The Ancient Constitution and the Expanding Empire: Sir Edward Coke's British Jurisprudence

  title={The Ancient Constitution and the Expanding Empire: Sir Edward Coke's British Jurisprudence},
  author={Daniel J. Hulsebosch},
  journal={Law and History Review},
  pages={439 - 482}
One of the great, unrecognized ironies in Anglo-American constitutional history is that Sir Edward Coke, the seventeenth-century mythologist of the “ancient constitution” and the English jurist most celebrated in early America, did not believe that subjects enjoyed the common law and many related rights of Englishmen while overseas. “The common law,” Coke declared in Parliament in 1628, “meddles with nothing that is done beyond the seas.” The ancient constitution was an English constitution and… 


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White notes that Coke, then seventy-six, was not the "principal proponent" of the Petition, but "still played an active role in every stage of the Commons's proceedings on the petition

    For the British Empire, this was the issue in Somersett's Case. See Oldham, The Mansfield Manuscripts

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