Skip to Main Content
Tarlton Law Library logo Texas Law Home Tarlton Law Library Home
Today's Operating Hours:
Imprinted at the Signe of the hand and starre, Richard Tottell and sixtheenth-century legal citation

Cross References

The abridgements of Fitzherbert (1514-1517), Brooke (1573), and Statham (1490) were the first three abridgements printed. Tottell integrated citations to Fitzherbert and Brooke into his editions of the Year-Book. Fitzherbert typically appeared with only the section name and entry number; Tottell identified Brooke with the abbreviation "Br." Although simple, the system worked and was widely adopted.

Below is a detail of folio 116 verso in the section of Fitzherbert's Abridgement on process. In the margin beside the numbered entry is a series of cryptic citations, some in the form “P.43.E.3,” others such as that beside 139 appear as “P.40.E.3.25.” These are respectively, Easter (Pasche), forty-third year of the reign of Edward III (1369) and Easter (Pasche), fortieth year of the reign of Edward III (1366), folio 25. In the appropriate Year-Book for Edward III (shown below) there is a parallel marginal note directing the reader back to Fitzherbert, Proces., 139.

Fitzherbert's Abridgement, folio 116 v., detail
Detail, Anthony Fitzherbert. La graunde abridgement.[London]: in aedibus Richardi Tottelli, 1577.View whole page.

Similarly, in Totell's edition of Brooke, folio 156 recto in the section on “Proces.,” beside entry 18 is the cross reference to “P.40.E.3.25.” Tottell marks particularly important entries with a small pointing hand – a printing habit derived from the medieval manuscript tradition.

Brooke's Abdridgement, folio 156, detail
Detail, Robert Brooke. La graunde abridgement. [London]: in aedibus Richardi Totell, 1576.
View whole page.

The entries in Fitzherbert and Brooke send the reader to the Year-Book of Edward III, fortieth to fiftieth year (1367-1377). This edition of the yearbook refers only to Fitzherbert, but the owner has added citations to Statham (Stath.) and Brooke (B.)

Year-Book Edward III, folio 25 detail
Detail,Regis pie memorie Edwardi Tertii, a quadragesimo, ad quinquagesimum.  London: in ædibus Richardi Tottelli, 1576, folio 25. View whole page

The abridgement of Statham, published anonymously in Rouen around 1490, was, and often is, typically referred to only as "Statham." This early abridgement pre-dated more sophisticated systems of citation, showing in the margins only citations such as P.40.E.3. The owner of this Year-Book solved the problem by counting the number of citations in the margin and assigning that number to the marginal reference. So beside the relevant entry in the Year-Book, the owner has written, Stath. Proces. 20 -- the citation in the abridgment being the twentieth in the section on process, again demonstrating the utility of Tottell's method. The folio number in Statham was also added by hand, as shown in the view of the whole page, this being folio 139 recto.

Stham's Abridgement, "Process"
Nicholas Statham. [Abridgement of Law Cases, Edward I - Henry VI]. Rouen: Guillaume Le Talleur for Richard Pynson, [c. 1488, not after 1490]. View whole page.