University of Cambridge > > Financial History Seminar > 'Bankruptcy and Debtor's Rights in Early Modern England: Punishment to Rehabilitation'

'Bankruptcy and Debtor's Rights in Early Modern England: Punishment to Rehabilitation'

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact D'Maris Coffman.

Bankruptcy involves two parties, a creditor and debtor or lender and borrower. A bankruptcy situation arises when a borrower is unable or unwilling meet the terms of the contract with the lender. In some cases the problem can be solved with contract restructuring (composition) to allow for more time to repay. In other cases failure is the result of a serious structural problem. Bankruptcy is a term with precise legal meaning and this legal meaning has changed over time. At any point in time, the bankruptcy rules determine the rules of the game and the property rights of the individuals involved. This paper explores how to conceptualize the issues facing creditors and debtors. In particular it examines the changing nature of bankruptcy statutes over the early modern period paying particular attention to the implication of these statutes for the relative strength of creditor or debtor rights. In doing so it generates an index of creditor and debtor rights for early modern England.

Note: This paper’s theme is a little different from the original offering, but is based upon much of the same manuscript evidence. Please contact D’Maris Coffman (ddc22) if you would like to join us for drinks and eventually dinner after the seminar.

This talk is part of the Financial History Seminar series.

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