The first history of ecclesiastical jurisdiction in England that covers the period up to the removal of principal subjects inherited from the Middle Ages. Probate, marriage and divorce, tithes, defamation, and disciplinary prosecutions involving the laity are all covered. All disappeared from the church's courts during the mid-nineteenth century, and were taken over by the royal courts. The book traces the steps and reasons - large and small - by which this occurred.
Table Of Contents:
Abbreviations; Table of parliamentary statutes; 1. The ecclesiastical courts: structures and procedures; 2. The business of the courts, 1500-1640; 3. Tithe causes; 4. Wills and testamentary causes; 5. Defamation; 6. Matrimonial litigation and marriage licenses; 7. Office causes; 8. The roots of expansion and critical voices; 9. Charting decline, 1640-1830; 10. Explaining decline; 11. The Bills of 1733-1734; 12. Snips and repairs: small steps to reform, 1753-1813; 13. Royal commissions and early fruits, 1815-1832; 14. Reform frustrated; 15. Reforms thick and fast, 1854-1860.