Conscience, Equity and the Court of Chancery in Early Modern England

Klinck, Dennis R.
Date published: 
February 2010

This study tackles the difficult yet crucial subject of the place of conscience in the development of English law, illuminating what is meant by describing the Court of Chancery as a 'court of conscience'. Addressing the notion of 'conscience' as a juristic principle in the Court of Chancery during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the book explores how this was understood in the early modern period. The study concludes with an exploration of the chancellorship of Lord Nottingham (1673-82), who is often regarded as the father of modern equity through his efforts to transform equity from a jurisdiction associated with discretion, into one based on 'rules'.