Reports of Special Cases Argued and Decreed in the Court of Chancery, in the Reigns of King Charles I. King Charles II. and King William III

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by William Nelson

Nelson's Reports

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

Author William Nelson
Editor {{{editor}}}
Translator {{{trans}}}
Published London, In the Savoy: Printed by Eliz. Nutt, and R. Gosling (assignees of E. Sayer) for B. Lintott
Date 1717
Edition First
Language English
Volumes {{{set}}} volume set
Pages 8 p. l., 207, [15]
Desc. 8vo (20 cm.)
Location Shelf F-1
  [[Shelf {{{shelf2}}}]]

William Nelson (b. 1652/3) was admitted to the Middle Temple in 1673 and was called the bar in 1684.[1] "A successful practitioner in the court of chancery, Nelson's numerous literary works displayed considerable legal learning, but despite his low opinion of the writings of others, Nelson's own works were not invariably accurate or useful."[2] He published Reports of Special Cases in the Court of Chancery in 1717 which he "claimed to be largely transcribed from the manuscript of a late attorney-general, and to contain reports most of which had never previously been printed or of points which had not previously been noticed, though several of the reports had already appeared in print elsewhere."[3]

Evidence for Inclusion in Wythe's Library

Listed in the Jefferson Inventory of Wythe's Library as "Nelson's Chancery reports 8[vo.]" and given by Thomas Jefferson to Dabney Carr. According to Soule, the first edition was the only edition available in Wythe's lifetime.[4] Accordingly, both the Brown Bibliography[5] and George Wythe's Library[6] on LibraryThing list the 1717 (first) edition, and the Wolf Law Library purchased this version.

Description of the Wolf Law Library's copy

Rebound in period-style full calf; red morocco label features gilt lettering. Signatures of "Bordley" and "R.W. Hughes" on the title page.

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. N. G. Jones, "Nelson, William (b. 1652/3)" Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, accessed June 27, 2013.
  2. Ibid.
  3. Ibid. See also John William Wallace, The Reporters, Arranged and Characterized with Incidental Remarks, 4th ed. (Boston: Soule and Bugbee, 1882), 480.
  4. Charles C. Soule, The Lawyer's Reference Manual of Law Books and Citations (Boston: Soule and Bugbee, 1833), 77n6. The second edition was published in 1872.
  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 April 21, 2013.

External Links

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