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Law

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  • The Constitution of England or An Account of the English Government – J.L. De Lolme – 1777 (Once the Property of First Fleet Ship Owner – Sir William Curtis 1st Baronet of Cullands Grove).

    The Constitution of England or An Account of the English Government – J.L. De Lolme – 1777 (Once the Property of First Fleet Ship Owner – Sir William Curtis 1st Baronet of Cullands Grove).

    Published by Kearsley, Fleet Street and Ridley, St James Street, London in 1777

    Octavo, 404 pages, bound in full “’tree” calf with gilt decoration to the borders of front and back boards, gilt decoration to spine, black leather title label, maybe later. A beautiful example. Bookplate of first owner, Sir William Curtis Baronet to front paste-down. A few marks around the title otherwise a very good if not better copy.

    An 18th Century classic first published in Holland in 1771. Highly praised by Bentham who compared it with the distinguished work of Blackstone. John Louis de Lolme was born at Geneva in 1740 and arrived in England in 1769 where he began studying its Government intrigued by the peculiarity of the system. After a year he began his book … it was complete within another year and published in French as we say in Holland. Seemingly, it was pirated by unknown parties and a poor translation appeared with booksellers in England. De Lolme had the book withdrawn (it cost him a princely sum) and published this translation assisted by Baron Maseres who had been in England for many years and had Chambers at the Temple Bar.

    The work enjoyed a high reputation and appeared at a time that Constitutional matters were being vigorously debated. Written in an easy style the book flatters the national pride by representing England as the only country where Government was strong and free. Reviewers thought the work contained many shrewd observations on political affairs and contained genuine original thought.

    The first owner Sir William Curtis (1752-1829) was an English businessman, banker and politician. Born in Wapping the son of a sea-biscuit manufacturer who supplied the Navy (money in that!). He became a Member of Parliament for the City of London in 1790 holding the seat for 28 years. For a period, he was also the Lord Mayor of London. He was made 1st Baronet of Cullands Grove in 1802. He later declined a Peerage.

    Of very special interest is that, from his amassed wealth Sir William was owner of several vessels, one being the Lady Penrhyn which, on its first voyage, participated in the Arthur Phillip’s First Fleet and carried 101 female convicts to Botany Bay, New South Wales. The ship went on into the Pacific and named Curtis Island, a new discovery after its owner.

    Fine 18th Century Constitutional Review – Once the Property of First Fleet Ship Owner – Sir William Curtis.

    $240.00

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  • A Discourse Concerning Bonds of Resignation of Benefices in Point of Law and Conscience –  Stillingfleet – First edition 1695

    A Discourse Concerning Bonds of Resignation of Benefices in Point of Law and Conscience – Stillingfleet – First edition 1695

    A first edition published by Henry Mortlock at the Phoenix in St Paul’s Church-Yard in 1695. Octavo, 116 pages plus two-page catalogue of Mortlock’s other publications. Original panelled full leather raised bands to spine with five compartments, red leather title label. Some ageing of the leather but all holding well a really very good antiquarian example. Internally very clean and crisp … strong black period ink.

    Edward Stillingfleet (1635-1699) theologian and scholar a great academic of the era. Went to St John’s College Cambridge at 13 years of age, graduating at the age of 17. He went on to the Church in London and had some involvement with the restoration of St Paul’s after the Great Fire. His sermons were so well attended … Samuel Pepys remarked in his Diaries that he couldn’t get in the hear Stillingfleet and had to retire to the pub to eat herrings. Despite his popularity he was not made a Bishop (Worcester) until 1689.

    This unusual discourse concerns the act of Simony i.e. the buying or selling of ecclesiastical privileges … a practice Both the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of England had struggled with despite various elements of Church Law. Stillingfleet was not in favour … perhaps spurred on by the length of time he took to become a Bishop.

    The word “Simony” is derived from Simon Magus who offered Disciples Peter and John payment to have them persuade Jesus to empower him with the power of the Holy Spirit, the laying on of hands. It was not to be.

    Intellectual discourse Stillingfleet – 1695

    $220.00

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  • Bookplate of Sir Samuel James Way Bart – Chief Justice c1910

    Bookplate of Sir Samuel James Way Bart – Chief Justice c1910

    An original woodcut bookplate, over 100 years old, of Sir Samuel James Way (1836-1916). 13cm by 9.5cm in very good condition.

    Sir Samuel was Chief Justice of South Australia and Lieutenant Governor. He was invited to the Privy Council but had to give it up partly due to confusion as to who was to pay him. He was knighted in 1899 so we are pretty sure this bookplate was designed for him late in life.

    Postage will be reduced to cost on final billing.

    Sir Samuel James Way – Leading South Australian

    $30.00

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  • The Murder of Alma Tirtschke – A Challenge to T.C. Brennan – By Madame Ghurka Prenologist 1923

    The Murder of Alma Tirtschke – A Challenge to T.C. Brennan – By Madame Ghurka Prenologist 1923

    Colin Ross was accused of the ‘violation and throttling’ of a young girl, Alma Tirtschke, whose body was found near Gun Alley, Melbourne.

    Ross was found guilty and executed in April 1922.

    His defence counsel, T.C. Brennan, was convinced of his client’s innocence published his opinions in “The Gun Alley Tragedy”.

    Madame Ghurka a phrenologist in the Eastern Arcade, (and a key witness for the prosecution) wrote this extraordinary response to the deliberate and malicious lies that Brennan made regarding Madame Ghurka in The Gun Alley Tragedy.

    Octavo, 138 pages in original wrappers, with tape holding the front cover on and quite grubby. Still a good copy … and try to find another one … only second time we have seen it in a dozen or so years.

    Very scarce publication relating to a sensational Australian murder case in Melbourne in 1923

    $120.00

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  • Nest of Traitors – The Petrov Affair – Nicholas Whitlam and John Stubbs – First Edition 1974.

    Nest of Traitors – The Petrov Affair – Nicholas Whitlam and John Stubbs – First Edition 1974.

    Published by the great Jacaranda Press, Brisbane and printed by long established Watson Ferguson & Co. Octavo, 259 pages and in very good near fine condition.

    Twenty years after the Petrov Affair the story is revisited with new information including Burton’s secret submission to the Royal Commission

    Final word on Petrov?

    $40.00

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  • (Professor Sydney Sparkes) Orr – W.H.C. Eddy – 1961

    (Professor Sydney Sparkes) Orr – W.H.C. Eddy – 1961

    Published by the superb Jacaranda Publishers, Brisbane in 1961. Thick octavo, 764 pages, complete dust jacket and all in very good condition.

    Controversial then and would be now as well as the book. For those not from Tasmania, Sydney Sparkes Orr was a Belfast born Professor of Philosophy who was accused of misconduct involving a young student. The processes that led to his dismissal were unusual and it went all the way to the High Court of Australia. Pretty lengthy evaluation by Orr supporter Eddy who suggest that the circumstances parallel Dreyfus although we are not so sure.

    A forceful account that may not sit well today

    $40.00

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