Medieval law in context

The growth of legal consciousness from Magna Carta to the Peasants' Revolt

By Anthony Musson

Medieval law in context

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-5494-5
  • Pages: 288
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £17.99
  • Published Date: May 2001
  • BIC Category: Humanities / Medieval history, Literature & literary studies / Literary studies: classical, early & medieval, POLITICAL SCIENCE / General, LITERARY CRITICISM / Medieval, CE period up to c 1500, History & Archaeology, Politics & government, History, Medieval History
  • Series: Manchester Medieval Studies


Examines how medieval people at all social levels thought about law, justice and politics, as well as their role in society. Provides a clear, structured view of judicial developments and experience of litigation in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. Offers a new perspective on both law and politics by focusing on the medium of legal consciousness and legal culture.. Makes the specialised area of law accessible for the general reader interested in the medieval period.


List of abbreviations
Part One: Introduction: towards a psychology of law
1. The role of ideology
2. The contexts of law
3. Law in the mind
Part Two: The professionalism of law
4. The intellectualising of the law
5. Towards an identity as a profession
6. Practitoners and ethical considerations
7. Judges and lawyers in society
8. Centre and periphery
9. Perceptions of the legal profession
Part Three: Pragmatic legal knowledge
10. Family and household
11. Communal obligations
12. Court attendance
13. Church attendance
14. Experience of office-holding
15. Book learning and literacy
Part Four: Participation in the royal courts
16. Availability
17. Actionability
18. Accountability
19. Accessibility
Part five: The role of Parliament
20. The high court of Parliament
21. The legal personnel of Parliament
22. The regulation of everyday life
Part Six: Conclusion: the politicisation of law
23. Seeing and hearing the law: the king's role in justice
24. Seeing and hearing the law: royal propaganda
25. Legitimacy through the law
26. The world turned upside down
Select bibliography


Anthony Musson is a Barrister of the Middle Temple and Lecturer in English Law at the University of Exeter

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