Legal commonplace book, 1683-1684

Scope and Content

Manuscript legal commonplace book compiled between the Hilary term 1683 and September 1684, with additions up to c 1698, and a printed index added in 1680, entitled A brief method of the law. Being an exact alphabetical disposition of all the heads necessary for a perfect common-place useful to all students and professors of the law . A pencilled note on the first leaf suggests that the manuscript was 'probably the property of Mr Serjeant Baynes - if not made by him', on the basis of a letter, wanting, addressed to Baynes and dated 1 Jan 1706. It could not, in fact, have been compiled by John Baynes, serjeant-at-law of the Inner Temple, but could perhaps have been the work of his father of the same name and inn of court.

Administrative / Biographical History

John Baynes was possibly the father of another John Baynes, also a lawyer, who lived c 1676-1736.


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

Given to the University of London Library by New College, Hampstead in 1960.

Other Finding Aids

Collection level description.

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

14¼" x 9¼". Parchment binding, 'repaired by Mr Partridge of Aylesbury, 1861'.

Archivist's Note

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

Separated Material

The papers of the Lee family are in the Buckinghamshire Record Office.

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 contains four bookplates, including those of Sir William Lee, Chief Justice of the King's Bench (1688-1754), William Lee Antonie (1764-1815), and Francis Henry Jeune, Baron St Helier (1843-1905). There is also a 19th century bookplate of the Lee family of Hartwell, Buckinghamshire. A note on the inner front cover by John Lee (d 1866), states that 'These manuscripts after the decease of Chief Justice [William] Lee were sent with many of his books & papers from his house in Bloomsbury Square to Totteridge Park, Hertfordshire, and afterwards from thence to Hartwell House after the decease of his grand-daughter - Mrs. Arrowsmith [Louisa Lee, later wife of Edward Arrowsmith]'.

Related Material

University of London MS 539 is another legal commonplace book with a similar provenance.