04 June 2019

BOOK: R. H. HELMHOLZ, The Profession of Ecclesiastical Lawyers : An Historical Introduction [Law and Christianity] (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019). ISBN 9781108499064, £85.00

(Source: CUP)

Cambridge University Press has published a new book on ecclesiastical lawyers in English courts.


Historians of the English legal profession have written comparatively little about the lawyers who served in the courts of the Church. This volume fills a gap; it investigates the law by which they were governed and discusses their careers in legal practice. Using sources drawn from the Roman and canon laws and also from manuscripts found in local archives, R. H. Helmholz brings together previously published work and new evidence about the professional careers of these men. His book covers the careers of many lesser known ecclesiastical lawyers, dealing with their education in law, their reaction to the coming of the Reformation, and their relationship with English common lawyers on the eve of the Civil War. Making connections with the European ius commune, this volume will be of special interest to English and Continental legal historians, as well as to students of the relationship between law and religion.

  • Provides detailed accounts of the careers and learning of individual lawyers
  • Presents a different (and more optimistic) account of the collective work of the English civilians
  • Discusses connections with Roman and canon law

R. H. HelmholzUniversity of Chicago
R. H. Helmholz is Ruth Wyatt Rosenson Distinguished Service Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School. He is the author of Marriage Litigation in Medieval England (Cambridge, 1975), Roman Canon Law in Reformation England (Cambridge, 1990) and The Oxford History of the Laws of England: The Canon Law and Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction from 597 to the 1640s (2004).


Part I. The Profession Described: Introduction
1. Law of the legal profession: advocates and proctors
2. The education of ecclesiastical lawyers
3. Ecclesiastical lawyers and the Protestant Reformation
4. English ecclesiastical lawyers and the courts before the coming of the Civil War
Part II. The Profession Illustrated:
5. Roger of Worcester (d. 1179)
6. Gilbert Foliot (d. 1187)
7. William of Drogheda (d. 1245)
8. John de Burgh (d. 1398)
9. Adam Usk (d. 1430)
10. Richard Rudhale (d. 1476)
11. Daniel Dun (d. 1617)
12. Clement Colmore (d. 1619)
13. Arthur Duck (d. 1648)
14. William Somner (d. 1669)
15. Richard Zouche (d. 1661)
16. Leoline Jenkins (d. 1685)
17. Hugh Davis (d. 1694)
18. George Lee (d. 1758)
19. Thomas Bever (d. 1791)
20. Francis Dickins (d. 1755)
21. Arthur Browne (d. 1805)
22. Henry Charles Coote (d. 1865)

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