Between 1300 and 1550, London's courts were the most important English lay law courts outside Westminster. They served the most active and innovative of the local jurisdictions in which custom combined with the common law to produce different legal remedies from those contemporaneously available in the central courts. More importantly for the long term, not only did London's practices affect other local courts, but they influenced the development of the national common law, and quite possibly the development of the legal profession itself. This 2007 book provides a detailed account, accessible to non-legal historians, of the administration of the law by the medieval and early modern city of London. In analysing the workings of London's laws and law courts and the careers of those who worked in them, it shows how that administration, and those involved in it, helped to shape the modern English law.
Dr Penny Tucker now works in Devon as a designer, but continues to research history and to write part-time.
Acknowledgements; Introduction; 1. The administration of law; 2. The distinctiveness of city law and custom; 3. The city lawcourts; 4. The administration of the law in the city's courts: I; 5. The administration of the law in the city's courts: II; 6. Judges, jurors and litigants; 7. The city's law officers; 8. Legal representation in the city; 9. The effectiveness of the administration of the law by the city; 10. Interchange and exchange between the city and the common law; Bibliography; Appendices.