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Kingship, law, and society : criminal justice in the reign of Henry V

Powell, Edward. Griffiths, Ralph Alan [reviewer]

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ISBN 10: 019820082X / ISBN 13: 9780198200826
Published by Oxford New York : Clarendon Press ; Oxford University Press, 1989
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Fine cloth copy in an equally fine dust-wrapper. Particularly and surprisingly well-preserved; tight, bright, clean and especially sharp-cornered. Physical description; xi, 319 p. ; 23 cm. Notes; Includes index. Bibliography: p. 281-304. Review/s: Ralph A. Griffiths, History, Vol. 76, No. 247 (June 1991), 290-291. Contents; Abbreviations; Introduction: Towards a new constitutional history of late medieval England; Part I: Law, justice, and kingship: Concepts of law, justice, and kingship in the age of Henry V; Part II: The machinery of criminal justice in late medieval England; Royal jurisdiction over crime and the structure of the legal system; Criminal legal procedure: The workings of the courts; Law, politics, and dispute settlement in local society; Part III: The enforcement of criminal justice in the reign of Henry V: England at the accession of Henry V: the legacy of disorder; The Lollard revolt; The Leicester parliament and the Superior Eyre; The settlement of the realm, (1413-1415); Henry V's policy of reconciliation and recruitment; The administration of justice, (1415-1422): The limits of law enforcement; Conclusion; Appendix: Criminal offences brought before the King's Bench, 1414; Select Bibliography; Glossary; Index. Summary; Using the reign of Henry V as a detailed case study, this work examines crime and law enforcement in late medieval England, considering the theoretical nature of law, the framework of the courts, court procedures and the enforcement of law. The author rejects the traditional view of late medieval England as chronically lawless and violent, and emphasizes instead the structural constraints on royal power to enforce the law, and the King's dependence on the co-operation of local society for the maintenance of his peace. Public order, it is shown, relied less on the coercive powers of the courts than the arts of political management and the use of procedures for conciliation and arbitration at local level. Subjects; Henry V, King of England (1387-1422). Henry V, (1387-1422), King of England. Criminal justice, Administration of - Great Britain - History. Criminal Justice. Administration. History. 15th Century. Criminal justice, Administration of - England - History. Law - History and criticism - England. Law - England - History and criticism. Great Britain - History - Henry V, (1413-1422). Criminal justice, Administration of - Great Britain - History - To 1500. Legal history - England - 1989. England - Legal history - 1989. England - Law, history. law - England - (1000-1600). Henry V. administration of justice. legal procedure. penal sanctions. Dates covered: (1413-1422). British & Irish history: (c 500 to c 1000) ; British & Irish history: (c 1000 to c 1500) ; Social & cultural history ; Crime & criminology. England ; (c 1000 CE to c 1500). Law / Legal History. Genre; Bibliography. 2 Kg. Bookseller Inventory # 232671

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Kingship, law, and society : criminal ...

Publisher: Oxford New York : Clarendon Press ; Oxford University Press

Publication Date: 1989

Binding: Hardcover

Edition: First Edition.

About this title

Synopsis:

This book breaks new ground in the study of crime and law enforcement in late medieval England using the reign of Henry V as a detailed case study.

Dr Powell considers the subject on three levels: legal theory - academic, governmental, and popular thinking about the nature of law; legal machinery - the framework of courts and their procedures; and legal practice - the enforcement of the law in the reign of Henry V.

There exists at present no other work devoted to setting the legal system of this period in its social and political context. Rejecting the traditional view of late medieval England as chronically lawless and violent, Dr Powell emphasizes instead the structural constraints on royal power to enforce the law, and the King's dependence on the co-operation of local society for the maintenance of his peace. Public order relied less on the coercive powers of the courts than the art of political management and the use of procedures for conciliation and arbitration at local level.

Review:

'clarity, thoroughness and honesty of Powell's research' Times Literary Supplement

`Edward Powell's book is the first detailed study of the motives and effectiveness of the crown's pursuit of criminal justice, placed within the framework of contemporary conceptions of kingship and the practical constraints on royal power. It draws on an impressive range of intractable judicial records, particularly for Henry V's reign, and is written with clarity and conviction. Some of its conclusions are important, and some do what all good pioneering books do - suggest avenues for further investigation.' History

`a book of considerable distinction, wide-ranging and lucidly written'Legal History

'a fine institutional history ... His clear and thorough analysis, set firmly in the traditions of W.A. Morris and Bertha Putnam, will make this book an important work of reference for students and teachers.'Times Higher Education Supplement

`Edward Powell's splendid study of Henry V's strategy for keeping peace among magnate and gentry factions represents an important contribution to the history of criminal justice ... Powell has brought forth from legal records a great deal of new material on the political and social relations of the magnates and gentry of the early fifteenth century. Moreover, Powell has shed important light on a major aspect of criminal-justice administration.'Thomas A. Green, Speculum - A Journal of Medieval Studies Oct 92

'We are shown convincingly that the success of medieval law courts is not to be measured by conviction rates.'A. Harding, University of Liverpool, EHR, July 1993

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