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Title: Professional men of law before the Lords of Council, c.1500-c,1550
Author: Finlay, John
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1998
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In 1532, James V founded a College of Justice. In the past lawyers and historians have often differed in their opinions of the significance of this event for the history of Scots law. What is beyond dispute is that a by-product of the foundation was the preservation, for the first time, of the names of professional men of law whose practice linked them directly to a Scottish court. The men on this list, and another preserved from 1549, provide the earliest opportunity to study in depth men of law in their professional context. Described by a variety of titles, of which 'advocate' is the best known today, the careers of these men illustrate the evolution of increasingly sophisticated procedures of the lords of council and the College of Justice, and the not inconsiderable ability of those who pled before these bodies on a regular basis. In the relatively short period considered in this study, professionalisation of the function of the legal representative in Scotland advanced significantly. For the first time the king used his own advocate on a regular basis to defend and pursue his legal interests. During the reign of James V, a single advocate also became associated with the queen mother. Further down the social scale, amongst both clerics and laymen, similar, if sometimes less durable, relationships were formed with professional men of law. Legal representation of the poor is also well attested during this period. For the first time records allow contemporary relationships between men of law and their clients to be compared, and in some cases details of the terms upon which those relationships were entered into and maintained have survived. These indicate that various services were provided by men of law beyond the core activities of rendering advice and representation to their clients in return for a fee. The standing of Scottish men of law, not only within their own society but also by comparison with men who followed a legal career in England, France, Castile and the Low Countries, was broadly favourable in terms both of social status and educational background. In this thesis they are studied collectively and individually, and placed within the context of their own time as well as within the context of the wider history of the legal profession.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available