A Poetic Satire of Legal Pleading [Brome, Alexander (1620-1666)]. The Record of a Famous Action Upon the Case. In Rythme. Wherein Priscilla Morecrave, Widow, Was the Plaintiff, And Roger Pricklove Was the Defendant. Being an Essay Towards the Reformation of the Law. Offered to the Consideration of the Committee Appointed for that Purpose in the Year 1657. Written by Some Man of the Law, At a Time When He Had Little Else to Do. And Now Reprinted, With a Preface, For the Benefit of Students and Professors of the Law in the Present Age. London: Printed for J. Roberts, 1727. 12 pp. Folio (12-1/2" x 8-1/4"). Stab-stitched pamphlet bound in later (twentieth-century) paper-covered boards, printed title and date to spine, edges untrimmed. Light rubbing to boards, light foxing to endpapers, armorial bookplate (of Albert Fairfax, 12th Lord Fairfax) to front pastedown. Light toning to interior, light foxing and soiling to a few leaves. $1,250. * Second edition. First published c.1660 as A Record in Rithme and resurrected for the education of the "Modern Orator," this satirical poem documents a fictional case of defamation brought by the widow Priscilla Morecrave against one Roger Pricklove, who accuses her of unchaste behavior. Brome makes an appearance as Pricklove's defense attorney, but does not reveal the outcome of the case. Originally a response to the widely ridiculed Commonwealth-era ruling that court records could not use (as the work's preface puts it) "any unknown Jargon, or that Popish ill-favoured Character, commonly called Court-hand," the second edition appeared as calls to make English the only permissible language of the courts began to circulate again. The Proceedings in Courts of Justice Act would pass three years later in 1730, making English the official language for records and pleadings of all English courts except the exchequer and admiralty. OCLC locates 1 copy of the second edition in North America (Harvard); the ESTC adds 3 North American copies (Columbia, Indiana University, Folger Shakespeare). Foxon, English Verse 1701-1750 B485. English Short-Title Catalogue (ESTC) N13679.
Book number 74428