Gifts to the Rare Book Collection

April 16, 2008

A hearty thanks to my Anglophile friend, Mr. Harold I. Boucher of San Francisco (LL.B. Boalt, 1930, Honorary O.B.E.), for his gift of two fine 17th-century English legal texts to the Rare Book Collection. Mr. Boucher is a longtime advocate for legal history as an integral component of law school curricula.

The gifts include Essex’s Innocency and Honour Vindicated: Or, Murther, Subornation, Perjury, and Oppression, Justly Charg’d on the Murtherers of That Noble Lord and True Patriot, Arthur (Late) Earl of Essex by Lawrence Braddon (London: Printed for the Author, 1690).The Earl of Essex had been imprisoned for plotting a revolt, and the attorney Lawrence Braddon here argues that Essex’s death was a murder and not a suicide as the authorities claimed. Braddon’s little pamphlet earned him a trial on slander charges (we also have the account of his trial), and he remained in prison until William III’s landing. Our copy includes the frontispiece, often missing, of the crime scene in the Tower of London (see below).

Mr. Boucher’s other gift is John Brydall’s Jura Coronae: His Majesties Royal Rights and Prerogatives Asserted, Against Papal Usurpations, and all other Anti-Monarchical Attempts and Practices (London: Printed for George Dawes … against Lincolns-Inn-Gate, 1680). Brydall was a conservative, monarchist barrister who published a number of legal tracts. This particular book was printed just a few steps from Wildy & Sons, Law Booksellers, where I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Boucher in person in 2002, through the good offices of Roy Heywood, Wildy’s rare book specialist.

Thanks also to Meyer Boswell Books of San Francisco for its help in arranging this special gift.


Rare Book Librarian

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