The Englishman’s Right, or, A Dialogue Between a Barrister at Law and a Juryman: shewing, 1. The antiquity. 2. The excellent designed use. 3. The office and just privileges of juries by the law of England ... To which is prefixed, an introductory essay, on the moral duty of a judge. By Lord Bacon. Introduction by Alexander Brodie.
“The foundation text of jury independence and of the jury as a bulwark of English Liberty” and the last edition published in the 18th century, first authored in 1680 by English Parliamentarian, Sir John Hawles.
The 1693 Boston edition was among the first law books published in America. As Legal scholar Lois G. Schwoerer has written: “The institution of the jury and jury ideology were transmitted to England’s North American colonies. Magna Charta, the Petition of Right, and the Bill of Rights were the major vehicle carrying these traditions across the Atlantic ... [P]rinted tracts, especially those by Care, Hawles, and Somers were responsible for highlighting and underscoring the institution and the ideology in both England and the colonies.” (p52)
Hawles influential tract: “allowed jury ideology to span the Atlantic… [It] played an important role in preserving in the United States the institution of the jury and for some time safeguarding a positive attitude toward that institution..” (p55)
In the early 1770s, with sedition and rebellion fomenting in New England, English colonial subjects sought liberty in just law. The Englishman’s Right was reprinted in 1772, in Boston.
In 1798, the work was reprinted in Philadelphia. But this time it was under the looming shadow of the Alien and Sedition Acts which, among other things, criminalized the publication of “false, scandalous, or malicious writing” against the United States Government. In this edition appeared an important 1-page of remarks by the publisher, Alexander Brodie, and Lord Bacon’s essay on “the moral duty of a judge”.
A seminal work for American jurisprudence, upholding the now-guaranteed American principle of trial by jury; here printed during a highly-turbulent period in American history.
Description: The Englishman’s Right, or, A Dialogue Between a Barrister at Law and a Juryman: shewing, 1. The antiquity. 2. The excellent designed use. 3. The office and just privileges of juries by the law of England ... To which is prefixed, an introductory essay, on the moral duty of a judge. By Lord Bacon. Introduction by Alexander Brodie.
[Philadelphia]: Printed by John Thompson of Philadelphia for Alexander Brodie, 1798. 8vo. viii, -70pp. [issued thus]. Contemporary leather over marbled paper boards. Provenance: Samuel Rockwell, 1809, his name seen four times within. Mild binding wear and pale dampstain to top margin of approx. 6 leaves. A very good copy.
Evans 33862. ESTC W31887. Ref. “Law, Liberty, and Jury ‘Ideology’” within Morrison and Zook, ed., Revolutionary Currents… (Rowman & Littlefield, 2004).