This book provides an accessible collection of translated legal sources through which the exploits of criminals and developments in the English criminal justice system (c.1215-1485) can be studied.
Drawing on the wealth of archival material and an array of contemporary literary texts, it guides readers towards an understanding of prevailing notions of law and justice and expectations of the law and legal institutions. Tensions are shown emerging between theoretical ideals of justice and the practical realities of administering the law during an era profoundly affected by periodic bouts of war, political in-fighting, social dislocation and economic disaster. Introductions and notes provide both the specific and wider legal, social and political contexts in addition to offering an overview of the existing secondary literature and historiographical trends.
This collection affords a valuable insight into the character of medieval governance as well as revealing the complex nexus of interests, attitudes and relationships prevailing in society during the later Middle Ages.