« PreviousContinue »
Institutes of the Laws of England;
COMMENTARY UPON LITTLETON.
NOT THE NAME OF THE AUTHOR ONLY, BUT OF THE LAW ITSELF.
Quid te vana juvant miseræ ludibria chartæ ?
Hoc lege, quod possis dicere jure, ---meum est.
HÆC EGO GRANDÆVUS POSUI TIBI, CANDIDE LECTOR,
With Additions of NOTES, REFERENCES, and PROPER TABLES,
The NOTES of Lord Chief Justice HALE and Lord Chancellor NOTTINGHAM;
An ANALYSIS of LITTLETON, written by an unknown Hand in 1658-9.
BY CHARLES BUTLER, Esq.
THE EIGHTEENTH EDITION, CORRECTED.
IN TW() VOLUMES.
PRINTED FOR J. & w, T. CLARKE ; R. PHENEY; AND S. BROOKE.
This Edition of Sir EdwARD Coke's Commentary upon Littleton is printed from the last edition by Mr. BUTLER,
A SEVENTEENTH Edition of this Work being called for, the latter Editor has endeavoured to render it as perfect as it was in his power. He is indebted to Mr. Thomas CANNING, of Lincoln's Inn, for the elaborate Index to the Notes, which accompanies the present Edition, and several observations, interspersed in the additions to the notes : and to Mr. Ritso's Introduction to the Science of the Law, for many useful remarks, both on the literal accuracy and learning of the text.
It appearing to be the universal wish of the Profession that the Notes should be printed under the Text, and the whole Work comprised in Two Volumes, this has been effected in the present Edition ; but, with a necessary sacrifice of the ancient Norman-French of the Text of Littleton. The Editor submitted the more easily to this sacrifice, as it enabled him to adopt a regular system of paging and reference, the want of which, in the former octavo editions, was much felt, and generally complained of; and as Lord Coke's version has long been considered an authentic representation of the text.
This mark it is placed in the text, at the beginning of each half page or folio in the Thirteenth Edition, the paging of which is always preserved in the margin, and noted at the top of every page, of the present edition.
FIRST ADDRESS TO THE PUBLIC.
THE very high and advanced price, at which the twelfth edition
of Sir Edward Coke's First Institute, or Commentary upon Littleton, has been sold for a long time past, is a proof that a new edition is now wanted in order to supply the Public demand. This of itself may be thought a sufficient reason for offering a new edition ; but another and more cogent motive concurs in inducing to such a proposal ; for, notwithstanding the advantages, which may have been given to the tenth, eleventh, and twelfth editions, there still remains an ample field for further improvements. It is not intended, by this observation, in the least to derogate from the merit of those three editions ; of which the tenth and elerenth are particularly thought by some to deserve commendation, as well on account of the care and industry exerted in correcting the errors of former impressions, as on account of the knowledge and judgment shown in the additional notes and references. But a work like Sir Edward Coke's Commentary, so crowded with references to other books and authorities, will ever leave room for corrections ; and being written on a subject so dependant, as the law necessarily is, on the opinions of the time present, and so frequently undergoing changes by acts of the legislature, will continually call for additions. These considerations may suffice to evince the propriety of attempting a new edition; but something further is requisite to recommend that now offered to the Public; and therefore the editor will explain the plan on which he proposes to conduct it.
Littleton's Tenures and Sir Edward Coke's Commentary will be printed from the second edition, that being generally esteemed the most correct one of the Commentary; but it will be occasionally compared with the first and other editions, all of which have been procured for that purpose. Also the text of Littleton will be collated with the Rohan edition, which was that preferred by Sir Edward Coke, and a still earlier one by Lettou and Mechlinia, which