Court of Common Pleas: Abstracts of cases

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 12 MS.Add.8141
  • Dates of Creation
      Early 17th-18th century
  • Name of Creator
  • Language of Material
      French Latin
  • Physical Description
      1 volume The original cover of the volume is detached and is kept separately with the collection. A new cover has been added as part of conservation treatment. The spine and several pages are missing.

Scope and Content

Abstracts, in Latin, of cases in the Court of Common Pleas, compiled in the early seventeenth century. The volume begins with entries of declarations and pleadings in actions of trespass, mostly from the reign of Henry VI through to 1634. Many of the entries date from the reigns of Elizabeth I and James I. Most of the seventeenth-century entries are from the rolls of Richard Brownlow. The entries are interspersed with painted shields of arms in the margins, with the surnames underneath, added during the eighteenth century. With the exception of the first coat of arms, relating to London, the arms have no apparent connection to the text. The second part of the volume contains entries of declarations and pleadings in actions of waste, dating from the reign of Henry VI through to 1627. These are written in the same hand as the earlier material, and also include many entries from Brownlow's rolls. There are a few commentaries in French towards the end.

Administrative / Biographical History

The provenance of the collection is unknown, although the contents of the volume suggest that it may have been compiled in the office of Richard Brownlow(1553-1638), chief prothonotary.

Access Information

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

Acquisition Information

Purchased from the executors of G.M. Macfarlane-Grieve, 1975.


Description compiled by Robert Steiner, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives, with reference to the entry on the collection in J.H. Baker, A catalogue of English legal manuscripts in Cambridge University Library (The Boydell Press, Woodbridge, 1996), p. 628.

Other Finding Aids


Custodial History

The volume was formerly part of the collection of Sir Thomas Phillipps, MS 25524. It was sold at the Phillipps sale at Sotheby's, 9 June 1898.

Related Material

Cambridge University Library holds reports of cases in the Court of Common Pleas, MS.Add.8080.