Skip to content

Spring 2021 Course

English Legal History

Prerequisites: None

Exam Type: Please refer to the Spring 2021 Exam Schedule

This class provides an introduction to the legal and constitutional history of England from the Anglo Saxons to the end of the Tudor period, essentially 600-1600.  We will cover the development of both private (e.g., contract, torts, property) and public law (e.g., criminal and constitutional law).  No previous background in English legal history is assumed.  Students will develop an historically informed perspective on early developments in the English common law system, gain a comparative perspective on issues of continuing relevance to lawyers today, and build a set of critical reading skills that are essential to the work of legal historians and practicing lawyers alike.  The class will cover a broad sweep of a thousand years, which means we cannot devote much class time to basic political history.  However, optional contextual reading is included in the course pack.

Note: This course is jointly-listed with FAS as MEDVLSTD 117. It meets at HLS.