Michael Dalton

Michael Dalton (1564–1644) was an English barrister and legal writer, author of two works well known in his time. He was the son of Thomas Dalton of Hildersham, Cambridgeshire, and matriculated at Trinity College, Cambridge in 1580. He was associated with Lincoln's Inn, moving there from Furnivall's Inn, being called to the bar and eventually becoming a bencher. He resided at West Wratting, Cambridgeshire, and was in the commission of the peace for the county. Dalton published: Dalton's works were sufficiently widely known for it to be suggested that his view of rules of evidence can account for conduct of the defendants in the Rebecca Cornell case, a New England murder trial of the 1670s. Material on witchcraft passed into later editions of the Countrey Justice from earlier works (the Discoverie of Witches (1613) of Thomas Potts and the Guide to Grand-Jury Men (1627) of Richard Barnard), and was transmitted from there to the An Assistance to Justices of the Peace (1683) of Joseph Keble. Dalton also wrote an unpublished religious work in the tradition of Acts and Monuments, finished 1634 but left in manuscript.

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