First American Edition of Rastell's Termes de la Ley in a Well-Preserved Contemporary Binding [Rastell, John (d.1536)]. Les Termes de la Ley, Or Certain Difficult and Obscure Words and Terms of the Common and Statute Laws of England, Now in Use, Expounded and Explained. Faithfully Translated From the Norman French, With Many Great and Useful Additions and Corrections Throughout the Whole Book, Never Printed in Any Other Impression. Portland: Printed by J. Johnson, 1812. iv, 391 pp. Octavo (8-1/2" x 5-1/2"). Contemporary sheep, blind fillets to boards, lettering piece and blind fillets to spine. Negligible light rubbing, a few minor nicks, scuffs and inkspots, faint early owner name to spine, light wear to corners, hinges cracked. Moderate toning and occasional light foxing to text. Owner inscription in pencil (of G.N. Dale dated 1897) to front pastedown, interior otherwise clean. $850. * First American edition, from the 1721 London edition. The title was also the second law dictionary printed in America. (A Philadelphia edition of Jacob's Law Dictionary was issued in 1811.) First published around 1523, Rastell's is the most important English law dictionary before Cowell's Interpreter (1607). Immediately successful, it went through at least twenty-nine editions, the last appearing in 1819. Cohen, Bibliography of Early American Law 5450.
Book number 69607