Monday, November 16, 2009

A Most Curious Little Work ...

Because a major goal of our rare books program is to document the way Anglo-American lawyers learned and practiced law, we could not resist purchasing this strange little volume, which was published in London in 1815. I'll let the title speak for itself: Robert Shuttleworth, A Manual for the Assistance of Magistrates, in applying the forms sold by Coles and Galpin, containing blank precedents of such proceedings as are not sold amongst the separate Forms; with short references to the statutes, up to the present time; interspersed with remarks, to assist the Magistrate, Constable, and Parish-Officer.

How odd. This is a practical legal treatise sponsored and published by London stationers Coles & Galpin, as a guide to the use of their printed legal forms. These forms were sold separately; the preface gives information on how and where to purchase them. I have never seen a "proprietary" legal manual such as this one, and thought it would be an excellent and unusual addition to our strong collection of early legal practice materials. If anyone is aware of other examples of this phenomenon, I would appreciate hearing about them.

No comments:

Post a Comment