This article aims to investigate some of the fundamental historiographical and methodological issues raised by the emergence of legal history as a branch of learning in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. In the first section, it examines primary and secondary sources by which we know the key individuals who were the members of the so called Elizabethan Society of Antiquaries. From this point the article explores prosopographical methodology as an example of a specific technique that may, in the appropriate circumstances, be usefully employed in the study of legal history; and then turns to an application of that method in considering the shared characteristics of the Society as a group. The article then seeks to contextualise the Society within the field of English Antiquarianism, and evaluates its connections with embryonic historical genres and with the legal profession. It concludes with some observations on the relationship of legal and historical studies, and the hybrid discipline of legal history as applicable to these subjects.
|Pages (from-to)||31 - 64|
|Number of pages||33|
|Journal||Journal of Legal History|
|Publication status||E-pub ahead of print - 28 Mar 2012|