Compulsory Education Laws 1616 Scotland

Compulsory Education Laws 1616

Compulsory Education Laws - John Knox (c. 1514–1572)
Compulsory Education Laws – John Knox (c. 1514–1572)

Mark Twain is believed to have never allowed his schooling get in the way of his education. However, as countries have progressed, they have realized the critical value of formal education and have enacted laws to ensure that it is provided.

With the School Establishment Act of 1616, Scotland became the first country to introduce comprehensive compulsory education. A previous Education Legislation of 1496 required all sons of nobles and freeholders of means to attend grammar schools, but the 1616 act required every parish to construct a publicly funded, Church-supervised school, with the goal of promoting Protestantism and eradicating Scottish Gaelic. However, until the Education Acts of 1633 and 1646, which allowed bishops to tax landowners to support schools, the act had limited effectiveness.

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An Act for Relief of the Poor 1601 England

An Act for the Relief of the Poor 1601

An Act for the Relief of the Poor 1601 England - Queen Elizabeth I presided over the first comprehensive law that addressed the economic needs of the impoverished.
An Act for the Relief of the Poor 1601 England – Queen Elizabeth I presided over the first comprehensive law that addressed the economic needs of the impoverished.

Henry VIII (1491–1547), Elizabeth I (1533–1603)

Although the legislation does not establish a distinction between rich and poor, it does provide provisions for the poor in some cases, indicating that the state recognizes its responsibility to provide for the welfare of its citizens. That recognition is usually the result of religious custom or indoctrination, if it isn’t the result of intrinsic benevolence. In England, the Church primarily provided for the impoverished, mainly through monasteries and parish priests, until the end of the sixteenth century. Parishioners’ kindness and tithes provided the required funds.

In 1535, Parliament established a law condemning vagabonds and beggars, and the following year, Henry VIII began his infamous Dissolution of the Monasteries, which drastically reduced parochial finances and resulted in a major rise in poverty.

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Les Termes de la Ley 1527 – John Rastell

Les Termes de la Ley 1527
John Rastell (c. 1475–1536)

Les Termes de la Ley
Les Termes de la Ley

You may need a dictionary to grasp the meaning of an unknown word while reading this book. People can use dictionaries to improve their understanding of a language or a certain subject, and hence their capacity to comprehend concepts and ideas. Today, we take that skill for granted. Consider a world without dictionaries: where would a reader go to learn the meanings of words they’d never heard before?

Expositiones Terminorum Legum Anglorum, afterwards known as Les Termes de la Ley, was originally published in England in 1527 by John Rastell, an English lawyer and author. The dictionary had 208 entries, which were laid down alphabetically in parallel columns, one in Latin and the other in Anglo-Norman Law French. In 1530, a second edition was published with English translations.

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The Alhambra Decree 1492 – Edict of Expulsion

The Alhambra Decree

The Alhambra Decree - The 1889 painting by Emilio Sala (1850–1910) shows Torquemada offering the Edict of Expulsion to Ferdinand and Isabella in 1492.
The Alhambra Decree – The 1889 painting by Emilio Sala (1850–1910) shows Torquemada offering the Edict of Expulsion to Ferdinand and Isabella in 1492.

Today, Ferdinand and Isabella are best remembered for commissioning Christopher Columbus to search for a western trade route to the Orient. On August 3, 1492, the Genovese mariner set sail from Spain, but his royal backers had issued the Edict of Expulsion, often known as the Alhambra Decree, demanding “all Jews and Jewesses of whatever age they may be” to either accept baptism and conversion to Christianity or leave the nation.

Throughout the fifteenth century, a fresh wave of anti-Semitism had been simmering. Many Spanish Jews converted to Christianity in order to evade persecution and participate in forbidden activities. The Conversos did well in business and in universities as a group, but their success fostered resentment and fury.

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Thomas de Littleton Tenures 1481

Littleton Tenures 1481 – Treatise on Tenures – The Treatise on the Laws and Customs of the Kingdom of England

Thomas de Littleton (c.1422–1481)

Thomas de Littleton Tenures - Sir Thomas de Littleton authored the first legal textbook, Treatise on Tenures.
Thomas de Littleton Tenures – Sir Thomas de Littleton authored the first legal textbook, Treatise on Tenures.

In the mid-fifteenth century, the printing press ushered in revolutionary transformations in many elements of European culture and society.

The ability to communicate written content, ranging from one-page pamphlets to multivolume volumes, all teeming with knowledge to be spread and gained, lay the foundation for numerous profound breakthroughs that accumulated over the years.

Those revolutionary developments were felt in the legal field as well, albeit there was some initial resistance to textbooks.Long before the printing machine, two of England’s most illustrious jurists penned important legal documents.

The Treatise on the Laws and Customs of the Kingdom of England, written by Ranulf de Glanville, chief justiciar during Henry II’s reign, was the first text on English law.

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The Joan of Arc Trial 1431

The Joan of Arc Trial 1431

The Trial of Joan of Arc
The Trial of Joan of Arc – Later canonized by the Catholic Church, Joan of Arc—depicted in this 1898 painting from the side altar in the Cathedral of Our Lady in Antwerp, Belgium—is one of the best-known victims of religious persecution.

Jeanne d’Arc (1412–1431), Pierre Cauchon (1371–1442), Callixtus III (1378–1458)
Jeanne d’Arc claimed to have received visions of saints when she was twelve years old, encouraging her to help put an end to the horrific Hundred Years’ War that had already been raging for decades between Plantagenet England and Valois France for hereditary control of the latter realm. She began campaigning for a military position when she was sixteen years old. Her leadership on the battlefield is unknown in the historical record, but her dramatic presence helped the French turn the tide of the fight in their favor.

Despite this, a succession of military setbacks led to her capture and trial for heresy in Rouen, France, by an English-supported church led by Pierre Cauchon, the bishop of Beauvais. Because of her male traits and defiant refusal to answer inquiries, church investigators suspected Joan of being a witch or sorceress during her trial. Despite the lack of evidence, Joan’s brief recollections of her visions and her aversion to wearing women’s clothing — most likely to prevent being raped in prison — were enough to persuade Church officials that she had an immoral nature.

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The Court of Star Chamber

The brief history of The Court of Star Chamber.

The Court of Star Chamber
The Court of Star Chamber

“To name a case a ‘Star Chamber proceeding’ now is a dreadful insult—an accusation of severe procedural injustice and misuse of power,” writes legal expert Elizabeth G. Thornburg. However, the true narrative of the Court of Star Chamber is far more convoluted.” Historians date the Court of Star Chamber’s origins to the latter part of the fourteenth century, and attribute its name to the chamber’s ceiling, which is ornamented in the medieval style with gold-painted stars, according to one idea.

The Court of Star Chamber arose as an outgrowth of the King’s Council, through which individuals may seek legal assistance not available in current courts, allowing the poor to pursue claims against the wealthy.

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