Dyer's Reports - 1585

Cy ensuont ascuns novel cases, collectes per le iades tresreuerend iudge, Mounsieur Iasques Dyer, chiefe Iustice del common banke, ore primierment publies & imprimies

James Dyer; R Farwell

London: In aedibus Richardi Tottelli, 1585.

First edition. Small folio. Rebound in fine modern leather. Fine binding and cover.  Engraved title. Prolific annotations (mostly additional legal citations) throughout by a clean, early hand.  Extensive underlining.  Ink stains to pages 208-209, and a few scattered throughout.  p. 266 has a repaired tear.  Book plate of the New York Association of the Bar, gift from Gordon E. Sherman (signed).  Sherman was a noted international law scholar from Yale.  

Sir James Dyer (1512-1582) served as chief justice of the English Court of Common Pleas and Speaker in the House of Commons during the reign of Elizabeth I.  Dyer originated the modern system of reporting law cases to serve as precedents, which helped transition English law from the former year book system.   After Dyer's death a compilation of his reports was published in 1585 in legal Anglo-French.  "The reports are models of lucidity, none but the material facts being stated, and the arguments of counsel and the decision of the judge being compressed into as small a compass as is consistent with precision." - DNB, per Coke, Vol. 16, p.287.   

Dyer compiled what Coke thought to be: 'fruitful and summary collections'. An important predecessor  to Coke's reports.

Refs: Beale, Bibliography of Early English Law Books R481; STC 7388; ESTC S121513.

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Tags: Law, England, Early Printing, Common Law