Reports, or New Cases: with Divers Resolutions and Judgements Given upon Solemn Arguments, and with Great Deliberation. And the Reasons and Causes of the Said Resolutions and Judgments

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by John March

Reports, or New Cases

Title page from Reports, or New Cases, George Wythe Collection, Wolf Law Library, College of William & Mary.

Author John March
Editor {{{editor}}}
Translator {{{trans}}}
Published London: Printed by M.F. for W. Lee, M. Walbanke, D. Pakeman, and G. Beadel
Date 1648
Edition First
Language English
Volumes {{{set}}} volume set
Pages 1, 218, [20]
Desc. 4to (19 cm.)
Location Shelf F-2
  [[Shelf {{{shelf2}}}]]

John March (1611/12? – 1657) is "probably the 'John Marche, St. Andrew Holborn London' who entered Barnard's Inn" in 1635, then Gray's Inn in 1636. He was called to the bar in 1641.[1] March published a defense of the Long Parliament's militia ordinance, An Argument or, Debate in Law: of the Great Question Concerning the Militia; as it is Now Settled by Ordinance of Both the Houses of Parliament in 1642, and quickly rose to prominence.[2] He followed this work with other publications, including the 1651 work for which he is best known, Amicus Republicae, the Commonwealth's Friend, or, An Exact and Speedie Course to Justice and Right, and for Preventing and Determining of Tedious Law-Suits in which he "held that although the core of the common law remained pure, over the centuries both procedural and substantive corruptions of it had crept into the administration of justice. He likened the common law to a tree that would grow better for 'pruning, and cutting off of its exuberant and unnecessary branches.'"[3]

Following the defeat of Scottish and royalist armies in 1652, March travelled to Scotland on the orders of the council of state.[4] There he served until 1653 as one of a commission of four Englishmen and three Scots charged with the administration of justice. He died early in 1657, after ‘a long and expensive sickness’ in a state so impoverished that his widow, Alice, petitioned Lord Protector Cromwell for assistance in her husband's burial.[5]

March published a compilation of King's Bench reports, Reports, or New Cases: with Divers Resolutions and Judgements Given upon Solemn Arguments, and with Great Deliberation in 1648. The reports earned March the faint praise of being "a mean reporter, but not to be rejected."[6]

Headpiece, first page of text.

Evidence for Inclusion in Wythe's Library

Mentioned by George Wythe in his decision for Turpin v. Turpin, "Chief justice Holt, in his argument, on that occasion, mentions two cases, one in Goldesborough 93, and the other in March 137 ..."[7] The Brown Bibliography[8] suggests either the first edition of this title or Some New Cases in the Time of Henry VIII, Edward VI and Queen Mary published in 1586 and edited by John March. The Wolf Law Library chose to purchase a copy of March's Reports or, New Cases.

Description of the Wolf Law Library's copy

Bound in contemporary calf, rebacked in period style with red morocco label ruled in gilt. Boards decorated with blind rules. Includes prior owner signature on title page.

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. D. A. Orr, "March, John (1611/12?–1657)" in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, accessed June 27, 2013.
  2. Ibid.
  3. Ibid.
  4. Ibid.
  5. Ibid.
  6. John William Wallace, The Reporters, Arranged and Characterized with Incidental Remarks, 4th ed. (Boston: Soule and Bugbee, 1882), 274.
  7. George Wythe, Decision of Cases in Virginia by the High Court of Chancery: with Remarks upon Decrees by the Court of Appeals, Reversing Some of Those Decisions (Richmond: Printed by Thomas Nicolson, 1795), 25.
  8. Bennie Brown "The Library of George Wythe of Williamsburg and Richmond," (unpublished manuscript, May, 2012) Microsoft Word file. Earlier edition available at: