Edward Coke

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Coke, Edward


Born Feb. 1, 1552, in Mileham, Norfolk; died Sept. 3, 1634, in Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire. An English political figure, lawyer. Attorney general from 1594 to 1606, chief justice of the King’s Bench from 1613 to 1616.

In the 1620’s, Coke was one of the leaders of the opposition in Parliament to the Stuarts’ absolutism. He was a prominent expert and commentator on common law. Basing his argument on medieval legal documents (mainly, Magna Carta) and customs, he spoke out for limitation of the king’s prerogatives and establishment of a constitutional monarchy. This position was in the interest of the growing bourgeoisie and the new gentry. Coke was one of the authors of the Petition of Right (1628), which demanded from the crown a guarantee of personal and property rights. Because of his speeches in parliament (in particular those against arbitrary taxation and illegal arrests) he fell into disgrace and was imprisoned (1621).


Reports. . . , vols. 1–11. London, 1600–15.
Institutes of the Laws of England, parts 1–4. London, 1628–44.
The Complete Copyholder. London, 1641.


Holdsworth, W. A History of English Law, vol. 5, 2nd ed. London, 1937.
References in periodicals archive ?
Birmingham Crown Court Recorder Edward Coke told her she had shown no remorse at all.
In the Thrones sequence alone we have already travelled far, the poet conducting us from the eighth-century history of the Lombards in Italy, through Byzantium and China, and on finally to three Cantos (CVII-CIX) quarried from the Institutes of the great English jurist, Edward Coke.
This Great Charter was the basis on which jurists such as Edward Coke and William Blackstone rejected the divine right of kings and developed their rights-oriented approach toward legal theory.
36) Edward Coke, The Second Part of the Institutes of the Laws of
Smith, David Chan, Sir Edward Coke and the Reformation of the Laws: Religion, Politics and Jurisprudence, 1578-1616 (Cambridge Studies in English Legal History), Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2014; hardback; pp.
Jurist Sir Edward Coke interpreted the meaning the age of marriage, which at the time was 12 years of age.
This commonplace took its accomplished form in the <<Institutes>> of famous legal writer and the speaker of the House of Commons Sir Edward COKE, according to whom parliament was identical to political body of the realm (8).
As the storyline continues, the exhibition will focus on the Magna Carta's rediscovery in the 17th century, when English jurists, especially Sir Edward Coke, made the Magna Carta into the fundamental source of constitutional guarantees of individual liberties; the Magna Carta's adoption and interpretation in Colonial America; and the Magna Carta's influence on the creation of American written constitutions.
These ideas--that the common law is the law of custom and long usage; that long usage demonstrates that a law is "fit and agreeable" to the people it governs; and that long usage makes the common law normatively superior to law imposed by the sovereign--were often repeated by English and American legal and political thinkers ranging from Edward Coke and William Blackstone to John Adams and James Wilson.
The Speaker of the House was Sir Edward Coke, the foremost jurist of his time.
Williams, earlier apprenticed to eminent jurist Sir Edward Coke, advanced the unsettling jurisdictional claim that civic community could not rest on religious homogeneity and must encompass diverse peoples.