Les Reports de Sr. Creswell Levinz

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Les Reports de Sr. Creswell Levinz: Jades un del Justices del Common Bank, en Trois Parts, Commencant en le 12 an de Roy Charles II. & Fini en le 8 an de son Majesty William III.

by Sir Creswell Levinz

Levinz's Reports
George Wythe bookplate.jpg
Title not held by The Wolf Law Library
at the College of William & Mary.
Author Sir Creswell Levinz
Published London: Printed by the assigns of Richard and Edward Atkins esq; for S. Keble ... D. Browne ... T. Benskin ... and J. Walthoe
Date 1702
Language French
Volumes volume set

Sir Creswell Levinz (1627–1701) was a judge, the second son of William Levinz, of Evenley, Northamptonshire. His mother was Mary, second daughter of Richard Creswell of Purston, Northamptonshire. He was the brother of Baptist Levinz and William Levinz. Born in Evenley, Levinz became in 1648 a sizar, or research fellow, at Trinity College, Cambridge, but never graduated. He entered Gray's Inn in November 1655 and was called to the bar in November 1661. On October 2, 1678, Levinz was knighted and on October 25 he was appointed king's counsel. As king's counsel he represented the crown in the famous Popish Plot trials of 1678–9. He was appointed attorney general on October 27, 1679. In 1670, Levinz married Elizabeth Livesay, of Lancashire. They had two sons, William and Creswell, and one daughter, Catherine.[1]

On February 12, 1681, Levinz was appointed as a judge in the court of common pleas, on the Oxford circuit. On February 9, 1686, his office was suddenly, but not unexpectedly, revoked by writ of supersedeas. After the Glorious Revolution of 1688, he was returned to the bar. Levins stopped practicing law in 1696. He died at Serjeants' Inn on January 29, 1701, and was buried at Evenley, where a monument to him and his standing effigy in robes are located.[2]

Levinz' Reports was published in 1702 as a folio volume in three parts and was republished in 1722 in two volumes, when it was translated from law French to English. A third edition in English was published in Dublin, from 1793–7, and in London, in 1802, in three volumes.[3] The cases listed in the Reports are cases decided en banc from the Court of King's Bench, from 1660 through 1696. The first part of the Reports contains cases beginning in 1660 through 1671, under the Chief Justiceships of Sir Robert Foster, Sir Robert Hide, and Sir John Keeling. The second part contains cases from 1671 through 1681, under the Chief Justiceships of Sir Matthew Hale, Sir Richard Rainsford, and Sir William Scroggs. The final part contains cases cases through 1696, from the remainder of Levinz' time practicing law.[4]

Levinz also compiled a book of entries, published in 1702, A Collection of Select and Modern Entries of Declarations, Pleadings, Issues, Verdicts, Judgments etc., referring to the cases in his Reports, the judgment of the court being added to each case.[5] After Levinz' death, Lord Philip York, 1st Earl of Hardwicke, stated that Levinz was "a good lawyer, [but] he was sometimes a very careless reporter."[6] Although the Reports received adverse criticism[7] from the legal community of the time, there is no evidence that Levinz intended his private collection of reports and records to be published.[8]

Evidence for Inclusion in Wythe's Library


  1. D. E. C. Yale, "Levinz, Sir Creswell (1627–1701)," Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press, 2004- ), accessed February 16, 2015.
  2. Ibid.
  3. Ibid.
  4. http://trove.nla.gov.au/work/6888792?q&versionId=7930066
  5. Yale, "Levinz, Sir Creswell (1627–1701)."
  6. Edward Foss, Biographia Juridica: A Biographical Dictionary of the Judges of England from the Conquest to the Present Time, 1066-1870, (London: John Murray, 1870), 406-407.
  7. Ibid.
  8. Yale, "Levinz, Sir Creswell (1627–1701)."

External Links

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