Rare Books Blog

The boyhood days of Guy Fawkes (1895)
November 3, 2013

R.J. Lambe, The Boyhood Days of Guy Fawkes, or, The Conspirators of Old London (London: Edwin J. Brett Ltd., “Harkaway House”, [1895?]). Gift of the late Professor Morris L. Cohen. A specimen of the “Penny dreadfuls” genre of popular literature, from the Juvenile Jurisprudence Collection, Lillian Goldman Law Library.

Nicolaus de Gijselaar, De venatione (1734)
November 2, 2013

The latest addition to our Flickr site is “Dutch legal dissertations”. This set of images is another product of my interest in illustrated law books.

The Lillian Goldman Law Library owns thousands of dissertations for doctorates in law from the 17th-18th centuries, most of them from German universities. The title pages of the German dissertations tend to be fairly plain and text-heavy (see the “German legal dissertations” set on Flickr for a taste), although the woodcut headpieces and initials can be quite pretty; you can view several examples in the “Justitia - initials” set.

However, almost all of the 18th-century Dutch dissertations have ornate engraved title pages, like the dissertation on hunting law shown here, one shown here, Dissertatio juridica inauguralis: De venatione (1734), submitted by Nicolaus de Gijselaar for his doctorate in law from Leiden University. Note that the title page is larger than the rest of the 24-page pamphlet. This is another common feature of Dutch legal dissertations. One hypothesis is that the title pages did double duty as broadsides advertising these important academic events, where the candidate would formally present his dissertation to the assembled faculty and dignitaries.

I have yet to find the same engraving re-used in another dissertation. This indicates both the prosperity of the Dutch Republic and the importance placed on the dissertations.

At this writing, “Dutch legal dissertations” contains images of only 10 dissertations, but more are on their way. I am scouring the uncataloged dissertations for additional examples.

– MIKE WIDENER, Rare Book Librarian

Ordinationi e statuti della ven. Archiconfraternita di Santa Maria della Pieta in Campo Santo delle nationi teutonica, e di Fiandra (Roma: Nella stamperia della Rev. Cam. Apost., 1683).
October 27, 2013

Ordinationi e statute della ven. Archiconfraternita di Santa Maria della Pieta in Campo Santo delle nationi teutonica, e di Fiandra (1683).

This binding, 18th-century mottled calf with gilt decoration, shows the arms of Pierluigi Cardinal Carafa.  Carafa (1677-1755) had an active ecclesiastical career after receiving doctorates in Roman and canon law.  Before his death, Carafa served as the Cardinal-Bishop of Ostia in Rome, and was active as a patron in the city.  The Ordinationi e statute comprise the statutes of a lay confraternity of German and Flemish nationals who provided burials and masses for their compatriots in Rome.  It is the first and only printed edition of the work. 

– Ryan Greenwood, Rare Book Fellow

“Armorial Bindings,” an exhibit curated by Ryan Greenwood, is on display from September 23 to December 18, 2013, and is located on level L2 of the Lillian Goldman Law Library, Yale Law School.

Diego de Covarrubias y Leyva, Qvaestionvm practicarvm (1573), bound with his Variarvm resolvtionvm ivridicarvm (Frankfurt, 1573)
October 27, 2013

Diego de Covarrubias y Leyva, Qvaestionvm practicarvm (1573), bound with his Variarvm resolvtionvm ivridicarvm (1573).  Showing the arms of George Carteret.

Diego de Covarrubias (1512-1577), a leading Catholic jurist of the Counter-Reformation, was a professor of canon law, bishop and advisor to Philip II of Spain.  His works bound together here treat questions of procedure, based in canon and Roman law.   

Sir George Carteret (1610-1680) was Comptroller of the Royal Navy before going into exile on the downfall of Charles I.  After the Restoration, he became Treasurer of the Navy, and with John Berkeley received (also naming) New Jersey from the future Catholic King James II.  Carteret later helped draft a provision for religious freedom in New Jersey.  His arms show a squirrel sejant (upright) cracking a nut.

– Ryan Greenwood, Rare Book Fellow

“Armorial Bindings,” an exhibit curated by Ryan Greenwood, is on display from September 23 to December 18, 2013, and is located on level L2 of the Lillian Goldman Law Library, Yale Law School.

Robert Brady, An introduction to the old English history, comprehended in three several tracts... (London, 1684)
October 27, 2013

Robert Brady, An Introduction to the Old English History (1684), showing the arms of Henry Peter Brougham.

Robert Brady (1627?-1700) was a doctor and later professor at Cambridge.  A supporter of Charles II, he opposed the Whigs who sought to exclude James, the Duke of York, from the English throne on account of his Catholic religion.  In An Introduction to the Old English History, Brady rejected the Whig idea of an English “Ancient Constitution,” and denied that Magna Carta was a document of popular freedom.

Henry Brougham (1778-1868), successful as a lawyer and politician, defended Queen Caroline at her trial for adultery.  He became Lord Chancellor of England, from 1830-34, and also Baron Brougham and Vaux.  As Lord Chancellor, he helped pass the 1832 Reform Bill and the Slavery Abolition Act of 1833.  His arms show the monogram B V B, with the coronet of a baron. 

– Ryan Greenwood, Rare Book Fellow

“Armorial Bindings,” an exhibit curated by Ryan Greenwood, is on display from September 23 to December 18, 2013, and is located on level L2 of the Lillian Goldman Law Library, Yale Law School.

Magna Charta, cum statutis, tum antiquis, tum recentibus, maxim opere, animo tenendis nunc demum ad vnum / tipis aedita, per Richardum Tottell (London, 1576)
October 27, 2013

Magna Charta (1576), with arms of Henry Yelverton.

Magna Carta (1215) stands as one of the great legal documents of the western world.  Famously, the English King John was forced to accept certain liberties of his subjects and restrain his powers within the law.  Although at first renounced, amended versions of it were confirmed and reconfirmed by later kings.  This edition, printed by Richard Tottel, was for practising lawyers and judges, and included English statutes in law French and English.

The Law Library’s copy displays the arms of Henry Yelverton (1664-1704), 15th Baron Grey de Ruthyn and Viscount de Longueville.  Yelverton’s arms feature a coronet, indicating his status as a viscount.  A second stamp perhaps belongs to Sir Christopher Yelverton (1602-1654), Yelverton’s grandfather.

– Ryan Greenwood, Rare Book Fellow

“Armorial Bindings,” an exhibit curated by Ryan Greenwood, is on display from September 23 to December 18, 2013, and is located on level L2 of the Lillian Goldman Law Library, Yale Law School.

Institutiones D. Justiniani SS. Princ. : typis variae, rubris nucleum exhibentibus : accesserunt ex Digestis tituli De verborum significatione & Regul. juris (Amsterdam, 1664)
October 27, 2013

Institutiones D. Iustinianei (1664), with arms of Charles William Henry Montagu-Scott.

This copy of the Institutes of Justinian, the introductory text of Roman law taught for centuries in continental law classes, was produced by the great Dutch printer Elzevir.  The book, in a small and popular format, was likely also a pocket reference for lawyers.

Charles William Henry Montagu Douglas Scott (1772-1819) was the Scottish Duke of Buccleuch, and served in Parliament as Baron Tynedale.  His arms feature a stag trippant (walking), with the coronet of a duke and a thistle below, indicating the noble Order of the Thistle.

– Ryan Greenwood, Rare Book Fellow

“Armorial Bindings,” an exhibit curated by Ryan Greenwood, is on display from September 23 to December 18, 2013, and is located on level L2 of the Lillian Goldman Law Library, Yale Law School.

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