Manuscript Law Statute book c18th

Manuscript Law Statute book c18th
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ANON. Manuscript Law Statutes circa 1750's , small 8vo, approx 16.5 cm x 10.5 cm, written in a very tidy hand in ink, and bound in a contemporary or near contemporary full calf binding, with a blind roll decoration to the inner margins of the boards and ruling to the edges. The work is divided into numbered sections , and there is an alphabetical index. A large section gives the dates when legal statutes were first made ,with the year of the monarch 's reign given rather than calendar date. The statutes are organised alphabetically , beginning with Alehouses, through Apprentices [ " none shall be a Weaver but he who hath been seven years Apprentice...& silk throwers the same"]Arrests, Assaults, Badgers, Bricks- with exact sizes given, Bridges, Bastardy [ considered murder for a woman to conceal the death of her bastard child] Bail,  Burglary [ you would be acquitted if you killed someone burgling your house] Burial [ burial in wool or in a coffin lined with wool except for those dying of the plague] Butchers, and an inordinate amount of strictures against buttons- those made of hair or other foreign buttons especially. No person may keep above 600 weight of Gunpowder in London or Westminster, and it must not be put on ships above Blackwall. Hedge- breakers are to be whipped, and if you break down a turnpike, you will be transported on the second offence. Poor people are bombarded by statutes from all directions [ "To Persons as can Labour no relief to be given"] , your children will be taken away and placed apprentices, and should you rent a tenement under £10 a year you may be removed in forty days. Recusants, Riots, Sail Cloth Servants and Soldiers are all catered for. Swearing ,Cursing  and Profanity have appropriate fines levied,[but day labourers, Soldiers and Sailors are fined less than Gentlemen]  and should you swear in the hearing of a Justice of the Peace you can be convicted without further proof. Persons "Wrestling ,bowling etc on a Sunday" can be fined 5 shillings , and during Bear or Bull baiting, 3 shillings, "or be set in the stocks three Hours". " Persons doing any Worldly Labour on a Sunday" forfeit 5 shillings. High Treason [" to compass or imagine the Death of the King, Queen or Prince"] and Petty Treason  [ a servant killing his master, or a wife her husband, a Priest his Prelate"]  take up several pages of statutes, and should you be judged a Vagabond, you should expect to be openly whipped. The statute for Witchcraft is repealed, "but  fortune tellers etc. to be punished by a years imprisonment, and Pillory, and give security for good behaviour".

In all around 240 closely written pages with around 60 further blanks. The binding is sound, the pages largely unblemished. An attractive and entertaining volume, carefully delineating the preoccupations and vagaries of the law in the mid eighteenth century.


 

£650.00


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