Medieval English Legal History: An Index and Paraphrase of Printed Year Book Reports

The Year Books are English law books dating from 1268 to 1535 and our key source on the development of English common law. Boston University Professor of Law David Seipp has been creating detailed records with the cases paraphrased in a searchable open-access online index (thus far nearly 7,000 of the 22,000 cases). You can search according to numerous criteria and simply click on the “Seipp Number” for the full record, including language notes, commentary, and sometimes an image taken from the original page. The cases circulated in manuscript form before printing and the database is based on the Vulgate (standard/common) edition printed between 1678 and 1670, which can be accessed in microfilm at Harvard University or Oxford’s Bodleian Library. The site also includes lists of manuscripts, old printed editions, abridgements, and a bibliography of books and articles that discuss the Year Books.

Website: http://www.bu.edu/law/faculty-scholarship/legal-history-the-year-books/

Page from a case in 1315 in Fyketsfield regarding the theft of jewels in a locked chest.
Page from a case in 1315 in Fyketsfield regarding the theft of jewels in a locked chest.

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