Pollock Wright Essay Possession Common Law - pio …

See more in Neilson, Trial by Combat, an excellent and most interesting monograph.

Possession in the Common Law (Pollock and Wright) ..



My rendezvous is appointed, it is certain,
The Lord will be there and wait till I come on perfect terms,
The great Camerado, the lover true for whom I pine will be there.

Reinsch, English Common Law in the Early American Colonies, in Select Essays in Anglo-American Legal Hist., i. 369, from whom I take the facts.

to remember pollock wright essay possession common law.

this day there is no need to explain that formality is an essential feature of archaic law. It has long ceased to be plausible, if it ever was, to regard strict insistence on form as a degeneration from some better pattern of justice which our remote ancestors were supposed to have followed in a simpler golden age. Persons who talk of primitive simplicity, if any still do, confound rudeness of instruments and poverty in execution with simplicity of ideas. Prehistoric language, customs and superstitions are exceedingly complex. If there was ever an earlier stage in which they were otherwise, we know nothing of it. The history of modern culture is, in essentials, a history of simplification.

is to be found in a passage in Pollock and Wright's Essay on Possession in the Common Law, p

ingenuity, once let loose on the art of pleading, went for some centuries from bad to worse, notwithstanding occasional mitigations. It would be tedious, and for our purpose useless, to follow the history of corruption and confusion in detail. Enough to say that the older forms of action remained comparatively simple but stiff and cumbrous, while the newer ones were elastic, but tricky because the limits of their elasticity were uncertain. The system was not even logical, for a strictly logical adherence to consequences would have brought the business of the Courts to a dead-lock; and the partial remedies applied by legislation, or by forensic and in some cases judicial ingenuity, did not even pretend to be consistent with any systematic doctrine at all. In many cases there were alternative forms of procedure having different incidents wholly unconnected with the substance of the case; while in others, again for no intelligible reason, there was none, and moreover it was often difficult to be sure what the proper form of action was.

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