. A Description of the Close Rolls in the Tower of London With an Account of the Early Courts of Law and Equity, and Various Historical Illustrations. London: n.p., 1833.
Notes: Also available online in MOML (subscription database)
Abstract: Written by an accepted authority on the origin of English equity.

---. A Description of the Patent Rolls in the Tower of London; to Which Is Added An Itinerary of King John, With Prefatory Observations . London: n.p., 1835.

Hicks, Frederick C. Materials and Methods of Legal Research. 3rd ed. Rochester, N.Y.: Lawyers Cooperative, 1942.
Jackson, E. Hilton, and Herbert Broom. Latin for Lawyers . 3rd ed. London: Sweet & Maxwell, 1960.

Johnson, Charles, and Hilary Jenkinson. English Court Hand A.D. 1066 to 1500, Illustrated Chiefly From the Public Records . Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1915.
Abstract: A guide to the cursive script of the English royal administration. Reprinted in 1968.

Kiralfy, Albert K. R., and Gareth H. Jones, comp. General Guide to the Society's Publications: A Detailed and Indexed Summary of the Contents of the Introductions Volumes 1-79. Selden Society, London: Publications ed. London: Bernard Quaritch, 1960.
Abstract: Summaries of information from the introductions to volumes of the Selden Society Publications through v. 79, for 1961, with a detailed index to the summaries. Intended to provide an entry point to the main volumes. The reader uses the index to find the topic of interest in the summaries, and then turns to the main volume for fuller details.

Logan, R. G., comp. Information Sources in Law. London: Butterworths, 1986.
Macfarlane, Alan. A Guide to English Historical Records. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983.
Abstract: Chapter 3: Records of State including law courts; Chapter 5: Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction

Martin, Charles T. The Record Interpreter: a Collection of Abbreviations, Latin Words and Names Used in English Historical Manuscripts and Records. 2nd ed. London: Stevens and Sons, 1910.
Abstract: Reprinted by Genealogical Publishing Company in Baltimore Md., 2003.
Moys, Elizabeth M. Manual of Law Librarianship: the Use and Organization of Legal Literature . 2nd ed. Boston, Mass.: G.K. Hall & Co, 1987.
Abstract: Contains an extensive summary of historical sources by W. W. S. Breem, 249-292

Mullins, Edward L. C. Texts and Calendars : an Analytical Guide to Serial Publications. 2 Vols. Royal Historical Society, 7, 12. London: Royal Historical Society, 1958-1983.
Abstract: An excellent resource for serial publications, whether they are government publications, such as the P.R.O calendars, documents published by specialist societies such as the Selden Society, or volumes of local record and historical societies, it provides a guide to texts and calendars relating to English and Welsh history. It includes details on the Exchequer Pipe Rolls and other records published by the Pipe Rolls Society, as well as information on the editing of the Curia Regis Rolls and rolls of Justices in Eyre. List the publications of the Record Commissioners prior to the PRO Calendars of records, 1-15.

Palgrave-Moore, Patrick T. R. How to Locate and Use Manorial Records . Norwich, Norfolk: Elvery Dowers, 1985.

Pester, David. Finding Legal Information: a Guide to Print and Electronic Sources. Oxford: Chandos, 2003.

Stenton, Doris M. P., C. F. Slade, and Margaret S. R. Walker, comps. Liber Memorialis: Doris Mary Stenton, Honorary Secretary to the Pipe Roll Society, 1923-1961. Publications of the Pipe Roll Society, 79; n.s., 41. London : Pipe Roll Society, 1976.
Abstract: Indexes the introductions to the Society's publications of the pipe rolls and other financial records.

Strecker, Karl. Introduction to Medieval Latin . 2nd ed. Dublin: Weidmann, 1967.
Abstract: English translation and revision by Robert B. Palmer.

Vising, Johan. Anglo-Norman Language & Literature. London: Oxford University Press, 1923.
Abstract: Republished in 1967 by H. Milford.

Winfield, Percy H. The Chief Sources of English Legal History. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1925.
Notes: Also available online in HeinOnline at http://heinonline.org/ (subscription database)
Abstract: Based on lectures at Harvard Law School, it is not an exhaustive bibliography, but an evaluation of the main authorities which should be consulted when studying English legal history.

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