Online Medieval Sources Bibliography

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

Source Details

Deiser, George F., ed., trans., Year Books of Richard II: 12 Richard II 1388-1389 (Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press) Read this source online

Text name(s): 

Number of pages of primary source text: 200


    Dates: 1388 - 1389

    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
    • Law - Legislation

    Subject Headings: 

    • Economy - Crafts and Industry
    • Economy - Guilds and Labor
    • Economy - Trade
    • Government
    • Law - Crime
    • Law - Secular
    • Peasants


    • Index
    • Appendix
    • Introduction


    “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 1388 and 1389 of Richard II’s reign. Deiser 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 . The cases found in this volume can be located by searching for regnal year 12 of Richard II.

    Introduction Summary: 

    Deiser’s introduction (23 pp.) begins with a rundown of judges and litigators who were active during 12 Richard II. He then compares the French of this Year Book with that of earlier volumes as well as the language in use in the literature of the day. After this, he systematically goes through all the manuscripts containing cases from this regnal year and discusses the cases contained therein, the history and transmission of each text, and several printed editions that have been published previously. He concludes by explaining the process by which he prepared the present volume.

    Cataloger: AM