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Laws of England
IN FOUR BOOKS
SIR WILLIAM BLACKSTONE, Knight
One of the Justices of His Majesty's Court of Common Pleas
NOTES SELECTED FROM THE EDITIONS OF ARCHBOLD, CHRISTIAN, COLE
DECISIONS WHEREIN THE COMMENTARIES HAVE
BEEN CITED, AND ALL STATUTES
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1897,
By REES WELSH & COMPANY,
in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington, D. C.
Many editions of Blackstone's Commentaries have been published, both in this country and in England, since the death of the learned author. My apology for adding another to the list is my desire to accomplish in the notes certain things not heretofore attempted, and also my belief that the time has come when accumulated experience makes it possible to select what is best from the mass of notes left by my predecessors.
The material used in the preparation of this edition may be divided into four classes. First, the published results of modern research into the history of our law, such as the works of Maine, of Pollock and Maitland, and of Vinogradoff. Second, the statutes in England and the United States which modify the statements made in the text. Third, the notes of my predecessors. Fourth, the cases decided and the text-books published since Blackstone's day which have referred to him as authority.
In using the notes of other editors, I have followed the example set of publishing the name of the editor in connection with his note. The unsigned notes are my own.
The fourth class of my material is, in my judgment, by far the most important. All reports and text-books published since Blackstone's day were carefully searched for references to his work. The abundance of material thus collected on almost every topic treated by the commentator rendered it unnecessary, except in rare instances, to look elsewhere in the books for cases illustrating the text. Nor was I compelled to turn to text-books
which do not cite the learned author's work. The references in the unsigned notes, therefore, will be found to be, in the great majority of instances, references to cases or text-books which have cited as authority the very page, or even sentence, of Blackstone to which the note is appended. Therefore it might almost be said that many of the notes or annotations have been written by the Courts of England and of the United States.
By making copious extracts from the notes of former editors, I have tried not only to preserve the learning which has accumulated around Blackstone's work, but to give the student of legal