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 Authorsort descending Date
UVA Lawyer - Spring 1998 1998
An Abridgment of the modern determinations in the courts of law and equity 1799
Lex mercatoria Beawes, Wyndham. 1813
The revised code of the laws of Virginia 1819
Virginia Law School Report - Spring 1985 1985
Instructor clericalis R. G., 1715
Reports of cases argued and determined in the High Court of Admiralty 1812
Claydii salmash de subscribendis et signandis testamentis, item de aniquorum & hosiernorum sigillorum differentia teactatvs Saumaise, Claude 2012
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
Reports of cases adjudged in the Court of King's bench 1794
A New and Complete Law-Dictionary, Or, General Abridgment of the Law Cunningham, Timothy 1783
A collection of tracts relative to the law of England Hargrave, Francis 1787
Principes du droit naturel Burlamaqui, J. J. 1747
A treatise on the law of insurance Marshall, Samuel 1808
UVA Lawyer - Fall 1998 1998
An analysis of the laws of England Blackstone, William 1758
Lex parliamentaria Petyt, George.
The rights of juries vindicated Erskine, Thomas Erskine 1785
Virginia Law School Report - Summer 1985 1985
The interpreter, or Book containing the signification of words Cowell, John 1658
Reports of cases argued and determined in the Supreme Court of Appeals of Virginia 1812
Specimen confutationis animadversionum Desiderii Heraldi, sive Tractatus de subscribendis et signandis testamentis, item de antiquorum et hodiernorum sigillorum differentia, auctore Cl. S Saumaise, Claude 1648
An essay on the law of patents for new inventions. Collier, John Dyer 1803
Reports of cases adjudged in the Court of King's Bench 1728
The country justice: containing the practice, duty and power of the justices of the peace Dalton, Michael 1690
Doctrina placitandi, ou, L'art & science de bon pleading Eure, Samson 1677
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
UVA Lawyer - Spring 1999 1999
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
Virginia Law School Report - Winter 1986 1986
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
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
An essay on the law of usury Ord, Mark 1809
Reports of cases adjudged in the Court of King's Bench 1741
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
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
UVA Lawyer - Fall 1999 1999
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
Virginia Law School Report - Spring 1986 1986
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
The student's law-dictionary: or compleat English law-expositor: The whole collected from the best dictionaries, and other authorities hitherto 1740
An essay on the learning of contingent remainders and executory devises. Fearne, Charles 1824
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
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
UVA Lawyer - Spring 2000 2000
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
Virginia Law School Report - Fall 1986 1986
Joannis Seldeni juris consulti opera omnia, tam edita quam inedita Selden, John 1726
Reports of cases decreed in the High Court of Chancery 1725
A Treatise of Spousals, or Matrimonial Contracts: Wherein All the Questions Relating to That Subject Are Ingeniously Debated and Resolved Swinburne, Henry 1686
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
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
UVA Lawyer - Fall 2000 2000
Apxaionomia [archaionomia] 1644
The mirrour of justices Horne, Andrew 1768
Sir Orl. Bridgman's Conveyances Bridgman, Orlando 1725
Virginia Law School Report - Winter 1987 1987
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
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
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
The compleat arbitrator; or, The law of awards Bacon, Matthew 1744
Regula placitandi.
A treatise on the study of the law 1797
UVA Lawyer - Spring 2001 2001
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
Virginia Law School Report - Spring 1987 1987
Jura coronæ. Brydall, John 1680
Reports of cases in equity 1742
The Transactions of the High Court of Chancery Tothill, William 1820
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
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

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