Reports of Cases Adjudged in the Court of King's Bench: with Some Special Cases in the Courts of Chancery, Common Pleas and Exchequer, from the first year of K. William and Q. Mary, to the tenth year of Queen Anne

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by William Salkeld

Salkeld's Reports

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

Author William Salkeld
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Published London: In the Savoy: J. Walthoe and J. Walthoe, jun.
Date 1717-1718
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Language English
Volumes 2 volume set
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Desc. Folio (33 cm.)
Location Shelf G-5
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William Salkeld (1671 – 1715), serjeant at law and law reporter, led a short but productive life.[1] He matriculated at St. Edmund Hall, Oxford in 1687 and entered the Middle Temple in 1692.[2] In 1698 he was called to bar. [3] Salkeld married Mary Ryves in 1700 and settled in Dorset.[4] In 1713 he was appointed chief justice of the Great Sessions for the counties of Carmarthen, Cardigan, and Pembroke, and became serjeant at law in 1715.[5] Salkeld died later that year.[6]

Salkeld was well known for his reports.[7] His Reports of Cases in the Court of King’s Bench, published after his death, became "the standard work of the period."[8] The first two volumes are of “undoubted accuracy” and were published under the guidance of Lord Hardwicke.[9] However, the third volume is more of a “refuse collection of cases,” containing the material Salkeld considered “unworthy of publication.”[10]

Evidence for Inclusion in Wythe's Library

Both Dean's Memo[11] and the Brown Bibliography[12] suggest Wythe owned the first edition of Salkeld's Reports based on notes in the commonplace book of John Marshall.[13] Dean also cites Thomas Jefferson's commonplace book.[14] The Wolf Law Library followed the suggestions of Brown and Dean and purchased a copy of the first edition.

Description of the Wolf Law Library's copy

Bound in contemporary calf. Spines feature raised banks and a red morocco label to volume two. Label missing from volume one.

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. W.R. Williams, "Salkeld, William (b. 1671, d. 1715)" in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, accessed February 21, 2014.
  2. Ibid.
  3. Ibid.
  4. Ibid.
  5. Ibid.
  6. Ibid.
  7. Ibid.
  8. Ibid.
  9. J.G. Marvin, Legal Bibliography (Philadelphia: T. & J.W. Johnson Law Booksellers, 1847), 626-627.
  10. Ibid.
  11. Memorandum from Barbara C. Dean, Colonial Williamsburg Found., to Mrs. Stiverson, Colonial Williamsburg Found. (June 16, 1975), 13 (on file at Wolf Law Library, College of William & Mary).
  12. Bennie Brown, "The Library of George Wythe of Williamsburg and Richmond," (unpublished manuscript, May, 2012) Microsoft Word file. Earlier edition available at:
  13. 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.
  14. Gilbert Chinard, ed. The Commonplace Book of Thomas Jefferson: A Repertory of His Ideas on Government (Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins Press, 1926), 75.