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 ascending
An Analysis of the Civil Law: In Which a Comparison Is Occasionally Made Between Roman Laws and Those of England Hallifax, Samuel 1795
An enquiry into the foundation and history of the law of nations in Europe Ward, R. Plumer 1795
The law of evidence Gilbert, Geoffrey 1795
Reports of cases adjudged in the Court of King's bench 1795
Reports of cases adjudged in the Court of King's bench 1794
Modern reports 1793
Reports of cases argued and determined in the High court of Chancery, and of some special cases adjudged in the Court of King's bench [1695-1735] 1793
Reports of divers special cases adjudged in the courts of King's Bench, Common Pleas & Exchequer 1793
Commentaries on the laws of England Blackstone, William 1793
The law of nations Vattel, Emer de 1793
Reports of cases argued and adjudged in the Court of King's Bench 1792
Reports of cases argued and adjudged in the courts of King's Bench, Common Pleas and Exchequer. [1695-1741] 1792
A systematical view of the laws of England Wooddeson, Richard 1792
Cases in equity during the time of the late Lord Chancellor Talbot Forrester, Alexander 1792
A general abridgment of law and equity Viner, Charles 1791
Collectanea juridica. Hargrave, Francis 1791
Modern entries, in English Mallory, John. 1791
Reports of cases argued and adjudged in the Court of King's Bench 1790
Reports of cases ruled and adjudged in the courts of Pennsylvania, before and since the Revolution Dallas, Alexander James 1790
Notes of cases in points of practice, taken in the Court of common pleas at Westminister 1790
Reports of cases argued and determined in the High Court of Chancery 1790
Reports of cases, upon appeals and writs of error 1789
A collection of tracts relative to the law of England Hargrave, Francis 1787
Precedents in Chancery 1786
A collection of all the treaties of peace, alliance, and commerce, between Great-Britain and other powers 1785
The rights of juries vindicated Erskine, Thomas Erskine 1785
Reports of the cases argued and adjudged in the King's courts at Westminster [1742-1744] in three parts. 1784
Discours sur le préjugé des peines infamantes, couronnés à l'Académie de Metz. Lacretelle, Pierre-Louis de 1784
A New and Complete Law-Dictionary, Or, General Abridgment of the Law Cunningham, Timothy 1783
Reports of adjudged cases in the courts of Chancery, King's Bench, Common Pleas, and Exchequer 1782
Corpus Juris Canonici Academicum Lancelotti, Giovanni Paolo 1782
Pandectæ Junstinianeæ, in novum ordinem digestæ 1782
Reports of cases argued and determined in the High court of chancery 1781
A treatise on the action of ejectment Runnington, Charles 1781
Reports of cases determined in the several courts of Westminster-hall, from 1746 to 1779 Blackstone, William 1781
The Law and practice of distresses and replevin Gilbert, Geoffrey 1780
The commentaries, or Reports of Plowden, Edmund 1779
An essay on the legality of impressing seamen Butler, Charles 1778
De jure maritimo et navali, or, A treatise of affairs maritime, and of commerce Molloy, Charles 1778
The law of bills of exchange, promissory notes, bank-notes, and insurances Cunningham, Timothy 1778
Code de l'humanité, ou La législation universelle, naturelle, civile et politique Yverdon, 1778
The law of costs. Sayer, Joseph. 1777
The attorney's practice in the Court of King's Bench Richardson, Robert 1776
The reports of Sir Edward Coke, Knt. in English Coke, Edward 1776
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
Reports of cases adjudged in the Court of King's Bench 1775
The office and duty of executors Wenthworth, Thomas 1774
A treatise upon fines Chetwynd, James. 1773
The law of devises, last wills, and revocations. Gilbert, Geoffrey 1773
An institute of the laws of England Wood, Thomas 1772
Eight centuries of reports 1771
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
Reports of cases argued and adjudged in the Court of King's bench 1770
Consuetudo, vel, lex mercatoria Molyneux, William 1770
A general abridgment of cases in equity 1769
S. Pufendorfii De Officio Hominis Et Civis Secundum Legem Naturalem Libri Duo Pufendorf, Samuel 1769
The mirrour of justices Horne, Andrew 1768
Opera omnia Bynkershoek, Cornelius 1767
Universal Dictionary of Trade and Commerce Postlethwayt, Malachy 1766
Trials per pais Duncombe, Giles. 1766
A report of cases in Chancery, the King's Bench, &c. 1764
The law of executions. Gilbert, Geoffrey 1763
Questions De Droit Naturel Vattel, Emer de 1763
Arnoldi Vinnii JC. In quatuor libros Institutionum imperialium commentarius academicus et forensis Vinnius, Arnoldus 1761
Codex juris ecclesiastici anglicani 1761
D. Justiniani, Sacratissimi Principis, Institutionum, Sive, Elementorum, Libri Quatuor: Quibus Subjungitur Theophili Paraphraseos... Theophilus, 1761
Cases in law and equity 1760
Law, or, a discourse thereof Finch, Henry 1759
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
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
A treatise of the laws of England, on the various branches of conveyancing Perkins, John 1757
The clergy-man's law Watson, William 1747
Principes du droit naturel Burlamaqui, J. J. 1747
Jurisprudentia philologica, sive Elementa juris civilis, Eden, Robert 1744
The compleat arbitrator; or, The law of awards Bacon, Matthew 1744
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
Reports of cases in law and equity 1742
The practical conveyancer Lilli, John 1742
The practical conveyancer Lilli, John 1742
Reports of cases in equity 1742
De laudibus legum Angliæ. Fortescue, John 1741
Reports of cases adjudged in the Court of King's Bench 1741
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
A report of all the cases determined by Sir John Holt, knt., from 1688 to 1710 1738
Baron and feme 1738
The rights of war and peace Grotius, Hugo 1738
The civil law in its natural order Domat, Jean 1737
Codex theoddosianvs cvm perpetvis commentariis iacovbi gothofredi Lipsiae, 1736
Cases argued and decreed in the High Court of Chancery ... [1660-1697]. 1735
The reports of Sir Henry Yelverton, knight and baronet ... 1735
D. Thomae Cragii de Riccarton ... Craig, Thomas 1732
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