"The Difficulty is to Find Out What a Man Intended After He is Dead" Nelson, William [d. 1653]. Lex Testamentaria: Or, A Compendious System of All the Laws of England, As Well Before the Statute of Henry VIII. As Since, Concerning Last Wills and Testaments. In Which Are Collected, All the Judgments and Resolutions Dispersed in the Year-Books, And All Other Reports Both in Law and Equity, What Estates in Fee, In Tail, For Life or Years, Have Been Created by Wills Either Expressly or by Implication. Treating also All of the Cases Concerning Executory Devises and Legacies. And of All Actions, Pleas and Judgments, By, For or Against Executors, Administrators and Guardians. Very Necessary for All Such Who Are, Or May Be, Entitled to any Estates, By Vertue of Any Will or Administration, Or as Guardians to Infants. Collected in a More Plain, Easie, And Methodical Manner, Than Hitherto Hath Been Done in Any Treatise of this Nature. [London]: Printed by J. Nutt, 1714. [viii], 532,  pp. Octavo (7-1/2" x 4-1/2"). Recent period-style quarter calf over marbled boards, gilt title and gilt-edged raised bands with blind tooling to spine, endpapers renewed. Title page printed in red and black. Light toning to text, tiny spot between pp. 336-337 from a bit of glue (or other sticky substance), internally clean. A notably handsome copy. $750. * First edition. "The Difficulty is to find out what a Man intended after he is dead; and concerning such Intentions, there have been so many nice speculations and fine Constructions both of Words and Sentences, that a Man may with great Truth affirm, many Wills have been made after the Testator himself hath been dead. (...) Lord Hales tells us in Fry and Porter's Case, that a will may be any thing, every thing, nothing, and the reason is plain, for when a man is sick, and yet hath a disposing power, he usually writes non-sense, and then the judges must rack their brains to find out what he intended" (Preface). This book had two other editions in 1724 and 1733. In addition to treatises on evidence, game law and a notable JP manual, Nelson produced editions of Dalton's Countrey Justice, Blount's Nomo Lexicon and Manwood's Laws of the Forest. English Short-Title Catalogue T82585.
Book number 66910