Sites and stories related to the study of literature/law, law, legal humanities, legal history, etc.
Transform Harm | An accessible introduction to the transformative justice movement with curated articles, images, and links. TJ is something that’s really resonating with me so I hope you’ll check it out.
Bracton Online, De legibus et consuetudinibus Angliæ (Bracton on the Laws and Customs of England) | This important early medieval legal treatise is now online and searchable.
The Clergy of the Church of England Database 1540-1835 (CCEd) | While not precisely a legal resource, this database is important to early modern law and lit research since so many preachers (such as Samuel Garey, Robert Abbot, etc.) in this period were tasked to preach assize sermons. See my article “On Judges and the Art of Judicature.”
Court Depositions of South West England, 1500-1700 | Great primary documents and helpful explanatory guides.
Sir Edward Coke, The Selected Writings and Speeches of Sir Edward Coke, ed. Steve Sheppard (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2003). | This may not be the most intriguing link in the list, but for all ye law and literature scholars, save time (and eye strain) by CRTL+F-ing this online, nicely edited, collection of Coke’s Reports, Institutes, and other treatises.
Early Modern Prisons | A blog about the social life of prisoners in London’s prisons. What was it like to be a prisoner of Newgate?
England’s Immigrants 1330-1550 | Anyone studying/interested in the late middle ages and patterns of immigration should check out this database. The evidence derives from, you guessed it, bundles of legal records.
Everyday Life and Fatal Hazard in Sixteenth-Century England | You won’t believe the kind of trouble Tudor men and women (and children) got themselves into. This Oxford-based project uses coroners’ reports to calculate not only rates of accidental deaths but also to determine the different varieties of deaths. In studying their death records, you gain a new appreciation for the way people lived in Shakespeare’s England. Check out the “Discovery of the Month” for short stories from the archives.
Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index | A searchable database devoted to cataloguing (and annotating) research on medieval women.
“Map of London: Prisons, ca. 1676,” digital map by Mark McDayter | Because I’m generally interested in popular legal cultures of early modern England, I was delighted to find this useful map of London’s prisons.
Manuscript Pamphleteering in Early Stuart England | It’s like CELM, but more political in flavour. Some entries have a transcription and an image; others merely the catalogue record(s). Here’s one that caught my eye: “ ‘Letter to James I Before his Trial (1603).'”
Sanctuary Seekers in England | A marvelous database by Dr. Shannon McSheffrey on criminals who sought sanctuary in late medieval and early modern England. Gorgeously illustrated and deeply contextualized, the stories reveal the power of legal archives to illuminate the social and economic lives of commoners.
Sexual Violence in History: A Bibliography | A database maintained by Stefan Blaschke chronicling research on rape and other facets of sexual violence. Multiple academic fields are represented.
The Statutes Project | A list of all available digital volumes of the Statutes of the Realm. This is a boon because the original statutes (published in the early 19th c.) are rare items and heavy as F.
Legal History Blog | The title says it all; news on recent publications, conferences, fellowships, etc.
Legal History Miscellany | Sign-up for the newsletter; interesting short, accessible articles about law, jurisprudence, custom, cases from the pre-modern world (mostly Britain).