Nomothetēs, the Interpreter: Containing the Genuine Signification of Such Obscure Words and Terms Used Either in the Common Or Statute Lawes of this Realm
Cowel[l], John [1554-1611]. [Manley, Tho(mas)]. NOMOTHETAS: The Interpreter, Containing the Genuine Signification of Such Obscure Words and Terms Used Either in the Common or Statute Laws of this Realm. First Compiled by the Learned Dr. Cowel, and Now Enlarged from the Collections of All Others Who Have Written in This Kind. With an Addition of Many Words Omitted by All Former Writers, and Pertinent to This Matter, with Their Etymologies as Often as They Occur: As Also Tenures whether Jocular, or Others Statutes and Records, Wherein the Alterations are Expressed, and their Agreement or Dissonancy, with the Law at Present Declared. Whereto is Subjoyned, An Appendix, containing the Ancient Names of Places Here in England, Very Necessary for the Use of All Young Students, Who Intend to Converse with Old Records, Deeds or Charters. The Second Edition, Wherein Many Errors and Mistakes in the Former are Carefully Corrected. London: Printed by the Assigns of Richard Atkins Esq; and Sir Edward Atkins Knight, for H. Twyford, Tho. Buffet, J. Place, and H. Sawbridge, 1684. Unpaginated. Printed in double columns. 9" x 12". Reprinted 2004 by The Lawbook Exchange, Ltd. ISBN 1-58477-406-1. Cloth. $125. * Reprint of the fifth edition, the second edited by Manley [1628-1690]. The Interpreter is considered to be the best law dictionary published before Jacob's A New Law-Dictionary (1729). Though its significance was recognized almost immediately, it was not approved by all. At a time when Parliament and crown were vying for power, the Commons were angered by John Cowell's [1554-1611] monarchical orientation, which was evident in such definitions as "King," "Parliament," "Prerogative," "Recoveries," and "Subsidies." When a joint committee of Lords and Councilors reviewed the work, the ensuing controversy nearly halted the affairs of government. James I intervened in fear that his own fiscal interests would not be approved by Parliament, and ordered a proclamation that imprisoned Cowell, suppressed the book and ordered all copies burned by a public hangman on March 10, 1610. Moreover, it contained a quotation critical of Littleton that angered Coke so much that he helped to suppress the book and prosecute Cowell. It remained in use, however, and went through several editions. Later enlarged editions, such as this
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