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Full Access A medieval book and early-modern law: Bracton 's authority and application in the common law c. 1550–1640

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A medieval book and early-modern law: Bracton 's authority and application in the common law c. 1550–1640

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This article considers the place of the thirteenth-century book known as Bracton in the earlymodern common law. e article examines both the uses made of Bracton and the evidence to be found in the surviving copies of the first printed edition. It addresses the impediments to the use of Bracton, the printing of the first edition, the text's readership and place in the early-modern common-law canon and material in Bracton which seem to have been of particular interest.Bracton was a recognised source for criminal law and there is some evidence of impact on the law of evidence, servitudes and a little for contract law. An examination of the early-modern law of treason shows that Bracton had an important role in changing the concept of treason from a crime against the monarch to something like the classical crimen laesae maiestatis.

Affiliations: 1: University College London; Faculty of Laws, Bentham House, Endsleigh Gardens, London WC1H 0EG, UK;, Email:


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