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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In many aspects of activity there was probably considerable continuity across the Norman Conquest within the types of court that had existed in England before 1066. Even in the new seignorial courts that appeared after the Conquest, widely shared assumptions helped to ensure similarities in procedure between courts. However, continuity across 1066 did not necessarily mean a complete lack of change within the Anglo-Norman period. If the customs retained in the heads of the suitors preserved significant elements of pre-Conquest practice, such memory would have diminished over time, allowing custom and procedure to change. This chapter begins with a discussion of two cases. It then covers bringing an accusation or claim, ensuring attendance, further pleading and argument, mesne judgment, proof, final judgment, and enforcement.

Keywords: Anglo-Norman period; courts; accusation; pleading; mesne judgment; enforcement

Chapter.  14510 words. 

Subjects: History of Law

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