England’s Ancient Constitution
William Lambarde was an influential sixteenth-century historian who advanced the popular theory that England had an ancient constitution that preserved fundamental individual liberties from time immemorial. Working from medieval manuscripts, Lambarde demonstrated that the Norman kings were often forced politically to uphold the laws of their predecessors. The laws of the Anglo-Saxon King Edward the Confessor especially, and later those of Henry I, took on an important role as a benchmark for the original liberties of Englishmen. This volume contains Lambarde’s reconstruction of the laws and charters of England’s kings.