"The Best Essay on This Subject" Scrutton, Thomas Edward. The Influence of the Roman Law on the Law of England. Originally published: Cambridge: at the University Press, 1885. xvi, 199 pp. Reprinted 2010 by The Lawbook Exchange, Ltd. ISBN-13: 9781616190354; ISBN-10: 1616190353. Paperback. New. $18.95 * Reprint of the sole edition. The extent of Roman influence on English common law, long a keenly debated topic, was subjected to careful scrutiny during the establishment of modern English legal historiography in the late 1800s. Scrutton's revisionist essay, a path-breaking work that won Cambridge University's prestigious Yorke Prize, evaluates and mostly discredits the work of his predecessors, most notably Finlason, Coote and Seebohm. In its place he offers a history from the Saxon period to his day guided by a close reading of sources. Scrutton believed that Roman law was a minor influence until it was introduced to Oxford by Vacarius. It became considerable after that watershed event, an argument he advances through a close reading of Glanville and a book-by-book demonstration of Azo's influence on Bracton. "[Scrutton] has written what we believe to be the best essay on this subject.... It will be a useful guide to the authorities for any who are investigating the history of our law, while the author's own opinions are for the most part sound and sober, and are clearly and modestly stated.": Law Quarterly Review 2 (1886) 96.
Book number 56504