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.

Titlesort descending Author Date
Cobbett's complete collection of state trials and proceedings for high treason and other crimes and misdemeanors from the earliest period [1163] to the present time [1820]. 1809
Code de l'humanité, ou La législation universelle, naturelle, civile et politique Yverdon, 1778
Codex juris ecclesiastici anglicani 1761
Codex theoddosianvs cvm perpetvis commentariis iacovbi gothofredi Lipsiae, 1736
Collectanea juridica. Hargrave, Francis 1791
Commentaries on the laws of England Blackstone, William 1793
Concilia, decreta, leges, constitutiones in re ecclesiarum orbis Britannici Spelman, Henry 1639
Consuetudo, vel, lex mercatoria Molyneux, William 1770
Corpus Juris Canonici Academicum Lancelotti, Giovanni Paolo 1782
D. Justiniani, Sacratissimi Principis, Institutionum, Sive, Elementorum, Libri Quatuor: Quibus Subjungitur Theophili Paraphraseos... Theophilus, 1761
D. Thomae Cragii de Riccarton ... Craig, Thomas 1732
De jure maritimo et navali, or, A treatise of affairs maritime, and of commerce Molloy, Charles 1778
De laudibus legum Angliæ. Fortescue, John 1741
Discours sur le préjugé des peines infamantes, couronnés à l'Académie de Metz. Lacretelle, Pierre-Louis de 1784
Doctor and student Saint German, Christopher 1815
Doctrina placitandi, ou, L'art & science de bon pleading Eure, Samson 1677
Eight centuries of reports 1771
Eirenarcha: or Of the Office of the Iustices of Peace Lambarde, William 1614
Elements of conveyancing Barton, Charles 1810
English liberties Care, Henry 1719
Firma burgi, or, An historical essay concerning the cities, towns and buroughs of England. Madox, Thomas
Fleta seu commentarius juris anglicani sic nuncupatus 1647
Genesi Del Diritto Penale Romagnosi, Giandoxnenico 1807
Grundlage Des Naturrechts Nach Prinzipien Der Wissenschaftslehre Fichte, Johann Gottlieb 1797
Historia placitorum coronae Hale, Matthew 1800
Historical law-tracts. Kames, Henry Home
Horæ juridicæ subsecivæ Butler, Charles 1807
Hugo Grotius De mari libero et P. Merula De maribus. Grotius, Hugo 1633
Institutes of natural law Rutherforth, T. 1799
Institutio legalis Bohun, William. 1732
Institution au droit maritime Boucher, P. B. 1803
Institutions Commerciales Bouchard, Pierre 1801
Instructor clericalis R. G., 1715
Ioannis Seldeni Mare clausum seu De dominio maris libri duo. Selden, John 1635
Iuris Graeco-Romani tam canonici quam ciuilis tomi duo Iohannis Leunclauii Amelburni Leunclavius, Johannes 1596
Joannis Seldeni juris consulti opera omnia, tam edita quam inedita Selden, John 1726
Johannis Kahl, aliàs Calvini, magnum lexicon juridicum Calvin, Jean 1759
Jura coronæ. Brydall, John 1680
Juridical arguments and collections Hargrave, Francis 1797
Juris et Judicii Fecialis Zouch, Richard 1650
Jurisdictions Kitchin, John. 1675
Jurisprudentia philologica, sive Elementa juris civilis, Eden, Robert 1744
L'ambassadeur et ses fonctions Wicquefort, Abraham de 2012
La Graunde Abridgement Fitzherbert, Anthony 1565
La graunde abridgement, collecte & escrie per le Iudge tresreuerend Syr Robert Brooke ... Brooke, Robert 1576
La premiere part des ans du Roy Henry le VI. 1679
Law tracts ... Bacon, Francis
Law, or, a discourse thereof Finch, Henry 1759
Le droit de la guerre, et de la paix Grotius, Hugo 1724
Le Droit de la Nature Et Des Gens Pufendorf, Samuel 1740
Le livre des assises et pleas del' Corone 1679
Le premier report des cases et matters en ley resolues & adiudges en les courts del roy en Ireland Davies, John 1628
Le premier[-second] part de les reports del' cases en ley 1679
Lectures on the constitution and laws of England Sullivan, Francis Stoughton
Leges anglo-saxonicae ecclesiasticae & civiles.
Les plees del corone Staunford, William
Les reports de Gulielme Bendloes, serjeant de la ley Bendlowes, William 1661
Les reports de Gulielme Benloe serjeant del ley 1689
Les reports de Henry Rolle ... de divers cases en le Court del' banke le roy 1675
Les reports de Sir Gefrey Palmer, chevalier & baronet ... [1619-1629] 1678
Les reports de Sir John Savile ... 1675
Les reports del cases en ley 1679
Les Reports del cases en ley, que furent argues en le temps de tres haut & puissant princes les roys Henry le IV. & Henry le V. 1679
Les reports des cases argue & adjudge in le temps del' Roy Edward le Second 1678
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
Les reports des cases contenus in les ans vingt premier, & apres en temps du Roy Henry le VI. 1679
Les reports des cases en les ans des Roys Edward V., Richard III., Henrie VII., & Henrie VIII. 1679
Les reports des cases en ley en le cinque an du roy Edward le Quart 1680
Les reports des cases en ley que furent argues en temps du roy Edward le Quart 1680
Les reports des divers special cases argue & adjudge en le Court del bank le Roy 1714
Les reports des tres honorable Edw. seigneur Littleton, baron de Mounslow ... 1683
Les reports du tres erudite Edmund Anderson 1664
Les termes de la ley Rastell, John 1721
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
Lex mercatoria Beawes, Wyndham. 1813
Lex parliamentaria Petyt, George.
Maximes of reason Wingate, Edmund 1658
Maxims of equity Francis, Richard 1728
Modern entries, in English Mallory, John. 1791
Modern reports 1793
Modus tenendi Parliamentum, or, The old manner of holding Parliaments in England Hakewill, William 1659
Narrationes modernae, or Modern reports begun in the now Upper bench court at Westminster 1658
New reports of cases argued and determined, in the Court of common pleas, and other courts 1806
Notes of cases in points of practice, taken in the Court of common pleas at Westminister 1790
Observations on penal jurisprudence, and the reformation of criminals Roscoe, William 1819
Observations on the more ancient statutes from the Magna Charta to the twenty-first of James I cap. xxvii Barrington, Daines
Of the judicature in Parliaments Selden, John 1681
Of the law-terms, a discourse wherein the laws of the Jews, Grecians, Romans, Saxons and Normans, relating to this subject are fully explained Spelman, Henry 1684
Officina brevium 1679
Officium clerici pacis 1726
Officium vicecomitum Dalton, Michael
Opera omnia Bynkershoek, Cornelius 1767
Origines juris civilis Gravina, Gianvincenzo 1708
Pandectæ Junstinianeæ, in novum ordinem digestæ 1782
Placita coronae, or, Pleas of the crown in matters criminal and civil Tremaine, John 1723
Pleas of the crown Hale, Matthew 1716
Plusieurs tres-bons cases Latch, John 1662
Points in manumission and cases of contested freedom Henry, Jabez 1817
Praxis almae curiae cancellariae Brown, William 1694
Praxis curiae admiralitatis Angliae Clerke, Francis 1679