Reports of Adjudged Cases in the Courts of Chancery, King's Bench, Common Pleas and Exchequer

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by Sir John Strange

Strange's Reports

Title page from Reports of Adjudged Cases in the Courts of Chancery, King's Bench, Common Pleas and Exchequer, volume two, George Wythe Collection, Wolf Law Library, College of William & Mary.

Author Sir John Strange
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Translator {{{trans}}}
Published London, In the Savoy: Printed by H. Lintot, law-printer to the King, for W. Sandby
Date 1755
Edition First
Language English
Volumes 2 volume set
Pages {{{pages}}}
Desc. Folio (31 cm.)
Location Shelf G-5
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Frontispiece, volume one.
John Strange (1695 – 1754) studied law under Charles Salkeld[1] and was called to the bar in 1618.[2] He served in a variety of legal capacities including solicitor general (1737-1742), Recorder of London (1739-1742), and Master of Rolls (1750-1754).[3]

"Before his death Strange [began] preparing his collection of reports for publication. Because of his willingness to lend his notes to judges there had been many opportunities for copies of this material, unscrupulously obtained, to pass into the hands of legal hacks. It included summaries and arguments of cases where no judgment had been made. It was Strange's chief concern, therefore, to have ready a definitive compilation of reports of adjudged cases that could be published in the event of any pirating of his work. Accordingly, when some of Strange's case notes did indeed appear shortly after his death under the title of A Collection of Select Cases Relating to Evidence, by a Late Barrister-at-Law, his executors acted swiftly to suppress it, and in 1755 his eldest son published the reports as authentically selected, dedicating them to Lord Hardwicke. Reprinted in second and third editions in 1782 and 1795, Strange's reports endured in their usefulness for the rest of the century and after."[4]

Evidence for Inclusion in Wythe's Library

Listed in the Jefferson Inventory of Wythe's Library as "Strange's rep. 1st. vol." and given by Thomas Jefferson to Dabney Carr. Three of the Wythe Collection sources (Dean's Memo[5], Brown's Bibliography[6] and George Wythe's Library[7] on LibraryThing) include the first edition (1658) of Strange's Reports. LibraryThing does include the caveat "Precise edition unknown, although Wythe was likely to have had a volume from the first edition." The Wolf Law Library purchased a copy of the 1658 edition.

Inscription, front pastedown, volume one.

Description of the Wolf Law Library's copy

Bound in contemporary calf. Front pastedown, volume one, inscribed "John M. Davenport, Oxford."

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. A. A. Hanham, "Strange, Sir John (bap. 1696, d. 1754)" in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, accessed September 6, 2013.
  2. Edward Foss, Biographia Juridica: A Biographical Dictionary of the Judges of England from the Conquest to the Present Time, 1066-1870 (London: John Murray, 1870), 636.
  3. William Holdsworth, A History of English Law (London: Methuen & Co., Sweet and Maxwell, 1938), 12:131.
  4. Hanham, "Strange, Sir John."
  5. 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).
  6. Bennie Brown, "The Library of George Wythe of Williamsburg and Richmond," (unpublished manuscript, May, 2012) Microsoft Word file. Earlier edition available at:
  7. LibraryThing, s. v. "Member: George Wythe," accessed on June 28, 2013.