Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Juris Doctorate (JD)


Introductory Statement

It is not our purpose in this thesis to attempt a complete and detailed history of equity as it exists in England and in the United states. To do this would involve little more than a compilation of what has already been quite elaborately treated by some of the great legal minds of England and America.

We propose to treat rather of the nature of Equity as it existed in the Roman Law,its influence in the English law, the primitive condition of the law at the time of the origin of Equity, and of the causes which made courts of Equity necessary. Our treatment of the subject is therefore analytical rather than historical.

Some general account, however, of the origin of Equitable Jurisdiction, of the sources from which the principles and doctrines of the Equity jurisprudence took their rise, and of the causes which led to the establishment of the court of chancery with its methods of procedure separate and distinct from the common law tribunal, with their rigid forms of action is essential to an accurate conception of the nature and true function of Equity as it exists at the present day.

We shall therefore preface our work with a brief historical sketch exhibiting the system in its beginnings and descriptive of the early movements of that progress through which its principles have been developed into a great body of doctrinal rules which constitute an important department of the municipal law.