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Winner of the Adele Mellen Prize for Outstanding Scholarship
This volume provides an interdisciplinary approach to legal history, utilizing law, linguistics, cultural anthropology, and social history to document and analyze the slow but steady growth of the English Common Law from Anglo-Saxon times to the nineteenth century.


“Masons will be very interested in a small but important portion about the origin and development of the cathedral builders and the evolution into speculative Freemasonry. . . . Kynell also presents an excellent analysis of why a larger class of freedmen and tradesmen developed in England than in the continental feudalistic mainland of Europe. He presents in his discussion the influence of the operative Masons and speculative Freemasons as good an analytical progression from one to the other as I have ever read. It definitely reinforces the logic that speculative Freemasonry evolved from operative Masonry. . . . This portion of the book alone makes it worth reading by the members of the craft.” – Thomas W. Jackson in Book Nook

Table of Contents

Table of contents (main chapter headings):
1. Anglo-Saxon Precedents: The Problems of Language and Custom from King Alfred’s Time
2. The Norman Conquest and Saxon Law: Abrupt Change or Assimilation?
3. Clerical v. Secular Law and the Problems of Jurisdiction: Knights and Priests from William Rufus to Stephen
4. Jurisprudential Watershed: The Reign of Henry II and the Revolution in Writs
5. Richard, John, Crusaders, and Irish Law: Fait Accompli Legatus
6. Judicial Craftsmanship from Glanville to Bracton: Sheriffs, Judges, and Lawyers
7. Henry III, the Writ of Trespass, and the Impact of the Templars
8. Cathedrals and Construction: Obligato Quasi ex Contractu
9. Edward I and Quo Warranto: English and French Law
10. Nullus Justitio Omnibus: The Dreadful Century
11. Medievalism to Modern State: Ad Vitam Aut Culpam
12. Tudors to Stuarts: Lord Coke and the Law
Conclusion: Common Law legacies: Blackstone and Holmes
Bibliography, Index

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