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  • [Property Law] – The Complete Court-Keeper: or Land-Steward’s Assistant – Giles Jacob – 1741

    [Property Law] – The Complete Court-Keeper: or Land-Steward’s Assistant – Giles Jacob – 1741

    A fourth edition; with large Additions and Amendments, and the Precedents in English. In the Savoy: Printed by Henry Lintot for Woodward, Browne et al. Thick octavo, 522 pages after preliminaries bound in polished calf, red leather label worn. The odd manuscript note including some land prices for 1749. Good antiquarian patina.

    Giles Jacob (1686-1744) was an early legal writer of note. This was his first work the first edition published in 1713. He wrote numerous legal works all of which were quite popular. He also wrote poetry and plays lampooning Alexander Pope’s “The Rape of the Lock” with his “the Rape of the Smock” rather low and bawdy. For this and similar reasons he raised the ire of Pope who included him in his ‘the Dunciad” of 1728 … quote “Jacob, the scourge of grammar, mark with awe … Nor less revere him, blunderbuss of law”

    Otherwise the book was held in high regard for its ease of understanding … not common in the period. Set out in five broad sections.

    First, The Nature of Courts Leet and Courts Baron; with a general Introduction to every thing incident to them, according to Law and Custom.

    Secondly, The manners of holding Courts Leet, Courts Barron and Courts of Survey, with the Charge to the Juries; and the Form of Entring those Courts in the Minute-Books and in the Court-Rolls; with Precedents of great Variety of Presentments, Amerciaments, Estreats, Copies of Court-Roll for Life, and in Fee; Grants, Surrenders, Admittances, Licences, Forfeitures, and all other Proceedings of that Nature.

    Thirdly, The Manner of Keeping the Court Barron for trying of Actions; the Nature and Kinds of Actions, and of the Pleadings; and Precedents of Declarations and Pleadings, and of Process from the Precept or Original to the Distress or Execution; with Pleas and Recoveries concerning Copyhold Lands.

    Fourthly, Precedents of Contracts, Conditions, Covenants, Leases for Life, Leases for Years, Assignments, Mortgages, Surrenders of such Leases etc etc

    For those curious, an Amerciament is a punishment at the discretion of the Court and an Estreat is the copy of a Court Record enforcing a fine of forfeiture. Entring is not a misspelling … Entring-Clerks had a role in the legal fraternity of the period.

    Property Law Giles Jacob – 1741


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  • 19thC Cased Brass Surveyors Cross – French Maker

    19thC Cased Brass Surveyors Cross – French Maker

    A very good example of a octagonal design surveyors cross in its original case.

    A Victorian surveying cross, French in origin. The solid brass body bright, undamaged and not over polished. Comes in two threaded parts, the neck resting inside the head whilst in its box. Sighting threads intact.

    The box is in good shape and measures 13cm by 9cm by 9cm. The whole weighs just short of a kilogram.

    A nicely cased brass surveyors cross


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  • The Diaries of John Helder Wedge 1824-1835 [in Tasmania]

    The Diaries of John Helder Wedge 1824-1835 [in Tasmania]

    A first edition published by the Royal Society of Tasmania in 1962 much credit given to the North-West division.

    Small quarto, 99 pages, illustrated, bound in blue cloth covered boards, gilt title to spine … no dust jacket as issued. A very good if not fine copy.

    Very few early diaries exit from this period. The fact the Wedge meticulously made records of every day makes this account most readable and rewarding.

    Norn in England in 1793 youngest son of Charles Wedge a leading surveyor of the day. John Helder Wedge assisted his father and brought his skills to Van Diemen’s Land where he arrived in the thick of it in 1824. He settled on land near Perth just south of Launceston where he was granted land by Sorell. He began to ply his trade which meant travelling the length and breath of Tasmania. There are many interesting points of detail … the Church in Launceston has not been built square to the roadways so Wedge is asked to change the street plan which he duly does … he gets called down to Hobart, as the Van Diemen’s Land Company has been formed under Charter and he is required to assist in the surveying of the allocated pastures which takes him up to the North-West and area he becomes most intimate with.

    The book is nicely set out and put in context. We start with the background of Wedge; the forming of the Van Diemen’s Land Company; the Survey Department; Exploration; Land Settlement; Bushrangers and the Aborigines … before the diaries in full followed by research notes, a bibliography and useful index.

    Wedge made an early impact and left a lasting record


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  • North West to Fortune (The Discovery of the North West Passage)  – Stefansson – First UK Edition 1960

    North West to Fortune (The Discovery of the North West Passage) – Stefansson – First UK Edition 1960

    Prolific explorer and writer Vilhjalmur Stefansson’s last book on the history of solving the North West passage. A first British edition published by Allen & Unwin in 1960 … Stefansson died in 1962 at 83 years of age. Octavo, 356 pages after preliminaries, end paper maps, very good condition.

    Given his exploration record and the many years spent within the Arctic Circle who better to write this book. Starting the primary objectives of Columbus and Cabot to find route west to the Far East. The first recorded note of the concept is that of Robert Thorne, merchant of Bristol who produced two papers preserved by Hackluyt one addressed to Henry VIII … “I know it to be my bounden duty to manifest this secret to your Grace, which hitherto, I suppose, has been hid”. The proof was more difficult and many lives were lost.

    Stefansson’s record goes well beyond the broader list of adventurers Cook, Franklin, McClure (in search of Franklin) and John Rae and later Amundsen. He covers in detail the efforts of the Fur Traders and finally the epoch-making achievement” of the US submarine, Nautilus.

    North West Passage complete by Stefansson


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  • The Journal of the Royal Geographical Society 1926 March – George Binney – Amundsen’s Polar Flight

    The Journal of the Royal Geographical Society 1926 March – George Binney – Amundsen’s Polar Flight

    A very good copy of The Journal of the Royal Geographical Society, March 1926, containing “Amundsen’s Polar Flight: Review” by George Binney.

    Binney reviews the two publications of Amundsen’s Polar flight: My Polar Flight – Roald Amundsen, and Our Polar Flight – Roald Amundsen and Lincoln Ellsworth, both published in 1925.

    Also in this edition; an essay regarding the inter-relations of East African territories, with accompanying colour map by Maj. A. G. Church; a wonderful examination of the lakes of Scotland and Switzerland by Prof. Leon W. Collet with maps, contours, geographical and mathematical analysis and splendid photographs to accompany the piece.


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