Harvard Law Re view.
Published Monthly, during th« Academic YMr, by Harvard Law Studants. SUBSCRIPTION PRICE. $2.50 PER ANNUM 3S CENTS PER NUMBER.
Editorial Board, George R. Nutter .... EdiUr-in-Chief,
Everett V. Abbot, WiLliam F. Bacon,
Wilson G. Crosby, George P. Furbbr, Treasurer,
Charles Hudson, Louis F. Hyde,
Charles M. Ludden, Alfred E. McCordic,
Arthur C. Rounds, Edward T. Sanford, Edward I. Smith.
To the Editors of the Harvard Law Review : —
The Harvard Law Review has had a kind word for the Selden Society on several occasions, and it may be willing to give a little space for somis remarks concerning the Society's volume now in the press; for the present undertaking is unique.
The volume in hand deals with matter out of the regular course of the proceedings of the courts. The accomplished editor, Mr. Mait- land, has turned aside from pleas in the royal courts, and gone a-field into the manors; and why? will be the natural question. The answer is, that the rolls of the manor courts throw a very special light upon much that took place in the royal courts ; and not a side-light merely, valuable as that generally is; the light from the manors often begins ndiere that of the higher courts has gone out.
I speak briefly here of matters of procedure only ; though these rolls are equally instructive in regard to substantive law ex directo.
The procedure of the manor courts, while following the same general lines as those of the royal courts, yet ran a course of its own. It would not be necessary to remind lawyers that procedure has had much to do with important branches of the substantive law; but it is worth while to say that in these manor pleas we frequently And remark- able and unexpected illustrations of the feet. How much have the technical forms of action of trespass, debt, and covenant had to do with our modem law; and how important to know the process by which these tyrannous forms of action came into being and began their long career of dominion ! The like is not to be found in contempo- raneous history.
The pleas in the royal courts, and the side-light of chronicles and registers, help us much to an understanding of the matter ; but often, at the point where these fail us^ the pleas in the manor courts, in these very rolls, make us thankfril that an editor has been found with courage to turn over the records and make them thro# out their hidden light.
Your space will not permit me to go into details; but I hope you will allow me a word by way of illustration of what has been said. Whence came our action for defamation, with its troublesome alle- gation of malice? It has been usual as guess-work to say, from the