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Elements of the Common Lawes of England - BACON Francis - 1630. [1272818]
1630 - BACON, Francis. The Elements of the Common Lawes of England. London: John More, 1630. Two volumes bound as one. Small quarto (5-3/4 by 7-1/4 inches), contemporary full blindstamped polished brown calf rebacked with original spine laid down, raised bands. red morocco spine label; pp. [24], 104; [8], 84. Housed in a custom clamshell box. $7500.First edition of this important collection of Bacon's maxims of English law"""in the science of the grounds and mysteries of the law, he was exceeded by none"""exceedingly rare in contemporary calf .As Britain's Lord Chancellor, Francis Bacon excelled as "one of the Makers of English Law. In all the spheres that a lawyer can occupy he was preeminent" (Reams, 105). Yet the displeasure with which James I viewed his reforms prevented any of Bacon's legal works from being published during his lifetime. Central to this conflict was Bacon's belief "in a large, modern, centralized nation-state and in a powerful, dominant monarchy. Bacon was against medieval ideas of feudalism". just as much as he was against medieval notions in metaphysics". Bacon rejected Coke's theory of the supremacy of the common law, preferring to ascribe supremacy to natural law, or to what he went so far as to call reason". What was needed was the vision of the statesman, and this Bacon himself volunteered to contribute. The statesman was ready to agree that the judges should be honored as lions, but the lions should be 'under the throne.' It was this opinion that recommended him to James I, [yet] Bacon did not succeed in winning James's sympathy, even when he was closest to him" (Encyclopedia of Philosophy I: 236). Thus the Elements, part of Bacon's noble plan to systematize and reform English law, was published posthumously. "Had his proposition for amending the law been favorably received by James I, Bacon would doubtless have collected and illustrated most of the settled rules and maxims of the common law, for he considered such a work to be an essential basis upon which the law should repose" (Marvin, 83). Among America's Founding Fathers, Jefferson held Bacon in especially high esteem. He considered Bacon, Locke and Newton to be "the three greatest men that have ever lived, without any exception" (February 15, 1789 letter to John Trumbull). While only 25 of the hundreds of maxims collected by Bacon were ever published, Elements stands acclaimed as "one of the earliest, if the not the first, published collection of Maxims of the English Law". in the science of the grounds and mysteries of the law, he was exceeded by none" (Marvin, 83-84). The second work in this volume, The Use of the Law, printed in 1635, may be spurious; it first appeared in 1629 as the second part of another work by Sir John Doderidge entitled The Lawyer's Light (see Gibson 192). With both general title pages (Elements, and variant Collection), no priority established, and separate title page (Use of the Law). Woodcut-engraved ornamental initials and headpieces. Complete with Preface bound before To Her Sacred Majesty. With laid-in partial initial blank leaf (3 by 4-2/3 inches) containing early hand-lettered, "Bacon's Elements"." ESTC S100348. Gibson 193. Sweet & Maxwell, 166. Marvin, 83. See STC 1134. Early owner signature to Elements title page.Text very fresh, faint rubbing to boards. A handsome copy. [Attributes: First Edition; Hard Cover]
      [Bookseller: Bauman Rare Books]
Last Found On: 2016-11-25           Check availability:      AbeBooks    


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