Kings and Law

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

Kings and Law

Show Summary Details


This chapter demonstrates major continuities from the Anglo-Saxon period both in terms of the royal ideology of law and justice and of administrative practice. The preservation of the system of district courts would have crucial importance for the later development of the common law. At the same time, there were innovations, probably including the extensive use of itinerant justices by late in Henry I's reign. In general, the administration of justice continued to be entrusted to some who were appointed to long-standing and continuing offices, such as the shrievalty; to others who were appointed on an ad hoc basis, for example to hear a specific plea; and to others still whose position was somewhere in between, for example Roger of Salisbury in the 1120s and 1130s. At the same time, the king relied not just on those who might be described as royal officials. Rulers recognised the role of lords in dealing with their own men and their own lands.

Keywords: Norman law; Anglo-Norman England; law; justice; district courts; king

Chapter.  8200 words. 

Subjects: History of Law

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.