English Constitutional Documents, 1307-1485

English Constitutional Documents, 1307-1485

English Constitutional Documents, 1307-1485

English Constitutional Documents, 1307-1485

Excerpt

Bishop Stubbs published his first edition of the Select Charters in 1870, and though it has since that time been revised and enlarged by Professor H. W. C. Davis in 1913, the original plan of the work has not been changed. The Bishop was content to conclude his book with the reign of Edward I because as he says in the Introduction "the machinery is now completed, the people are at full growth. The system is raw and untrained and awkward, but it is complete". Since he wrote these words much has been done by scholars in the constitutional field, especially on the history of parliament and council, and the reign of Edward I seems perhaps less of a landmark than it once did; whilst the study of administrative history, little understood in the past, has now come to be regarded as of paramount importance. Teachers of English History of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries have long felt the need of some book in which their pupils could find original documents for the period between the Select Charters and J. R. Tanner's Tudor Constitutional Documents; for though many such documents are actually in print, they are either in large collections not always accessible, or scattered in the footnotes of volumes which few undergraduates are able to possess. It is hoped, therefore, that this book may meet a real need, and enable students to make themselves familiar with some of the chief authorities of this period, as well as to read a number of records hitherto unpublished. Each section is headed by a brief introduction to explain the main points which are illustrated in the documents, and it is hoped that the short bibliographies may indicate lines of further study. The documents themselves, however, have been left in chronological order rather than divided according to subjects within each section, in order to give readers the opportunity of sorting their own illustrations.

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