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Distributed for University of Wales Press

The Legal History of Wales

Second Edition

This new edition of a foundational text of Welsh legal history traces the various strands of law in Wales from its beginnings to the present day, identifying and assessing the importance of the native Welsh, Roman, and English influences to Wales’s legal social identity. Wales has been served by a variety of legal systems and laws over the last two millennia. These include the civil law of Rome, which was to be the basis of the laws of much of modern Europe, and the English common law, which was to govern much of the English-speaking world. Thomas Glyn Watkin shows how the Welsh have adapted to and adopted the legal traditions they have encountered, and he assesses the importance of this inheritance for the future of modern Wales within Europe and the rest of the world.

349 pages | 6 x 9 | © 2012

History: British and Irish History

Law and Legal Studies: General Legal Studies

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 “This is an excellent book, which fills a definite gap. There is no comparable overarching study of Welsh legal history from the earliest times to the present. The breadth of knowledge necessary to write such a book is rarely to be found in one individual.”

Gwen Seabourne, University of Bristol School of Law

 “This authoritative, scholarly, and very readable book captures Wales’s legal identity through the course of history. It is a remarkable achievement, both in terms of depth and scope, and is essential reading not only for those interested in the nation’s legal past, but for anyone wishing to understand the context for the legal and constitutional debates of contemporary Wales.”

R. Gwynedd Parry, Swansea University

Table of Contents

Preface to the Second Edition
Preface to the First Edition

1. Pre-Roman Britain
2. Wales in the Roman Empire
3. The Sub-Roman Period
4. The Age of the Native Princes
5. The Norman Invasion and Edward I
6. The Later Middle Ages
7. The Tudors and the Union with England
8. The Age of the Great Sessions
9. The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries
10. Devolution and Legal Identity


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