William Sheppard, Cromwell's Law Reformer
William Sheppard, Cromwell's Law Reformer

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  • ISBN-13: 9781561696901
  • ISBN: 1561696900
  • Publication Date: 2004
  • Publisher: Gaunt, Incorporated


Matthews, Nancy L.


"William Sheppard is best known as one of the most prolific legal authors of the seventeenth century. His twenty-two books on the law include studies of conveyancing, actions on the case, tithe collection, several guides for local law enforcement and the first three legal encyclopedias to be written in the English language. His most interesting book, England's Balme, contains the most comprehensive set of law reform proposals published in that century. This study presents the first full account of Sheppard's employment under Oliver Cromwell's Protectorate as well as an examination of his family background and education, his religious commitment to John Owen's party of Independents and his legal philosophy. An appraisal of all Sheppard's legal works, including those written during the civil war and the restoration period, illustrates the overlapping concerns with law reform, religion and politics in his generation. Sheppard had impressively consistent goals for the reform of English law and his prescient proposals anticipate the reforms ultimately adopted in the nineteenth century, culminating in the Judicature Acts of 1875-8. Dr. Matthews examines the relative importance of Sheppard's books to his generation and to legal literature in general, assessing such bibliographical problems as the allegation that Justice Dodderidge was the original author of the Touchstone of Common Assurances. The study provides a full bibliography of Sheppard's legal and religious works and an appendix of the sources Sheppard used in the composition of his books on the law."Matthews, Nancy L. is the author of 'William Sheppard, Cromwell's Law Reformer', published 2004 under ISBN 9781561696901 and ISBN 1561696900.

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