This treatise on the causes of action in royal courts, probably written between 29 November 1187 and 6 July 1189, is often regarded as the first textbook of English common law. The treatise describes royal pleas concerning right in civil matters, and particularly the king’s court at the Exchequer.  The bulk of the treatise is devoted to explaining the proper use of royal writs in actions that fell under the jurisdiction of that and other royal courts. Although it is by its title attributed to Henry II’s chief justiciar, Rannulf de Glanville, the author might very well be someone else who was closely connected to Henry II’s court who was intimately familiar with the king’s reform of justice.

  • G. D. G. Hall, ed., The Treatise on the Laws and Customs of the Realm of England Commonly Called Glanvill (Oxford, 1993), pp. 1–177.
  • George E. Woodbine, ed., De legibus et consuetudinibus regni Angliae (New Haven, CT, 1932).
  • A new edition based on MS Bl is being prepared for Early English Laws by Paul Brand and John Hudson.

Manuscripts