The Oxford History of the Laws of England: 871-1216

John Hudson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Book/ReportBook

43 Citations (Scopus)


This volume, in the Oxford History of the Laws of England series, spans three centuries that encompassed the tumultuous years of the Norman conquest, and during which the common law as we know it today began to emerge. It treats all aspects of the early development of the English common law in a century, and features research into the original sources that bring the era to life, and provides an interpretative account, a subject analysis, and glimpses into medieval disputes. Starting with King Alfred (871-899), this book examines the particular contributions of the Anglo-Saxon period to the development of English law, including the development of a powerful machinery of royal government, significant aspects of a long-lasting court structure, and important elements of law relating to theft and violence. Until the reign of King Stephen (1135-54), these Anglo-Saxon contributions were maintained by the Norman rulers, whilst the Conquest of 1066 led to the development of key aspects of landholding that were to have a continuing effect on the emerging common law. The Angevin period saw the establishment of more routine royal administration of justice, closer links between central government and individuals in the localities, and growing bureaucratization. Finally, the later twelfth and earlier thirteenth century saw influential changes in legal expertise. The book concludes with the rebellion against King John in 1215 and the production of the Magna Carta.

Original languageEnglish
PublisherBritish Academy (Oxford University Press)
Number of pages984
ISBN (Electronic)9780191740640
ISBN (Print)9780198260301
Publication statusPublished - 20 Sept 2012


  • Angevin Period
  • Anglo-Saxon Period
  • Common Law
  • Court Structure
  • English Law
  • King Alfred
  • King Stephen
  • Landholding
  • Norman Conquest
  • Royal Government


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