Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Champion of the common law

The common law found a doughty champion in Sir Edward Coke, Chief Justice of Common Pleas and later of King's Bench. A thoroughly disagreeable person in public and private life, Coke was, nevertheless, remarkably well grounded in the origins of the common law, his one love in life; and he proved a tough fighter in its defense. His chief contention was that the law was superior to the king, whereas James aimed to make the judges agents of royal policy - "lions under the throne," as Francis bacon, then his attorney general expressed it.

(from A History of England and the British Empire)

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