Legal Dialogue on Nationality and Royal Succession

Scope and Content

Anonymous dialogue on the statute De natis ultra mare (1350). The manuscript is in at least three hands, with annotations and revisions, and discusses 'Certain errors upon the Statute made 25 Edw[ard] IIId Anno D[omi]]i 1350. Of Children Born beyond Sea. Conceived by Mr. Sergeant Brown: Confuted by Mr. Sergeant Fairfax'. There are bookplates of Thomas, Viscount Bruce of Apthill, 1772, and Lord Fairfax of Cameron, and an ownership inscription of Joseph Ames.

Administrative / Biographical History

The names attached to the dialogue, 'Sergeant Browne' and 'Sergeant Fairfax' are fictitious: Sir Anthony Browne ([1510]-1567) was Chief Justice of Common Pleas, 1558-60; the last Sergeant Fairfax died 1544. The name 'my brother Welshe' is referred to in the document, indicating that the author may be John Walsh (d.1572). However, Professor J.H. Baker has suggested instead William Fleetwoode (d.1594), M.P., sergeant-at-law and Recorder of London.

Conditions Governing Access

Open for consultation by holders of a Reader's Ticket valid for the Manuscripts Reading Room.

Acquisition Information

Purchased 1993.


Description compiled by Robert Steiner, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives.

Other Finding Aids

Additional Manuscripts Summary Catalogue.

Alternative Form Available

Cambridge University Library also holds a copy of the dialogue, Mm.6.70.


For a fuller description of the dialogue see J.H. Baker, A catalogue of legal manuscripts in Cambridge University Library (Woodbridge: Boydell, 1996).