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Bailiffs' Law: Volumes 1 & 2: A Lawful Trespass & Persons of No Value?

ISBN13: 9780854900336
Published: April 2009
Publisher: Wildy, Simmonds and Hill Publishing
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback, 2 Volumes
Price: £85.00

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Bailiffs' Law Volume 1

Bailiffs' Law Volume 2

The law relating to distress and execution is a much neglected area of study, despite the fact that bailiffs regularly appear in literary works and their activities are a constant feature of court rolls. This two-volume work aims to provide a detailed and comprehensive history of both the development of the law and the profession of bailiff.

The work chronicles the growth of enforcement law from Anglo-Saxon times, tracing the continuity in the common law and examining the intervention of statute. The seizure of goods by bailiffs was a familiar aspect of life in earlier times and this work sets their legal powers into their legal, social and economic context.

Key themes are explored throughout both volumes: the protection given to certain essential goods, the efforts to regulate the conduct of bailiffs and the gradual shift of emphasis from promoting the rights of creditors to enhancing the protection of debtors.

Legal History, Wildy, Simmonds and Hill
Volume 1


Chapter 1 Aspects of early English distress ;
Chapter 2 De capiendis namiorum: nam and the emergence of common law distress and execution
Chapter 3 Privileged from seizure: the common law exemptions of farm stock from distress
Chapter 4 The foundations of Semayne: the mediaeval law on rights of entry for the purposes of distress and execution
Chapter 5 “For the common utility of the realm”: an analysis of goods privileged from distress at common law
Chapter 6 “Distresses shall be reasonable”: the Statute of Marlborough (1267)
Chapter 7 The legacy of Semayne: the sources of the present law on bailiffs’ rights of entry
Chapter 8 “A complex and anachronistic set of rules”: the history of the present laws of distress and execution since 1601

Appendix 1 The origins & nature of distress;
Appendix 2 Distress for market tolls

Volume 2


Chapter 1 “It not being a very agreeable occupation”: popular views of bailiffs;
Chapter 2 “A remnant of feudalism”: the campaign to abolish Distraint
Chapter 3 “For the avoiding of grievous vexations”: the Impounding Act 1554
Chapter 4 “To the evil example of other ill-disposed persons”:the offences of rescue and poundbreach
Chapter 5 “All those locusts who prey”: extortion by sheriffs (1590-1840)
Chapter 6 The Distress Statutes (1689-1737)
Chapter 7 “Benevolent intentions to those suffering great inconvenience”: the statutory protection of goods before 1880;
Chapter 8 “Very great hardship and evil”: the statutory protection of goods after 1880
Chapter 9 “An unsuitable class of persons”: the regulation of bailiffs
Chapter 10 “A rapacious class of men”: the control of bailiffs’ charges

Appendix 1 The Avowry Acts;
Appendix 2 The Right of Sale of Distress