A Medieval Legal Landmark *WITH*1618's Working Updates
(ALL THAT'S “NECESSARIE”). Great Britain. Laws, statutes, etc. Magna Carta. Magna charta [i.e., Magna carta], cum statutis, tum antiquis, tûm recentibus, maximopere animo tenendis, iam nouiter excusa, & summa diligentia emendata & correcta. Cui adiecta sunt nonnulla statuta, nunc demum tipis aedita. London: Pr. [by Adam Islip] for the Companie of Stationers, 1618. 8vo (13.3 cm, 5.25"). , 258,  ff. (pagination skips 15 and repeats 17, text and signatures uninterrupted).
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The Magna Carta began the long process in English law of putting explicit legal limits on royal (and hence, by later extension, governmental) authority and of granting explicit rights to the ruled, a process that has led by circuitous and varying routes to many of the key provisions of the present British and U.S. constitutions. This compact, originally just between the king and his discontented barons, has been invested by time and later interpretation with real and mythological power far beyond its original intent and far beyond any other single document in English law. Magna Carta remainsthe most significant single milestone in the common Anglo-American legal tradition.
Appended here to the Magna Carta are“the most necessarie of those old Statutes, and divers later and newe Statutes most convenient to be had” (f. ii), all printed in the original Latin, legal French, or English. One of the lengthiest of these is the statute of Henry VIII confirming the suppression of the monasteries (Anno 31, Henry VII, Cap. 13); others relate to Women, Wills, Forcible Entry, Usury, and “Fraudulent Deeds.” Like many English law books of the period, this is printed in a mix of black-letter, roman, and italic types, with one decorative capital marking the Magna Carta in the table of contents and another, larger, at the beginning of its actual text.
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Provenance: Title-page with early inked ownership inscription of Richard Almack in upper portion, back fly-leaf with early inked inscription “This Book was given to me by Mr. Richard Relham of Cambr[idge]” and, in another hand, “Hugh Davies.”
ESTC S122651; STC (2nd ed.) 9285; Lowndes 1449; Sweet & Maxwell, 21.V.9. Contemporary sheep framed in blind, unobtrusively rebacked, spine with gilt-stamped title and date (incorrect: given as 1611); sides showing signs of earlier wear, back cover with spots of mild discoloration, upper outer corners rubbed. Inscriptions as above. Outer page edges (closed) with early inked title and date; text with a handful of instances of early inked underlining. Mild to moderate waterstaining to upper or lower portions of a number of leaves; two pages with spots of light staining; small section of volume with chip to lower edges. A solid, respectable copy of a venerable work as set forth for and integrated with the needs of the “modern” practitioner. (34003)
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