Narrationes Modernae, or, Modern Reports Begun in the Now Upper Bench Court at Westminster

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by William Style

Narrationes Modernae

Title page from Narrationes Modernae, George Wythe Collection, Wolf Law Library, College of William & Mary.

Author William Style
Editor {{{editor}}}
Translator {{{trans}}}
Published London: Printed by F. L. for W. Lee, D. Pakeman, G. Bedel, and C. Adams
Date 1658
Edition First
Language English
Volumes {{{set}}} volume set
Pages [20], 483, [33]
Desc. Folio (29 cm.)
Location Shelf E-4
  [[Shelf {{{shelf2}}}]]
Initial capital, first page of text.
William Style (c.1599 – 1679) was admitted to the Inner Temple in 1619 and was called to the bar in 1628. He does not appear to have been overly successful practitioner of law and is predominantly remembered for his legal publications.[1] Style's Reports, translated by the author from law French into English,[2] are "singularly valuable"[3] as they remain the principal record of decisions by Chief Justices Sir Henry Rolle and John Glynn from the Upper Bench during the time of the Commonwealth.[4] They are also unusual to the time period in that they were prepared for publication by the author himself.[5]

Evidence for Inclusion in Wythe's Library

Both Dean's Memo[6] and the Brown Bibliography[7] suggest Wythe owned the first edition (1658) of this title based on notes in John Marshall's commonplace book.[8] The Wolf Law Library moved a copy of the first edition (1658) from another rare book collection to the George Wythe Collection.

Description of the Wolf Law Library's copy

Recently rebound in period style. Spine features four bands with gilt rules and green label. Includes signatures of "Leeson" on the front flyleaf and "Nicholas Burnell esqr. 1690" on the title page verso. Purchased through the generosity of Daniel W. Baran and Lena Stratton Baran, Class of 1936.

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.

Inscription, title page verso.

Full text

See also


  1. J. H. Baker, "Style, William (c.1599–1679)' in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, accessed May 30, 2013.
  2. Ibid
  3. Richard Whalley Bridgman, A Short View of Legal Bibliography: Containing Some Critical Observations on the Authority of the Reporters and Other Law Writers (London: Printed for W. Reed, 1807), 336.
  4. John William Wallace, The Reporters, Arranged and Characterized with Incidental Remarks, 4th ed. (Boston: Soule and Bugbee, 1882), 288. See also J. H. Baker, "Style, William."
  5. Ibid.
  6. Memorandum from Barbara C. Dean, Colonial Williamsburg Found., to Mrs. Stiverson, Colonial Williamsburg Found. (June 16, 1975), 14 (on file at Wolf Law Library, College of William & Mary).
  7. Bennie Brown, "The Library of George Wythe of Williamsburg and Richmond," (unpublished manuscript, May, 2012) Microsoft Word file. Earlier edition available at:
  8. Herbert A. Johnson, Charles T. Cullen, and Nancy G. Harris, eds., The Papers of John Marshall (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, in association with the Institute of Early American History and Culture, 1974), 1:44.