Tag Archives: Christopher Brooks

Law & Society in Early Modern England: A Conference in Memory of Chris Brooks (Durham University)

19 March 2016, 10:00
Pemberton Building, Palace Green, Durham University


This conference brings together friends and colleagues of Chris to celebrate his contribution to early modern history, and to reflect on the important issues in legal history and social history which his work illuminated. The conference focuses on asking and answering questions about the role of the law in early modern English society and culture from the perspective of legal history and social history – the two fields which his scholarship investigated.

Click here to view the full programme.

Chris Brooks was a leading scholar of the English common law and the role of law in early modern English politics and society. In a series of works, Brooks demonstrated the extensive role of the law in the lives not only of the wealthy and politically powerful, but also in commercial, craft and farming households, and in the lives of servants and the poor. Chris also contributed to the paradigm shift whereby English society was no longer regarded as split between the elite and the rest, but as possessing a significant ‘middling sort’, encompassing both the upper middling sort professionals who practised the law and the commercial households with craft and farming enterprises who relied on the law to enforce contract and acquire credit.

Christopher W. Brooks was Professor of History at Durham University until his death in August 2014, shortly before his retirement.

As you know, Chris gave a characteristically fabulous and thought-provoking CMEMLL Annual Lecture in October 2013.

Please note that places for this event will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. to book your place contact Kelly Guy at admin.imems@durham.ac.uk

Organised by Durham University’s Institute for Medieval and Early Modern Studies. We are grateful for the support of Durham University History Department, Joanna Barker, the Selden Society and the Huntington Library.

Contact admin.imems@durham.ac.uk for more information about this event.

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CMEMLL Annual Lecture: Professor Christopher Brooks (University of Durham)

‘Paradise lost? Law, literature, and history in Restoration England’

Wednesday 9 October, 2013, 5.15 pm
Lawson Lecture Room, Kennedy Hall, School of English 

Christopher Brooks, Professor of Legal History at the University of Durham, will give a paper entitled ‘Paradise lost? Law, literature, and history in Restoration England’.

Prompted by the relative lack of ‘law and literature’ studies devoted to the second half of the seventeenth century, the lecture starts with a consideration of the relationship between ‘law and literature’ and legal history in the century between 1550 and 1640. It then looks at some of the significant transformations in legal life from 1640 through the Restoration period, and asks how literature (broadly defined) might help us better understand them.

Professor Brooks has wide-ranging research interests in the history of early-modern England, with a particular focus on the law and its social and cultural implications. His publications include Law, Politics and Society in Early Modern England (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009), and he is currently preparing the 1625-1689 volume of the Oxford History of the Laws of England.