"A Forceful Denunciation of the Political Abuses and Technical Shortcomings in the Operation of Contemporary Law" Sheppard, William [d. 1675]. A Sure Guide for His Majesties Justices of Peace: Plainly Shewing Their Duty, And the Duties of the Several Officers of the Counties, Hundreds, And Parishes, (Viz.) Sheriffs, County-Treasurers, Bridewell-Masters, Constables, Overseers of the Poor, Surveyors of the High-Wayes, And Church-Wardens, &c. With the Heads of the Statutes, Concerning the Doctrine and Cannons of the Church of England. Methodically Digested into 54. Chapters. London: Printed by John Streater, for Henry Twyford, 1663. , 524,  pp. Main title page precded by copperplate pictorial title page. Octavo (6-1/2" x 4"). Contemporary sheep, blind rules to boards, blind fillets and fragments of shelf label to spine. Light rubbing and a few minor nicks and scratches to boards, minor worming to rear board, moderate rubbing to extremities, a few minor cracks to spine, chipping to foot of spine, front joint starting at foot, corners bumped, front hinge cracked, minor worming to rear pastedown. Moderate toning to interior, some edgewear to preliminaries and final few leaves, faint dampstaining to endleaves, early owner initials to front free endpaper, early owner signature in tiny hand (Fran Canning) to head of pictorial title page. $750. * First edition. Active in the Protectorate, where he was Cromwell's legal advisor, Sheppard aimed to reform the common law. Ahead of his time in many ways, some of his proposals anticipate changes to the common law that were adopted in the nineteenth century. A Sure Guide was written to address the legal and religious consequences of the Restoration, most notably the re-establishment of the Church of England. This was more than a practical guide, however. As Matthews shows, "Sheppard recognized, however regretfully, that the restoration of the Stuart monarchy was the final act in the disruptive political drama of his generation and his shrewd analysis of how the law was being applied by the triumphal forces of Anglicanism was a forceful denunciation of the political abuses and technical shortcomings in the operation of contemporary law." A second edition was published in 1669. Both editions of this work are scarce. Matthews, William Sheppard: Cromwell's Law Reformer.
Book number 74534