The Englishness of English law

Sunday 23 April 2006

The peculiarities of English law will be explored at a public lecture at the University of St Andrews this week (Wednesday 26th April 2006).

Professor John Hudson, Professor of Legal History, will discuss the legacy of one of the greatest British mediaeval historians, F.W. Maitland. Although he died a century ago, Maitland’s work on the development of English law is still the most important study in that field and he is the only academic historian to be commemorated by a memorial in Westminster Abbey.

Professor Hudson’s inaugural lecture will concentrate on what Maitland saw as peculiarly English in English law, and on the significance of Common Law in the country’s development. He will look at Maitland’s extensive use of comparison with Continental law and with Scots law, where he established the differences without lapsing into insularity. The lecture will also set Maitland’s work on the Middle Ages in the wider cultural and academic context of the late nineteenth century.

Professor Hudson came to St Andrews in 1988 as a Lecturer in Mediaeval History. He has since been Reader in Mediaeval History, Head of the School of History, and – since 2003 – Professor of Legal History. His publications include The Formation of the English Common Law (1996; the Chinese translation appears this year). He is currently a British Academy Research Reader, working on a volume of The Oxford History of the Laws of England.

The inaugural lecture ‘F.W. Maitland and the Englishness of English Law’ by Professor John Hudson will be delivered in School III, St Salvator’s Quadrangle on Wednesday 26 April 2006 at 5.15 p.m. The Principal will take the chair. The lecture is open to the public and all are welcome.


Issued by Beattie Media – On behalf of the University of St Andrews

Contact Gayle Cook, Press Officer on 01334 467227 / 462529, mobile 07900 050 103, or email gec3@st-

Ref: Hudson inaugural.doc

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