A Piece of the Puzzle: Women and the Law as Viewed from the Late Medieval Court of Chancery

  title={A Piece of the Puzzle: Women and the Law as Viewed from the Late Medieval Court of Chancery},
  author={Cordelia Beattie},
  journal={Journal of British Studies},
  pages={751 - 767}
  • C. Beattie
  • Published 1 October 2019
  • Sociology
  • Journal of British Studies
Abstract This article uses fifteenth-century Chancery court bills to demonstrate how women negotiated solutions to social and legal disputes not just in Chancery but through a variety of legal jurisdictions. This approach sheds light on women's actions in courts where the records have not survived, and it also adds nuance to the long-running debate about whether equity was a more favorable jurisdiction for women than the common law. By bringing into view other jurisdictions—such as manorial… 
4 Citations
Women, Legal Records, and the Problem of the Lawyer's Hand
Abstract Court records provide invaluable evidence of the existence of laws and notional rights affecting women and how these were (or were not) enforced and exercised. Many documents provide
Introduction: Debates and Sources
The history of Parliament is almost always written as the history of men, and especially for the Middle Ages when women were so often excluded, formally or informally, from political institutions.
Review of periodical literature published in 2019


The Medieval English Court of Chancery
The medieval English Court of Chancery is not a well-known institution. Its Victorian great-granddaughter—if to posit such a relationship does the antecedent justice—has a far broader public for its
The Law as a Weapon in Marital Disputes: Evidence from the Late Medieval Court of Chancery, 1424–1529
  • S. Butler
  • History
    Journal of British Studies
  • 2004
When Isabelle, widow of Richard Vergeons, commissioned the writing of a bill of complaint to Chancery at the end of the fifteenth century, she was clearly at the end of her tether. Six months before
Arbitration and the Law in England in the Late Middle Ages ( The Alexander Prize Essay )
THE central problem facing the student of public order in England in the late middle ages is to reconcile two conflicting lines of research. On one hand the institutional historians, through their
Women and Property in Early Modern England
The economic condition of women is enormously important to our understanding of any society. Historians have made many assumptions about women's property in the early modern period in an attempt to
Sanctuary and the Legal Topography of Pre-Reformation London
In early sixteenth-century England, the presence of ecclesiastical sanctuaries in the legal, social, and religious landscape was a matter of great controversy. Any English church could offer
An Introduction to English Legal History
Tables of statutes and cases, Kings and Queens of England since 1066 and abbreviations. Law and Custom in early Britain. Origins of the Common Law. Superior Courts of Common Law. Forms of Action.
Common law versus common practice: the use of marriage settlements in early modern England
T wo varieties of marriage settlement are known to historians. The first and better known is strict settlement, thoroughly explored in the work of Habakkuk, Stone, Clay, Cooper, Bonfield, and Saville
Ordering the body : illegitimacy and female authority in seventeenth-century England
Some time in the early seventeenth century, the leading parishioners of Birling, in Kent, approached their justices with a complaint. Jane Jacquett, a young woman born nearby, had given birth to an
Legal History and the Medieval Englishwoman: A Fragmented View
Ninety-seven years ago, the English legal historian Frederic William Maitland gave a lecture called ‘Why the History of English Law is Not Written’. This essay has something of a similar theme, on a
Prisons and Punishments in Late Medieval London
In the history of crime and punishment the prisons of medieval London have generally been overlooked. This may have been because none of the prison records have survived for this period, yet there is