The Growth of Law in Medieval Wales, c.1100-c.1500
Title Details

270 Pages

23.4 x 15.6 cm

1 map; 1 colour illus.; 1 b/w illus.

Series: Studies in Celtic History

Series Vol. Number: 45

Imprint: Boydell Press

The Growth of Law in Medieval Wales, c.1100-c.1500

by Sara Elin Roberts

  • Description
  • Contents
  • Author
A ground-breaking study of the lawbooks which were created in the changing social and political climate of post-conquest Wales.

The Middle Ages in Wales were turbulent, with society and culture in constant flux. Edward I of England's 1282 conquest brought with it major changes to society, governance, power and identity, and thereby to the traditional system of the law. Despite this, in the post-conquest period the development of law in Wales and the March flourished, and many manuscripts and lawbooks were created to meet the needs of those who practised law.
This study, the first to fully reappraise the entire corpus of law manuscripts since Aneurin Owen's seminal 1841 edition, begins by considering the background to the creation of the law from the earliest period, particularly from c.1100 onwards, before turning to the "golden age" of lawmaking in thirteenth-century Gwynedd. The nature of the law in south Wales is also examined in full, with a particular focus on later developments, including the different use of legal texts in that region and its fourteenth- and fifteenth-century manuscripts. The author approaches medieval Welsh law, its practice, texts and redactions, in their own contexts, rather than through the lens of later historiography. In particular, she shows that much manuscript material previously considered "additional" or "anomalous" in fact incorporates new legal material and texts written for a particular purpose: thanks to their flexible accommodation of change, adjustment and addition, Welsh lawbooks were not just shaped by, but indeed shaped, medieval Welsh law.
Illustrations
Abbreviations
Law Manuscripts and Sigla
Preface
PART I: READING THE LAW, SHAPING THE LAW
1.Introduction: Medieval Welsh Law and the Lawtexts
2.'A Rather Laborious and Harassing Occupation': Ancient Laws and Institutes of Wales and the Historiography of the Welsh Laws
3.'Rei a dyweit': Lawyers and the Law in Medieval Wales
Appendix - 'Rei a dyweit'
PART II: A NEW APPROACH TO CYFRAITH HYWEL
4.'All Additional and Later Matter': The 'Anomalous Laws' and the Lawtexts
5.'Achwannec kyureith dylyedus y chynnal': the Blegywryd Redaction
6.'O gyureith Hywel Da, a'e arueroed, a'e gynneuodeu': The Development of the Redaction Manuscripts
7.'Much matter not elsewhere to be found': The Non-Redaction
Lawbooks
Conclusion
Acknowledgements
Glossary
Bibliography
Index
Index of Manuscripts

Sara Elin Roberts is a historian specialising in the law, literature and culture of Wales and the March from the twelfth to the fifteenth centuries. She has been working on medieval Welsh lawbooks for more than two decades.

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Title Details

270 Pages

2.34 x 1.56 cm

1 map; 1 colour illus.; 1 b/w illus.

Series: Studies in Celtic History

Series Vol. Number: 45

Imprint: Boydell Press