From the Norman Conquest to the Establishment of Consistory Courts

R. H. Helmholz

in The Oxford History of the Laws of England

Published in print January 2004 | ISBN: 9780198258971
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191681882 | DOI:

Series: The Oxford History of the Laws of England Series ISBN 0-19-961352-4

From the Norman Conquest to the Establishment of Consistory Courts

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This chapter focuses on the growth of European legal science in general and the formation of the classical canon law in particular. It also talks about three separate developments: first, the English clergy's effort to separate the spiritual from the temporal in law and legal practice; second, the spread of canonical learning in England; and third, the settling of administrative and judicial practice into a fixed shape. The chronological period covered by this chapter took place against the backdrop of a great movement for reform of the church. With that movement of thought came also the emergence of active papal government, reaching down into the smallest corners of the household of the church. The quieter tides of change surveyed in the last parts of this chapter are ultimately more important to the spread of the canon law, but famous events also played a part.

Keywords: European legal science; classical canon law; English clergy; chronological period; papal government

Chapter.  41795 words. 

Subjects: History of Law

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