American Legal History

American Legal History - HISTORY OF ENGLISH LAW...

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HISTORY OF ENGLISH LAW INTRODUCTION - Covered page 4a - 1066 is conventional break to begin English legal history o French regard Anglo Saxon as “peasants” that were conquered at this time o French arrive in 1066 → move in as “administrators” o At this point, there is no common law throughout the land o Romans had a unified system with a classical scheme → were fed up with the disorganization of England Each local area in England had its own, varied system and this frustrated the Romans Look to page 4b The EARL is the acting king of each Administrator of each is the REEVE Counties are headed by SHIRE Normans will bring these under Royal control and NOT under local control of the Earl o Royal courts have a very limited role at this time - King Henry II → Father of the Common Law - King John – in 1215, the Magna Carta was signed - 15 th Century → is a time of civil strife – major battle between the Houses York and Lancaster – a.k.a. “War of the Roses” – to take over the Crown o Common law goes through a quite period here because people are concerned with other things o Beginning of EQUITY as a separate court of law and CHANCERY enters as separate law system - 16 th Century → Christians slaughter each other for being the “wrong kind of Christian” – period of Christian martyrs o 1649 – JH Baker calls this the “Inter Regname” – between regimes o 1660 – Stuart family is brought back to reign during period of “Restoration Monarchy” o James II reverts to bad ways in 1688 – English people reasserted themselves and the King is deposed INTRO (cont’d) - The following languages surfaced: o (1) Anglo-Saxon – spoken by the natives o (2) Anglo-Norman – (French) language of law reports o (3) Latin – learned language of Western Europe Language of the church and official documents (court records) - History of official language in court: o Cromwell regime declared that English would be the language of all pleading o This was repealed in 1660 when Cromwell regime was taken over and Latin replaced it o 1731 → English finally becomes official language of all records o NOTE: written word is not evidence of what may really have been going on DATING of RECORDS - Legal records use a Regnal year calendar for every year → based on King/Queen that was in power o EX: Edward I comes to the thrown in March 1, 1272 → so this year will be referred to as 1 Ed. I Then from March 1, 1273 → this year will be referred to as 2 Ed. I. - Inside the year → legal records used the Christian calendar o Use the great feasts of the Christian year and then add/subtract dates from those to date records within the same year o Taxes were paid on 4 great feasts of the Christian year Lady day Easter Christmas MONEY - Reformed about 30 years ago → but before used pounds, shilling and pence o 1 pound = 12 shillings o 1 shilling = 20 pence o 1 pound = 240 pence (12 x 20)
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American Legal History - HISTORY OF ENGLISH LAW...

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