A Booke of Presidents Exactly Written in Maner of a Register, Newly Corrected with Addicions of Diuers Necessary Presidents...
London: Richard Tottelli, 1572.
London: Richard Tottelli, 1572. Early edition. Contemporary calf rebacked to style with five raised bands. Measuring and 140 x 90mm collating complete: , 159 leaves. Boards somewhat cracked and dry, with bumps to corners; some soiling to both pastedowns. Heavily annotated in a contemporary secretary hand throughout, as well as later additions from a nineteeth century owner; these are most noticeable to the title page, contents, and final leaf with some text affected. Small hole to second leaf affecting two words of text; ink stains obscuring some words on leaf 80; marginal holes not affecting text on leaves 91-92 and 159. Originally published in 1548, with most early editions scarce in ESTC. The present edition is held at 5 institutions.
A lawyer, pediatrician and author, Thomas Phayer is best known as the creator of The Boke of Chyldren (1545), the first book on pediatrics written in English. The present work was his influential register of legal precedents, here updated to reflect changes in law since the first edition several decades earlier. Progressive in nature, Phayer's work was designed to be "a comprehensive collection of documents, including, besides conveyances, bills, and answers in Chancery, letters of safe conduct and of testimony" (Holdsworth). It was a project that recognized that "every person that can wryte and reade and entendeth to have any thynge to do among the common weal must of very neede, for his owne advantage, applie his mind somewhat untio this kynd of learning...no man can be sure of his owne livelod without helpe of evidence, as a trusty anker, holdeth the right of every man's possessions safely and surely agaynst troubles." Anyone literate and engaged in commerce must know the current law, and this compendium ensured access to that information.
An added benefit to researchers is this copy's extensive marginalia, which includes some commentary in addition to general penmanship practice.
ESTC S109392. (Item #4955)