An institute of the Laws of England

An institute of the Laws of England


An institute of the Laws of England 1728

By Thomas Woods

Printed In London by E. & R. Nutt For Bernard Lintot and Richard Williamson

The Volume is in Very Good Condition bound in full cambridge style panelled calf with the spine divided into seven compartments by six raised bands, with a red morocco letter-piece in the second compartment from the top, and with the board edges gilt tooled. Externally the boards and spines are somewhat scuffed, with chipping to the head and tail of the spine and the hinges split, and with the board corners bumped. Internally the leaves are generally clean and amply margined with some mild toning on occasion, and with some creasing otherwise.
The Volume is Complete in All Respects with frontispiece portrait of the author. See below for pagination & dimensions.

Front Board - An institute of the Laws of EnglandTitle - An institute of the Laws of England

Of Thomas Woods

Thomas Woods was a lawyer, the eldest son of Robert Wood. He became a scholar of Winchester College in 1675, and matriculated from St. Alban Hall, Oxford, on 7 June 1678. On 24 Aug. 1679 he was elected a fellow of New College, whence he graduated B.C.L. on 6 April 1687 and D.C.L. in 1703. Wood was a zealous champion of his uncle, Anthony Wood, as whose proctor he acted in 1692 and 1693 in the suit instituted against him for libelling the first Earl of Clarendon. In 1693 he replied anonymously to some criticisms of Burnet in ‘A Vindication of the Historiographer of the University of Oxford and his Works from the Reproaches of the Bishop of Salisbury,’ and in 1697 he published, also anonymously, ‘An Appendix to the Life of Seth Ward’ (London, 8vo), in which he severely attacked both Ward and Walter Pope, on account of some liberties that he considered Pope had taken with Anthony Wood. He was called to the bar by the society of Gray’s Inn ex gratia on 31 May 1692, at the instance of his kinsman, Lord-chief-justice Sir John Holt, Wood acquired considerable fame as a lawyer by his writings, in spite of the assertion of Thomas Hearne, that ‘those who are the best judges’ were ‘of opinion that he is but as ’twere a dabbler.’ His greatest work is his ‘Institute of the Laws of England; or the Laws of England in their Natural Order, according to Common Use’, a treatise founded on the ‘Discourse’ of Sir Henry Finch. It attained its tenth edition in 1772, and remained the leading work on English law until superseded by Blackstone’s ‘Commentaries’ in 1769. An introductory treatise entitled ‘Some Thoughts concerning the Study of the Laws of England in the two Universities,’ which first appeared in 1708, and was republished in 1727, was after 1730 published with the subsequent editions of Wood’s ‘Institute.’

Pagination & Dimensions

The volume is paginated as follows: [2], [i]-xi, [i], 663, [35]. The volume collates as follows: [a]-c2, B-4P4, 4Q-4Y2, 4Z3. The volume measures about 34.5 cm. By 23.5 cm. By 5.5 cm. Each leaf measures about 335 mm. By 215 mm.

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