Thursday, September 24, 2009

New: Giles Jacob's Common Law, Common Plac'd

We have just acquired a very nice copy of Giles Jacob's law guide for the layperson, The Common Law Common-Plac'd. First published in London in 1726, it appeared in three editions; ours is the second, dated 1733.

In this work Jacob wrote brief summaries of many legal subjects and arranged them alphabetically, from Abatement to Writs. The "H's" yield some fascinating topics, including several that hark back to feudalism. In addition to the more familiar Homage, Heriot is defined as "the best Beast, or other Thing, that a Tenant dies possessed of, due and payable to the Lord."

Other fun legal concepts to toss out at your next cocktail party include Hotchpot: "a Blending or Mixing together of Interests, and a Partition of Lands given in Marriage, with other Lands falling by Discent." And Hue and Cry: "a Pursuit after one who hath committed a Robbery on the Highway" - essentially an early version of a phone tree, except done on horseback or by foot.

Our copy features several signatures of early owners. William Burrows paid seven pounds for the book at some very early point in its history. James Gillespie, Jr. owned the book in 1818. And a "Woodbury" signature suggests the book was owned by associate Supreme Court Justice Levi Woodbury, or perhaps one of his sons.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Avast, Ye Mateys!

This is a shout-out to our friends at Boston College's John J. Burns Library of rare books and special collections. In honor of International Talk Like a Pirate Day on Saturday September 19, the Burns Library has an exhibit of antiquarian books about pirates on view through September 26. Check it out . . . but leave your stash of rum outside the library!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Francis Bacon's Essay on Gardens

We received this delightful book from Professor Daniel R. Coquillette as part of an important gift of books by and about Sir Francis Bacon, famous English jurist and rival of Sir Edward Coke. This copy is a manuscript, handwritten by "C.M.D." in 1912. It is inscribed by Bacon bibliographer R.W. Gibson to "Mrs. E. Wrigley - The very good friend of the Bacon Bibliography. Xmas 1959. R.W. Gibson." View more images here.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

New Exhibit: Recent Additions to the Collection - Fall 2009

You are invited to visit our latest exhibit in the Boston College Law Library’s Daniel R. Coquillette Rare Book Room. “Recent Additions to the Collection” features books, manuscripts, and art donated by Dan Coquillette, Buzzy Baron, Morris Cohen, Mike Hoeflich, and Robert Brooker, as well as materials we have purchased to strengthen key areas of our collection.

The exhibit features a number of eye-catching items, including two large property deeds handwritten on vellum, a comical lithograph of French lawyers by the satirist Honoré Daumier, elegant engravings of London law buildings, and a piece of colorful sheet music written in the 1890s to advertise a new legal encyclopedia. Several important legal manuscripts and magnificent early printed books are also on view.

You can view highlights of the exhibit here. A handout describing the entire exhibit and a photo gallery of selected images are also available. The exhibit will be on view through early December 2009. The Rare Book Room is generally open Monday – Friday 9 to 5. If you are in the Boston area, please stop by.