Dr Thomas Green

Dr Thomas Green
Dr Thomas Green
Dr Thomas Green



Email Address
Telephone Number
+44 (0)1224 272433
Office Address

Room C45, School of Law,

Taylor Building, Old Aberdeen, AB24 3UB.

School of Law


Dr Thomas Green has research interests in historical family law, the development of the Scottish legal system, the history of court procedure, European common law in Scots law, testamentary succession and the interaction of law and religion in Scotland.

His first book concerned the first development of native Scots family law out of European common law (i.e. medieval canon and Roman law) during the mid-sixteenth century, principally by publishing 186 previously unreported judgements pronounced by what was then the only court in Scotland with express authority to hear actions concerning marriage, divorce and legitimacy for the entire kingdom, namely the Court of the Commissaries of Edinburgh. This central court eventually replaced all of the pre-Reformation courts of the Catholic Church in Scotland in respect of family law disputes.

His second book substantially concerned the omni-shambles which was the Scottish Reformation in respect of competent jurisdiction in family law disputes. At one point in the mid-1560s there were three jurisdictions which could and did pronounce judgements in family law disputes, and each had their own family law - i.e. a lawyer's nightmare. Understanding this chaotic situation within the legal system and its eventual resolution does actually explain why early Scots family law - which proved definitive for Scots law until deconstructed from the mid-twentieth century - was an admixture of medieval Catholic canon law, Roman law, Protestant Calvinist law, and Scottish customary law.

He is currently working towards a third book concerning a history of marriage law in Scotland, 1500-2006.

He is a former recipient of the Stair Society's doctoral scholarship and of a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship in legal history at the School of Law, University of Edinburgh. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland and a former Honorary Research Fellow at the School of Law, University of Glasgow.



Religion in Scots Law, University of Glasgow, 2014 to 2015. This collaborative and interdisciplinary research project run by Professor Jane Mair and Professor Callum Brown at the University of Glasgow and resulted in the publication of a 355-page research report, of which I was a co-author, which examined the place of religion in law in Scotland since 1560, including the place of: the Church of Scotland within the British constitution; the place of religion in Scots marriage law; the place of religion in Scots education law; a general audit of various provisions concerning religion in armed services law, blasphemy at common law, broadcasting and communications law, charities law, clauses relating to conscience and conscientious objection, criminal law and prisons, equality law, family law, immigration and asylum, oaths, definitions of statutory provision regarding ‘religion or belief’, the sabbath in Scots law, tax law, and various miscellaneous provisions. To download the project's research report go to http://eprints.gla.ac.uk/118785/


Teind Reform and Agriculture in Early Modern Scotland, Universities of Edinburgh and Dundee, 2015 to 2016. This Carnegie Collaborative Research Project was started by the Principal Investigator, Professor Julian Goodare (Edinburgh), and Co-Investigator, Dr Alan MacDonald (Dundee) in 2015. The project concerned reform of teinds and ecclesiastical finance during the reigns of Charles I, II, James VII and Queen Anne, involving research in a variety of archival materials held throughout Scotland relating to various royal and parliamentary commissions by which teinds were valued and sold during the early modern period - thereby creating Scots parochial law - down to the Union of 1707, when these functions were vested in the Court of Session in its capacity as the Teind Court. For the project website go to http://teinds.shca.ed.ac.uk

Funding and Grants

The Stair Society Doctoral Scholarship, 2006 to 2009, School of Divinity, University of Edinburgh.

British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2011 to 2014, School of Law, University of Edinburgh.


Teaching Responsibilities


Foundations of Private Law (i.e. Roman law of property and obligations ordinary: course co-ordinator)

Scottish Legal History (ordinary, and course co-ordinator at honours)

European Legal History (honours)

Family Law (ordinary)

Succession (ordinary and honours)

Cultural Property Issues (LLM)

LLB Dissertation Supervisor



Page 1 of 1 Results 1 to 10 of 10

  • The Endowments of the College of Justice, Succession in Moveables, and the Commissary Courts in Reformation Scotland: The Accounts of the Collector of the Quots

    Green, T.
    Miscellany Nine. The Stair Society
    Chapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings: Chapters
  • Evolution and Varieties of Church Courts and Laws in Reformation Scotland

    Green, T.
    A Companion to the Reformation in Scotland, c.1525‒1638: Frameworks of Change and Development. Hazlett, I. (ed.). Brill, pp. 397-419, 23 pages
    Chapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings: Chapters
  • Response to Scottish Law Commission Discussion Paper on Aspects of Family Law: Cohabitation (DP No 170)

    Cairns, I., Green, T., Macpherson, A., Ross, M., Stokeld, S., West, E.
    University of Aberdeen: School of Law.
    Other Contributions: Other Contributions
  • Early Modern Jurisprudence and Theology

    Green, T.
    The History of Scottish Theology: Celtic Origins to Reformed Orthodoxy. Fergusson, D., Elliott, M. (eds.). Oxford University Press, pp. 328-341, 14 pages
    Chapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings: Chapters
  • The Spiritual Jurisdiction in Reformation Scotland: A Legal History

    Green, T.
    Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh. 224 pages
    Books and Reports: Books
  • The sources of early Scots consistorial law: Reflections on law, authority and jurisdiction during the Scottish Reformation

    Green, T.
    Law and Authority in British Legal History, 1200-1900. Godfrey, M. (ed.). Cambridge University Press, pp. 120-139, 19 pages
    Chapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings: Chapters
  • Religion in Scots Law: Report of an Audit at the University of Glasgow

    Green, T., Mair, J., Brown, C.
    Commissioned by Humanist Society Scotland. Edinburgh: Humanist Society Scotland. 355 pages
    Books and Reports: Commissioned Reports
  • Romano-Canonical Procedure in Reformation Scotland: The Example of the Court of the Commissaries of Edinburgh

    Green, T.
    Journal of Legal History, vol. 36, no. 3, pp. 217-235
    Contributions to Journals: Articles
  • The Consistorial Decisions of the Commissaries of Edinburgh, 1564 to 15476/7

    Green, T.
    Vol. 61, The Stair Society, Edinburgh. 560 pages
    Books and Reports: Books
  • Scottish Benefices and the Commissary Court of Edinburgh: The Example of McGibbon v Struthers

    Green, T.
    Miscellany Six: by Various Authors. MacQueen, H. (ed.). The Stair Society, pp. 45-61, 17 pages
    Chapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings: Chapters


Books and Reports

Chapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings

Contributions to Journals

Other Contributions