William Welwod's treatises on maritime law

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William Welwod's The Sea-Law of Scotland (1590), An Abridgement of All Sea-Lawes (1613) and De dominio maris (1616) are widely known and equally widely understood to have grown out of each other, the 1616 treatise from a chapter of the 1613 treatise, and the 1613 treatise from the central chapters of the 1590 treatise. Less widely known – indeed, entirely neglected – is a fourth treatise, surviving in a single manuscript, which is clearly related to the three that were printed but in a way that casts doubt on the usual understanding of how they were related to each other. This article begins by examining the structure, style and sources of the four treatises, goes on to reconsider the relationship between them, and ends by identifying various contexts in which the treatises will need to be located if they are to be read in a historically sensitive manner.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)172-210
Number of pages39
JournalJournal of Legal History
Issue number2
Early online date26 Jul 2013
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013


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