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.

For more see:

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 Authorsort descending Date
UVA Lawyer - Spring 2003 2003
An introduction to the law, relative to trials at nisi prius Buller, Francis 1817
Reports of cases argued and determined in the Supreme Court of Appeals of Virginia 1808
Virginia Law School Report - Fall 1988 1988
An essay on the law of usury Ord, Mark 1809
Reports of cases adjudged in the Court of King's Bench 1741
Doctrina placitandi, ou, L'art & science de bon pleading Eure, Samson 1677
L'ambassadeur et ses fonctions Wicquefort, Abraham de 2012
Commentaries on the laws of England Blackstone, William 1793
Principles of equity Kames, Henry Home 1825
A treatise on the law of obligations, or contracts. Pothier, Robert Joseph
An analytical digest of the reported cases in the courts of equity, and the High Court of Parliament Bridgman, Richard Whalley 1822
Un livre des entries 1704
The rights of war and peace Grotius, Hugo 1738
UVA Lawyer - Spring 2004 2004
Ioannis Seldeni Mare clausum seu De dominio maris libri duo. Selden, John 1635
Reports of cases decided in the Court of Appeals of Virginia Gilmer, Francis Walker 1821
Virginia Law School Report - WInter 1989 1989
An essay on the learning of contingent remainders and executory devises. Fearne, Charles 1824
Reports of cases adjudged in the Court of King's Bench 1800
Code de l'humanité, ou La législation universelle, naturelle, civile et politique Yverdon, 1778
Les Reports des cases argue & adjudge in le temps del' roy Edward le Second, et auxy memoranda del' Exchequer en temps le Roy Edward le Primer 1678
The common law of Kent, or, The customs of gavelkind Robinson, Thomas 1822
Privilegia parliamentaria senatus consensu sublata Brown, William 1704
A treatise on the parties to actions, the forms of actions, and on pleading Chitty, Joseph 1825
The antient right of the Commons of England asserted; or, A discourse proving by records and the best historians, that the Commons of England were ever an essential part of Parliament. Petyt, William 1680
Maximes of reason Wingate, Edmund 1658
The rules of evidence on pleas of the crown MacNally, Leonard
UVA Lawyer - Fall 2004 2004
Joannis Seldeni juris consulti opera omnia, tam edita quam inedita Selden, John 1726
Reports of cases decreed in the High Court of Chancery 1725
Virginia Law School Report - Spring 1989 1989
An essay towards a general history of feudal property in Great Britain ... Dalrymple, John 1759
Reports of cases adjudged in the Court of King's Bench from Easter term 12 Geo. 3. to Michaelmas 14 Geo. 3. (both inclusive) [1772-1774] 1776
Grundlage Des Naturrechts Nach Prinzipien Der Wissenschaftslehre Fichte, Johann Gottlieb 1797
Juris et Judicii Fecialis Zouch, Richard 1650
A compendious view of the civil law, and of the law of the admiralty Browne, Arthur 1802
... Promptuarie, ou Repertory generall des les Annales, et plvsors avaters livres del common ley Dengleterre. Ashe, Thomas 1614
A treatise on the Statute of frauds Roberts, William 1805
Apxaionomia, sive De priscis Anglorum legibus libri, sermone anglico, vetustate antiquissimo, aliquot abhinc seculis conscripti, atq 1568
Maxims of equity Francis, Richard 1728
Select cases argued and adjudged in the High Court of Chancery
UVA Lawyer - Spring 2005 2005
Johannis Kahl, aliàs Calvini, magnum lexicon juridicum Calvin, Jean 1759
Reports of cases determined in the several courts of Westminster-hall, from 1746 to 1779 Blackstone, William 1781
Virginia Law School Report - Fall 1989 1989
An exact abridgement of the records in the Tower of London 1657
Reports of cases adjudged in the Court of King's bench 1795
La Graunde Abridgement Fitzherbert, Anthony 1565
Virginia Law School Report - Spring 1977 1977
A compendium of the law of evidence Peake, Thomas 1813
Registrum brevium tam originalium, quam judicialium 1687
A treatise on the study of the law 1797
Apxaionomia [archaionomia] 1644
The mirrour of justices Horne, Andrew 1768
Sir Orl. Bridgman's Conveyances Bridgman, Orlando 1725
UVA Lawyer - Fall 2005 2005
Jura coronæ. Brydall, John 1680
Reports of cases in equity 1742
Virginia Law School Report - Winter 1990 1990
Firma burgi, or, An historical essay concerning the cities, towns and buroughs of England. Madox, Thomas
Reports of cases argued and adjudged in the Court of Appeals of Virginia 1824
Origines juris civilis Gravina, Gianvincenzo 1708
Virginia Law School Report - Fall 1977 1977
The compleat arbitrator; or, The law of awards Bacon, Matthew 1744
Regula placitandi.
A treatise on the study of the law 1797
The arguments and reports of Sr. Hen. Pollexfen ... 1702
Modern entries, in English Mallory, John. 1791
The solicitor's assistant in the Court of Chancery Hands, William. 1809
The statutes at large 1809
UVA Lawyer - Spring 2006 2006
Juridical arguments and collections Hargrave, Francis 1797
Reports of cases in law and equity 1742
Virginia Law School Report - Spring 1990 1990
The first part of the institutes of the laws of England, or, A commentary upon Littleton, not the name of the author only, but of the law itself Coke, Edward
Reports of cases argued and adjudged in the Court of King's Bench 1790
Modus tenendi Parliamentum, or, The old manner of holding Parliaments in England Hakewill, William 1659
Virginia Law School Report - Winter 1978 1978
Concilia, decreta, leges, constitutiones in re ecclesiarum orbis Britannici Spelman, Henry 1639
Remarks on Mr. Schlegel's work, Upon the visitation of neutral vessels under convoy. Croke, Alexander 1801
A treatise upon fines Chetwynd, James. 1773
Argumentum anti-normannicum 1682
Modern reports 1793
Narrationes modernae, or Modern reports begun in the now Upper bench court at Westminster 1658
The statutes at large, of England and of Great Britain 1811
UVA Lawyer - Spring 2012 2012
The jurisdiction of the Lords House, or Parliament Hale, Matthew 1796
Reports of cases ruled and adjudged in the courts of Pennsylvania, before and since the Revolution Dallas, Alexander James 1790
Virginia Law School Report - Fall 1990 1990
Fleta seu commentarius juris anglicani sic nuncupatus 1647
Reports of cases argued and adjudged in the Court of King's Bench 1792
An Analysis of the Civil Law: In Which a Comparison Is Occasionally Made Between Roman Laws and Those of England Hallifax, Samuel 1795
Virginia Law School Report - Summer 1978 1978
The crown circuit companion Stubbs, W. 1820
A report of all the cases determined by Sir John Holt, knt., from 1688 to 1710 1738
The trial of John Peltier, Esq., for a libel against Napoleon Buonaparté, First Consul of the French Republic Peltier, Jean-Gabriel 1803
An essay on the law of bailments Jones, William 1823
The attorney's practice in the Court of Common Pleas Richardson, Robert
The attorney's practice in the Court of King's Bench Richardson, Robert 1776

Pages