Tuesday, January 17, 2012

New acquisition discusses laws affecting Roman Catholics

The most recent acquisition for the Rare Book Room is a lovely copy of Thomas Chisholme Anstey's Guide to Laws of England Affecting Roman Catholics, V. & R. Stevens and G. S. Norton, London, 1842. This is the only edition of a quite rare work, which Anstey represents as the first treatise on the law of Roman Catholics in England and its colonies. Anstey was an Middle Temple barrister and one of the first Catholic parliamentarians--a member of the House of Commons for Yougal, a UK constituency in County Cork, Ireland.

Anstey provides citations to the many statutes affecting the rights of English Catholics, and discusses the requirement that Catholics take an oath in order to have many legal disabilities removed.

Our copy was owned by Sir George Jessel, a British jurist who is considered on the greatest English trial judges in equity. The volume includes notations in Jessel's hand, particularly in the index, where he noted repealed laws.

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