Law Compendium

Scope and Content

Manuscript volume containing a law compendium, [1619-1628], compiled for the use of a Justice of the Peace, with notes under headings arranged alphabetically, giving references to Elizabethan and Jacobean statutes. It contains references to alehouses, archery, armour, artificers, assault, sadlers, drovers, bastardy, brewer, burglary, butchers, captains, soldiers, churchwardens, clergy, clerks of the market, cloth and dyers, witchcraft, constables, correction houses, coopers, coroners, counterfeiting, extortion, fairs and markets, forcible entry, forgery, goldsmiths, guns and crossbows, hawking, highways, bridges, horses, the hue and cry, hunting, husbandry, indictments and presentments, informants, enrolements, jurors, juries and inquests, labourers, servants and apprentices, larceny, liveries and retainers, manslaughter and murder, masons, matrimony and bigamy, mortuaries, Parliament, petty treason, plague, plays and games, preachers and ministers, prison and prisoners, bail, rape, recusants, restitution, riots, routs, unlawful assemblies, robbery and theft, sheriffs, transportation, treason, treasurers, trespass, vagabonds, usury, watch and ward, weights and measures, wines, wool and yarn.

The manuscript cites early editions of Ferdinando Pulton A Kalender, or Table, comprehending the effect of all the statutes that have been made and put into print beginning with Magna Charta... (Company of Stationers, London, 1606) and Michael Dalton The countrey justice, conteyning the practice of the Justices of the Peace out of their Sessions. Gathered for the better helpe of such have not been much conversant in the studie of the lawes of this realme (Company of Stationers, London, 1618).

Administrative / Biographical History

The Justice of the Peace is a local magistrate empowered chiefly to administer criminal or civil justice in minor cases.


Single item.

Access Information

Access to this collection is unrestricted for the purpose of private study and personal research within the supervised environment and restrictions of the Library's Palaeography Room. Uncatalogued material may not be seen. Please contact the University Archivist for details.

Acquisition Information

Part of the Goldsmith's Library of Economic Literature, initially collected by Herbert Somerton Foxwell and presented by the Goldsmith's Company to the University of London in 1903.

Other Finding Aids

Collection level description.

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

Manuscript octavo. Bound in original brown morocco, panelled sides, tooled in gold, with the initials 'E.G.'

Archivist's Note

Compiled by Sarah Smith as part of the RSLP AIM25 Project.

Conditions Governing Use

Copies may be made, subject to the condition of the original. Copying must be undertaken by the Palaeography Room staff, who will need a minimum of 24 hours to process requests.

Custodial History

The manuscript is inscribed by Sir Peter Wentworth (d 1675), and by his nephew John Cresswell (d 1696) in 1685, who received it from his uncle, Paul Wentworth (d 1690). It was bought by Herbert Somerton Foxwell at Sotheby's on 2 Dec 1891.