Over the past few years I have made a number of friends and colleagues listen to my ramblings about expropriation for the public good. I am grateful to all of them for listening and discussing and especially to those who gave me references to cases or discussions I did not know of, namely: David Bates, Brenda Bolton, Paul Brand, David Carpenter, Edward Cooper, Pauline Croft, Wendy Davies, David Ganz, George Gretton, Jocelyn Hillgarth, Bridgett Jones, Derek Keene, Frédérique Lachaud, Vickie Macnair, and Romila Thapar. I am also grateful to Tim Macfarland and Klaske Muizelaar for translating bits of, respectively, medieval German and sixteenth-century Dutch, and to David Ganz for references on the use of res publica in the early Middle Ages.
In 2005 I used earlier versions of parts of the book in lectures to the American Society for Legal History and to a seminar at the University of Aberdeen. I am grateful for the comments of both audiences and in particular to David Dumville at Aberdeen for reading the lecture afterwards and, among other useful comments, for confirming my suspicion that he could find no reference to the acquisition of land for Anglo-Saxon fortifications. In 2007 I used parts of what became chapter 5 in papers given at the earlier medieval seminar at the Institute of Historical Research, London, and at a conference in honor of Wendy Davies held at University College, London. Earlier versions of parts of chapters 1–3 were published as “Compulsory Purchase in the Earlier