Online Medieval Sources Bibliography

An Annotated Bibliography of Printed and Online Primary Sources for the Middle Ages

Source Details

Sayles, G.O., ed., Select Cases in the Court of the King's Bench under Edward I. (Seldon Society, Vols. 55, 57, 58, 74, 76, 82, 88)

Text name(s): 

Number of pages of primary source text: 0


Dates: 1272 - 1307

Archival Reference: 

Original Language(s): 

  • Anglo-Norman
  • Latin


  • Translated into English.
  • Original language included.

Translation Comments: Facing page translation

Geopolitical Region(s): 

  • England


Record Types: 

  • Court Roll

Subject Headings: 

  • Law - Crime
  • Government
  • Family / Children
  • Economy - Trade
  • Clergy - Priests, Bishops, Canons
  • Agriculture
  • Law - Secular
  • Nobility / Gentry
  • Religion - Institutional Church
  • Royalty / Monarchs
  • Towns / Cities
  • Travel / Pilgrimage
  • Women / Gender


  • Index
  • Glossary
  • Introduction


The King’s Bench was a court that traveled with the king and had special jurisdiction to hear cases within a 12 mile radius of the king’s itinerant household. Initially the court heard all types of cases (including civil pleas between individuals) but by the end of the thirteenth century it was devoted its attention to felonies, trespasses and cases that directly affected the monarch. These volumes contain the records of 300 cases that were heard before the court of the King’s Bench in the reign of Edward I (1272-1307). Although many of these cases pertain to the king’s affairs, the records also provide ample information about social matters (in his introduction to volume 58 Sayles comments on the value of these documents to the history of gender).

Introduction Summary: 

Each volume has an extensive introduction. The first focuses on explaining the evolution of the King’s Bench before 1272, the judges and other officials associated with the court, the pleaders and their attorneys. The second volume discusses the plea rolls of the King’s Bench before describing the court’s jurisdiction and the process of pleading before it. In the third volume the editor describes application of statutes in the King’s Bench and the special circumstances in which the crown could be the litigant. (This introduction also mentions matters of interest to social historians including the reaction to conspiracy and cases that were brought to the court by women). The first introduction includes a list of the judges of the King’s Bench and the Common Bench under Edward I and Edward II. The third one includes a chronological list of additional documents and has a brief calendar of all of the cases in the first three volumes.

Cataloger: SES; heb