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Texts on topic
Medieval legal records: in memory of CAF Meekings by
Call Number: Legal Hist M494y
Publication Date: 1978
A calendar and transcription of short legal records from (13th to (15th century. A good way of getting used to the formulaic phrases you will encounter - without having to struggle with court hand and Latin contractions.
Records, rolls & deeds
The National Archives at Kew (formerly the Public Record Office PRO
in Chancery Lane, London) is where you can find court rolls and
surviving court documents up till the early (20th.
For practical details about using The National Archives start with this link.
There is a programme to digitise the surviving court records see the link AALT below
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
Guide to reading a case in the Rolls
Free resource. From the Anglo-American Legal Tradition website.
Elizabethan Star Chamber (TNA STAC 5)
Free resource. The Elizabethan Star Chamber Project, hosted by AALT at the University of Houston, index to TNA STAC 5
The common and piepowder courts of Southampton, 1426-1483
These images are for private use only. Any other use of the images requires permission. Contact Southampton Archives email@example.com). Permission is also required of the holder of the copyright of the images: Copyright © Tom Olding, 2010.
The Ames Foundation in collaboration with the Southampton Records Series has produced an edition in translation of the surviving records of the Common and Piepowder courts of Southampton from the mid-fifteenth century. See more
Reading court hand
Free resource. The Anglo-American Legal Tradition web site has 3 images of documents (with transcriptions underneath) to help get your eye in.
Jacobean court hand alphabet
Free resource. Example of the stylised handwriting style use in English court record until 1731.
Court hand restored
Requires Oxford SSO for remote access. By A Wright (2nd ed., 1778) Has useful alphabetical lists of common Latin contractions (in court hand) followed by the full Latin word in secretary hand.
Latin (in a post-classical form) was the usual language of writs and court rolls until 1731 (4 Geo. II, c.26).
English Manor Rolls, 1305-1770
Free resource. In spring 2015 Harvard Law School Library began project to digitize & make available online its collection of 170 court-rolls, account-rolls, and other documents from various manors, ranging in date from 1282 to 1770. The largest concentration comes from the manor of Moulton in Cheshire. Other manors represented are Odiham Hundred, Hampshire; Herstmonceaux, Sussex; Chartley, Staffordshire; and Onehouse, Suffolk. A limited number of materials in this collection are single-sheet charters and one item is a map of the manor of Shelly, Suffolk.