SIR WILLIAM BLACKSTONE Signing in the text of this handwritten 1777 letter, he discusses his corrections to proofs of a legal address he delivered before the Society of Antiquaries Third-Person Autograph Letter Signed: “Sir William Blackstone” and “Sir Wm” in text, 1 page, 7½x4½. Wallingford, 1777 April 17, Monday morning. In full: “Sir William Blackstone returns to Mess. Bowzer and Nichols the Proof Sheets of his letter to Mr. Barrington & with them the MS. Copy. [Items not included.] Had he known the Society intended to have printed it immediately, he would have corrected it for the Press before it was sent to the Compositor, but believes the few Emendations he has made will not occasion any considerable Trouble. Sir Wm would have returned it sooner, but did not receive it till Saturday Afternoon.” English jurist and writer SIR WILLIAM BLACKSTONE (1723-1780) is referring to the publishing of his letter to Judge Daines Barrington, which he had read in 1775 before the Society of Antiquaries. Blackstone, as a Fellow of the Society since 1761, addressed a paper to the Vice President, Barrington (1727-1800), regarding the use of seals by those with ecclesiastical jurisdiction as specified by a law passed in 1547, during the first year of Edward VI’s reign. One of the purposes of the Society was to serve as a seminary and school on ancient constitution, laws and customs of the British Kingdom and to preserve, record and restore written documents. Blackstone had become an authoritative scholar of legal history through his lectures and books. He began to practice law in 1746, but after earning a Doctorate of Civil Law (1750), his interest in common law began to grow, and Blackstone concentrated on teaching at Oxford. He was the first to lecture on English law at the university level. Blackstone’s lectures were published as An Analysis of the Law of England (175… More information available. Please contact us if you have questions. HFSID 348040
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