Volltext: Zeitschrift der Savigny-Stiftung für Rechtsgeschichte / Kanonistische Abteilung (3 (1913))

9. The Canon Law in England


H. W. C Davis,

The Canon Law in England.1)
H. W. C. Davis, M. A.,
Fellow of Balliol College, Oxford.

The controversy which I have been invited to review
is one which begins with an essay, published by Stubbs in
1883, on The Law administered in the Courts of the
English Church between the Conquest and the Refor-
Subsequently, in bis Lectures on Medieval and Mo-
dern History (1886), the great historian developed some
of his argumenta in further detail. In both works he argued
that the English Church had consiatently maintained an
eclectic attitude towards the canon law of Rome, adopting
only so much of it as harmonised with the case-law of her
own courts. This theory was challenged by F. W. Maitland
in a series of special studies, which were ultimately collected
under the title Roman Canon Law in the Church of
England (1898). Maitland took as the starting-point of
his investigations the works of the English canonists, John
de Athona, William Lyndwood and John de Burgh. He
argued that these writers take for grauted the whole of the
Roman canon law, allow to the Pope a plenitude of legis-
lative power, and treat the legislation of the English Church
as valid only in so far as it conforms to the Jus Commune.
Maitland peinted out that some of the evidence upon which
Stubbs had relied was irrelevant; the fact that King or
Parliament from time to time defied the Pope did not prove
that the English clergy claimed autonomy for their church. He
9 Paper read before the fourth sectiou of the International
Historical Congress, 1913. — 2) Printed as an appendix to the officia 1
‘Report of the Historical Courts Commission' (London 1883).



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