Reports, or New Cases

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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 {{{shelf}}}]]
  [[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]

Another of March's publications was a 1648 compilation of King's Bench reports, Reports, or New Cases: with Divers Resolutions and Judgements Given upon Solemn Arguments, and with Great Deliberation. The reports earned March the faint praise of being "a mean reporter, but not to be rejected."[4]

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 ..."[5] The Brown Bibliography[6] 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.

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


  1. D. A. Orr, "March, John (1611/12?–1657)",in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press, 2004- ), accessed June 27, 2013.
  2. Ibid.
  3. Ibid.
  4. John William Wallace, The Reporters, Arranged and Characterized with Incidental Remarks, 4th ed., rev. and enl. (Boston: Soule and Bugbee, 1882), 274.
  5. 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.
  6. Bennie Brown "The Library of George Wythe of Williamsburg and Richmond," (unpublished manuscript, May, 2012) Microsoft Word file. Earlier edition available at: