chapter  1
Introduction
Pages 23

Moreover,lordshipandkingshipwereasmuchpartof thesettingforlawaswerelocalcommunities.Anditwas oftenthroughlocalcommunitiesthatroyalandseignorial authoritywasexercised.Kings,particularlybeforec.1166, commonlydealtwithareasthroughresidentlocalofficials, ratherthanwithamultiplicityofindividualsthrough officerstemporarilydispatchedfromcentralgovernment. Comparedwithtodayorthenineteenthcentury,eleventh-, twelfth-,andeventhirteenth-centuryEnglandwasacountry verylittlegovernedfromthecentre.Comparedwithmuch ofcontemporaryEurope,however,itwasheavilygoverned, byacombinationoflordship,increasinglybureaucratized royaladministration,andtheexerciseoflocalselfgovernment.Suchacombinationofthelocalandtheroyal wastobeessentialtotheemergenceandformofthe Englishcommonlaw.