John Hudson – Research Update (i)

My recent work has concentrated on the notion of seisin in Glanvill and the early Curia regis rolls. I am complementing these sources with examination of Bracton and the earliest Norman custumal. I am exploring how the term came to be used in more technical and specific ways, concentrating on three particular developments: (i) the use of adjectives to describe types of seisin, for example ‘simple’ and ‘full’; (ii) the distinguishing between seisin of fee, of a free tenement, and of other forms of holding; (iii) the possible distinction between being seised and being in seisin. I want to discover whether usage simply became more technical, or whether more general usage continued alongside the increasingly technical.

I am beginning work on other topics for the project. I will be writing a paper on Maitland’s attitude to Roman Law, and his presentation of a struggle between Common and Roman Law in English history. I am continuing work on an online edition of the Balliol manuscript of Glanvill and looking at the earliest versions of the texts that came to make up the so-called Très Ancien Coutumier of Normandy. I am also preparing to investigate William of Malmesbury’s copy of the Breviary of Alaric.