[BARBADOS] HALL, Richard, editor
Acts, Passed in the Island of Barbados. From 1643, to 1762, inclusive; Carefully Revised, Innumerable Errors Corrected; and the Whole Compared and examined, with the Original Acts, in the Secretary's Office [...] To which is Added An Index, and Abridgment: With many useful Notes, References and Observations, never before published. And Also a List of all the Laws, passed under the Settlement of the Island; which are now become Obsolete, Expired, or have had their Effect
London: Richard Hall, 1764. Folio. (12 5/8 x 8 3/8 inches). xi, , iv, 526, , 84pp. Half title.
Modern three-quarter calf over marbled boards, gilt leather label. A few older repairs to half title and title page verso, ownership signature to half title and title page, dampstain to bottom corner of first quarter of the textblock.
A rare collection of the laws for the island of Barbados, signed by the Editor.
A noticeably expanded edition of the laws of Barbados from the earlier printings in 1721 and the 1730s. The verso of the half title is signed by the editor, Richard Hall "to authenticate this Impression; and to prevent spurious Editions." Includes a four-page list of subscribers. "The 'late Richard Hall Esq.' was one of the Representatives in the General Assembly for the Parish of St. Michael [Barbados] according to the title-page" - Higgs. Although printed in 1764, the present work compiles the Barbados legal code from the mid-17th century onward, making it a valuable source for the history of the island, particularly with regards to slavery. For instance, in the work the first law concerning slavery is dated 1668: "An Act declaring the Negro-slaves of this Island, to be Real Estates." Another law, "An Act for the encouragement of all Negroes and Slaves, that shall discover any Conspiracy," passed in 1692, was part of the effort to suppress slave insurrections, and the threat of "Rebellion, Massacres, Assassinations, and Destruction" (p. 129). The present work also published, for the first time, a law passed in 1674 empowering the Jewish community on Barbados to give legal testimony: "An Act appointing how the testimony of People of the Hebrew nation, shall be admitted in all Courts and Causes" (p.94). The law reflected the growing population on the island which resulted from the migration of Jews into the Caribbean from Brazil, starting in 1654, and from Surinam in 1674. As the editor notes, it was only in the 1764 edition that laws giving rights to the Jewish community in Barbados were printed and published. ESTC records only eight copies in the United Kingdom and ten copies in the United States. Auction records reveal only one sale, in 1948 at Sotheby's.
Bartlett 1383; ESTC T19072; Higgs 3196; Sabin 29840.