L'Authoritie et Jurisdiction des Courts de la Majestie de la Roygne

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by Richard Crompton

L'Authoritie et Jurisdiction des Courts de la Majestie de la Roygne

Title page from L'Authoritie et Jurisdiction des Courts de la Majestie de la Roygne, George Wythe Collection, Wolf Law Library, College of William & Mary.

Author Richard Crompton
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Translator {{{trans}}}
Published Londini: in aedibus Caroli Yetsweirti Armig.
Date 1594
Edition {{{edition}}}
Language French
Volumes {{{set}}} volume set
Pages 8, 232 leaves
Desc. 4to (18 cm.)
Location Shelf G-1
  [[Shelf {{{shelf2}}}]]

Richard Crompton (c. 1529 – c. 1599) was a legal writer whose works include A Short Declaration of the Ende of Traytors, and False Conspirators Against the State, Star-Chamber Cases, and an enlargement of Sir Anthony Fitzherbert's L'Office et Authoritie de Iustices de Peace.[1] Although he was admitted to the Middle Temple in 1553 and might have been created a serjeant-at-law had he desired that honor, Crompton preferred to focus on his "private studies."[2] His most well-known work is L’Authoritie et Jurisdiction des Courts de la Majestie de la Roygne.[3]

L'authoritie et Jurisdiction was the first book on English law to focus exclusively on the royal courts.[4] Divided into 23 sections that focus on a different court, it serves as a guide to the court system.[5] Crompton describes not only the Court of Star Chamber, the Chancery, and the court functions of Parliament, but other smaller and less well-known courts.[6]

As early as 1600, the English legal scholar William Fulbeck praised Crompton's work. He recommended Crompton's books to law students because they were both comprehensive and concise, so "that a man may by them in a few hours gain great knowledge."[7] Roger North similarly considered Crompton’s L’Authoritie et jurisidiction to be essential reading for students.[8]

Evidence for Inclusion in Wythe's Library

Brown's Bibliography[9] includes the first edition (1594) of Crompton's L'Authoritie et Iurisdiction des Covrts de la Maiestie de la Roygne based on quotations in the manuscript copy of John Marshall's law notes. The Wolf Law Library moved a copy of the first edition from another rare book collection to the George Wythe Collection.

Initialcapital, first page of text.

Description of the Wolf Law Library's copy

Bound in recent limp vellum with ribbon ties. Title page includes inscription "Le-Leo." 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. N.G. Jones, "Crompton, Richard (b.c. 1529, d. in or about 1599)" in Oxford English Dictionary of National Biography, accessed May 28, 2015.
  2. Ibid.
  3. Ibid.
  4. "Bach to Baseball Cards: Preserving the Nation's History at the Library of Congress," Library of Congress, accessed May 28, 2015.
  5. Ibid.
  6. Ibid.
  7. William Fulbeck and T.H. Sterling, Direction or Preparative to the Study of Law (London: Printed for J. and W.T. Clarke, Law Booksellers and Publishers, 1829), 74.
  8. Jones, "Crompton, Richard."
  9. Bennie Brown, "The Library of George Wythe of Williamsburg and Richmond," (unpublished manuscript, May, 2012, rev. May, 2014) Microsoft Word file. Earlier edition available at: https://digitalarchive.wm.edu/handle/10288/13433.