Reports of Cases Adjudged in the Court of King's Bench

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by Thomas Carthew

Thomas Carthew (1657–1704) entered the Middle Temple in 1683 and was called to the bar in 1686.[1] Carthew was called to the bar in the Inner Temple in 1698 and became serjeant-at-law in 1700.[2] In 1728, Carthew's son, Thomas, posthumously published Carthew's compilation Reports of Cases Adjudged in the Court of King's Bench from 3 Jac. II to 12 Will. III. The volume received mixed reviews. One author noted that Carthew had "a tolerable reputation for accuracy,"[3] but admitted that Lord Thurlow considered the reports to be "bad authority."[4] Another writer relates that Woodeson labeled Carthew "a reporter of no great merit."[5] Nevertheless, the reports were popular enough to reach a second edition in 1741/1743.[6]

Bibliographic Information

Author: Thomas Carthew.

Title: Reports of Cases Adjudged in the Court of King's Bench, from the Third Year of King James the Second, to the Twelfth Year of King William the Third.

Publication Info: London, In the Savoy: Printed by E. and R. Nutt for R. Gosling, 1728.

Edition: First edition; 7, 520, [29] pages.

Evidence for Inclusion in Wythe's Library

Both Dean's Memo[7] and the Brown Bibliography[8] suggest Wythe owned this title based on notes in John Marshall's commonplace book.[9] Dean prefers the second edition listed by the Marshall editors, while Brown lists the first edition based in part on the copy sold by Thomas Jefferson to the Library of Congress in 1815.[10]

Description of the Wolf Law Library's copy

Bound in contemporary calf and spines with raised bands with red morocco label to volume II. Purchased from Bow Windows Bookshop.

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


  1. Stuart Handley, "Carthew, Thomas (1657–1704)", in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press, 2004- ), accessed 30 May 2013. (Subscription required for access.)
  2. Ibid.
  3. J. G. Marvin, Legal Bibliography or a Thesaurus of American, English, Irish, and Scotch Law Books (Philadelphia: T. & J. W. Johnson, Law Booksellers, 1847), 176.
  4. Marvin, Legal Bibliography, 177.
  5. John William Wallace, The Reporters, Arranged and Characterized with Incidental Remarks, 4th ed., rev. and enl. (Boston: Soule and Bugbee, 1882), 397.
  6. Marvin, Legal Bibliography, 177.
  7. Memorandum from Barbara C. Dean, Colonial Williamsburg Found., to Mrs. Stiverson, Colonial Williamsburg Found. (June 16, 1975), 9 (on file at Wolf Law Library, College of William & Mary).
  8. Bennie Brown, "The Library of George Wythe of Williamsburg and Richmond," (unpublished manuscript, May, 2012) Microsoft Word file. Earlier edition available at:
  9. The Papers of John Marshall, eds. Herbert A. Johnson, Charles T. Cullen, and Nancy G. Harris (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, in association with the Institute of Early American History and Culture, 1974), 1:41.
  10. E. Millicent Sowerby, Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Jefferson, 2nd ed. (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1983), 2:344-345 [no.2071].