Built by Association: Lord Brougham

Arthur Male's inscription to Lord Brougham

Lord Brougham’s signed copy of Law of Elections (1818) by Arthur Male.

Henry Peter Brougham, 1st Baron Brougham and Vaux (1778-1868), was a British statesman, member of Parliament, and, from 1830 to 1834, Lord Chancellor of Great Britain.

Brougham entered the House of Commons in 1810, but it was not until his successful defense of Queen Caroline in her 1820 adultery trial that he would gain popular renown. He remained in Parliament until 1830, when he was appointed Lord Chancellor and raised to the peerage. He was an ardent and effective political reformer throughout his life, and according to The Oxford Companion to Law (1980), “[h]is contribution to the law lay in promotion of legislative reforms rather than in judicial work.” As Lord Chancellor, he abolished several obsolete courts, created the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council and the Central Criminal Court, and was instrumental in the passage of an 1833 statute that abolished slavery throughout the British Empire.

This 1818 first edition of the barrister Arthur Male’s Law of Elections contains the handwritten note “With the author’s compliments” on the front free endpaper. On the following page, Brougham has written his name clearly at the upper right-hand corner.

          – Bryan A. Garner

“Built by Association: Books Once Owned by Notable Judges and Lawyers, from Bryan A. Garner’s Collection”, an exhibit curated by Bryan A. Garner with Mike Widener, is on display until December 16, 2013 in the Rare Book Exhibition Gallery, Lillian Goldman Law Library, Yale Law School.

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