Cases in Parliament Resolved and Adjudged, Upon Petitions and Writs of Error

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by Sir Bartholomew Shower

Shower's Cases in Parliament

Title page from Cases in Parliament Resolved and Adjudged, George Wythe Collection, Wolf Law Library, College of William & Mary.

Author Sir Bartholomew Shower
Editor {{{editor}}}
Translator {{{trans}}}
Published London: Printed for A. and J. Churchill
Date 1698
Edition First
Language English
Volumes {{{set}}} volume set
Pages [12], 224, [2]
Desc. Folio (33 cm.)
Location Shelf C-5
  [[Shelf {{{shelf2}}}]]

Sir Bartholomew Shower (1658–1701) was admitted to the Middle Temple in 1676 and called to the bar in 1680. In 1688, he was named king's counsel, then later the same year, he was appointed to the bench.[1] In 1698, Shower was chosen as one of Exeter's members for Parliament and he shortly became a dominant tory voice in the Commons. A few years before his death, Shower anonymously published Cases in Parliament Resolved and Adjudged, the first printed record of any of the judicial decisions of the House of Lords.[2] Although the reports are "for the most part ... simply accounts of the arguments used on each side, and a bare statement of the result of the appeal"[3], the House considered the publication to be an infringement upon its privileges,[4] and further printing ceased.[5]

Evidence for Inclusion in Wythe's Library

Ordered by Wythe from John Norton & Sons in a letter dated May 8, 1770. Records indicate the order was fulfilled.[6] Listed in the Jefferson Inventory of Wythe's Library as "Shower's ca. in parl." and given by Thomas Jefferson to Dabney Carr. We do not know which edition Wythe owned. According to Soule, the first and third editions were folios.[7] Three of the Wythe Collection sources (Goodwin's pamphlet,[8] Brown's Bibliography,[9] and George Wythe's Library[10] on LibraryThing) list the 1740 (third) edition of this work. Dean's Memo,[11] the original source for the Wolf Law Library's collection, notes the 1698 (first) edition. The Wolf Law Library moved a copy of the first edition from another rare books collection to the George Wythe Collection.

Description of the Wolf Law Library's copy

Recently rebound in period style. Title page inscribed, "John R. Emery Newark presented by Jas. W. [ ] July 1879". 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.

Full text

See also


  1. Robert J. Frankle, "Shower, Sir Bartholomew (1658–1701)" in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, accessed September 22, 2013. Subsequent biographical information also derives from this article unless otherwise noted.
  2. W. S. Holdsworth, A History of English Law (London: Methuen & Co., Sweet and Maxwell, 1924), 6:572.
  3. Holdsworth, A History of English Law, 6:573.
  4. John William Wallace, The Reporters, Arranged and Characterized with Incidental Remarks, 4th ed., rev. and enl. (Boston: Soule and Bugbee, 1882), 400.
  5. Robert J. Frankle, "Shower, Sir Bartholomew."
  6. Frances Norton Mason, ed., John Norton & Sons, Merchants of London and Virginia: Being the Papers from their Counting House for the Years 1750 to 1795 (Richmond, Virginia: Dietz Press, 1937), 133-134. The letter is endorsed "Virga. 7th May 1770 / George Wythe / Rec'd 18 June pr Dixon / goods Entd. pa. 220/ Ans. the 28th July / pr Emperor / wrote again pr Goosley."
  7. Charles C. Soule, The Lawyer's Reference Manual of Law Books and Citations (Boston: Soule and Bugbee, 1833), 73n1.
  8. Mary R. M. Goodwin, The George Wythe House: Its Furniture and Furnishings (Williamsburg, Virginia: Colonial Williamsburg Foundation Library, 1958), XLIX-L.
  9. Bennie Brown, "The Library of George Wythe of Williamsburg and Richmond," (unpublished manuscript, May, 2012) Microsoft Word file. Earlier edition available at:
  10. LibraryThing, s.v. "Member: George Wythe," accessed on June 28, 2013.
  11. Memorandum from Barbara C. Dean, Colonial Williamsburg Found., to Mrs. Stiverson, Colonial Williamsburg Found. (June 16, 1975), 8 (on file at Wolf Law Library, College of William & Mary).

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