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Plantagenet dynasty tails off in a usurpation, and power struggle between two branches Houses of Lancaster & York
Henry IV 30 Sep 1399 - 20 Mar 1413
Henry V 21 Mar 1413 - 31 Aug 1422
Henry VI 1 Sep 1422 - 4 Mar 1461
Edward IV 4 Mar 1461 - 9 Apr 1483
Edward V 9 Apr 1483 - 25 June 1483
1399-1483: contemporary sources
By 1610 year books for the following regnal years had been printed
- Hen. IV & V
- 1-20 Hen. VI
- 21-39 Hen. VI
- Edw. IV
- Long Quinto (5 Edw. IV)
- Edw. V (with Ric. III, Hen.VII & Hen. VIII)
In 1679-1680 they were reprinted in the edition which has become known as the Maynard edition.
For later generations of lawyers and legal historians this (17th publishing exercise became the standard resource - though as Professor Sir John Baker makes clear, they are not good texts.
Since then the Selden Society has extended and improved the quality of case law for these reigns via their publications.
Legal history: the year books (Seipp's Index)
Free resource. Affectionally - and gratefully - referred to as Seipp's Index. This tool indexes all year book cases printed in the chronological series for all years between 1268 and 1535, and many of the year book cases printed only in alphabetical abridgements. Of these the 6,901 dating from 1399 to 1535 have been paraphrased as well.
Anglo American Legal Tradition (AALT)
Free resource. From the University of Houston. Digitised images of court records surviving in the National Archives, Kew. Together with useful tools to help with the language, handwriting and layout.
Click on the name of each monarch (Richard 1 to Victoria) to see what is available. Track down left hand column for year (1176-1879), then across to the courts. Coverage varies with the years but courts included are: PC Privy Council, CP Common Pleas, KB Kings Bench, E Exchequer, C Chancery, RE Requests, DL Lancaster
English Medieval Legal Documents AD 600 - AD : A Compilation of Published Sources 1535
Free resource. Maintained by Gould School of Law University of Southern California "The goal of this project is to create a collaborative database on the published sources of English medieval legal documents, and to provide links to the growing number of online sources currently being developed.
The guide has been created for the use of scholars and students of English medieval law, and it is our expectation that it will continue to grow and take off in new directions, based on the contributions of legal scholars, librarians, and information specialists throughout the world."
Sir John Fortescue (c.1397–1479)
A "partial" man (Lancastrian partisan), he was CJKB from 1442 until the Yorkists gained the upper hand c1461.
He did write essays on political theory - though his phrases such as ‘the regal power is restrained by political law’ must be read in the contemporary context.
St Eadburga's church, Ebrington: Fortescue monument (detail 2) (Mike Searle) / CC BY-SA 2.0