More on the Language of Law Reports

This continues the comments on The Language of Law Reports. I couldn’t figure out how to put images in a comment.

The following croppings are from Chadwyck-Healey’s Early English Books Online, via ProQuest. First is the title page of the 1604 edition of volume 4 of Coke’s Reports:

title page

Next is the top of page 91a, giving part of the record in Latin:

page 91a

Next is the top of page 92b, the beginning of the report in French:

page 92b

It’s still “en bank le Roy.”


  1. I found in Annotated Linguistics Law of Canada published in 1998 by the Department of Justice Canada and Heritage Canada that an English statute entitled, An Act that All Proceedings in Courts within that Part of Great Britain called England, and in the Court of Exchequer in Scotland shall be in English Language, had been enacted and can be find in 1730-31, 4 Geo. 2, c.26, stated that all writs, process and returns thereof,… shall be in English tongue and Language.

    See also Wikipedia:

    Proceedings in Courts of Justice Act 1730
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    Proceedings in Courts of Justice Act 1730 is an Act of the Parliament of Great Britain (4 Geo II. c. 26)[note 1] which made the English language the obligatory language for use in the courts of both England and Scotland. English replaced the use of French and Latin. A medieval law from 1362 (Pleading in English Act 1362, (36 Edw. III c. 15) had made it permissible to debate cases in English, but all written records were in Latin. The Act was introduced by the then Lord Chancellor, Lord King. It was repealed by the Civil Procedure Acts Repeal Act 1879.