Year Books

The Year Books are the modern English name that is now typically given to the earliest law reports of England. Substantial numbers of manuscripts circulated during the later medieval period containing reports of pleas heard before the Common Bench. In the sixteenth century versions of this material appeared in print form. These publications constituted the earliest legal precedents of the common law. They are extant in a continuous series from 1268 to 1535, covering the reigns of King Edward I to Henry VIII. The language of the original manuscripts and editions was either Latin or Law French.
Maitland and others have considered that the medieval manuscripts were compiled by law students, rather than being officially sanctioned accounts of court proceedings.


The Year Books are the modern English name that is now typically given to the earliest law reports of England. Substantial numbers of manuscripts circulated during the later medieval period containing reports of pleas heard before the Common Bench. In the sixteenth century versions of this material appeared in print form. These publications constituted the earliest legal precedents of the common law. They are extant in a continuous series from 1268 to 1535, covering the reigns of King Edward I to Henry VIII. The language of the original manuscripts and editions was either Latin or Law French. Maitland and others have considered that the medieval manuscripts were compiled by law students, rather than being officially sanctioned accounts of court proceedings.
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