Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Question from Antonia - Law and history dissertation ideas

I am currently in my second year of a law degree and needing to think of a topic for my dissertation next year. i thoroughly enjoy english legal history especially the tudor period and would very much like to do my dissertation on this area but i am struggling to find a topic that is going to be relevent to law and not just history. i would be greatful if anyone had any ideas for me thanx Antonia


Arabella said...

I would like to answer with a question myself, as Antonia perhaps would know this: Reading the new book by Chris Skidmore: "Death and the Virgin: Elizabeth, Dudley and the Mysterious Death of Amy Robsart" ISBN 9780297846505, I wondered about the following remark by the coroner's jury at the end of their conclusion: "... and thus the jurors say on their oath that the aforesaid Lady Amy in the manner and form aforesaid by misfortune came to her death and not otherwise, as they are able to agree at present" ("...prout eis ad presens constare potest".

With reason, the author of the book takes this last half sentence as proof that they had doubts that it was an accident; he then makes a lot of fuss about it, probably more than it warrants. As he is not exactly reliable in countless details and twists many aspects, I wondered whether it could also be a general formula, perhaps ocurring regularly on coroner's reports (this one is from August 1561; deposited in The National Archives KB 9/1073 and printed in the book's appendix). Perhaps someone knowledgeable abouth legal Tudor things could give an opinion?

Arabella said...

It just occurred to me that "constare" would not only mean "agree" but also "ascertain" or "declare". So the sentence could also be taken as "as they are able to ascertain/declare at present". I personally think it is rather a general disclaimer than an expression of a serious rift within the jury, although I would agree that they were probaly puzzled or unsure about what had happened.

Bladerunner said...

Acts of Attainder's. Its use and development.

kb said...

The development of the courts of equity and their place in the development of civil law.

kb said...

The other court I'm fascinated with is the Court of Admiralty and it's role in the development of international law and the relationship between private enterprise and the development of national interest.

There are several documents in the British Library to Julius Caesar who was a judge at the court for several years.

kb said...

Hey, Just got a notice about legal documents from the UK National Archives being posted online.

Thought you might be interested.