Sheppard's Plan to Reform Conveyancing Sheppard, William [fl. 1660]. The President of Presidents. Or, One General President for Common Assurances by Deeds: Wherein There is Contained an Extract or Abridgment of All the Readings and Presidents Thereof Extant. Of Singular Use and Profit to All Men. London: Printed by Henry Hills for Humphrey Tuckey, 1655. [vi], 242, 247-361,  pp. Pagination irregular, text complete. (7" x 5-1/4"). Contemporary sheep, rebacked, blind rules to boards, raised bands to spine, hinges mended, early hand-lettered title to fore-edge of text block. A few minor nicks and stains and some shallow scuffs to boards, moderate rubbing to extremities with some wear to corners, hinges starting. Light browning to text, occasional faint dampstaining to foot of text block, two struck-through early owner signatures and later signature dated 1797 to head of title page, brief manuscript index in hand of 1797 signer to rear free endpaper. $950. * First edition. Active in the Protectorate, where he was Cromwell's legal advisor, Sheppard aimed to reform English common law. Ahead of his time in many ways, many of his proposals anticipate changes that were adopted in the nineteenth century, especially in the Juridicature acts of 1875-78. The Presidents of Presidents is a novel guide that proposed a system of conveyances based on a uniform model. Sheppard promotes this standardized plan as a way to better secure property rights by eliminating the ambiguity introduced by local practices. According to his biographer, Nancy Matthews, this work remains "an important contribution to English legal literature.": Matthews, William Sheppard, Cromwell's Law Reformer 118. English Short-Title Catalogue R203548.
Book number 67399