The "First Really Able" Book on the Subject Godolphin, John [1617-1678]. The Orphans Legacy: Or, A Testamentary Abridgment. In Three Parts: I. Of Last-Wills and Testaments, II. Of Executors and Administrators, III. Of Legacies and Devises: Wherein the Most Material Points of Law Relating to That Subject, Are Succinctly Treated: As Well According to the Common and Temporal, As Ecclesiastical and Civil Laws of This Realm. Illustrated with a Great Variety of Select Cases in the Law of Both Professions, As Well Delightful in the Theory, As Useful for the Practice of All Such as Study the One, Or Are Either Active or Passive in the Other. Much Augmented and Enlarged. London: Printed for Chr. Wilkinson, 1677. [viii], 478 [i.e. 476],  pp. Quarto (8-1/2" x 6-1/2"). Contemporary calf, blind rules to boards, raised bands and blind fillets to spine, gilt tooling to board edges. Moderate rubbing and a few later ink annotations and stains to boards, some rubbing and light wear to extremities, small chips to spine ends, front joint starting at foot, corners bumped, hinges cracked, illegible early annotation (an ownership signature?) to front endleaf, which is lacking its upper corner, early annotations to rear pastedowns and clipped rear free endpaper. Moderate toning to interior, slightly heavier in places, occasional light foxing, early underlining and annotations in several places, early ownership signatures to head of title page. An appealing copy. $650. * Second edition. "The first really able books upon ecclesiastical law as a whole were written by Godolphin in the latter half of the seventeenth century. (...) [One of them is his] Orphan's Legacy [which deals with the subject] from the point of view not only of the ecclesiastical law, but also of the common law, and of the rising jurisdiction of the Chancellor" (Holdsworth). First published in 1674, its fourth and final edition appeared in 1701. The annotations to our copy are mostly brief, though some are longer, and are in two hands. The annotations to the rear pastedown concern relevant cases. Holdsworth, A History of English Law V:12. Sweet & Maxwell, A Legal Bibliography of the British Commonwealth 1:492.
Book number 74280