English Law, Culture, Governance and Society, 1680s-1760s

Wilfrid Prest's picture
Call for Papers
September 15, 2016
Subject Fields: 
British History / Studies, Law and Legal History

English Law, Culture, Governance and Society, 1680s—1760s University of Adelaide, 15-16 September 2016

This workshop will explore some key themes to be addressed in the ‘New History of Law in Post-Revolutionary England’, an Australian Research Council-supported project (DP160100265), which seeks to recover and reassess the history of English law, broadly conceived, over the seven decades following the Glorious Revolution of 1688-89. During that period limited monarchy, parliamentary government and the rule of law became new constitutional norms for an emergent imperial British state – and, eventually, for Australia.

Our project aims to chart the modes of law and governance variously experienced, created and used by laymen and women, husbands, wives and children, as well as by judges, lawyers, legislators and ministers. The results of this major conceptual advance, reintepreting the history of English law and government in the broadest possible way, will appear as Volume IX in the Oxford History of the Laws of England, co-authored by David Lemmings and Wilfrid Prest (University of Adelaide) and Mike Macnair (University of Oxford).

Besides an introductory panel on the project’s aims, themes and structure, the workshop is to include a session introduced by Warren Swain (University of Auckland) devoted to Julia Rudolph’s recent revisionist monograph Common Law and Enlightenment in England, 1689-1750 (Woodbridge, 2013). In addition to papers by Macnair (‘The Development of Uses and Trusts’) and Prest (‘Blackstone’s View of the Common Law’), there will be opportunities for other presentations, particularly by postgraduates and early career researchers, on legal-historical or law-related aspects of culture, governance, and society in later seventeenth and eighteenth-century England. Proposals for either shorter (20 minute) or longer (45-50 minute) papers are warmly invited. Please forward a title and brief outline (no more than 250 words), plus a biographical note, to Helen.Payne@adelaide.edu.au , by 12 August if possible.

Contact Info: 

Willfrid Prest,  University of Adelaide