Maitland, Frederic William [key], 1850–1906, English legal historian, educated at Cambridge. A thorough scholar, he founded the Selden Society for the publication of early English documents and edited many texts himself, such as Henry de Bracton's notebook and the Year Books of Edward II (completed by G. J. Turner, 4 vol., 1903–7). The History of English Law before the Time of Edward I (1895), which he wrote with Sir Frederick Pollock, is a brilliant work, still standard. Other studies by him, notable for their prose style as well as sound elucidation of the ideas and attitudes embodied in legal institutions, are Domesday Book and Beyond (1897, repr. 1966), a model for the use of a source; English Law and the Renaissance (1901); Equity (ed. by A. H. Chaytor and W. J. Whittaker, 1909; rev. ed. by John Brunyate, 1937); and The Forms of Action at Common Law (ed. by A. H. Chaytor and W. J. Whittaker, 1909 and 1937). His Constitutional History of England (ed. by H. A. L. Fisher, 1908) is a valuable series of lectures.
See his collected papers (ed. by H. A. L. Fisher, 3 vol., 1911) and Selected Essays (ed. by H. D. Hazeltine, G. T. Lapsley, and P. H. Winfield, 1936, repr. 1968); biography by G. R. Elton (1985).
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