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Unit 1: Sir Edward Coke and the Common Law

Of Democrats & Dictators Links, Unit 1: Sir Edward Coke and the Common Law

Rise of the Common Law | Inns of Court | Evolution of Jury System | Raleigh’s Trial |
Coke on the Bench | Chancery | 5 Knights Case & Petition of Right | Later Developments

The Rise of the Common Law 

England Before the Norman Conquest: Being a History of the Celtic, Roman and Anglo-Saxon

Periods Down to the Year A.D. 1066 By Sir Charles William Chadwick Oman, K.B.E., M.P.

Origins of the Common Law (A Three-Part Series) by David A. Thomas

Part I: The Disappearance of Roman Law from Dark Age Britain

Part II. Anglo-Saxon Antecedents of the Common Law

Part III: Common Law Under the Early Normans

A Concise History of the Common Law by Theodore F. T. Plucknett

Part 1

            Part 2

            Part 3

Wikipedia: Common Law

Citizendium: Common Law

Catholic Encyclopedia: Common Law

Inns of Court

Wikipedia: Inns of Court

1911 Britannica: Inns of Court

Online Encyclopedia: Sir Edward Coke (1552–1634)

1911 Britannica: Henry de Bracton

Catholic Encyclopedia: Henry de Bracton

Bracton Online The complete work of Bracton’s De Legibus Et Consuetudinibus Angliæ

(on the Laws and Customs of England). In Latin and translated into English.

Wikipedia: Rule in Shelley’s Case

John Maxcy Zane, the Story of Law (1927) Part III: Chapters 11–14 of the classic work on law covers the common law.

Avalon Project: The History of the Common Law of England by Matthew Hale The complete classic text on the common law written in 1713.

Harvard Law School Library: The Common Law by Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. The complete classic work on the common law written in 1880.

Canadian Bar Review: Stare Decisis An examination of the role of precedent in modern Canada.

The Evolution of the Jury System

Columbia Encyclopedia: Jury

Wikipedia: Jury Trial

1911 Britannica: Jury

American Bar Association: Trial by Jury: Background Article

Encyclopedia Britannica: Jury System History

Law and History Review: Vicinage and the Antecedents of the Jury A 1999 article by Mike MacNair.

National Jury Center Information on juries in the United States.

Guy Fawkes by David Herber A biography.


Guy Fawkes

Gunpowder Plot

Encarta: Guy Fawkes

1911 Britannica

Guy Fawkes

Gunpowder Plot

Famous Trials in World History Links: Guy Fawkes

“What’s Wrong With the Modern Jury.” A two-part article by law professor Vikram David Amar.

Part 1

Part 2

The Trial of Sir Walter Raleigh

Wikipedia: Walter Raleigh

Encarta: Sir Walter Raleigh

1911 Britannica: Sir Walter Raleigh

NNDB: Sir Walter Raleigh A biography.

LexScripta: The Quatercentary of Sir Walter Raleigh’s Trial A long biography of Raleigh with a focus on the trial.

Biography of Sir Walter Raleigh by Christopher Smith

Sir Walter Raleigh, Knight A biography.

Trial of Sir Walter Raleigh, Knight, for High Treason An excerpt from the trial transcript.

Yahoo Directory: Sir Walter Raleigh

Open Directory Project: Walter Raleigh

Google Directory: Walter Raleigh

Famous Trials in World History Links: Walter Raleigh (1603)

Coke on the Bench

Biographies of Coke:

1911 Encyclopedia Britannica: Edward Coke

Encarta: Sir Edward Coke

Penn Law: Sir Edward Coke

Wikipedia: Edward Coke

Columbia Encyclopedia: Edward Coke

Constitution Society: Selected Works of Edward Coke Text of Coke’s Institutes and Ninth Part of the Reports.

Reviews of Sir Edward Coke and the Elizabethan Age by Allen D. Boyer

By John Cramsie, Department of History, Union College

By Christopher W. Brooks, History Department, University of Durham (UK)

The Court of Chancery

Wikipedia: Equity

1911 Britannica



Wikipedia: Maxims of Equity

Answers.com: Maxim

Lawschoolhelp.com: Equitable Remedies An overview of the remedies and their history.

Equitable Doctrines and Remedies An outline of a course at the University of Southhampton.

The Case of the Five Knights & The Petition of Right

Britannia: Magna Carta The complete text.

BBC: A brief history of habeas corpus

Wikipedia: Habeas Corpus

1911 Britannica: Habeas Corpus

Britannia: The Petition of Right A short introduction and the complete text.

From Revolution to Reconstruction: The Petition of Right (1628) The complete text.

Wikipedia: Petition of Right

Later Developments in Common Law

Liberty Fund: Selected Writings of Sir Edward Coke

Liberty Fund: The Struggle for Sovereignty (PDF file) Many of the primary documents of the 17th century.

History Guide: English Civil War

Wikipedia: English Civil War

Google Directory: English Civil War

Wikipedia: Habeas Corpus Act of 1679

Constitution Society: Habeas Corpus Act of 1679 The complete text.

Victorian Web: The Glorious Revolution

Wikipedia: Glorious Revolution

Wikipedia: Commentaries on the Laws of England

From Revolution to Reconstruction: A Biography of William Blackstone (1723–1780)

Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England An analysis by Jack W. Brown, Ph.D.

Avalon Project: Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England Complete text.

Commentaries on the Laws of England (1765–1769) by Sir William Blackstone Complete text.

Google Directory: William Blackstone

Open Directory Project: William Blackstone

Wikipedia: Jeremy Bentham

1911 Britannica: Jeremy Bentham

Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Jeremy Bentham

Yahoo Directory: Jeremy Bentham

Open Directory Project: Jeremy Bentham

Google Directory: Jeremy Bentham

Bleak House by Charles Dickens An online book.

Wikipedia: Bleak House

Citizendium: Bleak House

ClassicNote: Bleak House A study guide.

Cliff Notes: Bleak House A study guide.