Where it came from and why I wrote it
Law has a rather fusty and dusty image and most people think its boring. History of law even more so.
Many years ago I too assumed this, as a matter of course. However when actually studying history at school I found, to my surprise, that I was drawn more to the constitutional and legal subjects such as the development of Parliament. Which somehow did not seem to be as boring as they ought to be.
Many years later I studied law, and as part of my degree there was a history of law paper. I found it fascinating. I would loved to have done more at that time, but as I was studying law for my career, I felt I ought to do ‘proper’ lawyer topics. However I always had at the back of my mind the idea that history of law was something I would like to do something with, some time.
Since then I have written a few law books, and where possible I insisted on having a proper historical introduction section setting the subject in its historical context. However this blog has its origins more directly in a series I did for my Landlord Law blog called Foundations in Landlord and Tenant Law. This was looking at how landlord and tenant law ‘works’, and to help explain the mechanics of it all I took a look in Baker, my history of law textbook from University days.
I found the historical research so interesting that I decided to set up a whole new series, which I called ‘The History Spot’. However, I then started to feel that to do the thing properly it ought to have timelines, a glossary, book reviews and so on, none of which I could really impose on my Landlord Law Blog readers (who were really just there for the legal tips and news). I soon decided that history posts ought to have a site of its own.
So here we are! You can read a bit more about the start from the introduction post here, which I actually wrote for the series to go on my Landlord Law blog.
I do not claim to be any kind of expert.
I am just writing about the history of law because I think it is interesting, because I enjoy writing, and because I think these things should be more widely known. They are an important part of our national and cultural history.
At the present time I am still early on in our history. I may not reach later times for quite a while! I have 1,000 years of legal history to get through.
The plan for the blog
The intention is to work forward through time, with the conquest as (more or less) my starting point. We can then get a feel for the progression and development of our current legal system.
I am going to concentrate mostly (although not exclusively) on the development of land law. Land and tenancy law is my professional specialism, and so far as I know, no one before has even considered writing a popular blog about the history of our land law!
However land is unique and special. Lawyers call it ‘real property’ as opposed to all other types of property (which are only ‘chattels’). We only have a limited amount of it and it has always been treated differently by our legal system.
As I hope to show, it CAN be interesting, even fascinating. I hope you will enjoy it.
Keep in touch
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