The First Layman's Guide Published in America Jacob, Giles [1686-1744]. Every Man His Own Lawyer: Or, A Summary of the Laws of England, In a New and Instructive Method, Under the Following Heads, Viz. I. Of Actions and Remedies, Writs, Process, Arrests, and Bail. II. Of Courts, Attornies and Solicitors Therein, Juries, Witnesses, Trials, Executions, &c. III. Of Estates and Property in Lands and Goods, And How Acquired, Ancestors, Heirs, Executors and Administrators. IV. Of the Laws Relating to Marriage, Bastardy, Infants, Ideots, Lunaticks. V. Of the Liberty of the Subject, Magna Charta, the Habeas Corpus Act, and other Statutes. VI. Of the King and his Prerogative, the Queen and Prince, Peers, Judges, Sheriffs, Coroners, Justices of Peace, Constables, &c. VII. Of Publick Offences, Treason, Murder, Felony, Burglary, Robbery, Rape, Sodomy, Forgery, Perjury, &c. and Their Punishment. All of Them so Plainly Treated of That All Manner of Persons May be Particularly Acquainted With Our Laws and Statutes, Concerning Civil and Criminal Affairs, And Know How to Defend Themselves and Their Estates and Fortunes, An All Cases Whatsoever. Corrected and Improved, With Many Additions, from Lord Raymond, Comyn, Strange, Foster, And with the Statute Law Down to 4 Geo. 3. Inclusive. New-York: Printed by Hugh Gaine, 1768. iv, 289,  pp. Octavo (7-1/4" x 4-1/2"). Contemporary sheep, blind fillets and decorative blind tooling to boards. Moderate rubbing to extremities, some chipping to spine ends, corners bumped and lightly worn, a few minor scuffs to boards, hinges cracked, light browning to text. Early owner signature to rear pastedown, interior otherwise clean. $2,400. * First American edition, designated the seventh on the title page in reference to the prior six editions published in London. This popular layman's guide by one of the most prolific legal writers of eighteenth-century England went through ten English editions between 1736 and 1788. The mention of "All Manner of Persons" in the subtitle is significant. Jacob, though certainly interested in boosting sales by attracting the widest audience possible, was an idealist who believed that widespread knowledge of the law would help create a more just society. This is also evident in his other publications, such as The Common Law Common-Placed (1726) and Treatise of Law.
Book number 59841