Cases Argued and Decreed in the High Court of Chancery

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Great Britain. Court of Chancery.

Cases Argued and Decreed in the High Court of Chancery
George Wythe bookplate.jpg
Title not held by The Wolf Law Library
at the College of William & Mary.
Published London, In the Savoy: Printed by C. and R. Nutt and R. Gosling for J. Walthoe
Date 1735
Edition Third
Language English
Volumes volume set
Desc. Folio

This reporter contains records of chancery cases decided during the reigns of Charles II and James II. More specifically, it covers the period from the restoration of the monarchy in 1660 until James II was deposed in 1688. This book does not carry with it the highest reputation. Chancellor Kent referred to it as a collection of "loose, meagre, and inaccurate reports.”[1] Other nineteenth century commentators called it "a book of very doubtful authority" and "very incorrect."[2] Another source acknowledges this dubious reputation but goes on to mention that the third edition, the one owned by Wythe, “has been generally considered as much the better book."[3] Thomas Jefferson was definitely familiar with the second edition, published in 1707, as he took notes on it while compiling his Equity Commonplace Book.[4]

Although as a reporter Cases Argued and Decreed does not list an author it is suspected that the first edition was created by Sir Anthony Keck, a lawyer and politician who died in 1695.[5] Sir Edward Ward, chief baron of the exchequer, claimed that he was responsible for its publication.[6] Edward Foss, in his Biographia Juridica, claims that the 1697 edition was published from Keck’s collected papers.[7] While the veracity of these claims is not entirely clear, it is known for certain that Keck collected reports of chancery cases during his lifetime, making it at least possible that he was responsible for the first edition.[8]

Evidence for Inclusion in Wythe's Library

Wythe copy possibly held by the Library of Congress.


  1. J. G. Marvin, Legal Bibliography or a Thesaurus of American, English, Irish, and Scotch Law Books (Philadelphia: T. & J. W. Johnson, Law Booksellers, 1847), 183.
  2. Ibid.
  3. John William Wallace, The Reporters, Arranged and Characterized with Incidental Remarks, 4th ed., rev. and enl. (Boston: Soule and Bugbee, 1882), 481.
  4. Edward Dumbauld, "Thomas Jefferson's Equity Commonplace Book," Washington and Lee Law Review, 48, no. 4 (Fall 1991): 1260.
  5. Stuart Handley, "Keck, Sir Anthony (bap. 1630, d. 1695)," Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, accessed January 8, 2015.
  6. Ibid.
  7. Edward Foss, Biographia Juridica: A Biographical Dictionary of the Judges of England from the Conquest to the Present Time, 1066-1870 (London: J. Murray, 1870), 380.
  8. Handley, "Keck, Sir Anthony."

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