Comprehensive (and Scarce) Eighteenth-Century Treatise on Insurance Weskett, John. A Complete Digest of the Theory, Laws, And Practice of Insurance; Compiled from the Best Authorities in Different Languages, Which are Quoted and Referred to Throughout the Work; And Arranged in Alphabetical Order, Under Many Select Heads, With Ample References, And a General Index;Affording Immediate and Full Information, on Every Distinct Matter, Question, Or Point.... With a Preliminary Discourse; Wherein are Delineated the Very Great Disorders which Prevail in Affairs on Insurance; Their Principal Causes Explained; And Methods Proposed for Better Regulation and Prevention. Dublin: Printed for Elizabeth Lynch, 1783. [vi], lxxxiv, 612,  pp. Octavo (8-1/2" x 5"). Contemporary calf, blind rules to boards, gilt-edged raised bands and lettering piece to spine, gilt decoration to compartments. Light rubbing to boards, moderate rubbing to extremities, front joint cracked, small hole to rear joint, hinges cracked, faint offsetting to endpapers, signed bookplate (of John Wilkinson) to front pastedown, armorial bookplate (of Henry Collingwood) to rear pastedown. Light toning to interior, occasional very light foxing and soiling. A handsome copy. $1,250. * Dublin issue of the second edition. The book begins with a critical 80-page essay on insurance law that proposes several reforms. The main body is a remarkably comprehensive legal and historical digest concentrating on marine insurance, but also discussing life and fire insurance. There are frequent references to America, and considerable discussion of international law, the laws of war and the work of such important economists and theorists as Cantillon, Child, Cary, Postlethwayt, De Moivre and Price. A second, and final, London edition was published in 1783. Dublin reprints were issued in 1783 and 1794, a German translation in 1782-87. The critical 80-page essay was also published separately in 1789. All of these are scarce. Concerning the 1783 Dublin edition, OCLC locates 10 copies in North American law libraries. This edition not in Goldsmiths'. Sweet & Maxwell, A Legal Bibliography of the British Commonwealth 1:528 (105).
Book number 74368