Charters of the Borough of Cambridgeby Frederic William Maitland, Mary Bateson
Professor F. W. Maitland was the foremost Victorian scholar on English legal history, and Mary Bateson a Cambridge medieval historian. This 1901 volume was edited for the Corporation of Cambridge and the Cambridge Antiquarian Society. It provides a transcript and translation of the royal charters issued to the borough of Cambridge between the twelfth and the seventeenth centuries. Maitland lays stress on the considerable independence the medieval borough had. It was largely self-governing, royal charters bestowing or confirming liberties rather than regulating the town governance or providing a constitution. However, there were some limitations, chiefly relating to justice, for which royal permission was needed. It was not until the late seventeenth century that royal authority began to tighten its control of borough affairs. The introduction explains the conventions of such charters, and how the reader should interpret the information contained therein. A valuable source of local history with wider significance.
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