• “Even a Compensation Culture has its Limits: Arbitrating Homicide in Fifteenth-Century England.”

    Author(s):
    Sara Margaret Butler (see profile)
    Date:
    2023
    Group(s):
    Late Medieval History, Legal history, Medieval Studies, Renaissance / Early Modern Studies
    Subject(s):
    Murder, Wages, Middle Ages, Common law, American Society for Legal History
    Item Type:
    Article
    Permanent URL:
    https://hcommons.org/deposits/item/hc:57709/
    Abstract:
    Historians have long argued that arbitration was the preferred means of resolution for most disputes in later medieval England; but does this apply also to the settlement of homicides? Despite the strenuous efforts of the English legal system after the Norman Conquest to force homicides through the royal courts, historians have argued that homicide continued to be settled out-of-court throughout the medieval period. This study examines six cases of arbitration centred on homicide from the fifteenth century to demonstrate that arbitration was rarely implemented as a means to resolve homicides. When it was, it was a relatively small, inter-related group of gentry who exploited the provision because they were well placed to manipulate the law and because their behaviour was supervised by the kingdom’s magnates only once problems had arisen. Accordingly, arbitration for homicide was unusual and the practice was anything but inclusive.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    7 months ago
    License:
    Attribution

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