A Book of Special Entries of Declarations, Pleadings, Issues, Verdicts, Judgments and Judicial Process in Such Actions as are Now in Use and have not Hitherto been Published in Any Printed Book of Precedents Together with Such Notes and Observations as do Either Illustrate or Explain the Same

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by Sir Thomas Robinson

A Book of Special Entries
RobinsonBookOfSpecialEntries1684 TitlePage.jpg

Title page from A Book of Special Entries, George Wythe Collection, Wolf Law Library, College of William & Mary.

Author Sir Thomas Robinson
Editor {{{editor}}}
Translator {{{trans}}}
Published London: Printed by W. Rawlins, S. Roycroft and H. Sawbridge assigns of Richard and Edward Atkins ... for T. Basset ... R. Chriswell ... and B. Tooke ...
Date 1684
Edition First
Language English
Volumes {{{set}}} volume set
Pages [4], 479, [36]
Desc. Folio (42 cm.)
Location Shelf L-5
  [[Shelf {{{shelf2}}}]]

Sir Thomas Robinson (1613-1683) was an English lawyer and legal writer. In the early 1640s he became a member of Staple Inn and entered practice as an attorney of the common pleas. In 1657 he was able to purchase the office of prothonotary of the Court of Common Pleas.[1] Robinson was made an associate bencher of the Inner Temple and soon became one of the inn's principal figures. After the Great Fire damaged 7 King’s Bench Walk, Robinson contributed over £8,000 towards rebuilding the structure.[2] The reconstruction project was completed in 1671, and was known as Sir Thomas Robinson’s Building until the nineteenth century. Six years later, Robinson was made a complete bencher of the Inner Temple, and served as treasurer until his death in 1683.[3]

Bookplate of the Earls of Macclesfield, front pastedown.

After his death, a collection of pleadings compiled by Robinson in the course of his practice, A Book of Special Entries, was published under his name.[4] The preface claimed that the pleadings had been selected from a "Many-Volumed Atlas of Pleadings," and that they should be published "chiefly for the Benefit of the Clerks and Attorneys of his Office."[5]

Evidence for Inclusion in Wythe's Library

Listed in the Jefferson Inventory of Wythe's Library as "Robinson’s entr. fol." and given by Thomas Jefferson to Dabney Carr. The first edition (1684) of Robinson's A Book of Special Entries is the only edition of this work.[6] Both the Brown Bibliography[7] and George Wythe's Library[8] on LibraryThing include this title. Brown notes that the title is referenced by John Marshall in the manuscript copy of his commonplace book.

Description of the Wolf Law Library's copy

Bound in full contemporary calf featuring spine with raised bands and red label with gilt lettering and decorative motifs. Board edges marked with gilt tooling. Armorial bookplate of the Earls of Macclesfield and signature of "P. Skynner" on front pastedown. Title page and preliminaries embossed with Macclesfield stamp. Purchased from The Lawbook Exchange, Ltd. with the George Wythe Boswell-Caracci Room Acquisition Fund.

Images of the library's copy of this book are available on Flickr. View the record for this book in William & Mary's online catalog.

Signature of "P. Skynner", front pastedown.

See also


  1. J.H. Baker, "Robinson, Sir Thomas, first baronet (bap. 1618?, d. 1683)," Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press, 2004- ), accessed January 6, 2014.
  2. Ibid.
  3. Ibid.
  4. Ibid.
  5. Ibid.
  6. English Short Title Catalog, http://estc.bl.uk, search of "Robinson" and "book of special entries reveals only one edition.
  7. Bennie Brown, "The Library of George Wythe of Williamsburg and Richmond," (unpublished manuscript, May, 2012, rev. May, 2014) Microsoft Word file. Earlier edition available at: https://digitalarchive.wm.edu/handle/10288/13433
  8. LibraryThing, s.v. "Member: George Wythe," accessed on April 21, 2013.