The Royal Pardon: Access to Mercy in Fourteenth-Century England
Title Details

272 Pages

23.4 x 15.6 cm

Imprint: York Medieval Press

The Royal Pardon: Access to Mercy in Fourteenth-Century England

by Helen Lacey

  • Description
  • Contents
  • Reviews
Pioneering investigation of the royal pardon, at a time of major change in the system of English justice, showing the important part it continued to play.
The letter of pardon was a document familiar to the king's subjects in the middle ages; imbued with symbolic resonance as the judgement of the monarch, it also served a practical purpose, offering a last hope of reprieve from thedeath sentence or life as an outlaw. The fourteenth century in particular was a pivotal time of change for the system of English justice, and saw the evolution of a legal structure still recognisable today, yet the role of the royal pardon adapted and endured.
This book offers the first comprehensive study of the royal pardon in fourteenth-century England, using evidence drawn from legal and literary texts, parliamentary records, yearbooks, and plea rolls to examine the full influence of royal mercy. Its implications go well beyond legal history, encompassing the major political and constitutional debates of the period, the theological underpinnings of royal mercy, and the social context of the law. Chapters analyse the procedures of pardoning, the role of royal mercy at moments of political upheaval (such as at the Peasants' Revolt), and the range of views expressed by legal theorists, parliamentary representatives, and by the diverse range of people who at one time or another had reason to seek royal mercy. The appendices provide full lists of all those who acted as "intercessors" for mercy; comprising over 1000 names, they reveal the role of women and personal servants of the crown, alongside the great nobles of the realm, in providing access to royal grace.

Dr HELEN LACEY is Lecturer in Late Medieval History at Mansfield College, University of Oxford.
Introduction
Part I: Individual Pardons
Procedures
Supplicant
Intercessor
Monarch
Part II: General Pardons
Procedures
The Evolution of Group Pardons
Pardoning and Celebration: Edward III's Jubilee
Pardoning and Revolt: The Peasants' Rising of 1381
Pardoning and Revenge: Richard II's 'Tyranny'
Conclusion: Attitudes to Pardoning
Appendices
Bibliography
"Royal pardons played important, enigmatic roles in English law, politics, and culture in the fourteenth century, roles well portrayed in Lacey's fine book." LAW & HISTORY REVIEW
"A work that will be of interest and use to scholars working on late medieval political culture and on the history of English law." JOURNAL OF BRITISH STUDIES
"Marked by beautifully clear writing and a comprehensive historiographical overview of the subject [it] offers a real insight into the cultural history of fourteenth-century politics." HISTORY
"A major addition to the literature that treats royal pardons as its central focus. [...] A book that all scholars working on law, violence and military affairs in late medieval England will find it necessary to read and to integrate into their own research." DE RE MILITARI
"Helen Lacey's excellent book appears at a time when the exercise of executive and judicial clemency has become a topical talking point. [...] Dr Lacey has achieved an adept rebalancing of the concept of pardoning in late medieval England and rehabilitated its function within a more holistic view of the legal system." REVIEWS IN HISTORY

Hardcover

9781903153284

November 2009

Buy

$99.00 / £60.00

Shipping Options

Buy

Buy

Purchasing options are not available in this country.

Ebook (EPDF)

9781846157585

November 2009

$24.99 / £19.99

Unavailable

Shipping Options

Buy

Buy

Purchasing options are not available in this country.

Title Details

272 Pages

2.34 x 1.56 cm

Imprint: York Medieval Press