Acts of Assembly, Passed in the Colony of Virginia, from 1662, to 1715. Volume I. [All published]
London: John Baskett, 1727. Folio. xxiv, 391pp.
Early 20th-century three-quarter morocco and cloth, gilt. Minor chipping to edges of titlepage and first dozen of leaves. Otherwise, a bright, clean copy
Important collection of Virginia Laws.
A rare and important London edition of early Virginia colonial law. Here, the Crown lays the foundation for legal proceedings in Virginia, setting up courts, law enforcement, trials by juries, a system of measurement by English weights and measures, numerous acts regarding slaves and Indians, and much more. A voluminous collection of over 600 legal acts, among which the most interesting are several pertaining to rewards for killing wolves, one for punishing "Scandalous Persons," and an act to prevent the "destroying and murdering of Bastard Children." Brinley writes that this imprint "is extremely rare. It was not known to Jefferson or to Hening - who had seen no printed revisal or body of Virginia laws, between Purvis's Collection (1682) and the Williamsburg edition of 1733. Hening alludes to the fact that thousands of the descendants of Indians had been made Slaves, under a decision of the supreme court of Virginia, in the belief that an Act of 1691, 'For a Free Trade with Indians,' - which he printed from a manuscript copy - was not passed before 1705. It is found, in its proper place, with the Acts of 1691, in this volume (p. 160)." The Brinley copy brought $25 in 1880.
Brinley 3692; Sabin 100383; Swem 22502. Not in Evans.