Samuel Edmund Thorne (October 14, 1907 – April 7, 1994) was an American legal historian. The editor of many English legal manuscripts, he is best known for his edition of Bracton's De legibus et consuetudinibus Angliae, generally considered to be the definitive one.
Thorpe was educated at the City College of New York and Harvard Law School. He was librarian and professor at Northwestern University School of Law from 1934 to 1942, when he took a leave of absence to serve in the United States Navy as a cryptoanalyst, achieving the rank of lieutenant commander. After World War II, Thorpe joined Yale Law School as librarian in 1945. In 1956, Thorne joined Harvard University as Professor of Law and History, and retired in 1978.
A festchrift in his honor, On the Laws and Customs of England : Essays in Honor of Samuel E. Thorne, was published in 1981.
- On the Laws and Customs of England, 4 vol. (editor) (1968)
- Essays in English Legal History (1984)
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