John Selden, Table-talk (1689), with arms of John Poulett.
Selden (1584-1664), was one of the great English jurists, a polymath and prolific scholar. He treated subjects ranging from English law, to archeology, and was the outstanding English Hebraist of his age. He served in the House of Commons, and was imprisoned for a time in the Tower of London. In an ironic and maybe triumphant twist, Selden was later made keeper of the rolls and records of the Tower. While Selden is remembered most today among legal scholars for his work on international law, Table-talk was a more popular and accessible work. It offers short observations on legal topics, and theological issues like free will, as well as opinions on subjects like friendship.
The English aristocrat John Poulett (1663-1743) served in government as First Lord of the Treasury and later was elected a Knight of the Garter. His monogram shows the initials J P beneath the coronet of a baron.
“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.