Ralph B. Pugh's handsome edition of Wiltshire gaol delivery and trailbaston trial rolls for the reign of Edward I provides a valuable resource for scholars of medieval crime and criminal law. The period covered bridges the era of the infrequent general eyres and that of the frequent circuits to try those being held on criminal charges. This transition period saw the development of various institutions and procedures designed to deal with a decline in social stability and an increase in criminal activity. To date, most scholarship has focused either on the workings of the mid-thirteenth- century eyre or on the crisis of law and order in the following century. If we are to know something of the evolution of the criminal law, we must pay close attention to the intervening decades and the path marked out by the documents Dr. Pugh has put before us.
Green, Thomas A. Review of Wiltshire Gaol Delivery and Trailbaston Trials, 1275-1306, by R. B. Pugh, editor. Speculum 55, no. 2 (1980): 411-2.