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additional instruments, some of them of a very singular character, and curiously illustrative of the manners of the times. This work is ascribed by Anthony Wood (a) to Dr. Thomas Phayer, who was born in Wales, educated at Oxford, and studied the law, it is supposed, in Lincoln's Inn. He was appointed crown solicitor for the marches of Wales; but being, says Wood, of a mutable mind, he addicted himself to the study of medicine, and took his doctor's degree in that faculty. Besides various medical works, little known in the present day, he published a translation of the first nine books of the Æneid, which seems to have been much esteemed by some of his friendly contemporaries. Judging, however, from the extracts given by Dr. Bliss, it is but a rude performance; and the ruggedness of the verse is not redeemed by any force or vigour of expression. Phayer's only legal publication, besides the Boke of Instruments, is on the Nature of Writs.
XXI. In 1555 there appeared a collection of pre- Tenores and cedents, under the title of Tenores and Formes of dentures, in Indentures, Obligations, &c. It is, however, much inferior to the work just mentioned. This was followed by the Symbolæography of William West, in West's Sym1594, which soon acquired considerable reputation, 1594. and has always been esteemed a book of authority (b). The author, indeed, informs us that nothing of the same kind has ever been reckoned more acceptable or more worthy of approbation. West was a pedant, even in that pedantic age; and scrupled not to set
Formes of In
(a) Athenæ Oxon. i. 317, Bliss's edit.
(6) 2 Taunt. 85.
forth his learning under the guise of Greek and Hebrew. In deference, however, to his unlearned readers, he dropped this idle display of scholarship in a second edition; therein consulting, as he tells us in a prolix dedication, expressed in not very good Latin, their profit rather than his own fame. According to West, Symbolæography is the “art or cunning rightly to form and make written instruments;" and is either judicial or extra-judicial; the latter being wholly occupied with such instruments as concern matter not yet judicially in controversy, viz. instruments of agreements or contracts, and of testaments or last wills. Judging from the doctrinal part of this work, the author's attainments were more specious than solid. His dissertation on Contracts, put forth as original, was epitomised and translated from Hermannus Vultejus (a). As a collection of Forms, however, the Symbolæography has been deservedly esteemed: it is very comprehensive, containing a great variety not only of precedents in conveyancing, but of indictments, and of proceedings in Chancery. In the second edition some mercantile forms were added.
Perfect Conveyo XXII. More than fifty years elapsed before the ancer, in 1650.
publication of another work of this kind; at least I know of none earlier than the Perfect Conveyancer, in 1650, containing select precedents by Edward
Hendon, William Noy, R. Mason, and H. Fleetwood. Fidell's Perfect Fidell's Perfect Guide for a Studious Young Lawyer Guide, in 1654.
was published in 1654; and in the following year Sheppard's Pre- appeared Sheppard's President of Presidents, the sident of Presidents, in 1655.
(a) Wood's Inst. Civil Law, Preface ix.
Compleat Clerk, or Conveyancer's Light, and the Clerk's Vade Mecum. Sheppard's book has been frequently reprinted. It is chiefly valuable in the present day for the concise summary of the law of assurances, extracted from the Touchstone and Abridgment ascribed to the same author. Whether these works, which are of great merit, are in fact the production of Sheppard, has been doubted by very competent judges, who give the authorship to Mr. Justice Dodderidge. The Compleat Clerk, which is much Compleat Clerk, more extensive than the Clerk's Vade Mecum, con- Clerk's Vade tains a great variety of instruments of all sorts, alphabetically arranged. The title Settlements is particularly complete; “ being fully fraught with all manner of limitations of uses, conditions, powers, provisoes, and other extraordinary clauses used in great settlements; forming, indeed, the most considerable and weighty matters in the book.” With Exact Clerk, in the exception of the Exact Clerk, in 1656, Herne's Herne's MoModern Assurancer, in 1658, Manley's Clerk's Guide, ancer, in 1658. in 1672, and Billinghurst's Arcana Clericalia, in 1674, Clerks' Guide, we meet with no collection of conveyances until the time of Sir Orlando Bridgman.
in 1672. Billinghurst's Arcana Clericalia, in 1674.
XXIII. No one holds a more conspicuous station in Sir Orlando the annals of conveyancing than Sir Orlando Bridgman, emphatically styled by Mr. Serjeant Hill the Father of Conveyancers (a). Adhering to the cause of Charles I., he was involved in the disasters of those troublous times; and, during the Common
(a) Dougl. 568.
wealth, betook himself to a sedentary way of life, and practised as a conveyancer.
“ He became the great oracle, not only of his fellow sufferers, but of the whole nation, in matters of law; his very enemies not
thinking their estates secure without his advice (a)." His Select Pre- His Select Precedents of deeds and instruments concedents, published in 1682. cerning the most considerable estates in England,
drawn and approved by him during that period, were published in a folio volume in 1682. After the Restoration, Sir Orlando was raised to the place of Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, where he distinguished himself as a judge of profound learning and extensive industry. Such at least is the testimony of Lord Ellenborough (6). His judgments in the Common Pleas, from Michaelmas term 1660, to Trinity 1667, edited from the Hargrave MSS. by Mr. Bannister, were published in 1823. Upon the removal of Lord Clarendon, the seals were given to Sir O. Bridgman; but, according to Burnet (c), his
(a) Johnson's Pref. to Bridg- Few Englishmen dare purchase an esman's Conveyances. The fol. lowing Lines from Parnassi Pu- The title vouch. Ye can stop Hymen's
Unless your wisdoms unsophisticate erperium, published in 1659, are
way: cited in Park's Contre-Projet, For portions, jointures, both sexes must p. 29, to shew that the practice of pay
Due thanks. Wise fathers ranters submitting titles to counsel was
keep in awe, almost universal at that period :
Craving from ye (the oracles of law) “ To those excellent Conveyancers, Sir Help to entail their lands; whilst your
Orlando Bridgman, and the worthy selves be
Tenants of riches, of renown, in fee." “ Wise Greece and Rome did this in
(6) 14 East, 134. both combine,
(c) Hist. of His Own Times, i. To make addresses to the Delphian
464. See Life of Clarendon, i. shrine; And with divine Apollo to advise,
214; Hist, of the Rebellion, iji. Was the preludium of an enterprise. 448, Oxford editions.
study and practice had lain so entirely in the common law, that he never seemed to apprehend what equity was. He was a man of great integrity, but wanted decision and firmness of mind. “He laboured very much,” says Roger North, one of the most interesting and prejudiced writers of that time, “ to please every body; and that is a temper of ill consequence in a judge.
judge. It was observed of him, that if . a cause admitted of divers doubts, which the lawyers call points, he would never give all on one side, but either party should have somewhat to go away with (a).” Having lost all credit at Court, chiefly from not being sufficiently compliant, an occasion was soon found, or made, for his dismissal; and having refused, in 1672, to sanction a royal declaration for suspending the execution of some penal laws -- an act considered by him to be contrary to law (b)-the seals were soon afterwards taken from him, and given to Lord Shaftesbury, who was suspected to have gained the place of his predecessor, by undertaking to do whatever he had refused (c).
XXIV. The next collection that appeared was the Covert's Scri
venei's Guide,in Scrivener's Guide, in 1695, by Nicholas Covert; and 1695. during the six succeeding years we meet with the Ars Clericalis
, Ars Clericalis, in 1696, the Modern Conveyancer, in Modern Con1697, the Enchiridion Clericale, and the Compleat 1697.
Clericale, in (a) Lives of the Norths, i. Salmon's Examination, i. 662. 179, 421, (1826).
(c) Lives of the Norths, i. (6) Burnet's Hist. of His 181, 421. Own Times, i. 563; note from