Reports in the Court of Kings Bench at Westminster

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by Joseph Keble

Joseph Keble (1632–1710) entered Gray's Inn in 1647 and became a member of the bar in 1653.[1] He never practiced law but attended the Court of King's Bench from 1661 onwards, taking notes of the cases he witnessed. Opinions regarding the quality of his reports are uniformly negative.[2] Holdsworth explains "The main defect of Keble's reports is that he merely jotted town what he heard from day to day in court, without attempting to collect into a single narrative the history of any one case. Hence it is necessary to look into several places for cases which extend over several days."[3] Nevertheless, some historians have found value in the role Keble played as a mere "register", noting that "Keble's Reports help, often, to explain difficulties in contemporary Reports of better credit ..."[4]

Bibliographic Information

Author: Joseph Keble.

Title: Reports in the Court of Kings Bench at Westminster, from the XII to the XXX Year of the Reign of our Late Sovereign Lord King Charles II.

Publication Info: London: Printed by W. Rawlins, S Roycroft and M. Flesher, assigns of Richard and Edward Atkins for Thomas Dring, Charles Harper, Samuel Keble, and William Freeman, 1685.

Edition: First edition.

Extent: Three volumes.

Evidence for Inclusion in Wythe's Library

Description of the Wolf Law Library's copy

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


  1. Stuart Handley, "Keble, Joseph (1632–1710)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, Jan 2008, accessed 7 Sept 2013. (Subscription required for access.) Subsequent bibliographic facts also taken from this article.
  2. John William Wallace, The Reporters, Arranged and Characterized with Incidental Remarks, 4th ed., rev. and enl., (Boston: Soule and Bugbee, 1882), 315. Wallace writes that one justice "burned his copy, thinking it not worth while to lumber his library with trash."
  3. William Holdsworth, A History of English Law, (London: Methuen & Co., Sweet and Maxwell, 1924), 6:557-558.
  4. Wallace, The Reporters, 317.