Search - List of Books by John Fortescue

Sir John Fortescue (c.1394 - c.1480) was an English lawyer, the second son of Sir John Fortescue, Captain of Meaux, of an ancient Devon family. He was born at Norries, in the parish of North Huish near South Brent, in Devon.

He was educated at Exeter College, Oxford and to this day the John Fortescue Society is joined by students of law at the college. During the reign of Henry VI he was three times appointed one of the governors of Lincoln's Inn. In 1441 he was made a king's sergeant at law, and in the following year chief justice of the king's bench. As a judge Fortescue was recommended for his wisdom, gravity and uprightness; and he is said to have been favoured by the king.

He held his office during the remainder of the reign of Henry VI, to whom he was loyal; as a result, he was attainted of treason in the first parliament of Edward IV. When Henry subsequently fled into Scotland, he is supposed to have appointed Fortescue, who appears to have accompanied him in his flight, chancellor of England. In 1463 Fortescue accompanied Queen Margaret and her court in their exile on the Continent, and returned with them afterwards to England. During their wanderings abroad the chancellor wrote for the instruction of the young Prince Edward his celebrated work De laudibus legum Angliae (in which he made the first expression of what would later become known as Blackstone's formulation, stating that "one would much rather that twenty guilty persons should escape the punishment of death, than that one innocent person should be condemned, and suffer capitally"). On the defeat of the Lancastrian party he made his submission to Edward IV, from whom he received a general pardon dated Westminster, 13 October 1471. The exact date of his death is not known.

Fortescue's masterly vindication of the laws of England, though received with great favour by experts, did not appear in print until the reign of Henry VIII, when it was published, but without a date. It was subsequently reprinted many times. Another work by Fortescue, written in English, was published in 1714 by John Fortescue Aland, under the title of The Difference between an Absolute and a Limited Monarchy. In the Cotton library there is a manuscript of this work, in the title of which it is said to have been addressed to Henry VI; but many passages show plainly that it was written in favour of Edward IV. A revised edition of this work, with a historical and biographical introduction, was published in 1885 by Charles Plummer, under the title The Governance of England. All of Fortescue's minor writings appear in The Works of Sir John Fortescue, now first Collected and Arranged, published in 1869 for private circulation, by his descendant, Lord Clermont.There is an unpublished Ph.D. dissertation on Fortescue's life and career: Paul E. Gill, Sir John Fortescue: Chief Justice of the King's Bench,Polemicist of the Succession Problem, Governmental Reformer, and Political Theorist, The Pennsylvania State University,1968. Also, there is an article in the April 1971 volume of Speculum concerning Fortescue's role in the succession crisis between the Houses of Lancaster and York.

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Total Books: 23
The Campaign of Waterloo The Classic Account of Napoleon's Last Battles
2016 - The Campaign of Waterloo the Classic Account of Napoleon's Last Battles [The Napoleonic Library] (Hardcover)Hardcover
ISBN-13: 9781848328822
ISBN-10: 1848328826
Genre: History
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The Difference Between an Absolute and Limited Monarchy as It More Particularly Regards the English Constitution Being a Treatise
De Laudibus Legum Angli
2010 - De Laudibus Legum Angli (Paperback)
ISBN-13: 9781152023123
ISBN-10: 1152023128
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Sir John Fortescue's Commendation of the Laws of England
2010 - Sir John Fortescue's Commendation of the Laws of England (Paperback)
ISBN-13: 9781151819123
ISBN-10: 1151819123
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The Difference Between An Absolute And Limited Monarchy As It More Particularly Regards The English Constitution
De Laudibus Legum Angliae A Treatise in Commendation of the Laws of England
Marlborough
2008 - Marlborough (Hardcover)Paperback
ISBN-13: 9781436688437
ISBN-10: 1436688434
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Dundonald
2008 - Dundonald (Paperback)Paperback, Hardcover
ISBN-13: 9781408659847
ISBN-10: 1408659840
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ber die Regierung Englands
2001 - Ber Die Regierung Englands [German Edition] (Paperback)
ISBN-13: 9780543764966
ISBN-10: 0543764966
Genre: Nonfiction
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Sir John Fortescue On the Laws and Governance of England
1997 - Sir John Fortescue on the Laws and Governance of England [Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought] (Hardcover)Paperback
ISBN-13: 9780521434454
ISBN-10: 0521434459
Genres: History, Nonfiction, Law
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Note-Books of Captain Coignet Soldier of the Empire 1799-1816
1986 - Note-books of Captain Coignet Soldier of the Empire 1799-1816 [Napoleonic Library] (Hardcover)
ISBN-13: 9780947898137
ISBN-10: 0947898131
Genre: History
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The Governance of England Otherwise Called the Difference Between an Absolute and a Limited Monarchy
De laudibus legum Anglie
De Laudibus Legum Anglie (Other)Hardcover
ISBN-13: 9780883557938
ISBN-10: 0883557932
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De Laudibus Legum Anglia [Cambridge Studies in English Legal History] (Hardcover)
On Government
On Government (Paperback)
ISBN-13: 9780943045085
ISBN-10: 0943045088
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The Governance of England The Difference Between an Absolute and a Limited Monarchy