BL MS Add. 24066, f. 5r
Editions and Translations
Believed to have been written by Ranulf de Glanvill (c. 1112-1190), Henry II’s Chief Justiciar, the Tractatus de Legibus et Consuetudinibus Regni Angliae is often simply referred to as Glanvill. Written in Latin sometime between 1187 and 1189, Glanvill is thought to be the first treatise on English common law mostly focusing on the Exchequer and writs. Many modern scholars now believe someone else wrote Glanvill, but they cannot come to a general consensus on who, but they can agree it was someone close to the king with intimate knowledge of the curia regis. The discourse begins with a prologue praising Henry while the rest of the tract contains fourteen books, each of which discusses various legal actions and how to go properly about them in the king’s court.
Importance for the Study of Angevin History
Glanvill provides the first known form of the curia regis or procedure in the court of Henry II. Before the Tractus, little was written about royal court procedure and became the first textbook for lawyers of English common law. Glanvill provided previously unknown insights into the workings of how the curia handled both civil and criminal law under a king who was frequently out of the country. It set the precedent for future treatises on English common law.