Frederic William Maitland
|Frederic William Maitland|
Portrait of Frederic William Maitland by Beatrice Lock, 1906
28 May 1850|
|Died||19 December 1906
|Notable works||Domesday Book and Beyond|
|Spouse||Florence Henrietta Fisher|
Frederic William Maitland (28 May 1850 – 19 December 1906) was an English jurist and historian, generally regarded as the modern father of English legal history.
Maitland was the grandson of Samuel Roffey Maitland (1792–1866) and the son of John Gorham Maitland (1818–1863), and was educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge, being bracketed at the head of the moral sciences tripos of 1872, and winning a Whewell scholarship for international law. He was a Cambridge Apostle.
He was called to the bar (Lincoln's Inn) in 1876, and became a competent equity lawyer and conveyancer, but finally devoted himself to comparative jurisprudence and especially the history of English law. In 1884 he was appointed reader in English law at Cambridge, and in 1888 became Downing Professor of the Laws of England. Despite his generally poor health, his intellectual grasp and wide knowledge and research gradually made him famous as a jurist and historian.
He edited many volumes for the Selden Society, including Select Pleas for the Crown, 1200–1225 and Select Pleas in Manorial Courts and The Court Baron. He also made important contributions to the Cambridge Modern History, the English Historical Review, the Law Quarterly Review, Harvard Law Review and other publications. Maitland delivered the Ford Lectures in 1897.
Posthumous publications by his students, editing their lecture notes based on his lectures, include The Constitutional History of England, Equity, and The Forms of Action at Common Law. The latter publication has been repeatedly reprinted, and contains[note] perhaps his most-quoted observation, which still appears in learned articles and superior court judgements: "The forms of action we have buried but still they rule us from their graves."
His written style was elegant and lively. His historical method was distinguished by his thorough and sensitive use of historical sources, and by his determinedly historical perspective. Maitland taught his students, and all later historians, not to investigate the history of law purely or mostly by reference to the needs of the present, but rather to consider and seek to understand the past on its own terms. He died in 1906 at Gran Canaria from tuberculosis and is buried in the English Cemetery in Las Palmas.
The Squire Law Library of the Faculty of Law at the University of Cambridge contains the Maitland Legal History Room. The Maitland Historical Society of Downing College, Cambridge, is named in his honour. He is commemorated in Poet's Corner, Westminster Abbey. [Note: Reprint by Cambridge University Press, 1976, page 1]
His principal works include:
- Pleas of the Crown for the County of Gloucester before the Abbot of Reading and his Fellows Justices Itinerant, Macmillan & Co., 1884.
- Justice and Police, Macmillan & Co., 1885.
- Bracton's Note-Book, Vol. 2, C. J. Clay & Sons, 1887 [reissued by Cambridge University Press, 2010]. ISBN 978-1-108-01031-3)
- History of English Law before the Time of Edward I, with Sir Frederick Pollock, Cambridge University Press, 1899 [1st Pub. 1895; new ed. 1898].
- Domesday Book and Beyond, Cambridge University Press, 1897.
- Township and Borough: Being the Ford Lectures Delivered in the University of Oxford in the October Term of 1897, Cambridge University Press, 1898.
- Roman Canon Law in the Church of England, Methuen & Co., 1898.
- English Law and the Renaissance: the Rede Lecture for 1901, Cambridge University Press, 1901.
- Charters of the Borough of Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1901 (reissued by Cambridge University Press, 2010. ISBN 978-1-108-01043-6)
- Life of Leslie Stephen, Duckworth & Co., 1906.
- The Constitutional History of England, Cambridge University Press, 1909 [1st Pub. 1908].
- Equity. Also the Forms of Action at Common Law, Edited by A.H. Chaytor and W.J. Whittaker, Cambridge University Press, 1910.
- The Collected Papers of Frederic William Maitland, H. A. L. Fisher, ed., Vol. I, Cambridge University Press, 1911.
- The Collected Papers of Frederic William Maitland, H. A. L. Fisher, ed., Vol. II, Cambridge University Press, 1911.
- The Collected Papers of Frederic William Maitland, H. A. L. Fisher, ed., Vol. III, Cambridge University Press, 1911.
- A Sketch of English Legal History, with Francis G. Montague, G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1915.
- The Letters of Frederic William Maitland, Selden Society, 1965.
- "The Seisin of Chattels," The Law Quarterly Review, Vol. I, 1885.
- "The Mystery of Seisin," The Law Quarterly Review, Vol. II, 1886.
- "The Beatitude of Seisin," Part II, The Law Quarterly Review, Vol. IV, 1888.
- "Henry II and the Criminous Clerks," The English Review, Vol. VII, 1892.
- "The 'Quatripartitus'," The Law Quarterly Review, Vol. VIII, 1892.
- "The History of Cambridgeshire Manor," The English Review, Vol. IX, N°. 35, July 1894.
- "The Origin of the Borough," The English Historical Review, Vol. IX, 1896.
- "Wyclif on English and Roman Law," The Law Quarterly Review, Vol. XII, 1896.
- "'Execrabilis' in the Common Pleas," The Law Quarterly Review, Vol. XII, 1896.
- "The Corporation Sole," Law Quarterly Review, Vol. XVI, 1900.
- "Prologue to a History of English Law." In Select Essays in Anglo-American Legal History, Vol. I, Little, Brown, and Company, 1907.
- "Materials For the History of English Law." In Select Essays in Anglo-American Legal History, Vol. II, Little, Brown, and Company, 1908.
- "The History of the Register of Original Writs." In Select Essays in Anglo-American Legal History, Vol. II, Little, Brown, and Company, 1908.
- Essays on the Teaching of History, William Arthur Jobson Archbold, ed., with an introduction by F. W. Maitland, Cambridge University Press, 1901.
- “Bracton, Henry de.” In Encyclopædia Britannica, Vol. IV, (11th ed.), 1911.
- “English Law.” In Encyclopædia Britannica, Vol. IX, (11th ed.), 1911.
- "Maitland, Frederic William (MTLT868FW)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
- "Frederic William Maitland," The Cambridge History of English and American Literature, Volume XIV. The Victorian Age, Part Two: Historians, Biographers and Political Orators, Putnam, 1907–1921.
- "Professor F. W. Maitland." Times [London, England] 22 December 1906: 6. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 29 May 2012
- Bell, Henry Esmond. Maitland: A Critical Examination and Assessment, Harvard University Press, 1965.
- Cameron, James R. Frederic William Maitland and the History of English Law, University of Oklahoma Press, 1961 [reprinted by Greenwood Press, 1977; Lawbook Exchange, 2001].
- Elton, G. R. F.W. Maitland, Yale University Press, 1985.
- Fifoot, C. H. S. Frederic William Maitland: A Life, Harvard University Press, 1971 [only full length biography in print. Written by an academic lawyer in the field, but covering both the personal and professional life of its subject].
- Fisher, H. A. L. F. W. Maitland, Cambridge University Press, 1910.
- Hollond, Henry Arthur. Frederic William Maitland, 1850–1906: A Memorial Address, Quaritch, 1953
- Lapsley, G. T. The Green Bag, 1907.
- Milsom, Stroud Francis Charles. F. W. Maitland: Lecture on a Mastermind, Oxford University Press, 1980.
- Milsom, Stroud Francis Charles. "Maitland," Cambridge Law Journal, Volume LX, Cambridge University Press, 2001.
- Reynell, Mrs. "Frederic William Maitland," The Cambridge Law Journal, Vol. XI, No. 1, 1951.
- Schuyler, Robert Livingston. Introduction to Frederic William Maitland: Historian, University of California Press, 1960.
- Smith, A. L. F. W. Maitland, Claredon Press, 1908.
- Pollock, Sir Frederick. "In Memorian: Frederic W. Maitland," The Law Quarterly Review, Vol. XXIII, 1907.
- Wormald, Patrick. "Frederic William Maitland and the Earliest English Law," Law and History Review, Volume 16(1), March 1998.
- Vinogradoff, Paul. "Frederic William Maitland," English Historical Review, Vol. XXII, N°. 86, April 1907.
- Works written by or about Frederic William Maitland at Wikisource
- Maitland's works on McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought
- Works by or about Frederic William Maitland in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
- Frederic William Maitland at Find a Grave
- Frederic William Maitland at Find a Grave for Florence Henrietta Fisher, later Maitland, later Darwin (Lady)