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Georgetown Law Library

Legal History: Crime and Punishment Research Guide

This guide details primary English and American resources on the history of crime and punishment.

General English Legal Sources

There are many more general sources of English legal history than can be listed here. A few are included, as they have proved their worth over the years.

KD532.B34 2002
Baker, John H. An Introduction to English Legal History. 4th ed. London: Dayton, Ohio: Butterworths LexisNexis, 2002.

KD720.S6 1986
Baker, John H. and S.F.C. Milsom. Sources of English Legal History: Private Law to 1750. London: Butterworths, 1986.

KD530 .C34 1996
Cale, Michelle. Law and Society: An Introduction to Sources for Criminal and Legal History from 1800. Kew, Surrey: PRO Publications, 1996.

KD532.C37 1986r
Carter, A.T. A History of English Legal Institutions. Reprint ed of London: Butterworths, 1902. Littleton, Co.: F.B. Rothman, 1986.

Cobbett, William. Cobbett's Parliamentary History of England From the Norman Conquest in 1066, to the Year 1803, From Which Last-Mentioned Epoch It is Continued Downwards in the Work Entitled, "Cobbett's Parliamentary Debates.[1066-1803]" 36 vols. London: R. Bagshaw, 1806-1820.

KD532 .C67 2004
Coquillette, Daniel R. The Anglo-American Legal Heritage: Introductory Materials. 2nd ed. Durham, N.C.: Carolina Academic Press, 2004.

Cockburn, J.S. A History of English Assizes, 1558-1714. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1972.

K160 .L397 2003
Feldbrugge, F.J.M., ed. The Law's Beginnings. Leiden: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2003.

KD671.A7 F5 1970r
Fifoot, C.H.S. History and Sources of the Common Law. Reprint ed. of 1949 ed. New York: Greenwood Press, 1970.

KD606 .G68 2000
Graham, Jenny. The Nation, the Law, and the King: Reform Politics in England, 1789-1799. 2 vols. Lanham, Md.: University Press of America, 2000.

KD606 .G75 1995
Griffiths, Bill. An Introduction to Early English Law. Norfolk: Anglo-Saxon Books, 1995.

KD532.H58 1966r
Holdsworth, William S. A History of English Law. 16 vols. London; Methuen: Sweet and Maxwell, 1966.

Consult Holdsworth when choosing a topic or clarifying obscure legal words. Each volume is chronological from medieval times to 1875. The last volume is the index volume. It is also a good source of primary and secondary sources.

KD530.H6 1925
Holdsworth, William S. Sources and Literature of English Law. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1925.

KZ1269 .E49 2001
Kirkby, Diane & Catharine Coleborne, eds. Law, History, Colonialism: The Reach of Empire. Manchester; New York: Manchester University Press; New York: Distributed in the USA by Palgrave, 2001.

KD554 .K96 2000
Kynell, Kurt von S. Saxon and Medieval Antecedents of the English Common Law. Lewiston, N.Y.: Edwin Mellen Press, 2000.

Maxwell, L. Howard. A Legal Bibliography of the British Commonwealth of Nations. 8 vols. London: Sweet & Maxwell, 1955.

Called Sweet & Maxwell‰s Legal Bibliography. Vols. 1: English law before 1800; vol. 2: English law 1801-1950. The other volumes are for other commonwealth countries. Although a bit old, Sweet & Maxwell‰s Legal Bibliography is an excellent place to start, especially when unfamiliar with old legal terms, or the breadth of the subject matter.

KD671.M54 1981
Milsom, S.F.C. Historical Foundations of the Common Law. 2nd ed. London: Butterworths, 1981.

KD612 .O44 2004
Oldham, James. English Common Law in the Age of Mansfield. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2004.

KD358.M33 O35 1992
Oldham, James. The Mansfield Manuscript and the Growth of English Law in the Eighteenth Century. 2 vols. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1992.

KD532.P55 1956
Plucknett, T.F.T. A Concise History of the Common Law. 5th ed. Boston: Little, Brown, 1956.

KD532.P6 1968
Pollock, F. and F.W. Maitland. The History of English Law Before the Time of Edward I. 2nd ed. 2 vols. London: Cambridge University Press, 1968.

PR428.L37 R67 2003
Ross, Charles Stanley. Elizabethan Literature and the Law of Fraudulent Conveyance: Sidney, Spenser, and Shakespeare. Aldershot, Hants, England: Ashgate Pub. Co., 2003.

Winfield, P.H. The Chief Sources of English Legal History. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1925.