|‘A plotte of the landes about Ashebourne’, Derbyshire. 1556–1557
(Folger Shakespeare Library)
One issue of English water-law historical past is the dearth of reported water circumstances predating the nineteenth century. Thankfully younger historians are doing good work in digging up archival documentation of water litigation. We heard a couple of years in the past from Leona Skelton about her attention-grabbing work on the Tyne River Courtroom, and now I might like to notice Lehua Yim’s work on a sixteenth century water regulation dispute litigated within the Courtroom of Star Chamber: “A Watercourse ‘in Variance’: Re-situating a Sixteenth-Century Authorized Map from Ashbourne, Derbyshire”, printed final yr in Imago Mundi. The summary:
Regulation-related English native maps, particularly these courting from the early- to mid-sixteenth century, stay in want of each in depth and shut research. On this article, a hand-drawn sketch map within the Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, DC, is re-contextualized in relation to paperwork related with lawsuits in The Nationwide Archives in England. These lawsuit paperwork, regarding disputes introduced earlier than the courtroom of the Star Chamber within the mid-sixteenth century, permit us to appropriate the accepted date of the map’s creation, counsel its possible creator and establish its possible use at a time of increasing cartographic consciousness among the many educated courses. The significance of the manuscript map to 1 English household’s subsequent assertions of proprietary rights in a small stream operating from Bradbourne to Ashbourne, Derbyshire, explains its provenance outdoors official courtroom information.
Star Chamber has gotten a nasty identify in the previous few hundred years, particularly within the US, nevertheless it was an necessary courtroom within the early trendy interval, capable–as Yim’s article shows–of offering justice the place the widespread regulation courts couldn’t.