The composition and distribution of the legal profession, and the use of law in early modern Britain and Ireland, c.1500-c.1850
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At various dates between the early sixteenth century and the early nineteenth century the ratio of lawyers per head of population in England and Wales was more than twice that obtaining in Scotland and Ireland. By comparing carefully and systematically the different size and composition of the legal profession in the component parts of the British Isles, the article shows how significantly different was the nature and significance of law, and the distinctive trajectories of legal change. The second half of the article offers a range of possible explanations for why the numbers and types of lawyers or ‘men of law’ varied so much, suggesting that national legal cultures were enduringly and profoundly different. The peoples of Ireland and Scotland related to law in ways quite distinct from the close relationship of English society to its lawyers and law.
Houston , R 2018 , ' The composition and distribution of the legal profession, and the use of law in early modern Britain and Ireland, c.1500-c.1850 ' , Tijdschrift voor Rechtsgeschiedenis , vol. 86 , no. 1-2 , pp. 123-156 . https://doi.org/10.1163/15718190-08612P07
Tijdschrift voor Rechtsgeschiedenis
Copyright © 2018, Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden. This work is made available online in accordance with the publisher’s policies. This is the author created, accepted version manuscript following peer review and may differ slightly from the final published version. The final published version of this work is available at https://doi.org/10.1163/15718190-08612P07
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