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Maintenance was a legal concept describing conduct that involved assisting or supporting the litigation of another person. By the 13th century, individuals began to complain to the crown and parliament about such conduct and it became a common complaint.
Although maintenance was also a word commonly associated with various types of legitimate support, these complaints now frequently used that word to describe various types of wrongdoing, often related to litigation or legal issues. Moreover, these complaints often targeted the use of power and influence of powerful individuals and officials to pervert the justice system.
In this lecture, Jonathan Rose will analyze the judicial development of the law of maintenance and its influence on legal corruption and abusive litigation in medieval England.
Jonathan Rose is emeritus professor of law and Willard H. Pedrick Distinguished Research Scholar. His work focuses on the history and regulation of the legal profession, the operation of the legal system in medieval and early modern England, and the historiography of legal history. His major current work is "Maintenance in Medieval England" (Cambridge University Press, 2017).