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Legal history: England & common law tradition: 1216-1399

Legal History in England 1216 - 1399

Descendents of Counts of Anjou from death of John onwards commonly called
Plantagenets till 1399

Henry III 28 Oct 1216 - 16 Nov 1272

Edward I 20 Nov 1272 - 7 July 1307

Edward II 8 July 1307 - 20 Jan 1327

Edward III 25 Jan 1327 - 21 June 1377

Richard II 22 June 1377 - 29 Sep 1399

English legal memory starts from 3 September 1189. A tradition arising from royal compromise in the Statute of Quo Warranto (1290)

Some books for general background/context:

L.C. Hector ed "Reports, writs and records in the common bench in the reign of Richard II" Hunnisset & Post (eds) Medieval Legal Records (1978) at 268-288  can still help with any exercise involving trying to match the record on the roll to a "report" in a manuscript or early year book.

The Selden Society editions are at Legal Hist S464.4a. 

Don't neglect articles in journals - please see special Journals page in this guide for help with finding these.

Year books of Edward I & Edward III: free online

Year books of Edward I in the Rolls Series are freely available via

The linked abbreviated titles below should take you through to the individual volumes.

The numbers in [ ] are how the various parts are identified in Gallica results. I have expanded them to show the actual years covered by the volume so numbered.

You cannot search for party names/keywords or anything else in these volumes. Navigate to specific page number quickly via drop down menu just above the open book. (NP is no pagination) Or click through page by page using arrows to left and right.