John Hudson

in The Oxford History of the Laws of England

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780198260301
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191740640 | DOI:

Series: The Oxford History of the Laws of England


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Anglo-Saxons made a distinction between movables and land. Both, in differing ways, were clearly very important in the economy and in social relations. Narrative material for law regarding movables is extremely limited. The laws themselves largely concentrate on sales and theft. This chapter discusses ownership, control of movables; alienability, succession, and bequest; and sale. Although perhaps in some ways simpler than matters concerning land, those concerning movables take up much more space within the laws and probably constituted much more of the business of courts. When considering the role of kings and the procedures of courts, dealing with theft of movables was central to ideas of the maintenance of order in Anglo-Saxon England.

Keywords: Anglo-Saxon law; movables; ownership; alienability; succession; bequest; sale; English law

Chapter.  5255 words. 

Subjects: History of Law

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