William Staunford

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Sir William Staunford (1509 – 28 August 1558) was an English jurist and was appointed a judge of the Court of Common Pleas in 1554.

In 1557 Staunford published the first textbook of English criminal law; Les Plees del Coron. In 1561 his An Exposicion of the Kinges Prerogative (which he wrote in 1548) was published. William Fulbecke wrote in A Direction or Preparative to the Study of the Law (1600):

In Master Staunford there is force and weight, and no common kind of stile; in matter none hath gone beyonde him, in method, none hath overtaken him; in the order of his writing hee is smoothe, yet sharpe, pleasant, but yet grave; famous both for Judgement in matters of his profession, and for his great skill in forraigne learning, And surely his method may be a Law to the writers of the Law which succeed him.[1]


  1. ^ Quoted in G. R. Elton, 'The rule of law in sixteenth-century England', Studies in Tudor and Stuart Politics and Government: Volume I (Cambridge University Press, 1974), p. 264.