Collection Summary

Creator: Fearne, Charles
Title: Commonplace Book from Stannery Court Library, Wales, 1817
Accession: MSS 84-10
Description: 1 item
Location: Special Collections
Photograph Collection: View 0 digitized photographs
Digitized Content: 0 objects

Collection Description & Arrangement

This commonplace book, written in 1817, contains abstracts from the sixth edition of Charles Fearne's An Essay on the Learning of Contingent Remainders and Executory Devises edited by Charles Butler, and from the third edition of Francis Williams Sanders' An Essay on Uses and Trusts. It is in at least two hands and may have been written over a period of years.

The volume came from the Library of the Stannary Court in Wales. The Stannary Courts date from the thirteeth century when they were established by King John to resolve issues of ownership and control of mining. In 1896 they were abolished and their responsibilities transferred to new county courts.

Biographical & Historical Information

The Stannary Parliaments and Stannary Courts were legislative and legal institutions in Cornwall and in Devon (in the Dartmoor area), England. The Stannary Courts administered equity for the region's tin-miners and tin mining interests, and they were also courts of record for the towns dependent on the mines. Executive authority in stannary areas was exercised by the Lord Warden of the Stannaries.

The separate and powerful government institutions available to the tin miners reflected the enormous importance of the tin industry to the English economy during the Middle Ages. Special laws for tin miners pre-date written legal codes in Britain, and ancient traditions exempted everyone connected with tin mining in Cornwall and Devon from any jurisdiction other than the Stannary Courts in all but the most exceptional circumstances.

As the tin mines of Cornwall and Devon lost their economic importance during the 18th and 19th centuries, their political institutions also waned in power and ultimately faded away, until recent efforts to restore them.

Charles Fearne was born in London in 1742, and was educated at Westminster School. His 1772 work, "Essay on the Learning of Contingent Remainders and Executory Devices", is deemed to have done "more than any other to preserve the Rule in Shelley’s Case as black letter law (as distinguished from a rule of construction)."

Francis Williams Anders was born in 1769. After some years of pupilage to John Stanley, attorney-general of the Leeward Islands, and M.P. for Hastings, 1784–1801, he began practice as a certificated conveyancer. Sanders was author of a professional treatise of deservedly high repute entitled ‘An Essay on Uses and Trusts, and on the Nature and Operation of Conveyances at Common Law, and of those which derive their effect from the Statute of Uses,’ London, 1791, 1799

Acquisition Information

Date Received 1984
Donor Information This book was a gift of Neill H. Alford, Jr.

Content List

1 book.

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