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Category: Law, United Kingdom

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The inital project will see the digitisation of all 36 volumes of Cobbett's Parlimentary History, (a major source for eighteenth century historians), providing online access to it initially as a stand alone database. A further development would see it also forming one element within a group of related databases offering access to a range of parliamentary source materials sharing a common interface.

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The Court Rolls of Ramsey, Hepmangrove and Bury, 1268-1600 The court rolls of Ramsey, Hepmangrove and Bury constitute a distinctive collection of primary sources for examining and exploring the lives of ordinary people and the institutions of a rural community in the East Midlands of medieval England from the end of the 13th century to the beginning of the 17th century. They were previously published on microfiche as part of The Court Rolls of Ramsey, Hepmangrove and Bury, 1268-1600 , edited and translated by Edwin DeWindt and originally published by the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies (Toronto) in 1990 as vol. 17 of the Subsidia Mediaevalia series (ISBN 0-88844-366-8).

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The public's fascination with the human drama of the courtroom did not begin with Perry Mason or Court TV. Cases involving the relationships between men and women, within or outside the bonds of marriage, have long engaged the popular imagination. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, published accounts of sensational trials provided the public with both entertainment and cautionary tales. Studies in Scarlet presents the images of over 420 separately published trial narratives from the Harvard Law School Library's extensive trial collections.

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About the Collection As part of its holdings of legal art and visual materials , the Harvard Law School Library owns a collection of over 4000 portrait images of lawyers, jurists, political figures, and legal thinkers dating from the Middle Ages to the late twentieth century. Although most of these prints, drawings, and photographs depict legal figures prominent in the Common Law, a significant number portray jurists and legal educators associated with the Canon and Civil Law traditions.

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Just as programs are sold at sporting events today, broadsides -- styled at the time as "Last Dying Speeches" or "Bloody Murders" -- were sold to the audiences that gathered to witness public executions in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Britain. These ephemeral publications were intended for the middle or lower classes, and most sold for a penny or less. Published in British towns and cities by printers who specialized in this type of street literature, a typical example features an illustration (usually of the criminal, the crime scene, or the execution); an account of the crime and (sometimes) the trial; and the purported confession of the criminal, often cautioning the reader in doggerel verse to avoid the fate awaiting the perpetrator.

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Henry of Bratton (Henricus de Brattona or Bractona) was an English judge of the court known as coram rege (later King's Bench) from 1247-50 and again from 1253-57. After his retirement in 1257, he continued to serve on judicial commissions. He was also a clergyman, having various benefices, the last of which being the chancellorship of Exeter cathedral, where he was buried in 1268.

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