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.


Biographies and autobiographies are often excellent sources of historical information, and provide insight into the minds of those who are creating, interpreting and changing the law. Below are just a few examples of what is available in the Library. Check the guide to online databases for more biographical sources.

  • American Council of Learned Societies. Dictionary of American Biography. New York: Scribner's, 1980. E176 .D564 1980
  • Campbell, John C. The Lives of the Chief Justices of England. 6 vols. 3rd ed. New York: Cockcroft, 1874-1878. KD536 .C3 1874
    • There are several editions of this multi-volume set. Slightly different coverage of judicial biographies by Lord Campbell are listed below.
    • Available online through LLMCHeinOnline, and the Making of Modern Law.
  • Campbell, John C. The Lives of the Chief Justices of England From the Norman Conquest Till the Death of Lord Tenterden. 5 vols. New York: E. Thompson Co., 1894-1899. KD536 .C3 1894
    • There are several editions of this multi-volume set. One set is in Special Collections.
    • Available online through the Making of Modern Law.
  • Campbell, John C. Lives of the Lord Chancellors and Keepers of the Great Seal of England: From the Earliest Times Till the Reign of King George IV. 10 vols. Reprint ed. of the 1868 ed. New York: AMS Press, 1973. KD620 .C34 1973
  • Duman, Daniel. The Judicial Bench in England, 1727-1875: The Reshaping of a Professional Elite. London: Royal Historical Society, 1982. KD7285 .D85 1982
  • Foss, Edward. A Biographical Dictionary of the Judges of England From the Conquest to the Present Time, 1066-1870. London: John Murray, 1870.
  • Foss, Edward. The Judges of England: With Sketches of Their Lives. 9 vols. London: Longman, Brown, Green and Longmans, 1848-1864. KD7285 .F67 1848
  • Matthew, H.G. & Brian Harrison, eds. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. In Association With the British Academy. From the Earliest Times to the Year 2000. 60 vols. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2004. DA28 .O95 2004
    • Earlier editions are in the stacks, and an online version is available through Lauinger Library on main campus.
    • Available online.
  • Simpson, A.W.B. Biographical Dictionary of the Common Law. London: Butterworths, 1984.KD620 .B5 1984