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Sokeright

Joy, C.A. (1975) Sokeright. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Abstract

The subject of this thesis is "sokeright", that is, the meaning of the phrase "sake and soke", and the rights and obligations associated with it. "Sake and soke" is a modernized form of Old English sacu and socn and may be literally defined as a "cause" and a "seeking' These words were used in a variety of contexts in the sources; sacu could be a cause of dispute that involves war or personal animosity, socn could be a seeking of the fyrd, a seeking for information, a seeking of a lord for commendation or protection, a seeking of a church for sanctuary or for ordinary reasons of piety. Both words, however, are especially applicable to legal matters; sacu was the common word for a lawsuit, - a cause of dispute which has been brought before a court, and socn was a seeking, or more grammatically, a "suit of court", either to plead a case as a litigant, or to judge it as a doomsman. The phrase sacu and socn was a mnemonic legal formula, and dates from the oral tradition of the law. Its judicial character led to its inclusion in pre-Conquest writs, which were frequently addressed to courts of law. The phrase is very rarely found in charters however, and it was evidently out of place there, not merely because it'was an English phrase when convention demanded that charters be written in Latin, but also because charters were documents of a more private kind.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts (Leeds) > School of History (Leeds)
Depositing User: Ethos Import
Date Deposited: 22 Apr 2010 14:21
Last Modified: 06 Mar 2014 16:54
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/820

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