"Natural Fools, Mad-Folks, And Lunatick Persons" Brydall, John [b. 1635?]. Non Compos Mentis: Or, The Law Relating to Natural Fools, Mad-Folks, And Lunatick Persons, Inquisited, And Explained, For Common Benefit. London: Printed by the Assigns of Richard and Edward Atkins, for Isaac Cleave, 1700. [xvi], 127,  pp. Final page is a publisher advertisement. Octavo (7-1/2" x 4-1/2"). Contemporary sheep, blind rules to boards, blind fillets along joints, raised bands and early hand-lettered title to spine, gilt tooling to board edges. A few minor nicks, scuffs and some small inkspots to boards, light wear to spine ends, front joint starting at foot, corners bumped and lightly worn, rear hinge starting. Light browning and faint dampspotting, minor worming to margins in a few places, clean tears to leaves F (pp. 65-66) and G2 (pp. 83-84). Book housed in recent cloth clamshell box, quarter morocco over cloth, gilt title and gilt-edged raised bands to spine. A choice copy. $3,000. * Only edition. Brydall was a fellow of Queen's College, Oxford, and a bencher of Lincoln's Inn. A remarkably prolific writer, he published 36 legal treatises, and left 30 others in manuscript at the time of his death. All of these are brief, synthetic works. Holdsworth says they are good summaries that are "clearly arranged and based on the leading authorities." Fascinating for its insights into English ideas about mental illness during the 17th century, this treatise also considers the legal nature of "idiots", "persons furious, or distracted" and "drunkards." Holdsworth, A History of English Law VI:600, 605. English Short-Title Catalogue R19885.
Book number 70823