03 November 2022

JOURNAL: The Journal of Legal History, XLI (2021, nr. 2)

(Image source: Taylor&Francis online)


Tithe Personal and Praedial (Andrew Lewis) / DOI: 10.1080/01440365.2021.1946198

Tithe was a personal charge levied on the Christian community to support the church. From the twelfth century AD canon lawyers distinguished tithe raised from the more valuable product of the land, praedial tithe, from that due from other, less valuable sources, personal tithe. This generated a third, mixed category. The origin of the distinction was an attempt to prevent tithe being diverted from the parish to monasteries but as it became permanent it effectively changed both the juridical and practical nature of tithe. Although personal tithe remained due in principle, especially in England, it was always difficult to enforce.

Dower Ex Assensu and Trial by Jury and Trial by Witnesses in the English Medieval Common Law (Paul Brand) / DOI: 10.1080/01440365.2021.1946174

When widows claimed dower they were normally claiming part of the lands which their husband had possessed during their marriage. But the medieval common law also allowed widows to claim lands which the husband had never held if they had been in the possession of a close relative of the husband at the time of the marriage provided the relative had been present at the marriage and given consent to the endowment made by his or her heir apparent. This paper analyses the sixty or so actions of dower ex assensu found on the plea rolls for the period down to 1307 and in associated law reports. That assent was recorded in a written charter in relatively few cases. In most the court relied in part or in whole on the evidence of witnesses present at the ceremony. Sometimes their evidence alone was decisive. More commonly witnesses were added to a jury which gave a collective verdict on whether consent had been given. These cases provide a valuable reminder that witness evidence was already in the thirteenth century a regular and accepted feature of at least one form of common law action.

Mandamus and Borough Political Life, 1615 to 1780 (Kevin Costello) / DOI: 10.1080/01440365.2021.1946184

By the early seventeenth century, about 180 cities, towns and townships in England and Wales were administered as self-governing boroughs. In 1615, in Bagg's Case, Coke CJ announced that the King's Bench possessed a jurisdiction to judicially review misgovernment in the boroughs. Coke CJ's claim to remedy ‘any manner of misgovernment’ was denounced by Lord Chancellor Ellesmere, and the King's Bench was encouraged to disregard the idea. The King's Bench quietly ignored this advice and, through what would evolve into the writ of mandamus, implemented Coke's vision of a process of judicial review of misgovernment in the boroughs. This article reviews the uses to which Coke's remedy was put within the political life of the seventeenth- and eighteenth-century chartered corporation.

Exaggeration: Advertising, Law and Medical Quackery in Britain, c. 1840–1914 (Anat Rosenberg) OPEN ACCESS / DOI: 10.1080/01440365.2021.1946209

This article revisits the nineteenth-century debate about medical quackery in Britain, to examine its implications for the history of modern advertising. It makes two related claims. First, the prevalent view of advertising as a field prone to exaggeration, often taken as obvious, has a legal history. The circumstances of the quackery debate led to a legal elaboration and formalization of views of advertising as an epistemologically doubtful but not illegal field. Second, advertising’s status as exaggeration was part of a legally supported cultural division of labour – or legal boundary work, which carved differentiated roles for science and the market in modern Britain whereby science was increasingly defined by restraint, and the market by its lack. The analysis examines the implications, while also offering new insights on the role of law in the history of quackery, and examining untapped sources, particularly a set of libel cases that developed a legal definition of quackery.

Read the whole issue with Taylor & Francis Online.

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