Reports of Cases in Equity: Argued and Decreed in the Courts of Chancery and Exchequer, Chiefly in the Reign of King George I ... to which are Added Some Select Cases in Equity, Heard and Determined in the Court of Exchequer in Ireland

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by Geoffrey Gilbert

Gilbert's Reports

Title page from Reports of Cases in Equity, George Wythe Collection, Wolf Law Library, College of William & Mary.

Author Geoffrey Gilbert
Editor {{{editor}}}
Translator {{{trans}}}
Published [London] In the Savoy: Printed by H. Lintot (assignee of Edward Sayer, esq;) for D. Browne and J. Shuckburgh
Date 1742
Edition Second
Language English
Volumes {{{set}}} volume set
Pages [8], 275, [20]
Desc. Folio (35 cm.)
Location Shelf H-5
  [[Shelf {{{shelf2}}}]]

Sir Geoffrey (sometimes Jeffray or Jeffrey) Gilbert (1674–1726) is probably better known to legal history for his treatises rather than his case reports. Gilbert joined the bar in 1698. He became judge of the Court of King's Bench in Ireland in 1714, then Chief Baron of the Exchequer in Ireland in 1715.[1] In 1722, after resigning his office in Ireland, Gilbert was appointed baron of the English Court of Exchequer. His case reports were published anonymously and posthumously, but Gilbert's contemporaries had no doubt of the author: "That the Reports of Cases in Equity came out of [Gilbert's] study is most certain."[2] At least one more recent author contends that the attribution may be misplaced, "Reports of Cases in Equity … by a Late Learned Judge (1734) include some of Gilbert's draft judgments, but also some reports which cannot be by him."[3]

Evidence for Inclusion in Wythe's Library

Wythe definitely owned this title—a copy of the second edition at the University of Virginia includes his bookplate and an inscription on the inside front board, Given by Thos. Jefferson to D. Carr, 1806. Not surprisingly, it is also listed in the Jefferson Inventory of Wythe's Library as "Gilbert’s reports.," given by Thomas Jefferson to Dabney Carr. Three of the George Wythe Collection sources (Dean's Memo[4], Brown's Bibliography[5] and George Wythe's Library[6] on LibraryThing) list the second edition of Gilbert's Reports. The Wolf Law Library moved a copy of the second edition from another rare book collection to the George Wythe Collection.

Description of the Wolf Law Library's copy

Rebound in period style with green label and red marbelled endpapers. Signature of "Nathan Sanford" on title page and first page of text. 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.

See also


  1. William Holdsworth, A History of English Law (London: Methuen & Co., Sweet and Maxwell, 1938), 12:140.
  2. Charles Viner, A General Abridgment of Law and Equity: Alphabetically Digested under Proper Titles with Notes and References to the Whole (Aldershot: Printed for the Author, by Agreement with the Law-Patentees, 1741-1753), 18:Preface.
  3. M. Macnair, "Gilbert, Sir Jeffray (1674–1726)" in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, accessed September 7, 2013.
  4. 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).
  5. Bennie Brown, "The Library of George Wythe of Williamsburg and Richmond," (unpublished manuscript, May, 2012) Microsoft Word file. Earlier edition available at:
  6. LibraryThing, s.v. "Member: George Wythe," accessed on June 28, 2013.

External Links

Read this book in Google Books.