First Edition of Cowell's Interpreter Edited by Manley Cowell, John [1554-1611]. [Manley, Thomas, Editor]. NOMOTHETES. The Interpreter, Containing the Genuine Signification of Such Obscure Words and Terms Used Either in the Common or Statute Lawes of This Realm. First Compiled by the Learned Dr. Cowel, And Now Enlarged From the Collections of All Others Who Have Written in this Kind. With an Addition of Many Words Omitted by All Former Writers, And Pertinent to This Matter, With Their Etymologies as Often as They Occur: As Also Tenures Whether Jocular, or Others Statutes and Records, Wherein the Alterations are Expressed, And Their Agreement or Dissonancy, With the Law at Present Declared. Whereto is Subjoyned, An Appendix, Containing the Ancient Names of Places Here in England, Very Necessary for the Use of all Young Students, Who Intend to Converse with Old Records, Deeds or Charters. London: Printed for J. Streeter [et al.], 1672.  pp. Lacking half-title and final blank leaf. Folio (12-1/4" x 7-3/4"). Recent quarter morocco over cloth, blind tooling along joints, raised bands, lettering piece and blind ornaments to spine, endpapers renewed. A few tiny stains, light fading to upper sections of rear board. Light browning to text, inkstains to fore-edges of several leaves near center of text block, moderate edgewear to preliminaries, early owner signature and annotation to head of title page, small hole (from erasure) to foot. $500. * Fourth edition, and the first edition by Manley. The Interpreter is considered to be the best law dictionary published before Jacob's New Law-Dictionary (1729). Though its significance was recognized almost immediately, it was not approved by all. At a time when Parliament and crown were vying for power, the House of Commons was angered by Cowell's royalist sympathies, which were evident in such definitions as "King," "Parliament," "Prerogative," "Recoveries," and "Subsidies." When a joint committee of Lords and Councilors reviewed the work, the ensuing controversy nearly halted the affairs of government. James I intervened in fear that his own fiscal interests would not be approved by Parliament, and ordered a proclamation that imprisoned Cowell, suppressed the book and ordered all copies burned by a public hangman on March 10, 1610. Moreover, The Interp.
Book number 68466