The text survives only in a Latin translation of the early twelfth century, where it appears as an appendix to a translation of the late ninth-century treaty between King Alfred of Wessex (871–899) and Guthrum, king of East Anglia (d. 889/90). It is thought to have been composed originally in Old English in the second half of the tenth century. The text consists of selections from theft legislation found in the codes of Ine (688–726), Alfred, Edward the Elder (899–924), Æthelstan (924–939) and Edmund I (939–946) and might have been created by someone in the government, even if not by the royal court itself.