The Arguments and Reports of Sr. Hen. Pollexfen

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by Sir Henry Pollexfen

The Arguments and Reports of Sr. Hen. Pollexfen

Title page from The Arguments and Reports of Sr. Hen. Pollexfen, George Wythe Collection, Wolf Law Library, College of William & Mary.

Author Sir Henry Pollexfen
Editor {{{editor}}}
Translator {{{trans}}}
Published London: Printed for R. Smith and John Deeve
Date 1702
Edition First
Language English
Volumes {{{set}}} volume set
Pages [2], 250 (i. e. 246), 369-664, [8]
Desc. Folio (33 cm.)
Location [[Shelf {{{shelf}}}]]
  [[Shelf {{{shelf2}}}]]

Sir Henry Pollexfen (c.1632–1691) entered the Inner Temple in 1652 and was called to the bar in 1658.[1] In 1674, he became a bencher of his inn. Very successful in his profession, Pollexfen "seems to have been engaged in most of the important cases in the latter part of the reign of Charles II. and in that of James II."[2] After the Revolution in 1688, Pollexfen served a brief stint as attorney-general in 1689, then as Chief Justice of the Court of Common Pleas from 1689-1691.

Pollexfen's Reports, primarily cover property cases from 1669 to 1685[3] and the copies "are very incorrect, varying in the pages, and in the dates ..."[4] One author writes that "they tell us very much more of the reporter's arguments than of the decision of the court"[5] while another grants that "a large share of [the] decisions are of moderate importance ... yet when applicable they are cited with effect.[6]

Evidence for Inclusion in Wythe's Library

Brown's Bibliography[7] includes the 1st (1703) edition Pollexfen's Reports based on quotations in the manuscript copy of John Marshall's law notes. The Wolf Law Library followed Brown's suggestion and moved a copy of this edition from another rare book collection to the George Wythe Collection.

Description of the Wolf Law Library's copy

Rebound in period style with red leather labels and black 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.

View this book in William & Mary's online catalog.


  1. Paul D. Halliday, "Pollexfen, Sir Henry (c.1632–1691)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, Jan 2008, accessed 5 June 2013. (Subscription required for access.)
  2. John William Wallace, The Reporters, Arranged and Characterized with Incidental Remarks, 4th ed., rev. and enl. (Boston: Soule and Bugbee, 1882), 346.
  3. Halliday, "Pollexfen, Sir Henry."
  4. 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), 257.
  5. W. S. Holdsworth, A History of English Law (London: Methuen & Co., Sweet and Maxwell, 1924), 6:561 .
  6. J. G. Marvin, Legal Bibliography or a Thesaurus of American, English, Irish, and Scotch Law Books (Philadelphia: T. & J. W. Johnson, Law Booksellers, 1847), 576-577.
  7. Bennie Brown, "The Library of George Wythe of Williamsburg and Richmond," (unpublished manuscript, May, 2012) Microsoft Word file. Earlier edition available at: