Images and Cultures of Law in Early Modern England: Justice and Political Power, 1558 1660

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Mai 2004



This book offers a unique interpretation of the hidden culture of the early modern legal profession and its influence on the development of the English constitution. It locates an alternative site of political sovereignty in the legal communities at the Inns of Court in London, examining the signs of legitimacy by which they sought to validate the claim that common law represented sovereign constitutional authority. The role of symbols in the culture of English law is central to the book's analysis. Within the framework of a cultural history of the legal profession from 1558 to 1660, the book considers the social presence of the law, revealed in its various signs. It analyses how institutional existence at the Inns of Court presented the legal community as an emblematic template for the English nation-state, defending the sovereignty of the Ancient Constitution by reference to the immemorial provenance of common law.


Introduction; 1. Eating, learning and revering the law: oral traditions and the religious inheritance; 2. Architecture and heraldry: bodies of law, myth and honour; 3. Revels, feasting and role-playing: dreamland, drunkenness and the Utopian state; 4. Law and the ancient constitution; 5. Reformation, regulation and the image: the English state and the subject of law; 6. Common lawyers, fundamental law and the idolatrous mask of Charles I; 7. Interregnum: Lex, ius and de facto government; Bibliography.


Paul Raffield is Tutor in Constitutional Law and a guest lecturer in legal history, law and literature, Birkbeck College, University of London.


‘This revealing work offers an original interpretation of early legal culture and emphasises the historic powers of the Inns of Court.’ The Times
EAN: 9780521827393
ISBN: 0521827396
Untertitel: 'Cambridge Studies in Early Mod'. New. Sprache: Englisch.
Erscheinungsdatum: Mai 2004
Seitenanzahl: 304 Seiten
Format: gebunden
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