Sunday, February 08, 2009

Medieval English Lawsuits

The publications of the Selden Society are now online.

Yes, medieval lawsuits. "Bored now" is perhaps your response. Think again:

Thomas, Leofwin's son, appeals Alan Harvester, for that he in the king's peace assaulted him as he went on the highway, and with his force carried him into Alan's house,and struck him on the arm so that he broke a small bone of his arm, whereby he is maimed, and robbed him of his cape and his knife, and held him while Emma, [Alan's] wife, cut off one of his testicles and Ralph Pilate the other, and when he was thus dismembered and ill-treated, the said Alan with his force carried him back into the road, whereupon as soon as might be he raised the cry, and the neighbours came to the cry, and saw him thus ill-treated, and then at once he sent to the king's serjeant, who came and found, so [Thomas] says, the robbed things in Alan's house, and then as soon as might be [Thomas] went to the wapentake [court] and to the county [court] and showed all this.

So inquiry is made of the king's sergeant, who testifies that he came to Alan's house and there found the knife and the testicles in a little cup, but found not the cape.


henchminion said...

I do love those appeals of felony. The Selden Society also has another seventy-odd volumes of material that is still in copyright but can be tracked down in law libraries.

Anonymous said...


I have recently started a blog devoted to things medieval and, on occasion, I will be posing questions to others interested in the middle ages, the answers to be posted on my blog. I would be very interested in your answer to the following question:

What period or person from the middle ages most interests you and why?

Your answer can be as long or short as you wish and will be published in full on my blog. If you would like to participate, you may leave your response in the comments portion of my blog or email your response to kaya.alder at Please be sure to let me know how you wish your name to be shown in the post and any email address or website that you would like to have linked.

Thank you in advance,
My Medieval: