English Medieval Legal Documents ›
3.1.2 - Abridgments, Digests and Indexes of Statutes

Abridgments of the statutes probably originated in the fifteenth century according to Cowley's Bibliography of Abridgments, which gives a good summary of these early abridgments and indexes of the statutes.(38) A detailed list also appears in Maxwell.(39) Only the most important examples have been listed below.

England. Abbreuiamentum Statuo(Rum) . Early English Books, 1475-1640, 161:3. London: Richard Pynson, 1499.
Notes: 1499 and 1503 editions also available online in EEBO (subscription databases)
Abstract: Text in law French and Latin.

---. Abbreviamentum Statutorum. London: John Lettou & William de Machlinia, 1482.
Notes: Also available online in EEBO (subscription database)
Abstract: Text in Latin. An abridgment in French, of the statutes to 33 Henry VI, 1455, in alphabetical order. The earliest printed abridgment of the statutes.

Great Britain. Parliament. Halsbury's Statutes of England and Wales. 50 Vols. 4th ed. London: Butterworths, 1985-.
Abstract: Contains amended texts of statutes in force, with annotations. The earliest statute listed in the chronological table is the Statute of Marlborough (1267)

Great Britain. Statute Law Committee. Chronological Table of and Index to the Statutes to the End of the Session of ... London : Statute Law Committee, 1869-.
Abstract: Covering the period from 1235 to date, the table refers to all the old repealed acts, and shows how they were affected by later legislation.

Great Britain. Statute Law Committee. Chronological Table of the Statutes . London : HMSO, 1947.
Abstract: This annual publication provides a chronological table of and index to the statutes to the end of the latest session of parliament. Begins with the year 1235.

Pulton, Ferdinando, ed. A Kalender, or Table, Comprehending the Effect of All the Statutes That Have Beene Made and Put in Print : Beginning With Magna Charta, Enacted Anno 9. H. 3. ... Untill the End of the Session of Parliament Holden Anno 3. R. Iacobi ... : Whereunto Is Annexed an Abridgement of All the Statutes ... London : The Company of Stationers, 1606.
Notes: Also available online in EEBO (subscription databases)
Abstract: Text in English.

Rastell, John, ed. The Statutes Prohemium Ioha(n)Nis Rastell . Early English Books, 1475-1640, 2041:1. London: John Rastell, 1519.
Abstract: Statutes arranged under alphabetical titles, and given both in English and in their original language.

Rolle, Henry, ed. Un Abridgment Des Plusieurs Cases Et Resolutions Del Common Ley Alphabeticalment Digest Desouth Severall Titles . London: A. Crooke, 1668.
Notes: Also available online in EEBO (subscription database)
Abstract: Text in Law French. Digest of cases from the year books arranged systematically by topic under titles and sub-titles. It also abridges many of the parliamentary rolls, statutes, and official records.

Ruffhead, Owen, ed. A Complete Index to the Statutes at Large: From Magna Charta to the Tenth Year of George III. Inclusive . London: Printed by His Majesty's Statute and Law Printers for P. Uriel, 1772..


38. Cowley, John D., comp. A Bibliography of Abridgments, Digests, Dictionaries and Indexes of English Law to the Year 1800. Published in association with the Selden Society. London: Quaritch, 1932, at pp.xviii-xxxix
39. Maxwell, William Harold, and Leslie F. Maxwell , comps. A Legal Bibliography of the British Commonwealth of Nations. 8 Vols. 2nd ed. London: Sweet and Maxwell, 1955- at pp.563-7





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