A "Learned" Study of the Origins of Modern Anglo-European Law Spence, George [1787-1850]. An Inquiry into the Origin of the Laws and Political Institutions of Modern Europe, Particularly Those of England. London: John Murray, 1826. xxxvi, 600 pp. Octavo (9" x 5-1/2"). Recent period-style quarter calf over cloth, gilt fillets and lettering piece to spine, endpapers renewed, untrimmed edges. Clean tear to fore-edge of a leaf mended with archival tape. Light foxing to a few leaves, interior otherwise fresh. Ex-institutional library. Small inkstamp to title page, another to a text leaf. A handsome copy of an uncommon title. $950. * Only edition. This book is mentioned by Holdsworth, who deems it a "learned book." According to Spence's preface, his work on the translation of the Code Napoleon led him to "look attentively into the civil law of the Romans, where he found that a great proportion of the doctrines of the common law of England, even many of those which are purely artificial, were to be found in the [Corpus Juris Civilis]. This induced him to study the civil and criminal code of the Romans with some minuteness, and to compare the political and judicial institutions of modern Europe, and of our own country in particular, with those of ancient Rome, in order to discover to what extent the former might be traced from the latter, their venerable and classical origins." (v). Spence was an English jurist and barrister of the Inner Temple. He was the author of several books, including a translation of the Code Napoleon and an important treatise on chancery law. Not in Sweet & Maxwell. Holdsworth, A History of English Law XIII:496. Catalogue of the Library of the Harvard Law School (1909) II:637.
Book number 44533