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Judges, Administrators & Common Law [Hardcover]

Ralph V. Turner

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Book Description

1 July 1994
This collection of essays brings together the author's work on th growth of administrative monarchy in Angevin England, concentrating upon the personnnel of royal government and especially upon the common law courts. It describes the institutions of the English common law during its formative period, including the growth of the jury and of the two central courts, Common Pleas at Westminster and the court following the king, later King's Bench. Another group of essays illustrate the justices' handling of cases coming before the law courts, examining please that touched the king's interest. After a discussion of the authorship of England's first great lawbook, Glanvill, other essays examine the justices, their level of literacy, the conflicts facing the clerics among them in hearing secular cases, and the hostility that they aroused as 'new men' in the king's service from conservative elements in society.

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More About the Author

Ralph Turner grew up in rural Arkansas, then went off to the University of Arkansas, where he majored in History. On graduation, he spent an academic year in France, a life-changing experience that determined him to pursue a scholarly career in medieval history. He took his Ph.D. at the Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore MD, in 1962 and began his teaching career at the Florida State University, Tallahassee FL. His first book, "The King and His Courts" was a work of legal history, although he did not know it at the time. He continued to work in that area, studying the personnel of the earliest English royal courts in two books and several articles. These collective biographies of obscure royal clerks and justices led eventually to the writing of biographies of English monarchs, King John, Richard Lionheart, and Eleanor of Aquitaine. He is a frequent visitor to England, having spent an academic year at Cambridge University as a Fellow of St. Edmund's Collete in 1980-81. He feels more at home in London than in New York. His interest in the French possessions of the Angevin kings of England led to frequent visits to France as well. He is a fellow of the Royal Historical Society, and a member of several American medieval groups. Now retired, he continues to live in Tallahassee, FL.

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