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
Precedents in Chancery 1786
Principes du droit naturel Burlamaqui, J. J. 1747
Principles of equity Kames, Henry Home 1825
Privilegia parliamentaria senatus consensu sublata Brown, William 1704
Questions De Droit Naturel Vattel, Emer de 1763
Registrum brevium tam originalium, quam judicialium 1687
Regula placitandi.
Remarks on Mr. Schlegel's work, Upon the visitation of neutral vessels under convoy. Croke, Alexander 1801
Reports and cases of law 1658
Reports and cases taken in the third, fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh years of the late King Charles 1657
Reports and cases [1592-1597] 1656
Reports and cases [King's Bench and Common Pleas] 1656
Reports and pleadings of cases in assise, for offices, nusances, lands and tenaments Lilly, John 1719
Reports in the Court of Exchequer 1657
Reports in the Court of Kings Bench at Westminster 1685
Reports of adjudged cases in the Court of Common Pleas during the time Lord Chief Justice Willes presided in that court [1737-1758] 1799
Reports of adjudged cases in the courts of Chancery, King's Bench, Common Pleas, and Exchequer 1782
Reports of cases adjudged in the Court of Exchequer 1693
Reports of cases adjudged in the Court of King's Bench 1775
Reports of cases adjudged in the Court of King's bench 1794
Reports of cases adjudged in the Court of King's Bench 1728
Reports of cases adjudged in the Court of King's Bench 1741
Reports of cases adjudged in the Court of King's Bench 1800
Reports of cases adjudged in the Court of King's bench 1795
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 argued and adjudged in the Court of Appeals of Virginia 1824
Reports of cases argued and adjudged in the Court of King's Bench 1790
Reports of cases argued and adjudged in the Court of King's Bench 1792
Reports of cases argued and adjudged in the Court of King's bench 1770
Reports of cases argued and adjudged in the courts of King's Bench and Common Pleas, in the reigns of the late King William, Queen Anne, King George the first, and King George the Second. [1694-1732] Taken and collected by the Right Honourable Robert lord
Reports of cases argued and adjudged in the courts of King's Bench, Common Pleas and Exchequer. [1695-1741] 1792
Reports of cases argued and adjudged in the Supreme Court of the United States. 1804
Reports of cases argued and determined in the Court of Appeals of Virginia Randolph, Peyton 1823
Reports of cases argued and determined in the Court of Appeals of Virginia [1790-1796] 1823
Reports of cases argued and determined in the Court of Common Pleas 1815
Reports of cases argued and determined in the Court of Common Pleas, and other courts 1811
Reports of cases argued and determined in the Court of King's Bench 1813
Reports of cases argued and determined in the Court of King's bench 1814
Reports of cases argued and determined in the Court of King's Bench 1804
Reports of cases argued and determined in the courts of Common pleas and Exchequer chamber 1818
Reports of cases argued and determined in the courts of Common pleas and Exchequer chamber 1801
Reports of cases argued and determined in the courts of Common Pleas, and Exchequer Chamber and in the House of Lords 1814
Reports of cases argued and determined in the High Court of Admiralty 1812
Reports of cases argued and determined in the High court of chancery 1821
Reports of cases argued and determined in the High court of chancery 1817
Reports of cases argued and determined in the High Court of Chancery 1803
Reports of cases argued and determined in the High Court of Chancery 1820
Reports of cases argued and determined in the High Court of Chancery Vesey, Francis 1818
Reports of cases argued and determined in the High court of chancery 1781
Reports of cases argued and determined in the High Court of Chancery 1790
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 cases argued and determined in the High Court of Chancery, from 1757 to 1766 1818
Reports of cases argued and determined in the Supreme Court of Appeals of Virginia 1812
Reports of cases argued and determined in the Supreme Court of Appeals of Virginia 1808
Reports of cases decided in the Court of Appeals of Virginia Gilmer, Francis Walker 1821
Reports of cases decreed in the High Court of Chancery 1725
Reports of cases determined in the several courts of Westminster-hall, from 1746 to 1779 Blackstone, William 1781
Reports of cases in equity 1742
Reports of cases in law and equity 1742
Reports of cases ruled and adjudged in the courts of Pennsylvania, before and since the Revolution Dallas, Alexander James 1790
Reports of cases ruled and adjudged in the several courts of the United States, and of Pennsylvania Dallas, Alexander James 1798
Reports of cases, upon appeals and writs of error 1789
Reports of divers resolutions in law 1659
Reports of divers special cases adjudged in the courts of King's Bench, Common Pleas & Exchequer 1793
Reports of sevral special cases argued and resolved in the Court of Common Pleas 1688
Reports of special cases touching several customes and liberties of the city of London. [1609-1618] Calthrop, Henry 1670
Reports of that grave and learned judge, Sir John Bridgman, knight; serjeant at lavv, sometime chief justice of Chester Bridgman, John 1659
Reports of the cases argued and adjudged in the King's courts at Westminster [1742-1744] in three parts. 1784
Reports of the trials of Colonel Aaron Burr, (late vice president of the United States,) Burr, Aaron 1808
Reports of the trials of Colonel Aaron Burr, (late vice president of the United States,) Burr, Aaron 1808
Reports, or, New cases, taken in the 15, 16, 17, and 18 years of King Charles the First 1675
S. Pufendorfii De Officio Hominis Et Civis Secundum Legem Naturalem Libri Duo Pufendorf, Samuel 1769
Select cases argued and adjudged in the High Court of Chancery
Sir Orl. Bridgman's Conveyances Bridgman, Orlando 1725
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
Style's practical register Style, William 1707
Systême universel de principes du droit maritime de l'Europe. Azuni, D. A.
Term reports in the Court of King's Bench 1817
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
The arguments and reports of Sr. Hen. Pollexfen ... 1702
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
The book of oaths, and the several forms thereof, both ancient and modern 1715
The Britannic constitution Acherley, Roger 1727
The Britannic Constitution Acherley, Roger 1727
The civil law in its natural order Domat, Jean 1737
The clergy-man's law Watson, William 1747
The commentaries, or Reports of Plowden, Edmund 1779
The common law of Kent, or, The customs of gavelkind Robinson, Thomas 1822
The compleat arbitrator; or, The law of awards Bacon, Matthew 1744
The constitution of parliaments in England deduced from the time of King Edward the Second Pettus, John 1680
The country justice: containing the practice, duty and power of the justices of the peace Dalton, Michael 1690
The crown circuit companion Stubbs, W. 1820
The Dialogue in English, Betweene a Doctor of Diuinitie, and a Student in the Lawes of England Saint German, Christopher 1575
The dvties of Constables, Borsholders, Tythingmen, and such other lowe and Lay Ministers of the Peace. Lambarde, William 1614
The ecclesiastical law Burn, Richard 1824
The English lawyer Bohun, William. 1732
The English works of Sir Henry Spelman kt published in his life-time Spelman, Henry 1727
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
The first[-third] part of The reports of Sr George Croke Kt. 1683

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