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Historians have great cause to be grateful to the precocious bureaucrats of medieval England, whose records they have exploited to shed light on so many aspects of the past. They should be equally thankful for the generations of scholars who have produced printed calendars of such records since the foundation of the Record Commission in 1800.
At its most basic level, a market is a locus of exchange, which enables people who need or desire certain things that they themselves do not produce to acquire these goods from others.
This is a book which could very easily slip under the radar of most historians. Even had they noticed the title, and had their curiosity piqued by the sub-title, after checking the academic discipline of the author (Julian Rivers is Professor of Jurisprudence at Bristol University) many might well have decided that this book was probably of no professional interest to them.
Land, Law and People in Medieval Scotland is best viewed as six self-contained studies under two broad headings: ‘Land and law’ and ‘Land and people’.
Can we conceive of a peculiarly ‘late medieval’ notion of family?
What can we know about late-medieval, pre-Reformation English parliaments? Previous to this book, only a few secondary scatterings. The English Parliaments of Henry VII 1485–1504, therefore, pulls this topic together, gives synthesis to such scattered references, and then thoroughly researches and documents extant bits and pieces from contemporary primary evidence.
This a remarkable book, based on decades of close study of medieval conveyancing documents. The abbreviations list more than 150 cartularies or other charter collections that are cited. Technical as many of the concerns are, the subject provides an ideal bridge between legal and other aspects of history.
Helen Lacey’s excellent book appears at a time when the exercise of executive and judicial clemency has become a topical talking point.
In March 1279 King Edward I commissioned a great inquiry into landholding in England. The surviving returns were arranged by hundred, hence their name ‘the Hundred Rolls’, and give a picture of rural society which, in its level of detail, goes far beyond that found in Domesday Book. If this was intended as a second Domesday, it was a superior version of it.
The central place of petitioning in the work of the English parliament has long been recognised: the 18th-century editors of the rolls of parliament included unenrolled petitions in their text wherever they felt able to assign them to a particular assembly, and to this day Members of the House of Commons may deposit written petitions in a bag provided for this purpose at the back