Frederic William Maitland: Papers

Scope and Content

MSS.Add.6987-6995: Printer's sheets for F.W. Maitland's and Frederick Pollock's The history of English law before the time of Edward I, in Maitland's hand, bound in nine volumes, 1894-1895. On a flyleaf is 'F. H. M. from F. W. M.', indicating that the volumes were presented by Maitland to his wife Florence.

MS.Add.6987: The volume begins 'Chapter II. Norman Law', 432 folios.

MS.Add.6988: The volume begins 'Book II. English Law in the early Middle Ages', and is foliated 433-859, 427 folios.

MS.Add.6989: The volume begins, at fo. 2r, just after the beginning of ch. 2 in the printed version, which is numbered here ch. 3, 313 folios.

MS.Add.6990: The volume begins 'Chapter IV. Jurisdiction and the Communities of the Land', and ends 'No one could endeavour to become a', 418 folios.

MS.Add.6991: The volume begins: 'Chapter IV. Ownership and Possession', 506 folios.

MS.Add.6992: The volume contains (fos 1r-142v) 'Chapter V. Contract'; (fos 1r-348v) 'Chapter VI. Inheritance', 490 folios. Chapter 5 was mostly composed by Pollock, and this copy, though in Maitland's hand, is marked 'An article by F. P. in Harv[ard] Law Rev[iew] expanded'.

MS.Add.6993: The volume begins 'Chapter VII. Family Law', 247 folios.

MS.Add.6994: The volume begins 'Chapter IX. Procedure', and ends 'right and wrong for us and our children. Explicit. 2 November 1894. In festo animarum', 303 folios.

MS.Add.6995: The volume begins 'Chapter VIII. Crime and Tort', 290 folios.

MSS.Add.6996-6997: Printer's sheets for Maitland's The constitutional history of England, in his own hand. The sheets were originally the loose sheets of lectures given in 1887-1888.

MS.Add.6996: 476 folios.

MS.Add.6997: 407 folios.

MS.Add.6998: Lecture notes on constitutional law, c. 1890, 217 folios. The notes are an imperfect series and are bound up out of order.

MS.Add.6999: Lecture notes on corporations, 1899, 311 folios. The lectures are no longer in consecutive sequence, but are indentified in a pencil note (fol. 1) as 'Corporation in English Law. Lectures, Autumn 1899'.

MS.Add.7000: Notes on miscellaneous legal matters, in Maitland's hand and that of Florence Maitland, c. 1888-1903, 366 folios.

Administrative / Biographical History

Frederic William Maitland (1850-1906), son of John Gorham Maitland, was educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he took the moral sciences tripos (B.A., 1873; M.A. 1876). He was called to the bar in 1876, and thereafter became reader in English law at Cambridge in 1884, and Downing professor, 1888-1906. He was the founder of the Selden Society, which sought to encourage the study of the history of English law, and served as its literary director in 1895. He became Ford's lecturer at Oxford in 1897, and Rede lecturer at Cambridge in 1901. He was also made an honorary fellow of Trinity College.

Access Information

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

Acquisition Information

Presented by Maitland's daughters, Mrs Shove and Miss E. Maitland, 1939.


Description compiled by Robert Steiner, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives. The biographical history was compiled with reference to the entry on Maitland in theConcise dictionary of national biography, Part II, 1901-1970 (Oxford University Press, 1982), p. 447.

Other Finding Aids

Additional Manuscripts Catalogue.

Related Material

A missing leaf from the lectures of MS.Add.6998 on martial and military laws (fols 212-217) is now a part of MS.Add.7002, fol. 105.


The printer's sheets in MSS.Add.6987-6995 can be found in the following pages of F.W. Maitland's and Frederick Pollock's History of English law (Cambridge University Press, 1895):

MS.Add.6987: vol. 1, pp. 41-204; chs 2-6 of Book I.

MS.Add.6988: vol. 1, pp. 205-390; chs 1-2 of Book II.

MS.Add.6989: vol. 1, pp. 390-511; ch. 2 of Book II.

MS.Add.6990: vol. 1, pp. 512-672, ending abruptly at l. 31; ch. 3 of Book II; the remainder of vol. 1 is as in the printed version, but with pp. 672-678 missing in the MS.

MS.Add.6991: vol. 2, pp. 1-181; ch. 4 of Book II.

MS.Add.6992: vol. 2, pp. 182-361; chs. 5-6 of Book II.

MS.Add.6993: vol. 2, pp. 362-445.

MS.Add.6994: vol. 2, pp. 556-670, here bound in the MS out of sequence.

MS.Add.6995: vol. 2, pp. 446-555.

The printer's sheets in MSS.Add.6996-6997 relate to F.W. Maitland's The constitutional history of England (Cambridge University Press, 1908).

For further information see the J.H. Baker, A catalogue of English legal manuscripts in Cambridge University Library (The Boydell Press, Woodbridge, 1996), pp. 606-611.

Corporate Names