The Priority of English Law Over the Crown [Somers, John, Baron (1651-1716)]. The Security of Englishmen's Lives, Or the Trust, Power, And Duty of the Grand Juries of England. Explained According to the Fundamentals of the English Government, And the Declaration of the Same Made in Parliament by Many Statutes. First Printed in the Year 1681. Tewkesbury: Printed and Sold by W. Dyde, 1798. [ii], 113,  pp. Lacking final leaf, a publisher advertisement. First leaf is a list of subscribers. Octavo (8-1/4" x 5"). Recent period-style quarter calf over marbled boards, gilt title, gilt ornaments and gilt and blind fillets to spine. Moderate toning to interior, faint tiny stain to title page, light foxing to a few leaves. A handsome copy. $750. * Final eighteenth-century edition. This influential essay defined a hearing before a grand jury of peers as a fundamental English right. An assertion of the priority of the law over the English crown, it was written to support the right of a grand jury to reject the bill of indictment against Anthony Ashley-Cooper, First Earl of Shaftesbury, issued by Charles II. Somers, a barrister of the Middle Temple and an important Whig statesman, was Lord Chancellor of England during the reigns of William and Mary and Queen Anne. He presided over the framing of the Bill of Rights (1689). English Short-Title Catalogue N22518.
Book number 72620