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.

Titlesort descending Author Date
UVA Lawyer - Spring 2011 2011
... Promptuarie, ou Repertory generall des les Annales, et plvsors avaters livres del common ley Dengleterre. Ashe, Thomas 1614
A book of entries Coke, Edward 1671
A collection in English, of the statutes now in force Rastell, William 1621
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
A collection of all the treaties of peace, alliance, and commerce, between Great-Britain and other powers 1785
A collection of cases decided by the General Court of Virginia 1815
A collection of entries Rastell, William
A collection of tracts relative to the law of England Hargrave, Francis 1787
A compendious view of the civil law, and of the law of the admiralty Browne, Arthur 1802
A compendium of the law of evidence Peake, Thomas 1813
A delineation of universal law Bellers, Fettiplace
A dictionary of the Norman or Old French language Kelham, Robert
A digest of the law of actions and trials at nisi prius 'Espinasse, Isaac 1812
A digest of the laws of England respecting real property Cruise, William 1824
A digest of the laws of England. Comyns, John 1822
A digested index of the cases determined in the High Court of Admiralty before the Right Honourable Sir William Scott, knight Greene, Joshua 1818
A digested index to the Virginia reports Hall, Everard. 1825
A general abridgment of cases in equity 1769
A general abridgment of law and equity Viner, Charles 1791
A general abridgment of the common law, alphabetically digested under proper titles: with notes and references to the whole. D'Anvers, Knightley 1725
A general view of the decisions of Lord Mansfield, in civil causes. Evans, William David
A grand abridgment of the common and statvte law of England Sheppard, William 1675
A history of the early part of the reign of James the Second Fox, Charles James 1808
A law-dictionary and glossary, Blount, Thomas 1717
A letter to the livery of London Phillips, R. 1808
A new abridgement and critical review of the State trials, and impeachments for high-treason Salmon, Thomas
A new abridgment of the law Bacon, Matthew 1807
A New and Complete Law-Dictionary, Or, General Abridgment of the Law Cunningham, Timothy 1783
A practical treatise on bills of exchange, checks on bankers, promissory notes, bankers' cash notes, and bank notes Chitty, Joseph 1822
A Practical Treatise on the Law of Nations Chitty, Joseph 1812
A report of all the cases determined by Sir John Holt, knt., from 1688 to 1710 1738
A report of cases in Chancery, the King's Bench, &c. 1764
A report of some proceedings on the commission for the trial of the rebels in the year 1746, in the county of Surry Foster, Michael 1809
A second book of judgements in real, personal, and mixt actions, and upon the statute Huxley, George Leonard 1674
A second book of judgements in real, personal, and mixt actions, and upon the statute Huxley, George Leonard 1675
A Summary of the law and practice of real actions Stearns, Asahel 1824
A systematic arrangement of Lord Coke's First Institute of the laws of England Coke, Edward 1818
A systematical view of the laws of England Wooddeson, Richard 1792
A translation of Glanville Glanville, Ranulf de 1812
A treatise of captures in war. Lee, Richard 1803
A treatise of equity Ballow, Henry 1820
A treatise of gavelkind, both name and thing Somner, William 1660
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
A treatise of testaments and last wills Swinburne, Henry 1728
A treatise of testaments and last wills, fit to be understood by all men, that they may know, whether, whereof, and how, to make them - 7th ed Swinburne, Henry 1803
A treatise of the law relative to merchant ships and seamen Abbott, Charles 1804
A treatise of the laws of England, on the various branches of conveyancing Perkins, John 1757
A treatise of the laws of nature. Cumberland, Richard
A treatise of the pleas of the crown. East, Edward Hyde 1803
A treatise on contracts Newland, John 1806
A treatise on rents Gilbert, Geoffrey 1758
A treatise on the action of ejectment Runnington, Charles 1781
A treatise on the Court of exchequer: in which the revenues of the crown Gilbert, Geoffrey 1758
A treatise on the law of insurance Marshall, Samuel 1808
A treatise on the law of nisi prius Hammond, Anthony 1816
A treatise on the law of obligations, or contracts. Pothier, Robert Joseph
A treatise on the parties to actions, the forms of actions, and on pleading Chitty, Joseph 1825
A treatise on the Statute of frauds Roberts, William 1805
A treatise on the study of the law 1797
A treatise on the study of the law 1797
A treatise upon fines Chetwynd, James. 1773
An abridgement of the law of nisi prius Selwyn, William 1824
An abridgment containing the substance of Coke upon Littleton Hawkins, William 1822
An abridgment of the common law Nelson, William 1726
An Abridgment of the modern determinations in the courts of law and equity 1799
An Analysis of the Civil Law: In Which a Comparison Is Occasionally Made Between Roman Laws and Those of England Hallifax, Samuel 1795
An analysis of the laws of England Blackstone, William 1758
An analytical digest of the reported cases in the courts of equity, and the High Court of Parliament Bridgman, Richard Whalley 1822
An enquiry into the foundation and history of the law of nations in Europe Ward, R. Plumer 1795
An essay on privateers, captures, and particularly on recaptures, according to the laws, treaties, and usages of the maritime powers of Europe Martens, G. F. de 1801
An essay on the law of bailments Jones, William 1823
An essay on the law of patents for new inventions. Collier, John Dyer 1803
An essay on the law of usury Ord, Mark 1809
An essay on the learning of contingent remainders and executory devises. Fearne, Charles 1824
An essay on the legality of impressing seamen Butler, Charles 1778
An essay towards a general history of feudal property in Great Britain ... Dalrymple, John 1759
An exact abridgement of the records in the Tower of London 1657
An historical treatise of a suit in equity Barton, Charles 1796
An institute of the laws of England Wood, Thomas 1772
An introduction to the law, relative to trials at nisi prius Buller, Francis 1817
Apxaionomia [archaionomia] 1644
Apxaionomia, sive De priscis Anglorum legibus libri, sermone anglico, vetustate antiquissimo, aliquot abhinc seculis conscripti, atq 1568
Argumentum anti-normannicum 1682
Arnoldi Vinnii JC. In quatuor libros Institutionum imperialium commentarius academicus et forensis Vinnius, Arnoldus 1761
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
Baron and feme 1738
Britton. 1640
Cases argued and adjudged in the High Court of Chancery [1680-1719] 1806
Cases argued and decreed in the High Court of Chancery ... [1660-1697]. 1735
Cases argued and detemined in the High court of chancery, during the time of Lord Chancellor Eldon 1815
Cases collect & report 1688
Cases determined in the courts of equity 1816
Cases in crown law 1815
Cases in equity during the time of the late Lord Chancellor Talbot Forrester, Alexander 1792
Cases in law and equity 1760
Cases in Parliament 1698
Catalogue of the library of the Law School of Harvard University. 1826
Claydii salmash de subscribendis et signandis testamentis, item de aniquorum & hosiernorum sigillorum differentia teactatvs Saumaise, Claude 2012