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BRUCE, Alexander.

The Institutions of Military Law, Ancient and Modern:

wherein the most Material Questions and Cases relating to Martial Discipline, are fully examined and cleared from the Principles of the Civil Law, and present uniform Practice of this and Neighbouring Nations.

Edinburgh: Printed by the Heirs and Successors of Andrew Anderson, 1717 Stock Code: 144945
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First edition of this important work, "an early landmark in the separation of military and civil law" (Higham, p. 128); it is decidedly uncommon on the open market, with two copies only on auctions records (appearing in 2014 and 1965). Bruce (d. 1729) was a Scottish lawyer and his work "shows considerable learning and acquaintance with continental jurists" (cited in ODNB).

Provenance: inscribed in a contemporary hand on title page verso, "The Laird of Tersonce. Pryce 3: 12: - Scotts"; the laird would have been one of the Pringles of Torsance, chiefs of the clan Pringle, probably John Hoppringle of that Ilk (d. 1737) who, in July 1698, was appointed "a commissioner of supply for Edinburgh and Berwick shires" ( p. 27). Torsance lies near Galashiels in the Scottish Borders.

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Octavo (190 x 110 mm). Early 19th century half calf sometime rebacked with dark brown morocco with the original decorative gilt spine laid down, sides trimmed with a gilt fillet, Shell pattern marbled sides, red speckled edges.


Title page printed in red and black.


Imposing bookplate of the Board of Law Library Trustees, Los Angeles. Sides rubbed, corners somewhat worn, letterpress generally a little cockled. A good copy, complete with the terminal errata leaf [A8].


ESTC T130097; Alex Pringle, The Records of the Pringles or Hoppringills of the Scottish Border (1933); Robin Higham, ed., A Guide to the Sources of British Military History (2015).


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