Sheppard's Plan to Reform Conveyancing Sheppard, William [fl. 1660]. [Browne, William, Editor]. The President of Presidents. Or, One General President for All Common Assurances by Deeds: Being a Perfect Abstract of the General Learning and Forms of Presidents, Touching or Any Ways Relating to All Conveyances Now in Use. Illustrated with Many Excellent Cases in the Law, And Several Necessary Instructions How to Discover the Defect of Any Conveyance, In Order to Give a True and Perfect Judgment What Right or Title Hath Any Man to His Lands or Goods. Of Singular Use and Profit to All Men. Corrected and Amended, With Many Additions. London: Printed by the Assigns of Richard and Edward Atkins, 1704. [x], 400,  pp. Octavo (7-1/2" x 4-1/2"). Contemporary calf, blind rules to boards, blind fillets along joints, raised bands and lettering piece to spine, blind tooling to board edges, early hand-lettered title to fore-edge. Minor nicks, scuffs and stains to boards and spine, light rubbing to extremities, corners bumped and somewhat worn, rear joint just starting at head, armorial bookplate of the Earls of Macclesfield to front pastedown, small embossed Macclesfield crest to preliminaries. Moderate toning to interior, signature of Sir Thomas Clarke and illegible inscription in later hand to front free endpaper. A well-preserved copy. $650. * Third edition. Active in the Protectorate, where he was Cromwell's legal advisor, Sheppard aimed to reform English common law. Several of his proposals anticipated changes that were adopted in the nineteenth century, especially in the Judicature Acts of 1875-1878. First published in 1655, The President of Presidents is a novel guide that offers a system of conveyances based on a uniform model. Sheppard promotes this standardized plan as a way to better secure property rights by eliminating the ambiguity introduced by local practices. According to his biographer, Nancy Matthews, this work remains "an important contribution to English legal literature." Our copy of this title belonged to the Earls of Macclesfield. Housed in Shirbirn Castle, near Watlington, Oxfordshire, it was one of the finest private libraries in Great Britain. Thomas Clarke [1703-1764] was a lawyer and judge who served as master of the rolls. He was a protege and later close friend of Thomas Parker, 1st Earl of M.
Book number 74394