The Treatise on the Laws and Customs of the Realm of England Commonly Called Glanvill is an account in Latin of the law and practice of the royal court at the end of the reign of Henry II. The authorship is uncertain, but the Treatise must have been written by a man closely connected with the work of the court, and he may have had some academic training in civil and canon law. The Treatise is mainly concerned with civil pleas begun by writ and using the procedures of inquest and assize. As litigation begun by writ is a fundamental characteristic of the common law, Glanvill can fairly be called the first text-book on the subject. Its merit lies partly in the clarity of exposition, but much more in the author's willingness to depart from his basic plan - a commentary on individual writs - in favour of a courageous attempt to expound the law in substantive terms.
This edition by G. D. G. Hall, with a translation, introduction discussing the background, contents, and value of the treatise, and full annotation, was first published in Nelson's Medieval Texts in 1965, and quickly established itself as a classic work. It is now reissued in Oxford Medieval Texts with a substantial new Guide to Further Reading by M. T. Clanchy.
Abbreviations; List and grouping of manuscripts; Introduction; Latin text and English translation; Additional notes; Appendix; Index of writs; General index.