A First Edition of the Most Popular Work Ever Written on Justices of the Peace Burn, Richard [1709-1785]. The Justice of the Peace, And Parish Officer. [London]: Printed by Henry Lintot, 1755. Two volumes. xxvii, , 541, ; [iii], 573,  pp. Three-page publisher advertisement at end of Volume I, another one-page advertisement facing title page of Volume II. Octavo (8-1/4" x 5"). Contemporary calf, blind rules to boards, blind fillets along joints, blind tooling to board edges, raised bands and black-stamped volume numbers to spines, hinges mended. Light rubbing and a few minor stains to boards, moderate rubbing to board edges, corners bumped and somewhat worn, contemporary armorial bookplate (of Henry Reveley, above small contemporary signature "Ja. Coles") to each pastedown. Light toning to text, occasional annotations, underlining and other markings in early hand to both volumes. $2,000. * First edition. A remarkably durable work, Burn's Justice went through 30 editions by 1869 and was excerpted often in early American justice manuals, such as Parker's Conductor Generalis (1764) and Burn's Abridgment of Burn's Justice of the Peace and Parish Officer (1773). It covers such topics as Accessory, Alehouses, Aliens, Assault and Battery, Bail (By Writ of Habeas Corpus), Bankrupt, Bastards, Burglary, Clergy, Dogs, Evidence, Excise and Customs, Forgery, Game, Homicide, Jurors, Libel, Oaths, Insolvent Debtors, Polygamy, Promissory Notes, Rape, Riot, Robbery, Taxes and Vagrants. Holdsworth notes that "a perusal of these headings tells us something of the development of the system of local government" during the time of the book's publication. The annotations in our copy are mostly summaries and elucidations that indicate careful study by a knowledgeable reader. Holdsworth, A History of English Law X:162. English Short-Title Catalogue T68627.
Book number 71556