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Law

Rare first editions, signed and inscribed copies, deluxe and collectible editions of books, pamphlets, and ephemera relating to anything concerning the law, including jurisprudence.

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  1. 116342

    A Dictionary of Crimes and Offences According to the Law of Scotland.

    With an Appendix relating to Criminal Jurisdiction, Arrest of Offenders, etc. Revised by R. B. Shearer.
    First edition, uncommon: Copac traces four copies only (BL, NLS, Oxford and Cambridge); OCLC adds York (Ontario) and Northwestern. There was a third edition in 1936. Angus, from Ellon in Aberdeenshire, was a career police officer. He spent his working life in Renfrewshire, and at the time of compiling his Dictionary was chief constable of Greenock, a post to which he was appointed in 1886, and which he held until 1913. Learn More
    £150

    Date of Publication: 1895

    Published: Edinburgh

    Stock Code: 116342

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  2. 116321

    Comics in the Law.

    First edition, first printing. Lyman E. Cook was a lawyer and member of the St. Louis Bar and broadcast Freak Laws on the Columbia Broadcasting System and Station KMOX, St. Louis, Missouri. This illustrated book was written as a response to “numerous requests” from his listeners, detailing odd and obscure local laws. It is “affectionately dedicated” to Dave Elman, originator of Hobby Lobby, a popular US radio show which ran from 1937 to 1948, of which First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt was an intermittent host. Learn More
    £75

    Date of Publication: 1938

    Published: Chicago

    Stock Code: 116321

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  3. Bryan and Darrow at Dayton.

    Bryan and Darrow at Dayton.

    The record and documents of the Bible-Evolution Trial.
    First edition, first printing, of this account of the sensational Scopes Trial, or the Bible-Evolution Trial, in which high school teacher John T. Scope was prosecuted for his evolutionary views. Three-time presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan represented the prosecution while the defence was represented by Clarence Darrow, one of the most successful defence attorneys of the period. Learn More
    £275

    Date of Publication: 1925

    Published: New York

    Stock Code: 116064

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  4. Instructions for Officers of Excise in the Country.

    Instructions for Officers of Excise in the Country.

    [Bound with:] Instructions for Officers who survey Maltsters and Cider Dealers in the Country. [And:] Instructions for Officers of the Duties on Hides in the Country. [And;] Instructions for Officers Concerned in ascertaining the Duties on Candles in the Country. [And:] Instructions for Officers Concerned in ascertaining the Duties upon Sope in the Country.
    A scarce series of publications for excise men and gaugers, all published in 1778, giving guidance and instruction on all matters involving the inspection of premises, calculation of duty payable, and how to maintain records. The production and distribution of these books of instruction appear to have begun in the early eighteenth century. As might be expected, the survival rate seems very small. Learn More
    £850

    Date of Publication: 1778

    Published: London

    Stock Code: 115148

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  5. [French translation of Killing No Murder:] Traicté politique,

    [French translation of Killing No Murder:] Traicté politique,

    composé par William Allen, anglois, et traduit nouvellement en français, où il est prouvé par exemple de Moyse, & par d’autres, tirés hors de l’écriture, que tuer un tyran n’est pas un meurtre.
    First edition in French of this apology of tyrannicide, originally directed against Oliver Cromwell and here used to justify in advance the execution of Louis XVI. The text was first published as a pamphlet in 1657 under the title Killing No Murder. From the library of French historian and member of the Académie française, Henry Houssaye (1848–1911), with his bookplate to the front pastedown. Learn More
    £1,500

    Date of Publication: 1658 [but Paris: 1792]

    Published: Lyon

    Stock Code: 114708

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  6. The Bench and Bar of New-York sic.

    The Bench and Bar of New-York sic.

    Containing biographical sketches of eminent judges, and lawyers of the New-York bar, incidents of the important trials in which they were engaged, and anecdotes connected with their professional, political and judicial career.
    First edition, handsomely bound. Lucien Brock Proctor (1823-1900) "gained a more enduring reputation [than practice at the bar] in his writings on legal history and on New York state biography... The Bench and the Bar of New York was made up of biographical sketches dedicated to the junior bar of New York in the hope that it would serve as an inspiration to young men in the profession" (Dictionary of American Biography). Learn More
    £385

    Date of Publication: 1870

    Published: New York

    Stock Code: 114666

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  7. Opere diverse del Marchese Cesare Beccaria Bonesana, Patrizio Milanese.

    Opere diverse del Marchese Cesare Beccaria Bonesana, Patrizio Milanese.

    First edition of the collected works of the father of modern penology, including his celebrated Dei delitti e delle pene, which was first published in 1764. From the library of archivist and civil servant Henry Hobhouse (1176-1854), with his armorial bookplate to the front free pastedown. Hobhouse was appointed permanent under-secretary of state for the Home department in 1817. Learn More
    £1,500

    Date of Publication: 1770–1

    Published: Naples

    Stock Code: 114251

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  8. The Summary Jurisdiction (Married Women) Act, 1895.

    The Summary Jurisdiction (Married Women) Act, 1895.

    First edition of this landmark in British legislation for the rights of women, protecting married women against physical abuse and neglect, and allowing custody of children to deserted wives. Consolidating the 1878 Matrimonial Causes Act and the 1886 Married Women (Maintenance in the Case of Desertion) Act, it extended the power of magistrates in cases where husbands wilfully neglected to maintain their wives and families, providing "the basic grounds for maintenance and separation orders that were in force until the 1960 Act introduced modifications (Smart, p. Learn More
    £600

    Date of Publication: 1896

    Published: London

    Stock Code: 114011

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  9. De l'Esprit des loix.

    De l'Esprit des loix.

    Nouvelle Edition, Avec les dernières Corrections & Illustrations de l’Auteur.
    First Edinburgh edition of "one of the most remarkable works of the eighteenth century" (PMM) - Montesquieu's classification of political structures and his comparative and historical political sociology. This edition is particularly appealing as David Hume was closely involved with seeing it through the press. "Later in 1749 Hume helped to put through the press at Edinburgh a translation of some sections of the Esprit des Loix, for which Montesquieu had supplied his final corrections" (Mossner, p. Learn More
    £1,250

    Date of Publication: 1750

    Published: Edinburgh

    Stock Code: 113869

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  10. Rapport sur le droit de marque des cuirs. Par un conseiller d'état.

    Rapport sur le droit de marque des cuirs. Par un conseiller d'état.

    First and only edition. A very rare book, printed in only a few copies for private distribution, as stated in the preface. Written originally in 1788 in opposition to regressive internal tax policy, specifically the tax on hides and leathers, it remained unpublished until this moment when that and other reactionary fiscal measures were about to be revived. Learn More
    £1,500

    Date of Publication: 1804

    Published: Paris:

    Stock Code: 113554

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  11. Drop-head title: Discours adress (le 9 Mars 1873 sic) une societ d avocats au parlement de Toulouse, sur son projet d une confrence de charit.

    Drop-head title: Discours adress (le 9 Mars 1873 sic) une societ d avocats au parlement de Toulouse, sur son projet d une confrence de charit.

    First and apparently only edition of this speech promoting the establishment in Toulouse of an order of lawyers offering free legal representation to the poor, a "league of generous defenders of the oppressed and destitute". When Maître Gez (c.1700-1792) gave this speech to his peers at the Parlement in Toulouse he had already constituted a group of thirty-two lawyers providing free counsel to the poor. Learn More
    £375

    Date of Publication: 1783

    Published: No place:

    Stock Code: 113275

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  12. i1

    Traité des délits et des peines. [Bound with:] Commentaire sur le livre des délits et des peines.

    First edition of Chaillou de Lisy's translation, endorsed by Beccaria. Undoubtedly the most influential work on criminal justice in the 18th century, Beccaria's treatise was originally published in Italian in 1764, first published in French in 1766 and in English in 1767. Cesare Beccaria, Marchese Beccaria-Bonesana, a well-to-do Milanese professor of law and economics, had made many prison visits and was appalled at what he saw. Learn More
    £550

    Date of Publication: 1773

    Published: Paris

    Stock Code: 113080

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  13. A Handbook on Hanging.

    A Handbook on Hanging.

    Being a short Introduction to the fine art of Execution, and containing much useful information on Neck-Breaking, Throttling, Strangling, Asphyxiation, Decapitation and Electrocution; as well as Data and Wrinkles for Hangmen, an account of the late Mr. Berry’s method of Killing and his working list of Drops; to which is added a Hangman’s Ready Reckoner and certain other items of interest. All very proper to be read and kept in every Family.
    First US edition, a year after the first UK edition. Nice copy of Duff's timeless satire on the death penalty, described by Dylan Thomas as a minor classic, both the Daily Herald and T.P.'s Weekly invoking comparisons with Defoe in reviews reprinted on the jacket, the latter considering it "an exquisite piece of irony". Learn More
    £125

    Date of Publication: 1929

    Published: Boston

    Stock Code: 112737

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  14. .

    The Spirit of Laws.

    Translated from the French … With Corrections and Additions communicated by the Author.

    First English edition. One of the central texts in the history of 18th-century thought, L'Esprit des Loix was a huge influence both on English law, especially as mediated by William Blackstone, and on those who framed the American Constitution. Blackstone's Commentaries, Hamilton's Federalist Papers and Tocqueville's Democracy in America are all thoroughly imbued with Montesquieu's theories. Learn More

    £12,500

    Date of Publication: 1750

    Published: London

    Stock Code: 111777

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  15. 111764

    Traité des exhumations juridiques,

    et considérations sur les changemens physiques que les cadavres éprouvent en se pourrissant dans la terre, dans l’eau, dans les fosses d’aisance et dans le fumier.
    First edition of "the first book to be devoted solely to the subject of exhumation and decomposition" (Visible Proofs: Forensic Views of the Body at US National Library of Medicine online). "Orfila [1787-1853], pioneer toxicologist, was the leading medico-legal expert of his time. He was born in Minorca, studied at Valencia Barcelona, and Paris, and was one of the founders of the Académie de Médicine. Learn More
    £2,000

    Date of Publication: 1831

    Published: Paris

    Stock Code: 111764

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  16. A New Law Dictionary.

    A New Law Dictionary.

    Containing the interpretation and definition of words and terms used in the law; as also the law and practice, under the proper heads and titles. Together with such learning as explains the history and antiquity of the law; our manners, customs, and original government … The ninth edition … Now corrected and greatly enlarged by Owen Ruffhead and J. Morgan.
    Revised edition of Jacob's "most enduring and successful work" (ODNB), possibly prompted by competition from the rival dictionary of Timothy Cunningham, published 1764-5. First printed in 1729, A New Law Dictionary took Jacob nine years to write, and broke new ground in combining an abridgement of statute law with a dictionary of legal terminology. This copy has the contemporary armorial bookplate of John Rutherford, with the Rutherford clan's motto "nec sorte nec fato" to the front pastedown: this is probably the noted Scottish physician best remembered as founder of the clinical teaching of medicine at Edinburgh University, where he was professor. Learn More
    £750

    Date of Publication: 1772

    Published: London

    Stock Code: 111403

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  17. Commentaries on the Laws of England.

    Commentaries on the Laws of England.

    First editions of vols. III and IV, third edition of vol. I, second of vol. II. An attractive set of Blackstone's works. "Blackstone's great work on the laws of England is the extreme example of justification of an existing state of affairs by virtue of its history … Until the Commentaries, the ordinary Englishman had viewed the law as a vast, unintelligible and unfriendly machine. Learn More
    £3,250

    Date of Publication: 1767

    Published: Oxford

    Stock Code: 111360

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  18. image1

    Rechtliche Wirthschaftssätze und Cautelen bey Contracten, Kaufen, Verkaufen, Verpachten und Verwalten öffentlicher oder Privatgüter, so weit sich ein Wirth und Cammeralist davon Kenntniss erwerben muss.

    Nebst einer Vorrede, welche das Leben des weiland H. B. L. Hofs und Cammerraths u. D. Georg Heinrich Zincken enthält.
    Scarce first edition of a legal guide for estate and land managers, written by the son of the German jurist Georg Zincke, with an introductory biography of his father at the beginning of the work. In a series of 305 paragraphs, the author explains all the legal ins and outs of contracts, obligations, buying, selling, brokering, etc. including advice on how to deal with deaf and dumb, and blind people, with additional advice on how to document and keep records of transactions. Learn More
    £500

    Date of Publication: 1772

    Published: Riga:

    Stock Code: 110668

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  19. Magna Carta

    Magna Carta.

    By Permission of … the Trustees of the Cottonian Library. This Plate being a Correct Copy of King John's Great Charter…
    First impression, printed on vellum, of this meticulously engraved facsimile of the Magna Carta, "a sacred text, the nearest approach to an irrepealable "fundamental statute" that England has ever had" (Pollock and Maitland, History of English Law, I, p.173). The work of the John Pine (1690-1756) engraver, publisher, print- and mapseller, Bluemantle Pursuivant at the College of Arms, and Engraver to the King's Signet and Stamp Office, this facsimile was made from one of the Cottonian library copies and heraldically embellished by him with the arms of the rebellious barons. Learn More
    £22,500

    Date of Publication: 1733

    Published: London

    Stock Code: 109413

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  20. 109272

    The Spirit of Laws.

    Translated from the French … With Corrections and Additions communicated by the Author.
    First Irish edition, first published in French in 1748, the first English edition published in London in 1750. One of the central texts in the history of 18th-century thought, L'Esprit des Loix was a huge influence both on English law, especially as mediated by William Blackstone, and on those who framed the American Constitution. Blackstone's Commentaries, Hamilton's Federalist Papers and Tocqueville's Democracy in America are all thoroughly imbued with Montesquieu's theories. Learn More
    £2,250

    Date of Publication: 1750

    Published: Dublin

    Stock Code: 109272

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