Thornley, Isobel D., ed., trans.; Plucknett, Theodore F. T., ed., Year Books of Richard II: 11 Richard II 1387-1388 (London: Spottiswoode, Ballantyne & Co. Ltd)
Number of pages of primary source text: 280
Dates: 1387 - 1388
Archival Reference: Lincoln's Inn, Hale MS. 77; Brit. Mus., Add. MS. 32,087; Lincoln's Inn, Hale MS. 187; Brit. Mus., Add. MS. 25,187; Cambr. Univ. Lib., MS. Ee. II, 26; Brit. Mus., Royal MS. 17 E VI; Cambr. Univ. Lib, MS. Ll. III, I
- Translated into English.
- Original language included.
Translation Comments: Facing-page translation.
- Court Roll
- Law - Legislation
- Economy - Crafts and Industry
- Economy - Guilds and Labor
- Economy - Trade
- Law - Crime
- Law - Secular
“Year Books” are the modern English name that is now typically given to the earliest law reports of England. The documents edited in this volume contain court records of pleas (such as property disputes, trade regulations, and criminal cases) given during years 1387 and 1388 of Richard II’s reign. Thornley divides the documents into 4 sections, the Trinity, Michaelmas, Hilary, and Easter Terms. Several indices conclude the volume: a concordance of this edition with other abridgments of the Year Book; a table cases and statutes cited; a table of types of legal actions taken; a table of cases; an index of people and places; and an index of subjects. A legal calendar is also included before the text proper.
The Boston University Law School has digitized many Year Books from the years 1268-1535 and organized each individual entry in a fully searchable online database
This lengthy (40 pp.) introduction begins with a general overview of the historical events of 11 Richard II, mainly focusing on political history but also mentioning particular judges and other members of Parliament and the legal system. The second section discusses the 7 manuscripts in which the Year Book can be found and how they were edited to form the present volume. The final section discusses the rolls of the court and how the cases were recorded.
A secondary portion of the introduction follows this and comments on selected cases: 1) trespass on the case, 2) deeds obtained by force, 3) account and carriers’ liability, 4) contingent remainders, and 5) uses in the common pleas.