Online Medieval Sources Bibliography

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

Source Details

Bateson, Mary, ed., Borough Customs, 2 vols. (Selden Society, vols. 18, 21) Read this source online

Text name(s): 

Number of pages of primary source text: 527


Dates: 1150 - 1500

Archival Reference: 

Original Language(s): 

  • Anglo-Norman
  • English - Middle English
  • Latin


  • Translated into English.

Translation Comments: 

Geopolitical Region(s): 

  • British Isles
  • England
  • Ireland
  • Scotland

County/Region: Berwick-upon-Tweed; Bristol; Dover; Dublin; Exeter; Fordwich; Godmanchester; Hastings; Hereford; Hythe; Ipswich; Kidderminster; Kilkenny; Lincoln; London; Lydd; Newcastle; Northampton; Pevensey; Romne

Record Types: 

  • Custumal

Subject Headings: 

  • Clergy - Priests, Bishops, Canons
  • Economy - Trade
  • Family / Children
  • Government
  • Law - Crime
  • Law - Secular
  • Towns / Cities


  • Index
  • Glossary
  • Appendix
  • Introduction


Text organized thematically, with each ordinance/custom printed in original language (many in AN) and then translated. Appendix on sursise of rent (clvii-clix). Text covers borough courts (pleading, borough officers), seignorial and family law (land, chattels, feudal dues, husband and wife), inheritance, wardship, merchant law, ecclesiastical relations. List of rarer words: 215-16; Index to Custumals, pp. 217-20. Index of matters, 221-

To download volume 18 as a pdf go to for volume 21 see the link above.

Introduction Summary: 

Extensive introduction: vol. I, pp. ix-lix. Covers custumals as a source (with a list of all extant custumals she examined). Text covers type of court action (Crime and Tort: arrest, mainprise, appeal, judgments, punishments, trespasses), court procedure (summons, pledges, attachment and distress, essoins, wager of law, debt, contract); real and mixed actions (disseisin, fresh force, waste, landlord and tenant). Intro to vol. II pp. xv-xlvi covers process and execution, contract, alienation and inheritance, husband and wife, rights in land, minority, seignorial claims, wills and intestacy, and borough courts.

Cataloger: MAK