First Edition of this Collection of Legal Opinions to the Crown, by its Greatest Lawyers on Dealing with the Colonies
CHALMERS, George. Opinions of Eminent Lawyers. on Various Points of English Jurisprudence: Chiefly Concerning the Colonies, Fisheries, and Commerce of Great Britain / Collected and Digested from the Originals, in the Board of Trade and Other Depositories. Printed for Reed and Hunter
First edition. Two octavo volumes (8 1/4 x 5 1/8 inches; 209 x 130 mm). [2], liii, [1, blank], 364; [2], 532 pp. Each volume with title- page. We could find no copies sold on Rare Book Hub or ABPC.

Uniformly bound in quarter modern calf over drab paper boards. Black Morocco spine labels, lettered in gilt. Spines ruled in gilt and blind. Edges speckled brown. Calf with some minor scuffing. Internally very clean. Overall a near fine set.

This work is a collection of legal opinions to the Crown, by its greatest lawyers on dealing with the colonies, most of which cover American opinions, granting charters, taxes, and trade. Some such opinions covered the classification of blacks as merchandise for trade purposes.

“George Chalmers, antiquary and political writer, compiled Opinions of Eminent Lawyers because the commentaries of the law of England did not address legal topics related to ‘colonies, fisheries, and commerce.’ While researching Annals of the Present United Colonies (1780) and an Introduction to the History of the Revolt of the Colonies (1782), Chalmers took copies of these opinions as he came across them. Urged by his friends to publish this collection, Chalmers digested the opinions that he has compiled and arranged them under the following headings: (1) The King’s prerogative abroad, (2) The King’s general jurisdiction abroad, (3) How far the King’s subjects who emigrate carry with them the English law, (4) Of the colonial constitutions, (5) Of the various modifications which the constituted assembly admits, (6) Of the national fisheries, (7) Of commerce, and (8) Of the law of nations.” (The First White House Library: A History and Annotated Catalogue. By Catherine M. Parisian; #34).

Kress B.6289 Sabin 11765.

HBS # 68500 $2,250