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Legal history: England & common law tradition: Chancery & Equity

Texts on topic

The general histories of English law have chapters or sections explaining the role of equity, and the emergence and life of the Court of Chancery: eg Baker's Introduction to English Legal History, Holdsworth's History of English Law, Milsom's Historical Foundations of the Common Law and Manchester's Modern Legal History.

Below are some of the specialist monographs. Use the bibliographies of works mentioned to extend your reading. Finally, remember to use Index to Legal Periodicals and Bibliography of British and Irish History (both available via to holders of an Oxford SSO) to search for journal articles, and book review of recent titles on topic.

Interested in printed reports of early Chancery cases? Please see central box.

Online introduction

Read articles Chancery, & Equity in the encyclopedia

Chancery cases

Early Chancery Records

Some have been published in print in the 3 volume work  Calendars of the Proceedings in Chancery, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth;  to which are prefixed examples of earlier proceedings in that court, namely, from the reign of Richard the Second to that of Queen Elizabeth, inclusive. From the originals in the Tower ...  mercifully usually cited by the abbreviation Cal Ch. Within each volume the cases are numbered by Roman numerals

Chancery Archives

The National Archives at Kew (formerly the PRO Public Record Office, Chancery Lane) is the repository of surviving Chancery (and other law courts) records.