A Justice's Commonplace Book Enriched with Newspaper Clippings [Manuscript]. [Great Britain]. Manuscript Commonplace Book of a Justice of the Peace [Spine Title]. [England?, c.1842-1858]. [i], 188,  ff. With a 4 ff. index. Octavo (6-3/4" x 4-1/4"). Contemporary 3/4 morocco over marbled boards, contemporary hand-lettered paper label, reading "Law," to front board, blind tooling along joints and inner edges of corners, gilt fillets and later hand-lettered title label to spine. Moderate rubbing to boards, light creasing to spine, some rubbing to extremities with wear to spine ends and corners, which are bumped and somewhat worn, marbled endpapers and edges, owner bookplate of Anne and Fernand Gabriel Renier to front pastedown. Negligible toning, crack in text block between first and second signatures, both secure. Text in a neat hand, several pasted-in newspaper cuttings interspersed. $2,500. * The unnamed owner gives extensive notes on all aspects of the law. Many of these have been entered in order to clarify a point of law or a facet of legal terminology, such as the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony. To illustrate points and provide case studies, the owner has pasted in numerous official reports of trials extracted from contemporary journals and newspapers, with pertinent passages occasionally underlined. It is possible that some of the articles selected, most dating from the 1830s or early 1840s, refer to cases in which the compiler was involved. Much of what is recorded is indicative of the often prosaic nature of the role of Justice of the Peace. Among the cases cited are 'fowls damaging a barley field', 'the unlawful driving of a dog-cart in the Metropolitan police district', and 'writing a defamatory reference'. However, more high-profile cases are also cited: in one place reference is made to the trial of the radical Horne Tooke, an important case at the end of the 18th century in which Tooke was tried (and acquitted!) for sedition. Overall, a well-preserved and interesting item, in a largely legible hand, demonstrative of legal practice in England in the early Victorian era. Fernand Gabriel and Anne Renier were important English book collectors.
Book number 72558