Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - October - 2008 Issue

Antiquarian Legal Works from The Lawbook Exchange

Lawbook59

Catalogue 59 from The Lawbook Exchange.


By Michael Stillman

The Lawbook Exchange has printed its Catalogue 59 of Law and Legal History. Recent Acquisitions. It includes both antiquarian books and some recent Lawbook publications. Along with civil legal texts, this catalogue includes many on ecclesiastical law from centuries ago, and even Roman law from millennia ago. While the majority of these books could be described as legalistic and technical in nature, there are some that will appeal to those of a less lawyerly mind. We will describe a few, with emphasis on the latter.

Item 15 offers two works of legal incunabula, bound together. These are explanations by the 14th century professor and scholar Giovanni D'Andrea of canon law. The first, Liber Extus Decretalium, consists of law promulgated during the papacy of Boniface VIII (1294-1303), the second Clementinae Constititiones, of Pope Clement V (1305-1314). This is probably not light reading, especially in Latin, but they are rare and collectible works, plus a source of detail for those interested in canon law of 700 years ago. Priced at $17,500.

Item 50 is two more bound together Latin texts concerning canon and civil law. However, these works cover two very specific topics: virginity and adultery. I don't know why these two were bound together as those topics are mutually exclusive. Sibylla Tryg-Andiana: De Virginitate... is the good one, Linra Amoris... the bad. Both were written by Heinrich Kornmann and published in 1610. $2,000.

Item 94 is The Tryals of Robert Green, Henry Berry, and Lawrence Hill, For the Murder of Sir Edmund Bury Godfrey, Knt. This 1679 trial was no common murder case. It was what is known as the "Popish Plot," a moment of anti-Catholic hysteria served up by one Titus Oates, a rabidly anti-Catholic clergyman. He invented the existence of a plot against the life of the King, one which Charles II did not take seriously. It all would have been dismissed as fantasy but for the death of Godfrey, an Anglican magistrate, from causes unknown to this day. It could have been murder, suicide, or natural causes, later made to look unnatural. Whatever the cause, Oates was able to stir up great fear among English Protestants. One of the consequences was the murder convictions of these innocent Catholics. This book was published in the year of the trial. Within a few years, sentiment would turn against Oates, who would be recognized as a perjurer. $400.

Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, was not exactly the wild frontier in 1881, but there was a case of frontier justice being meted out by the good folk of this biblically named town. One usually associates the use of "lynch law" with the post-Reconstruction South, but the North was not immune. Item 55 is The Murder of the Geogles and Lynching of the Fiend Snyder, By the Otherwise Peaceable and Law-Abiding Citizens of Bethlehem, PA. Those peaceable citizens were feeling very otherwise when they learned what had happened to Jacob and Annie Geogle. Jacob worked in the local mines, and had allowed Joseph Snyder, the fiend, and a co-worker, to board with them. This had gone on for several months when Snyder evidently took too much of a liking to the Geogles' 14-year-old daughter Alice. Reportedly, after an unsuccessful attempt to violate her, Snyder killed the parents in their sleep. This led to the town folk inflicting justice on Snyder, though in an unjust manner. A quick "trial" was conducted, Snyder reportedly confessed, and the crowd dragged him by a rope to a nearby tree. $350.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 19: 19th & 20th Century Prints & Drawings</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 28: Printed & Manuscript Americana</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 5: African-American Fine Art</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 17: Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 19:<br>Art & Storytelling: Photographs & Photobooks</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 26: Rare & Important Travel Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 2:<br>Old Master Through Modern Prints</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 7: Autographs</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 14: 19th & 20th Century Literature</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 16: Contemporary Art</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 5:<br>Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Color Plate Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 14: Illustration Art</b>
  • <b>Announcing a new Books for Sale platform hosted by Biblio</b>
    <b>List your books simultaneously on Rare Book Hub and Biblio</b>
  • <b>19th Century Shop’s Catalog 170 Great Books and Photos. Please inquire for a copy.</b>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Exodus 10:10 to 16:15. Complete Biblical scroll sheet in Hebrew, a Torah scroll panel. Middle East, ca. 10th or 11th century.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Copernicus Refuted. (Astronomy.). Scientific manuscript of a course of studies at Collège de la Trinité, Lyon. 1660s.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Israel’s War of Independence and the Early Days of the IDF. 58 photographs presented to Israel Ber, IDF officer and later convicted spy.
    <b>19th Century Shop’s Catalog 170 Great Books and Photos. Please inquire for a copy.</b>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Early Unpublished Darwin letter on the races of man. Autograph Letter Signed [to Henry Denny]. Down, Kent, June 1, [1844].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Classic Image of American Slavery. Kimball, M. H. <i>Emancipated Slaves</i>. New York: George Hanks, 1863.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> (Underground Railroad.) Scaggs, Isaac. Important Runaway Slave Poster: $500 Reward Ran away, or decoyed from the subscriber…
  • <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Newton. <i>Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica</i>. London, 1687.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Josephus. <i>De antiquitate Judaica.</i> Lubeck, 1475-76.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Carlerius. <i>Sporta fragmentorum, Sportula fragmentorum</i>. Brussels, 1478-79.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Fridolin. <i>Der Schatzbehalter</i>. Nuremberg, 1491.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Pinder. <i>Der beschlossen gart des rosenkrantz marie</i>. Nuremberg, 1505.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Isidorus Hispalensis. <i>Synonyma de Homine</i>. Nuremberg, 1470-71.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Durer. Sammelband including <i>Underweysung der messing</i>. Nuremberg, 1525-29.

Review Search

Archived Reviews

Ask Questions