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Vi Et Armis: Londoners And Violent Trespass Before The Common Pleas In The Fifteenth Century, Lindsey Mcnellis
Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports
Civil litigation in early fifteenth-century England encompassed a variety of actions, but only one writ covered acts of violence: trespass vi et armis. These writs, all before the central Court of Common Pleas, detail a variety of violent torts, or wrongs, such as housebreaking, theft, imprisonment, abduction, and assault. The Londoners who entered pleadings in this court between 1405 and 1415 have left a fascinating glimpse into both interpersonal violence and the world of savvy litigators. Through a close examination of eighty-two cases, I demonstrate that Londoners were knowledgeable litigants who used the Court of Common Pleas and its procedures ...