Coke, Sir Edward

, lord chief-justice of England, and one of the most eminent lawyers this kingdom has produced, was descended from an ancient family in Norfolk, and born at Mileham, in that county, 1549. His father was Robert Coke, esq. of Mileham; his mother, Winifred, daughter and coheiress of William Knightley, of Margrave Knightley, in Norfolk. At ten years of age he was sent to a free -school at Norwich; and from thence removed to Trinity-college, in Cambridge. He remained in the university about four years, and went from thence to Clifford Vinn, in London and the year after was entered a student of the Inner Temple. We are told that the first proof he gave of the quickness of his penetration, and the solidity of his judgment, was his stating the cook’s case of the Temple, which it seems had puzzled the whole house, so clearly and exactly, that it was taken notice of and admired by the bench. It is not at all improbable that this might promote his being called early to the bar, at the end of six years, which in those strict times was held very extraordinary. He himself has informed us that the first cause he moved in the King? s-bench, was in Trinity-term, 1578, when he was counsel for Mr. Edward Denny, vicar of Northingham, in Norfolk, in an action of scandalum magnatum, brought against him by Henry lord Cromwell. About this time he was appointed reader of Lyon’s-inn, when his learned lectures were much attended, for three years. His reputation increased so fast, and with it his practice, that when he had been at the bar but | a few years, he thought himself in a condition to pretend to a lady of one of the best families, and at the same time of the best fortune in Norfolk, Bridget, daughter and coheiress of John Preston, esq. whom he soon married, and with whom he had in all about 30,000l.

After this marriage, by which he became allied to some of the noblest houses in the kingdom, preferments flowed in upon him apace. The cities of Coventry and Norwich chose him their recorder; the county of Norfolk, one of their knights in parliament; and the house of commons, their speaker, in the thirty-fifth year of queen Elizabeth. The queen likewise appointed him solicitor-general, in 1592, and attorney-general the year following. Some time after, he lost his wife, by whom he had ten children; and in 1598 he married Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Jord.Burleigh, afterwards earl of Exeter, and relipt of sir William Hatto.n. As this marriage was the source of many troubles to both parties, so the very celebration of it occasioned no small noise and disquiet, by an unfortunate circumstance that attended it. There had been the same year so much notice taken of irregular marriages, that archbishop Whitgift had signified to the bishops of his province to prosecute strictly all that should either offend in point of time, place, or form. Whether Coke looked upon his own or the lady’s quality, and their being married with the consent of the family, as placing them above such restrictions, or whether he did not advert to them, it is certain that they were married in a private house, without either banns or license; upon which he and his new married lady, the minister who officiated, Thomas lord Burleigh, and several other persons, were prosecuted in the archbishop’s court; but upon their submission by their proxies, were absolved from excommunication, and the penalties consequent upon it, because, says the record, they had offended, not out of contumacy, but through ignorance of the law in that point. The affair of greatest moment, in which, as attorney-general, he had a share in this reign, was the prosecution of the earls of Essex and Southampton, who were brought to the bar in Westminster-hall, before the lords commissioned for their trial, Feb. 19, 1600. After he had laid open the nature of the treason, and the many obligations the earl of Essex was under to the queen, he is said to have closed with these words, that, “by the just judgment of God, he of his earldom should be | Robert the last, that of a kingdom thought to be Robert the first.

In May 1603, he was knighted by king James; and the same year managed the trial of sir W. Raleigh, at Winchester, whither the term was adjourned, on account of the plague being at London; but he lessened himself greatly in the opinion of the world, by his treatment of that unfortunate gentleman; as he employed a coarse and scurrilous language against him hardly to be paralleled. The resentment of the public was so great upon this occasion, that as has been generally believed, Shakspeare, in his comedy of the “Twelfth Night,' 7 hints at this strange behaviour of sir Edward Coke at Raleigh’s trial. He was likewise reproached with this indecent behaviour in a letter which sir Francis Bacon wrote to him after his own fall; wherein we have the following passage:” As your pleadings were wont to insult our misery, and inveigh literally against the person, so are you still careless in this point to praise and disgrace upon slight grounds, and that suddenly; so that your reproofs or commendations are for the most part neglected and contemned, when the censure of a judge, coming slow, but sure, should be a brand to the guilty, and a crown to the virtuous. You will jest at any man in public, without any respect to the person’s dignity, or your own. This disgraces your gravity more than it can advance the opinion of your wit; and so do all your actions, which we see you do directly with a touch of vainglory. You make the laws too much lean to your opinion; whereby you shew yourself to be a legal tyrant, &c.“January 27, 1606, at the trial of the gun-powder conspirators, and March 28 following, at the trial of the Jesuit Garnet, he made two very elaborate speeches, which were soon after published in a book entitledA true and perfect relation of the whole Proceedings against the late most barbarous traitors, Garnet, a Jesuit, and his confederates, &c.“1606, 4to. Cecil earl of Salisbury, observed in his speech upon the latter trial,” that the evidence had been so well distributed and opened by the attorney-general, that he had never heard such a mass of matter better contracted, nor made more intelligible to the jury.“This appears to have been really true; so true, that many to this day esteem this last speech, especially, his masterpiece. | It was probably in reward for this service, that he was appointee! lord chief justice of the common-pleas the same year. The motto he gave upon his rings, when he was called to the degree of serjeant, in order to qualify him for this promotion, was,” Lex est tutissima cassis;“that is,” The law is the safest helmet.“Oct. 25, 1613, he was made lord chief justice of the kingVbench; and in Nov. was sworn of his majesty’s privy-council. In 1615 the king deliberating upon the choice of a lord- chancellor, when that r-ost should become vacant, by the death or resignation of Egerton lord Ellesmere, sir Francis Bacon wrote to his majesty a letter upon that subject, wherein he lias the following passage, relating to the lord chiefjustice:”If you take my lord Coke, this will follow: First, your majesty shall put an over-ruling nature into an overruling place, which may breed an extreme. Next, you shall blunt his industries in matter of finances, which seemeth to aim at another place. And lastly, popular men are no sure mounters for your majesty’s saddle." The disputes and animosities between these two great men are well known. They seem to have been personal; and they lasted to the end of their lives. Coke was jealous of Bacon’s reputation in many parts of knowledge; by whom, again, he was envied for the high reputation he had acquired in one; each aiming to be admired particularly in that in which the other excelled. Coke was the greatest lawyer of his time, but could be nothing more. If Bacon was not so, we can ascribe, it only to his aiming at a more exalted character; not being able, or at least not willing, to confine the universality of his genius within one inferior province of learning.

Sir Thomas Overbury’s murder in the Tower now broke out, at the distance of two years after; for Overbury died Sept. 16, 1613, and the judicial proceedings against his murderers did not commence till Sept. 1615. In this affair sir Edward acted with great vigour, and, as some think, in a manner highly to be commended; yet his enemies, who were numerous, and had formed a design to humble his pride and insolence, took occasion, from certain circumstances, to misrepresent him both to the king and people. Many circumstances concurred at this time to hasten his fall. He was led to oppose the king in a dispute relating to his power of granting commendams, and James did not choose to have his prerogative disputed, | even in cases where it might well be questioned. He had a contest with the lord chancellor Egerton, in which it is universally allowed that he was much to be blamed. Sir Edward, as a certain historian informs us, had heard and determined a case at common law; after which it was reported that there had been juggling. The defendant, it seems, had prevailed with the plaintiff’s principal witness not to attend, or to give any evidence in the cause, provided he could he excused. One of the defendant’s agents undertakes to excuse him; and carrying the maa to a tavern, called for a gallon of sack in a vessel, and bid him drink. As soon as he had laid his lips to the flaggon, the defendant’s agent quitted the room. When this witness was called, the court was informed that he was unable to come; to prove which, this agent was produced, who deposed, “that he left him in such a condition, that if he continued in it but a quarter of an hour, he was a dead man.” For want of this person’s testimony the cause was lost, and a verdict given for the defendant. The plaintiffs, finding themselves injured, carried the business into chancery for relief; but the defendants, having had judgment at common law, refused to obey the orders of that court. Upon this, the lord chancellor commits them to prison for contempt of the court: they petition against him in the star-chamber; the lord chief justice Coke joins with them, foments the difference, and threatens the lord chancellor with a pnemunire. The chancellor makes the king acquainted with the business, who, after consulting sir Francis Bacon, then his attorney, and some other lawyers upon the affair, justified the lord chancellor, and gave a proper rebuke to Coke.

Roger Coke gives us a different account of the occasion of the chief justice’s being in disgrace; and informs us, that he was one of the first who felt the effects of the power of the rising favourite, Villiers, afterwards duke of Buckingham. The author of the notes on Wilson’s “Life of James,” published in the second volume of Kennet’s “Complete History of England,” tells us “that sir Edward lost the king’s favour, and some time after his place, for letting fall some words upon one of the trials, importing his suspicion that Overbury had been poisoned to prevent the discovery of another crime of -the same nature, committed upon one of the highest rank, whom he termed a sweet prince; which was taken to be meant of prince | Henry.” Whatever were the causes of his disgrace, Which it is probable were many, he was brought upon his knees before the council at Whitehall, June J 6 16; and offences were charged upon him by Ylverton, the solicitor-general, implying, amongst other things, speeches of high contempt tittered in the seat of justice, and uncomely and undutiful carriage in the presence of his majesty, “the privy council, and judges.” Soon after, he presented himself again at the council-table upon his knees, when secretary Winwood informed him, that report had been made to his majesty of what had passed there before, together with the answer that he had given, and that too in the most favourable manner; that his majesty was no ways satisfied with respect to any of the heads; but that notwithstanding, as well out of his own clemency, as in regard to the former services of his lordship, the king was pleased not to deal heavily with him: and therefore had decreed, 1. That he be sequestered from the council-table, until his majesty’s pleasure be further known. 2. That he forbear to ride his summer circuit as justice of assize. 3. That during this vacation, while he had time to live privately and dispose himself at home, he take into his consideration and reviewhis books of Reports; wherein, as his majesty is informed, be many extravagant and exorbitant opinions set down and published for positive and good law: and if, in reviewing and reading thereof, he find any thing fit to be altered or amended, the correction is left to his discretion. Among other things, the king was not well pleased with the title of those books, wherein he styled himself “lord chief justice of England,” whereas he could challenge no more but lord chief justice of the King’s-bench. And having corrected what in his discretion he found meet in these Reports, his majesty’s pleasure was, he should bring the same privately to himself, that he might consider thereof, as in his princely judgment should be found expedient.*


It does not, however, appear that lord Coke thought it necessary to make any alteration in his Reports; but it is observable that lord chancellor Ellesmere (with whom lord Coke had had some difference of opinion with respect to the jurisdiction of their respective courts), made some exceptions to the Reports now extant in print, and to which lord Coke made some replies, all of which are to he found in the Sloanian collection of Mss. in the British Museum. Bridgeman’s Legal Bibliography.

Hereunto Mr. secretary advised him to conform himself in all duty and obedience, as he ought; whereby he might hope that his majesty in time would receive him again to his gracious and princely favour. To this the lord chief justice made | answer, that he did in all humility prostrate himself to his majesty’s good pleasure; that he acknowledged that decree to be just, and proceeded rather from his majesty’s exceeding mercy than his justice; gave humble thanks to their lordships for their goodness towards him; and hoped that his behaviour for the future would be such as would deserve their lordships’ favours. From which answer of sir Edward’s we may learn that he was, as such men always are, as dejected and fawning in adversity, as he was insolent and overbearing in prosperity; the same meanness and poorness of spirit influencing his behaviour in both conditions.

In October he was called before the chancellor, and forbid Westminster-hall; and also ordered to answer several exceptions against his Reports. In November the king removed him from the office of lord chief justice. Upon his disgrace, sir Francis Bacon wrote him an admonitory letter, in which he remonstrates to him several errors yi his former behaviour and conduct. We have made a citation from this letter already; we will here give the remainder of it: for though perhaps it was not very generous in Bacon to write such a letter at such a season, even to a, professed adversary, yet it will serve to illustrate the character and manners of Coke. In this letter Bacon advised sir Edward to be humbled for this visitation and observes, “that affliction only levels the molehills of pride in us, ploughs up the heart, and makes it fit for wisdom to sow her seed, and grace to bring forth her increase.” He afterwards points out to him some errors in his conduct. “In discourse,” says he, “you delight to speak too much, not to hear other men. This, some say, becomes a pleader, not a judge. For by this sometimes your affections are entangled with a love of your own arguments, though they be the weaker; and with rejecting of those which, when your affections were settled, your own judgment would allow for strongest. Thus, while you speak in your element, the law, no man ordinarily equals you; but when you wander, as you often delight to do, you then wander indeed, and never give such satisfaction as the curious time requires. This is not caused by any natural defect, but first for want of election; when you, having a large and fruitful mind, should not so much labour what to speak, as to find what to leave unspoken. Rich soils are often to be weeded, Secondly, you cloy your auditory. | When you would be observed, speech must be either sweet or short. Thirdly, you converse with books, not men, and books specially humane; and have no excellent choice with men, who are the best books. For a man of action and employment you seldom converse with, and then but with underlings; not freely, but as a schoolmaster, ever to teach, never to learn. But if sometimes you would in your familiar discourse hear others, and make election of such as knew what they speak, you should know many of those tales, which you tell, to be but ordinary; and many other things, which you delight to repeat and serve in for novelties, to be but stale. As in your pleadings you were wont to insult even misery, and inveigh bitterly against the person so are you still careless in this point,” &c. “Your too much love of the world is too much seen, when having the living of 10,000l. you relieve few or none. The hand that hath taken so much, can it give so little? Herein you shew no bowels of compassion, as if you thought all too little for yourself, or that God had given you all that you have, only to that end you should still gather more, and never be satisfied, but try how much you could gather, to account for all at the great and general audit day. We desire you to amend this, and let your poor tenants in Norfolk find some comfort, where nothing of your estate is spent towards their relief, but all brought up hither to the impoverishing your country.” He then tells him, “that in the case of Overbury he used too many delays, till the delinquent’s hands were loose, and his own bound; and that he was too open in his proceedings, and so taught them how to defend themselves. But that,” continues he, “which we commend you for, are those excellent parts of nature and knowledge in the law, which you are endued withal. But these are only good in their good use. Wherefore we thank you heartily for standing stoutly in the commonwealth’s behalf; hoping, it proceedeth not from a disposition to oppose greatness, as your enemies say, but to do justice, and deliver truth indifferently without respect of persons.

Low as sir Edward was fallen, he was afterwards restored to credit and favour; the first step to which was, his proposing a match between the earl of Buckingham’s elder brother, sir John Villiers, and his younger daughter by the lady Hatton: for he knew no other way of gaining that favourite. This, however, occasioned a violent dispute | and quarrel between sir Edward and his wife; who, resenting her husband’s attempt to dispose of her daughter without asking her leave, carried away the young lady, and lodged her at sir Edmund Withipole’s house near Oatlands. Upon this, sir Edward wrote immediately to the earl of Buckingham, to procure a warrant from the privy-council to restore his daughter to him; but before he received an answer, discovering where she was, he went with his sons and took her, by force, which occasioned lady Hatton to complain in her turn to the privy council. Much confusion followed; and this private match became at length an affair of state. The differences were at length made up, in appearance at least, Sept. 1617; sir Edward was restored to favour, and reinstated in his place as privy-councillor; and sir John Villiers was married to Mrs. Frances Coke at Hampton-court, with all the splendour imaginable. This wedding, however, cost sir Edward dear. For besides 10,000l. paid in money at two payments, he and his son sir Robert did, pursuant to articles and directions of the lords of the council, assure to sir John Villiers a rent-charge of 2000 marks per annum during sir Edward’s life, and of 900l. a year during the lady Hatton’s life, if she survived her husband; and after both their deaths, the manor of Stoke in Buckinghamshire, of the value of 900l. per annum, to sir John Villiers and his lady, and to the heirs of her body. The same were settled by good conveyances carefully drawn the January following, and certified to his majesty under the hands of two Serjeants and the attorneygeneral. All this time the quarrel subsisted between him and his wife: and many letters are still extant, which shew a great deal of heat and resentment in both parties. At the time of the marriage lady Hatton was confined at the complaint of her husband: for, since her marriage, she had purchased the island and castle of Purbeck, and several other estates in different counties; which made her greatly independent of her husband. However, their reconciliation was afterwards effected, but not till July 1621, and then by no less a mediator than the king.

A parliament was summoned, and met January 1621; and in February there was a great debate in the house of commons upon several points of importance, such as liberty of speech, the increase of popery, and other grievances. Sir Edward Coke was a member, and his age, experience, and dignity gave him great weight there: but | it very soon appeared that he resolved to act a different part from what the court, and more especially the great favourite Buckingham, expected. He spoke very warmly; and also took occasion to shew, that proclamations against the tenor of acts of parliament were V9id: for which he is highly commended by Camden. The houses, being adjourned by the king’s command in June, met again in November; and fell into great heats about the commitment of sir Edwin Sands, soon after their adjournment, which had such unfortunate consequences, that the commons protested, Dec. 18, against the invasion of their privileges. The king prorogued the parliament upon the 21st; and on the 27th, sir Edward Coke was committed to the Tower, his chambers in the Temple broke open, and his papers delivered to sir Robert Cotton and Mr. Wilson to examine. January 6, 1622, the parliament was dissolved: and the same day sir Edward was charged before the council with having concealed some true examinations in the great cause of the earl of Somerset, and obtruding false ones: nevertheless, he was soon after released, but not without receiving high marks of the king’s resentment: for he was a second time turned out of the king’s privy-council, the king giving him this character, that “he was the fittest instrument for a tyrant that ever was in England.” And yet, says Wilson, in the house he called the king’s prerogative an overgrown monster. Towards the close of 1623 he was nominated, with several others, to whom large powers were given, to go gver to Ireland; which nomination, though accompanied with high expressions of kindness and confidence, was made with no other view but to get him out of the way for fear he should be troublesome, but he remained firm in his opinions, nor does it appear that he ever sought to be reconciled to the court; so that he was absolutely out of favour at the death of king James. In the beginning of the next reign, when it was found necessary to call a second parliament, he was pricked for sheriff of Bucks in 1625, to prevent his being chosen. He laboured all he could to avoid it, but in vain; so that he was obliged to serve the office, and to attend the judges at the. assizes, where he had often presided as lord chief justice. This did not hinder his being elected knight of the shire for Bucks in the parliament of 1628, in which he distinguished himself more than any man in the house of commons, spoke warmly for the redress of grievances, | argued boldly in defence of the liberty of the subject, and strenuously supported the privilege of the house. It was he that proposed and framed the petition of rights; and, June 1628, he made a speech, in which he named the duke of Buckingham as the cause of all our miseries, though, lord Clarendon tells us, he had before blasphemously styled him the saviour of the nation; but although there is no great reason to conclude that all this opposition to the arbitrary measures of the court flowed from any principles of patriotism, he became for a time the idol of the party in opposition to the court, and his conduct at this time is still mentioned with veneration by their historians and advocates. Our own opinion is, that although lord Coke was occasionally under the influence of temper or interest, he was, upon the whole, a more independent character than his enemies will admit. After the dissolution of this parliament, which happened the March following, he retired to his house at Stoke Fogeys in Buckinghamshire^ where he spent the remainder of his days; and there, Sept. 3, 1634, breathed his last in his eighty-sixth year, expiring with these words in his mouth, as his monument informs us, “Thy kingdom come! thy will be done!” While he lay upon his death-bed, sir Francis Windebank, by an order of council, came to search for seditious and dangerous papers by virtue whereof he took his “Commentary upon Littleton,” and the “History of his Life” before it, written with his own hand, his “Commentary upon Magna Charta, &c.” the “Pleas of the Crown,” and the “Jurisdiction of Courts,” his eleventh and* twelfth “Reports” in ms. and 51 other Mss. with the last will of sir Edward, wherein he had been making provision for his younger grand-children. The books and papers were kept till seven years after, when one of his sons in 1641 moved the house of commons, that the books and papers taken by sir Francis Windebank might be delivered to sir Robert Coke, heir of sir Edward; which the king was pleased to grant. Such of them as could be found were accordingly delivered up, but the will was never heard of more.

Sir Edward Coke was in his person well-proportioned, and his features regular. He was neat, but not nice, in his dress: and is reported to have said, “that the cleanness of a man’s clothes ought to put him in mind of keeping all clean within.” He had great quickness of parts, deep penetration, a faithful memory, and a solid | judgment. He was wont to say, that “matter lay in a little room;” and in his pleadings he was concise, though in set speeches and in his writings too diffuse. He was certainly a great master of his profession, as even his enemies allow; had studied it regularly, and was perfectly acquainted with every thing relating to it. Hence he gained so high an esteem in Westminster-hall, and came to enjoy so large a share in the favour of the great lord Burleigh. He valued himself, and indeed not without reason, upon this, that he obtained all his preferments without employing either prayers or pence; and that he became the queen’s solicitor, speaker of the house of commons, attorney-general, chief justice of both benches, high-steward of Cambridge, and a member of the privy-council, without either begging or bribing. As he derived his fortune, his credit, and his greatness, from the law, so he loved it to a degree of intemperance. He committed every thing to writing with an industry beyond example, and, as we shall relate just now, published a great deal. He met with many changes of fortune; was sometimes in power, and sometimes in disgrace. He was, however, so excellent at making the best of a disgrace, that king James used to compare him to a cat, who always fell upon her legs. He was upon occasion a friend to the church and clergy: and thus, when he had lost his public employments, and a great peer was inclined to question the rights of the church of Norwich, he hindered it, by telling him plainly, that “if he proceeded, he would put on his cap and gown again, and follow the cause through Westminster-hall.” He had many benefices in his own patronage, which he is said to have given freely to men of merit; declaring in his law language, that he would have law livings pass by livery and seisin, and not by bargain and sale.

His learned and laborious works on the laws,” says a certain author, “will be admired by judicious posterity, while Fame has a trumpetleft her, or any breath to blow therein.” This is indisputably a just character of his writings in general: the particulars of which are as follow. About 1600 were published, in folio, the first part of the “Reports of sir Edward Coke, knt. her majesty’s attorneygeneral, of divers resolutions and judgments given with great deliberation by the reverend judges and sages of the law, of cases and matters in law, which were never resolved | or adjudged before: and the reasons and causes of the said resolutions and judgments during the most happy reign of the most illustrious and renowned queen Elizabeth, the fountain of all justice, and the life of the law.” The second, third, and so on to the eleventh part of the “Reports” were all published by himself in the reign of James I. The twelfth part of his Reports has a certificate printed before it, dated Feb. 2, 1655, and subscribed E. Bulstrod; signifying, that he conceives it to be the genuine work of sir Edward Goke. The title of the thirteenth part is, “Select cases in law, reported by sir Edward Coke;” and these are asserted to be his in a preface-signed with the initials J. G.

All these Reports have been uniformly received by our courts with the utmost deference; and as a mark of distinguished eminence, they are frequently cited as, 1, 2, 3, &c. Rep. without mentioning the author’s name, and in his own writings they are usually described as Lib. 1,2, 3, &c. There have been many editions of these Reports, the last in 1776, in 7 vols. 8vo, by Wilson. They have also been abstractedly versified in an 8vo volume, 1742, in a very curious manner, for the help of the memory, and the method seems to have been recommended by the practice of lord Coke himself.

In 1614 there was published, “A speech and charge at Norwich assizes,” intended to pass for sir Edward Coke’s; but he clearly disclaims it, in the preface to the seventh part of his Reports. He did indeed make a speech at that time, and in some measure to this purpose; but these notes of it were gathered and published without his knowledge in a very incorrect and miserable manner, and published with a design to prejudice and expose him. In 1614 was published in folio, “A book of entries, containing perfect and approved precedents of courts, declarations, informations, plaints, indictments, bars, duplications, rejoinders, pleadings, processes, continuances, essoigns, issues, defaults, departure in despight of the court, demurrers, trials, judgments, executions, and all other matters and proceedings, in effect, concerningthe practic part of the laws of England, in actions real, personal, mixed, and in appeals: being very necessary to be known, and of excellent use for the modern practice of the law, many of them containing matters in law, and points of great learning; collected and published for the common good and beneh’t of all the studious and learned professors of the laws of England, 1| His “Institutes” are divided into four parts. The first is the translation and comment upon the “Tenures of Sir Thomas Littleton,” one of the judges of the common-pleas in the reign of Edward IV. It was published in his lifetime, in 1628 but that edition was very incorrect. There was a second published in 1629, said to be revised by the author, and in which this work is much amended; yet several mistakes remained even in that. The second part of the “Institutes” gives us magna charta, and other select statutes, in the languages in which they were first enacted, and much more correct than they were to be had any where else. He adds to these a commentary full of excellent learning, wherein he shews how the common law stood before those statutes were made, how far they are introductory of new laws, and how far declaratory of the old; what were the causes of making them, to what ends they were made, and in what degree, at the time of his writing, they were either altered or repealed. The third part of the “Institutes” contains the criminal law or pleas of the crown: where, among other things, he shews, in regard to pardons and restitutions, how far the king may proceed by his prerogative, and where the assistance of parliament is necessary. The fourth part of the “Institutes” comprehends the jurisdiction of all the courts in this kingdom, from the high court of parliament down to the court-baron. This part not being published till after his decease, there are many inaccuracies and some greater faults in it, which were animadverted upon and amended in a book written by William Pry nne, esq. and published in 1669. The thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth editions of the “Institutes,1788, 1789, and 1794, by Hargrave and Butler, are esteemed the best.

We have besides of his, 1. A treatise of Bail and Mainprize, 1637, 4to. 2. Reading on the state of Fines, 27 Edw. I. French, 1662, 4to. 3. Complete Copyholder, 1640, 4to. There was added in another edition of this book in 1650, 4to, Calthorpe’s reading between a lord of a manor and a copyholder his tenant, &c. And in the editions in 12mo, 1668 and 1673, there is a supplement; but a more complete specification of the various editions may be found in Bridgman’s “Legal Bibliography.1


Biog. Brit.—Lloyd’s Worthies.—Fuller’s Worthies.—Lodge’s Illustrations, vol. III.—Seward’s Anecdotes, vol. I. and Biographiana, vol.II.—Archæologia, vol. I. p. xx.—Roger Coke’s Detection of the Court aud State of England, &c, 1697, 8vo. He was grandson of lord Coke.