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Sir Thomas Littleton

(c. 1420—1481) justice and legal writer


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(1402–81), English jurist who became king's sergeant in 1455, served as a judge on the northern circuit, and in 1466 became a justice of the common pleas. His Tenures (c.1481), which was the earliest printed treatise on English law, is an account (written in Law French) of land tenure, which was then the most important branch of common law. The Tenures is wholly based on English case law, never referring to codifications of Roman law; in the sixteenth century it was repeatedly printed in English translation. It was appropriated by Coke as the basis of his First Institute: Coke upon Littleton (1628).

From The Oxford Dictionary of the Renaissance in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700).


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