Cases in Equity During the Time of the Late Lord Chancellor Talbot: With Tables of the Names of the Cases and Principal Matters

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by Alexander Forrester

Forrester's Reports

Title page from Forrester's Reports, George Wythe Collection, Wolf Law Library, College of William & Mary.

Author Alexander Forrester
Editor {{{editor}}}
Translator {{{trans}}}
Published London, In the Savoy: Printed by Henry Lintot for T. Waller
Date 1753
Edition Second
Language English
Volumes {{{set}}} volume set
Pages vi, 286, [18]
Desc. Folio (32 cm.)
Location Shelf H-5
  [[Shelf {{{shelf2}}}]]

Alexander Forrester, "an equity barrister of some eminence,"[1] compiled notes on the cases of Lord Chancellor Talbot. The first edition of these reports were published without Forrester's consent[2] and may not have been intended for publication without further editing.[3] Nevertheless, while commentators may have lamented the quality of the reports,[4] Talbot's[5] decisions rise above this mediocrity:

Lord Talbot's decisions exhibit, indeed, in the form in which we have them, little of the eloquence so highly rated by his contemporaries, and which the reporters of that day, devoted entirely to the illustration of the legal doctrines of the cases, would perhaps have deemed an incongruous and impertinent superfluity; but they display a strong and ready grasp of facts, a thorough intimacy with legal principles and authorities, and an eminently clear and logical exposition of them,–his judgments being invariably accompanied by a statement, more or less in detail, of the reasons upon which they were grounded. They retain an authority almost untouched by the dissent of later Judges.[6]

Evidence for Inclusion in Wythe's Library

Listed in the Jefferson Inventory of Wythe's Library as "Ca. Temp. Talbot. fol." and given by Thomas Jefferson to Dabney Carr. The precise edition owned by Wythe is unknown. Folio editions were published in 1741, 1742, and 1753.[7] George Wythe's Library[8] on LibraryThing concurs with these findings and does not list a specific edition. The Brown Bibliography[9] lists the 1753 edition in part based on the existence of that edition in Jefferson's library.[10] The Wolf Law Library followed Brown's suggestion and purchased a copy of the 1753 edition.

Description of the Wolf Law Library's copy

Rebound in period-style in the 1980s.

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.

Full text

See also


  1. William Holdsworth, A History of English Law (London: Methuen & Co., Sweet and Maxwell, 1938), 12:142.
  2. Ibid., 143.
  3. John William Wallace, The Reporters, Arranged and Characterized with Incidental Remarks, 4th ed. (Boston: Soule and Bugbee, 1882), 508.
  4. Wallace, The Reporters, 508.
  5. For more information about Lord Chancellor Talbot, see M. Macnair, "Talbot, Charles, first Baron Talbot of Hensol (bap. 1685, d. 1737)" Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, accessed September 7, 2013.
  6. W. N. Welsby, Lives of Eminent English Judges of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries (Philadelphia: T. & J.W. Johnson, 1846), 270.
  7. English Short Title Catalog,, search of "Time" and "Talbot" reveals three folio editions.
  8. LibraryThing, s.v. "Member: George Wythe," accessed on April 21, 2013.
  9. Bennie Brown, "The Library of George Wythe of Williamsburg and Richmond," (unpublished manuscript, May, 2012) Microsoft Word file. Earlier edition available at:
  10. E. Millicent Sowerby, Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Jefferson (Washington, D.C.: The Library of Congress, 1952-1959), 2:205 [no.1752].