"The Most Learned Civilian of His Time" Cowell, John [1554-1611]. Institutiones Juris Anglicani Ad Methodum Et Serium Institutionum Imperialium Compositae & Digestae. Opus non Solum Iuris Anglicani Romaniq[ue] in hoc Regno Studiosis, Sed Omnibus qui Politeian & Consuetudines Inclyti Nostri Imperii Penitius Scire Cupiunt, Utile & Accommodatum. Cum Duplici Indice, Quorum Alter Titulos Ordine Alphabetico, Alter Obscuras Iuris Ang. Dictiones Earumq[ue] Explicationem Continet. Cambridge: Ex Officina Iohannis Legat, 1605. [xii], 268,  pp. Octavo (6-1/2" x 4-1/2"). Contemporary limp vellum, early hand-lettered title to spine. Moderate soiling, corners and spine ends bumped, small hole to center of spine, pastedowns loose. Large seal of Cambridge University to verso of title. Some toning, moderate edgewear to endleaves. Early owner signature (of Charles Milborne) to front and rear endleaves, interior otherwise clean. $950. * First edition. As Walker notes, Cowell was "the most learned civilian of his time." Regius Professor of Civil Law at Cambridge from 1594 to 1611, he is remembered today as the author of an important (and controversial) dictionary, The Interpreter (1607), which went through several subsequent editions. As indicated by its title, the Institutiones is an elementary textbook on English law organized in the manner of Justinian's Institutes. As Holdsworth notes, "The objects of [this book] were to promote the union of England and Scotland by pointing out the resemblances between the common law and the civil law; to give the student of the common law some knowledge of the general principles of law; and to show the students of the civil law that if they would study the common law, they would improve their knowledge of both laws, and cease to be regarded as mere children in legal knowledge. That these ideas were sound is fairly obvious [today]... but they were in advance of their time." A translation of this book was ordered by Parliament in 1651, which indicates its stature during the Commonwealth period (despite Cowell's support of the crown). There were five editions in all; the final edition, in Latin, was published in 1676. Walker, The Oxford Companion to Law 311. Holdsworth, A History of English Law V:21. English Short-Title Catalogue S108957.
Book number 62537