First Edition of Coke's Landmark Commentary on Magna Carta and "English Liberties" Coke, Sir Edward [1552-1634]. The Second Part of the Institutes of the Lawes of England. Containing the Exposition of Many Ancient, And Other Statutes; Whereof you May See the Particulars in a Table Following. London: printed by M. Flesher, and R. Young, for E[phraim] D[awson], R[ichard] M[eighen], W[illiam] L[ee] and D[aniel] P[akeman], 1642. [xii], 745,  pp. Copperplate portrait frontispiece. Colophon leaf gives full names of publisher, pages 28 and 29 numbered correctly. Folio (10-3/4" x 7"). Contemporary reversed calf, rebacked in calf, blind rules to boards, raised bands and lettering piece to spine, date gilt-stamped to foot, endpapers renewed with marbled paper, early hand-lettered title to fore-edge of text block. Some minor scuffing to boards, moderate rubbing to extremities with some wear to spine ends and corners. Title printed within woodcut architectural border, typographical head-pieces, woodcut tail-pieces. Light toning to text, minor worming to margins of the first few leaves below text. An appealing copy of an uncommon title in commerce. $5,000. * First edition. The Second Part of the Institutes, an exposition of "many ancient and other statutes" including Magna Carta, was published by order of the House of Commons after the author's death. It is a landmark work because it offered a novel interpretation of Magna Carta. Reflecting contemporary struggles between the king and Parliament, Coke presented the charter as the ancient constitution of England, one that established the fundamental rights of Englishmen and placed royal power under the laws of the land. Perhaps the most famous section is Coke's commentary on the 29th chapter, in which he traced the origins of trial by jury and the right of habeas corpus. According to the ESTC, this edition has two states: "state 1 has pages 28-29 misnumbered 38-39; state 2 has the pages numbered correctly." Yet another issue is listed in a separate record, R231698, but it is believed to be a ghost. The last copy of the first edition seen at auction was in 2005. English Short-Title Catalogue R12887.
Book number 67472