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Year Books in United Kingdom

Year Books and other Reports (Source: the University of South Caroline Gould School of Law) Although other extant compilations of court reports, such as Bracton’s Notebook are included in the following section, the most notable of the unofficial court reports are the year books.

Manuscripts of the year books began to be published shortly after printing was first introduced to England. William de Machlinia seems to have printed the first of these so call “Black Letter” editions around the year 1481, but the earliest systematic publisher of Year Books was Richard Pynson (or Pinson) between the years 1493 and 1528. Beginning in 1553, Richard Tottell published some two hundred and twenty-five issues, which were later collected into ten volumes in the so-called “Quarto Edition”. They were issued in 1678-80 in eleven large folio volumes, with the addition of a volume containing the Years of Edward I and Edward II. This so called “Standard” or “Vulgate” or “Maynard Edition” was printed by George Sawbridge, William Rawlins, and Samuel Roycroft. It is available online in The Early English Books Online (Early English Books Online) and also in searchable form in the database developed by David J. Seipp of the Boston University School of Law at http://www.bu.edu/law/faculty/scholarship/yearbooks (see Section 9.1 below.)

All these Black Letter editions were of very poor quality. They were rife with errors of spelling, omissions of text, wrong insertions, and erratic binding. For a history of these early editions, see Winfield (12), and Beale (13). For a more detailed bibliography, see Soule’s “Year-Book Bibliography” (14). This paper was reprinted, with additions in Maxwell’s 1925 bibliography. (15) A comprehensive listing of these old printed editions can also be found on the website of David J. Seipp detailed above. Seipp’s work, resulting in the 2007 reprint of the Vulgate edition (16), contains new introductions that include references to his online Index and Paraphrase of Printed Year Book Reports, 1268-1535. Consult these bibliographical sources for complete listings of the Black Letter editions, as only the two main compilations described above are included in this present guide.

At the end of the nineteenth century, scholars became interested in providing more carefully edited versions, based on intensive study of the original manuscripts. Several learned societies, notably the Selden Society and the Ames Foundation supported the publication of these scholarly editions, which typically include the edited original Law French text, accompanied by the Latin text of the official plea roll record when available, and an English translation of both the French and Latin texts. The extensive introductions to each volume contain some of the most important studies of the English common law courts, while the tables and detailed indexes included are of great value to legal scholars.

The Selden Society began publication of the year books in 1903, as volume 17 of their general series, edited by F.W. Maitland.(17) To date some 30 volumes have been published in their Year Book Series. The most recent is volume 119 of the general series for the year 2002, which covers 12-14 Henry VIII. Consult the Selden Society website at http:///www.law.harvard.edu/programs/selden_society/pub.html for a complete list of the Selden Society publications.

The Ames Foundation began publishing year books in 1914 and to date has published seven volumes of the year books from the reign of Richard II (1377-99). A complete list of Ames Foundation publications can be found at http:///www.law.harvard.edu/programs/ames_foundation/main.html

Another important source of year books is the Rolls Series, or Rerum Britannicarum Medii Aevi Scriptores or Chronicles and Memorials of Great Britain and Ireland During the Middle Ages. This series includes 20 volumes of year books from Edward I and Edward III, edited by A. J. Horwood and L. O. Pike, and published between 1883-1911.

12. Winfield, Percy H. The Chief Sources of English Legal History, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1925 at pp.158-78

13. Beale, Joseph H. A Bibliography of Early English Law Books. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1926 at pp.51-104

14. Soule, Charles C. “Year-Book Bibliography” in 14 Harvard Law Review at p.73 (1901)

15. Maxwell, William H. Sweet and Maxwell’s Complete Law Book Catalogue, LOndon: Sweet and Maxwell, 1925-1949. vol. 1, at p.203

16. Seipp, David J., and John Maynard eds. Year Books, or, Reports in the Following Reigns, With Notes to Brooke and Fitzherbert’s Abridgments: the Vulgate edition of 1678-1680. 11 Vols. Clark, N.J.: Lawbook Exchange, 2007, 1678.

17. Maitland, Frederic W. Year Books 1 & 2 Edward II (1307-9). The Selden Society (SS), 17 for 1903 (Year Book Series, Vol. I)

Year Books and Medieval Law

Year Books and Legal History

Year Books and other Reports

Year Books and Medieval Law

Year Books and Legal History

Year Books and other Reports

Legal Materials

(Compiled by the University of South Caroline Gould School of Law) 1286 Huntingdonshire

DeWindt, Anne R., and Edwin B. DeWindt, ed. and trans. Royal Justice and the Medieval English Countryside: the Huntingdonshire Eyre of 1286, the Ramsey Abbey Banlieu Court of 1287, and the Assizes of 1287-88. 2 Vols. Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies. Studies and Texts, 57. Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 1981.

Abstract: Contents: Part 1, Introduction and texts; Part 2, Appendix, glossary, bibliography, biographical register, and indexes.

1292 et seq.

Bolland, William C., ed. Select Bills in Eyre: A.D. 1292-1333. The Selden Society (SS), 30 for 1914. London: Quaritch , 1914.

Notes: Also available online in The Making of Modern Law and HeinOnline (subscription databases)Abstract: Contains examples of over 150 bills presented in eyre preserved at the Public Record Office (now the National Archives) as Petitions to Judges, at the end of the Assize Roll series. Extracts from the original eyre rolls are added in some cases. Bills are in Norman-French.

1292 Herefordshire and Salop

Horwood, Alfred J., ed and trans. Yearbooks of the Reign of King Edward the First. 5 Vols. Rerum Britannicarum Medii Aevi Scriptores (Rolls Series), no. 31a. London: Longmans, 1863-1879.

Abstract: Vol. 1, Years 20-21: Eyres of Hereford and Salop, 1292:cases in common pleas, 1292: eyre of Stafford 1293;

1293-4 Middlesex

Horwood, Alfred J., ed and trans. Yearbooks of the Reign of King Edward the First. 5 Vols. Rerum Britannicarum Medii Aevi Scriptores (Rolls Series), no. 31a. London: Longmans, 1863-1879.

Abstract: Vol. 1, Years 20-21: Eyres of Hereford and Salop, 1292:cases in common pleas, 1292: eyre of Stafford 1293;

Vol. 2, Years 21-22: Cases in common pleas, 1293: eyre of Middlesex, 1294;

Vol. 3, Years 30-31: Cases in common pleas, Michaelmas, 1302, and Michaelmas, 1303; eyre of Cornwall, 1302; pleas of the Crown in the Cornish eyre, 1303, writs and enrollments

Vol. 4, Years 32 -33: Hilary 1304-Easter 1305;

Vol. 5, Years 33-35: Michaelmas, 1305-Trinity, 1307. Text in English and Law French

1293 Staffordshire

Horwood, Alfred J., ed and trans. Yearbooks of the Reign of King Edward the First. 5 Vols. Rerum Britannicarum Medii Aevi Scriptores (Rolls Series), no. 31a. London: Longmans, 1863-1879.

Abstract: Vol. 1, Years 20-21: Eyres of Hereford and Salop, 1292:cases in common pleas, 1292: eyre of Stafford 1293;

1302-3 Cornwall

Horwood, Alfred J., ed and trans. Yearbooks of the Reign of King Edward the First. 5 Vols. Rerum Britannicarum Medii Aevi Scriptores (Rolls Series), no. 31a. London: Longmans, 1863-1879.

Abstract: Vol. 3, Years 30-31: Cases in common pleas, Michaelmas, 1302, and Michaelmas, 1303; eyre of Cornwall, 1302; pleas of the Crown in the Cornish eyre, 1303, writs and enrollments

1313-14 Kent

Maitland, Frederic W., L. W. Vernon Harcourt , and William C. Bolland, eds. Year Book of the Eyre of Kent, 6 & 7 Edward II (1313 -14) 3 Vols. The Selden Society (SS), 24 for 1909, 27 for 1912 & 29 for 1913 (Year Book Series, Vol. V, VII & VIII). London: Quaritch, 1910-1913.

Notes: Also available online in The Making of Modern Law (subscription database)Abstract: v. 29 edited by William C. Bolland.

1321 London

Cam, Helen M., ed. The Eyre of London, 14 Edward II (1321) 2 Vols. The Selden Society (SS), 85 for 1968, 86 for 1969 (Year Book Series, Vol. XXVI, Parts I & II). London: Quaritch, 1968.

Rogers, Ralph V., Yearbook, Eyre of London 14 Edward II (A.D. 1321). HLS MS 1330, Harvard Law School Library ed. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University, 1939.

Abstract: This dissertation contains Roger’s transcription of the year book of 14 Edward II and photostats of Hale-Rogers manuscript MS LR 106.

Bibliographies of English Law History

  • Maxwell, William H. A Legal Bibliography of the British Commonwealth of Nations. Volume 1: English Law to 1800. London: Sweet and Maxwell, 1955-
  • Beale, Joseph H. A Bibliography of Early English Law Books. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1926.
  • Winfield, Percy H. The Chief Sources of English Legal History. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1925.

Legal Materials in relation to Edward I

(Compiled by the University of South Caroline Gould School of Law) Maynard, John, ed. Year Books, or, Reports in the Following Reigns, With Notes to Brooke and Fitzherbert’s Abridgments: the Vulgate Edition of 1678-1680. 11 Vols. London: George Sawbridge, William Rawlins, and Samuel Roycroft, 1679-1680. Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) number (used in Worldcat): 31448622

Notes: Also available online in Early English Books Online (subscription database)Abstract: Reprinted in 2006, this is referred to as the “standard” or “vulgate” edition. It reprints some of the earliest black letter editions of the year books and repeats the gross errors of those black letter editions, with spelling errors, wrong insertions, and misleading cross references. There appears to have been no effort at proofreading. Contents:

Vol. 1, Memoranda in Scaccario 2-29 Edward I, and year books 1-19 Edward II (dated 1678)

Vol. 2, 1-10 Edward III

Vol. 3, 17-39 Edward III(omitting 19, 20, 31-37)

Vol. 4, 40-50 Edward III (called Quadragesms)

Vol. 5, Liber Assisarum, 1-50 Edward III

Vol. 6, 1-14 Henry IV and 1, 2, 5, 7, 8, 9 Henry V

Vol. 7, 1-20 Henry VI (omitting 5, 6, 13, 15-17)

Vol. 8, 21-39 Henry VI (omitting 23-26 and 29)

Vol. 9, 1-22 Edward IV

Vol. 10, Long Report of 5 Edward IV

Vol. 11, 1 Edward V, 1-2 Richard III,1-21 Henry VII (omitting 17-19) and 12, 13, 14, 18, 19, 26, 27 Henry VIII

Renton, Alexander W., comp. The English Reports. 178 Vols. London: Stevens and Sons, 1900-1932. Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) number (used in Worldcat): 1470288

Notes: Also available online in Justis, HeinOnline, and LLMC-Digital (subscription databases)Abstract: Contains reprinted decisions of all English courts from 1220 to the commencement of the official Law reports in 1866. vols. 1-11, House of Lords; vols. 12-20, Privy Council; vols. 21-47, Chancery; vols. 48-55, Rolls Court; vols. 56-71, Vice-Chancellors’ Courts; vols. 72-122, King’s Bench Division; vols. 123-144, Common Pleas; vols. 145-160, Exchequer; vols. 161-167, Ecclesiastical, Admiralty, and Probate and Divorce; vols. 168-169, Crown cases; vols. 170-176, Nisi Prius. Volumes which contain reports prior to 1550 are: vols. 72-122 King’s Bench (1378-1865); vols. 123-144 Common Pleas (1486-1865); vols. 145-160 Exchequer (1220-1865) Only volumes 72 & 73 (Kings Bench), volume 145 (Exchequer) contain cases from the medieval period.

Seipp, David J., and John Maynard eds. Year Books, or, Reports in the Following Reigns, With Notes to Brooke and Fitzherbert’s Abridgments: the Vulgate edition of 1678-1680. 11 Vols. Clark, N.J.: Lawbook Exchange, 2007, 1678. Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) number (used in Worldcat): 76967165Abstract: Reprint of the vulgate edition. Each volume contains introductory notes on the history, content and significance of the year books by David Seipp and Carol F. Lee, as well as tables naming all justices and serjeants, and listing calendar years of law terms. It references Seipp’s online Index and Paraphrase of Printed Year Book Reports, 1268-1535 which indexes and summarizes almost all the cases in this edition.

Bibliographies of English Law History

  • Maxwell, William H. A Legal Bibliography of the British Commonwealth of Nations. Volume 1: English Law to 1800. London: Sweet and Maxwell, 1955-
  • Beale, Joseph H. A Bibliography of Early English Law Books. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1926.
  • Winfield, Percy H. The Chief Sources of English Legal History. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1925.

Resources

See Also

  • Tenure (in this legal Encyclopedia)
  • Imprisonment (in this legal Encyclopedia)
  • Canonical Legislation (in this legal Encyclopedia)
  • Trespass (in this legal Encyclopedia)
  • Guilt (in this legal Encyclopedia)

Year Books and other Reports

Legal Materials

(Compiled by the University of South Caroline Gould School of Law) 1286 Huntingdonshire

DeWindt, Anne R., and Edwin B. DeWindt, ed. and trans. Royal Justice and the Medieval English Countryside: the Huntingdonshire Eyre of 1286, the Ramsey Abbey Banlieu Court of 1287, and the Assizes of 1287-88. 2 Vols. Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies. Studies and Texts, 57. Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 1981.

Abstract: Contents: Part 1, Introduction and texts; Part 2, Appendix, glossary, bibliography, biographical register, and indexes.

1292 et seq.

Bolland, William C., ed. Select Bills in Eyre: A.D. 1292-1333. The Selden Society (SS), 30 for 1914. London: Quaritch , 1914.

Notes: Also available online in The Making of Modern Law and HeinOnline (subscription databases)Abstract: Contains examples of over 150 bills presented in eyre preserved at the Public Record Office (now the National Archives) as Petitions to Judges, at the end of the Assize Roll series. Extracts from the original eyre rolls are added in some cases. Bills are in Norman-French.

1292 Herefordshire and Salop

Horwood, Alfred J., ed and trans. Yearbooks of the Reign of King Edward the First. 5 Vols. Rerum Britannicarum Medii Aevi Scriptores (Rolls Series), no. 31a. London: Longmans, 1863-1879.

Abstract: Vol. 1, Years 20-21: Eyres of Hereford and Salop, 1292:cases in common pleas, 1292: eyre of Stafford 1293;

1293-4 Middlesex

Horwood, Alfred J., ed and trans. Yearbooks of the Reign of King Edward the First. 5 Vols. Rerum Britannicarum Medii Aevi Scriptores (Rolls Series), no. 31a. London: Longmans, 1863-1879.

Abstract: Vol. 1, Years 20-21: Eyres of Hereford and Salop, 1292:cases in common pleas, 1292: eyre of Stafford 1293;

Vol. 2, Years 21-22: Cases in common pleas, 1293: eyre of Middlesex, 1294;

Vol. 3, Years 30-31: Cases in common pleas, Michaelmas, 1302, and Michaelmas, 1303; eyre of Cornwall, 1302; pleas of the Crown in the Cornish eyre, 1303, writs and enrollments

Vol. 4, Years 32 -33: Hilary 1304-Easter 1305;

Vol. 5, Years 33-35: Michaelmas, 1305-Trinity, 1307. Text in English and Law French

1293 Staffordshire

Horwood, Alfred J., ed and trans. Yearbooks of the Reign of King Edward the First. 5 Vols. Rerum Britannicarum Medii Aevi Scriptores (Rolls Series), no. 31a. London: Longmans, 1863-1879.

Abstract: Vol. 1, Years 20-21: Eyres of Hereford and Salop, 1292:cases in common pleas, 1292: eyre of Stafford 1293;

1302-3 Cornwall

Horwood, Alfred J., ed and trans. Yearbooks of the Reign of King Edward the First. 5 Vols. Rerum Britannicarum Medii Aevi Scriptores (Rolls Series), no. 31a. London: Longmans, 1863-1879.

Abstract: Vol. 3, Years 30-31: Cases in common pleas, Michaelmas, 1302, and Michaelmas, 1303; eyre of Cornwall, 1302; pleas of the Crown in the Cornish eyre, 1303, writs and enrollments

1313-14 Kent

Maitland, Frederic W., L. W. Vernon Harcourt , and William C. Bolland, eds. Year Book of the Eyre of Kent, 6 & 7 Edward II (1313 -14) 3 Vols. The Selden Society (SS), 24 for 1909, 27 for 1912 & 29 for 1913 (Year Book Series, Vol. V, VII & VIII). London: Quaritch, 1910-1913.

Notes: Also available online in The Making of Modern Law (subscription database)Abstract: v. 29 edited by William C. Bolland.

1321 London

Cam, Helen M., ed. The Eyre of London, 14 Edward II (1321) 2 Vols. The Selden Society (SS), 85 for 1968, 86 for 1969 (Year Book Series, Vol. XXVI, Parts I & II). London: Quaritch, 1968.

Rogers, Ralph V., Yearbook, Eyre of London 14 Edward II (A.D. 1321). HLS MS 1330, Harvard Law School Library ed. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University, 1939.

Abstract: This dissertation contains Roger’s transcription of the year book of 14 Edward II and photostats of Hale-Rogers manuscript MS LR 106.

Bibliographies of English Law History

  • Maxwell, William H. A Legal Bibliography of the British Commonwealth of Nations. Volume 1: English Law to 1800. London: Sweet and Maxwell, 1955-
  • Beale, Joseph H. A Bibliography of Early English Law Books. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1926.
  • Winfield, Percy H. The Chief Sources of English Legal History. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1925.

Legal Materials in relation to Edward I

(Compiled by the University of South Caroline Gould School of Law) Maynard, John, ed. Year Books, or, Reports in the Following Reigns, With Notes to Brooke and Fitzherbert’s Abridgments: the Vulgate Edition of 1678-1680. 11 Vols. London: George Sawbridge, William Rawlins, and Samuel Roycroft, 1679-1680. Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) number (used in Worldcat): 31448622

Notes: Also available online in Early English Books Online (subscription database)Abstract: Reprinted in 2006, this is referred to as the “standard” or “vulgate” edition. It reprints some of the earliest black letter editions of the year books and repeats the gross errors of those black letter editions, with spelling errors, wrong insertions, and misleading cross references. There appears to have been no effort at proofreading. Contents:

Vol. 1, Memoranda in Scaccario 2-29 Edward I, and year books 1-19 Edward II (dated 1678)

Vol. 2, 1-10 Edward III

Vol. 3, 17-39 Edward III(omitting 19, 20, 31-37)

Vol. 4, 40-50 Edward III (called Quadragesms)

Vol. 5, Liber Assisarum, 1-50 Edward III

Vol. 6, 1-14 Henry IV and 1, 2, 5, 7, 8, 9 Henry V

Vol. 7, 1-20 Henry VI (omitting 5, 6, 13, 15-17)

Vol. 8, 21-39 Henry VI (omitting 23-26 and 29)

Vol. 9, 1-22 Edward IV

Vol. 10, Long Report of 5 Edward IV

Vol. 11, 1 Edward V, 1-2 Richard III,1-21 Henry VII (omitting 17-19) and 12, 13, 14, 18, 19, 26, 27 Henry VIII

Renton, Alexander W., comp. The English Reports. 178 Vols. London: Stevens and Sons, 1900-1932. Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) number (used in Worldcat): 1470288

Notes: Also available online in Justis, HeinOnline, and LLMC-Digital (subscription databases)Abstract: Contains reprinted decisions of all English courts from 1220 to the commencement of the official Law reports in 1866. vols. 1-11, House of Lords; vols. 12-20, Privy Council; vols. 21-47, Chancery; vols. 48-55, Rolls Court; vols. 56-71, Vice-Chancellors’ Courts; vols. 72-122, King’s Bench Division; vols. 123-144, Common Pleas; vols. 145-160, Exchequer; vols. 161-167, Ecclesiastical, Admiralty, and Probate and Divorce; vols. 168-169, Crown cases; vols. 170-176, Nisi Prius. Volumes which contain reports prior to 1550 are: vols. 72-122 King’s Bench (1378-1865); vols. 123-144 Common Pleas (1486-1865); vols. 145-160 Exchequer (1220-1865) Only volumes 72 & 73 (Kings Bench), volume 145 (Exchequer) contain cases from the medieval period.

Seipp, David J., and John Maynard eds. Year Books, or, Reports in the Following Reigns, With Notes to Brooke and Fitzherbert’s Abridgments: the Vulgate edition of 1678-1680. 11 Vols. Clark, N.J.: Lawbook Exchange, 2007, 1678. Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) number (used in Worldcat): 76967165Abstract: Reprint of the vulgate edition. Each volume contains introductory notes on the history, content and significance of the year books by David Seipp and Carol F. Lee, as well as tables naming all justices and serjeants, and listing calendar years of law terms. It references Seipp’s online Index and Paraphrase of Printed Year Book Reports, 1268-1535 which indexes and summarizes almost all the cases in this edition.

Bibliographies of English Law History

  • Maxwell, William H. A Legal Bibliography of the British Commonwealth of Nations. Volume 1: English Law to 1800. London: Sweet and Maxwell, 1955-
  • Beale, Joseph H. A Bibliography of Early English Law Books. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1926.
  • Winfield, Percy H. The Chief Sources of English Legal History. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1925.

Resources

See Also

  • Medieval Legal History (in this legal Encyclopedia)
  • Attainder (in this legal Encyclopedia)
  • Uses (in this legal Encyclopedia)
  • Usurpation (in this legal Encyclopedia)


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  • Article Name: Year Books
  • Author: Bernard Schwartz
  • Description: Year Books and other Reports (Source: the University of South Caroline Gould School of Law) Although other extant [...]

This entry was last updated: January 14, 2017

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