The Cambridge Law Journal

Research Article

Sir Edward Coke1

Sir William Holdsworth

Coke and Bacon, the two greatest lawyers of the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, were members of Trinity College. Bacon was the greatest jurist of his day. Coke was the greatest of our common lawyers. I account it a great honour that Trinity College should in 1926, the tercentenary of Bacon's death, have asked me to say something of Bacon as a lawyer, and that in this year, 1934, the tercentenary of Coke's death, it has asked me to give this lecture.


1 A lecture given before the University of Cambridge, by invitation of the Master and Fellows of Trinity College, on Oct. 20, 1934, on the occasion of a tercentenary commemoration of Sir Edward Coke, who was admitted a member of the College in 1567.

The authorities for most of the statements in this lecture will be found in my History of English Law, vol. v, 426–93. I have not therefore thought it worth while to insert detailed authorities for all my statements.