Medieval Primary Source Materials in Print

Medieval Law

By Sara M. Butler; posted 17 April 2020.

This is intended to be a list of primary sources in print for students who are writing history papers, for professors who are trying to find sources for their students, and for those who are simply interested in reading some original documents.

Common_Pleas

The goal of this page is accessibility: therefore, almost all of these texts are ones that have been translated into English.

Roman Law

Scott, Samuel P., ed. and trans. The Novels of Justinian. Cinncinati: The Central Trust Company, 1932. Online.

Watson, Alan, ed. and trans. The Digest of Justinian, 4 vols. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009-2011.  Available through Project Muse ebooks.

Early Medieval

Attenborough, Frederick L., ed. The Laws of the Earliest English Kings. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1922. Reprinted 2019. At Hathitrust.

Drew, Katherine F., ed., and trans. The Burgundian Code: Book or Constitutions of Law of Gundobad. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1972. Available through Project Muse ebooks. Worldcat.

Drew, Katherine F., ed., and trans. The Laws of the Salian Franks. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1991. Available through Project Muse ebooks. Worldcat.

Drew, Katherine F., ed., and trans. The Lombard Laws. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1971. Available through Project Muse ebooks. Worldcat.

Monk, Chris, ed. and trans. Textus Roffensis. Rochester Cathedral Research Guild. Online.

Oliver, Lisi, ed. and trans. The Beginnings of English Law. Toronto and Buffalo: University of Toronto Press, 2002. Worldcat.

Robertson, Agnes J., ed. and trans. The Laws of the Kings of England from Edmund to Henry I. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1925. Reprinted 2009. Worldcat.

Scott, Samuel P., ed. and trans. The Visigothic Law Code (Forum Judicum). The Library of Iberian Resources Online. Online.

Winters, Jane, and Bruce O’Brien, et al., eds. Early English Laws. Institute of Historical Research at the University of London. Online.

 

Celtic

Jenkins, Dafydd, ed. and trans. The Law of Hywel Dda: Law Texts from Medieval Wales. Dyfed: Gomer Press, 1986. Worldcat.

Meyer, Kuno, ed., and trans. Cáin Adamnan: An Old-Irish Treatise on the Law of Adamnan. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1905. At Hathitrust.

 

Western European

Akehurst, Frank R.P., ed. and trans. The Etablissements de Saint Louis: Thirteenth-Century Law Texts from Tours, Orleans, and Paris. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1996. Available through Project Muse ebooks, and Ebsco. Worldcat.

Akehurst, Frank R.P., ed. and trans. The ‘Costuma de Agen’: A Thirteenth-Century Customary Compilation in Old Occitan. Turnhout: Brepols, 2010. Worldcat.

Beaumanoir, Philippe de. Coutumes de Beauvaisis, edited and translated by Frank R.P. Akehurst. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1992. Available through Project Muse ebooks. Worldcat.

de Gruchy, William L., ed. L’Ancienne Coutume de Normandie. Jersey: Charles le Feuvre, 1881. Reprinted 2009. Worldcat.

Dobozy, Maria, ed. and trans., The Saxon Mirror: A ‘Sachsenspiegel’ of the Fourteenth Century (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014). Available through Project Muse ebooks. Worldcat.

Kagay, Donald J., ed. and trans. The Utsages of Barcelona: The Fundamental Law of Catalonia. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1995. Available online.

Scott, Samuel Parsons and Robert I. Burns, eds. and trans. Las Siete Partidas, 5 vols. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012. Available through Project Muse ebooks.

Shatzmiller, Joseph, ed. Médecine et Justice en Provence Médiévale: Documents de Manosque, 1262-1348. Aix-en-Provence: Publications de l’Université de Provence, 1989. Worldcat.

Tardif, Ernest-Joseph, ed. Summa de Legibus Normannie in curia laicali. 2 vols. Rouen: F. Simon, 1896. At Hathitrust: vol. 1, vol. 2.

 

Eastern European

Vernadsky, George, ed. and trans. Medieval Russian Laws. New York: Columbia University Press, 1947. Worldcat.

Bak, János M., ed. and trans. The Laws of the Medieval Kingdom of Hungary (Utah State University, Digital Commons, 2019). Available online.

 

England

Calendars

Calendar of Close Rolls, 1273-1485. 45 vols. London: HMSO, 1911-63. (Available with a subscription to British History Online). See also.

Calendar of Fine Rolls, 1272-1461. 19 vols. London: HMSO, 1911-39. Online.

Calendar of Inquisitions Miscellaneous, 1216-1422. 7 vols. London: HMSO, 1916-69. At archive.org: vol. 1, vol. 2; At Hathitrust: vol. 3, vol. 4, vol. 5, vol. 6, vol. 7.

Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem. 26 vols. London: HMSO, 1898-2009. Available through British History Online. Also here.

Calendar of Patent Rolls, 1216-1509. 55 vols. London: HMSO, 1891-1916. Searchable index online. Also here.

 

Common Law Courts

Boatwright, Lesley, ed. and trans. Inquests and Indictments from Late Fourteenth Century Buckinghamshire. Buckinghamshire Archaeological Society, vol. 29, 1994. Worldcat.

Brand, Paul A. ed. The Earliest English Law Reports. Selden Society, vol. 111, 112, 122 and 123, 1995-2005. Available through HEINONLINE

Cam, Helen M., ed. and trans. The Eyre of London, 14 Edward II (1321), 2 vols. Selden Society, vols. 85 and 86, 1968-69. Available through HEINONLINE.

Chew, Helena M., and Martin Weinbaum, eds. and trans. The London Eyre of 1244. London: London Record Society, 1970. Available online through: British History Online.

Drinkwater, Rev. C.H., ed. “Records of Proceedings before the Coroners of Salop (temp. Edward I, 1295 to 1306.” Shropshire Archaeological & Natural History Society, 3rd ser., 5 (1905): 149-87. At Hathitrust.

Gross, Charles, ed. and trans. Select Cases from the Coroners’ Rolls. Selden Society, vol. 9, 1895. Accessible through HEINONLINE. Also at Hathitrust.

Harding, Alan, ed. and trans. The Shropshire Eyre Roll of 1256. Selden Society, vol. 96, 1980. Accessible through HEINONLINE.

Hershey, Andrew H., ed. The 1258-9 Special Eyre of Surrey and Kent. Surrey Record Society, vol. 38, 2004.

Hunnisett, Roy F., ed. Bedfordshire Coroners’ Rolls. Bedfordshire Historical Record Society, vol. 61, 1960.

Leadam, Isaac S. ed. Select Cases before the King’s Council in the Star Chamber, Commonly called the Court of Star Chamber A.D. 1477-1509, 2 vols. Selden Society, vol. 16 and vol. 25, 1903-11. Available through HEINONLINE. Also, at Hathitrust: vol. 1, vol. 2.

Maitland, Frederic W., ed. Bracton’s Note Book: A Collection of Cases decided in the King’s Courts during the Reign of Henry the Third. London: C.J. Clay and Sons, 1887. At Hathitrust.

Maitland, Frederic W., ed. and trans., Select Pleas of the Crown. Selden Society, vol. 1, 1887. Available through HEINONLINE. Also, at Hathitrust.

Maitland, Frederic W., ed. Pleas of the Crown for the County of Gloucester. London: Macmillan, 1884. At Hathitrust.

Meekings, Cecil A. F., ed. Crown Pleas of the Wiltshire Eyre, 1249. Devizes: Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Society, Records Branch, 1960. Worldcat.

Sayles, George O., ed. and trans. Select Cases in the Court of King’s Bench under Edward I, 7 vols. Selden Society, vols. 55-58, 74, 76, 82, 88, 1936-1971. Accessible through HEINONLINE.

Sharpe, Reginald R., ed. and trans. Calendar of Coroners Rolls of the City of London A.D. 1300-1378. London: Richard Clay & Sons, 1913.  Available through archive.org.

 Stenton, Doris M., ed. Rolls of the Justices in Eyre being the Rolls of Pleas and Assizes for Gloucestershire, Warwickshire and Staffordshire, 1221, 1222. Selden Society, vol. 59, 1940. Available through HEINONLINE. Worldcat.

Stenton, Doris M., ed. Rolls of the Justices in Eyre being the Rolls of Pleas and Assizes for Lincolnshire 1218-19 and Worcestershire 1221. Selden Society, vol. 53, 1934. Available through HEINONLINE. Worldcat.

Sutherland, Donald W., ed. The Eyre of Northamptonshire, 3-4 Edward III (1329-1330). 2 vols. Selden Society, vols. 97 and 98, 1983. Available through HEINONLINE. Worldcat.

Weinbaum, Martin, ed. and trans. The London Eyre of 1276. London: London Record Society, 1976. Freely available online through British History Online.

Woolgar, Christopher M., ed. “A Lincolnshire Coroner’s Roll.” Lincolnshire History and Archaeology 16 (1981): 13-17.

 

English Common Law Treatises and Parliamentary Legislation

Bracton, Henri de. On the Laws and Customs of England, ed. and trans. George Woodbine and Samuel Thorne, 4 vols. 1968. Available online at Bracton Online

Downer, Leslie J., ed. and trans. Leges Henrici Primi. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1972. Worldcat.

Fitzherbert, Anthony.  La Graunde Abridgement. London: John Rastell and Wynkyn de Worde, 1516. In French.

Fortescue, John. De Laudibus Legum Angliae. Ed. S.B. Chrimes. 2nd ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011.  1825 edition at Hathitrust.

Given-Wilson, Chris, et al., eds. Parliament Rolls of Medieval England. 16 vols. Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 2005. Available by subscription through British History Online.

Hall, G.D.G., ed. The Treatise on the Laws and Customs of the Realm of England Commonly Called Glanvill. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1993. Worldcat.

Kaye, J.M., ed. and trans. Placita Corone, or La Corone Pledee devant les Justices. Selden Society, supplementary series no. 4, 1966. Available through HEINONLINE. Worldcat.

Luders, Alexander, et. al, eds. and trans. Statutes of the Realm, vols. 1 and 2. London: HMSO.  Available through HEINONLINE. Also, at Hathitrust: vol. 1, vol. 2.

O’Brien, Bruce R., ed. and trans. The King’s Peace and God’s Peace: The Laws of Edward the Confessor. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1999. Available through Project Muse ebooks. Worldcat.

Richardson, H.G., and G.O. Sayles, eds. Fleta. Selden Society, vols. 72, 89, 99, 1953-83. Available through HEINONLINE

Nichols, Francis M., ed. and trans. Britton: An English Translation and Notes. 2 vols. Washington, DC: John Byrne and Co., 1901. At Hathitrust.

Whittaker, William J., ed. and trans. The Mirror of Justices. Selden Society, vol. 7, 1893. Available through HEINONLINE. Also at Hathitrust.

 

English Local Courts

Baigent, Francis, ed. A History of the Ancient Town and Manor of Basingstoke in the County of Southampton. Basingstoke: C.J. Jacob, 1889. At Hathitrust.

Bateson, Mary, ed. Records of the Borough of Leicester. 4 vols. London: Clay & Sons, 1899-At Hathitrust: vol. 1, vol. 2, vol. 3, vol. 4.

Chanter, J.R., and Thomas Wainwright, eds. Reprint of the Barnstaple Records. 2 vols. Barnstaple: A.E. Barnes, 1900. At Hathitrust.

Harris, Mary Dormer, ed. The Coventry Leet Book: Or Mayor’s Register: Containing the Records of the City Court Leet or View of Frankpledge, A.D. 1420-1555, with Divers other Matters. 2 parts. London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner, Co., Ltd., 1908. At Hathitrust.

Hudson, William, and John C. Tingey, eds. The Records of the City of Norwich. 2 vols. Norwich:Jarrold & Sons, 1906-10. At Hathitrust: vol. 1, vol. 2.

Jeayes, Isaac Herbert, ed. Court Rolls of the Borough of Colchester. 3 vols. Colchester: Town Council of the Borough of Colchester, 1921-41. At Hathitrust: vol. 1, vol. 2, vol. 3.

 Records of the Borough of Nottingham. 6 vols. London: Quaritch, 1882-85. At Hathitrust: vol. 1, vol. 2, vol. 3, vol. 4, vol. 5, vol. 6.

Maitland, F.W., ed. Select Pleas in Manorial and Other Seigniorial Courts. Selden Society, vol. 2, 1888. Google Books.

Riley, Henry T., ed. Chronicles of the Mayors and Sheriffs of London: 1188-1274. London: Trübner, 1863. At Hathitrust.

Riley, Henry T. ed. Liber Albus: The White Book of the City of London. London: Richard Griffith & Co., 1861. At Hathitrust.

Rogers, J.E., ed. Oxford City Documents, 1268-1665. Oxford Historical Society, vol. 18, 1891. At Hathitrust.

Salter, H.E., ed. Records of Mediaeval Oxford: Coroners’ Inquests, the Walls of Oxford, etc. Oxford: Oxford Chronicle Co., Ltd., 1912. At Hathitrust.

Sharpe, Reginald R., ed. Calendar of Letter-Books of the City of London, A-L (1275-1497). 11 vols. London: John Edward Francis, 1899-1912. At Hathitrust.

Thomas, A.H., ed. Calendar of Plea and Memoranda Rolls of the City of London, 1413-1437. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1943. Available through British History Online.

Thomas, A.H., ed. Calendar of Early Mayor’s Court Rolls of the City of London. A.D. 1298-Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1924. Available through British History Online.

 

English Year Books

Seipp, David J., ed. Medieval English Legal History: An Index and Paraphrase of Printed Year Book Reports, 1268-1535. Boston: Boston University Law School. Online.

 

General

Halsall, Paul, ed. “Internet Medieval Sourcebook: Medieval Legal History.”

Kiralfy, Alfred K.R. ed. Source Book of English Law. London: Sweet and Maxwell Limited, 1957. Worldcat.

Musson, Anthony, with Edward Powell, eds. Crime, Law, and Society in the Later Middle Ages: Selected Sources. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2009. Worldcat.

 

 Jewish Law

Halsall, Paul, ed. “Internet Jewish History Sourcebook.”

Kisch, Guido, ed. and trans. Jewry-Law in Medieval Germany: Laws and Court Decisions Concerning Jews. New York: American Academy of Jewish Research, 1949. Worldcat.

 

 Law in Literature

Ohlgren, Thomas, ed. and trans. Medieval Outlaws: Ten Tales in Modern English. Stroud: Sutton, 1998. Worldcat.

 

Medieval Readers that include some Legal Material

Rampton, Martha, ed. and trans. European Magic and Witchcraft: A Reader. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2018. Worldcat.

Smail, Daniel Lord, and Kelly Gibson, eds. and trans. Vengeance in Medieval Europe: A Reader. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2009. Accessible through Ebscohost. Worldcat.

Smelyansky, Eugene, ed. and trans. The Intolerant Middle Ages: A Reader. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2020. Worldcat.

 

Is there a primary source in print that you think should be added to this list? Why not email me the citation?  butler.960@osu.edu

 

Image:

The Court of Common Pleas at work. The image shows pleaders and clients standing in front of seven Justices, and below them, their clerks. Public Domain. Wikipedia.

 

 

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