David Smith


This Symposium Article is an invitation to rethink the Anglo-American history of corporate law from different perspectives. This Article uses new sources to investigate Sutton’s Hospital and corporate development in England during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. By doing so, the analysis reveals overlooked connections between the history of corporate law, religious thought, and social purpose. In turn, the recognition of these connections challenges the received history of pre-modern corporate law. Although this history shapes contemporary Anglo-American debates over corporate personality and purpose, few have scrutinized its underlying assumptions.