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In this worldview, the history of law was certainly interesting, but it was not of decisive importance for the interpretation of law. As a result, the Elizabethan scribe of London, William Fleetwood, was fascinated by antiquities, but had read enough writers like Bodin to be skeptical of his sources.51 The first printed edition of Bracton (1569) warned the reader to consider the changes in common law and statutory law since its writing.52 Many legal authors such as Richard Crompton and John Dodderidge had no difficulty accepting. that the Norman conquest had changed English institutions.53 There was no reason why these past events should necessarily determine the validity or invalidity of current laws and state agreements. The Magna Carta remains an important symbol of freedom, often cited by politicians and activists, and enjoys great respect in the British and American legal communities, with Lord Denning calling it “the greatest constitutional document of all time – the basis of the freedom of the individual against the arbitrariness of the despot.” [6] In the 21st century, four copies of the original Charter of 1215 still exist, two in the British Library, one in Lincoln Castle and one in Salisbury Cathedral. There are also a handful of later public and private records, including copies of the 1297 Charter in the United States and Australia. The original documents were written on parchment sheets with quills in strongly abbreviated medieval Latin, which was then the convention for legal documents. Each was sealed with the Great Royal Seal (made of beeswax and resin seal wax): very few seals have survived. Although scholars refer to the 63 numbered “clauses” of the Magna Carta, it is a modern numbering system introduced by Sir William Blackstone in 1759; The original charter was a single, long and uninterrupted text. The four original documents from 1215 were published together at the British Library on 3 February 2015, to celebrate the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta. In addition, medieval affairs concerned the clauses of the Magna Carta, which dealt with specific issues such as guardianship and dowry, debt collection, and maintaining the freedom of navigation of rivers. [145] Even in the 13th century. In the nineteenth century, certain clauses of the Magna Carta rarely appeared in legal cases, either because the issues in question were no longer relevant or because the Magna Charter had been replaced by more relevant legislation.

By 1350, half of the clauses of the Magna Carta were no longer actively used. [146] The old constitutionalism, as formulated by Sir Edward Coke, was thus a response to a certain set of political, religious and legal conditions. It was not the product of a deeply ingrained mentality, although it is easy to see how the idea of the singular meaning of the rule of law, even political neostoicism itself, could lead to the idea that government in England was defined by a number of old legal practices that had stood the test of time. It was a practical way to advocate for the rule of law without having to make commitments about the nature of political engagement. Nevertheless, ancient constitutionalism had so few clear precursors in sixteenth-century English thought that it is tempting to claim that its systematic formulation may have owed something to the importation of foreign ideas. In its hatred of the papacy and in its insistence on the existence of ancient liberties proven by the study of the past, ancient English constitutionalism has a number of similarities with the work of the French Protestant François Hotman, especially his Frank. Hotman`s political radicalism, his denigration of Coca-Cola`s hero, Littleton, and his paradoxical hatred of lawyers undoubtedly made his name a name with which Coca-Cola does not want to be associated.95 But Hotman`s works were certainly known in late sixteenth-century England. As we have already seen, John Dodderidge, a member of the legal circle associated with Thomas Sackville, Lord Buckhurst, to which Coke belonged, was among the most important authors consulted in connection with a treatise on the royal prerogative.

In addition, Hotman`s son and literary executor, John, lived for a long time in England in the 1580s. He became a friend of the courtier Sir Philip Sidney and secretary to the Queen`s favourite, the Earl of Leicester, during his campaign in the Netherlands in 1586.96 In England, as elsewhere in Europe, the key to the Renaissance was the humanist movement, and humanism can be defined precisely, albeit more generally, simply as a revival of interest in the classical literature of ancient Rome. Surprisingly, this classical revival of the early sixteenth century had a significant impact on the legal profession. In his De Laudibus, Fortescue identified lawyers with priests, but in the 1520s and 1530s a new image began to emerge.10 The first evidence of this appears in one of the most important works of the English humanist movement, Sir Thomas Elyot`s The Boke Named the Gumour. Elyot was the son of a judge, a member of the Middle Temple and a collaborator of Sir Thomas More and Thomas Cromwell. Like other English humanists, he found French common law barbaric compared to classical Latin, which was his ideal. But the other notable feature of his work was the defense of a legal profession inspired by the prudence of classical Rome. Elyot wanted a profession that combined law and rhetoric to produce men who did not just crawl for fees, but combined legal knowledge with rhetorical and rhetorical skills to serve their country both as effective lawyers and effective governors. His ideals were the historian Tacitus, the famous politician and jurist Servius Sulpicius and, of course, Cicero.11 Magna Carta was revived in the 17th century by Chief Justice Sir Edward Coke as an ancient source of rights and used in litigation to resist excessive royal powers. The first settlers took the Magna Carta and wrote their interpretation of its clauses in their charters. This negligence is, of course, also one of the main reasons for the misunderstandings of English legal thought that have accumulated over the years.

In particular, it explains the lack of examination or reinterpretation of a category of analysis that has for too long exerted a paradigmatic influence on our ideas about the nature of the legal notions of politics and society – the notion of the common law spirit. This concept became an orthodoxy in modern research with the publication of Professor J. G. A. Pocock`s masterful study of English historical thought, The Ancient Constitution and the Feudal Law in 1957. Pocock, who was primarily interested in the attitude of jurists to the past and based his thesis largely on the work of Sir Edward Coke and his contemporary Sir John Davies, postulated a typical view of politics and society at common law that was essentially a precursor to what Edmund Burke famously made famous in his reflections on the revolution in France (1790). According to Pocock, the key to common law was the assumption that English law had no history, that it had remained virtually unchanged through one of the major or minor upheavals in English history before or after the Norman conquest. English jurists believed that English laws were the best laws because they were the product of immemorial customs, a kind of mystical process by which the common law had proved satisfactory to the English, constantly coming from an era beyond written documents or people`s memories. Moreover, ordinary jurists completely deny that civil law has ever had any influence on their country, and they are also extremely isolated in their refusal to consider the jurisprudential ideas contained in the civil law tradition or to become aware of the progress of history made by continental humanist jurists such as Budé. Cujas and Hotman.

An integral part of these two questions is the problem of what might have constituted the legal mentality of lawyers and laymen (different social groups) in the early modern period and how these mentalities could have changed over time.