Entring Clerk's Vade Mecum

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The Entring Clerk's Vade Mecum: Being an Exact Collection of Precedents for Declarations and Pleadings in Most Actions, Especially Such as are Brought for, or Against Heirs, Executors, or Administrators, Executrices, Administratrices, and Their Husbands, in Person Actions, Also upon Bills of Exchange, Pollicies of Assurance, &c., and Such Process and Parts of Pleading as Relate Thereunto: Being Very Practicable and Useful to All Entring-Clerks, and Attornies in His Majesties Courts of Kings-Bench

by William Brown

The Entring Clerk's Vade Mecum
George Wythe bookplate.jpg
Title not held by The Wolf Law Library
at the College of William & Mary.
Author William Brown
Published London:
Edition ?
Volumes volume set

London, octavo, 1678 or 1695. Precise edition unknown.

William Brown (fl. 1671-1705) was an English legal clerk and writer, little known aside from producing several manuals and compendiums in the late seventeenth century. His place and date of birth and the circumstances of his childhood are unknown. Brown likely took up his clerkship shortly after the Restoration and held that position until at least as late as 1704 [1]. Because this was not a high status position, he most likely did not receive his education at any of the Inns of Court [2]. His date of death is unknown but there is some evidence indicating that he passed in October of 1712 [3].

This work was also a compendium for lawyers and law clerks. It contains a dedication to Thomas Robinson, chief protonotary of the Court of Common Pleas, whom Brown had been serving under for sixteen years by 1678 [4]. Vade Mecum appears to have been relatively common in legal libraries during the eighteenth century. Besides George Wythe, Thomas Jefferson is known to have had a copy in his collection as well [5]. Additionally, prominent Philadelphia lawyer Benjamin Chew purchased a copy while he was at Middle Temple [6].

Evidence for Inclusion in Wythe's Library


  1. Stuart Handley, Brown, William (fl. 1671–1705), Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, Jan 2008 "accessed 6 Dec 2013"
  2. Id.
  3. Id.
  4. Id.
  5. 2 Am. J. Legal Hist. 172 (1958)Signer of the Declaration of Independence Orders Books from London: Two Documents of George Read of Delaware in the Hampton L. Carson Collection of the Free Library of Philadelphia, "[1]"
  6. Gilreath, James, and Douglas Wilson, eds. Thomas Jefferson's Library: A Catalog with the Entries in His Own Order. Washington, DC: Library of Congress (1989).

External Links

See bookplate in Google Books Note: Second Edition (1695).