Reports and Cases of Law

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Reports and Cases of Law: Argued, and Adjudged in the Courts of Law, at Westminister, in the Time of the Late Queen Elizabeth

by William Leonard

Leonard's Reports

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

Author William Leonard
Editor {{{editor}}}
Translator {{{trans}}}
Published London: Printed by Tho. Roycroft, for Nat. Ekins
Date 1658-1675
Edition First
Language English
Volumes 4 volume set
Pages {{{pages}}}
Desc. Folio (29-30 cm.)
Location [[Shelf {{{shelf}}}]]
  [[Shelf {{{shelf2}}}]]

Although not much is known about the author, Leonard's Reports "were always in high estimation" and noted for their general accuracy.[1] However, Leonard's work is not without some minor mistakes; some of the cases he reports appear more than once and, in one instance, he mistook one case for another.[2] The set covers cases from 1540 to 1615, with the majority dating from after the reign of Henry VIII.[3]

Evidence for Inclusion in Wythe's Library

Both Dean's Memo[4] and the Brown Bibliography[5] suggest Wythe owned the first edition of Leonard's Reports. Dean based her entry on Alan Smith's reference to Thomas Jefferson's commonplace book[6] while Brown relied upon notes in John Marshall's commonplace book.[7] The Wolf Law Library followed their suggestions and purchased a copy of the first edition.

Description of the Wolf Law Library's copy

Bound in full calf with original boards, recently rebacked and recornered with matching full calf. Spine features five raised bands; maroon title piece, and dates at foot of spine are gilt lettered. Contains signature of W. Wilson on title and plain name plate of John Becke, Northampton. Purchased from Wildy & Sons Ltd.

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


  1. John William Wallace, The Reporters, Arranged and Characterized with Incidental Remarks, 4th ed., rev. and enl. (Boston: Soule and Bugbee, 1882), 142-143.
  2. Ibid.
  3. Ibid.
  4. Memorandum from Barbara C. Dean, Colonial Williamsburg Found., to Mrs. Stiverson, Colonial Williamsburg Found. (June 16, 1975), 9 (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 Bennie Brown, "The Library of George Wythe of Williamsburg and Richmond," (unpublished manuscript, May, 2012) Microsoft Word file.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. Alan McKinley Smith "Virginia Lawyers, 1680-1776: The Birth of an American Profession" (PhD diss., The Johns Hopkins University, 1967), 263.
  7. The Papers of John Marshall, eds. Herbert A. Johnson, Charles T. Cullen, and Nancy G. Harris (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, in association with the Institute of Early American History and Culture, 1974), 1:419.