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 Date
An abridgement of the law of nisi prius Selwyn, William 1824
Un abridgment des plusieurs cases et resolutions del common ley Rolle, Henry 1668
An Abridgment of the modern determinations in the courts of law and equity 1799
An analysis of the laws of England Blackstone, William 1758
An analytical digest of the reported cases in the courts of equity, and the High Court of Parliament Bridgman, Richard Whalley 1822
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
Apxaionomia, sive De priscis Anglorum legibus libri, sermone anglico, vetustate antiquissimo, aliquot abhinc seculis conscripti, atq 1568
Apxaionomia [archaionomia] 1644
The arguments and reports of Sr. Hen. Pollexfen ... 1702
Argumentum anti-normannicum 1682
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
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
Baron and feme 1738
A book of entries Coke, Edward 1671
The Britannic constitution Acherley, Roger 1727
Britton. 1640
Cases argued and adjudged in the High Court of Chancery [1680-1719] 1806
Cases argued and decreed in the High Court of Chancery ... [1660-1697]. 1735
Cases argued and detemined in the High court of chancery, during the time of Lord Chancellor Eldon 1815
Cases collect & report 1688
Cases determined in the courts of equity 1816
Cases in crown law 1815
Cases in equity during the time of the late Lord Chancellor Talbot Forrester, Alexander 1792
Cases in law and equity 1760
Cases in Parliament 1698
Catalogue of the library of the Law School of Harvard University. 1826
The civil law in its natural order Domat, Jean 1737
The clergy-man's law Watson, William 1747
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
Codex juris ecclesiastici anglicani 1761
Collectanea juridica. Hargrave, Francis 1791
A collection of all the treaties of peace, alliance, and commerce, between Great-Britain and other powers 1785
A collection of cases decided by the General Court of Virginia 1815
A collection of entries Rastell, William
A collection of tracts relative to the law of England Hargrave, Francis 1787
Commentaries on the laws of England Blackstone, William 1793
The common law of Kent, or, The customs of gavelkind Robinson, Thomas 1822
A compendious view of the civil law, and of the law of the admiralty Browne, Arthur 1802
A compendium of the law of evidence Peake, Thomas 1813
The compleat arbitrator; or, The law of awards Bacon, Matthew 1744
Concilia, decreta, leges, constitutiones in re ecclesiarum orbis Britannici Spelman, Henry 1639
The crown circuit companion Stubbs, W. 1820
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
A delineation of universal law Bellers, Fettiplace
A dictionary of the Norman or Old French language Kelham, Robert
A digest of the law of actions and trials at nisi prius 'Espinasse, Isaac 1812
A digest of the laws of England. Comyns, John 1822
A digest of the laws of England respecting real property Cruise, William 1824
Pandectæ Junstinianeæ, in novum ordinem digestæ 1782
A digested index of the cases determined in the High Court of Admiralty before the Right Honourable Sir William Scott, knight Greene, Joshua 1818
A digested index to the Virginia reports Hall, Everard. 1825
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
Le droit de la guerre, et de la paix Grotius, Hugo 1724
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
Eight centuries of reports 1771
Eirenarcha: or Of the Office of the Iustices of Peace Lambarde, William 1614
Elements of conveyancing Barton, Charles 1810
The English lawyer Bohun, William. 1732
English liberties Care, Henry 1719
The English works of Sir Henry Spelman kt published in his life-time Spelman, Henry 1727
An enquiry into the foundation and history of the law of nations in Europe Ward, R. Plumer 1795
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
An essay on the law of patents for new inventions. Collier, John Dyer 1803
An essay on the law of usury Ord, Mark 1809
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
An exact abridgement of the records in the Tower of London 1657
Firma burgi, or, An historical essay concerning the cities, towns and buroughs of England. Madox, Thomas
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
Fleta seu commentarius juris anglicani sic nuncupatus 1647
A general abridgment of cases in equity 1769
A general abridgment of law and equity Viner, Charles 1791
A general abridgment of the common law, alphabetically digested under proper titles: with notes and references to the whole. D'Anvers, Knightley 1725
A general view of the decisions of Lord Mansfield, in civil causes. Evans, William David
A grand abridgment of the common and statvte law of England Sheppard, William 1675
[Le grant coustumier du pays et duche de Normandie ... 1534
La graunde abridgement, collecte & escrie per le Iudge tresreuerend Syr Robert Brooke ... Brooke, Robert 1576
Historia placitorum coronae Hale, Matthew 1800
Historical law-tracts. Kames, Henry Home
An historical treatise of a suit in equity Barton, Charles 1796
The history and practice of civil actions, particularly in the Court of common pleas Gilbert, Geoffrey
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
The history of the common law of England Hale, Matthew 1820
A history of the early part of the reign of James the Second Fox, Charles James 1808
The history of the Roman or civil law. Ferrière, Claude Joseph de
Horæ juridicæ subsecivæ Butler, Charles 1807
Hugo Grotius De mari libero et P. Merula De maribus. Grotius, Hugo 1633
An institute of the laws of England Wood, Thomas 1772
Institutes of natural law Rutherforth, T. 1799
Institutio legalis Bohun, William. 1732
Institution au droit maritime Boucher, P. B. 1803
The Institutes of Justinian. 1812
Instructor clericalis R. G., 1715
The interpreter, or Book containing the signification of words Cowell, John 1658