Thomas Craig's Jus Feudale

The 1828 Catalogue Law Books Collection is an ongoing effort of Special Collections at the University of Virginia Law Library. For the past forty years, we have been quietly working to amass the 375 law titles included in the Catalogue, an inventory of books in the University of Virginia Library compiled by University librarian William Wertenbaker and published by Gilmer, Davis, & Co. of Charlottesville in 1828. Most of the 8,000 books in the Catalogue were purchases made under the direction of Thomas Jefferson, who in 1824 compiled a list of 6,860 volumes he believed should form the core of the new library. The 375 titles in the law section of the Catalogue reflect Jefferson’s broad familiarity with the law literature of his time and provide insight into the variety of texts that informed Jefferson’s understanding of the role and mechanics of government.

Fire and time destroyed and scattered these foundational texts of the University of Virginia Law Library. Placed in the Rotunda Annex in 1894, some original law books suffered the fate of most of the University of Virginia Library when the Rotunda and Annex burned in 1895. Although students and professors saved many law books from the flames, the poor provenance of surviving texts makes it impossible to bring together the original 375-volume law library. The 1828 Catalogue Law Books Collection is a reconstitution of this library through the assemblage of exact editions of the law books listed in the Catalogue. Fortunately, Wertenbaker noted the edition year of nearly every work in his Catalogue, facilitating efforts to recreate the law portion of the first University of Virginia Library as closely as possible.

An original copy of the 1828 Catalogue

The 1828 Catalogue Law Books Collection is part of a larger effort among a variety of institutions to study and celebrate Thomas Jefferson’s lifelong passion for books. In 1999, the Library of Congress began efforts to reassemble its original purchase of Jefferson’s 6,487-volume library at Monticello, which Congress acquired in 1815 to replace the collection burned by the British as part of their occupation of Washington, D.C., during the War of 1812. “Thomas Jefferson’s Library,” currently on display at the Library of Congress, contains both original volumes from the Monticello library and duplicate volumes to replace the Monticello texts destroyed in an 1851 fire at the national Capitol. In 2004, the Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello began the Thomas Jefferson’s Libraries database, a digital clearinghouse of “books Jefferson owned, desired to own, knew about or recommended to others at different times in his life.” Apart from libraries Jefferson recorded in the form of extant manuscript catalogues, this project aims to reconstruct Jefferson collections that are far less well documented, such as the Shadwell library, which burned in 1770, and the library at Poplar Forest, sold by his grandson in 1873. The database will eventually include the complete contents of Jefferson’s 6,860-volume “wish list” for the University of Virginia Library, preserved in an 1825 document penned for Jefferson by his grandson-in-law, Nicholas Philip Trist.

Highlights from the Collection

Robert Brooke, La Graunde Abridgement (1576 edition)
This two-volume work is an abridgement or collection of abstracts of legal cases compiled by Robert Brooke, English judge and speaker of the House of Commons during the reign of Mary I.  It is written in Law French, an archaic Anglo-French dialect used in English law into the 1600s.  Such books greatly facilitated the task of finding and citing legal cases.  Brooke modeled his work on Anthony Fitzherbert’s 1514 tome, also titled La Graunde Abridgement, improving upon Fitzherbert’s organization.  First published in 1568, subsequent editions appeared in 1570, 1573, 1576, and 1586. 

William Lambarde, Eirenarcha, or Of the Office of the Justices of Peace (1614 edition)
This treatise, first published in 1581, is an early example of English manuals produced for local legal officials lacking legal training.  Revised in 1588, it remained popular well into the 1600s.  By Jefferson’s time the information in the book was obsolete but would have been useful in legal history.

Hugo Grotius, De Mari Libero (1633 edition)
This is a later edition of Mare Liberum (“On the Freedom of the Seas,” 1609), an early classic of international law.  Written in Latin by Dutch jurist Hugo Grotius, the work presented the thesis that the sea is international territory.  Aside from its important content, the book is notable for its striking engraved title page depicting a ship in full sail.  Also included in the 1828 Catalogue Collection is John Selden’s answer to Grotius, Mare Clausum (“On the Dominion of the Seas,” 1635).

Henry Care, English Liberties (1719 edition)
First published in 1682, this treatise on the rights of Englishmen greatly influenced the Founding Fathers’ ideas about liberty and government.  Care considered England a land of liberty because its constitution, the Magna Carta, restricted the arbitrary will of the sovereign.  Little known today, Care was among the most influential political writers of Restoration-era England. 

John Selden, Opera Omnia (1726)
This three-volume work contains the vast scholarly output of a man considered the most learned Englishman of the mid-17th century.  The first and second volumes are in Latin, the third in English.  Most of it would have been of little or no use to any 19th-century Virginia law student (Hebrew marriage law, Anglo-Saxon law).  It is considered a masterpiece of 18th-century English printing.

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Currently, the 1828 Catalogue Law Books Collection contains 317 duplicate copies of the original 375 University of Virginia law texts. For the list of these texts, see below. We have provided a list of the 58 missing texts here. The following list is also available through UVA's Virgo Search.

Title Author Datesort descending
Reports in the Court of Kings Bench at Westminster 1685
A Treatise of Spousals, or Matrimonial Contracts: Wherein All the Questions Relating to That Subject Are Ingeniously Debated and Resolved Swinburne, Henry 1686
A treatise of spousals, or, Matrimonial contracts Swinburne, Henry 1686
Thesaurus brevium, or, A collection of approved forms of writs, and pleadings to those writs, and entries of those writs and pleadings 1687
Registrum brevium tam originalium, quam judicialium 1687
Reports of sevral special cases argued and resolved in the Court of Common Pleas 1688
Cases collect & report 1688
Les reports de Gulielme Benloe serjeant del ley 1689
The country justice: containing the practice, duty and power of the justices of the peace Dalton, Michael 1690
Reports of cases adjudged in the Court of Exchequer 1693
Praxis almae curiae cancellariae Brown, William 1694
Cases in Parliament 1698
The practice of the spiritual or ecclesiastical courts. Conset, Henry. 1700
The orphan's legacy Godolphin, John 1701
The arguments and reports of Sr. Hen. Pollexfen ... 1702
Un livre des entries 1704
Privilegia parliamentaria senatus consensu sublata Brown, William 1704
Style's practical register Style, William 1707
Origines juris civilis Gravina, Gianvincenzo 1708
Les reports des divers special cases argue & adjudge en le Court del bank le Roy 1714
Instructor clericalis R. G., 1715
The book of oaths, and the several forms thereof, both ancient and modern 1715
Pleas of the crown Hale, Matthew 1716
A law-dictionary and glossary, Blount, Thomas 1717
English liberties Care, Henry 1719
Reports and pleadings of cases in assise, for offices, nusances, lands and tenaments Lilly, John 1719
A collection of all the ecclesiastical laws, canons, answers, or rescripts, with other memorials concerning the government, discipline and worship of the Church of England, that have been publish'd in Latin Johnson, John 1720
The law of commons and commoners 1720
Les termes de la ley Rastell, John 1721
The reports of Sr. Creswell Levinz, knt. ... 1722
Placita coronae, or, Pleas of the crown in matters criminal and civil Tremaine, John 1723
The reports of that reverend and learned judge, the Right Honourable Sir Henry Hobart, knight and baronet, lord chief justice of his Majesty's Court of Common Pleas 1724
Le droit de la guerre, et de la paix Grotius, Hugo 1724
A general abridgment of the common law, alphabetically digested under proper titles: with notes and references to the whole. D'Anvers, Knightley 1725
Reports of cases decreed in the High Court of Chancery 1725
Sir Orl. Bridgman's Conveyances Bridgman, Orlando 1725
Officium clerici pacis 1726
The reports of Sir Peyton Ventris ... 1726
Joannis Seldeni juris consulti opera omnia, tam edita quam inedita Selden, John 1726
An abridgment of the common law Nelson, William 1726
The Britannic constitution Acherley, Roger 1727
The English works of Sir Henry Spelman kt published in his life-time Spelman, Henry 1727
The Britannic Constitution Acherley, Roger 1727
The new retorna brevium Gardiner, Robert. 1728
Reports of cases adjudged in the Court of King's Bench 1728
Maxims of equity Francis, Richard 1728
A treatise of testaments and last wills Swinburne, Henry 1728
The reports of several special cases adjudged in the courts of King's bench and Common pleas at Westminster, in the reign of King Charles II. [1667-1684] 1729
The English lawyer Bohun, William. 1732
Institutio legalis Bohun, William. 1732
The reports of several cases argued and adjudged in the Court of King's Bench at Westminster 1732
D. Thomae Cragii de Riccarton ... Craig, Thomas 1732
Cases argued and decreed in the High Court of Chancery ... [1660-1697]. 1735
The reports of Sir Henry Yelverton, knight and baronet ... 1735
Codex theoddosianvs cvm perpetvis commentariis iacovbi gothofredi Lipsiae, 1736
The civil law in its natural order Domat, Jean 1737
Baron and feme 1738
The rights of war and peace Grotius, Hugo 1738
A report of all the cases determined by Sir John Holt, knt., from 1688 to 1710 1738
Le Droit de la Nature Et Des Gens Pufendorf, Samuel 1740
The student's law-dictionary: or compleat English law-expositor: The whole collected from the best dictionaries, and other authorities hitherto 1740
De laudibus legum Angliæ. Fortescue, John 1741
Reports of cases adjudged in the Court of King's Bench 1741
The practical conveyancer Lilli, John 1742
The practical conveyancer Lilli, John 1742
Reports of cases in equity 1742
Reports of cases in law and equity 1742
Barnabae Brissonii ... De verborvm qvae ad ivs civile pertinent significatione opvs praestantissimvm in meliorem commodioremqve ordinem redactvm, innvmeris mendis emacvlatvm et post aliorvm cvras plvrimis accessionibvs, observationibvsqve philologicis, cr Brisson, Barnabé 1743
Jurisprudentia philologica, sive Elementa juris civilis, Eden, Robert 1744
The compleat arbitrator; or, The law of awards Bacon, Matthew 1744
The clergy-man's law Watson, William 1747
Principes du droit naturel Burlamaqui, J. J. 1747
A treatise of the laws of England, on the various branches of conveyancing Perkins, John 1757
A treatise on rents Gilbert, Geoffrey 1758
A treatise on the Court of exchequer: in which the revenues of the crown Gilbert, Geoffrey 1758
An analysis of the laws of England Blackstone, William 1758
The history and practice of the High Court of Chancery. Gilbert, Geoffrey 1758
The history and practice of the High Court of Chancery. Gilbert, Geoffrey 1758
An essay towards a general history of feudal property in Great Britain ... Dalrymple, John 1759
Johannis Kahl, aliàs Calvini, magnum lexicon juridicum Calvin, Jean 1759
Law, or, a discourse thereof Finch, Henry 1759
Cases in law and equity 1760
Codex juris ecclesiastici anglicani 1761
D. Justiniani, Sacratissimi Principis, Institutionum, Sive, Elementorum, Libri Quatuor: Quibus Subjungitur Theophili Paraphraseos... Theophilus, 1761
Arnoldi Vinnii JC. In quatuor libros Institutionum imperialium commentarius academicus et forensis Vinnius, Arnoldus 1761
The law of executions. Gilbert, Geoffrey 1763
Questions De Droit Naturel Vattel, Emer de 1763
A report of cases in Chancery, the King's Bench, &c. 1764
Universal Dictionary of Trade and Commerce Postlethwayt, Malachy 1766
Trials per pais Duncombe, Giles. 1766
Opera omnia Bynkershoek, Cornelius 1767
The mirrour of justices Horne, Andrew 1768
S. Pufendorfii De Officio Hominis Et Civis Secundum Legem Naturalem Libri Duo Pufendorf, Samuel 1769
A general abridgment of cases in equity 1769
Consuetudo, vel, lex mercatoria Molyneux, William 1770
Reports of cases argued and adjudged in the Court of King's bench 1770
Letters to the Honourable Mr. Justice Blackstone, concerning his exposition of the Act of toleration, and some positions relative to religious liberty, in his celebrated Commentaries on the laws of England Furneaux, Philip 1771
Eight centuries of reports 1771
An institute of the laws of England Wood, Thomas 1772
The law of devises, last wills, and revocations. Gilbert, Geoffrey 1773