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"St. Edward's Ghost": The Cult Of St. Edward And His Laws In English History

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Chapter Summary

In July 2008, as scholars from all over the world gathered at the University of London's Institute of Historical Research to celebrate Felix Liebermann's contributions to the study of early English law, another international group also met. The reverence accorded St. Edward and his laws owed much to their association with an historical construct called the ancient constitution. The long shadow of St. Edward is the subject of this chapter. For medievalists interested in what became of St. Edward in later centuries, it is a story worth the telling. But it is also relevant for scholars of 16th- and 17th century English political and legal thought, whose often-skimpy knowledge of medieval England distorts their reading of the early modern period.

Keywords: ancient constitution; English law; Felix Liebermann; Henry VIII; St. Edward



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