The Early Modern Commons

Legal History Miscellany

Recent Posts

Murder Confessions 1730–1900: A Preliminary Typology

7 June 2018

By Cassie Watson; posted 7 June 2018. It is rare to come across a clear confession of guilt made by the alleged perpetrator in a murder case. According to J.M. Beattie, eighteenth-century...

Citizen vs. John Foreigner: The Politics of Inclusion in Medieval England’s Urban Centers

3 May 2018

Posted by Sara M. Butler; 3 May 2018. In the late fifteenth century, John Medewall brought his petition before the chancellor at Westminster. He explained his dilemma. Purportedly written...

Star Chamber Stories: Using Criminal Law to Criminal Ends in Early Modern London

5 April 2018

By Krista Kesselring; posted 5 April 2018. Murder, conspiracy, illicit sex – the Court of Star Chamber judges heard it all. One unusual, and unusually well-documented, case from...

In their own words? Criminal Depositions and the Voices of the Past

17 March 2018

By Cassie Watson; posted 17 March 2018. One of the most exciting and enjoyable aspects of being a historian is having the opportunity to get close to the lives of people who lived in...