Cases in Equity During the Time of the Late Lord Chancellor Talbot

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Cases in Equity During the Time of the Late Lord Chancellor Talbot: With Tables of the Names of the Cases and Principal Matters.

by Alexander Forrester

Cases in Equity During the Time of the Late Lord Chancellor Talbot

Title page from Cases in Equity During the Time of the Late Lord Chancellor Talbot, George Wythe Collection, Wolf Law Library, College of William & Mary.

Author Alexander Forrester
Editor {{{editor}}}
Translator {{{trans}}}
Published In the Savoy: Printed by Henry Lintot for T. Waller
Date 1753
Edition Second
Language English
Volumes {{{set}}} volume set
Pages vi, 286, [18] p.
Desc. (32 cm.)
Location [[Shelf {{{shelf}}}]]
  [[Shelf {{{shelf2}}}]]

Alexander Forrester, "an equity barrister of some eminence,"[1] compiled notes on the cases of Lord Chancellor Talbot. The first edition of these reports were published without Forrester's consent[2] and may not have been intended for publication without further editing.[3] Nevertheless, while commentators may have lamented the quality of the reports,[4] Talbot's[5] decisions rise above this mediocrity:

Lord Talbot's decisions exhibit, indeed, in the form in which we have them, little of the eloquence so highly rated by his contemporaries, and which the reporters of that day, devoted entirely to the illustration of the legal doctrines of the cases, would perhaps have deemed an incongruous and impertinent superfluity; but they display a strong and ready grasp of facts, a thorough intimacy with legal principles and authorities, and an eminently clear and logical exposition of them,—his judgments being invariably accompanied by a statement, more or less in detail, of the reasons upon which they were grounded. They retain an authority almost untouched by the dissent of later Judges.[6]

Evidence for Inclusion in Wythe's Library

Listed in the Jefferson Inventory of Wythe's Library as Ca. Temp. Talbot. fol. and given by Thomas Jefferson to Dabney Carr. The precise edition owned by Wythe is unknown. Folio editions were published in 1741, 1742, and 1753.[7] George Wythe's Library[8] on LibraryThing concurs with these findings and does not list a specific edition. The Brown Bibliography[9] lists the 1753 edition in part based on the existence of that edition in Jefferson's library.[10]

Description of the Wolf Law Library's copy

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


  1. William Holdsworth, A History of English Law, (London: Methuen & Co., Sweet and Maxwell, 1938), 12:142.
  2. Holdsworth, A History of English Law, 143.
  3. John William Wallace, The Reporters, Arranged and Characterized with Incidental Remarks, 4th ed., rev. and enl., (Boston: Soule and Bugbee, 1882), 508.
  4. Wallace, The Reporters, 508.
  5. For more information about Lord Chancellor Talbot, see M. Macnair, "Talbot, Charles, first Baron Talbot of Hensol (bap. 1685, d. 1737)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, May 2008, accessed 7 Sept 2013. (Subscription required for access.)
  6. W. N. Welsby, Lives of Eminent English Judges of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries, (Philadelphia: T. & J.W. Johnson, 1846), 270.
  7. English Short Title Catalog,, search of "Time" and "Talbot" reveals three folio editions.
  8. LibraryThing, s. v. "Member: George Wythe," accessed on April 21, 2013,
  9. Bennie Brown, "The Library of George Wythe of Williamsburg and Richmond," (unpublished manuscript, May, 2012) Microsoft Word file. Earlier edition available at:
  10. E. Millicent Sowerby, Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Jefferson (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1983), 2:205.