A Collection of Cases Decided in the King's Courts During the Reign of Henry the Third
Cambridge Library Collection - History
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Bracton's Note Book
Henry of Bracton (or Bratton) (c. 1210-1268) was a jurist who worked as a Justice of Assize in the south-west of England, and was the author of the first systematic discussion of English common law. The manuscripts which form Bracton's Note Book were discovered in the British Museum in 1884 by Vinogradoff, and were edited in three volumes in 1887 by Maitland. These volumes contain a collection of over 2,000 law cases from the thirteenth century, each with a description of how the law should be applied to the particular circumstances of each case. This is the first example of case law in English legal writing, and its usefulness as a record of legal precedent probably led to the creation of Year Rolls (official records of court cases) from 1268. Volume 2 contains the texts of Pleas in the Bench from 1218 to 1234.
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