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“Sir, I say that this will not make an issue, whether the oats were severed or not, never in the world.”

oats.jpgThanks to the folks over at Concurring Opinions, I’ve learned about a kinda nifty new project put together by a professor from me and Dustin’s law school. Seems that Professor David J. Seipp has compiled a database of Year Books. As Professor Seipp explains it:

Year Books are the law reports of medieval England. The earliest examples date from about 1268, and the last in the printed series are for the year 1535. The Year Books are our principal source materials for the development of legal doctrines, concepts, and methods from 1290 to 1535, a period during which the common law developed into recognizable form.

Legal History: The Year Books is a searchable database indexing “all year book reports printed in the chronological series for all years between 1268 and 1535, and many of the year book reports printed only in alphabetical abridgements.”

After conducting a search for a few terms that turned up nothing, I searched for “sua sponte,” and suddenly found myself learning about a dispute decided in the year 1457 over trespass, concerning the “taking [of] 40 cartloads of oats and assault and threats to life and member.”

Nerdy? Yup. But interesting to law wonks? Yup again.