Law and Kinship in Thirteenth-Century England

Law and Kinship in Thirteenth-Century England

Sam Worby

First comprehensive survey of how kinship rules were discussed and applied in medieval England.
Two separate legal jurisdictions concerned with family relations held sway in England during the high middle ages: canon law and common law. In thirteenth- and fourteenth-century Europe, kinship rules dominated the lives of laymen and laywomen. They determined whom they might marry (decided in the canon law courts) and they determined from whom they might inherit (decided in the common law courts). This book seeks to uncover the association between the two, exploring the ways in which the two legal systems shared ideas about family relationship, where the one jurisdiction - the common law - was concerned about ties of consanguinity and where the other - canon law - was concerned to add to the kinship mix of affinity. It also demonstrates how the theories of kinship were practically applied in the courtrooms of medieval England.

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Table of Contents

Canon law kinship structures
Common law kinship structures
The dominance of canon law kinship ideas
Kinship laws in practice
Trends underlying legal kinship structures
Appendix 1: Raymón of Penyafort's Quia tractare intendimus
Appendix 2: The historical introduction to Sciendum est
Appendix 3: Common law adaptations of canon law treatises: Quibus modis
Appendix 4: Common law adaptations of canon law treatises: Triplex est


Worby has provided a significant contribution to the scholarship, and her book must be welcomed as an important corrective to Maitland's criticisms of medieval legal scholarship. JOURNAL OF BRITISH STUDIES

This book makes an important contribution to the narrative of family in late medieval England and the inter-relationship of English common law and the ius commune. REVIEWS IN HISTORY

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