Georgetown Law
Georgetown Law Library

English Legal History Research Guide

Contents of this guide include print, micro-media and Internet resources available to facilitate research in legal history at Georgetown Law.

English Secondary 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. Some of these sources are helpful for early American or colonial research.

  • Baker, John H. An Introduction to English Legal History. 4th ed. London: Dayton, Ohio: Butterworths LexisNexis, 2004. KD532.B34 1990
  • Baker, John H. and S.F.C. Milsom. Sources of English Legal History: Private Law to 1750. London: Butterworths, 1986. KD720.S6 1986
  • Brand, Paul.Kings, Barons and Justices: The Making and Enforcement of Legislation in Thirteenth-Century England. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003. KD608 .B73 2003
  • Cale, Michelle. Law and Society: An Introduction to Sources for Criminal and Legal History from 1800. Kew, Surrey: PRO Publications, 1996. KD530 .C34 1996
  • Carter, A.T. A History of English Legal Institutions. Reprint edition of London: Butterworths, 1902. Littleton, Co.: F.B. Rothman, 1986. KD532.C37 1986r
  • 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. KD4190 .C63 1806
  • Coquillette, Daniel R. The Anglo-American Legal Heritage: Introductory Materials. 2nd ed. Durham, N.C.: Carolina Academic Press, 2004. KD532 .C67 2004
  • Cockburn, J.S. A History of English Assizes, 1558-1714. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1972.KD6913.C6
  • Feldbrugge, F.J.M., ed. The Law's Beginnings. Leiden: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2003. K160 .L397 2003
  • Fifoot, C.H.S. History and Sources of the Common Law. Reprint ed. of 1949 ed. New York: Greenwood Press, 1970. KD671.A7 F5 1970r
  • 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 .G68 2000
  • Griffiths, Bill. An Introduction to Early English Law. Norfolk: Anglo-Saxon Books, 1995. KD606 .G75 1995
  • Holdsworth, William S. A History of English Law. 16 vols. London; Methuen: Sweet and Maxwell, 1966.KD532.H58 1966r
    • 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.
  • Holdsworth, William S. Sources and Literature of English Law. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1925.KD530.H6 1925
  • 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.KZ1269 .E49 2001
  • Maxwell, L. Howard. A Legal Bibliography of the British Commonwealth of Nations. 8 vols. London: Sweet & Maxwell, 1955KD51 .L4
    • 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.
  • Milsom, S.F.C. Historical Foundations of the Common Law. 2nd ed. London: Butterworths, 1981.KD671.M54 1981
  • Oldham, James. English Common Law in the Age of Mansfield. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2004. KD612 .O44 2004
  • 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. KD358.M33 O35 1992
  • Plucknett, T.F.T. A Concise History of the Common Law. 5th ed. Boston: Little, Brown, 1956.KD532.P55 1956
  • 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. KD532.P6 1968
  • Ross, Charles Stanley. Elizabethan Literature and the Law of Fraudulent Conveyance: Sidney, Spenser, and Shakespeare. Aldershot, Hants, England: Ashgate Pub. Co., 2003. PR428.L37 R67 2003
  • Winfield, P.H. The Chief Sources of English Legal History. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1925. KD392.W5