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Full-Text Articles in Legal History
Lord Mansfield; Judicial Integrity Or Its Lack; Somerset's Case, Alan Watson
I write this after re-reading Steven M Wise's Though the Heavens May Fall. My argument, if convincing, undermines the basis of the book. Probably the most famous decision in English law is that of Lord Mansfield in Somerset v. Stewart in 1772. It is very short and very dramatic; indeed, it is so rhetorical that much of what is vital is overlooked -- as it was meant to be. Somerset was Stewart's slave in Virginia and was brought to England by his owner. Somerset travelled extensively in the service of his master, to Bristol and Edinburgh, for example. But ...