The Law of Conveyances, Shewing the Natures, Kinds, and Effects, of All Manner of Assurances, with the Manner of Their Several Executions and Operations

From Wythepedia: The George Wythe Encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

by John Herne

The Law of Conveyances
George Wythe bookplate.jpg
Title not held by The Wolf Law Library
at the College of William & Mary.
Author John Herne
Published London: Printed by T.R. for Hen. Twyford, and Tho. Dring ...
Date 1656
Volumes volume set

John Herne (fl. 1636-1660), likely son of John Herne, a prominent barrister in the 17th century, entered Lincoln's Inn on February 11, 1636.[1] He translated The Learned Reading of John Herne esq., late of the Honourable Society of Lincoln's Inn, upon the Statute of 23 H. 8, cap. 3, concerning Commissions of Sewers in 1659.[2] Herne also published a collection of precedents, including The Pleader, The Law of Conveyances, The Modern Assurancer, and The Law of Charitable Uses.[3] He is likely buried under a monument at Ameringhall, in the County of Norfolk, England.

Originally published in 1656, The Law of Conveyances assembles the different aspects of the law on conveyances into a single work, as opposed to their previous status as dispersed in large books of law. A second edition was published in 1658 to correct defects in the previous work.[4]

Evidence for Inclusion in Wythe's Library

Both Dean's Memo[5] and the Brown Bibliography[6] include the first edition (1656) of Herne's Law of Conveyances based on Alan Smith's assertion that Jefferson cites the work in his commonplace book.[7] Brown lists the title as questionable. His study of Jefferson's commonplace books revealed no references to Herne's Law of Conveyances.

As yet, the Wolf Law Library has been unable to obtain a copy of The Law of Conveyances.

See also


  1. D. A. Orr, "Herne , John (c.1593–1649)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004), accessed March 3, 2015.
  2. Ibid.
  3. Ibid.
  4. John Herne, The Law of Conveyances (London: T.R. for Hen. Twyford, and Tho. Dring, 1658), Preface.
  5. Memorandum from Barbara C. Dean, Colonial Williamsburg Found., to Mrs. Stiverson, Colonial Williamsburg Found. (June 16, 1975), 11 (on file at Wolf Law Library, College of William & Mary).
  6. Bennie Brown, "The Library of George Wythe of Williamsburg and Richmond," (unpublished manuscript, May, 2012, rev.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:
  7. Alan McKinley Smith, "Virginia Lawyers, 1680-1776: The Birth of an American Profession" (PhD diss., The Johns Hopkins University, 1967), 263.