The First English Law Dictionary [Rastell, John (d.1536)]. [Rastell, William, Editor]. Les Termes de la Ley; Or, Certain Difficult and Obscure Words and Termes of the Common Lawes and Statutes of This Realme Now in Use, Expounded and Explained. Newly Imprinted, And Much Inlarged and Augmented. With a New Addition of Above Two Hundred and Fifty Words. London: Printed by J. Streater, 1659. [vii], 271 ff. Text printed in parallel columns. Octavo (6-1/2" x 4-1/4"). Contemporary sheep with later rebacking and recornering, blind fillets and rules to boards, lettering piece and blind fillets to spine, which is varnished, endpapers renewed. Light rubbing to extremities, a few shallow scuffs to boards, corners bumped and somewhat worn. Some soiling to title page, light toning to text. Early owner signatures and initials to title page, faint drawing in pencil to verso, inkspots to a few leaves. Ex-library. Bookplate to front pastedown. $500. * Later edition. English and Law French in parallel columns. First published in 1527 by John Rastell, this was both the first English dictionary and first English law dictionary. It was originally written in Law French with the Latin title Expositiones Terminorum Legum Anglorumae. Later editions were produced by his son, William. Quite popular with students and lawyers due to its clarity and concision, it went through at least twenty-five editions by 1721. A final reissue appeared in 1819. As Marvin observes, it is a useful dictionary because it "reflects the common law at the close of the year-book period with much fidelity.": Legal Bibliography 599. Sweet & Maxwell, A Legal Bibliography of the British Commonwealth 1:11 (48). English Short-Title Catalogue R38213.
Book number 63110