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LAW 8308: History of Anglo-American Legal Institutions: Early Cases, Court Records, Trials

Prepared for Professor Joshua Tate's History of Anglo-American Legal Institutions course

Court Opinions and Records

Finding Cases By Subject – The most efficient approach to finding historical cases on a specific subject usually is to begin with a secondary source such as a treatise or journal article.

Early English Cases. There are many sources of early English cases, such as the English Reports (1280-1867), Year Books (1268-1535), and Selden Society publications available in HeinOnline. (Note: Selden Society Publications from the six most recent years are available in the library in print but not in HeinOnline.)

Early English Court Records.  See "English Records" tab above.

The Proceedings of the Old Bailey, 1674-1913 website is a "fully searchable edition of the largest body of texts detailing the lives of non-elite people ever published, containing 197,745 criminal trials held at London's central criminal court."

American Legal Records Series – These publications contain colonial and very early U.S. court records and decisions. They are published by the American Historical Association Publications with funding from the Littleton-Griswold Fund.

  • Burlington Court Book of West New Jersey: A Record of Quaker Jurisprudence in West New Jersey, 1680-1709 (H. Clay Reed & George J. Miller eds., 1944). [F137 .B94 1944].

  • County Court Records of Accomack-Northampton, Virginia, 1632-1640 (Susie M. Ames ed., 1954). [KFV2916 .A2 A7 1632].

  • Court Records of Kent County Delaware, 1680-1705 (Leon DeValinger, Jr. ed., 1959). [KFD516.K45 A7 1680].

  • Court Records of Prince Georges County, Maryland, 1696-1699 (Joseph H. Smith & Philip A. Crowl eds., 1964). [KFM1716 .P732 1696].

  • Criminal Proceedings in Colonial Virginia: (Records of) Fines, Examination of Criminals, Trials of Slaves, Etc. From March 1710 (1711) to (1754) (Peter Charles Hoffer & William B. Scott eds., 1984). [KFV2916 .R5 A7 1710].

  • Proceedings of the Maryland Court of Appeals, 1695-1729 (Carroll T. Bond ed., 1933) [KFM1712 .B62].

  • Records of the Court of Chancery of South Carolina, 1671-1779 (Anne King Gregorie ed., 1950). [KFS2331 .S63].

  • Records of the Vice-Admiralty Court of Rhode Island, 1716-1752 (Dorothy S. Towle ed., 1936). [KFR514 .V48 T64].

  • Select Cases of the Mayor's Court of New York City, 1674-1784 (Richard B. Morris ed., 1935). [KFX2005 .M62].

The Public Records Of The Colony Of Connecticut, Prior To The Union With New Haven Colony, May, 1665 (1850). 621pp. 15 volumes. Available in the Making of Modern Law:  Primary Sources, 1620-1926.

The Archives of Maryland Online contains more than 80 volumes of legal records, most of which date from colonial and early statehood periods.

Reports of Trials

Subject Guide

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Greg Ivy